July was another average month of movies with a couple of exceptions. Will this bland summer continue or can August spice things up? Also, I called 2015 the year of the movie. That year shattered box-office records all over the place. This year has had a few, but nothing like 2015. It is clear that 2016 isn’t the year of the movie, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the year can’t have some amazing movies. I’m counting on it. (After all, Oscar bait movies come out often in September-November.)
Genre:Action, Adventure, Crime (Superhero)
Director: David Ayer (End of Watch/Fury)
Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis,Common
This is the movie that everyone is talking about. It is perhaps the second most anticipated film of the summer (behinds Captain America: Civil War). Many people who hated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice are hoping this film brings the DC movie universe into its own. I enjoyed BvS:DOJ (It’s a long name), but I’m far more excited for this film. It is directed by someone I trust (David Ayers), uses a talented cast (Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis) and has a lot of interesting characters. The most interesting will be this interpretation of The Joker by Leto and how Batman (Affleck) is involved. My theory and it may very well be debunked (even as I speak), but I think the real villain is someone much less personal. The Joker is a wildcard in this film, he wants Harley Quinn and will do whatever is needed to require her. Meanwhile Batman is trying to rescue her from his evil “spell” as it were.This movie looks like fun and I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
Nine Lives- Honestly, I don’t think this will be a very good film. However, it is Kevin Spacey playing a businessman turned into a cat. It also features Christopher Walken. There is enough weirdness in this movie that you could appreciate moments in it.
Little Men (Indie film)
Genre: Drama, Family
Director: Ira Sachs
Starring: Greg Kinnear
I talk a lot of blockbusters and marquee names. However, the very soul of film making resides in independent film. They often have the most heart, the most down to earth settings. Often displaying some of the most fragile, tragic, and beautiful things about real life. This movie may wind up too schmaltzy for its own good, but I still see value in it. Something that can teach and inspire us to view the world with refreshed eyes.
Check out the trailer and decide for yourself if you want to see it.
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Karl Urban
A lot of childrens’ films coming out. This is a remake that I question if anyone really asked for. If I wanted to see a boy and his dragon, I’ll stick to How to Train Your Dragon and it’s sequel. (Which likely was inspired by this story.) This is another family film which has already been a decent film, but animated. This film looks interesting, but hard to say if it will be good or not. The dragon looks questionable to me as far as CGI goes. I’m sure it has a beautiful friendship, but sometimes a movie needs more than that. Will this? I certainly can hope so. It has been a decent to good year for younger audiences. Just wish it was that way for the rest of us.I’m rooting on this movie to be something special. Eventually, it will happen.
Florence Foster Jenkins (Did you yawn when saying that title too?)
Genre: Biographical, Comedy, Drama
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant
The story of a heiress in New York City who isn’t a great singer, but she dreams of being part of an opera. Based on true events.It has Meryl Streep in it and so you know at least part of it is going to be good. Streep aside, I don’t know what else to look forward to about the film. Early feedback gives it a 7.1 of 1,800 ratings on IMDB, not too shabby.
Genre: Comedy, Animated,
Starring: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, James Franco, Michael Cera, Salma Hayek
This movie is different. An animated film purely made for adult viewing. It is disturbing and unique. While I enjoy most of Seth Rogen’s recent work. This one may not be one for me. I strongly urge you to check out the trailer to see if you are into this one. If the trailer looks amazing, you are likely going to enjoy it. If it’s too weird for you, pass on it and wait for his next.
This trailer is rated R. So you have been warned!
Hell or High Water
Genre: Crime Drama
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine
Does the end justify the means? Two men go on a bank robbing spree in the south. Meanwhile, an old detective aims to track them down.
I think this movie has the potential to be an awesome crime drama. Maybe the best of 2016 that I can think of. Jeff Bridges hasn’t always nailed it when it comes to his cowboy roles of late. (Awesome in True Girt (2009) though.) I’d be very curious to see how this film turns out. I hope I get a chance to see it.
Edge of Winter
Starring: Tom Holland, Joel Kinnaman
Two young men get caught in the wilderness with their unpredictable father during a harsh winter.
A good cast and an interesting premise. It looks gritty, violent and disturbing. Gives me the feel that Prisoners (2013) did and also Nightcrawler (2014). If you like those movies, I think you will enjoy this one as well.
Kubo and the Two Strings
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, George Takei,
Perhaps my most anticipated animated film of 2016. It is created by Laika who also made Coraline, Paranorman, and the Boxtrolls, three films I enjoy to various degrees. This looks great with a wonderful cast of voices. It reminds of an Americanized Miyazaki film and I mean that as a lofty compliment. Early suggestions are saying this film is good stuff.
Ben Hur– Am I the only one that thinks Ben Hur looks horrific? A classic movie that has been remade with all of the blandness of cinema. Sure, it could be good and I won’t crush it before I see it. However, It’s not on my watch-list anytime soon. Ben Hur once felt like a unique movie experience, the trailers make this one feel very average. That is bad news for a remake of a LEGENDARY CLASSIC of film.
War Dogs– The trailers didn’t make me laugh at all. Then again, Jonah Hill has never won me over as a comedian. Most of his films I don’t find funny unless he plays a smaller role. This film also feels in bad taste. Promoting weapon trafficking to potentially hostile militants in the Middle East. This film may be funnier for other people, but not for me.
Maybe I’m just old or not into this comedy style
The Hollars– Another indie comedy film with a good cast, but a depressing situation. Is it just me, or are many indie comedies more sad than humorous? I think a good comedy can offer some heart and some somber moments, but ultimately it should have people feeling good. I’m not so certain this film will deliver on that.I hope it does.
Mechanic: Resurrection– Another franchise that needs to stop. I get why people in the movie business like a franchise. It is safer and often more lucrative especially when they are good. I can accept a few of them, but not every single movie needs to be part of a greater universe. That takes away from the beauty and originality of the original.
This year kind of feels like a bust in many ways. The big summer movies more than not didn’t produce and with the exception of a couple of films. I’m not looking forward to much beyond August.
I sure hope this month proves exciting and surprisingly good. It would a welcome change from what I’ve seen since the start of June.The movie calendar is changing tone from summer film to Oscar time. You can see it clearly with the movies coming out in August. (Though watch Suicide Squad even if great not even get a nomination)