Five “Must-See” Movies for June 2015

June 2015 Preview

I hate to admit it, but it’s true: I failed you guys last month. I don’t say that because I ultimately recommended you check out a couple of stinkers in May’s monthly movie preview (we’ll get to that in a moment), but rather because, of the five movies I mentioned as “must-sees”, I actually only saw two of them. I led last month’s post with the caveat that there wasn’t much of note coming out during May, but still, if I’m gonna recommend movies I should probably watch ’em too, and I vow to do so from now on. Unless I change my mind. Or run out of money. Or everyone else tells me they’re bad and that I should run for the hills and avoid them forever. Point is, I’ll try.

Not to make excuses, but I did have a lot going on last month. I finished grad school, then took my (fingers crossed) final CPA exam, and then last week I left for a trip to the Pacific Northwest, starting in Vancouver and making my way down to Seattle and Portland before heading back to the scorching hot desert I call home, which will pretty much force me to follow through and watch all my must-sees considering it will be too hot for me to be outside for much of the day.

Looking back on last month’s recommendations, I didn’t do too bad, but I suppose that term is relative. Of the five films I urged you to check out — Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mad Max: Fury Road, Slow West, Tomorrowland and Aloha — three wound up with “fresh” Rotten Tomatoes scores and three garnered above-average Metacritic ratings. Oh, and only one received a truly negative review here (ahem, Tomorrowland).

If we’re playing baseball, that’s a .600 batting average, which is pretty darn good. But if we’re playing basketball, well, it depends: are we shooting free throws or three-pointers? Lucky for me we’re playing neither sport and this is just a fun little game, plus we’re dealing with a small first sample so there is no historical data to compare with. I’m just going to go ahead and say that for my first time doing this, 3-for-5 isn’t bad, but why not see if we can do better, eh?. So what about June, what does this month have in store for us? Let’s take a look.

A Few Before We Really Get Started

Entourage (6/3): Full disclosure, I have never seen “Entourage“, which is a big reason why I’m not anticipating the film continuation of Doug Ellin‘s series when it hits theaters this week. The other: I saw a trailer for the film featuring about a thousand different celebrity cameos and while cameos are fun, if that’s all the movie is going to be, what’s the point? I’m not saying Entourage can’t be good, I’m just saying it’s not one I’m going to run out to the theater to see.

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (6/5): The third film in a thematic trilogy, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence won the Golden Lion (Best Film) award at the Venice International Film Festival last fall. The surrealist Swedish comedy-drama is composed of over three-dozen absurdist comic vignettes, and while I’ve not seen director Roy Andersson‘s previous works, this one seems worth checking out if you can find it anywhere near you, if only to see if the experiment does indeed pay off.

Love & Mercy (6/5): I grew up listening to the Beach Boys — my dad loved them, so I loved them, that’s how it worked in our house. Based on that alone I’m looking forward to seeing Love & Mercy, the biopic detailing the life of band leader Brian Wilson and starring Paul Dano and John Cusack as young Wilson and old Wilson, respectively. Mike gave this one a big ol’ “B+” after seeing it at SXSW, which makes me even more interested.

The Tribe (6/17): I’ve only read a brief bit about The Tribe, but its premise alone is enough to spark my interest: “Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without a need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level.” The Tribe has received strong reviews on the festival circuit, so while it may not be easy to find, it sounds as though it will be worth a look.

Ted 2 (6/26): I hated Ted when I first saw it. Hated, hated, hated it. I haven’t watched it since, but I have a feeling I’d feel about the same as before. However, everyone else seemed to enjoy it so while I have no real itch to see Ted 2, I’m sure others do, despite the fact Seth MacFarlane‘s last directorial outing tanked almost as bad Tomorrowland. Too soon? Fine, I’ll go back to using MacFarlane’s Oscar gig as my comparison point.

Alright, so those are a few appetizers for you to chew on, now let’s move on to the feast. First up…