Ticket, Torrent, Stream It: The Films of Summer 2019

Because you can’t fuck, marry, or kill a movie no matter how much you may want to, we’ve made a slightly different game out of the three most notable cinematic releases for every week of the summer.

Art by Sophia Valdes

There are many units of big-screen product vying for your increasingly fractured attention as the summer solstice approaches, so we’re going to play another round of the popular party game of Ticket, Torrent, Stream It to help you decide which films on a given weekend you should see in a theater, watch on a streaming service such as the SFPL’s free Kanopy platform in a few months, or download via SF Weekly’s preferred BitTorrent client, µTorrent. (They can also often be found on the Usenet, but the First Rule of the Usenet is that you don’t talk about the Usenet, so forget we brought it up.)

May 31

Rocketman

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Cast: Taron Egerton, Bryce Dallas Howard, Richard Madden, Stephen Graham

Ticket: Will this famously-gay-yet-not-quite-out icon of the bohemian 1970s actually get to be queer in their biopic? That would be rhapsodic!

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Director: Michael Dougherty

Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Charles Dance, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Whitford

Torrent: We have yet to learn our collective lesson about American-made Godzilla films, but at least Millie Bobby Brown is making a big splash with her first feature-film role.

Ma

Director: Tate Taylor

Cast: Octavia Spencer, Missi Pyle, Juliette Lewis, Allison Janney, Luke Evans

Stream It: Setting aside that it’s from the director of the still-problematic The Help, this is a horror movie with Octavia Spencer’s name above the title, and that’s cause for optimism.

 

June 7

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

Director: Joe Talbot

Cast: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold

Stream It: A personal story of gentrification in this very town.

[Note: The Last Black Man in San Francisco was originally scheduled to open June 14.]

Dark Phoenix

Director: Simon Kinberg

Cast: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy

Torrent: This latest X-Men film is not directed by Bryan Singer for some reason, and we may never know why. (J/K, it’s totally the whole sexual assault thing.)

The Fall of the American Empire

Director: Denys Arcand

Cast: Maxim Roy, Éric Bruneau, Maripier Morin, Alexandre Landry

Stream It: Jesus of Montreal director Denys Arcand’s new Canada-based crime caper has nothing to do with the United States, but it’s still a great title.

 

June 14

The Dead Don’t Die

Director: Jim Jarmusch

Cast: Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez

Ticket: If you’d predicted when Stranger Than Paradise came out in 1984 that its director would make an all-star summer zombie blockbuster 35 years later, you would have been correct. But you didn’t, did you?

Men In Black: International

Director: F. Gary Gray

Cast: Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Chris Hemsworth, Emma Thompson

Torrent: More of the same from the last three forgettable films in this inexplicable franchise, except now there are more people without American accents. Sure.

Late Night

Director: Nisha Ganatra

Cast: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Halston Sage, Amy Ryan

Ticket: Emma Thompson plays a longtime late-night talk show host who is also not a man, so it’s clearly a fantasy.

[Note: Late Night was originally scheduled to open June 7.]

 

June 21

Child’s Play

Director: Lars Klevberg

Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Gabriel Bateman, Tim Matheson

Ticket: As if Mark Hamill didn’t ruin enough childhoods by not being exactly what fanboys wanted him to be in The Last Jedi, he’s now the new voice of Chucky. Stop ruining childhoods, Mark Hamill!

Toy Story 4

Director: Josh Cooley

Cast: Christina Hendricks, Patricia Arquette, Tom Hanks, Keanu Reeves

Torrent: This latest installment was almost written by Rashida Jones — an actual woman of color! — but she left Pixar due to its tendency to stifle the voices of women and people of color. But at least the white Republican men Tim Allen and John Ratzenberger are still getting work, so #MAGA ’n’ stuff.

The Quiet One

Director: Oliver Murray

Cast: Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger, Bob Geldof, Charlie Watts

Stream It: A documentary about the bass player of a famous rock band, and yet it’s not about The Who’s John Entwistle, who wrote a song about himself called “The Quiet One.” Seems like an oversight.

 

June 28

Yesterday

Director: Danny Boyle

Cast: Himesh Patel, Kate McKinnon, Lily James, Ana De Armas

Ticket: Speaking of songs as film titles, “Carry That Weight,” “Do You Want to Know a Secret” or even “In My Life” would have been more interesting Lennon/McCartney songs to mine for this story of a man who discovers one day that nobody else remembers the Beatles, but of course they went with the most generic one.

Annabelle Comes Home

Director: Gary Dauberman

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Emily Brobst, Patrick Wilson, Mckenna Grace

Torrent: The second demonic-toy franchise film in as many weeks. Quick quiz: How many films have there been so far involving this fucking doll? Three? Eight? None? Nobody can say!

Limited Partners

Director: Miguel Arteta

Cast: Salma Hayek, Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne, Ari Graynor

Stream It: It’s a female buddy comedy written, produced, and directed by men, but let’s just focus on the first five words of this sentence.

 

July 3

Midsommar

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: William Jackson Harper, Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor

Ticket: The new film by the director of Hereditary, and featuring Chidi from The Good Place? Say no more! (Srsly, no spoilers plz.)

[Note: Midsommar was originally scheduled to open on July 5.]

July 5

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Jon Favreau

Torrent: Speaking of The Good Place, Eleanor spoke the truth: “No more Spider-Man movies! There’s way too many Spider-Man movies! Too many dorky little twerpy Spider-Men.”

Maiden

Director: Alex Holmes

Cast: Tracy Edwards

Stream It: A documentary about how Edwards, a charter-boat cook, captained the first all-female crew in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race. Strange but true: Men didn’t think women were good enough to participate. The more things don’t change, huh?

 

July 12

Crawl

Director: Alexandre Aja

Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Morfydd Clark

Ticket: It’s by the director of the not-terrible Piranha 3D and produced by Sam Raimi — who, if we’re being honest, has been a better producer than director in recent years — so if anyone can make a horror movie about alligators work, it’s probably them.

Stuber

Director: Michael Dowse

Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Karen Gillan, Dave Bautista, Natalie Morales

Torrent: Early reports out of SXSW are that the chemistry between Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista is great, but nothing else is. But at least Nanjiani is getting lead roles.

 

July 19

The Farewell

Director: Lulu Wang

Cast: Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Zhao Shuzhen

Ticket: In which Awkwafina finally gets a dramatic lead role, and by all accounts she nails it with grace.

The Lion King

Director: Jon Favreau

Cast: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Torrent: As modern Disney mega-pictures go, Mary Poppins Returns was really good. It’s a shame more of you didn’t go see it, but the lure of Aquaman was evidently too strong.

David Crosby: Remember My Name

Director: A.J. Eaton

Cast: David Crosby, Cameron Crowe, Henry Dlitz, Graham Nash

Stream It: Have there been way too many boomer music docs in just 2019, let alone ever? Well, yes, but…

 

July 26

Tel Aviv on Fire

Director: Sameh Zoabi

Cast: Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal, Yaniv Biton, Maisa Abd Elhadi

Ticket: A comedy about a young Palestinian man in the present day working on an Israeli soap opera set just before the war in 1967. Hijinks ensue.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Director: Fuck.

Cast: Shit.

Torrent: Fuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshit. (Please spread the word about what we can only hope will be Tarantino’s final film using the hashtag #OnceUponATimeInHollywoodfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshitfuckshit.)

Mike Wallace Is Here

Director: Avi Belkin

Cast: Mike Wallace, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Wigland, Donald Trump

Stream It: A documentary about the legendary CBS correspondent, from back when journalism actually made a difference.

 

Aug. 2

Dora and the Lost City of Gold

Director: James Bobin

Cast: Isabela Moner, Michael Peña, Benicio Del Toro, Temuera Morrison

Ticket: Dora the Explorer is now a teenager having live-action adventures, which means adult men on the internet will attack the film as though its very existence makes their shriveled little cocks even tinier.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Vanessa Kirby, Dwayne Johnson, Eiza González, Idris Elba

Torrent: To think, it only took 17 years for a title more nonsensical than Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever to come along.

Luce

Director: Julius Onah

Cast: Naomi Watts, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth

Stream It: A film about race and privilege that’s sure to make white liberals uncomfortable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

Aug. 9

The Kitchen

Director: Andrea Berloff

Cast: Elisabeth Moss, Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Beloved Character Actress Margo Martindale

Ticket: It’s probably possible to come up with a more reductive title for a picture about gangsters’ wives kicking ass in Hell’s Kitchen in the 1970s, but thank goodness they didn’t try.

Brian Banks

Director: Tom Shadyac

Cast: Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Melanie Liburd, Sherri Shepherd

Torrent: A story about systemic racism by a director whose ongoing career is due entirely to his white privilege. (Look it up.)

Artemis Fowl

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Cast: Ferdia Shaw, Nonso Anozie, Judi Dench, Josh Gad

Stream It: After his more personal Shakespeare and Agatha Christie pictures, Branagh is back in Disney-blockbuster mode to adapt the popular YA novel series.

 

Aug. 16

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Director: Richard Linklater

Cast: Judy Greer, Kristen Wiig, Cate Blanchett, Laurence Fishburne

Ticket: Linklater’s first film with a female protagonist since … well, ever. And before you say it, while Julie Delpy got plenty of screen time, the Before trilogy was always told from the Ethan Hawke character’s POV.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged

Director: Johannes Roberts

Cast: Sophie Nélisse, John Corbett, Nia Long, Brec Bassinger

Torrent: A sequel to that movie from a few years back about the sexy woman being terrorized by a shark. (No, the other movie from a few years back about the sexy woman being terrorized by a shark.)

 

Aug. 23

Brittany Runs a Marathon

Director: Paul Downs Colaizzo

Cast: Jillian Bell, Lil Rel Howery, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Michaela Watkins

Ticket: In which a 20-something New Yorker tries to get her life together via entering her city’s famous race. Bonus points for the title being a complete sentence, and not just Brittany, Run, or Marathon.

Overcomer

Director: Alex Kendrick

Cast: Alex Kendrick, Priscilla C. Shirer, Shari Rigby, Hannah Scott

Torrent: More faith-based twaddle from HEY STOP LAUGHING AT THE TITLE.

Angel Has Fallen

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Cast: Gerard Butler, Piper Perabo, Lance Reddick, Morgan Freeman

Stream It: The follow-up to the terrible Olympus Has Fallen and the somehow worse London Has Fallen falls on the sword of its naming formula.

 

Aug. 30

My Boyfriend’s Meds

Director: Diego Kaplan

Cast: Jaime Camil, Sandra Echeverría, Brooke Shields, Jason Alexander

Ticket: It’s appropriate that the only film confirmed to be opening on Labor Day weekend as we go to press is a comedy about a man who accidentally forgets to bring his psych meds when he goes on vacation, since by the end of this summer we’ll all feel like we’ve been off our medications for a long time.

Playmobil: The Movie

Director: Lino DiSalvo

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Kenan Thompson, Daniel Radcliffe, Adam Lambert

Stream It: Once again, if you thought The LEGO Movie was one of the best films of 2014, you’re not allowed to so much as roll your eyes at this one.

[Note: Playmobil: The Movie was originally scheduled to open on Aug. 16.]

Sept. 27

21 Bridges

Director: Brian Kirk

Cast: Chadwick Boseman, Sienna Miller, Taylor Kitsch, J.K. Simmons

Stream It: After having played Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall, Boseman, in his first post-Black Panther role, is a cop on the edge who doesn’t play by the rules. Progress, question mark?

[Note: 21 Bridges was originally scheduled to open on July 12.]

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