The summer movie season is officially upon us, and things are heating up outside, in the theaters, and everywhere else there’s good geekery to be found. June is a big month for movies, but there are a lot of great books to read out there and collectibles to, well… collect.
Here are ten things you’ll definitely want to look out for this month:
Star Trek: Countdown Collection, Vol. 1 2
Before each of the live-action films that rebooted the Star Trek franchise, IDW Publishing released a graphic novel set before the events of the two films. The graphic novels served as prequels to Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, with the first story focusing on the Romulan villain Nero (played by Eric Bana) and the second story chronicling the evolution of Khan Noonien Singh (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his experiences during the Eugenics Wars. Both stories have been collected and reprinted in a pair of graphic novels available this month in comic shops, book stories, and online.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3)
The sequel to 2014’s live-action reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crams in a host of of new characters from the classic animated series, including the mutated thugs Bebop and Rocksteady and the alien brain-creature Krang. It also features Arrow star Stephen Amell as the vigilante Casey Jones, and despite some less-than-stellar reviews for its predecessor, the film has more than a few people wondering if it could be the rare sequel that’s better than its predecessor. After all, it’s got Krang!
Sperry Jaws Footwear
Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss sported Sperry footwear in 1975’s Jaws, and now the footwear manufacturer is honoring Steven Spielberg’s shark thriller with a line of shoes inspired by the film. The shoes are available online and in certain retailers now, and come in six different styles with varying degrees of Jaws-themed design. The shoes are cool on their own, but they also come with some pretty creative packaging that includes bloody packing tissue, warning signs, and various other nods to the film. You can see them all (and order yourself a pair) at Sperry.com.
Warcraft (June 10)
If you’ve been wondering what Moon filmmaker Duncan Jones has been up to the last five years or so, you’re not alone. We’ll finally find out, though, when his big-budget adaptation of Warcraft hits theaters this month. Inspired by the lore of the games that kicked off the Warcraft franchise and eventually led to the creation of the massively popular World of Warcraft online game, Warcraft was a closely guarded secret for much of its development and production, but it finally premieres June 10. Will it be the film that changes the way we think about video-game movies?
Independence Day David Levinson Pop! Vinyl Figure
It was only a matter of time before everyone’s favorite satellite technician and world-saver got his own Pop! Vinyl figure, and that time is now. With the sequel to Independence Day premiering in just a few weeks, the timing couldn’t be better to add another figure to your collection of characters played by Jeff Goldblum. What, you don’t have a collection of figures based on Jeff Goldblum characters? Seriously? Well, forget I mentioned it. (But you can still order the figure for $10 at Entertainment Earth if you decide such a collection is in your future.)
10 Cloverfield Lane (June 14)
If you didn’t catch director Dan Trachtenburg’s pseudo-sequel to Cloverfield when it was in theaters, you missed out on one of the year’s most fascinating, surprising films. The movie arrives on DVD and Blu-ray (as well as various on-demand networks) in just a few weeks, and if you’re a fan of the 2008 film (which isn’t necessary to watch before you see this one, but it helps) or simply intrigued by that cool trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, you can check it out June 14 and see what all the fuss is about. (Semi-spoiler: The fuss is mostly about John Goodman. He’s amazing in the movie.)
Midnight Special (June 21)
Another movie hitting the home-entertainment market this month is the sci-fi drama Midnight Special, from writer/director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter). The film follows a father and son who set off on a cross-country journey with various groups on their trail after the boy develops strange abilities. A festival darling that earned rave reviews during its limited theatrical run, Midnight Special stars Michael Shannon as the boy’s father, along with Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver in supporting roles. It will be available on DVD and Blu-ray June 21
Big Trouble In Little China Illustrated Novel: Big Trouble In Mother Russia
You can’t keep ol’ Jack Burton down, and the reluctant hero of Bog Trouble in Little China leaps back into action in a new illustrated novel that takes the Pork Chop Express wheelman all the way to Moscow. The book is written by RiffTrax writer/host Matthew J. Elliot, who has promised to shake the pillars of heaven with a story set just days after the events of John Carpenter’s 1986 film. The 192-page novel is expected to be available in comic shops and certain book stores later this month, with the digital edition scheduled for release June 29.
Star Wars R2-D2 Lawn Ornament
‘Tis the season for getting your lawn in order, and if you want to add a bit more geek to your garden, this R2-D2 statue is the droid you’re looking for. Sold exclusively by ThinkGeek, the resin replica of the Star Wars droid looks like it’s made of concrete, stands almost 18 inches tall, and offers a nice, subtle way to tell the world, “I care about my lawn, but I also care about the revolution against The Galactic Empire.”
Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)
Two decades after aliens first tried to destroy Earth but only succeeded in exploding a bunch of landmarks and making Will Smith really angry, they’re back for more in Independence Day: Resurgence. The sequel to Roland Emmerich’s 1996 blockbuster finds the world not only united 20 years after that devastating first encounter with alien invaders, but in better shape to defend itself against alien invaders – or so it thinks. The aforementioned Jeff Goldblum reprises his role in the film, along with Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox, and Judd Hirsch, and they’re joined by a long list of fresh faces primed to give the next set of aliens a proper “Welcome to Earth!”
Question of the Week: What are you looking forward to watching, reading, or collecting this month?
Rick Marshall is an award-winning writer and editor whose work can be found at Movies.com, as well as MTV News, Fandango, Digital Trends, IFC.com, Newsarama, and various other online, print, and on-air news outlets. He’s been called a “Professional Geek” by ABC News and Spike TV, and his personal blog can be found at MindPollution.org. You can find him on Twitter as @RickMarshall.