Do I even need to do a Summer Movie Preview this year?

Before I headed to the Cannes Film Festival, I was pondering whether I should do a Summer Movie Preview. Alas, I wrote a few entries for The Playlist and called it a day because, quite frankly, the movies just don't look good this summer. There are exceptions of course and the indies that are being released I already saw at Sundance and they will surely be the highlights of the summer movie season.  I'm alarmed by the number of sequels, prequels, retreads and mostly safe entertainment that are for the masses.  It's more a box-office extravaganza, as compared to the fall which is all about Oscar. 

With "Infinity War," "Deadpool 2," and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" having already been seen, I narrowed it down to six major-studio films that have potential to be standouts:

"The Incredibles 2"
If you loved 2004’s Pixar classic “The Incredibles,” still considered one of the very best movies of the superhero genre, and for good reason, then you will be pleased to know that Elastigirl, Mr. Incredible, Edna, and Frozone will all be back for this highly anticipated sequel, almost 14 years in the making. Brad Bird, The brains behind the original film, not to mention “The Iron Giant,” “Ratatouille,” and “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” is back for the sequel which has Mr. Incredible having to take care of Jack-Jack while Elastigirl is busy saving the world. 

"Ocean's 8"
In a way, the mediocre sequels that followed Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s Eleven” were probably what helped make the case for Gary Ross’ “Oceans 8.” We don’t really know much about the plot for this spinoff of Soderbergh’s classic. However, what we do know is that “Oceans 8,” will not be a remake or reboot of the original. The cast is also great: Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter are some of the best actresses of their generations, oh, and we also have Rihanna added in for good measure. The film is surely a risky bet for Warner Bros and Ross, the underrated filmmaker of “Pleasantville,” “Seabiscuit” and “The Hunger Games,” must surely know what happened to Paul Feig and his failed attempt at an all-female version of “Ghostbusters” just a few years ago. 

"Sicario: Day Of Soldado"
We would have never guessed that a sequel to Denis Villeneuve‘s visceral 2014 drug-cartel film “Sicario” would be happening, but writer Taylor Sheridan seems to think there’s still plenty of ground to cover. Fresh off the indie successes of “Hell or High Water,” and last year’s “Wind River,” Sheridan is back for a sequel that promises to be rougher and tougher than the original. Villeneuve is replaced here by director Stefano Sollima as Benicio Del Toro, returning as undercover operative  Alejandro Gillick, and Josh Brolin, CIA agent Matt Graver, team up to stop Mexican Drug cartels from smuggling Jihadi terrorists into the U.S. border.  The cast also includes Matthew ModineCatherine KeenerManuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Jeffrey Donovan. Blunt and director Denis Villeneuve opted not to return. 

"Mission Impossible - Fallout"
You can always count on the “Mission: Impossible” franchise to deliver the goods.  It does really help that Tom Cruise, playing Ethan Hunt, does his own stunts, which brings an authentic feel to the set pieces which many summer blockbusters would lack in their CGI-filled action. This July’s “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” the sixth installment of a franchise that just keeps upping the ante and quality with every movie, has Cruise returning as Hunt who yet again has to race against time after a mission goes terribly wrong in  Europe. Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed ‘Rogue Nation,’ returns as writer-director. The returning cast includes CruiseRebecca Ferguson, Simon PeggMichelle MonaghanVing Rhames, and Henry Cavill, with a non-digitally-removed mustache to boot. The piece-de-resistance stunt here will have Cruise strapped onto an airplane as it takes off. You can never fault Cruise for not trying to entertain us. 

"Mile 22"
Filmmaker Peter Berg and actor and producer Mark Wahlberg have quite the bff working relationship. Having collaborated on three films so far, including “Lone Survivor,” “Deepwater Horizon,” and “Patriots Day,” he creative duo’s fourth collaboration will be the action thriller “Mile 22.”Berg and Wahlberg stated that they plan on making “Mile 22” the first entry of a trilogy. All three of their previous collaborations have been action dramas based on real-life events. Berg stated that he hopes “Mile 22,” Berg and Wahlberg’s first fiction, will be “an intelligent, adult action film that’s got a lot of muscle and intensity.” Read the official synopsis below.

"The Happytime Murders"
Brian Henson, the son of “Muppets” creator Jim Henson, and his deliriously R-rated muppet movie “The Happytime Murders.” The trailer is a neo-noir puppet action comedy, and I was reminded of “Team America” quite a bit. Yes, Melissa McCarthy is in it but I'll give this film a shot when it is released in August because, frankly, the summer movie lineup is lethargic this year in terms of inspiration.