2017 has been a strange year. Much like 2016, the first four months featured fascinating films filled with excellence. Meanwhile May and June have provided a marginal decrease in overall quality minus a few exceptions. Sure, for some that is the Summer Blockbuster Season every year, but I believe there have been much better years in recent memory (2008 and 2012 come to mind).
I know it takes until November or even December to know what kind of year it was for film, but at the halfway point it feels rather average. Coming into July, we are at peak saturation of summer blockbusters. Will it turn for the better? What am I interested in for this month? Let’s find out.
July 7th 2017
Genre: Action/Adventure, Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Superhero)
Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zoe Kravitz
Yet another Spider-Man film. Though this is Tom Holland’s first “solo” movie, Spider-Man has been done over and over again (this is film 6 in 15 years.) While the film looks good and I can always go for more Iron Man (Because one day Robert Downey Jr. will one day stop and I’ll be sad). Spider-Man is getting tired, I’m sick of seeing him in high school. Let him at least go to college. Though I have to say that Michael Keaton as The Vulture looks pretty sweet as well. (Early reviews seem mixed which is not really a surprise given Marvel’s weakness for mediocre villains.) There is enough here to make it another Marvel hit, but I think it is on a slippery slope. Logan was awesome, Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 was good, and Wonder Woman stunning. Can this keep the quality trend going or will it be the weak spot in this year?
July 14th, 2017 (Happy birthday to me!)
War of the Planet of the Apes
Genre: Science Fiction, Drama, Action, Adventure
Director: Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes/Cloverfield)
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Andy Serkis, Steve Zahn, Judy Greer,
I accepted the Rise of the Planet of the Apes for being an average movie with some upside. I loved Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) far more than I expected. I’m deeply interested in War for the Planet of the Apes. It seems like a well-directed, well-acted, philosophical thrill ride of a film and it comes out on my birthday. Sold!
July 21st, 2017
Genre: Drama, War, History
Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles (Wait? Who? What? Why? Okay then- let’s see that.)
Another Christopher Nolan film. So you know the visuals are going to be worthy of an Oscar. Along with the musical score, much of the acting, and overall script. Basically, all the little things that need to go right to make a movie a work of art. They will be in this film, but the question is whether the story and its characters will resonate with a large enough crowd (Beyond the Nolanites.) While I think this film looks fantastic, there is little about it that pulls me to seeing it in theaters.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets– It looks absolutely beautiful. Yet I am not sold on this being a great movie. It has the glitter down right, but the humor seems off. The characters appear smug and irritating and I have only watched the trailer. I hope it is memorizing, but I need more than epic visual style to win me over.
Girls Trip– they keep trying to make the female version of The Hangover. (It was Bridesmaids (2011) and it was quite enjoyable!) Another attempt at girls gone wild gone bad.
July 28th, 2017
The Emoji Movie– I don’t know who to blame for this one. Lego Movie? Apple? Inside Out? Whoever it was, please stop. Don’t waste movie time and money on mediocre at best stuff. It is possible this movie will be good. Improbable, but still in the realm of possibility. On the chance that this movie doesn’t suck. I will eat these words and review it for you all.
Atomic Blonde– I love a strong female character. Independent and badass. However, it is starting to all gel together. Imperator Furiosa of Mad Max: Fury Road was incredible. Wonder Woman was again stunning. Atomic Blonde looks good from an aesthetic point of view, but it also looks familiar. The trailers certainly don’t look awful, but have failed to so far to give me a reason this movie would stand out. Theron and McAvoy could be awesome together. Curious to see how this one plays out. It is okay to be a badass independent woman, but you don’t have to come out looking an acting like all the others I’ve seen.
What films are you looking forward to in July of 2017 and why?