My my my this summer and especially August have been mighty interesting. I've now started the worldwide trending hashtag #SummerofBummers that extends from the last week in May through the first week of August to express my disappointment with *most* of what Hollywood spewed (trust me, I wanted to use a much worse word there) out. Maybe Civil War was just so good that everything else suffered because of it? ;-)
Anyway, let's take a look at the final month of the #SummerofBummers that was 2016.
Suicide Squad: I was angry. I still am. There is no way that a film with this much talent and that exciting of trailers should have been this bad. Yes, there are moments of greatness in there. There are characters that I hope live to see another day. But the plot, villain, pacing, editing, and action are all shockingly terrible. And once again we're left exiting a DC film hoping that the "next one" is their saving grace. So frustrating. RRS: 4.5/10
Hunt for the Wilderpeople: August started with a horrendous thud but slowly got brighter and brighter. Seeking to cleanse my palette of SS, I went to an indie that had been recommended to me and it was utterly fantastic. From director Taika Waititi (who'll direct the next Thor), it's a hilarious comedy that's touching, well filmed, and a breath of fresh air after a highly disappointing summer. RRS: 9.5/10
Pete's Dragon: Enjoyable and featuring some surprisingly gorgeous cinematography. It's another live-action Disney film that I didn't quite feel "the magic" in, but I enjoyed my time with a solid movie nonetheless. RRS: 7/10
Sausage Party: Far, far funnier than even my wildest expectations might have predicted, this was one of the year's most pleasant surprises. It's an animated feature that's nearly as smart as a Pixar film (shocking, I know) but just highly, highly R-rated. Many will hate the raunchy and crude behavior, but in a year of stellar comedy, Sausage Party shines as one of, if not the absolute, funniest ones. RRS: 9/10
Kubo and the Two Strings: Due to some atrocious marketing, I had no idea this was even coming out until a week before (hence why I didn't cover it last month). It's a fantastic, deep, and mature animated film that mesmerizing to watch as your brain will try to comprehend how it was all possible using stop-motion technique. RRS: 8.5/10
Hell or High Water: It's a professional film. Great performances. Stunning imagery. Witty script. Appropriate editing and well paced. I may never need to necessarily watch it again, but one can't deny that it's got very few flaws. RRS: 8.5/10
Ben-Hur: Apparently not as bad as many, including myself, predicted, but still mostly worthless in many critics' eyes. Not to mention it's a total financial bomb so maybe Hollywood is starting to get the point that ill-conceived remakes/reboots are not worth anyone's time?
War Dogs: My need to see this dwindled over time and tepid reviews led me to see other films (i.e. Hell or High Water) rather than a film about two bros. Many state that it's entertaining, but not all that funny, and kind of sad in its true story.
Mechanic: Resurrection: Seems to suffice if you're looking for Jason Statham to kick some butt, but otherwise mostly forgettable.
Don't Breath: I didn't cover it last month, nor did I see it (kind of bummed about that), but I've heard it's a taut, intense thriller and has one of the highest Metascores for a horror that I've seen in a rather long time. Probably worth checking out, even if I didn't!
Biggest Disappointment: Suicide Squad, for the entire year likely unless Rogue One ends up sucking
Biggest Surprise: Hunt for the Wilderpeople/Sausage Party
Worst Movie: Suicide Squad
Best Movie: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Let's take a gander at what the new season holds for us! As always, click the title for the trailer.
For It: The premise is intriguing, as Ex Machina's was, and there is the sci-fi potential for it to be smart and well organized.
Against It: It seems a little over dramatic and hokey in the trailers -- almost like it's trying its hardest to impersonate some other movie than to be its own.
For It: The cast is immensely talented and there is likely to be chemistry between Vikander and Fassbender given that they formed a real-life relationship from this film.Against It: The plot seems like a bore even with the talent and if the script and filming isn't exciting than this could result in a snooze fest with some pretty faces.
For It: Clint Eastwood directing. Tom Hanks starring. Amazing first trailer. Fascinating true story. There is almost everything going for this one.
Against It: Likely not much. Unless somehow the script or screenplay end up feeling disjointed, I think this one is going to be fantastic.
For It: Previously titled The Woods to get some well-deserved "original" buzz, it was later revealed that this was a sequel to the movie from so long ago. That movie was trendsetting in its time and if "The Woods" is really as scary as some early reviews say it is then this cold be one of the few way-too-long-after-the-first-film sequels that is actually worth it.Against It: Hard to tell. A lot of early "reviews" for films like this are from horror sites that want hits and I find it hard to believe that a sequel this long in the making will break any new ground. The surprise announcement of it has me intrigued though.
For It: The cast is stellar and the initial trailers have been really exciting. Oliver Stone is directing and we all know that the story is controversial and layered. This one could be special.Against It: If the film romanticizes Snowden too much, it could become overly indulgent. The best approach for real life, serious stories like this is to present the facts in an exciting manner (think Argo for the most part).
For It: I feel like, with the luck of the draw we've had this summer, we're due for a "surprise". A film we expect to be ho-hum that actually turns out to be really entertaining. There's a sliver of a chance that Mag Seven is it as the cast is fun and talented and the director is capable.Against It: But then again, it's another remake and those haven't been going so well this year. I don't see this one outright bombing, but I also don't think it will blow anyone away either.
For It: The newest trailers are actually way funnier than the first ones with the pack of wolves looking to be a constant hoot. Andy Samberg is also pretty constant as a funny entertainer and this year has a continued trend of featuring some super animated films.Against It: I question why those first trailers weren't all that great and if they packed the funniest parts in the new ones. Not to mention, I'm not sure that the premise lends itself to provide enough for a full-length film to play off of.
For It: It's unique as I don't think there is an oil-rig-disaster film in recent memory and Mark Wahlberg can lead a film. The initial trailers have posed it as an intense drama that has heart.Against It: I'll be intrigued to see if it over indulges in the destruction/disaster of the rig which it seems to do near the end of the trailers. If it ends up trying to sell an action film, it will become a lot less interesting and likely lose that heart.
For It: Once again, the cast is a pretty funny collection of talent. I like the initial trailer too...Against It: But I feel like ultimately those will be the funniest parts of the film and it will be forgettable. Call it a gut feeling, what have you, but with the type of comedy year we've been having, I don't see this one rising to the top.
Must See (in order): Sully, Snowden
On My Radar: Morgan, The Light Between Oceans, Blair Witch, The Magnificent Seven, Storks, Deepwater Horizon
Predicted Duds: Masterminds
Thankfully that summer is over and hopefully I never see as disappointing of a one as that again! October has some good ones too so make sure to come back next month too! 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!!