Thursday, April 20, 2017

Riske Business: Random Thoughts on 2017 Movies (May-June)

by Adam Riske
Time for awesome weather and average movies!

• I want to be more excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 than I am. I like the first movie (and want to hang out with these great characters more) but I’m worried this will suffer more of the comedy sequel fate instead of the MCU every-one-of-these-movies-are-entertaining-but-feels-the-same fate.

The Dinner (from director Oren Moverman, whose The Messenger I really liked) stars Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Steve Coogan and appears to be about white privilege being threatened. It feels like every Richard Gere movie ever made (he’s the Michael Jordan of “white privilege being threatened” films) and why is Rob Brydon not there if Steve Coogan is eating in a restaurant?

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is probably a movie I’ll see because I need to review something on a slow weekend with Rob for a “Reserved Seating” column. But seriously, Guy Ritchie – King Arthur – Charlie Hunnam…this looks designed to lose tens of millions of dollars.

Snatched has some of the most irritating music stings in any trailer ever (the nadir is when Goldie Hawn is putting sunscreen on Amy Schumer’s nose). It almost single-handedly makes me want to not see the movie. I see this trailer all the time. I can’t get away from it. It’s not as bad as how many times I’ve seen the Baywatch trailer, but it's close.
• I’ll see Alien: Covenant because I have no self-control but, I mean, this series is…oh, forget it. I don’t want to get people mad.

• I saw the trailer for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul before Beauty and the Beast and was depressed to see that Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott are playing the lame parents. That makes me feel really old. It’s like when Peter Fonda would show up in a kids movie back in the day and I would be like “Who’s this asshole?” because I was just a pup and unaware of Easy Rider.

• I was fooled into The Fault in Our Stars. I was not for If I Stay. Everything, Everything is the latest dying teen summer romance from Warner Bros. Not gonna get me this time!

• I didn’t like the third or fourth Pirates movie and I am pretty much over Johnny Depp BUT I still want to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. I heard this is the franchise’s conclusion, so I’m hoping for a Fast Five scenario where they really tie things together continuity and character-wise and also a new Pirates movie feels like summer to me. It’s probably the Disney. And the water. P.S. The ride at Disneyland and Disneyworld is one of my favorites. I wish I could start my day with it.

• I don’t think the trailer for Baywatch is funny, Seth Gordon movies stink (King of Kong aside) and Dwayne Johnson is (sadly) starting to grate on me, but I’ll still end up seeing this because I love me the Daddario, Zac Efron being a moron is always funny and it comes out on my birthday.
• I might not even see Wonder Woman. I feel like I’m done with the DCEU altogether. If I do go, it will be because I need a Chris Pine fix. He’s my favorite of the Chrises. Gal Gadot will be good as the lead character, I’m sure. I hope it’s a pleasant surprise.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie sounds like the type of movie I would have loved when I was a little guy. I’m getting Doug’s 1st Movie vibes. Still not gonna go, though. There’s no socially acceptable time for a grown man to see Captain Underpants by himself.

• In theory, I’m against almost everything The Mummy (2017) stands for (part of a shared universe build, reboot, more Tom Cruise doing nothing but action movies even though he should mix in a drama every once in a while) but I’m still going to go see it. Jake Johnson’s the sidekick, Sofia Boutella is cool and it reminds me of how excited I was for The Mummy series from almost 20 years ago. Like with Pirates, it just feels like summer to me to have a new Mummy movie.

• The trailer for It Comes at Night is spooky and opaque enough for me to want to see it. Combine that with A24 (who usually have good quality control) and a solid cast (including Joel Edgerton and Riley Keough) and I’m there.

Megan Leavey appears to be a beautiful tear-jerker true story of a marine (Kate Mara) and her dog. I don’t imagine I’ll see it in theaters (It looks too much like 100 other movies I’ve already seen) but I might eventually. How was this not directed by Peter Berg?
• I skipped Cars 2 when it came out (it’s the only Pixar I have not seen) but I might go back and double bill it with the upcoming Cars 3. As dumb as it sounds, the story of a rehabbing Lightning McQueen sounds really interesting to me. I’m hoping it’s Born on the 4th of July with animated cars. I’ll settle for a Rocky movie with animated cars.

• I’ve always been fascinated by Tupac Shakur and I love most of his music. The more I see and hear about All Eyez on Me, though, the more I’m concerned. I think it’s being made more to capitalize on the success of Straight Outta Compton than anything, the director (Benny Boom) has an underwhelming cinematic pedigree and the line in the trailer (promising the “real story”) makes this have an air of tabloid trash. I might be better off revisiting Tupac Resurrection, which is an amazing documentary.

Rough Night is the first in the double dip of girls-gone-wild movies coming out this summer (the second being Girls Trip which is out in July). It could be funny but the whole let’s-do-drugs-and-get-wild thing is something I’ve outgrown in movies regardless of gender.

The Book of Henry, a new thriller from Colin Trevorrow, has a very bizarre premise and trailer. I’ll wait and see what the reaction is to this one but I’m much more curious than interested. It feels very Lovely Bones-ish to me at this point.

• I pray I don’t have a weak moment and say “Fuck it. One for Transformers: The Last Knight” this summer. It’s a movie only made because it rakes in international dollars. The whole franchise feels antiquated to me at this point.

• I’m about the biggest Sofia Coppola fan remaining so I am stoked for The Beguiled, a remake of the Clint Eastwood-Don Siegel joint from the early ‘70s. It stars Sofia-alums Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst (she’s a stone fox) and also Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell.

• Have you seen the trailer for The Bad Batch, the post-apocalyptic cannibal movie starring Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves and Jim Carrey? It looks nuts. I’m intrigued.
• I love Edgar Wright. I love his Cornetto trilogy. I like (don’t love) Scott Pilgrim. I don’t think Baby Driver looks terrific based on the trailer (I’m unsure about Ansel Elgort as a lead and I think the movie looks like it’s trying too hard to be hip) but that’s a trailer. In Edgar I trust. He’s a genius. I can’t wait to see the movie.

• I don’t have kids so I don’t need to see Despicable Me 3. I know people love it. It’s white noise to me. I have no interest.

• It seems like a long time since we got the last straightaway Will Ferrell comedy. The House looks only okay but it might be a good casual watch on a slow weekend this summer.

Amityville: The Awakening has been on the shelf for a very long time (since January 2015) which is never a good sign. Combine that with me never having seen an Amityville movie and I probably won’t start here.

What May and June releases are you most (or least) excited about?

53 comments:

  1. The Handmaiden and Get Out come out here in May, so those are the ones I'm most excited about.

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    1. Nice! Get Out's my favorite so far this year. Hope you like them.

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  2. The Beguiled, even though I'm scared it will be terrible. That and Lady Macbeth in July are really the only movies I have on my must-see list this year so far. Laura Linney and Steve Coogan sound good, too. Maybe I should see stuff like Wonder Woman, but maybe I'm too old, idk. It doesn't sound fresh.

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    1. I'm waiting for you to rewatch Dirty Dancing btw, Adam, and give your grown up thoughts. :)

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    2. It's 30 year anniversary is in August. Remind me and I'll do a retrospective column on it in your honor.

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  3. - Some movies piss me off and make me actively wish for their failure by just existing. Interstellar was one - the notion that "Earth is disposable, but it's cool, we can build fancy rockets to find other worlds, no problemo" makes me queasy. Dredd was another - "ha, ha, let's glorify the War on Drugs, with a sequel-bait wink hinting it's maybe Not Such a Great Thing, but in the meantime, eat up our pornographic carnage and gore, courtesy of our ultra-badass fascist hero!" And now King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has me seething with "Eff that movie" rage, because, well, the trailer speaks for itself.


    - I read Prometheus as an anti-religion fable about how god(s) hate us and want us dead if they even exist in the first place, a delicious lump of coal to balance out the spiritual schmaltz of so much of pop culture, and as such I loved it, so I'm 100% on board for more Alien.

    - Good to know I'm not the only one yearning for Wonder Woman to be the be-all and end-all of 2017 feminism, not to mention the DCEU. I'd like for it to be good, but I haven't yet heard a compelling reason to be excited for a story about how our heroine gets so disgusted with humanity (however understandably) she just waltzes off for a century, sitting out WW2 and the nuclear brinksmanship of the Cold War, just so she can make a triumphant comeback of killing a baby at the end of BvS. #Empowerment?

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    2. The new Wonder Woman film is going to destroy my childhood, just like the Ghostbusters reboot and Mad Max: Fury Road did. My childhood has already been destroyed two, count 'em, two times. How is that even possible?

      Diana Prince/Wonder Woman should be played by a man like she was in the 1970s TV show. The obvious choice to essay this role is the greatest victim of politically correct pandering to feminazism in modern history: William James "Bill" O'Reilly Jr. He wielded his Lasso of Truth on television for twenty years; it's time for him to make the leap to the silver screen.

      Wear that red, white and blue basque for all of us, Bill. Do what Sean Young did when she was after the Catwoman part and turn up to the Warner Bros. studios fully decked out as the character.

      Your country is calling, sir. Will you take this call?

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    3. I'm never sure how to respond to your comments. I'd love to joke around or have a conversation but these are so impenetrable.

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    4. I can be a little abstruse, Adam, but I'm nice. No offence to other F This Movie! contributors, but your appearances on the podcast are the ones I look forward to the most.

      I'm a revoltingly liberal doe mouse of dual American-English citizenship who has a playful love of the English language and likes to mess with people. Oh yeah, and I'm very uncomfortable with compliments, so if you want me to shut up, say something nice about me. I think Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best television programme ever, and I hate the Fast and Furious movies, although I haven't watched a single one. I love classic BBC radio comedy, with I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue being probably my favourite. I think you'd like it as it has a lot of puns, of which I know you're a fan.

      Stephen Fry in the Uxbridge English Dictionary round:

      "Countryside": To kill Piers Morgan.

      "Measles": What artists use for self portraits.


      There, I've been penetrated.

      Ewww.

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  4. Most excited for Alien Covenant, but I'm trying to keep a "don't get your hopes up, kid" attitude. Not just because the franchise has been in a 20 year nosedive, but because Ridley hasn't made a movie I liked since....American Gangster? At least there's hope.

    Also, I'm gonna be a bit controversial here, but I don't see what everyone sees in Gal Gatot (besides the obvious). I must be missing something, because she's basically the female Jai Courtney to me.

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    1. Ridley Scott is very hit-or-miss for me. If only he could make an Alien movie where the xenomorph was a con man with OCD and had a xenomorph teenager show up on its doorstep claiming its its daughter.

      Gal Gadot is likeable if not interesting thus far in her career imho. I wonder (no pun intended) if she can carry a movie. I feel like she's been groomed to have a shot so I'm curious.

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    2. A xenomorph vacationing in southern France, drinking wine with Marion Cotillard? Thats a movie.

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    3. Two xenomorphs driving off the Grand Canyon together instead of being arrested by Harvey Keitel.

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    4. A xenomorph seductively dancing on the hood of Javier Garden's car, running her alien junk all over the windshield.

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    5. A xenomorph on a rainy rooftop gives a bittersweet monologue on the finite nature of life.

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    6. A xenomorph has its head cut open while Tony Hopkins feeds it its own brain.

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    7. My name is Xenomorph. Husband to a murdered egg. Father to a murdered facehugger. And I will have my vengeance...

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    8. Jeff Bridges teaches a class of prep school xenomorphs how to sail. A White Squall hits. The xenomorph Scott Wolf equivalent survives

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    9. Xenomorphs are the ones that bleed condensed milk and still talk when their heads have been removed or they get an alien tail through the tummy and are bisected, right?

      That... that's xenomorphs.

      Good to know.

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    10. A xenomorph is a....CIA operative? In....Iraq? And Russell Crowe...tells him....things to do? And eventually he...doesnt get decapitated? Or gets decapitated? What happens in Body of Lies again?

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    11. You're describing Proof of Life I think. Surprised you can't recall it...it made over a billion dollars domestic.

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    12. Stranded on a desolate planet, a lone xenomorph must "science the shit out of it" to receive affirming tweets from Neil deGrasse Tyson.

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    13. Sorry, put that comment in the wrong place. I'll try again.

      Ahem

      Bill Paxton says "Game over, man, game over!" in a 1986 movie. More than thirty years later, humans are still repeating these words, thinking they're funny. This is why the aliens are winning: they know when a joke has run its course.

      'Sides, none of you has mentioned G.I. Jane, a Ridley Scott movie from 1997 in which a badass lady with a shaved head battles a bunch of jerks who would like to shove their little head where she don't want it to be shoved (I'm assuming; I haven't seen the film). It's Alien³, only with more jerks.

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    14. I've never actually seen GI Jane, so I felt it inappropriate to comment. I know the main character is a lady, so I assume it's just a lot of wine sipping and gossiping about boys? Much like A Good Year, when you think about it.

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    15. I think Demi Moore's character in that movie is a marine or something, Brian. Not cool, fella, not cool.

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    16. Look I just said I hadn't seen it! I was just assuming the GI stood for "grumpy, irritable" and figured it was about a down on her luck Demi Moore finding herself the only way 90s movie women knew how...through a man. If Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan and Katherine Heigl can do it, Demi sure can. Even the poster is of her standing in front of a giant Ocean of merlot. Anyone with me on this?.....anyone?......guys? Where'd everybody go?

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    17. Heh, I know you probably pretty woke, bruh, and you wuz just commentin' on movie conventions. We coo'.

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  5. Pah, Captain Underpants: The Adventure Begins or whatever it's called sounds like a carbon copy of the long-running "Felix and His Amazing Underpants" strip from British adult comic Viz.

    First South Park rips off Viz legend "Buster Gonad and His Unfeasibly Large Testicles" in the "Medicinal Fried Chicken" episode of that show. Then Inside Out takes the "Numbnuts" cartoon about a group of little people controlling the sexual activity of a middle-aged man from inside his downstairs area and makes it about a whiny sociopathic tween girl, changing the location to the interior of her head.

    Stop appropriating beloved filthy characters from my childhood and retooling them as bland fare for undiscriminating American audiences, Hollywood.

    Support lavatorial independent comics, F-Heads, and boycott this Captain Underpants pablum.

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  6. Word is that the new Pirates movie one of the best since the first one. I hope that proves to be the case, as the franchise has really lost my interest as well.

    I maintain hope for Wonder Woman because I REALLY want to see a good female superhero movie. The world needs that, even if I'm not sure this will be it.

    Guardians and Baby Driver have both had my money guaranteed since they were announced, pretty much. They're two of my most anticipated movies of the year.

    I don't know how to feel about a new Alien movie at this point.

    I think a Tupac biopic should be cool in theory, and yet I oddly have zero hype for it. It's barely on my radar, and that's sad.

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  7. Every line of dialogue in the All Eyez on Me trailer I've seen sounds like it was written specifically to be in a trailer rather than sound like something a human being would actually say.

    Still haven't seen a Transformers movie. Not going to start now.

    The King Arthur trailers grate on me for some reason. I think I'd almost rather watch Lowriders that week. I'd probably get more out of it.

    Excited for GOTG2 and Baby Driver. There's a lot of other movies I'll give a shot but that I'm not particularly excited for.

    Is Wish Upon just Wishmaster without the Djinn?

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    1. That is the perfect description of the All Eyez On Me trailer.

      I kinda want to see Lowriders. Forgot to include that one.

      If Wish Upon is fun-bad like The Bye Bye Man, I will be happy.

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  8. I am curious to see whether The Martian reset Scott's bearings enough so that characters in the Alien universe demonstrate some level of rational thought. Based on the the trailers and clips Covenant seems to have the familiar beats of the original movie mixed with a bit of whackadoo from Prometheus. Hoping to be entertained, but preparing to be disappointed.

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  9. Where's Wish Upon? It comes out 6/30. I think it' the first wish horror movie since your favorite Wishmaster.

    I don't understand the Gal Gadot love. She's a terrible actress. Her line reading in WW trailer is so wooden. I don't know. I'll see the movie but I ready to be disappointed.

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    1. Wish Upon got moved to July 14th. BOO!

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  11. I fully expect to be disappointed by it, but for some reason I am pretty excited for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. I'm still a sucker for Guy Ritchie. I really liked The Man from UNCLE, which reminded me of how much fun his early movies were. I haven't been crazy about Charlie Hunnam even when he was in movies I loved (Crimson Peak), but Ritchie made both Armie Hammer and Henry Cavill seem charming last time out. Also, middle of the road fantasy movies are kind of my thing.

    Baby Driver I am pumped for with absolutely no reservations. I've loved every Edgar Wright movie so far, and I see nothing to make me think I won't love this one.

    Also, my love of middle of the road fantasy will also get me to go see another Pirates of the Caribbean. The returns on that series keep diminishing, but as I previously said I am a sucker.

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  12. Oh my gosh!! I totally blanked on one thing not mentioned here that I'm SUPER stoked for: Okja. I don't know if you're familiar, Adam, but its Bong Joon-Ho's new English language effort after Snowpiercer. It has Jake Gyllenhaall, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Lilly Collins, and some South Korean actors with whom I am less familiar. At any rate, I'll see ANYTHING Bong Joon-Ho does at this point.

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    1. And it'll br released (on Netflix I think) the same day as Baby Driver. That'll be a big day!

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    2. I've heard about Okja and will watch it for sure. I wish Netflix did it up a little more in their movies' pre-release. I barely ever know anything about them and then they show up on premiere date.

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    3. Agreed. I don't need to know everything, but I'd like to see a bit more. I've seen a short teaser and a few pictures of Gyllenhaal looking crazy. And the trailer tells you almost nothing, which I guess is a good thing depending on how you look at it. I'm down for a good surprise, though.

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    4. Wow, that is exciting! First time I heard about this.

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  13. A xenomorph goes to Japan with Michael Douglas to take down Yakuza gangsters.

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  14. A little off topic here. But speaking of Captains; Adam, you were wise to skip Captain Fantastic. I watched it last night on Prime. Two hours of rote indie dramedy garbage.

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  15. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing Captain Underpants. I read a bunch of the book series with my sons when they were learning to read. The books were silly and pretty funny.

    I haven't seen Steve Coogan do anything other than his Alan Partridge character. But I LOVE the I'm Alan Partridge show. Mid Morning Matters is hilarious too.

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    1. Coogan played the director of the film Ben Stiller and co. are making who gets 'sploded in Tropic Thunder when he steps on a landmine, and Mole in Terry Jones's Wind in the Willows. He was also Phileas Fogg in the execrable remake of Around the World in 80 Days.

      I'm a fan of Alan Partridge, too — "Smell my cheese!" — although I did not care for Alpha Papa. I hadn't even heard of Mid Morning Matters. I'll have to check it out.

      If the reviews for Captain Underpants are favourable, I'll see it, particularly if it turns out to be as crass as "Felix and His Amazing Underpants". Prob'ly not if it's based on a series of kids' books.

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    2. I've been meaning to check out some of what he's done outside of the Alan Partridge character.

      I agree, Alpha Papa was Partridge lite. At the time, I was hoping NA audiences would love it, but it didn't really do much (much like the Partridge character himself, which is a bit of a loser).

      Mid Morning Matters it awesome! You'll love it. I think I like it more than I'm Alan Partridge. It was a series of 5 minutes shorts initially only available over the internet, about Alan losing his show and only broadcasting over the internet. It used to be on Youtube, but you can get DVD's for it (2 seasons).

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    3. Just this minute ordered the MMM boxset from Amazon. It better be good, Paul, or I'm sending you the bill.

      Wikipedia says Coogan was in Hot Fuzz, but I don't remember that.

      Donald Pleasence's policeman character in Death Line does not care for teabags.

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    4. If you liked I'm Alan Partridge, you won't be disappointed. It's a new chapter for the same character (which we all love) but a new format which keeps it fresh. I honestly think it's the best Partridge, although it might be "newness bias" speaking. (newness is something I just invented)

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