July 2015 Movie Preview
We are officially halfway through the year and over halfway through the Summer movie season (May to August). There are still plenty of big, high-profile movies on the horizon as well as a few smaller films that look like they’re worth seeing. So let’s take a look!
July 2nd 2015
Terminator Genisys –
It is not hyperbole to say that ‘The Terminator‘ franchise is one of my all-time favourites with ‘The Terminator‘ being an indisputable classic, ‘Terminator 2: Judgement Day‘ is one of my favourite movies of all time, ‘Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines‘ being flawed but a helluva good time and ‘Terminator: Salvation‘ being a bit salvageable. This franchise has an incredibly strong pedigree and despite over-staying its welcome for almost two decades, Paramount Pictures are hoping to give the franchise a soft-reboot by mixing up the timeline with ‘Terminator Genisys‘.
Unfortunately, critics have mauled this movie and the trailers have given away all of the interesting plot elements. This is massively disappointing as Paramount were hoping this movie would springboard for a brand new trilogy of Terminator movies which probably won’t happen now. As much as I adore this franchise, maybe it’s time to realise that enough is enough and that it doesn’t need to be back anymore.
July 3rd 2015
Asif Kapadia, the director behind the brilliant 2010 documentary ‘Senna‘, returns with a documentary based on the life and career of Amy Winehouse. Winehouse died in 2011 at the age of 27 after an addiction to drugs and alcohol despite an incredibly influential career with numerous BRIT Awards, Grammys, MTV Awards as well as a Mercury Prize nomination.
For a while, after its debut at the Cannes Film Festival and then at the Edinburgh Film Festival, it stood at 100% on RottenTomatoes before levelling out to 97% at time of writing. That doesn’t just consist of positive reviews, but RAVE reviews and it’s being pegged as the documentary to beat in 2015. Asif Kapadia has a talent of being able to get an audience invested in a topic that they have zero interest in, such as Formula 1 racing in ‘Senna‘ and now music with ‘Amy‘.
The odds of me reviewing this film while in theatres is very low as it’s being screened nowhere near me. But if you get the chance to see it, it seems to be worth a watch.
Magic Mike XXL –
Director Steven Soderbergh has had a very…interesting career. It’s certainly been varied, whether it’s the psychological thriller ‘Side Effects‘, the action movie ‘Haywire‘, the comedy biopic ‘The Informant!‘ and the heist trilogy consisting of ‘Ocean’s Eleven‘, ‘Ocean’s Twelve‘ and ‘Ocean’s Thirteen‘. It’s with that in mind that when ‘Magic Mike‘ was announced, a comedy revolving around male strippers, that I wasn’t even remotely surprised. But with its tiny budget, perfect release timing in terms of the casting of Channing Tatum as the titular Mike and its unprecedented success as a cult film was a surprise. Now we have a sequel, perfectly titled ‘Magic Mike XXL‘.
The sequel brings Mike back out of retirement and, with the remaining Kings of Tampa, staging one last big show. With ‘Magic Mike XXL‘, it looks set to deliver exactly what audiences are expecting. Good looking, muscle-bound men doing stripping acts with quirky comedy-beats. Not exactly risky, but I’m sure fans will feel satisfied.
July 8th 2015
Ted 2 –
Creator of ‘Family Guy‘, Seth MacFarlane, burst onto the theatrical scene in 2010 with ‘Ted‘. With that movie breaking box-office records for an original R-Rated comedy I’m surprised that ‘Ted 2‘ didn’t happen sooner, but instead, MacFarlane lost a lot of that initial goodwill with the mediocre box-office flop ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West‘. It’s with that context we have ‘Ted 2‘ which isn’t coming with nearly the amount of positive expectations as the first film. But Mark Wahlberg and the foul-mouthed CGI, motion-captured Teddy Bear reunite in order to prove that the titular Ted is an actual person and not just property.
No, you’re not going to get high-brow comedy, but even Seth MacFarlane’s weaker efforts have a surprising degree of sincerity to them which make them hard to outright hate (if you can tolerate his brand of humour). In fact, ‘Ted 2‘s U.S. release date was on the same day that all 50 States in America made gay marriage legal, which makes ‘Ted 2‘ a very topical release. Lucky timing, I guess. Either way, the film looks funny and despite average reviews, it looks like there are quite a few laughs to be had.
“There are no chicks with dicks, Johnny! Only guys with tits!!”
Honestly, outside of the premise (which isn’t really that well utilised as the audience have to do 90% of the legwork in terms of the horror because the movie’s constantly cop-out) there has been very little of note thematically or even directorially involved in ‘The Human Centipede‘ franchise. With the exception of the fact that the movies have nothing in the way of official canon as the 2nd and 3rd movie take place in a universe where the first film exists with the main characters taking inspiration from them to re-create it.
An interesting meta-commentary on the effect of violent and gruesome horror films on audience members, but do the movies have to be so vacant and boring to get that commentary across? So yeah, I’m not particularly excited about this supposed final instalment.
Song of the Sea –
Nominated for the Academy Award for “Best Animated Feature” at the Oscars earlier this year, ‘Song of the Sea‘ is FINALLY getting a limited release in the UK. Coming from the Irish Animation Company, Cartoon Saloon (who directed the Oscar nominated ‘The Secret of Kells‘), ‘Song of the Sea‘ is traditionally animated in gorgeous 2D and follows the story of a young girl who can turn into a seal who goes on an adventure with her brother.
I’ve been looking forward to this film for a long time and I’m glad it’s finally hitting the UK. The animation looks gorgeous, the trailer is stunning and many people consider it a snub for the “Best Animated Feature” Oscar which was won by the decent, but not great ‘Big Hero 6‘. This family-friendly movie is a must-watch if it’s playing near you.
July 17th 2015
‘Ant-Man‘, having spent almost a decade in pre-production, was met with controversy when the original director, geek-icon Edgar Wright (‘Shaun of the Dead‘, ‘Hot Fuzz‘, ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World‘ and ‘The World’s End‘) left the project after creative differences. It’s been considered for over a year since Edgar Wright parted ways with Marvel over “creative differences” in May 2014 and Peyton Reed (‘Yes Man‘ and ‘The Break-Up‘) was hired as his replacement, that ‘Ant-Man‘ would be the first true black-mark on Marvel Studios record. That this movie would be the first misfire in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But the first reviews and reactions are in. And “The Best of Phase 2” is a sentence that’s being thrown out a lot.
The trailers are incredibly entertaining, Paul Rudd is a great choice for Scott Lang, the theme of father-daughter legacy looks unique for the superhero genre, let alone the MCU and the rest of the cast are very distinguished with Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly starring as Hank Pym and Hope van Dyne respectively. ‘Ant-Man‘ looks like a great, more simpler palette cleanser after the epic ‘Marvel Avengers: The Age of Ultron‘ and look set to be a unique climax to Phase 2 of the most successful movie franchise of all time.
Heroes don’t get much bigger.
Even if director Tarsem Singh doesn’t create a very good movie, he at least creates a visually arresting one. But it’s strange to watch the trailer for his upcoming science-fiction movie ‘Self/less‘ and see that it’s actually looking at big ideas instead of big visuals like his previous works; ‘Immortals‘, ‘Mirror Mirror‘ and ‘The Cell‘. Ben Kingsley plays a wealthy aristocrat who is afraid of dying, so he uses his untold riches to develop the technology that can transfer his consciousness into the younger, more healthy Ryan Reynolds. But despite being promised that Reynolds’ body was just an empty shell, the memories of the life Ryan used to have start seeping through his consciousness.
Hugely interesting premise and a trailer that had me anticipating the movie. However, the reviews have been very negative with a 17% on RottenTomatoes this might be a movie that’s all premise and no pay-off. Shame.
1) That this movie is coming out in theatres.
2) The movie stars Eddie Redmayne, Sir John Hurt and Olivia Coleman.
3) And that Thomas the Tank Engine will be starring in two movies on July 17th 2015; this movie and ‘Ant-Man‘.
That is all.
True Story –
Well, this movie hasn’t had any sort of marketing push for literally 7 months when I did a trailer reaction. That could be due to the underwhelming critical reception despite the awesome premise.
Based on the true story of Christian Longo and Michael Kinkel’s strange relationship where Longo was hiding in Mexico after murdering his family by stealing Kinkel’s name. Watch the trailer if you want to know more. But I was pretty excited for this movie when I first heard about it and it’s done nothing to remind me of its existence since. I was actually really surprised to see it on my list of films to preview this month.
I was looking forward to this, but the mixed reviews have turned me off. It’s a shame, because the cast looks great and it’s a really intriguing premise.
5. Long. Weeks.
Critics and audiences have been absolutely raving about Pixar’s latest animated family film which revolves around 5 emotions that live inside the head of every human being; Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. An awesome concept filled with loads of promise and the intellectual and emotional maturity that Pixar have been known for. And being directed by Pete Docter, the mad genius behind ‘Monsters Inc.‘ and ‘Up‘ means that you’re in for an emotional ride.
The voice cast looks terrific, I love the animation style, the character designs, the imaginative world that Pixar has created and this looks set to be one of the best films in the 2nd half of 2015. I’m sick of waiting. I want ‘Inside Out‘ right now.
It seems like there isn’t much more the zombie horror sub-genre can do. How many stories can you tell when it comes to the walking dead? Well, the turmoil of a father who only has a few days left with his daughter before she becomes infected is a novel approach. And the father is Arnold Schwarzenegger?
Okay, THAT is interesting.
‘Maggie‘ was positively well received by the festival crowd. General audiences; not so much, but I’m still looking forward to it. It looks like we’re going to get a genuinely emotional performance from Schwarzenegger and Abigail Breslin is always great, particularly in genre-material. I’m actually looking forward to ‘Maggie’ quite a bit.
The career of Jake Gyllenhaal has been going from strength to strength over the past few years. After a pretty shaky blockbuster start with ‘Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time‘, he has now made a name for himself in a variety of genres with films such as ‘Love & Other Drugs‘, ‘Source Code‘, ‘End of Watch‘, ‘Prisoners‘, all culminating with last year’s ‘Nightcrawler‘ in which he was snubbed for a “Best Actor” Academy Award. Gyllenhaal has gone through another body-transformation in his next shot at awards-glory in the drama-sports movie ‘Southpaw‘ in which Gyllenhaal plays a boxer trying to retire before a personal tragedy forces him to return under the guidance of Forest Whitaker.
‘Southpaw‘ looks like a very solid drama film, though the trailer seems to have given away the entire plot of the movie. But, like ‘Nightcrawler‘, it seems that the main appeal of this movie is seeing a world-class actor give another incredible performance as opposed to the strengths of its narrative and themes. Still, it looks good and ‘Creed‘ may have some strong competition as the most successful boxing movie of 2015.
July 30th 2015
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation –
Despite receiving big box-office rewards, I’ve never considered the ‘Mission: Impossible‘ franchise to be that engaging. Sure, they were fun, action-packed distractions with insane stunts but that was it for me. However, Brad Bird elevated the material to almost unreachable heights (literally) with ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol‘ in 2011. But with Brad Bird not returning, in his place is Christopher McQuarrie (director of ‘Jack Reacher’), I think it will be hard to re-create that success. But Tom Cruise is up for anything, including hanging onto a plane while it takes-off.
With the IMF under assault from an anti-IMF team of mercenaries and assassins, it’s up to Tom Cruise to run as fast as he can and do as many insane stunts as possible. I’m pretty sure that’s the plot of the movie. If it’s half as good as the last instalment, we’re in for a good time. But it makes me wonder just how much longer this franchise can keep going.
So there we go, that’s July 2015. Yeah, I know ‘The Cobbler‘ and ‘Hot Pursuit‘ come out on July 31st, but those movies look terrible and this preview is already a few days late so I’m not previewing those.
Anyway, my most anticipated movies for this month are;
- Inside Out
There are a lot of cool looking films like ‘Song of the Sea‘, ‘Southpaw‘ and ‘Maggie‘, but those top three are the ones I’m looking forward to the most. However, what are YOU guys and girls looking forward to this month? Be sure to let me know in the comments section below! It’s getting pretty warm in the UK, so it might be best to get to an air-conditioned movie-theatre as often as you can.
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Posted: 5th Jul 15