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The Best Movies of Summer, Part 1

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Photo: The Best Movies of Summer, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: The Best Movies of Summer, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

The summer movie season of 2024 promises to be hot, diverse, and rich in new releases. Among the most anticipated premieres of the summer season, some of which have already been released, are both sequels to popular franchises and original films of various genres to suit all tastes.

From a comedic police action film to an atmospheric horror by the creators of "The Sixth Sense," the much-anticipated return of beloved superheroes thought to be "gone forever," a romantic comedy set during the "space race," a thriller about a serial killer, and a fantastic animated noir, here is part one of The Gaze's overview of the main summer movie events.

A Quiet Place: Day One


It's no surprise that John Krasinski's hugely successful sci-fi thriller "A Quiet Place" was destined to become a full-fledged franchise, just as happened with the low-budget "Saw," the claustrophobic slasher "Don't Breathe," or the dystopian "Bird Box." The third film about the invasion of Earth by blind alien creatures with exceptionally acute hearing is not a direct continuation of the original story but rather a prequel and spinoff to the previous duology. This time, Krasinski ceded the director's chair to young director Michael Sarnoski ("Pig" with Nicolas Cage), while remaining the project's screenwriter and producer. The plot of the third film will detail what the first day of the invasion was like, after which the world was plunged into silence, and answer some questions about the nature of the aliens that were left unexplored in the first film. The new characters are played by Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, and Djimon Hounsou.

Deadpool & Wolverine


How many Batmans have there been? And Supermans? And Hulks? And Spider-Mans? Countless. But how many Wolverines have there been? Exactly one. The one and only. And as long as Hugh Jackman is alive, no matter how many times old Logan is "finally" buried, the grim hero in a dirty tank top with adamantium claws will return to the big screen. Especially since in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there are enough legal loopholes for this. For example, the Time Variance Authority (TVA) from the series "Loki." Thanks to the bureaucrats there, another immortal superhero, Wade "Deadpool" Wilson, is forced to leave his carefree life and embark on another world-saving mission with a new partner - Wolverine. To say that these two characters dislike each other is an understatement. But two antagonists on screen are sure to provide the audience with plenty of unforgettable comedic moments and whirlwind action. Whether they save the world in the process is not so important, as it can always be "rebooted" within the concept of the Multiverse. In addition to Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin will return to her character, along with Chris Hemsworth in a cameo role as Thor.

Mars Express


A French sci-fi animated noir detective is not a common guest in cinemas. From the trailer, it is clear that the creators were inspired by 80s cyberpunk, particularly "Blade Runner," Japanese manga "Ghost in the Shell," and classic "hard" science fiction in the spirit of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Additionally, "Mars Express" was a participant in the competitive program of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and has finally reached wide release. The plot tells the story of a new case for detective Alin Ruby, who, along with her android partner (an exact replica of her deceased companion), is searching for two missing girls. One of the missing, a cybernetics student, is the daughter of an influential magnate, sought not only by her omnipotent father and the police but also by various mercenaries. The action unfolds on Mars in the 23rd century, amidst the shine of high technology and the poverty of the criminal world, underground hacker labs, human trafficking, and radical activists fighting for the rights of robots and their liberation from human oppression.

The Watchers


This summer, we are in for a double return of Shyamalan. More precisely, the Shyamalans, father and daughter. First comes the detective horror film "The Watchers," the directorial debut of Ishana Night Shyamalan, and in August, the thriller about a serial killer "Trap," directed by her father, the once-popular creator of "The Sixth Sense," "Signs," and "Split." "The Watchers" is an adaptation of A.M. Shine's eponymous horror detective novel. The story begins with a young artist, Mina, whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere in rural Ireland. Stranded in a dark forest with no connection and no way to call for help, Mina meets a strange woman who offers her shelter. Upon arrival, Mina discovers a bunker where several other people are staying. One of the walls of the bunker is mirrored, and at night, strange creatures on the other side of the mirror watch the bunker’s inhabitants. The people do not notice that they are being watched, but the "watchers" miss no detail of the "subjects' " lives. For what purpose? It is unknown. And the most unpleasant part of this situation is that getting out of the mysterious bunker is not easy.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F


If you were born after 2000, you probably haven’t seen the previous films in this franchise but definitely know the famous musical theme from the movie on the dance floors. Eddie Murphy, one of the main comedic actors of the 80s and "that donkey from Shrek," is again trying to return to the big leagues, playing his best card. Recently, a sequel to his once-popular romantic comedy "Coming to America" was released, which, apart from nostalgia, managed to evoke only a few forced laughs. And now the fourth part of the cult comedy-action "Beverly Hills Cop" is coming out, which has spent several decades in so-called "development hell." This is a special term for long-gestating films whose scripts have been rewritten multiple times, scenes reshot, and production teams, including directors and actors, replaced. Usually, all these struggles do not bode well for the final product. However, let's give a chance to the brilliant detective Axel Foley, who returns to Los Angeles from Detroit 40 years after the events of the first film. This time, problems have arisen for Axel's adult daughter, so the brave cop will have to gather the old guard again and give one more decisive battle to the criminal world of Beverly Hills, while uncovering a sinister conspiracy along the way.

Fly Me To The Moon


The 1960s, the era of the legendary "space race" between the USSR and the USA. NASA employees are preparing for another space mission that is to open a new chapter in space exploration - the launch of the first manned mission to the Moon, "Apollo 11." However, during preflight preparations, NASA faces constant technical problems, putting the mission's success in question. But losing face to the Soviet barbarians rushing into space is unthinkable, so the space agency takes an unconventional step - hiring talented marketing specialist Kelly Jones, who is to work on improving the project's image. But that's not all. Kelly Jones also has a special assignment from top management in the White House - in case the mission fails, to prepare a backup plan. Namely, to film a fake moon landing in a studio. This approach does not sit well with the project leader, Cole Davis, but working together with Kelly Jones, after overcoming mutual dislike, turns into a romantic affair. As the two superpowers fight for the lead in the moon race, a romance blossoms between the two heroes.

MaXXXine


The final part of the "X" trilogy by renowned horror filmmaker Ti West. All three films are connected by the story of former porn star Maxine Minx, with actress Mia Goth playing the lead role throughout the trilogy. After all the shocking dramatic events that the heroine experienced in the previous parts of the franchise, Maxine is finally on the verge of realizing her dream - to become a star of "real cinema," not porn, as before. She gets a role in a sequel to a popular thriller, and now her life and Hollywood career are supposed to finally improve. But fate has other plans - Maxine becomes the target of a serial killer nicknamed the Night Stalker (a character with a real-life counterpart), who has already victimized many girls in Los Angeles. Now Maxine's task is complicated - she must not only avoid screwing up her first major film shoot but also survive and try to keep past events from coming to light. Mia Goth is joined by a truly stellar cast: Elizabeth Debicki ("Tenet," "Guardians of the Galaxy"), Michelle Monaghan ("Mission Impossible"), Kevin Bacon ("The Woodsman"), Bobby Cannavale ("The Irishman"), and Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad," "The Mandalorian").

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