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Fandango FamilyWith the 2015 Summer Movie Season really heating up in July, I’ve taken some time as a member of the Fandango Family Digital Network (paid gig, disclosure and all) to take a look at what’s coming up in the weeks ahead. From 4,000+ screen blockbusters to indies playing in limited release, there’s roughly eighty (yes, 80!) new titles hitting cinema screens over the next month. I’m highlighting eleven of those movies here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, calling out a few “Rock Father Picks,” Wildcards, and perhaps even… a flop. But that’s not all, friends! Fandango and I are giving YOU a chance to score a $100 Fandango Gift Card so that your family can enjoy some movies this summer (at participating theaters). Let’s rock…

TERMINATOR: GENISYS (July 1): In my eyes, there are currently only two TERMINATOR films – 1984’s THE TERMINATOR, and 1991’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY. 2003’s RISE OF THE MACHINES was dull, while 2009’s TERMINATOR SALVATION was a nearly unwatchable mess. That said, each of those latter films still pulled-in between $350-$430M a piece, so here we have TERMINATOR: GENISYS, which looks absolutely ridiculous. I think it looks amusing and at least worth a look, while my wife says that the spoiler-riffic trailer “looks terrible,” and that Emilia Clarke (GAME OF THRONES) is “not strong enough to pull off Sarah Connor.” Still, I expect audiences to line-up for this one and add a few hundred million more to the TERMINATOR vault.

MAGIC MIKE XXL (July 1): Having not seen the first MAGIC MIKE, I’m oddly intrigued since the trailers make this look like an amusing, and generally likable bunch of guys who are on a noble quest to delight the ladies. Knowing a bunch of ladies myself, I can tell you that many of them have seen the first film, and fully intend to see this one. Bonus Points: I found myself under the direction of MAGIC MIKE Director and MAGIC MIKE XXL Cinematographer Steven Soderbergh for one day on OCEAN’S TWELVE back in 2004. I wound up “on the cutting room floor,” but it was a great afternoon in Chicago.

AMY (July 3) – ROCK FATHER PICK! I’m a sucker for a great music documentary, and Asif Kapadia’s AMY is on my must-see list. Racking-up critical and audience acclaim, along with numerous festival laurels, this film tells the story of AMY WINEHOUSE in her own words, using archival footage and unreleased tracks. Mark Ronson, Tony Bennett and others also appear.

MINIONS (July 10) – ROCK FATHER PICK! I have yet to meet a single person that does not like the MINIONS (cue anti-Minion folk in the comments section). After lovable appearances in two DESPICABLE ME films, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures have finally put the little yellow banana enthusiasts in their own adventure, and it’s a centuries-spanning period piece. Kids love MINIONS. Adults love MINIONS. Theater owners will love MINION$$$$$! Doesn’t hurt that the film looks adorable, and early buzz is that it’s really, really good. Bonus Points: I helped the folks at Mattel’s MEGA BLOKS division launch their MINIONS toy line, and have a one-of-a-kind MINIONS sculpture in my office. 

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CAFFEINATED (July 14): I absolutely love coffee. My Great Grandfather was a coffee taster, and I even wrote about that in detail after visiting the coffee labs at Folgers. That said, a complete documentary that follows a cup of coffee from the field to the coffeehouse has my interest completely piqued. Speaking of which, the iCoffee is calling me…

MARVEL’s ANT-MAN (July 17) ROCK FATHER PICK! Having seen ANT-MAN already, and having interviewed it’s entire principal cast, I’m bound by a review embargo right now and can’t go into vast detail on the film. But, since I think highly of it, I’d hope that no one at The Walt Disney Company or MARVEL Studios will be angry at me for telling you to go see it. Seriously, if last summer’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY surprised you, be ready to be surprised once more. ANT-MAN is MARVEL’s next big hit, and perhaps their first “family” film. Look for my detailed review later this month.

TRAINWRECK (July 17) – WILD CARD! A potential “date night” movie, TRAINWRECK stars Amy Schumer and SNL’s Bill hader in a romantic comedy penned by Schumer and Directed by Judd Apatow. It’s counter-programmed against MARVEL’s ANT-MAN, but the trailers look really funny. Throw in some against-character turns by Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA hero LeBron James and WWE Superstar John Cena, and this could be a bigger-than-expected hit. Bonus Points: An appearance by Randall Park of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT and the infamous comedy THE INTERVIEW

PIXELS (July 24) – WILD CARD! Personally, I’m intrigued by the thought of an alien invasion being prompted by extra-terrestrials finding a 1980s time capsule and interpreting the retro video games from ATARI and NINTENDO as declarations of war. PAC-MAN, Q-BERT, DONKEY KONG, SPACE INVADERS – they’re all there, along with folks like Adam Sandler. The trailers are amusing and enough to get me into the theater, but nearly everyone I’ve spoken to about the movie – and we’re taking a lot of people – have been bashing it. We’re looking at a surprise hit or a massive flop here.

VACATION (July 29 – Pictured up top): A new continuation on what Harold Ramis and John Hughes unleashed with National Lampoon’s VACATION back in 1983, John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (HORRIBLE BOSSES) bring the R-rated road trip genre roaring back into theaters… and back to Wally World. Not for the kids on this one, but count my wife and I as first-night ticket buyers! Bonus Points: I worked on a movie that John Francis Daley is in.

A LEGO BRICKUMENTARY (July 31) – ROCK FATHER PICK! Jason Bateman narrating a theatrical documentary about LEGO. Do I even need to say anything further? Just watch the trailer…

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (July 31) – FLOP? Personally, I believe that the fifth installment of the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE franchise will be this summer’s colossal flop, even if it’s a great film. Personally, I just have a gut feeling that a new MISSION 19 years after the first may not have audiences lining up – but then again, I’d actually forgotten about GHOST PROTOCOL, which I’ve never seen. Perhaps it’s just me that’s checked-out of the MI franchise after the horrid M.I.: III, but I absolutely love the first two installments, especially the first sequel from way back in 2000. It also didn’t help my opinion that MISSION IMPOSSIBLE got a block in place for promotion of STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE, as if there would be any confusion between the franchises. 

Enter to Win a $100 Fandango Digital Gift Card:

Use the Rafflecopter Widget below (it will guide you), starting with the first (mandatory) entry method – Leave a Disqus comment on this post that shares your answer to the following: 

QUESTION: Which of these 11 movies are you most looking forward to seeing?

After that, you can complete social actions for additional, completely optional entries. Please Note: By entering giveaways on The Rock Father, you agree to comply with my fairness policy

Twitter “Egg” Accounts are ineligible for entry and WILL BE BLOCKED.

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The Fine Print: 

Promotion open to residents of the U.S. only, ages 18+, void where prohibited. Winner will be chosen on, about, or after July 22, 2015, and will be notified via email to confirm. If no response within 24 hours, an alternate winner will be chosen. Prizing provided by Fandango, and delivered as a digital gift code.

1980s-style Disclaimer: Many will enter, few will win! Please allow 8-12 weeks for delivery of prizing (seriously, probably not that long), The Rock Father is not responsible for any lost or misdirected packages. In the rare occasion that a prize does not arrive (which, sadly, has happened), you have no remedy other than moving on.

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