2017 Summer Movie Preview: August

This is it! It’s officially August, which means the summer movie season is about to come to a close. This also means this is the last time I’ll talk about what has yet to come out during the summer until next year. Unsurprisingly, this has been a pretty decent summer for movies. I might not have seen every single one of them, but there have been some fantastic ones (War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk), some bad ones (The Mummy, Okja), and ones I’m glad I skipped. Without further ado, let’s talk about the movies that are coming out in the slowest month of the summer.

August 4

dark_tower_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

The Dark Tower – Based on a fantasy series by the marvelous Stephen King, this movie stars two talented actors—Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey. Elba’s Gunslinger must prevent McConaughey’s Man in Black from the Dark Tower, hoping to save mankind. This has been in the works for a while. J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard considered to direct the continuation of King’s series before Nikolaj Arcel (writer and director of The Royal Affair, and writer of the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) took over. This might be okay if it was much longer than 95 minutes, so—the audience can discover the world Stephen King created. I’m skeptical with this one.

detroit_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Detroit – Kathryn Bigelow has come a long way from directing the awesome 1990s action film Point Break. Now—she joins the likes of Paul Greengrass and Peter Berg with work on the gritty realism of the Iraq war in The Hurt Locker. She beat her ex-husband James Cameron for winning Best Picture and becoming the first woman to win Best Director. Bigelow continues her route with Zero Dark Thirty, the true story of the NAVY seals killing Osama bin Laden. With Detroit, she—along with writer Mark Boal—depict the miserable riots of the city that happened fifty years ago. From the looks of this, I see some powerful stuff. Will this be an Oscar contender? I’ll just have to wait and see.

kidnap_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Kidnap – Halle Berry’s career has gone downhill after Oscar win for Monster’s Ball. Not to my surprise, this looks like a generic action thriller about a mother trying to save her son from getting kidnapped. I wouldn’t be surprised if this hardly makes any money at all. Moving right along.

wind_river_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Wind River –Taylor Sheridan has crafted one of the best screenplays of last year with Hell or High Water. It features sheer intensity and characters with a razor-sharp wit. Wind River is his directorial debut; receiving positive reception at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star as two agents investigating a murder of a Native-American girl in the most remote area in the United States—Wyoming’s Wind River Indian Reservation. Co-starring Gil Birmingham (who also starred in Hell or High Water and—yes—as Jacob’s father from the Twilight saga), I cannot wait for some end-of-summer thrills.

August 11

annabelle_creation_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Annabelle: Creation – The popular Conjuring franchise opened up with an eerie scene where two girls are being interviewed about their Annabelle doll being possessed by a spirit. Following a terrible prequel/spin-off featuring the ventriloquist doll and a fantastic sequel to The Conjuring, Lights Out director David F. Sandberg brings the audience back how Annabelle actually came to be. This is the Annabelle spinoff everyone might be asking for! None of that cheap crap! Just pure atmosphere!

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Source: IMP Awards

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature – I haven’t seen the first film, and have no interest in seeing that or the sequel. Next!

glass_castle_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

The Glass Castle – Brie Larson is becoming one of the best actresses working today. From winning an Oscar for the emotionally powerful Room, letting bullets fly in Free Fire, and about to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain Marvel, is there anything she can’t do? Star in another (seemingly) powerful indie drama, alongside Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson, based on the bestselling memoir of Jeannette Walls, growing up with three other siblings in and out of poverty.

only_living_boy_in_new_york_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

The Only Living Boy in New York – While this might have a great cast (Jeff Bridges, Kate Beckinsale, Cynthia Nixon, and Pierce Brosnan) and a talented filmmaker (Marc Webb) attached to it, but I felt absolutely nothing watching the trailer. It might go the same route as this year’s Gifted. Pretentious and manipulative. I’m skipping this one.

trip_to_spain_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

The Trip to Spain – Following The Trip and The Trip to Italy, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back for yet another hilarious trek through Spain. While I haven’t seen the other two films, the trailer for this one made me laugh quite a bit. I might give these films a shot.

August 18

hitmans_bodyguard_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – How can one not love Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson? Even if they star in an action-comedy together? Being in the middle of car chases and shootouts as they defeat a dictator, played by no other than Gary Oldman? I’m hoping this will be a good laugh-out-loud, shoot-‘em-up thrill ride.

logan_lucky_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Logan Lucky – Steven Soderbergh is back in the director’s chair four years after Side Effects and Behind the Candelabra. He has brought back his roots of Ocean’s Eleven in this heist movie about two brothers pulling a heist during a NASCAR race in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has a talented cast including Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Seth MacFarlane, and Daniel Craig. While he’s no 007, it looks like Craig is having a blast here, along with his cast-mates. Definitely looking forward to this one!

patti_cakes_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Patti Cake$ – This…looks…like it would be pretty good. I’m not the biggest fan of rap music, but I do enjoy movies having to do with rap music, such as 8 Mile and Straight Outta Compton. I have vaguely heard of it when it premiered at Sundance. This seems to be another movie about chasing one’s dreams, a theme in which I have come to admire during the past year. So—I’m in for Patti Cake$.

August 25

tulip_fever_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Tulip Fever – This movie been pushed back from July 15 of last year to the last week of August. I was interested in seeing it, due to the brilliant cast including Academy-Award winners Alicia Vikander and Christoph Waltz. But now—I couldn’t care less. It just looks so dull and barely any flavor.

bushwick_impawards

Source: IMP Awards

Bushwick – Another film coming straight from Sundance. The awesome Dave Bautista stars in this futuristic tale as a war veteran joining sides with a Brooklyn resident (Brittany Snow, Hairspray and Pitch Perfect) to take down militia units. Why? Because Texas to secede from the Union and claim New York City as a negotiation tool. While the concept is intriguing enough and it looks intense, but it looks standard—more or less.

Recap:

Most Anticipated: Annabelle: Creation, Detroit, The Glass Castle, Logan Lucky, Wind River

Least Anticipated: All Saints, Kidnap, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, The Only Living Boy in New York, Tulip Fever

I hope enjoyed reading my thoughts on what has yet to come out in the month of August. Please feel free to leave a comment on what your most anticipated movies for this month are. I appreciate each and every one of you reading my thoughts on the biggest summer blockbusters as well as some independent films. I’ll definitely do this next year. Stay tuned for that, as well as other content on this blog.

 

2016 Summer Movie Preview: July

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.

July 1

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

July 8

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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.

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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

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.

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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.

July 15

infiltrator

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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Equals – A future where everyone is forbidden from using any emotions at all? It doesn’t sound like my kind of movie.

July 22

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

July 29

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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.

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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

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

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!

Recap:

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.