Summer Blockbusted 2020: Now Playing…June 5 (FILM FUN/VIDEO)

We haven’t had a new summer movie for over a month now, but I’ve been having one of the best Summer Movie Seasons that I can remember.

Welcome to Week 6 of Summer Blockbusted 2020.

Through the end of August, I am curating a weekly slate of movies from summers past, ranging from big blockbusters to small counter-programming indies, plus dramas and comedies in-between.

Every single Friday. All summer long.

The multiplexes may be closed, but here are classics to enjoy again or to discover for the very first time, all in the safety of your home theater.

(To read more about how each week’s slate is determined, click here.)

This week: films that were released over the first weekend of June, starting with my REC OF THE WEEK.

When possible, I’ve included archived video reviews from Siskel & Ebert (whether I agree with them or not).

Also included when possible: links to streaming services where these movies can be seen. (If a link isn’t provided, you can rent the film on most VOD platforms.)

(Find links to other weeks from Summer Blockbusted 2020 at the end of this article.)


  • REC OF THE WEEK: The Bridges of Madison County (June 2, 1995) 135 min Rated PG-13
    (25th Anniversary)
  • Streaming on HBO Max
    • Based on one of the best-selling books of the 20th Century at over 60 million copies sold, the movie version of The Bridges of Madison County is infinitely better than its source material. Author Robert James Waller struck something deep at the core of his story about star-crossed lovers but then buried it in mushy, maudlin, pandering chick-lit prose.
      Thankfully, director Clint Eastwood salvaged and redeemed that core in one of the most mature romances you’ll ever see, anchored by one of Meryl Streep’s career-best turns (and one of Eastwood’s as well). Their telling of this story set in 1960s small town Iowa – about a brief romance between a married farm wife and a single world-traveling photographer – is tender yet palpable, capturing one of life’s most beautiful realities: that soul mates truly exist. But we are also responsible for the choices we make and the people affected by them, something that Bridges takes more seriously than most stories like it.
      I don’t believe in romanticizing infidelity but this adaptation of Bridges (from Eastwood’s direction to both lead performances) doesn’t romanticize it either. It’s as honest, gentle and (yes) even moral about this complex, ineffable human dynamic as one could hope for, or as any movie has ever been. The only area where it falters is in the modern-day scenes where Francesca’s two adult kids discover that their late mother had a brief love affair. Their scenes, which serve as interstitial framing devices, are pretty bad and the son specifically is downright awful (how was he even cast?). Thankfully, they are minor if laughable distractions.
      I’ve never been a fan of infidelity (who is?) and I never will be, but if you can’t recognize the very real, true human emotions at play here – of how two souls genuinely, naturally connect, and how being fully seen and known makes a person feel complete – then I don’t know what to tell you, especially given how cautiously, thoughtfully, respectfully, and even humbly these two characters navigate those mysterious, consuming, overwhelming realities, all while considering others ahead of themselves.
      (Final numbers: $71.5 million domestic; $182 million worldwide.)
    • No Siskel & Ebert review, but here’s Gene Siskel talking to Meryl Streep about her performance in the film:
  • Star Trek Double-Feature: The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock
    • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4, 1982) 113 min; Rated PG
    • Streaming on Prime Video
    • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (June 1, 1984) 105 min; Rated PG
    • Streaming on Prime Video
    • At their essence, these two movies embody Star Trek at its very best, and the original cast especially. With its mixture of adventure, big ideas, noble aspirations, and the core bond of its Kirk/Spock/Bones trio, The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock have everything. They’re perfectly paired as a double-feature, too given the cliffhanger at the end of II.
      The Wrath of Khan thrives on its Moby Dick-like structure. Ricardo Montalbán’s titular villain is the Captain Ahab to William Shatner’s Admiral Kirk, and Kirk’s existential midlife crisis of what could’ve been but wasn’t provides a foundation for Shatner’s best screen performance (one that carries well into III and even into IV, a time travel adventure that turns this double-feature into a full-fledged connected trilogy).
      The Wrath of Khan is generally considered the best of the Original Cast film series, but The Search for Spock may be its most underrated, doubling-down on relational sentiments that had been built and earned over decades, and doing so as well as the franchise ever has. (The Stealing of the Enterprise halfway through III remains one of my favorite sequences in all of Trek; it’s thrilling, and it legitimately chokes me up.)
      I’ve watched these movies regularly over the years and never tire of them. They mean as much to me as the Star Wars, Indy, and Back to the Future trilogies of the same era.
    • Star Trek II (Final numbers: $79 million domestic; $97 million worldwide.)
    • Star Trek III (Final numbers: $76.4 million domestic; $87 million worldwide
  • Sean Connery Double-Feature: The Untouchables and The Rock
    • The Untouchables (June 3, 1987) 119 min; Rated R
      The Untouchables doesn’t rank with the truly great mobster movies, but it deserves to be appreciated more than it is. It’s a handsomely crafted piece of Old Hollywood entertainment (directed by Brian De Palma and written by playwright legend David Mamet) with a superb ensemble led by Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness, Robert De Niro as Al Capone, and Sean Connery is his Oscar-winning role of an aging beat cop who finally gets his chance to take on police corruption. (It’s Sean Connery at his most Connery.)
      Along with the rich throwback style, it’s also refreshing to see such a straight-arrow hero like Costner’s Eliot Ness, especially after so many years (even decades) of being inundated with compromised anti-heroes.
    • The Rock (June 7, 1996) 136 min Rated R
      Michael Bay
      ’s second movie may still be his best. This quintessential 90s action extravaganza – set in a closed-down Alcatraz where rogue military soldiers hold citizens hostage for a noble-but-dangerously-misguided cause – still delivers the over-the-top goods, but in ways where the actors could still respect themselves in the morning (especially Ed Harris, who carries the weight of the film’s one complex role quite admirably).
      Sean Connery chews scenery with style and a wink, and this is where Nicholas Cage went from off-beat Academy Award-winning indie actor to gonzo blockbuster star. Many of the set pieces go to such extremes that they have you laughing, not because they’re stupid but because you’re so impressed by how ingeniously ridiculous they are.
    • The Untouchables (Final numbers: $76.3 million domestic; $106.2 million worldwide.)
    • The Rock (Final numbers: $134 million domestic; $335 million worldwide.)
  • Edge of Tomorrow (June 6, 2014) 113 min Rated PG-13
    • Quite possibly the most underrated summer blockbuster of the past ten years (or twenty to twenty-five, for that matter), Tom Cruise’s sci-fi actioner is Groundhog Day meets Aliens. It barely crossed $100 million domestically (but enjoyed more success worldwide where Cruise movies always play), but the cult-following its gained since has kept sequel rumors simmering.
      Edge of Tomorrow (rebranded for home video as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow, which is the title that some VOD platforms use) feels like a prime 1990s James Cameron high-concept thrill ride, one with brains still has fun with archetypes while also providing a strong, gritty female hero (Emily Blunt).
      Director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) succeeds where so many other action directors have failed in the digital era: Edge never feels like a glorified video game, despite a premise that’s tailor made for a first-person-shooter POV. On the contrary, this always looks and feels like a movie, one in which a physical camera must always obey physical rules. Liman frames action in a cinematic language rather than an Xbox one.
      Plus, it delivers the goods in brisk fashion, coming in well-under two hours as opposed to the two-plus or two-and-a-half hour time frame you’d likely see from a similarly-styled tentpole today.
      (Final numbers: $100.2 million domestic; $370.5 million worldwide.)
  • City Slickers (June 7, 1991) 113 min Rated PG-13
  • Streaming on Showtime Now
    • Midlife crises stories were particularly replete in Baby Boomer movies during the 1980s and 90s. City Slickers is one of the best of that lot and, given its premise, one of the more unique. Billy Crystal reunites with Bruno Kirby (his best friend from When Harry Met Sally…) and adds Daniel Stern (Home Alone) to make for a bestie trio. They go on a Western cattle drive adventure, one that (in the words of Jack Palance’s gritty guide Curly) helps them find the “One Thing” that gives their life purpose and meaning.
      This is Billy Crystal in his prime and Jack Palance in his Oscar winning role, all in a movie that delivers as many laughs (often out loud) as it does genuine heartfelt sentiment and meaningful perspectives to ponder. (And as a bonus, see a very young Jake Gyllenhaal as one of Crystal’s little kids.)
      (Final numbers: $124 million domestic; $179 million worldwide.)
  • Big (June 3, 1988) 104 min Rated PG
    • In 1986, Tom Hanks mixed comedy with drama for director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) in Nothing In Common. Two years later he did the same but to even more success for Garry’s sister Penny in her second (and breakthrough) film as a director.
      Big was hardly the first “age-and-body swap” movie of the 1980s or, for that matter, even that year. By June, it was the third of its kind in 1988, making for an oddly specific subgenre that Hollywood churned out with strange regularity. Big was easily the best and most poignant of them all, capped by Hanks receiving first career Best Actor nomination.
      (Final numbers: $115 million domestic; $151.7 million worldwide.)
  • The Goonies (June 7, 1985) 114 min; Rated PG (35th Anniversary)
  • Streaming on HBO Max
    • An Indiana Jones flick for kids, The Goonies may “never say die” but their movie doesn’t hold up particularly well. Even so, it still works for Gen-Xers as a fun slice of of nostalgia Amblin entertainment (that’s Steven Spielberg’s production company). Spielberg conceived the idea then brought in Superman director Richard Donner and young Gremlins scriptwriter Chris Columbus to make it happen (Columbus would go on to make Home Alone and the first two Harry Potter films). The results are prime pre-teen entertainment (even if peppered with teenage crude language), marked by early standout roles from Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, and more.
      (Final numbers: $63.4 million domestic; $124 million worldwide.)
  • SpaceCamp (June 6, 1986) 107 min; Rated PG
  • Streaming for free on YouTube
    • A blip of 80s pop culture, SpaceCamp captured my young imagination in a big way — and it still holds a secure place in my heart (even if my head can see its dated flaws, which largely remain charming to me).
      SpaceCamp follows a group of teens spending their summer at Alabama’s Space Camp who, along with their group trainer played by Kate Capshaw, find their tour of a Space Shuttle turned into an unexpected and real space expedition with Apollo 13-style stakes.
      It’s fun to see a Back to the Future-era Leah Thompson in a lead role, along with a young Tate Donovan and Kelly Preston, the reliable Tom Skerritt and, in the most intriguing bit of casting, a very young Joaquin Phoenix in his first feature film role (credited as Leaf, not Joaquin, using a name he’d given himself at the time). The adventure is elevated by John Williams’ best non-blockbuster soundtrack; it’s as if he combined his work for Star Wars and The Olympics into one score.
      In the wake of the Challenger tragedy that had occurred just four months prior to the film’s release, SpaceCamp recaptured the awe of space exploration. For me, it still does.
      (Final numbers: $9.7 million domestic and worldwide.)
    • You can watch the entire movie on YouTube for free.
    • SpaceCamp opening theme.
    • SpaceCamp adventure theme.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (June 4, 2004) 142 min; Rated PG
  • Streaming on HBO Max
    • The third film in the blockbuster franchise and the first not directed by Chris Columbus, future two-time Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity, Roma) expands the series’ visual palette as the story expands beyond Hogwarts, introducing Sirius Black and the Dementors into J. K. Rowling’s wizarding mythology.
      Azkaban became a tonal touchstone for the franchise moving forward, one that was just beginning to see its trio of young heroes Harry, Hermione, and Ron grow from kids to teenagers.
      I still cherish the first film the most, but many Potterfiles consider The Prisoner of Azkaban to be the series’ best.
      (Final numbers: $249.5 million domestic; $796 million worldwide.)

If you’d like to suggest summer movie titles for future weeks, you can email your requests to:

Other weeks from Summer Blockbusted 2020:

Leave a Reply