What to stream: Catch up on blockbusters

Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is one of the few characters returning to the sequel “The Suicide Squad.” (Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc./Tribune News Service)

Let’s take a moment to give thanks (for vaccines), because against all odds, it’s looking like we’ll have a Summer Blockbuster Movie Season.

But over the past 20 years or so, almost every big summer movie has been a sequel or birthed one, so be sure to do your homework before hitting the theater.

The origin story of notorious Disney villain Cruella De Vil hits the big screen this weekend in “Cruella,” with Emma Stone taking on the legendary role. Catch her predecessor, Glenn Close, as Cruella in the 1996 live-action version of “101 Dalmatians,” streaming on Disney+ or rentable on iTunes or Amazon for $3.99. 

Also in theaters this weekend is the monster movie “A Quiet Place Part II.” Better give the 2018 film “A Quiet Place” a rewatch prior to seeing it, as the film just drops you right into the action without much explanation. It’s on FX Now, or rent it for $2.99 on Amazon or YouTube.

June 4 brings another horror sequel with “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It,” based on the true story of a 1981 murder case where the defendant claimed demonic possession. This is the eighth film in Conjuring Cinematic Universe, but a third sequel to the films about real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, “The Conjuring” and “The Conjuring 2.” Both films are streaming on Netflix.

The Fast family vrooms back into theaters on June 25 with “Fast 9: The Fast Saga.” Now, it’s a bit challenging to cobble together a Fast marathon, but it is doable: “The Fast and the Furious” (1), “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2) and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” (optional) are all on HBO Max. “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” (3) and “Fast & Furious” (4) are a $3.99 rental on all platforms, or on AMC+. “Fast Five” (5) and “The Fate of the Furious” (8) are available on all platforms for a $3.99 rental. “Fast & Furious 6” (6) is on Peacock or rentable for $3.99 elsewhere. “Furious 7” is on FX Now or rentable for $3.99 on all platforms. Got that?

July 2 brings the next installment in the stealthily sprawling Purge franchise, “The Forever Purge.” “The Purge,” “The First Purge,” “The Purge: Anarchy” and “The Purge: Election Year” are all available to rent on digital platforms. “The Purge” TV series is available on Hulu and Peacock.

“Black Widow” is finally in theaters on July 9, and if you want to be a diligent MCU devotee, rewatch most of the relevant Marvel movies on Disney+.

You may want to refresh your knowledge of the horror flick “Escape Room,” rentable on Amazon/iTunes/YouTube, before the sequel “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” opens on July 16. Also in theaters that weekend: “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” Take a trip back to childhood via the original “Space Jam” on HBO Max.

On July 23, Henry Golding dons the Snake Eyes helmet in “Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins.” Check out Snake Eyes’ previous work (as played by Ray Park) in “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” (on Netflix) and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (available to rent on all platforms).

Aug. 6 brings James Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad,” so get in the mood with “Suicide Squad” on HBO Max, if you dare.

On Aug. 13, “Don’t Breathe 2” hits theaters, so check out the inventive sound-based 2016 horror flick “Don’t Breathe,” available to rent on all platforms.

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