Re-releases, sequels and classic movie characters abound in June

May 31, 2017
Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animati
Thomas Middleditch, Kevin Hart and Ed Helms lend their voices to “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.” Contributed by DreamWorks

Here are some of the best and highest-profile new releases in music, movies, TV and more on the horizon in June.

As always, dates are subject to change without notice.

1. U2, “The Joshua Tree (30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)” (Island/UMe)

2. Radiohead, “OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017” (XL Recordings)

3. Prince and the Revolution, “Purple Rain Deluxe” (NPG/Warner)

You know what people love? The past. The past cannot hurt you, not anymore. You lived through it. You survived. And some of it was even fun.

This month, the past is all over the place. First we have the completely excessive 30th anniversary “Joshua Tree” reissue. The 1987 album is remastered, with “Live at Madison Square Garden 1987” on a second CD. Then there’s the four-CD version with two more CDs with rarities and B-sides and 2017 remixes from Daniel Lanois, St Francis Hotel, Jacknife Lee, Steve Lillywhite and Flood. Not sure why you would need or even want the fourth CD, but it is there if you want it.

Later this month, look for the 20th anniversary edition of Radiohead’s groundbreaking neo-prog masterpiece “OK Computer,” here called “Ok Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017” because of course it is. The second disc contains B-sides and three previously unreleased tracks.

That same day comes a reissue of Prince’s world-beating “Purple Rain,” complete with the 2015 Paisley Park remaster overseen by the late genius, an 11-track “From The Vault & Unreleased” disc, a “Single Edits & B-Sides” CD and a live DVD of Prince and the Revolution at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y., March 30, 1985.

The past is not through with us. “Joshua Tree” is out June 2; “OKNOTOK” and “Purple Rain” are out June 23.

4. Dan Auerbach, “Waiting on a Song” (Easy Eye Sound/Nonesuch). The artist formerly known as one-half of the Black Keys joins John Prine, Duane Eddy, Jerry Douglas, Pat McLaughlin, Bobby Wood and more for this solo joint. (June 2)

5. “Wonder Woman.” The current round of controversy surrounding this big entry by DC/Warner Bros. into the 2017 summer movie sweepstakes is its rather noticeable lack of marketing (given its relative size and budget). Which is to say, we should be sick of seeing ads for a summer tentpole movie at this point, but this origin story for Diana the Amazon (Gal Gadot) — with Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, the least interesting comic book love interest of all time — seems to be getting short shrift. Critics loathed the last few DC movies, but audiences went anyway. We’ll see how this goes. (June 2)

6. “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.” The children’s book series moves to the big screen as an animated feature (that “first” really does seem like a slightly undignified request to the audience — “please make this a franchise!”). Stand-up comedian Kevin Hart and Thomas “Silicon Valley” Middleditch voice the kids who pull their comic book character (voiced by Ed Helms) into the real world. (June 2)

7. “I’m Dying Up Here” (Showtime). This new drama riffs on the 1970s L.A. comedy scene with Melissa Leo playing someone very obviously inspired by Comedy Store owner Mitzi Shore. (June 4)

8. “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness: A Novel” by Arundhati Roy (Knopf). Since this is Roy’s first novel in 20 years (you might remember her from such books as “The God of Small Things”), this one is very highly anticipated indeed. Expect a love story that goes from India to Afghanistan and beyond. (June 6)

9. Katy Perry, “Witness” (Capitol). I sometimes looks at Ms. Perry and mumble to myself, “Lady, what do you do really well?” She can’t really dance, and she doesn’t have much of a voice. And yet, the pop hits keep coming. Guests include Nicki Minaj and Migos. (June 9)

10. Phoenix, “Ti Amo” (Glassnote). I suspect that a band only gets one “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” in their career, so we maybe shouldn’t expect a smash that big, but this album will likely be a mix of Eurodisco and darker tracks for dark times. (June 9)

11. “The Mummy.” That weird groan you hear is horror nerds horrified that Universal is putting all of their monsters in a shared, CGI-heavy universe. The louder groan is realizing that Tom Cruise is the main character here, playing, if the trailer is to be trusted, pretty much the same version of Tom Cruise that shows up in any action movie he’s in. Cruise fights an ancient Egyptian princess (Sofia Boutella, once the wrapping comes off). With Russell Crowe and Jake Johnson. (June 9)

12. “It Comes at Night.” I am excited for this one, as Texas writer-director Trey Edward Shults (who wrote and directed the terrific indie drama “Krisha”) delivers a horror film, starring the ever-underrated Joel Edgerton as the patriarch of a family that is being attacked by Mysterious Forces Unknown to Mankind. (June 9)

13. “Runnin’ with the Devil: A Backstage Pass to the Wild Times, Loud Rock, and the Down and Dirty Truth Behind the Making of Van Halen” by Noel Monk and Joe Layden (Dey Street). If Van Halen’s manager wants to write a tell-all about the band, then I am going to read it. (June 13)

14. Beth Ditto, “Fake Sugar” (Myra’s Child / Virgin). “Fire,” the first single from this new album by the former Gossip frontwoman, is, indeed, fire. It is the sort of tune than demands sick remixes. I look forward to the whole thing. (June 16)

15. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, “The Nashville Sound” (Southeastern). At this point, a new album from Jason Isbell is an event. The first single, “Hope the High Road,” is about being a woke white dude; no kidding. (June 16)

16. “Transformers: The Last Knight.” This fifth film in this extremely-popular-especially-overseas-and-critically-despised franchise will be the last directed by Michael Bay. Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Isabela Moner star. Peter Cullen, who has voiced Optimus Prime for more than three decades, returns. There might be some time travel. (June 21)

17. “The Big Sick.” This may very well be a star-making performance for actor/comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who co-wrote this romantic comedy with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, about their real-life romance, which involved Emily going into a coma as he meets her parents for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed it when I saw it at South by Southwest. (June 23)

18. Algiers, “The Underside of Power” (Matador). The first album from the experimental punk/soul/noise/R&B act was good; this one feels like a great leap forward. One hopes people pay attention. (June 23)

19. “The Bad Batch.” Here’s another indie about which one should be excited. Ana Lily Amirpour, director of the stunning “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night,” corrals Jason Momoa, Suki Waterhouse, Giovanni Ribisi and Keanu Reeves with a fu manchu moustache in a story about Texas cannibals. Sadly, Texas is played by California. (June 23)

20. “The House.” A murderer’s row of funny here in this directorial debut from the writer of “Neighbors.” Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll and, um, Jeremy Renner star in this comedy about a couple who set up an illegal casino in their basement. Expect a lot of jokes that seem improvised right there in front of you. (June 30)