Friday, June 24, 2016

Random Thoughts on 2016 Movies (July-August)

by Adam Riske
The first half of the summer movie season has been average at best. Do you think the upcoming slate of releases look better?

• I’m always rooting for Steven Spielberg so I go into The BFG being cautiously optimistic. The marketing thus far has been underwhelming in terms of making this movie seem like a must-see event, but I must remember I had a similar feeling about Spielberg’s last movie, Bridge of Spies, which turned out to be pretty great.

• I get actively annoyed every time I see the trailer for The Purge: Election Year and yet, being a completest, I’ll probably see this latest entry in the franchise because I’ve seen the first two. Is it just me or does it look maybe too similar to the sequel The Purge: Anarchy?

The Legend of Tarzan has a good cast but who is clamoring for a reboot of the Tarzan legend? This movie feels very ‘90s to me. Here’s hoping it’s an old-fashioned pleasant surprise in the vein of The Phantom.

• I know it has a whole bunch of indie festival buzz, but the concept and trailer for Swiss Army Man is just repellent to me.

• I’ve heard that Life, Animated is a really wonderful movie. I can’t wait to see it, especially as a big Disney fan.

The Secret Life of Pets is something I’ll surely see when it comes out on Blu-ray and I’m babysitting, but until then, no thanks.

• I hate myself for already knowing that I’ll see Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. It’s Dirty Grandpa all over again.

• I like Viggo Mortensen as an actor but you couldn’t drag me to see Captain Fantastic. It looks so dirty and grimy. Blech. The trailer alone makes me want to take a shower.

• Taiki Waititi’s What We Do in the Shadows was super funny and I’ve heard he has back-to-back winners with Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I can’t wait.

• What the hell is The Infiltrator? Wait a second. Ok, just read the plot synopsis. I’m surprised this is getting a theatrical release. This plot summary reeks of HBO Original Movie. Does HBO still make original movies? I think they do????
• Besides Bridesmaids, I haven’t liked a Paul Feig movie so I don’t think I’m going to dig his iteration of Ghostbusters. Also, they keep releasing trailer after trailer for this movie so by now we know A LOT of the jokes and I don’t think any of them land. I am also afraid that the world (or at least the internet) will blow up the day this movie is released.

• Have I ever liked a Todd Solondz movie? I haven’t seen very many of them. Actually, the only one I’ve seen in Storytelling. I should probably go back to the beginning of his filmography before jumping right into his latest, Wiener-Dog.

• Big ol’ perv Woody Allen has a new movie called Café Society. Against my own moral code, I still see all of his movies so I know I’ll see this one. I even saw Irrational Man. In a theater!

• I’ve never seen an Ice Age movie in its entirety although I did have a hall of fame “date” while watching one once. Wait, that sounds like she was a hooker. To be clear…she wasn’t a lady of the night. Nevermind. Anyways, I will not be seeing Ice Age: Collision Course.

• I’ll totally see Lights Out. I mean, it’s a James Wan production. C’mon. I even like Annabelle.

• I am very excited about Star Trek Beyond. I didn’t hate Star Trek Into Darkness as much as most people and I love 2009’s Star Trek. Besides, I feel like we owe this movie the benefit of the doubt simply because Justin Lin is directing it. He made some of the best Fast & Furious movies, after all. RIP Anton Yelchin.

Nerve looks dumb and I see that preview ALL THE TIME.

• I am not the target audience for Bad Moms. It’s ok. My life will go on.

• Based off of how good Sleepwalk with Me turned out to be and that it’s about improv (which I used to perform), I am very much looking forward to Mike Birbiglia’s latest feature Don’t Think Twice. I hear it’s great from reviews at SXSW.

• I thought we were done with Jason Bourne? Seriously, I haven’t forgotten that this is the movie series (besides the first one, which I like) that kind of ruined action movies for a while with its choppy editing and control room bullshit.

The Fits is coming out. Go see The Fits. I’ve seen it. It’s good and super weird.
• My most anticipated movie of the summer is Suicide Squad. The trailers for this movie are amazing and it exponentially accelerated my Margot Robbie crush into the stratosphere. I’m worried, though, that Will Smith is going to fuck this movie up with his bad luck. Seriously, that dude is in bad movie after bad movie.

• Still don’t believe that Nine Lives is a real thing.

The Founder looks interesting, although how good can it be? It’s from the director of The Blind Side.

• Hard pass on Florence Foster Jenkins. I take a 2-1/2 minute nap whenever that preview comes on. Then again, it’s directed by Stephen Frears who constantly makes movies I don’t want to see but then end up seeing and liking (e.g. Philomena, The Queen).

• Fearless prediction: The remake of Pete’s Dragon is going to be huge and kick ass. I don’t know why but I have a hunch.

• I used to be a big fan but I’m getting really tired of Seth Rogen and his constant drug humor. I don’t think Sausage Party is going to be much fun for me.

• I love Laika’s first two movies, Coraline and Paranorman, but I’m still recovering from the coma that The Boxtrolls put me into. Here’s hoping that Kubo and the Two Strings is more my cup of tea.

• Haha. There’s a Ben-Hur remake. The only thing this is good for is that it might make me commit the time to watching the original Ben-Hur finally.

• Todd Phillips? Smarm. Miles Teller? Smarm. War Dogs?? Ech. One please, I guess. I dunno.

Southside with You….so it’s basically Before Sunrise but with Barack and Michelle Obama? That sounds really great, actually.

• I haven’t seen the first Mechanic with Jason Statham but I will totally track that down and watch it for the sheer purpose of being able to watch its sequel, Mechanic: Resurrection, based on its cast which includes Michelle Yeoh and Tommy Lee Jones. P.S. Mechanic: Resurrection might be one of the funniest titles ever for a movie.
• I’m really really looking forward to Don’t Breathe. This is the new (and well-received) movie from Fede Alvarez, who made the Evil Dead remake a few years back. This new movie also has the adorable Jane Levy, just like Evil Dead. P.S. I think it’s funny that (on one of my first podcasts) I sort of liked the Evil Dead remake and then JB and Patrick talked me out of it over the course on an hour. Now I’m back to sort of liking it again. Funny how perception changes from moment to moment.

• I’ll see almost any boxing movie, but Hands of Stone might be my limit. What do you think of the releases coming out this July and August?


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  2. Most of the stuff on here I'm not really interested in. Though, I do really wanna check out Swiss Army Man. With so many remakes and sequels, it's nice to see a wholly original story. Will it be too much? Perhaps, but I'll spend my money on that over a Ghostbusters remake any day.

  3. I can't express how glad I am to hear that I'm not the only one who dislikes Will Smith movies.

    But honestly, I'm really disappointed with this summer. I'm going to check out the Conjuring 2 and the Shallows this weekend, then I just may skip everything until Suicide Squad (except I definitely won't).

  4. I'm most excited for Star Trek Beyond. The first was a prequel and the second was a remake, so I'm pumped to see this great cast in a truly new, original movie.

    Nine Lives is a hoax. I choose to believe this for Kevin Spacey's sake.

    Ghostbusters is a rare movie I think looks atrocious, but will probably see out of fasination. Plus, I just feel I need to have an opinion on it.

  5. I love Boxtrolls!... it ranks up there with Wallace and Gromit as the best performances by Cheese! IMHO, Like all the Laikas It does get better with repeated viewings.

  6. "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" - the most anticipated movie that no one ever talks about.... (and considering the Brexit vote it could be a little pointless)

    1. Sorry I must have blocked that one out.

  7. War dogs looks fucking atrocious. I saw a trailer for it before the nice guys and was blown away by how crap it was and I am one of those tools who pisses themselves laughing at some retrospectively shit trailers (Betty white in the proposal looking for Sandra bullocks breasts continued to get a gutteral howl from me on the fourth or fifth viewing - I still have never seen the film). I thought the first hangover and old school were funny and that Jonah Hill is frequently fantastic (he is the best thing in the great wolf of Wall Street) but it looks shit. As it is about war, there will be some serious "we are in way over our heads" moments too as the moral wrongs of war reveal themselves. Cannot wait for it to make its $50 million dollar budget back and then play on F/X this time next year.
    Looking forward to weiner dog as any Todd solontz film is worth a go. Happiness and welcome to the dollhouse are both fantastic and storytelling and palindromes not as good but still well worth checking out.

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  9. Without any doubt I will watch Star Trek Beyond (I loved both Star Trek and Into Darkness, never understood the hate for the second), Suicide squad and Jason Bourne (Adam, I also hate shakycam except in the Bourne films...) on the big screen as soon as possible.
    The legend of Tarzan didn´t interested me at first, but the new trailer looks really good, so maybe I will give it a chance.
    I thought the same of Ben Hur, especially with Timur Bekmambetov directing, but the second trailer looked way better than the first, so maybe I will pay for a ticket.
    And again until I saw the trailer, I didn´t thought of watching Pete´s dragon. But this trailer was also surprisingly good and emotional.
    Swiss Army Man looks so weird and the trailer is so funny I almost laughed my ass off. What an idea. Maybe it´s bullshit but I´m sure I will give it a try if it starts here in Germany. That may be my kind of humor, usually preferring to pass on every comedy.
    Hunt for the wilderpople, Don´t Breathe and the second Mechanic (The first is my favourite Statham movie) are also strong contenders for watching on the big screen.

    On the other hand I´m pretty sure I will never ever see Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Bad Moms, Nine Lives or War Dogs.

    Ghostbusters - Well, I´m not the audience for comedy, so sadly I´ve never been a big fan of the original, sorry. It´s fine but not much more to me, so waiting for the Bluray has nothing to do with the female cast and the laughable backlash against that. But being a comedy and being promoted with mediocre trailers does nothing to raise my interest. Otherwise I really hope that this will become a big hit, just to shut up those people who spew so much hate on cast and director for retroactively ruining their childhoods with this remake.

    The BFG - As much as I like Spielberg and Dahl, the trailers and especially the look of Mark Rylance as the title character turn me off big time, so I will wait for the Bluray as I will do for all the other films from your list I didn´t mentioned above.

    Returning to your question: No, to me the upcoming slate of releases doesn´t look better than those of the first half of the summer.

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