Friday, July 1, 2016

Coming Soon: July 2016

Welcome back to another Coming Soon post! June was certainly kind of dull wasn't it? Let's review before we hop into what's hopefully a more exciting July. Fair warning: due to the fact that I was in the middle of making my first real estate purchase and moving, I was unable to make it to many of the films that landed this month. Apologies in advance...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: By most accounts it was a vastly improved sequel that resulted in an enjoyable, but forgettable film. Good to hear they're on the right track with these films though. 
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping: Far, far better than the trailers would indicate, this Lonely Island was funny, jabbing look at the life of current egomaniac musicians. It's jokes were consistently on point, the new Lonely Island songs were great, and there was a decent amount of heart to boot. Shame it totally bombed at the box office. RRS: 8/10
The Conjuring 2: Despite what some critics may have you believe, this was a sequel that was just as good as the original, and, at least for this critic, even scarier. It's a very well made horror film who's only fault is that it goes on a little too long. RRS: 8.5/10
Now You See Me 2: Seemed to be a very forgettable sequel that didn't perform all that well at the box office. Surprising given how many adored the first film, but I'm not all that torn up that we most likely won't be getting a third...
Warcraft: Ouch. I intended to see this just for the sake of seeing if it really was that bad, but got in the way. Apparently its narrative was a mess and not all that special from a fantasy standpoint. The fact that it's the top grossing videogame movie ever isn't all that proud of a crown to bear.
Central Intelligence: I was a tad disappointed by this one, but it really was exactly what it advertised: a shallow, but somewhat fun time with Kevin Hart and Dwayne The Rock Johnson. Not bad by any means, but it has some tough comedy competition this year and in that regard, it won't be remembered by the end of the summer. RRS: 7/10
Finding Dory: Unfortunately it wasn't nearly as classic as the first, but that would have been a really tall order. Instead, Pixar gives us a very competent, worthwhile, fun, funny, and touching sequel that's definitely worth your time even if it doesn't crack into their all-time greats. RRS: 8.5/10
Free State of Jones: Man oh man, what a surprise here. Turns out that the Civil War historical film was overlong and uninteresting, resulting in a bomb both critically and commercially. 
Independence Day: Resurgence: The more time I let pass from my viewing of this film, the more and more I hate it. After all this time, this is the best we could come up with? What's even more frustrating is the "original" superior idea that's floated around throughout the film, but annoyingly saved until the sequel...if we ever get one. RRS: 5.5/10
The Shallows: I'm very bummed that I didn't make it to this one because of the stellar/good reviews it got. It seems like a highly effective little thriller that did pretty well in a weekend with a major sequel and big name star historical film. I'll be trying to catch it ASAP once it hits home video

Most Disappointing: Independence Day: Resurgence
Most Surprising: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Worst Movie: Independence Day: Resurgence
Best Movie: Finding Dory (followed closely by The Conjuring 2)

July has some *fingers crossed* awesome films as well as a few that could go either way. Remember to click the titles for the trailers! Also, I've changed the reason descriptions for each film to "For It" and "Against It" mainly because it saves me typing time and offers the same description ;-)

For It: It's a Steven Spielberg directed film with the creative talent that was behind ET so many years ago. Early reviews indicate that it's a magical ride through a classic children's novel.
Against It: Not much to be honest. It may not be as iconic as some of his other films but that shouldn't diminish what is likely a very well made film
For It: This one could really go either way. The cast is strong and there is certainly some weight to the Tarzan story from a plot perspective. There also look to be some really well choreographed fight scenes.
Against It: There isn't much buzz surrounding it, indicating that it may come and go without much aplomb. Also, some of the special effects look dodgy and I question how they're going to make this special now that we've heard this story so many times before. 

For It: Rounding out the busy first weekend of July is the third Purge film of which I must admit I kinda sorta like this series as a guilty pleasure. They certainly have a lot to work with this year as the crazy Presidential election continues so it will be interesting to see if it can leave its B-movie roots behind a bit and make some biting commentary.
Against It: Likely it won't do that and will still be a very average action/horror romp about a premise that begs to be explored by a smarter creative team.

For It: The initial trailers have been hilarious and very similar soooooo I'm hoping this is one of those comedies where they're saving the best parts for later while making sure they get butts in the door.
Against It: It could just flat-out not be funny. I really want to hope that's not the case, but with frequently similar trailers that's sometimes the death nail. Holding out hope though as 2016 has been great for comedy thus far.

For It: The initial trailers are again fantastic and I think there is a ton of potential here.
Against It: The newest trailers I've seen, which include more of the plot, makes this look much more generic than I first anticipated. In a year where we already got the stellar Zootopia (best animated film of the year thus far, BTW) this will have a hard time competing.

For It: In a strange turn of events, Bryan Cranston plays and undercover FBI agent trying to take down a drug cartel. Given his acting prowess, you know you'll AT LEAST get a great performance from him.
Against It: Something about the quality of the trailers makes this seem like a cheesy TV movie to me. It feels like it can't decide if it wants to be a Breaking Bad-esque drama or a more action-oriented thriller.

For It: Man oh man has this film gotten a lot of unnecessary and frankly sexist flak. Given Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy's resume, I think this will at least be worth a couple laughs and the addition of some other SNL alum members ensures that.
Against It: I'm not all that excited for it. NOT because it's an all female cast (that thought literally never crossed my mind and shame on you if it did), but more so because these first trailers haven't been all that great/funny. I go based on what I've seen and so far what I've seen is fair to partly cloudy.

Lights Out -- July 22nd
For It: Features some really, really creepy trailers and there's potential for it to be a intense little horror film. I think the premise is fascinating and there's room for potential.
Against It: The usual when it comes to horror films. Thinly drawn characters, stupid characters, lame scares, overly violent third acts, poor craftsmanship, etc.

Star Trek Beyond -- July 22nd
For It: After an abysmal first trailer, the newer ones have been reminding me how much I loved the first two films in this series. This is a great take on the storied franchise with a great cast to boot. I have full confidence that Justin Lin can take over for JJ Abrams.
Against It: Honestly? Not much. I think this was just a case of a really bad first trailer with some poor creative decisions. My bold prediction is that this is the surprise audience hit/favorite of the summer.

For It: Clearly some counter-programming for the other film coming out this weekend, Bad Moms still looks like a fun time. If they can achieve some good, thoughtful characterization, this could be the next Bridesmaids but for mothers.
Against It: From the trailers it feels like it's trying to be crude just for crude's sake and that rarely results in solid, lasting humor. This is a great cast. Hopefully the writers don't waste it.

For It: Shortly and aptly titled, this is the "big" one for July. It sees the return of series regular Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass after the lame previous "Bourne" film spin-off thingy. This looks intense, edgy, and violent. Just like we want to see.
Against It: Another film where I'm going to say "not much". Damon and Greengrass were pretty much 3 for 3 with their previous trilogy and my only major concern is that I hope they got a handle on the shaky cam this time as that was a persistently annoying issue in the original trilogy.

Must See (in order): Jason Bourne, Star Trek Beyond, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
On My Radar: The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, The Purge: Election Year, The Secret Life of Pets, The Infiltrator, Ghostbusters, Lights Out
Predicted Duds: Bad Moms

Only one more month and then the summer is a wrap! See you next month for August! As always, I'd be really appreciative if you came and followed me through Blogger at RATH'S REVIEWS and like me on Facebook HERE! I follow-for-follow 100%. Thanks again!!


  1. Very excited for Star Trek Beyond! I always had confidence in it just because Simon Pegg helped write it. :P And I like how this one seems to be more space-oriented and small-scale, leaving earth out of it. I'm also very interested in Jason Bourne. There really does seem to be nothing that could go wrong there.

    1. Agree Sarah. I really hope that both of those can somewhat "save" the summer!

  2. "overly violent third acts" - Care to list any examples?

    1. Almost any horror movie ever? Despite how much I liked Conjuring 2 and It Follows, both of them have overly violent 3rd acts where the action ramps up considerably.

      Insidious films come to mind as well.

    2. Also to clarify...overly violent doesnt mean "Oh that's too violent, I didn't like that" but more so third acts that ditch the film's continued creepy/slow burn tone for a much more fast paced one.

  3. I'm not gonna lie... I really enjoyed Independence Day. Not the best movie ever, by any means, but I found it quite enjoyable.

    I am so so so so excited about Star Trek.

    1. Glad someone enjoyed it! I feel like I overrated it with the score I did already :-(

  4. I loved Indpendance Day, as a movie better than the orginal. Purge Election Day was the worst of the three, entertaining nothing more. Last good movie I saw Eye in the Sky


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