Must-see summer movies of 2015

Film, video and new media studies major Christina Maldonado suggests the best movies to see this summer


Photo by Sabrina Martinez | Creative Director

Christina Maldonado, Contributing Writer

Once upon a time, summer consisted solely of lounging on the beach, working on your tan and perfecting your Baywatch beach run. Unfortunately, to students in the real world – those picking up summer classes or working extra hours while they can – it’s now known that a life beachside isn’t always the case.

But never fear, because even with a hectic schedule, there’s always some time to squeeze in another summer staple – the coveted movie night.

As a film, video and new media studies major, there’s a chance that I put movie nights on a pedestal. I get it – binge watching the far out, independent films and stoner comedies that interest me might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But this summer’s blockbusters provide a huge variety, from the over-the-top action flick to the horror remake. Either way, there is a film out there that will suit your mood.

Escaping to a movie is one of your best (and easiest) bets for this summer vacation. So throw a hoodie over that tank top, and trade in the fruity drinks for a soda and some popcorn. Here are my top suggestions for this year’s must-see summer movies:

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)

This movie served as a reminder to never judge a book by its cover. The movie industry has a huge issue with letting things die when it should. After the last dreadful “Spiderman” (amazing how Toby Maguire and his failed hair swoosh could ruin a movie that featured a kick-ass Venom) there came a reboot, and the idea of continuing a franchise that hadn’t been touched since the ‘80s was at high risk of being another tragedy plaguing our movie screens.

Fortunately, “Fury Road” has proven to be anything but. While a bald and buff Tom Hardy dominated movie posters and suggested another typical action flick, a huge amount of buzz is coming from Charlize Theron’s character being a total bad ass. The last thing I expected when I started looking into the reactions to this movie was for it to be called a “feminist triumph.” Even if none of that entices you, it would at least be worth a watch for its awesome explosions.

Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow)

Yet another continuation of a franchise, “Jurassic World” is bound to be a hit. While it had one of the best previews of the year – the piano version of the “Jurassic Park” theme song had to have given you chills the first time you heard it – the plot line makes it simply impossible to not see.

It’s a ‘90s nightmare come to life, as this movie shows what happens when the park is opened, and something goes wrong. With stunning visual effects giving us new breeds of dinosaurs (admit it, the SeaWorld-esque set up of that big beast eating the great white shark is awesome), it’s going to be worth the watch. Besides, who can say no to Chris Pratt and velociraptors?

Poltergeist (Gil Kenan)

I know, it’s totally hypocritical to put this one on the list after expressing my distaste for not letting things die, but any remake of a movie as classic as the 1982 original has to be viewed, even if only to judge how much it pales in comparison. I’m hopeful that Sam Rockwell in the lead role will keep this movie from being an utter waste of time, and I’m curious to see if modern age technology will make the traumatizing mirror scene with Marty be more or less nauseating.

Dope (Rick Famuyiwa)

This movie is getting a lot of praise for being the new generation’s black coming-of-age movie. But what really makes this movie worthwhile is going to be its manipulation of a cliched storyline. Instead of a typical “young black male deals drugs because his role in society obligates him to” trope, we’re presented with a new spin on the stereotype. Even if the movie ends up being awful, it should be interesting to see how well A$AP Rocky can actually act.

Sinister 2 (Ciaran Foy)

This movie being good is mostly wishful thinking on my part, but considering how twisted the original was, hopefully we can get good things from the sequel. The best part of a scary movie is how crazy it can get and that awful feeling it puts in your stomach.

If it’s anything like the first, this movie is sure to scare the hell out of you. Granted, scary movies might not be for everyone, but you have to appreciate the originality of the first movie’s writing and hope that the second film is up to par.

Honorable mentions:

“Minions” – Let’s be honest, these yellow things are the best part of “Despicable Me.” Even college students can enjoy whatever trouble they get into.

“Paper Towns” – John Green books seem to do well as movie adaptations, and now is the time to enjoy these movies before it turns into overkill, a la Nicholas Sparks.

“Fantastic Four” – Even though revamps are usually hit or miss, this film looks like it would make the first one not even count. Superhero movies are here to stay, and it seems like this one will give “The Avengers” a run for its money in quality.

“Magic Mike XXL” – No one watches these movies for the plot anyway, so you might as well let yourself enjoy a shirtless Channing Tatum.