Friday, March 23, 2018
Things To Do

Summer Movie Preview: From 'Ghostbusters' to 'Bourne,' everything old is new again

There are two kinds of summer movies; those that are sequels or reboots and those that aren't.

Repetition is Hollywood's easiest path to summertime success. Usually it's recent hits being reprised, but this season is a bit different.

In some cases, a multiplex visit will feel so last century.

Our annual Summer Movie Guide begins with those overdue sequels and reboots. Release dates are subject to change.


Excuse me, some summer movies. Haven't we met? Yes, I'm sure it was years, maybe decades ago. Hollywood digs deeper than usual into its past successes with these seven titles:

The Nice Guys (May 20)

Writer-director Shane Black perfected the buddy cop genre a generation ago with Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout. Black reprises that retro-vibe here with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as 1970s private eyes investigating a porn star's death.

Finding Dory (June 17)


Ellen DeGeneres' voice returns as Dory in Finding Dory.

Blue tang and clownfish can live up to 20 years, so waiting 13 for a sequel to Finding Nemo isn't bad. This time the search is on for memory-challenged Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres). Or is Dory looking for her family? I forget.

Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)

Twentieth Century Fox

Jeff Goldblum is back to battling aliens in Independence Day: Resurgence.

Twenty years ago, the proverbial fat lady sang, victory cigars were lit and Will Smith began his reign as summer's box office king. Smith came down to After Earth and skipped this sequel. Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum are back battling aliens, though.

The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)

Warner Bros.

Margot Robbie as Jane and Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan.

Yes, there was a Tarzan 'toon in 1999, but this version smacks of 1981's take starring Bo Derek. Certainly Margot Robbie is a 10, and Alexander Skarsgard looks in loincloth shape.

Ghostbusters (July 15)

Columbia Pictures

Leslie Jones, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and Kate McKinnon in Ghostbusters.

Posting the most disliked trailer in YouTube history wasn't a good start to rebooting one of the most popular comedies ever, 32 years later. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon have their slime cut out for them.

Pete's Dragon (Aug. 12)


Bryce Dallas Howard and Oakes Fegley in Pete's Dragon.

Nearly 40 years and countless movie dragons later, Disney reboots one its least revered properties. Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard co-star in what looks like a live-action/CGI version of How to Train Your You-Know-What.

Ben-Hur (Aug. 19)

Paramount Pictures

Jack Huston in Ben Hur.

Presenting this summer's undisputed procrastination champ, a remake coming 57 years after the Oscar-winning original. Should be a somber drama of biblical treachery and … oh, who are we kidding? We're only in it for the 3-D chariot race.


How can we miss these franchises if they never leave?

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (May 20)

Universal Pictures

Carla Gallo, Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, Ike Barinholtz and Zac Efron battle a sorority in Neighbors 2.

Seth Rogen and Zac Efron pledge payback to an intrusive suburban sorority, led by Chloë Grace Moretz.

Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27)


Johnny Depp returns as the Mad Hatter in the Alice sequel.

Johnny Depp is mad as a hatter, so another round of futterwacken is in order. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) saves Wonderland from Lord Time (Sacha Baron Cohen).

X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)

Twentieth Century Fox

Oscar Isaac in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Marvel's outlier franchise keeps chugging along, with Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) facing the mutant (Oscar Isaac) to end all mutants. (Click here for an early review of the movie.)

The Conjuring 2: The Endfield Experiment (June 10)

Evergreen Media

The Conjuring 2.

Another day, another haunted house for ghost chasers Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga).

Jason Bourne (July 29)

Universal Pictures

Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne.

Welcome back, Matt Damon, after The Bourne Legacy gave viewers amnesia about why these spy-jinks matter.

Star Trek Beyond (July 22)

Paramount Pictures

Karl Urban in Star Trek Beyond.

Now commanding the USS Enterprise, Capt. Kirk (Chris Pine) quickly maroons it on a remote planet and must survive. So, not just a sequel but a remake of The Martian.

Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22)

Blue Sky Studios

Back for the umpteenth time: the cast of Ice Age.

One Scrat-ological joke, five movies. Who really counts this as their favorite animated franchise ever? Anyone?


Our picks of summer movies that likely won't be continued in sequels, for good and bad reasons. Some will outright fail while others tell all the story that's needed.

The Angry Birds Movie (May 20)

Columbia Pictures

The Angry Birds Movie, exactly what it sounds like.

A movie based on a gaming app. This is what Hollywood has come to.

Warcraft (June 10)

Legendary Pictures

Another video game movie: Warcraft.

There isn't a more joyless trailer out there than this hyper-macho Fraggle Rock, based on a video game.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (June 3)

Apatow Productions

Andy Samberg in Popstar.

Andy Samberg spoofs one-hit celebrity culture, like Ben Stiller spoofs fashion models, only it's funny.

Central Intelligence (June 17)

Universal Pictures

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are the summer's shrewdest teaming, and should pay off royally. But both are so booked that a sequel may not be possible.

The Shallows (June 29)

Columbia Pictures

Blake Lively in The Shallows.

A sleeper possibility, with Blake Lively as a surfer stranded close to shore, with a great white shark in between. Anything more would be Jaws.

Free State of Jones (June 24)

Bluegrass Films

Matthew McConaughey in Free State of Jones.

Not many historical sequels out there. Matthew McConaughey stars as a Southern farmer seceding from the Confederacy, leading a slave rebellion.

The BFG (July 1)

Storyteller Distribution Co.

The BFG.

Roald Dahl's big friendly giant (voice of Mark Rylance) gets all of Steven Spielberg's creative respect, so none of his sequel interest.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

Universal Pictures

The Secret Life of Pets.

After Zootopia and Finding Dory, audiences could be crittered out for a while.

The Infiltrator (July 13)

Good Films

Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger in The Infiltrator.

Tampa Bay's next Hollywood close-up, with Bryan Cranston as Tampa resident and former federal undercover agent Robert Mazur. Filmed locally in 2015.

Suicide Squad (Aug. 5)


Suicide Squad is all-star alliance of supervillains (Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto).

DC Comics is struggling to build its own Marvel-ous universe. An all-star alliance of supervillains (Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto) feels more like spinoff fodder than sequel material.

The Founder (Aug. 5)

FilmNation Entertainment

Michael Keaton in The Founder.

Michael Keaton begins an awards roll, at least a hamburger bun, as McDonald's mogul Ray Kroc.

Sausage Party (Aug. 12)

Columbia Pictures

Sausage Party.

The comedy sensation of SXSW, animated raunch starring Seth Rogen's voice as a hot dog weiner hoping to slip into Kristen Wiig's bun.

War Dogs (Aug. 19)

Green Hat Films

Jonah Hill and Miles Teller in War Dogs.

Former Citrus County resident Miles Teller co-stars with Jonah Hill in a true story of weapons dealers in over their heads.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

This week’s pop culture winners and losers

This week’s pop culture winners and losers

WinnersStranger Things kids"Friend's don't lie." They also don't miss your birthday. After a Twitter user posted that nobody showed up for her little brother's Stranger Things-themed party, the cast of the hit Netflix series came to the rescue."What!...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosF1: Australian Grand Prix qualifying2 a.m.ESPN2Baseball, spring trainingRed Sox at Yankees1 p.m.ESPNReds at Rockies 4 p.m.MLBNationals at Marlins7 p.m.FSFRangers at Padres9:30 p.m.MLBCollege baseballMississippi at Texas A&M7 p.m.SECLSU at V...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Five things that make Lynn Harrell the most interesting world-class cellist

Five things that make Lynn Harrell the most interesting world-class cellist

Over drinks, Lynn Harrell could keep a person of even average curiosity entertained. The cellist and two-time Grammy winner can regale about his travels, drop a few of the household names he’s played with, drop the Pope’s name.Over dinner, Harrell, 7...
Published: 03/23/18
Cult fave Jeni’s Ice Cream is now available in Publix

Cult fave Jeni’s Ice Cream is now available in Publix

You may not know the name Jeni Britton Bauer. But if I write "Jeni’s" in kicky cursive and stick it on the side of a pastel pint container, you’ve got it.Ice cream Jeni. She’s won a James Beard award for her ice cream cookbook and operates 33 scoop s...
Published: 03/23/18
Retiring Indian Rocks Beach mayor R.B. Johnson is reading about the Italian renaissance

Retiring Indian Rocks Beach mayor R.B. Johnson is reading about the Italian renaissance

NightstandR.B. JohnsonThis month marks the retirement of Johnson as mayor of Indian Rocks Beach, a post he has held for 10 years. Recognized for advocating for improved parks, forging better community relationships and, perhaps the project dearest to...
Published: 03/23/18
The new ‘Roseanne’ is the political family fight we all need so we can just move on

The new ‘Roseanne’ is the political family fight we all need so we can just move on

About 20 years ago, Roseanne ended with arguably one of the worst series finales in TV history. Turns out the Conners we invited into our living rooms for almost 10 years were fictional characters in Roseanne’s made-up family biography. How meta, but...
Published: 03/23/18

Joss Whedon steps down from ‘Batgirl,’ Roxane Gay offers to step up

In February, ever-busy Joss Whedon passed on writing and directing the upcoming Batgirl movie by Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. Today, prolific novelist and essayist Roxane Gay offered to take over. And DC might be interested.Gay tweeted, "Hey [D...
Published: 03/22/18

St. Petersburg author Tamara Lush a finalist for Romance Writers of America award

Romance has many rewards.For St. Petersburg author Tamara Lush, one of them is being a finalist in the Romance Writers of America's 2018 book awards, called the RITAs.The RWA announced March 22 that her novel Constant Craving is one of five finalists...
Published: 03/22/18
Photo gallery: Acroyoga, which pairs acrobatics with yoga

Photo gallery: Acroyoga, which pairs acrobatics with yoga

In an old warehouse across the street from St. Anthony’s Hospital, Aaron Tremper lays on his back with his hands and feet straight up into the air. He is balancing Jessica DeLeo, who is spinning and twisting into yoga poses 3 feet above the gro...
Published: 03/22/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for March 23

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for March 23

Alice Cooper: The architect of shock-rock, Cooper draws equally from horror movies, vaudeville and garage rock with horror-themed theatrics. 8 p.m., Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. $48.75-$150. (727) 791-7400. Gasparilla Int...
Published: 03/22/18