Mandatory Summer Blockbusters

With the hottest time of the year comes some of the hottest and most anticipated films. While some might find this summer's lineup a bit flat with its array of sequels (Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars, Planet of the Apes), there are still some that seem worth your while. Here are some mandatory films to check out for summer of 2017:

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2' (Out Now)

The follow-up to one of Marvel's biggest surprise successes, this film is a delight as well as the only one I've seen on this list thus far. The cast is hilarious and heartfelt, the visuals are gorgeous, and the music is a perfect tonal throwback. It's a space adventure with even more heart (and more adorable talking baby trees) than its predecessor.

'Alien: Covenant' (May 19th)

For those of you who rolled your eyes at Prometheus, here's some chance for redemption. This film returns to fulfill the space horror genre in what will (hopefully) prove to be an exciting thriller. The simple detail of having a monster is a step in the right direction.

'Despicable Me 3' (June 30th)

Easily the most anticipated (and welcomed) sequel in the summer lineup, we go back to the whacky family of supervillain-turned-father Gru. However, this time, we meet a brand new member of the family: Gru's estranged brother. With the one-two punch of Steve Carrel's voice acting and those goofy Minions, this movie will surely delight fans of all ages.

'Spider-Man: Homecoming' (July 7th)

Whether or not you found the prior iteration of the hero "amazing, Tom Holland stars in the reboot of the Spider-Man series. While we're all seasoned to the origin story of Peter Parker, this film promises a fresh new take. Between the actor diversity and the natural fluidity Holland brings to the character, many are looking forward to this new coming reboot.

'The Dark Tower' (August 4th)

An adaptation of the popular book series by Stephen King, this dark fantasy looks fascinating. It's a gritty tale of a gunslinger caught in a relentless fight with a Man in Black. It seems exceedingly simple, but that's how King operates best. The twists in his prose are what turn typical storylines on their heads, and this film will surely follow that direction. Plus, if nothing else, having Idris Elba to gawk at for two hours is well worth the price of admission. He could make reading the phone book sound interesting.Cool off from the heat wave for a couple of hours by stopping to check out some of these films. Are they worth the hype and the wait? There's only one way to be certain.