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2017 Summer Movie Preview

Andy Serkis returns as Caesar in "War for the Planet of the Apes" opening on July 14.
Twentieth Century Fox
Andy Serkis returns as Caesar in "War for the Planet of the Apes" opening on July 14.

Superheroes, pirates, and apes, oh my!

Summer Movie Preview
GUESTS: Yazdi Pithavala, Moviewallas film critic Beth Accomando, KPBS arts reporter

This is KPBS Midday Edition. I am Maureen Cavanaugh. The Memorial Day weekend is not just the unofficial start of summer, it is this part of the movie season. Hollywood has had hits like guardians of the galaxy and King Arthur the legend of the sword, the bulk of the summer movie prop has yet to be harvested. Joining me to talk about the hits is coming up are SoccerCity . Hello. And Yazdi Pithavala with the podcast. Welcome back. I guess the big opening is the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Is there anything new to seize? No. It is so tired and so predictable. I mean, the biggest complaint I have is not that it is bad but that it is bland. It is proficient and entertaining but it is more of the same If you wanted to go to the movies on Memorial Day we can, any other obese opened this we can expect I missed Baywatch which looked like big dump on. I would pick that as my weekend movie but I had a cold and could not make the preview. And you? Back I really love the new covenant and people should give that a try. Let's start with the big summer movie that each of you is most excited about. What film are you most looking forward to? I am looking forward to is "Wonder Woman" and the DC superheroes. In the last 40 years, and there was an exclusive movie about "Wonder Woman" has evaded Hollywood. There has been false starts. A female director is bringing the full "Wonder Woman" to lie. Fandango listed "Wonder Woman" as the film audiences are most looking forward to. You are not alone. Let's hear a clip. What the hell is this? This compels you to reveal the truth. It is really hot. What is your mission? You are in more danger and anything.'s What is your mission? I am a spy. The truth of Lasso really works. It does. Are you looking forward to this? My one problem is I had hoped that at some point Lucy was going to make "Wonder Woman". I have this hill to overcome. She's not only "Wonder Woman" but they did not cast her as a character. She would have been perfect. That is my only caveat. Okay. What movie are you looking for -- forward to? I am looking forward to the next planet of the apes installment. The others I thought were well done. This will challenge the people who say that CGI does not work. The guardians of the galaxy, these films show exactly how you can use characters and integrate them into the film and make them believable. Who is in it? Andy is the main one who plays Caesar. I think he is better when he is doing the CGI characters. It requires a certain over emoting when you are acting and you have sensors on you to create the 3-D character. When he acts as a human in films like King Kong? Sometimes he is painful to watch. As Caesar, he is yet. Keep the monkey mask on Exactly. But these are pop entertainment films. Are there serious films out there or are summer movies just for fun? The serious summer movie that everybody is looking forward to is Kirk, Christopher Nolan's next big foray. These have a lot of excitement. This is the first inroad into making a historical review. All of his previous movies have had some degree of fantasy or the unexpected. He goes for a pure historical movie on a grand scale. I'm excited to see what he does in a hyperrealistic setting. Let's hear a clip. Why? They can pick us up from there. I have heard there is not an awful lot of dialogue in his movie. Is that right? Back that is possible. I have to say what got my hopes up was the trailer. The first trailer that came out was not a fast cut and let's tell you the entire story. It was a simple seem from the film and there is not much dialogue. Tom Hardy plays a pilot. You were caught up in the tension of what is happening and what is he going to do. Who is safe and who is not? The trailer peaked my interest which a lot of times it does not. It usually ignores -- annoys me. Those are big budget movies. Are there any -- independent films that you were looking for to? It has to be "Baby Driver". I love him. He did Shaun of the dead and hot fuzz. He is a director that I think is so meticulous and how he makes a film. This is going to be an action film about a guy who was coerced into be -- to being a driver for the mop. I am looking forward to this. "Baby Driver" was on my list. It is riding high on the coattails of -- there is a lot of praise. We do have a clip. You are going to hear Kevin Spacey doing the menacing test. One more job and we're straight. I do not think I need to give me the speech I can break your legs because you already know that, right? Yes. [ Applause ] You are right. I am speaking with Yazdi Pithavala and Beth Accomando. You can hear more of their summer preview by listening to the podcast. Thank you. Thank you.

Memorial weekend marks the unofficial launch of the summer movie season and here is a preview of what is to come.

May has already ushered in one unqualified hit with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," one bomb in the not so shining armor of "King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword," and one underperforming franchise in the form of "Alien: Covenant."


But the bulk of the summer films have yet to be released.

KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando and Moviewallas film critic Yazdi Pithavala provide these recommendations.

Pithavala's most anticipated summer blockbusters:

"Wonder Woman" (June 2)

"Dunkirk" (July 21)


"Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" (July 21)

Christopher Nolan's new film "Dunkirk" looks to the famous evacuation of soldiers that took place between May 26 and June 4, 1940.
Warner Brothers
Christopher Nolan's new film "Dunkirk" looks to the famous evacuation of soldiers that took place between May 26 and June 4, 1940.

Accomando's most anticipated summer blockbusters:

"War for the Planet of the Apes" (July 14)

"Dunkirk" (July 21)

"The Dark Tower" (Aug. 24)

Ansel Elgort stars as the title character in Edgar Wright's new film "Baby Driver."
TriStar Pictures
Ansel Elgort stars as the title character in Edgar Wright's new film "Baby Driver."

Pithavala's and Accomando's most anticipated indie films:

"The Beguiled," directed by Sofia Coppola (June 23)

"Baby Driver," directed by Edgar Wright (June 28)

"Atomic Blonde," directed by action design company 87Eleven's David Leitch (July 28)

Summer comedy recommendation:

Pithavala: The one-two punch of women behaving badly in "Rough Night" (June 16) and "Girls Trip" (July 21)

Accomando: The comic riff on "The Bodyguard," "The Hitman's Bodyguard" (Aug. 18)

David Lowery tells "A Ghost Story" in his newest film opening July 7.
David Lowery tells "A Ghost Story" in his newest film opening July 7.

Summer horror picks:

Pithavala: "A Ghost Story" (July 7)

Accomando: "It Comes at Night" (June 9)

The films to avoid at all costs:

Pithavala: The low-hanging fruit of "Transformers: The Last Night" (June 21)

Accomando: The scary in all the wrong ways "The Mummy" reboot with Tom Cruise (June 9)