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What to Do and Watch Every Single Weekend of This Summer


If you’re like me, you love summer but you hate the oppressive heat of a white hot sun. Unfortunately, the pop culture landscape all but requires us to get out in that humid mess almost weekly (weekly!) if we want to enjoy all the sweltering months have to offer. In order to keep your non-air-conditioned traveling at a minimum, I present to you today precisely what you’ll need to do or watch each weekend of summer 2015. (Mostly mosquito and sweat-free, guaranteed.)

May 1
Best pick: Avengers: Age of Ultron
C’mon. Like this isn’t going to be what everyone’s talking about. Joss Whedon’s second foray into the Marvel Universe is a safe bet, if you can handle all the merchandising you’ll have to endure for the next two months.
Also check out:

Welcome to Me (Kristin Wiig does quirky/indie.)
Hyena (Brutal British crime flick.)

May 8
Best Pick: Mumford & Sons, album, Wilder Times
Those tuning into SNL a few weeks ago may have been confused by hipster darling Mumford & Sons’ re-emergence into a hard-driving Foo Fighters-esque rock band, but early word on the group’s third album is that ditching the banjos recreated them into an entirely new — and still viable — act on the scene.
Also check out:
Maggie (Arnold Schwarzenegger protects his zombie daughter. Of course.)
I am Big Bird: The Carol Spinney Story (The voice of Big Bird gets his spotlight. The voice of Snuffleupagus still waits in the wings.)

May 15
Best Pick: Mad Max: Fury Road
Look, I’m not the world’s biggest Mad Max fan, but I defy you to tell me this isn’t the wildest trailer you’ve seen in some time. It’s insane. If the actual movie contains a fraction of this insanity — especially in IMAX — it could be a huge surprise.
Also check out:
Pitch Perfect 2 (You know you’re going to, anyway, and I can’t stop you.)
A$AP Rocky, album, At.Long.Last.A$AP (He puts dollar signs where the letter “S” goes!)

May 22
Best Pick: Poltergeist
Will the reboot of Steven Spielberg’s spookiest Poltergeist scare anything up at the box office? Normally I’d say no, but the fact that this is on the summer slate might signal that it’s bigger and badder than we might think. With Sam Rockwell in the title role and, presumably, scary clown doll still in tow, Poltergeist may be a fun summer flick.
Also check out:
Tomorrowland (Brad Bird’s Clooney-helmed sci-fi will probably be fantastic; too bad it’s so under wraps so far and no one seems to know anything about it.)
Faith No More, album, Sol Invictus (The band’s first studio album in 18 years.)

May 29
Best Pick: Taylor Swift/Barry Manilow/NKOTB at the Yum! Center
(Not together; separately.) I know, I know. “But Chris! It’s going to cost me SO MUCH money to see these three nearly-consecutive shows at Louisville’s YUM! Center in the span of June 2-7!” That’s true, but can you really put a price on destroying your musical street cred in six days? What a rare opportunity to become a person no one relies upon for musical recommendations ever again.
Also check out:
San Andreas (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson battles an earthquake. Can you smell what the rock is discovering in the fissures of the earth?)

June 7
Best Pick: Bunbury Music Festival, Cincinnati
There’s something for (mostly) everyone at Cincinnati’s fourth Bunbury Music Festival, which this year features The Black Keys, the Avett Brothers and Snoop Dogg as well as Walk the Moon, The Decemberists and the Reverend Horton Heat. Bonus: Rhinegeist and cheese coneys, everybody!
Also check out:
Entourage (Bro! It’s the Entourage movie, Bro! I laugh but I will watch the hell out of this.)
Love & Mercy (Paul Dano and John Cusack both play Beach Boy Brian Wilson at different points in his life.)
Spy (Melissa McCarthy + Paul Feig = Always a good idea.)

June 12
Best Pick: Jurassic World
Think back to the thrill you felt the first time you saw Jurassic Park. It blew your mind, right? Knocked you out, right? Imagine if that had been in IMAX 3-D. While we’ll never have the luxury of seeing life-sized dinosaurs on the screen for the first time again, we have an opportunity here for a great movie thrill…IF Jurassic World delivers.
Also check out:
Live From New York! (It’s a documentary chronicling the ins and outs of Lorne Michael’s SNL empire! Because we haven’t had enough of these.)

June 19
Best Pick: Orange is the New Black (Season 3)
On Sunday the world will be chomping at the bit to start bingeing once again at Litchfield Prison, which is still reeling in the aftermath of a Red/Vee showdown, an administration shake-up and an stash of hidden heroin in the walls. I still say this isn’t technically a comedy, Golden Globes — but it is a solid show.
Also check out:
Inside Out (Amy Poehler, Bill Hader and Lewis Black helm Pixar’s newest money factory.)
Dope (Strong word of mouth on this indie about a geeky high schooler with designs on a drug dealer’s girlfriend.)

June 26
Best Pick: Ted 2
Truth is, Seth McFarlane’s original Ted, for all its crudeness, ended up being a strong, almost eighties-esque comedy with a decent sized hard underneath all the matted plush. The trailer’s not as good for this as it was for the previous Ted, but it’s still a solid bet for a good time.
Also check out:
Big Game (Samuel L. Jackson plays the president lost in the woods after Air Force One is shot down.)

July 4
Best Pick: The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest 
Fireworks are great, but nothing can prepare you for a solid Fourth of July like the weiner-gobbling superstars of the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. 2014 saw human spare tire Joey Chestnut win his 8th consecutive win. Can he do it again? And isn’t that kind of probably unhealthy? Joey Chestnut’s complexion these days is literally “gray.”
Also check out:
Terminator: Genisys (I hope Paramount pictures realizes its typo on “Genesis” before release)
Magic Mike XXL (Speaking of weiners.)

July 10
Best pick: Minions
Best pick? Probably not, but no one’s even really going up against this film this weekend. So get ready to see these things everywhere for another two years. Seven years, including the two inevitable sequels.
Also check out:
Crippling heat
A pool

July 17
Best pick: Forecastle Music Festival
Louisville’s biggest music event this year boasts acts like Widespread Panic, Sam Smith, Houndmouth and Modest Mouse. Always an impressive lineup.
Also check out:
Ant-Man (Paul Rudd enters the Marvel Universe)
Mr. Holmes (Sir Ian McKellen plays an aged, dying Sherlock Holmes.)
Trainwreck (Amy Schumer, directed by Judd Apatow. Big potential.)

July 24
Best Pick: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Technically having streamed the week before this weekend, this will be the best time to Netflix-binge on all eight episodes of David Wain’s prequel to the fantastic Wet Hot American Summer — and every single famous funny person on earth has signed on for this series. EVERY ONE.
Also check out:
Pixels (Based on a well-loved short, which Adam Sandler and Kevin James will certainly F*** all up.)
Pan (Hugh Jackman in a Peter Pan prequel. Er…just what we’ve been waiting for?)

July 31
Best pick: The End of the Tour
Jason Segel channels David Foster Wallace in an adaptation of David Lipsky’s book, where the reporter followed the eccentric writer through a tumultuous promotional tour. It’s totes egghead bait and I love it.
Also check out:
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (You get the idea. I’m not even going to look this one up for you.)

August 8
Best pick: A Midsummer Night’s Run
Choose to either run the race or drink a lot while your friends run the race; either way take part in the greatest Lexington running tradition outside of crossing Nicholasville road without getting run over.
Also check out:
Masterminds (Zach Galifiniakis and Kristen Wiig in a movie has the unfortunate curse of not possibly being able to be as good as it looks on paper.)
Fantastic Four (One more time, with feeling!)

August 14
Best pick: Straight Outta Compton
Ice Cube’s son plays him in a bio pic based on the rise of the controversial mid-1980’s rap group. It also stars Paul Giamatti, presumably not as MC Ren.
Also check out:
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Guy Ritchie takes on the old spy TV show, likely with a lot of gruesome face punching and cockney accents.)

August 21
Best pick: Criminal
In case you needed any reminder that the summer is over, here’s one last actioner straggling in starring Kevin Costner as a convict who’s implanted with the memories of a dead CIA agent so he can finish a super-important mission. You know, that old yarn.
Also check out:
Sinister 2 (Yep. We’re definitely on our way out of summer.)
Digging for Fire (The reliable Joe Swanberg directs Jake Johnson and Rosemary DeWitt in a dreamed about a couple who find a bone and a gun buried in their backyard.)

August 28
Best Pick: Hitman: Agent 47
Best pick? Really? Let’s just call the summer over at August 21st. Let’s not let it end with Hitman: Agent 47. Can we all agree on that? Okay then. Enjoy your summer. The pool closes in six days, dammit!

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

All I want is a HI-C and a turkey sandwich. @CM_Tomlin

2 Comments for What to Do and Watch Every Single Weekend of This Summer

  1. dsims0004
    12:20 pm April 22, 2015 Permalink

    Scrap the movies and start watching Breaking Bad/ Better call Saul/ Mad Men or The Walking Dead. Actually anything on AMC really. Throw in Game of Thrones if you have time. (Read the books first!)

  2. PatGLex
    12:26 pm April 22, 2015 Permalink

    a) already have a ticket to the Avengers double viewing on 4/30.
    b) Mumford and Sons! I have their last album and didn’t know they had a new one coming out. [‘No banjos’ doesn’t bother me.]
    c) Movies on my must list: Pitch Perfect / Tomorrowland / Inside Out / Minions / Man from UNCLE [my favorite middle school TV show, where I would go outside dressed as Illya with black turtleneck and all and play spy – why yes, I am that old]

    And so many people have told me about the stuff they watch on Netflix [Daredevil!] that I am thinking about spending my summer with a Netflix account and binge watching stuff.