Hey, hey, hey! Hope everyone has been enjoying their summer so far. Unfortunately from a film perspective, it's been a bit of a downer. Nothing has come close to the dizzying highs of Civil War, but let's recap regardless before we dive into the final month of the season.
The BFG: Color me surprised but man did this one bomb hard for a Spielberg film. Reviews were mostly positive as were audience reactions but it seems that most couldn't make time in their busy schedules for it.
The Legend of Tarzan: It did "well" financially and audiences/critics seemed to kind of sort of like it. All in all it seems like it had enough to offer (action) but still came up far short of greatness (script/characters).
The Purge: Election Year: I'm a sucker for The Purge films mainly because I want to see if one ever fully grasps and explores the concept at its core. Election Year is the closest (and best) one yet. It had scenes of brilliance, was stupid in some moments, and is another step in the right direction for this continuously improving franchise. RRS: 7/10
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: I loved this film, probably even more so than my score indicates. I was laughing consistently at the raunchy, filth and there were few jokes in my eyes that fell flat. Add in a superb cast and this was another great comedy notch in 2016...just one that I disagreed with most critics about: RRS: 8/10
The Secret Life of Pets: Unfortunately life was poorly timed for this film. I had to put one of my childhood dogs down the same weekend that this film about pets came out and I just couldn't really bring myself to find the motivation to get out to see it. That said, I've heard most audiences liked it, though not as much as they thought they would.
The Infiltrator: This is a mediocre/good movie elevated by none other than Bryan Cranston. He gives a stellar performance, it's just a shame that the film around him couldn't match in quality because we would have had a gem on our hands. RRS: 7.5/10Ghostbusters: Not nearly as bad as the internet trolls would have you believe. It's problems are with the 50% hit rate of jokes and editing. The all female cast is the single best thing about it and I sincerely hope they consider the R-rated route next time around. RRS: 7/10
Lights Out: I'm most bummed about missing this one because many critics I trust say its a short, sweet, and effective scare fest. It looked intense and I may have to catch it sometime down the line.
Star Trek Beyond: I'm a big fan of Into Darkness (seems like the only one sometimes) and this installment didn't do much for me. It was fun, sure, but it felt like complete filler -- there were no stakes or danger, despite what the film would have you believe. I like my sci-fi films with some heft, and this was mostly just shallow fun. RRS: 7.5/10
Jason Bourne: Better than the critics would have you believe, but still not as great as that original trilogy. That's mainly because its story doesn't add much to the overall Bourne mythology. RRS 7.5/10
Bad Moms: Not the dud I predicted it would be, but not reaching greatness either. Most critics and fans agreed this was funny, but this year has certainly seen better and this film could have been a whole lot more.
Most Disappointing: Star Trek Beyond
Most Surprising: The Purge: Election Year
Worst Movie: None this month it should seem...just a lot of average
Best Movie: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
As always, please click the movie titles for the trailer. Let's check out August!!
For It: It has some of the best trailers since Fury Road and Godzilla and they have me super pumped. This looks like an expertly cast film that's far more fun than we've seen any other DC film have. The appeal of a spot-on Harley Quinn and a new Joker are too good to pass up.
Against It: DC has been struggling, no doubt about it. BvS left many disappointed, including myself, so we're now turning to Suicide Squad to "save the day". I think that this one will only be limited by how much fun it's allowed to have. If they take the Snyder approach and it comes across super serious, it will likely be another dull entry. But keep in mind that this is the first non-Snyder-directed film of the DCEU.
For It: A strong cast and a classic story are never a bad start and the fact that this is just another Disney classic getting the live-action treatment means that it will certainly make a lot of money.Against It:I was never particularly into this story as a kid and the trailers didn't do much to convince me otherwise. For me, it seems to lack the magic of true Disney classics and the initial trailer felt like it was going through the motions of recreating a classic animated film.
For It: Its premise, plain and simple. The early trailers have been hilarious and there is so much potential for comedy gold here that it has me very excited. The great voice cast doesn't hurt either.Against It: It's all about the jokes. Knowing who's involved, I'd be sorely disappointed if this turned into another stoner-romp, but I have faith that this will be a lot more like This is the End (fantastic) than Pineapple Express (merely OK).
For It: Early reviews from festivals are super strong and it looks like a tight, well organized thriller with a superb cast.Against It: The stakes seem small. What will it do to make us really care? This is where the performances and the script hopefully shine.
For It: Ummmm....the chariot races? They look pretty cool I suppose.Against It: Color me surprised if this one ends up being anymore than a critical and commercial bomb. Other than Morgan Freeman, it seems to have no redeeming qualities, is full of no-name actors, and attempts to remake one of Hollywood's largest tentpole films into a likely very forgettable remake.
For It: Its based on a true story, the initial trailers are great, and Miles Teller and Jonah Hill seem like a great duo. This could be a late surprise of the summer and a really well orchestrated comedy/thriller.Against It: It will need to work on the balance between life-and-death seriousness and humor. Also, Todd Phillips (director of Hangover trilogy) needs to bring a lot more of the talent he had in the first film (and part of the second), and leave at home whatever he brought to the third film.
For It: Jason Statham beat-em-up movies always have room for potential and the fact that this is an R-rated one leads me to believe there could be some cool fight scenes.Against It: Was The Mechanic a movie that deserved a sequel? How many years ago was that? The fact that I don't know the answers to these questions off the top of my head makes me realize how forgettable that film was.
Must See (in order): Suicide Squad, Sausage Party, War Dogs
On My Radar: Pete's Dragon, Hell or High Water, Mechanic: Resurrection
Predicted Duds: Ben Hur
And there's our summer! See you next month as we approach Oscar season. 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!!