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Upcoming movies to look forward to this summer

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Hollywood has been having a tough time lately - six months of strike shutdowns, then box office misfires all spring. Well, happily, hot weather always brings crowd-pleasers, and critic Bob Mondello has the most promising ones in his summer movie preview.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Start with the big guys. Marvel is only releasing one superhero movie this entire year, but it's a doubleheader - "Deadpool...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE")

RYAN REYNOLDS: (As Wade/Deadpool) Hi, peanut. I'm going to need you to come with me right now.

MONDELLO: ...And Wolverine."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE")

HUGH JACKMAN: (As Logan/Wolverine) Look, lady, I'm not interested.

REYNOLDS: (As Wade/Deadpool) All right, well, I'm sort of on the tick-tick, so upsy-daisy.

MONDELLO: What - you say Wolverine died in his last movie? Well, to that, I say, multiverse or time-shift or who cares if Hugh Jackman is willing to bare his claws again.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE")

REYNOLDS: (As Wade/Deadpool) This is what I'm talking about - big, slow-motion action sequence, who knows if you live or die.

MONDELLO: Also back for another go in "Bad Boys: Ride Or Die," Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE")

WILL SMITH: (As Mike Lowrey) Is that Skittles on the counter, Marcus?

MARTIN LAWRENCE: (As Marcus Burnett) This ain't mine, Mike.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) Yes it is.

SMITH: (As Mike Lowrey) Marcus, get in the car.

LAWRENCE: (As Marcus Burnett) He has a gun to my head.

SMITH: (As Mike Lowrey) You want to deal with him, or you want to deal with me?

MONDELLO: "Ride Or Die" is the fourth "Bad Boys" installment and Will Smith's first commercial film since the Oscars slap. We'll see if that affects box office. Other high-profile sequels include "Twisters" with a fresh generation of storm chasers...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TWISTERS")

ANTHONY RAMOS: (As Javi) Calls himself the tornado wrangler.

GLEN POWELL: (As Tyler Owens) You don't face your fears. You ride them.

MONDELLO: ..."Alien: Romulus" - the seventh in that series...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ALIEN: ROMULUS")

DAVID JONSSON: (As Andy) What would you do when they come knocking at your ship?

MONDELLO: ...And "A Quiet Place: Day One," the third film about critters who wreak havoc when they hear noise. Previously seen in a small town, they're now in Manhattan, where there's more noise and presumably more havoc.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "A QUIET PLACE: DAY ONE")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character, screaming).

MONDELLO: Another potential blockbuster is "Borderlands," a video game-inspired, intergalactic treasure hunt featuring Cate Blanchett.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BORDERLANDS")

CATE BLANCHETT: (As Lilith) God, I hate this planet.

MONDELLO: There are also some intriguing non-blockbusters, like a raucous biopic that stars Irish-language rappers playing themselves.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "KNEECAP")

MO CHARA: (As Mo Chara/Liam Og) You've heard of intergenerational trauma, right?

MONDELLO: In a madcap recap of their career as Kneecap.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "KNEECAP")

MOGLAI BAP: (As Moglai Bap/Naoise) Our history has become...

CHARA: (As Mo Chara/Liam Og) Our biology.

MONDELLO: Also intriguing, a three-part dramedy that reunites Emma Stone with her "Poor Things" director Yorgos Lanthimos...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "KINDS OF KINDNESS")

EMMA STONE: (As Rita/Liz/Emily) This is it. The moment of truth.

MONDELLO: ...It's called "Kinds Of Kindness."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "KINDS OF KINDNESS")

STONE: (As Rita/Liz/Emily) Isn't it wonderful?

MONDELLO: Meanwhile, Austin Butler encounters all kinds of unkindness in the biker gang crime thriller "Bikeriders."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE BIKERIDERS")

HAPPY ANDERSON: (As Big Jack) I told you to take that jacket off.

AUSTIN BUTLER: (As Benny) You'd have to kill me to get this jacket off.

MONDELLO: You like shoot 'em ups? Well, two actors are stepping behind the camera to direct themselves in Westerns - Viggo Mortensen in "The Dead Don't Hurt."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE DEAD DON'T HURT")

VICKY KRIEPS: (As Vivienne Le Coudy) Why did you go to San Francisco?

VIGGO MORTENSEN: (As Holger Olsen) To see the end of the world.

MONDELLO: ...And Kevin Costner in "Horizon: An American Saga - Chapters 1 And 2."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HORIZON: AN AMERICAN SAGA")

KEVIN COSTNER: (As Hayes Ellison) You're not taking the full measure of this, Mari. Another man I met was on his way to kill everyone in that house. He might as well have been walking up to get the mail for all it bothered him.

MONDELLO: "Horizon: Chapter 1" arrives next month, trailing unflattering film fest reviews. "Chapter 2" will hit theaters six weeks later. And depending on whether audiences show up, Costner will either spend his summer shooting "Chapters 3 and 4" or, I guess, nursing his wounds. Not everything this summer will be that kind of massive. Nothing's more intimate than a coming-of-age story, of which there are plenty, including "Janet Planet," about a precocious 11 year old...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JANET PLANET")

ZOE ZIEGLER: (As Lacy) Every moment of my life is hell.

MONDELLO: ...And her mom.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JANET PLANET")

JULIANNE NICHOLSON: (As Janet) You actually seem very happy to me a lot of the time.

ZOE: (As Lacy) It's hell. I don't think it'll last, though.

NICHOLSON: (As Janet) I'm actually pretty unhappy too.

MONDELLO: Then there's "Good One" in which a high school student goes on a camping trip with her clueless dad.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GOOD ONE")

DANNY MCCARTHY: (As Matt) I thought you were a vegetarian.

LILY COLLIAS: (As Sam) I've never been a vegetarian, Dad.

MCCARTHY: (As Matt) You seem like one, though. Don't you think...

JAMES LE GROS: (As Chris) Yeah.

MCCARTHY: (As Matt) ...Just a little bit?

COLLIAS: (As Sam) No.

MONDELLO: In "Didi," a Taiwanese American 13-year-old lies about being a filmmaker so he can hang out with skateboarding cool kids. And there are also LGBTQ coming-of-age films - "National Anthem," in which a young ranch hand works a gay rodeo.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "NATIONAL ANTHEM")

EVE LINDLEY: (As Sky) If we're going to do this, I want you to know what it is.

CHARLIE PLUMMER: (As Dylan) Well, what is it?

MONDELLO: It could be his first love. Elliot Page is involved in two queer coming-of-age stories as executive producer for the cheerleading drama "Backspot"...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BACKSPOT")

THOMAS ANTONY OLAJIDE: (As Devon) You're looking after our top girl. You drop her, you are dead.

MONDELLO: ...And as the trans leading man in "Close To You" who's worried about attending his first family gathering since his transition. Another take on that notion, "Summer Solstice," reconnects two college pals for the first time since one of them transitioned.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SUMMER SOLSTICE")

MARIANNE RENDON: (As Eleanor) You look so different.

BOBBI SALVOR MENUEZ: (As Leo) A year and vitamin T will do that.

RENDON: (As Eleanor) Vitamin T?

MENUEZ: (As Leo) Testosterone.

RENDON: (As Eleanor) Oh, my God. Right. Of course, of course.

MONDELLO: Movies take years to produce, so the arrival of a cluster of films centering Judaism at this moment of Middle East conflict is a coincidence, but it's notable. In the drama "Treasure," Lena Dunham drags Stephen Fry on a trip to Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TREASURE")

STEPHEN FRY: (As Edek) What Jew goes to Poland as a tourist?

LENA DUNHAM: (As Ruth) You and Mom never talked about the past. I wanted to see where you grew up.

MONDELLO: Dad's reluctance has to do with the horrors explored in two more serious films - the documentary, "The Commandant's Shadow."

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE COMMANDANT'S SHADOW")

KAI HOSS: (As self) It is a fact - my grandfather is the greatest mass murderer in human history.

MONDELLO: He's talking about Rudolf Hoss.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "THE COMMANDANT'S SHADOW")

HOSS: (As self) He was commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

MONDELLO: The drama "June Zero" chronicles the capture and trial of Hoss' boss.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JUNE ZERO")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Adolf Eichmann.

MONDELLO: "June Zero" was filmed - as if a story concerning the Holocaust needed added resonance - in Israel and Ukraine. Striking a much lighter note, the comedy "Between The Temples" is about a cantor who is startled when his grade school music teacher says she wants a late-in-life bat mitzvah.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BETWEEN THE TEMPLES")

JASON SCHWARTZMAN: (As Ben Gottlieb) I didn't know you were Jewish, Mrs. O'Connor (ph).

CAROL KANE: (As Carla Kessler) My maiden name is Kessler. That Jewish enough for you?

MONDELLO: Other late-in-life comedies include "Summer Camp," which sends Diane Keaton, Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard to a camp reunion.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SUMMER CAMP")

DIANE KEATON: (As Nora) How are they still so pretty?

KATHY BATES: (As Ginny) Pilates and plastic.

MONDELLO: "Fabulous Four" has Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally and Sheryl Lee Ralph attending Bette Midler's latest wedding, and in "Thelma," June Squibb's title character gets phone scammed and won't take it lying down, even if it means stealing a mobility scooter...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THELMA")

JUNE SQUIBB: (As Thelma) I need a ride.

MONDELLO: ...From Richard Roundtree's retirement home.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THELMA")

RICHARD ROUNDTREE: (As Ben) Why are we stopping in Morris (ph)?

SQUIBB: (As Thelma) To get a gun.

ROUNDTREE: (As Ben) Do you even know how to use it?

SQUIBB: (As Thelma) How hard can it be? Idiots use them all the time.

MONDELLO: "Thelma" is sort of a rest home "Mission Impossible." There's a cluster of movies in which actors get to act in tales of acting. In "Ghostlight," a construction worker gets roped into a community theater "Romeo And Juliet."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GHOSTLIGHT")

KEITH KUPFERER: (As Dan) What happens to them?

KATHERINE MALLEN KUPFERER: (As Daisy) Here's a hint - it's a tragedy.

MONDELLO: A porn star gets the acting bug in "MaXXXine."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MAXXXINE")

DEBORAH GEFFNER: (As Elaine) Did you always want to be in that line of work?

MIA GOTH: (As Maxine Minx) I always wanted to be famous.

MONDELLO: "Sing Sing" finds inmate Colman Domingo running a prison theater.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SING SING")

CLARENCE MACLIN: (As self) I murdered that "Hamlet," bro.

COLMAN DOMINGO: (As John "Divine G" Whitfield) You did your thing.

MONDELLO: And in "I Used To Be Funny," Rachel Sennott plays an aspiring stand-up comic with PTSD.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "I USED TO BE FUNNY")

RACHEL SENNOTT: (As Sam) My big, flirty move on a date is to make the guy pinky promise not to kill me.

MONDELLO: Publicist Scarlett Johansson's big, flirty move in the rom-com "Fly Me To The Moon" is to pretend to be stalking Channing Tatum's NASA scientist.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FLY ME TO THE MOON")

CHANNING TATUM: (As Cole Davis) What are you doing here?

SCARLETT JOHANSSON: (As Kelly Jones) I tracked you down because I felt we had a connection.

TATUM: (As Cole Davis) What?

JOHANSSON: (As Kelly Jones) I'm joking. I work here now to sell the moon.

MONDELLO: And summer wouldn't be summer without family films, which include everything from "Harold And The Purple Crayon"...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As character) What your crayon is made of - the most extraordinary stuff on earth - pure imagination.

MONDELLO: ...Wait, does Willy Wonka know that? - also, "My Penguin Friend," inspired by a true story from Brazil...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MY PENGUIN FRIEND")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As character) It's a penguin.

MONDELLO: ...And two animated sequels that are all but guaranteed to be among the summer's biggest hits - "Despicable Me 4"...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DESPICABLE ME 4")

STEVE CARELL: (As Gru) Hello, everybody.

MONDELLO: ...And from Pixar, your "Inside Out" friends - Anger, Fear, Sadness, Disgust and...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "INSIDE OUT 2")

AMY POEHLER: (As Joy) Joy, coming to you live in Riley's mind. Our little girl's growing up so fast.

MONDELLO: She is, in fact, becoming a teenager in "Inside Out 2."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "INSIDE OUT 2")

TONY HALE: (As Fear) It should be nothing but smooth sailing from...

MAYA HAWKE: (As Anxiety) Hello.

AMY POEHLER, PHYLLIS SMITH, LEWIS BLACK, TONY HALE AND LIZA LAPIRA: (As Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, screaming).

HAWKE: (As Anxiety) I'm Anxiety. Where can I put my stuff?

POEHLER: (As Joy) A new emotion.

HAWKE: (As Anxiety) Oh, I'm sorry. We wanted to make such a good first impression.

LIZA LAPIRA: (As Disgust) What do you mean we?

PAUL WALTER HAUSER: (As Embarrassment, grunting).

PHYLLIS SMITH: (As Sadness) What's your name, big fella?

HAWKE: (As Anxiety) That's Embarrassment.

POEHLER: (As Joy) You got a real sweaty palm there, buddy.

MONDELLO: Summer filled with emotions and with minions? Bring it on. I'm Bob Mondello. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.