The 15 summer films you should be watching
The arrival of summer in the Gulf is not welcomed with as much excitement as it is in most other parts of the world. The long days and boiling heat mean that it is time to get out the calendar and plan for some serious hours sitting in a dark cinema.
Summer is 'blockbuster season' in movieland and there are some massive hitters coming your way this year. Grab your diary and family-sized bag of popcorn: here are the 17 most exciting movies heading to cinemas soon.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The best way to kick off the summer season is with this anarchic bunch of outlaws and a pumping retro mix tape. This time they're facing off against gilded villain Ayesha, while Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) meets his dad (Kurt Russell), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) scraps with her sister Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Rocket and Baby Groot kick about being deadly but cute.
Ridley Scott has promised us this follow-up to Prometheus and prequel to the Alien movies will be gory and scary, and judging by the footage we've already seen, we believe him.
When the crew of the Covenant explore a new territory, they're infected with spores that cause alien-disease (not the technical term), resulting in carnage. And what's happened to Elizabeth Shaw and David the android? Nothing good we suspect...
A bizarre monster movie where Anne Hathaway is a troubled woman who discovers she controls the movements of a giant kaiju in Seoul. As you do. It's directed by Nacho Vigalondo, who made the brill but mental Time Crimes – we've expecting more of the same.
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar's Revenge
We hear what you're saying: "Who, apart from Johnny Depp's accountant, could possibly be excited by a new Pirates movie?" But hold up – it screened at Cinema Con and rumour has it it's actually good. Javier Bardem is the vengeful Captain Salazar who wants to kill all the pirates at sea, while Jack hunts for Poseidon's trident to defeat him.
Obviously we're not expecting a sunset-dappled treatise on what it is to be human from this, but it does at least look rude and kind of funny. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron play mismatched lifeguards teaming up to stop a drug trafficking ring. We're praying it's more 21 Jump Street than CHiPs.
The first female-led superhero movie out of the new DC stable stars Gal Gadot as the powerful Amazonian drawn into helping a downed WWII pilot. Will it fix DC's woes? Maybe – at least it's got a brighter colour palette and a woman behind the camera in director Patty Jenkins.
Universal has high hopes for this franchise re-starter, a standalone which will feed into a wider monsterverse which will include The Invisible Man, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Van Helsing and more. Tom Cruise is the military man accidentally unleashing an ancient curse, Sofia Boutella is the power-crazy princess risen from the grave and Russell Crowe is portentous and Englishy Doctor Jekyll.
A hen night goes wrong when one of the party accidentally kills a stripper in this comedy which sounds to us like a gender-swapped version of Very Bad Things (with a bit of Weekend at Bernie's?). Scarlett Johansson is the bride, with Kate McKinnon and Zoe Kravitz as members of her party. Could be this summer's Bridesmaids.
Despicable Me 3
Gru meets his long lost (and loads nicer) brother Dru, who wants to team up against deranged '80s child star Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker) who's intent on world domination. Look out for some Minion action in there too.
Edgar Wright's latest is a stylish, stylised comedy heist movie with Ansel Elgort as Baby, a young getaway driver trapped into working a heist doomed to fail. Looks like a cross between a '70s cop film and a Tarantino movie with a mix tape to rival GOTG.
We didn't even know we wanted another Spider-Man movie until we met Tom Holland's Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War. Now we can't think of many things we're more stoked about. Michael Keaton plays super villain The Vulture, while Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark will be dropping in as Spidey's mentor. Looks like the youthful hit Marvel needs right now.
War for the Planet of the Apes
We freakin' love the new Apes franchise – this is the third part after Rise and Dawn and clearly we've finally reached the point where the planet's gone to poop and full-on warfare between humans and simians is breaking out. Woody Harrelson joins the cast and a Colonel Kurtz-type tyrant lead the humans' attack. It's going to go apeshit.
Not that we're especially "Woo woo, war movie!" most of the time, but Christopher Nolan's involved and those incredibly evocative trailers make this an absolute must-watch. Falling right in the middle of blockbuster season, this could be one of those rare beasts that's an epic event movie which scares up a bunch of awards. Also: we get to find out if Harry Styles can act.
The Dark Tower
This one has been lingering in development hell for so long we barely believe it's actually coming out – we'll believe it when we see it. There's still no trailer though we've had a few images at least of Idris Elba as Gunslinger Roland Deschain, pursing the Man In Black (Matthew McConaughey) across a post-apocalyptic landscape.
The remake of Stephen King's creepy clown masterpiece is suddenly looking very exciting after a bit of a shaky start. The first trailer broke records for number of views, with Bill Skarsgard's Pennywise scaring the wee out of quite a number of us. This part will deal with the kids of The Loser Club, battling the evil clown. We don't yet know for sure if a second part dealing with them returning as adults will happen or not, but we are loving the Stranger Things vibe.