Jon's Weekend Movie Previews: In Theaters July 27th

Mission: Impossible-Fallout (PG-13)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Plot: Mission: Impossible - Fallout finds Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies in a race against time after a mission gone wrong.

Cast: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Cavill, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Monaghan, Angela Bassett, Sean Harris, Wes Bentley, Frederick Schmidt

Teen Titans GO To The Movies  (PG)

Director: Aaron Horvath & Michael Jelenic

Plot: When the Teen Titans go to the big screen, they go big! “Teen Titans GO! to the Movies” finds our egocentric, wildly satirical Super Heroes in their first feature film extravaganza—a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the superhero genre, complete with musical numbers. It seems to the Teens that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies—everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously super villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line!

Cast: Kristen Bell, Will Arnett, Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong, Hynden Walch

Jon's Weekend Movie Previews- In Theaters July 13th

Skyscraper (PG-13)

Director: Rawson Marshal Thunder

Plot: Dwayne Johnson leads the cast of Legendary’s Skyscraper as former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran Will Sawyer, who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in China he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he’s been framed for it. A wanted man on the run, Will must find those responsible, clear his name and somehow rescue his family who is trapped inside the building...above the fire line.

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Pablo Schreiber, Roland Møller

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (PG)

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Plot: In Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions, and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.

Cast: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Mel Brooks, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Joe Jonas, Chrissy Teigen

Jon's Weekend Movie Previews- In Theaters July 6th

Ant-Man and The Wasp (PG-13)

Director: Peyton Reed

Plot: In the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a Super Hero and a father. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp as the team works together to uncover secrets from their past.

Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Hannah John-Kamen, Michael Pena, T.I., Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Pfeiffer, David Dastmalchian, Judy Greer, Bobby Cannavale

Sorry to Bother You (NR)

Director: Boots Riley

Plot: Follows a black telemarketer with self-esteem issues who “discovers a magical key to business success, propelling him to the upper echelons of the hierarchy just as his activist comrades are rising up against unjust labor practices. When he uncovers the macabre secret of his corporate overlords, he must decide whether to stand up or sell out.”

Cast: Tessa Thompson, Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer, Terry Crews, Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, Danny Glover

Jon's Movie Review- Solo: A Star Wars Story

It’s been nearly a month since the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story. But after a second viewing of the movie, I’m ready to share my thoughts on what is currently the lowest performing Star Wars movie yet. ​

The movie is a fun ride from beginning to end that further explores the early years of the famed Han Solo character. And while many would agree that Solo’s early years weren’t a necessary story to be told, director Ron Howard and star Alden Ehrenreich manage to bring a young Han to life as best as anyone could. 

When it comes to a Han Solo movie, there are certain aspects expected to be covered. For example, how he met longtime friends Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando, and the infamous Kessel Run mentioned by Han when we first meet him in A New Hope. Along with that though is plenty of new information about the character which greatly expands on the lore of the character, showing us glimpses of both the man we first meet as well as the man he grows to become by Return of the Jedi. While Han is someone willing to do anything necessary for himself, he truly is someone who wants to do good with his life rather than harm. 

One of the things Solo has going for it is the performances of the supporting cast. Chewbacca is given more of a spotlight than he ever had in any Star Wars film. Donald Glover’s take on Lando is so good that I want him to have his own film, as the man oozes charisma and style in every scene he is in. He makes the character his own while also paying homage to Billy Dee Williams’ past performances as Lando. Emilia Clarke does a fine job as Qi’Ra and there is certainly more to explore ​in her character and her relationship with Han. The character Tobias Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson, was a perfectly cast role for the actor, and served as a major influence in Han’s growth throughout the movie. Then there’s villain/crime boss Dryden Vos, played by Paul Bettany, who is pretty much a generic movie villain. 

As much fun as I had with Solo, there were a few negatives I had with the movie overall. First, I was not a fan of how Han ended up getting his famous “Solo” surname at the hands of an imperial officer. The idea of him getting the Solo name based on not having any other family didn’t sit well with me. Also, The L3-37 character did not seem like she was needed at all, but I did end up liking how she was uploaded into the Millennium Falcon. Though she did have her good moments when it came to humor, I felt the character was trying too hard to be the comic relief of the movie, not unlike K2-SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. I hope that in future spinoffs, Lucasfilm will stay away from droids serving as only comic relief. 

Despite the behind-the-scenes drama and the disappointing box office numbers after a stacked month of movies, Solo is a wild adventure that brings a beloved character much more depth. Ron Howard was able to bring together the vision of three​ different directors to make a cohesive story set in it’s own pocket within the Star Wars universe. And if they decide to go the route of exploring these characters even further, that would make this Star Wars fan very happy. 

Final Score: 8/10

Jon's Weekend Movie Previews: In Theaters June 29th

Sicario: Day of the Soldado (R)

Director: Stefano Solima

Plot: In Sicario: Day of the Soldado, the series begins a new chapter. In the drug war there are no rules - and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin's daughter to inflame the conflict - but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Elijah Rodriguez, Isabela Moner, Catherine Keener, Jeffrey Donovan, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Matthew Modine


Uncle Drew

Director: Charles Stone

Plot: After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival. Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend UNCLE DREW and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew's old basketball squad and prove that a group of septuagenarians can still win the big one.

Cast: Kyrie Irving, Shaquille O’Neal, Lil Rel Howery, Nate Robinson, Nick Kroll, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber

Jon's Weekend Movie Previews- In Theaters June 22nd

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (PG-13)

Director: Juan Antonio Bayona

Plot: It’s been three years since theme park and luxury resort Jurassic World was destroyed by dinosaurs out of containment. Isla Nublar now sits abandoned by humans while the surviving dinosaurs fend for themselves in the jungles.

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Justice Smith, Rafe Spall, Toby Jones, Daniella Pineda, Ted Levine, James Cromwell, Jeff Goldblum​


Marvel's Luke Cage- Season 2 (Netflix)

Plot: After clearing his name, Luke Cage has become a celebrity on the streets of Harlem with a reputation as bulletproof as his skin. But being so visible has only increased his need to protect the community and find the limits of who he can and can’t save. With the rise of a formidable new foe, Luke is forced to confront the fine line that separates a hero from a villain.

Cast: Mike Colter, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Alfre Woodard, Rosario Dawson, Mustafa Shakir, Gabrielle Dennis, Anabella Sciorra


Glow- Season 2 (Netflix)

Plot: While not much is known about the overall plot of season 2, expect a lot more emphasis on the overall wrestling aspects of the show now that we are passed the origin aspects of the story.

Cast: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron, Kia Stevens, Sydelle Noel, Kate Nash, Britt Baron, Britney Young, Gayle Rankin, Ellen Wong, Marianna Palka, Sunita Mani

Jon's Movie Previews of the Week

Ocean’s Eight (PG-13)

Director: Gary Ross

Plot: Debbie Ocean attempts to pull off the heist of the century at New York City’s star-studded annual Met Gala. Her first stop is to assemble the perfect crew: Lou; Nine Ball; Amita; Constance; Rose; Daphne Kluger; and Tammy.

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Nora Lum, Sarah Paulson, Damien Lewis, James Corden, Richard Armitage

Hotel Artemis (NR)

Director: Drew Pearce

Plot: After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry's hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor - finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World's Best Lover.

Cast: Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, Jeff Goldblum, Brian Tyree Henry, Jenny Slate, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Day

Hereditary (NR)

Director: Ari Aster

Plot: When Ellen, the matriarch of the Graham family, passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. The more they discover, the more they find themselves trying to outrun the sinister fate they seem to have inherited. Making his feature debut, writer-director Ari Aster unleashes a nightmare vision of a domestic breakdown that exhibits the craft and precision of a nascent auteur, transforming a familial tragedy into something ominous and deeply disquieting, and pushing the horror movie into chilling new terrain with its shattering portrait of heritage gone to hell.

Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd

Jon's Movie Preview of the Week: Deadpool 2 (R)

Deadpool 2 (R)

Director: David Leitch

Plot: After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry's hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor - finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World's Best Lover.

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Zazie Beetz, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapicic, Leslie Uggams, TJ Miller.

Coming to theaters this weekend: May 18th 

Jon's Movie Review of the Week- Marvels Avengers: Infinity War (Spoiler Free)

Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same. Marvel Studios capped off ten years of buildup through 18 movies with the event of a lifetime in Avengers: Infinity War. Joe and Anthony Russo have raised the bar to a completely new level, bringing a spectacle filled with emotional performances, jaw-dropping surprises, and mind-blowing action sequences. 

Infinity War separates itself from the rest of the MCU when it comes to the tone, abandoning the routine light-hearted, fun vibe for a darker feel with feelings of oncoming terror. But that is not to say the movie is without it’s fair share of trademark MCU humor. Many characters get their moments to provide laughs in between moments consisting of heavy drama. All of this makes perfect sense for the film, as this is Thanos’ story as he pursues the powerful infinity stones in a mission to bring balance to the universe. 

Bringing together heroes from so many massive solo franchises within their own respective storylines, writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus accomplished the seemingly impossible task of meshing together so many massive, charismatic characters into one film and still giving them their moments to shine. As expected when packing so many heroes into one movie, some characters do take a back seat compared to others. But fewer things gave me more joy than to finally see the Guardians of the Galaxy finally interact with the Avengers characters for the first time. Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Zoe Saldana, and Paul Bettany are all notable performances as Iron Man, Spider-Man, Gamora, and Vision. 

The standout performance of the entire film, without a doubt, goes to Josh Brolin in his motion capture role as the Mad Titan, Thanos. Finally making his long awaited arrival since his post-credits appearance in Marvel’s The Avengers in 2012, Thanos succeeded expectations with his terrifying, yet emotionally relatable portrayal of such a Shakespearean character. More the protagonist of the movie rather than an antagonist, Thanos’ journey is the center of the entire plot line, with his acquiring of the infinity stones dominating most of the screen time. As menacing as he is throughout the film, Brolin brings a humanity to the character that is unlike any Marvel villain before him, and that is carried by his powerful scenes with his adopted daughter, Gamora. 

The aftermath of the events of Infinity War will undoubtedly leave you emotionally puzzled, as there are consequences to certain actions that have massive stakes at hand that will alter the shape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as we know from here going forward. This is something we should be feeling after ten years of buildup. Anything less would feel it like an underwhelming movie. But if you stuck around for the post-credits scene (which you should’ve), you know there is a key element going forward that definitely will help anticipation for Avengers 4 which comes out next May.

The Russo Bros. have truly created something special with Avengers: Infinity War. As it dominates the box office all around the world, the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows that it is stronger​ than ever and that it still has plenty more to offer us in the years to come. With only one year to wait, anticipation will be through the roof as fans speculate and theorize how this story will be resolved. One thing is for sure, Avengers: Infinity War will be hard to top with storytelling, anticipation, and box office success all factored in.

Score: 9.8/10

Jon's Movie Preview of the Week- Avengers: Infinity War (PG-13)

10 years. 19 movies. ONE MASSIVE EVENT. This weekend fans all around the world will finally witness the culmination of the last decade of movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of Avengers: Infinity War!

Director: Joe & Anthony Russo

Plot: An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” brings to the screen the ultimate​,​ deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Cast:  Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Colbie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Benicio Del Toro, Tom Holland, Anthony Mackie, Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Leititia Wright, Winston Duke