The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Blockbusters & block-busts

The blockbuster season has proven to be a mixed bag so far, as spiffed-up sequels and reboots of established franchises continue to reign. Avengers 2 burst onto the scene only to fade into the shadow of its predecessor, Mad Max: Fury Road reminded us that the action film can be art, and Jurassic World gave the world Chris Pratt leading a pack of velociraptors on a motorcycle. These four upcoming tent-pole attractions appear just as unpredictable, other than that lots of money will change hands.

Ted 2

Rating: R

Seth MacFarlane’s comedy about a talking teddy bear with the voice of Peter Griffin gets a second go-round. Ted gets married and wants to have kids, but guess what? He’s a teddy bear. Doofy Mark Wahlberg-thunder-buddy-artificial-insemination shenanigans ensue.

Prediction: Miss

Like the original, your enjoyment of Ted 2 will undoubtedly be directly proportional to how much Wahlberg and MacFarlane you can stomach in the same film. Mileage may vary, extremely.

Terminator: Genisys

Rating: PG13

This franchise sequel/reboot looks to be by far the messiest of this summer’s sequel/reboots — but hey, Arnie’s back. Emilia Clarke of “Game of Thrones”  takes over as the iconic action-hero Sarah Conner in a likely incomprehensible killer robot-time-travel mixup that tries to incorporate aspects from all four preceding films. 

Prediction: Miss

This should have been titled Terminator: Greatest Hits.


Rating: PG

This Despicable Me prequel’s trailers have shown off some surprisingly dark humor, with the titular yellow creatures bumbling their way through history and inadvertently killing off numerous would-be evil masters. Sandra Bullock stars as 1960s New York villain Scarlet Overkill, the latest in line. 

Prediction: Hit

A darkly shaded comedy starring casually murderous munchkin Kids ate up Gremlins in the ’80s.


Not yet rated

The last film in Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a long time coming. Originally slated to be directed by geek-favorite Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), the final version of Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, a thief with the ability to change size and retain his strength. Oh, and he can communicate with ants. It should be … interesting. 

Prediction: Near-miss

Rudd’s lackadaisical approach to the square-jawed Marvel hero could be refreshing, and Lang’s size-changing antics have much more physical and comedic potential than the Avengers’ typical punch-fests. But the production’s patchy history may produce a similarly slapped-together film.