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This summer’s vastly varied movies are a cinematic potpourri
This summer’s vastly varied movies are a cinematic potpourri

The Summer’s Best Movies, Music, Streaming, Video Games and VR

Keeping you in front of a screen alllll summer long

Bryan Lufkin is Wondercade's Senior Editor. His work has appeared on the BBC and in WiredGQ, Entertainment Weekly, Scientific AmericanFast Company and many other national outlets.

June 7, 2024 4:37 pm

Wondercade’s arts and leisure desk put together a comprehensive seasonal entertainment guide for your perusal: movies, TV, music and games, all coming out this summer. Enjoy!


The Watchers (June 7th) is the directorial debut of Ishana Night Shyamalan, daughter of M. — not the James Bond boss; the Sixth Sense and Signs director — and it follows Dakota Fanning as a young woman who gets stranded in a thick, desolate forest in the Irish countryside. She finds herself trapped there with three strangers who inform her that the woods are filled with terrifying creatures, which, once night falls, stalk (and, yes, watch) them, and drag them back into the woods to their deaths should they try to flee. Fear and a plethora of other feelings abound — literally — in Inside Out 2 (June 14th). Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith and others return as Joy and Sadness, respectively, for the sequel to the 2015 Disney/Pixar hit filled with anthropomorphized emotions. They’re joined by newcomer Maya Hawke, who voices Anxiety. Kinds of Kindness (June 21st) is a dark comedy that wowed at Cannes with its dynamite cast (Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe and other heavy hitters) weaving together three distinct stories: one follows a cop whose wife goes missing on a marine biology mission and comes back a totally different person; another follows a cult that wants to raise the dead; still another absurdist plot follows a married man who must live life exactly how another man instructs him, including ramming his Jeep into a car. (How the three stories weave together is anyone’s guess?) Then, on June 25th, a documentary about Celine Dion — titled I Am: Celine Dion — drops, revealing the icon’s struggles with Stiff Person Syndrome.

Prep the popping corn for these fab films

On July 12th, A24 releases Sing Sing, which made a splash at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a drama based on the real-life story of inmates at the Sing Sing maximum-security prison who begin putting on theatrical shows as part of the actual Rehabilitation Through the Arts program. [Neil Note: I can NOT wait to see this!] It stars the Emmy-winning and Tony- and Oscar-nominated Colman Domingo and a cast that includes formerly incarcerated men who took part in the program. Then, a couple of weeks later, it’s time for Deadpool & Wolverine (July 26th), where Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman put on their form-fitting superhero suits [Neil Note:Guh.] and their respective roles in what should be the summer’s biggest popcorn flick. (Speaking of popcorn, have you seen the popcorn bucket that they’re gonna be selling at the megaplexes showing this movie? It’s both commemorative and suggestive, and puts the Dune bucket to shame. This one features Wolverine’s wide-open mouth, and, in star Ryan Reynolds’s Instagram post, a stream of melted butter trickling down the X-Man’s face that conjures up the sort of films that are definitely not shown at the megaplex. [Neil Note: Yet makes my pants megaflex.]) Shift gears on August 2nd with the bluntly named My Old Ass in which 30-something Aubrey Plaza goes back in time to warn her 18-year-old self (played by Nashville’s Maisy Stella) not to fall in love. And finally, there’s Blink Twice (August 23rd), which, like the first film on our list, is a directorial debut from high-profile progeny. Here, Zoe Kravitz writes and directs an old-school thriller that sees a cocktail waitress get whisked away to a tech mogul’s private island — where bad things happen. Kravitz’s cast includes Channing Tatum, Naomi Ackie, Geena Davis, Kyle MacLachlan and Haley Joel Osment.

Time to go on an aural adventure this summer…
Apple Music


Ah, the sounds of summer! Charli XCX starts things off later this week (June 7th) with the release of her new album Brat, in which she aims to channel the vibe of the London clubs she frequented as a teenager. Then, on June 21st, comes The Secret of Us, from indie pop singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams (daughter of J.J. — we’re noticing a trend), who introduced herself to the masses and showcased her considerable talents opening for Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo in recent years. The Decemberists — who’ve basically cemented their status as indie rock gods since forming in 2000 — drop their ninth album, As It Ever Was, So It Will Be Again, on June 14th. The 19-minute-long track “Joan in the Garden” is a banger and, says the band, is meant to be a throwback to their earlier work. Then there’s Lake Street Dive, the jazzy, bluesy folk rock band whose eighth studio album, Good Together, drops June 21st. The quintet (named after a strip in Minneapolis once packed with dive bars) says the album’s aim is to bring some unity in a time of stark societal division.

I see Wondercade’s Broadway correspondent peeking in here…
Apple Music

Later in the summer, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats — the Americana band whose high-energy, rhythmic folk style is far less anxiety-producing than their name might lead you to believe — release their fourth album, South of Here, on June 28th. It’s going to be an R&B-steeped reflection on trauma…and how it gives way to resolve. American-Canadian singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco (who just made her Broadway debut in February as Persephone in Hadestown) drops her 23rd(!) studio album, Unprecedented Sh!t, on July 12th. The 11-track album includes genres like jazz and folk to explore themes related to the pandemic, reproductive freedom and other topics that have defined modern life. Finally, rock act Dr. Dog is back with their first album in 6 years: their self-titled album is out on July 19th. The band recorded live to tape, with “no rehearsal and no overdubs,” during a 5-day stay in a Pennsylvania cabin…proving once again how vacation time is actually the mother of productivity.

Our TV recs are sure to not leave you upSTREAM…
Unsplash/Amazon Firestick


Get ready to swoon: extremely attractive people in elaborate Regency garb are back as Bridgerton returns to Netflix for part two of season three on June 13th. If you’re familiar, we’ll be picking up with a certain proposal that dropped jaws…both among characters in the show, as well as real-life viewers in the audience. The eagerly awaited second season of HBO’s (we can’t quite say Max’s) House of the Dragon premieres on June 16th, and the vibes might be different this time ‘round, as one of the two showrunners departed after season one. Make Some Noise — the improv comedy show airing on video-on-demand network Dropout (née CollegeHumor) — is back for a third season on June 24th with 20 new episodes which blend Whose Line Is It Anyway? with The Gong Show. (One of the contestants calls the show “a fever dream” in the trailer. Hopefully the viewing experience is as unhinged.) Two days later is the premiere of the Apple TV+ miniseries Land of Women. Eva Longoria stars as an empty-nester from New York who, after her husband’s financial scandals force her into exile, flees the city with her college-aged daughter and her elderly mom to a small town in Spain. Unfortunately for the ladies, but good for you, the viewer, the drama they thought they left behind follows them across the pond.

Then, on June 27th, The Bear is back on Hulu! (HELL) YES CHEF! The new season picks up where the last one ended, as Carmy (Jeremy Allen White), Syd (Ayo Edebiri) and Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and the rest have finally opened their high-concept, high-ticket restaurant. No word yet if Jamie Lee Curtis will return to play Carmy’s mom, but we’ll have binged the entire season by June 28th, so we’ll get back to you. Sunny is a new mystery series on Apple TV+ (July 10th) and, a warning, it’s nowhere near as pleasant as it sounds. The 10-episode, A24-produced show is executive produced by Rashida Jones, who also stars as a woman living in Kyoto, whose husband and son disappear in a mysterious plane crash. She eventually takes possession of Sunny — a robot her husband’s company manufactures — that, surprisingly, helps Jones’s character uncover the truth. July 18th sees the premiere of the sixth and final season of Cobra Kai, the beloved Netflix series and Karate Kid sequel that paints Johnny Lawrence as a good guy, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka in their iconic roles. (And Neil maybe, sorta, kinda came up with the idea of the series! Read more in Neil’s interview with Zabka here.) And finally, get ready for Batman: Caped Crusader on August 1st on Prime Video…it’s being touted as the spiritual successor to the dark and absolutely stunning Batman: The Animated Series from the ‘90s, which helped catapult cartoons to a more elevated and respected realm.

VR is one kind of escape that won’t give you sunburn this summer, that’s for sure…


We all know the classic 1988 B-movie Killer Klowns from Outer Space. (And if you don’t — who even are you?! Get on that. How can you say no to this?!) A video game of the same name debuted on June 4th (Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox X/S). (If the infamous popcorn gun isn’t a weapon, though, we want nothing to do with it.) On June 18th comes Still Wakes the Deep (Windows, PlayStation 5, Xbox X/S) — it’s a psychological survival game in which you play an oil rig worker in 1975 who pursues a mysterious creature in the harsh conditions of winter following a catastrophic event out on the sea. And Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree (Windows, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox X/S and Xbox One) is an expansion to the game that won seemingly every Game of the Year award for 2022; it’s out on June 21st and adds a ton of new equipment, magic and enemies not found in the original title which, for the uninitiated, is a spectacular high-fantasy adventure that Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin helped write.

Game on…and on and on and on

And in the world of virtual reality, Eternal Starlight (Meta Quest, Steam) invites you to vaporize any number of aliens amid intergalactic skirmishes, starting June 3rd (that was this past Monday, FYI — so you can start slayin’ space baddies ASAP). Or, fashion yourself into a medieval-era artisan and make scary weapons of destruction in BlackForge: A Smithing Adventure (June 13th on Meta Quest, Steam). You’ll get some help with a delightful fire spirit (Howl’s Moving Castle, anyone?). Finally, throw yourself into a steampunk-esque city in Retropolis 2: Never Say Goodbye (out now on Meta Quest, Steam) to solve puzzles and piece together a mystery using Inspector Gadget-style extendable arms. (Oh yeah, forgot to mention: everyone in the city’s a robot, including you.)

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