Pierce Pioneer

What to watch out for in June

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Summer movies are often known for high octane and thrilling spirits. This season, studios are bringing the excitement in a variety of ways, from a musical legend story to big-budget monsters. Here are six that viewers can put on their must-watch list.

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“Godzilla: King of the Monsters” 

May  31,  2019

In 2014, Warner Bros. studio blew audience away with its electrifying reboot of the famous Japanese monster “Godzilla”. Now, the beloved creature is back, and is expected to destroy cities and people once again in the sequel. 

According to Comicbook.com, movie studios Legendary and Warner Bros. said that Godzilla is part of a universe which also features King Kong. Called the “MonsterVerse”, it is Warner Bros.’ answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The movie uses the latest computer-generated technology and showcases a lineup of the expected powerful creatures such as Mothra and Ghidorah. 

The cast stars Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring), Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Ken Wantanabe (The Last Samurai).

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May  31,  2019

Movies about musicians were big last year. with “Bohemian Rhapsody” taking home an Oscar for Best Actor, and “A Star is Born” receiving nominations in a variety of categories therefore, makes sense for a movie about the life story of Elton John to come out. Rami Malek did a wonderful job portraying Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and now Taron Egerton (Kingsmen: The Secret Service) will take the role of Elton John. 

Fans of the musician can expect Egerton to give an entertaining performance as well as focusing more on Elton John as a troubled soul. Where “Bohemian Rhapsody” stayed mostly true to Freddie Mercury, “Rocketman” takes side trips into “what-if” story lines. Aside from Egerton, the movie features Richard Madden (Bodyguard), and Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World). 

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“The Secret Life of Pets 2”

June  7,  2019

While the prequel of “The Secret Life of Pets” rehashed the basic “Toy Story” idea, the movie got mostly positive reviews, as seen on Rotten Tomatoes. Louis C.K. is not returning for the sequel, so Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) is the voice of the main character, Max the dog. The terrier is back, this time introduced to another family member a young boy named Liam who Max has sworn to protect. 

Max has to learn to overcome his protectiveness, and let the kid have his freedom. The first movie was simple, straight-forward and did the job well, but fell into the hole of gimmicks.

 Additionally, like the original film, there is a chance that the humor content may be inappropriate for younger kids. Other returning characters are Snowball, (Kevin Hart), Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), Duke (Eric Stonestreet) and Gidget (Jenny Slate)

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“Dark Phoenix”  

June 7,  2019

The sequel train continues with Dark Phoenix, the newest installment to Marvel’s X-Men franchise. While the franchise has gone through some ups and downs, it has attracted a loyal fan base. 

In the movie, the main character Jean Grey has to suppress her power, which is becoming unstable, That leads her to spiral out of control, and now the X-Men have to battle Dark Phoenix, Jean’s mutant self. 

The writer of the previous “X-Men” films “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “X-Men: Apocalypse,” Simon Kinberg, is in charge of directing the movie. This installment features Sophie Turner of “Game of Thrones” fame as the title role along with the familiar cast of James McAvoy (Split), Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds).

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“Toy Story 4” 

June 21,  2019

The first “Toy Story” movie came out in 1995, and it changed the landscape of animated movies forever, with its unprecedented 3-D animation technology. Fifteen years later, “Toy Story 3” was released, perfectly wrapping up the storyline in a trilogy. However, in recent years, Disney announced the next installment to the seemingly complete franchise. 

The new movie can go either way in terms of quality. Regardless, fans of Woody and Buzz Lightyear will get a chance to visit these lovable characters once again. 

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are reprising their roles of Woody and Buzz, along with Annie Potts (Ghostbusters 1984) Keanu Reeves (John Wick) Jordan Peele (Key and Peele) and Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele).

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“Annabelle Comes Home” 

June 26, 2019

Summer is not only for big budget action movies but also horror movies as well. Annabelle is back with “Annabelle Comes Home,” a new movie in the Conjuring Universe, the horror counterpart of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Annabelle, the doll, first appeared in “The Conjuring”, then became the main character in her own movie and the sequel. 

After being locked in the artifacts room by two paranormal experts, Ed and Lorraine Warren, Annabelle start reigning terror on their daughter with other evil spirits. 

The terrifying universe has been hit and miss, “Annabelle: Creation” got a 70 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The main cast includes Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) and Vera Farmiga (The Conjuring).

“Rocketman” launches with energy

CreditDavid Appleby / Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Photo
Jamie Bell, left, and Taron Egerton as Taupin and John in “Rocketman.”

Biographical renditions (biopics) are ways for filmmakers to tell stories about significant figures throughout history with film. This year with “Bohemian Rhapsody” being awarded Best Actor with Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, it seems like musical biopics are becoming more mainstream. Studios appear like they are interested in films involving musicians. After exploring the story behind the group Queen, audiences now get to see the life of Elton John. The singer and composer is a household name that was responsible for some of the most popular tunes of all time. People around the world have fallen in love with his tracks such as “Tiny Dancer” or “Circle of Life” and the affinity for them has no end in sight. Therefore, it makes sense for a movie like “Rocketman” to be made.

“Rocketman” is the life story of Elton John (Taron Edgerton) from his early days of a musical prodigy to then selling out arenas. The film shines a light on the aspects of John’s career that fans did not get to see, including some of his highest and lowest points. In the process, it tells one of the most fascinating rise-to-fame stories of our time.

Taron Edgerton has tremendous pressure on him portraying the legendary musician, especially after Rami Malek’s incredible performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Despite all of that, he puts on possibly his best show of his burgeoning career. This casting choice might seem “out of nowhere” at first, but the movie shows that he is the perfect candidate for the role. His mannerisms, and the way he performs the songs, charmingly resembles John.

It is worth noting is that Edgerton does most of the singing in the movie, according to Bustle.com. His vocals are impressive, especially for people who are only familiar to him as Eggsy in the “Kingsman” series. The songs do not sound exactly like the Elton John versions, which helps the movie avoid sounding like a music video playlist.

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Taron Egerton as Elton John in a scene from from “Rocketman,” directed by Dexter Fletcher.

It is important to know that this movie closely resembles a musical in a lot of ways, which may annoy some people. “Rocketman” is dream-like, and this is established from the get-go. For example, time slows down or freezes, and Elton John is put in a trance. Characters often break out into songs and numbers. This makes the film surprisingly refreshing. It also dials up the energy level up a notch with montages of Elton John’s career, which are also done like a stage musical.

In the film, Elton John’s music is used as a way to show various points in his career. His fans can easily figure out which phase he was in just by the songs. The filmmakers also recreate some of his most iconic costumes. Whether it’s the sparkly baseball jersey or the colorful headdresses, the visual representations display the different landmarks of his life.

There is always a sense of liveliness in every scene, even in the more somber ones. Although the movie is 2 hours in length, the passion and fire of the film easily entrances the audience. Despite that, when “Rocketman” wants to make people feel empathy for the musician, it does the job really well.

As much as there are many great details about this movie, it suffers from some flaws. Though it is engaging, it has almost the same beats as “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even a montage which involves newspaper headlines look extremely similar to the one in the Queen biopic.

“Rocketman” is a tribute to Elton John, and it is perfect for his fans to enjoy. However, it can also entertain people who are simply looking for a great movie. It is a story that sings and returns people to a timeless era of music.


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