Summer Showtime: The hottest movies and TV series to beat the heat

Animation, action, Kung Fu, Star Wars and more


Ryan Ascalon

The Arts and Entertainment resident TV critic presents a guide for summer entertainment. Grab your favorite snack and relax on those warm summer nights. (Graphic created by Ryan Ascalon)

Spring is over and the semester finished; the hour of the summertime blockbuster is nigh. 

The movies and shows I have compiled are not just personal favorites but are renowned for their grand spectacles. 


1. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Rated PG)

The sequel to the critically acclaimed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” was released June 2.  With its stunning animation, incredible soundtrack and action-packed story, “Across the Spider-Verse” is a  summer blockbuster that left audiences cheering. Here’s to the sequel of the iconic web-slinging adventure.  

2. Transformers: Rise of Beasts (Rated PG-13)

The sixth film of the “Bay-formers” pits Autobots and Decepticons against each other again for one more blockbuster brawl. The “beasts” involved are the time-traveling Maximals and the Predacons featured in the late 90’s show “Transformers: Beast Wars.”

The iconic Peter Cullen reprises his role as Optimus Prime, and comedian Pete Davidson stars as the Autobot, Mirage.

Transformers: Rise of Beasts released June 9. 

3. Predator (1987) (Rated R)

Let me take you on a testosterone-fueled nostalgia trip to revisit the action thriller “Predator.” Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Dutch, a commando leading a black-ops team into the jungles of Central America to hunt down rebel guerillas of X South American government. 

Little does he and his team know an alien hunter is on the prowl and intends to make them its prey. The movie is pure dumb, thrilling summer action perfect for your inner 14-year-old.

4. Kung Fu Hustle (Rated R)

You’ve heard the rest and now for one of the best martial arts flicks out there. This 2004 film pays homage to the over-the-top nature of its genre. 

Set in 1940s Shanghai, the film follows a hapless slum dweller aspiring to become a powerful martial artist embroiled in a turf war between rival gangs. 

With its blend of slapstick humor and over-the-top fight scenes, “Kung Fu Hustle” is a perfect summer movie to enjoy with friends. 

5. Bullet Train (Rated R)

“Bullet Train” is an action thriller directed by David Leitch and starring Brad Pitt, Joey King and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The film follows a group of assassins who board a high-speed train bound for Tokyo, each with their own deadly agenda. 

With non-stop action and suspense, “Bullet Train” is the perfect movie to kick off your summer movie marathon.


1. Ahsoka (Rated TV-14)

The long-awaited continuation of Ahsoka Tano’s story comes this August to Disney+. Star Wars fans will rejoice as Grand Admiral Thrawn makes a triumphant comeback as the Heir to the Empire. 

Rosario Dawson returns as the exiled Jedi, along with some familiar faces from the “Rebels” animated series. 

2. Mr. Iglesias (Rated TV-14)

This Netflix sitcom stars renowned stand-up comic Gabriel Iglesias as a history teacher in a high school. With its upbeat humor and heartwarming messages about the importance of education and community, “Mr. Iglesias” is a feel-good show ideal to either actively watch or listen to while tackling summer chores.

3. The Orville (Rated MA)

Seth MacFarlane, notorious voice of “Family Guy” and other roles, writes, directs and stars in the spiritual successor to the “Star Trek” series, “The Orville.” The sci-fi series touches on morality, identity and lighthearted humor. The show prides itself on its genre innovation; all topped off with its creator’s signature flair. 

4. Helluva Boss (Content Warning: This series contains themes and language some viewers may find disturbing)

For something darker and edgier, check out “Helluva Boss,” an ongoing animated web series by Vivienne Medrano. The show, which takes place in the underworld, follows a bunch of demons that run a startup assassination business and their various escapades. 

“Helluva Boss” is a unique and amusing show for adult animation fans, with irreverent comedy and gorgeous animation.

5. Arcane (Rated TV-14)

Finally, there’s Netflix’s animated series “Arcane,” based on the popular video game “League of Legends.” 

“Arcane” depicts two sisters forced apart by the power struggles of their respective cities, the utopian city of Piltover and the downtrodden underworld of Zaun. “Arcane” is a must-see for fantasy and sci-fi aficionados, thanks to its gorgeous cinematography and fascinating characters.

Ultimately, whether you’re looking for action, comedy or drama, this collection has something for you. So grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy these blockbuster films and binge-worthy TV shows.