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Beat the Heat with These Summer Blockbusters

by Clayton Bushong

After two long, challenging years we can finally say with confidence that the summer blockbuster is back with a vengeance!  While Memorial Day weekend traditionally kicks off the unofficial start of summer, some of the season’s most anticipated blockbusters arrived even earlier this year. With audiences chomping at the bit for some magic on the big screen, escapist summer movies like Downton Abbey: A New Era are bringing people back to the theaters in numbers we haven’t seen for a long while. And then there’s Top Gun: Maverick!! Wow — what an incredibly highly anticipated and buzzed about movie that I honestly thought couldn’t deliver on all the hype, but it does. A must-see for sure (we’re playing it in both Pelham and Bronxville).

And that’s just the beginning. The film floodgates are finally opening this summer, and the movies we’ve been waiting for are arriving in theaters — and with them audiences who know that there is nothing quite like watching a summer blockbuster on the big screen surrounded by fellow film lovers. Here are some of the movies I’m most excited about this summer:


Toy Story came out in 1995 and changed animated features forever. Over 25 years later, we finally learn some of the backstory of Buzz Lightyear, one of our all-time favorite astronauts, and a quintessential childhood character for so many. I’m holding out hope that this movie delivers higher than early reviews are letting on, but at the same time, does it truly matter?! It’s Buzz freakin’ Lightyear. People are going to go to this. And they are going to enjoy it! Myself included.

Jurassic World Dominion

Speaking of returning franchises, we’ll also be seeing what’s being promoted as the final installment of the Jurassic Park series with Jurassic World Dominion. While I’m skeptical that this will be the case, I do know that these movies consistently deliver with great special effects (best seen on the big screen) and this time they’re bringing almost all of the original characters back for one last hurrah, making this a big draw for anyone who has seen one or two of the previous films.


Baz Lurhmann hasn’t released anything since 2013’s The Great Gatsby, starring an over-the-top set design, big musical numbers, incredible costumes, oh and also Tobey McGuire and Leonardo DiCaprio. This time he pairs up with Tom Hanks, Austin Butler, and Olivia DeJonge on Elvis. No doubt with Lurhmann leading the way, this film about one of the greatest music icons will be just as fantastic as Elvis’ life really was.

Other must-see summer blockbusters include Thor: Love and Thunder, Minions: The Rise of Gru, Reese Witherspoon’s adaptation of the bestselling novel Where the Crawdads Sing, and Bullet Train with Brad Pitt. I’m also excited for Jordan Peele’s jump into the sci-fi horror genre with Nope, as well as Resurrection, a thriller starring recent Film Club guest Rebecca Hall (who joined us for her directorial debut, Passing).

Saving the best for last — the one movie I am SO looking forward to and truly hope turns out to be a blockbuster is Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. If you haven’t seen the original, do yourself a favor and go check out the stop motion animated short films that Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate uploaded to YouTube which centered on Marcel, an anthropomorphic seashell sporting cute little shoes (voiced by Slate) being interviewed by a documentary filmmaker. The original series has over 32 million views (I probably account for at least a million of them). It is the feel-good movie we ALL need this summer!