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Summer movies: Hollywood launches blockbuster season

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Summer movies: Hollywood launches blockbuster season April 13, 2017 12:00 AM AP Charlize Theron, left, and Vin Diesel in “The Fate of the Furious.” Compiled by Post-Gazette staff
The summer season is upon us, and that means Hollywood pulls out all the stops with creative new ideas for the big screen.
Yeah, right.
Get your popcorn ready for a barrage of sequels and remakes. The Fast and Furious crew, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Cars gang, the talking apes and Transformers are all back along with Jack Sparrow, Spider-Man and the despicable Gru.
Among the new stars on the scene will be Captain Underpants, Wonder Woman and Gene, an emoji with an identity crisis.
Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer and Samuel L. Jackson will be along for laughs, and on the flip side, there will be some ancient crypts and houses you might want to avoid.
“Donald Cried” A Wall Street executive returns to his working-class Rhode Island neighborhood to bury his grandmother, loses his wallet and is forced to reconnect with his eccentric best friend from high school.
“The Fate of the Furious”: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are back in the eighth installment of the Furious series.
“The Ticket”: The newfound ambitions of a blind man (Dan Stevens) who regains his sight threaten his relationships.
“Frantz”: Francois Ozon’s black-and-white drama about a young German woman mourning the World War I death of her fiance, probing the mystery of the mysterious Frenchman (Pierre Niney) who visits the dead man’s grave.
“Spark”: A teenage monkey (voice of Jace Norman) embarks on a mission to take back the Planet Bana from the evil General Zhong and find his own identity. Voices of Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank and Susan Sarandon.
“The Lost City of Z”: Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy”) stars as real-life British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s. Fawcett was said to be the inspiration for Indiana Jones. Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland and Sienna Miller co-star.
“Unforgettable”: This dramatic thriller stars Katherine Heigl as a woman who will stop at nothing to interrupt the plans of her ex-husband (Geoff Stults) and new fiancee (Rosario Dawson), who move into the home they once shared.
“Free Fire”: Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy star in this action comedy set in Boston in 1978 about an arms deal that goes wrong.
“The Promise”: An Armenian medical student (Oscar Isaac), an American journalist (Christian Bale) based in Paris and an Armenian-born woman (Charlotte Le Bon) raised in France are entangled in a love triangle during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.
“Born in China”: John Krasinski narrates this documentary set in the wilds of China that captures intimate moments with pandas, golden monkeys and snow leopards.
“The Circle”: What if the world’s most powerful tech company decided society would be best served by everyone sharing even the most minute details of their lives with the world? Emma Watson is Mae, an up-and-coming star at “The Circle.” With Tom Hanks and John Boyega. Dave Eggers wrote the screenplay of his best-selling novel of the same name.
“How To Be a Latin Lover”: After 25 years of marriage to a rich older woman, Eugenio Derbez finds himself dumped and having to move in with his estranged sister. With Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe.
MAY 5 “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Gamora (Zoe Saldana), left, Nebula (Karen Gillan), Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper).
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”: It’s no secret that a family reunion is in the works. Kurt Russell enters the Marvel franchise as Ego the Living Planet, father of Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill/Star-Lord. The Guardians reteam to the ’70s tunes of “Awesome Mixtape #2,” with Nathan Fillion joining the fun as Wonder Man.
“3 Generations”: Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon star in this drama about a family coming to grips with their daughter’s decision to transition into a male.
MAY 12
“Snatched”: Goldie Hawn is the ultra-cautious mother and Amy Schumer the dreamer of a daughter taking a paradise vacation that turns into an outrageous jungle adventure. With Ike Barinholtz (“Neighbors”), Wanda Sykes (“Bad Moms”) and Joan Cusack (“Working Girl”).
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”: Guy Ritchie directs and Charlie Hunnam plays the young knight who pulls the sword from the stone and must confront his true legacy.
MAY 19
“Alien: Covenant”: Ridley Scott opens a new chapter in the Alien franchise, in which the crew of the colony ship Covenant discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise is actually a dark, dangerous world. Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup star.
“The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature”: Surly (Will Arnett) and his park animal friends kick into computer-animated action when they learn that the crooked mayor of Oakton City (Bobby Moynihan) is about to bulldoze Liberty Park and replace it with a dangerous amusement park.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”: In the latest film based on the best-selling series, a Heffley family cross-country adventure to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes awry when Greg hatches a scheme to get to a video gaming convention.
“Everything, Everything”: Romance based on the young-adult novel about a teenager (Amandla Stenberg) who falls for the boy next door (Nick Robinson), but she’s allergic to everything.
“The Lovers”: Debra Winger and Tracy Letts star in this comedy about a divorcing couple who rediscover their spark.
“Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer”: Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere), a lonely New York City schemer, offers a kindness to Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), who becomes the Israeli prime minister three years later.
MAY 26
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”: Johnny Depp returns as a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow taking on deadly ghost sailors, led by Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), who has escaped from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea. Jack forges an alliance with beautiful astronomer Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario) and headstrong young sailor Henry (Brenton Thwaites). “Baywatch” starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.
“Baywatch”: The campy TV series is resurrected in this action comedy about devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan (Dwayne Johnson), who clashes with a new recruit (Zac Efron) but must put aside differences to uncover a criminal plot.
JUNE 2 Gal Gadot stars as “Wonder Woman.”
“Wonder Woman”: Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” returns as the Amazon princess who leaves her island and becomes a superhero, in this action-adventure from director Patty Jenkins (“Monster,” AMC’s “The Killing”). She’s joined by Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston and more.
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”: The best-selling book series comes to the big screen in this animated comedy about two pranksters who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero, Captain Underpants. With the voices of Kevin Hart and Ed Helms.
“The Mummy”: An ancient princess (Sofia Boutella) is resurrected from her tomb to wreak havoc on the world, leaving Tom Cruise to save the day in this remake of the classic horror tale.
“It Comes at Night”: Joel Edgerton stars in this horror film about a family facing an unnatural threat.
“My Cousin Rachel”: This mystery romance is based on the 1951 novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier.
“Cars 3”: In the first “Cars” movie in six years, Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is on the comeback trail after a crash and has to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best.
“The Book of Henry”: Naomi Watts is the mother of a boy genius (Jaeden Lieberher) who befriends the girl next door (Pittsburgh’s Maddie Ziegler). But the neighbors are hiding a dark secret and Henry has a plan.
“Rough Night”: The R-rated comedy by “Broad City” writers Lucia Aniello and Paul W. Downs finds bride-to-be Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) on a bachelorette party weekend gone terribly wrong. The bridal party includes Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon and Zoe Kravitz.
“All Eyez on Me”: Demetrius Shipp Jr. stars in this biopic of rap star Tupac Shakur, who was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996. It’s released on what would have been his 46th birthday.
“Transformers: The Last Knight”: Michael Bay directs the fifth installment of the series that finds humans and Transformers at war, Optimus Prime gone, and a key to the future buried in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. With Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro.
“The Beguiled”: Sofia Coppola directs and Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning star in this drama about a wounded Union soldier taken in at a sheltered school for girls in Virginia.
June 28
“Baby Driver”: In this action-packed comedy by Edgar Wright, a music-obsessed getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) wants to give up crime for the love of his life (Lily James), but he is coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey) and could lose everything in a doomed heist. Jon Hamm and Jamie Foxx also star.
June 30
“The House”: Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler star in this comedy about a father who recruits his neighbors to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife spend their daughter’s college fund. “Despicable Me 3” brings the return of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell).
“Despicable Me 3”: Gru (Steve Carell) faces off against diabolical former ’80s child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), while also confronting his own too-perfect twin brother.
“Amityville: The Awakening”: A single mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) moves her three kids into a haunted house, unaware of its dark history.
July 7
“Spider-Man: Homecoming”: Michael Keaton plays supervillain The Vulture in the third reimagining of Spidey since 2002. Youthful Brit Tom Holland, who follows Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as Marvel’s web-slinging teen, debuted in the role last year in “Captain America: Civil War,” with Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) as his mentor. This film picks up after the events of “Civil War.”
“Patti Cake$” (Limited): Aussie Danielle Macdonald wowed the festival circuit with her portrayal of Jersey girl rapper Patricia “Killa P” Baccio in writer-director Geremy Jasper’s feature film debut.
July 14
“War for the Planet of the Apes”: In the third chapter of the rebooted series, Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Aliquippa native and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri is senior visual effects supervisor for the apes — all digitally realized.
“Midnight Sun”: Katie (Bella Thorne) is a 17-year-old confined to her house since childhood by a rare disease that makes sunlight deadly. Fate takes a turn when she embarks on a summer romance with Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger).
“The Big Sick”: Pakistani comedian Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote and stars in this film about the family turmoil that occurred when he courted his real-life wife, Emily (Zoe Kazan).
“Wish Upon”: This supernatural horror film is based on W. W. Jacobs’ short story “The Monkey’s Paw,” about a girl who discovers a box with magical and deadly powers. Joey King and Ryan Phillippe star.
July 21
“Ferdinand”: This animated feature is about a big-hearted bull mistaken for a dangerous beast. Voices of Kate McKinnon, David Tennant and John Cena.
“Dunkirk”: Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar,”“Inception,” the “Dark Knight” trilogy) directs this World War II film about Allied soldiers surrounded by the German Army on the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940. With Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Kenneth Branagh.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”: This Luc Besson sci-fi adventure is based on the French comic series about 28th-century special operatives charged with keeping order in the Alpha metropolis.
July 28
“Atomic Blonde”: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy and John Goodman star in a spy thriller based on Antony Johnston’s 2012 graphic novel “The Coldest City,” about an undercover MI6 agent sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent.
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”: Al Gore returns for the sequel to the 2006 film about the impact of climate change.
“The Emoji Movie”: T.J. Miller is the voice of Gene, a multi-expressional emoji who just wants to be normal in this animated comedy with Ilana Glazer, Patrick Stewart and James Corden.
Aug. 4
“The Dark Tower”: The long-in-the-making screen version of Stephen King’s Western-inspired fantasy novel stars Idris Elba as a dystopian world’s last gunslinger, who travels in search of the elusive Dark Tower — it’s the nexus of the time-space continuum, and it’s under an ominous threat. Matthew McConaughey plays The Gunslinger’s longtime adversary; Nicolaj Arcel directs.
“Step”: This documentary is about a girls high school step dance team in inner-city Baltimore.
Aug. 11
“Annabelle: Creation”: In this follow-up to the 2014 horror film “Annabelle,” a dollmaker and his wife welcome into their home a nun and several orphan girls, who soon become the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle. Stephanie Sigman and Talitha Bateman star.
“Wind River”: Elizabeth Olsen plays a rookie FBI agent who teams with a town’s veteran game tracker (Jeremy Renner) to investigate a murder on a Native American reservation.
Aug. 18
“The Hitman’s Bodyguard”: Ryan Reynolds is the world’s top bodyguard and Samuel L. Jackson is his hitman client in this action comedy.
Aug. 25
“Villa Capri”: Tommy Lee Jones is an ex-FBI agent and Morgan Freeman an ex-mob lawyer in the witness protection program trying to fend off a mob hit.
“Polaroid”: A teenage loner finds a vintage Polaroid camera that brings death to those who are photographed with it.
“Tulip Fever”: An artist (Dane DeHaan) in early 17th-century Netherlands falls for a married young woman (Alicia Vikander) while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait by her husband (Christoph Waltz).
Aug. 30
“LEAP!”: Elle Fanning, Carly Rae Jepsen and Maddie Ziegler provide the voices for this animated film about an orphan girl in France who dreams of becoming a ballerina.
Sept. 1
“Renegades”: Sullivan Stapleton, J.K. Simmons and Charlie Bewley star in this action thriller about a team of Navy SEALs that discovers an immense treasure hidden in a Bosnian lake.

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