The Fourth of July is almost here (I have yet to see the new Independence Day sequel, despite the negative reception). Anyhow, I forgot to give my thoughts on two movies that came out last month–Genius, starring Jude Law as Thomas Wolfe and Colin Firth as his editor Max Perkins. I have heard some not-so-good reception. With them leading a great cast, however, it seems something I would like to see. The other is Hunting for the Wilderpeople, which premiered at this year’s Sundance with positive feedback. Nothing much too say but…it looks funny as hell.
July seems to be a month of reboots, sequels, and book adaptations. Unfortunately, there is not much to look forward to. Here are my thoughts on what has yet to come out.
The BFG – I think I’m in for a treat right here! Steven Spielberg is back to direct a family film after 25 years. Reuniting with the writer and producer of E.T.—the recently deceased Melissa Matheson and Frank Marshall—they bring Roald Dahl’s beloved 1982 novel to pure life. It follows a girl carried away by a giant to a world unlike she has ever seen before. To her surprise, he happens to be a Big Friendly Giant (hence the title). Fresh from winning an Oscar for his brilliant turn in Bridge of Spies, Mark Rylance plays the title character through motion capture. He is nothing short of perfect!
The Legend of Tarzan – Everyone has heard of Tarzan; from the films starring Johnny Weissmuller to the 1999 Disney animated classic (which I’m a big fan of). Alexander Skarsgård is the first Tarzan to wear cargo shorts instead of his trademark “special underwear”. He leads a stellar cast including Margot Robbie as Jane, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz. Directed by David Yates (director of the final four Harry Potter films and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), this seems to be more than just another origin story. Even though it hasn’t been getting good reception so far, it might be fun.
The Purge: Election Year – Seriously!? Another one!? Of course, having avoided the previous two films (the first one starring Ethan Hawke), I’m going to avoid this film. Same goes with the future ones—if they are made.
Our Kind of Traitor – A couple vacationing in Morocco soon go head-to-head between the Russian mafia and the British Secret Service when asked to give evidence about an MI6 agent. This sounds like your standard thriller. It’s hard not to appreciate the cast—Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris (Moneypenny!), Stellan Skarsgård, Damien Lewis. Then again, it relies on dialogue than action to carry through the thrills.
The Secret Life of Pets – I guarantee this will make a lot of money, receive positive reception from critics and audiences alike, and become one of the most popular non-PIXAR animated movies of all-time. To me, I don’t care.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – Zac Efron cannot catch a break. Can he? After the catastrophic nightmare known as Dirty Grandpa, he reunites with co-star Aubrey Plaza to star in another seemingly unfunny comedy centering two immature brothers finding dates to their sister’s wedding in Hawaii. How about using the money to take an actual vacation in Hawaii? Also, what the hell was Anna Kendrick thinking while she signed up to do a movie like this? Every time I see the previews, the pain ensues.
Cell – John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson are back for another Stephen King adaptation, nine years after the underrated psychological horror film 1408. This time, they are saving the world from zombies caused from the viruses on people’s phones. I have heard nothing but horrible reception. Given that Stephen King was dropped out of completing the screenplay, it shows how awful this looks.
Captain Fantastic – Ah…this is more like it! Known for starring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and two masterful films by David Cronenberg—A History of Violence and Eastern Promises—Viggo Mortensen stars as a father of six children about to learn the responsibilities of parenting in the seemingly eccentric yet delightful Captain Fantastic. Shown at both Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals with warm reception, this looks something to behold.
The Infiltrator (opens July 13) – From a loving father to a meth lab creator to a controversial screenwriter, Bryan Cranston can do no wrong. It looks he’s going to continue his streak in The Infiltrator, following a narcotics officer dealing with a money laundering scheme involving Pablo Escobar. This looks like one tense crime story.
Ghostbusters – After years of rumors of a Ghostbusters III, Hollywood decided to reboot one of the greatest films from the 1980s with an all-female cast. It consists of Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. Along with Chris Hemsworth, they all appeared on Saturday Night Live. It looks nothing but a disgrace to the original film. This quote, said by Jones’ character Patty Tolan, sums up how I feel about this movie: “I don’t know if it was a race thing or a lady thing, but I’m mad as hell.”
Tulip Fever – Alicia Vikander had a great year last year. Ex Machina, Testament of Youth, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and The Danish Girl—in which she a well-deserved Oscar for. She’s becoming one of my favorite actresses, not to mention going to star as Lara Croft, the upcoming The Light Between Oceans, and one upcoming summer release I’ll talk about later. I honestly don’t know how I feel about the latest costume drama Tulip Fever. I have to admit the cast is superb—Christoph Waltz, Judi Dench, Dane DeHaan, and Zach Galafianakis (pretty odd, if I say so myself). A part of me thinks this will be complete trash, while another part say this might turn out as fantastic.
Café Society – Continuing his streak of making one movie every year, Woody Allen goes back in time once again. This time, this is the 1930s in Hollywood where dreams may come true during the Great Depression. After the disappointing Irrational Man, Café Society looks like a pure delight and a breath of fresh air for Allen. It brings back the nostalgia, beauty and charm that made me love Midnight in Paris so much. Not to mention the fantastic cast—Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell, Blake Lively. It’s time for another great Woody Allen picture.
Equals – A future where everyone is forbidden from using any emotions at all? It doesn’t sound like my kind of movie.
Star Trek Beyond – I was introduced to the world of Star Trek with the 2009 film directed by J.J. Abrams. It blew me away, both from a narrative and a visual standpoint. I didn’t have to watch the original show in order to get what’s going on (I will, one of these days; don’t worry). Despite its flaws, Star Trek into Darkness is a worthy sequel. And that was where my admiration for Benedict Cumberbatch began. With Justin Lin now taking Abrams’ place as director, Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew return to boldly go where no man has gone before. I’m ready.
Ice Age: Collision Course – How many of these movies are there? The only great Ice Age movie is the first one. Do we really need another one?
Lights Out – Mostly everyone is afraid of the dark. In the new horror film Lights Out, it’s about an entity only shows up when the lights go out which leads to a connection to a family. Originally a short film, writer/director David F. Sandberg and producer James Wan (who directed two of the best horror films of the decade—The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2) expand this genuinely creepy into a feature-length film. Be prepared to be leaving your lights on after the movie.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie – This looks far from fabulous. I have no knowledge of the television show. What I’ve seen from the trailer made me cringe. Nothing else to say but just downright embarrassing.
Don’t Think Twice – Keegan-Michael Key is one of the best comedians working today. Being in the sketch series Key and Peele and recently in one of the funniest movies of the year Keanu, this looks like a poignant and funny film set in NYC about pursuing one’s dreams. I’m looking forward to this one.
Nerve (opens July 27) – I’m not a big fan of Emma Roberts or Dave Franco. The concept is intriguing enough; a reality video game of “truth or dare” takes a turn for the worst. Based on a book by Jeanne Ryan, Nerve looks like another standard thriller aimed towards teenagers. The attempts at humor and suspense feel a bit forced.
Jason Bourne – He’s back! HE’S BACK! It has been almost ten years since Jason Bourne has disappeared without a trace. Now, he wakes up remembering everything from his past. Or does he? Paul Greengrass returns to the director’s chair and, of course, Matt Damon returns as the spy. Joining him are Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, and Julia Stiles reprising her role of Nicky Parsons. It’s rare for a summer blockbuster to feature more practical effects than CGI, which is what Greengrass is known for. As well as the handheld camera work.
Bad Moms – Three solid actresses—Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Christina Applegate––cannot seem to save, what it looks like to be, an unfunny comedy. The trailer was one of the worst I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m skipping it for sure.
Indignation – Logan Lerman has a long career ahead of him. Ever since his solid performance in Hoot, he has made a big name of himself in breakthrough roles such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Fury. In Indignation, another Sundance hit, Lerman plays a Jewish boy from New Jersey going to college in Ohio falling in love with his classmate in 1951. While clashing with the Dean, it puts him and his relationship to the test. I adore the old-fashioned feel of this movie. And the emotional tension seems unbearable. I cannot wait!
Most Anticipated: The BFG, Café Society, Captain Fantastic, Indignation, Jason Bourne
Least Anticipated: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Bad Moms, Cell, Equals, Ghostbusters, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Purge: Election Year
I hope you all enjoyed what my thoughts on upcoming movies for July are. Please feel free to leave comments on what you are looking forward to this July. Stay tuned at the end of this month as I give my thoughts on what has yet to come in the month of August. Take care.