Monday, June 25, 2018

Random Thoughts on 2018 Movies (July/August)

by Adam Riske and Alejandra Gonzalez
The best collaboration since the Judgment Night soundtrack returns to talk about the next two months of theatrical releases.

The First Purge

Adam: I’m in a weird spot with this series. I think the movies have gotten better with each one, but I’m maybe done with the whole thing. It’s become more difficult for me to get vicarious kicks from this franchise. If I go, it will be because Marisa Tomei was added to the cast.

Alejandra: Yeah, I can pretty much agree with everything you said. I feel like this is probably not the movie for me to watch these days, but at the same time it does look engaging and worth watching for anyone who doesn’t mind the content.
Ant-Man and the Wasp

Alejandra: I have been pretty much hard crushing on Evangeline Lilly since I saw her in The Hobbit, so I’m already a fan of this movie one way or the other. I just need a really good time that doesn’t leave me feeling heavy, and I feel like Ant-Man and the Wasp is going to give that to me. I’m also really excited about how the movie is being marketed — in particular that one poster where she’s standing in front of him. I just don’t think there’s much room for disappointment here so I am definitely looking forward to it.

Adam: Before Avengers: Infinity War I had very little interest in revisiting Ant-Man, but that last Avengers movie made me more pumped about Marvel than ever. Every time I see the trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp I’m more excited to see it. Add to that a great supporting cast (which includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne and Michael Douglas) and my current out-of-nowhere Evangeline Lilly mega-crush (That suit! That ponytail!) and I’ve got to see this movie.

Sorry to Bother You

Adam: I like the cast (Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer), but the film itself is so obnoxiously marketed that I no longer want to see it. Festival movie trailers remind me of that Peter Griffin line from Family Guy where he says he doesn’t like The Godfather because “It insists upon itself.”

Alejandra: I’ve heard some pretty incredible things about this from my friends who saw it at SXSW, some even ranking it among their favorites. It looks incredibly fun, and the cast (mainly Tessa Thompson) is reason enough for me to go watch this. It’s listed as science fiction on Google, so I’m not sure if there’s some crazy plot twist or if I missed something in the trailer...either way, there’s only one way to find out.


Alejandra: Not only am I a fan of screen biographies, but I am a huge fan of Whitney. My favorite part of watching music biopics (can we call this that?) in an audience is watching everybody mouthing the words silently and dancing in their seats. Something tells me a lot of that is going to happen with Whitney, but I also know this will be pretty heartbreaking in the way that most of them are.

Adam: I’m pretty much on board with any screen biography (either doc or feature...I saw Gotti) so I’ll definitely see Whitney. She recorded some amazing music during her life and it will be great to hear some of those songs in a movie theater. I hope there are stories about the making of The Bodyguard. This reminds me that I still have to watch Amy.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Adam: Considering I like monsters it surprises me that I’ve never had the impulse to watch any of these movies.

Alejandra: I’m a little embarrassed, but I’m kind of excited about this. I feel like it’s just so on-brand for me. I mean, it’s got vampires and also despite clearly being a children's movie it seems like it’ll have some innuendos that only adults might find funny (Read: “I’m not into tentacles” in the trailer), and that reminds me a lot of Shrek, which I love unironically.

Alejandra: I was really confused about why we were discussing this movie again this year in our Random Thoughts column, but then I realized that this isn’t Rampage and I just couldn’t tell that there was a difference.

Adam: This is going to be the next White House Down, isn’t it? I like a handful of Dwayne Johnson movies, but he’s the personification of the line in White Men Can’t Jump when Woody tells Wesley “You’d rather look good and lose than look bad and win.” I wish he gave more of a shit about the quality of the movies he’s in.

Eighth Grade

Adam: This girl should just volunteer and get out of her head. It worked for Cher in Clueless.

Alejandra: At first, I was like “how will this resonate with me at all?” but it was kind of giving me Ingrid Goes West vibes with how much it seems to concern itself with the effects of social media (ok, maybe it’s not that deep) and now I feel like I care more. It also got lots of positive reactions at SXSW, so I guess it wouldn’t hurt to give it a shot. I do like Bo Burnham, and if nothing else it could be really charming.

The Equalizer 2

Alejandra: Well I guess I should watch Equalizer 1 before I can say much about this. I know it’s probably really great, which means this will probably be really great, it just seems like a movie for my dad. But like, Denzel, so.

Adam: Fuq me once, shame on you. Fuq me a dozen times, I won’t get Fuq’d again. Antoine Fuqua movies, except Training Day and Brooklyn’s Finest, are so frustrating to me. Denzel will get me to give this franchise another chance, though. I hope they beef up Bill Pullman’s role this time around. The first Equalizer is not great, btw, unless you want to see an aging Academy Award Winner beat up bad guys at Home Depot.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Adam: One, please, for Lily James smiling and singing. I’m gonna ignore that this a Mama Mia movie. It worked the second time I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story and pretended Alden Ehrenreich was just a random guy.

Alejandra: I am probably 1 of 7 people on the planet who enjoyed Mamma Mia! unironically, the other six people all being part of the cast. It probably had more to do with the ABBA music than anything else, and I can admit that, but I am still pretty excited to watch this. Plus, Cher. I just don’t know if they can save this one with the music, seeing as though all of the most popular ABBA songs are in the first movie, but what the hell? I renewed MoviePass for a reason.

Unfriended: Dark Web

Alejandra: I remember you having a really great reaction to the first one, so maybe this will be similar. I don’t know if I could sit through some of this content, though. Dark web stuff really creeps me out.

Adam: I’m on record as loving the first one, but I’m hearing bad word of mouth for this sequel...even from SXSW...and they love everything. It’s a bummer.

Alejandra: MoviePass!

Adam: Why are you on the dark web?
Mission: Impossible: Fallout

Adam: I love this franchise. The stunts look incredible and plentiful. I’m happy Rebecca Ferguson is back. Henry Cavill seems like a formidable foe. I just hope Fallout is not this series’ The Fate of the Furious, where Ethan is Evil Dom and against the team for the majority of the movie.

Alejandra: Whenever I read anything about this movie the first thing that comes to mind is Henry Cavill cocking his arm like a gun before throwing a punch in the trailer, and that alone is motive enough for me to pay full price to watch this movie. I also really do like this franchise a lot. There’s almost no way this could be a bad time. (I’ve just jinxed it, didn’t I?)

Teen Titans Go to the Movies

Alejandra: I am not sure I can get past how much I hate the animation style in this, but it does look really funny and I do have to support my goth soul sister, Raven. This will probably be a Wednesday at 1PM movie for me.

Adam: This movie looks funny. I’m game. I’ve seen the show a handful of times and I enjoy its brand of silliness.

Christopher Robin

Adam: The special effects look incredible (Those plushies are alive!) and I’m getting Hook vibes from the trailers. I’m not gonna lie, I’m really looking forward to this.

Alejandra: I know this will be pretty magical, but it LOOKS bleak as hell. Pooh is kind of nightmare fuel in this, but at the same time I wanna squeeze the shit out of him. The trailer made me cry for whatever reason, and it’s not even particularly sad. I’m really damn excited too.


Alejandra: I’m not really into this computer movie format that seems to be pretty popular right now, and I feel wrong for that. I like John Cho a lot, and I love a good mystery so, sure.

Adam: Is “laptop terror” its own subgenre now? Kidding aside, this looks like an interesting mystery and John Cho is in it, so that helps.

Mile 22

Adam: Are they remaking 16 Blocks? I wish Iko Uwais wasn’t in this because now I have to see another Mark Wahlberg-Peter Berg movie.

Alejandra: You’re brave. Once I saw Mark Wahlberg was in this I didn’t even watch the trailer.

The Spy Who Dumped Me

Alejandra: I liked Mila Kunis in Bad Moms, but she plays Mila Kunis in everything. The trailer looks fun and I just got MoviePass (again) so...

Adam: Mila Kunis isn’t funny. For someone in as many comedies as her, that’s not good. I’m on the record as not being Team McKinnon either (she’s the scene-hog in every improv class). Sorry to be a jerk. This is a nightmare pairing.
The Meg

Adam: I’m excited for this movie. I hope it’s another Piranha 3D. Missed opportunity that Meg Ryan isn’t in the cast.

Alejandra: Uh, hell yes. I am so stoked about this movie because if there’s anything that scares the shit out of me, it’s the ocean and sharks - not to mention one that is like eight million tons.


Alejandra: I’m really into this, and I think it’s being released at a really appropriate time. I love Adam Driver a bunch, and I’ve never seen John David Washington in anything yet, so I’m really curious and excited!

Adam: The premise is interesting, Adam Driver co-stars and it’s a new Spike Lee movie that’s supposedly really good - I’m sold. Is it just me or does the lead actor (Denzel’s son, John David Washington) sound exactly like his dad?

Alejandra: If I closed my eyes and just listened to this trailer...Denzel.

Crazy Rich Asians

Adam: Good to see Michelle Yeoh back. I wanted the trailer to look better.

Alejandra: I totally understand what you mean about the trailer looking a little funky. Still, it’s cool to see an all Asian cast because I don’t think I’ve seen that before in an American movie. Also, I only just saw what Awkwafina can do in Ocean’s 8 and I loved her in that.

The Happytime Murders

Alejandra: What the hell is this? I feel like this is going to be a dick joke movie, if you know what I mean. Also, I’m sure she’s lovely but I don’t really care for Melissa McCarthy and wouldn’t be super upset if I never saw another one of her movies again. Do her movies even perform well?

Adam: They used to and she’s still burning through the chances those earlier hits afforded her. On paper, this puppet mystery sounded terrific but the trailer has me worried. Is the joke exclusively that the puppets curse, have sex and do drugs? I don’t need another Sausage Party in my life.

Slender Man

Adam: I’m absolutely seeing this. Master of Horror Joey King is in it. I’m being sincere.

Alejandra: I just feel like this movie is being released a little late. The height of the Slender Man craze has come and gone, my friend!
Destination Wedding

Alejandra: I would just like to know why Keanu and Winona are not the stars of every single romantic comedy in existence. I’m pretty much the most on board I’ve ever been.

Adam: Why haven’t there been a dozen Winona Ryder-Keanu Reeves romantic comedies by now? This looks like something I’d see at the arthouse theater and before the movie starts they play a commercial for Stella Artois.

Your turn! What are you looking forward to over the next couple of months?


  1. This summer, compared to the last few, seems to have kicked it up a notch. There has been and will be at least one really good title I'm excited for each week.

    Didn't know anything about DESTINATION WEDDING, definitely there for that.

    With you on ANT MAN AND THE WASP. I was always going to be there in a seat to watch it, but after Infinity War, I'm excited for it. All the reviews yesterday after the first screening were hella positive.

    THE MEG, SKYSCRAPER, MILE 22, and a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE laden summer. This is 1998, right? I'm so there for all these.

    As a fan of ABBA, exotic locations and definitely Lily James, MAMMA MIA: HERE WE GO AGAIN is getting my butt in a seat. Every summer needs a screening where you're the only person under 50 in attendance.

  2. BlacKkKlansman is great. it's not the angry Spike Lee of recent years, but a more restrained Spike Lee that's trying to tell us something instead of shoving it in our faces. not that either mode is right or wrong. i like both. i'm sure the movie will get a lot of love

    1. I can't wait to see it. When Spike Lee hits, he really kills it.

    2. i can't wait for you to see it. i know you're a fan of the man's work. i hope you do an article or a podcast about it.

  3. The first Ant-Man was a perfectly timed breath of fresh air after the stuffy Age of Ultron, and, although Infinity War was much better than Ultron, I think Ant-Man and the Wasp is still welcome as lighter fare after the bigger and darker IW. I think the people at Marvel might actually know what they're doing.

  4. I honestly do not understand why Mission Impossible isn't the biggest franchise in the world. They've had 5 movies, they've hit 2 homeruns, a triple, a double....and struck out looking. That's 13 total bases! Is it just because Tom Cruise is weird and creepy?

    1. I think that's probably it. It definitely hurt M:I 3.

    2. i think it's starting to get getting its due back. helped by a couple of more than great movies and the demise of the James Bond Franchise.

  5. I think Jumanji is the only The Rock film I’ve seen — certainly the only one I’ve seen in theatres — but I’ll probably go to Skyscraper to admire that Neve Campbell is once again on the big screen.

    Infinity War was the first Marvel movie I’d seen in theatres since the first Ant-Man, but I’m going to check out the sequel opening night in hopes of seeing it end just as Infinity War did. That would be so punk rock

  6. I have watched the Fallout trailer a ton and am so psyched for it. It's a genre I love and I have to admire the zeal and insanity that Cruise throws in to these movies. Also I hope it leads to McQuarrie getting to direct his own original work more in the future.