Which blockbusters should you be making time for this summer?

With a packed schedule of releases, 'The Picture Show' host Philip Molloy selects some of the season's best

Philip Molloy, Movies, Picture Show, Summer, Blockbusters

The all-female lead cast of the new 'Ghostbusters'

While we tend to think of the first and last months of the year as bringing the best and most awards-friendly movies to the big-screen release schedule, summer is not to be forgotten, bringing forth an explosion of blockbusters designed to keep us entertained without taxing the brain too much. But for every CGI-laden flick that’s bound to make considerable box office, there are all too often plenty of duds to avoid.

Here’s my pick of the nine movies to look out for over the summer:

  • Absolutely Fabulous (July 1): A spin-off from the BBC sitcom with Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as the hard-drinking, drug-taking PR woman and her fashion magazine friend on the lam in the south of France. Has dozens of celebrity cameos. The other most recent BBC spin-off Dad’s Army sank like a stone – this might do better.

  • Central Intelligence (July1): This is a mismatched buddies comedy in which two old school pals reunite through Facebook and become involved in international espionage. The first joint venture between Warners Bros and Universal Pictures since Twister in 1996, Central Intelligence stars Dwayne Johnson and pint-sized motor-mouth Kevin Hart, with Aaron Paul and Amy Ryan in support.

  • The Legend of Tarzan (8th July): Veteran Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub had been trying to revive Tarzan for 12 years when Warner Bros finally committed to this $180m jungle adventure starring Alexander Skarsgard – from TV’s True Blood – and Australian actress Margo Robbie as his mate Jane. Tarzan is living in retirement in the UK when he is convinced to return to the Congo on a trade mission and becomes involved in a murderous conspiracy.  Christoph Waltz is the villain and the release date was chosen to commemorate Weintraub’s death in July 2015.

  • The Neon Demon (July 8): Drive director Nicholas Winding Refn turns to horror with this variation on Countess Dracula about an aspiring model in Los Angeles whose youth and beauty are coveted by all around her. Elle Fanning stars, with Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jena Malone and Alexander Nivola. It was written, produced and directed by Refn and it is in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  

  • Ghostbusters (July 15): An expensive ($154m), 3D reboot of the Bill Murray/Dan Aykroyd supernatural comedy with an all-female main cast (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones) under the direction of Paul Feig. The trailer earlier this year was criticised for racial bias – several media outlets complained that the three white Ghostbusters were scientists and academics while the black ghostbuster was a streetwise, seemingly inept transport worker. 

  • Star Trek Beyond (July 22): While resting at a Federation outpost in space, the crew of the starship Enterprise come across a nutcase called Krall (Idris Elba) who is apparently nursing a star-sized grudge against Kirk, Spock and cohorts. The 13th feature in the franchise, and the third in the rebooted cycle, Star Trek Beyond is directed by Justin Lin, who has a reputation as an action-man from the Fast And Furious films.  

  • The BFG (July 22): The great Roald Dahl’s novel The BFG was turned into an animated feature in 1989 and now Steven Spielberg has made a live action version with man-of- the- moment Mark Rylance (he won a BAFTA for Wolf Hall on Sunday night and an Oscar for Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies in February) as the big-eared title character. Looks like this could be one of the summer’s big family blockbusters.

  • Finding Dory (July 29): The latest 3D, computer-animated comedy from Pixar Entertainment, this is a sequel to the 2003 adventure, Finding Nemo, set off the coast of California. The action takes place just six months after the events of the first film, as Nemo’s forgetful friend Dory attempts to find her family. The first film grossed a total of $937m on a production budget of $94m, so expecting a billion-dollar splash seems reasonable.

  • Jason Bourne (July 29): All things being equal, this should be one of the entertainment highlights of the summer. Writer/director Paul Greengrass has teamed with star Matt Damon for the first time since The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007 on what appears to be an attempt to recalibrate the Bourne movies as an open-ended franchise. The fifth film in the Bourne series, and the fourth starring Damon, it boasts a supporting cast of Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones and Vincent Cassel. 

Listen back to Philip's segment from Wednesday's The Right Hook below:

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