Summer Movies – July 2016

Paul Feig Ghostbusters remake cast 2016
The new Ghostbusters are coming!

I was talking to my friend who asked what’s some good movies that are coming out this summer.

There was quite a bit of silence.

He described this summer as a bust. That there really wasn’t many movies to get excited about. He paused and said – “we said that about last summer too. And the one before that! You know, summer movies are really starting to suck.”

This summer might have felt more fun if Batman v Superman and Captain America: Civil War hadn’t already come and gone. Those were some big guns that everyone was excited for. Now that they’re in the history books everything else following them seem like forgettable afterthoughts. It’s doubtful that any of these summer movies will top the attention those flicks got. Well, that Dory movie will probably be big, but that’s not my thing.

However, one of the most widely discussed movies of the summer arrives, but crazily enough the attention for it is not because it looks so good, but because it looks so bad! What strange times we live in.

So, let’s see what’s coming in July!

July 1, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan

The Legend of Tarzan Alexander Skarsgard action movieMy guess is that most of the young audience only knows Tarzan from that Disney cartoon. Mention Johnny Weissmuller and they’d just give you a confused look. They probably aren’t familiar with Legend of Greystroke or that Bo Derek Tarzan flick either.

So the story of the baby being raised in the jungle and becoming the vine swinging Tarzan is back, this time in a big special effects heavy adventure movie with lots of battles….which looks like it’s the main draw here. You know, it looks gritty. Hollywood loves the word ‘gritty’. Maybe I’m wrong but is the cute funny Cheetah supposed to be this huge hulking gorilla? That’s certainly a ‘gritty’ update.

Maybe they’re holding back on Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie’s romantic story in the advertising. Based on the trailer I’ve seen they’re really playing down the whole ‘Me Tarzan you Jane’ romance and pushing lots of CGI animals swinging and running around. That’s what sells tickets nowadays. Plus, Christoph Waltz is a bad guy – go figure.

It doesn’t really look all that interesting to me. It kind of reminds me of The Lone Ranger in a lot of ways. Maybe there’s something more to it than the way it’s being promoted and director David Yates has something more in store than just a bunch of visual eye candy with jungles, swinging and lots of fighting. I hope Tarzan does his yell at least.

The Purge: Election Year

The Purge Election Year mask killer

I guess this is going to be an ongoing franchise.

Frank Grillo returns, this time it appears his character is a bodyguard to Senator Elizabeth Mitchell who wants to ban the Purge. She’s not hot on the idea that every year for a limited time only all crime is legal thing. But the Purge night comes and people don’t like her so they have twelve hours they can try to kill her while Grillo tries to protect her.

I said this when the last entry rolled around – the premise is a cool idea to explore some weightier things. Wrapped up in an action thriller having some intelligent commentary in it, but I don’t think these movies are too interested in that. There’s small traces of satire sprinkled around, but that’s not the priority. It’s become an easy story for home invasion type of thrills and have violent action scenes take place.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but for each of these movies that come around I always think it could have been so much more. This looks like the same kind of thing that’s come before. Although the political angle they’re promoting sounds like it might lead to some deeper things than just guys in masks running around – but I doubt that. It’ll probably be pretty much the same as the last one.

July 8, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets cartoon movie 2016

So cute. Pets talk and do funny things when their owners leave the house.

This isn’t for me. This is an adorable movie for little kids to have a good time at. It looks harmless enough, but I don’t care about it and probably will never see it.

I suppose if it’s a hit and there’s a pet in this that becomes a beloved kids favorite these guys will return. It seems like any animated movie that makes a bit of money nowadays will get its sequels.

July 15, 2016

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters 2016 remake cast

New York City is besieged by ghosts and only Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones can save the world and stop this specter apocalypse.

Yep, it’s the most notorious remake in recent memory. And it hasn’t even come out yet!

Paul Feig’s comedy has ignited controversy ever since first announced and it has just built and built and built up. The sci-fi comedy has become a talking point ranging from sexism, racism, Hollywood laziness, childhoods in flames. that notorious first film trailer, leaked emails, spilled movie screenings from insiders, boycotts, Sony’s damage control and the original cast being brought out to support it. Is there anything I missed? Let’s just say it’s been a wildfire of outrage and arguing over this flick.

One thing barely anyone is talking about is whether the movie is going to be funny at all. Isn’t that the main point of a comedy?

No it doesn’t look very good. It looks very unfunny actually. It looks cheap and dull and just an uninspired replay of the 1984 comedy. I think this was a crazy idea from inception. Sure Hollywood is remake crazy, but to many Ghostbusters is a sacred cow. It’s not just a popular movie, it’s an iconic movie. To this day kids watch the original and love it. So attempting a remake of it was going to be an uphill battle anyway. Thanks to the growing negative reaction it’s gotten already now it’s more like trying to claw your way up Mount Everest wearing flip flops and lugging a proton pack on your back.

The counter criticism Sony and Feig have for the backlash – those fans are sexist and don’t like the women cast. That’s how they’re rationalizing the lousy reaction the movie has gotten thus far. They’re just chalking it up to a handful of basement dwelling fans, so don’t bother listening to them folks, buy your tickets now!

Kristen Wiig Melissa McCarthy Ghostbusters 2016It’s funny how the media has been so willing to go along with this point of view. Everyone is ignoring the main gripe that I keep hearing from fans – from all over the place, even outside of cellars – that the movie does-not-look-funny!

The jokes being shown in the trailers are leaving everyone shaking their heads. They keep telling us how funny these women are, which I’m sure they can be. I’ve always loved Kristen Wiig, but nothing from the movie we’ve seen yet has got their funny’ on display. What, are they holding back on the actual good jokes?

I guess if anyone asks Feig, “Hey, Paul what’s your response to all the fans who say what they’ve seen from your movie so far isn’t funny?” the response will simply be “They hate women.” Is that the spin they’re doing? Is any media outlet going to ask him that or are they going to help maintain this misogyny angle that Sony is using to prop up the movie with?

I also am not sure what Feig means when he says they wanted to do their own thing with this remake when this looks like the worst kind of beat-for-beat retread that could have happened. It sure doesn’t look like they’re doing much of their own thing. And if it’s ‘they’re doing their own thing movie’, then why are they dragging out the original cast to help promote this? We’ve seen a lot of remakes come along and I can’t remember another instance when the original cast was sitting alongside the remake cast trumpeting the movie with them.

I am looking forward to seeing what the response will ultimately be and how this movie does. It will be tough for Sony and Feig to ignore silence in theaters when audiences are sitting there waiting for a laugh to come and none do. Kinda hard to peg that cricket sound on being sexist. But what will they care at that point, they’ll already have gotten audiences money.

Ghostbusters 2016 remake all women cast Melissa McCarthy Kristen Wiig Kate McKinnon Leslie Jones

Some are predicting a colossal bomb that will put an end to Sony’s planned multi-Ghostbusting universe or whatever they want to make happen and perhaps even the crash of a few careers. Despite all the criticism that the movie has been taking I still think it will open up well. It might not shatter records, but I think that logo and name will garner more goodwill out of the general audience than what some might be hoping.

I won’t bother seeing it. Unless my friend gets it at his movie theater. He wants to see how bad it is, so maybe I’ll join him. (I wouldn’t pay for it of course) After that first weekend though I’m thinking it will drop pretty quickly and by August everyone will have forgotten about Ghostbusters 2016.

Probably the most interesting thing that will come out of this Ghostbusters will be later on when hopefully a more forthright admission of what really went down behind-the-scenes gets spilled. I’d be curious to hear a more true account of what took place and some honest thoughts than the smiling PR we’re seeing now while Feig and the cast make the rounds on the promotion circuit. I don’t buy any of it. Sony and everyone involved with this movie must be worried.

July 22, 2016

Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond 2016 sequel Spock McCoy

After J.J. Abrams went to go focus on Star Wars the Star Trek franchise fell into the hands of Justin Lin. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and the rest of the new Trek cast are back. This time it looks like the Enterprise crashes, everyone abandons ship, lands on a planet that have some mean and good aliens on it and Kirk has to rescue them. At least that’s the idea I got from the last trailer. I could be completely wrong, I didn’t really look too hard into this.

The first trailer wasn’t too good. It looked like they were trying to give it a Guardians of a Galaxy flavor. The second trailer was better and made it look a bit more Trek-ish. Still I’m somewhat indifferent about it. This series hasn’t been as highly anticipated by me and Star Trek: Into Darkness really cooled me on this new Trek. I’ll eventually watch it just to see how it is, but it’s not high on my list.

Ice Age: Collision Course

Ice Age: Collision Course 2016 sequel

I was just saying how every popular animated movie gets a sequel. These Ice Age movies….man! How many have they done? I have no idea how many sequels there’s been of these, then short movies and TV specials. I look through my nephews DVD collections and I always see these things. It’s never-ending!

Anyway, I guess all the animal characters are back. That little squirrel guy is probably still chasing after his acorn.

July 29, 2016

Jason Bourne

Matt Damon as Jason Bourne 2016 sequel

Hey, here’s a movie I want to see! Finally! It took long enough. We’re already at the end of July!

Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass return to do another Jason Bourne movie. I guess everyone realized that Jeremy Renner wasn’t going to cut it with continuing the franchise. No one really cared much for a Bourne movie without Jason Bourne, so they got Damon and Greengrass back.

I was surprised when I heard they were going to another Bourne flick. I accepted the Bourne trilogy was finalized, Damon would move onto other things and they would just try to desperately keep the series going with other actors in similar stories connecting it to Bourne. But surprise surprise!

I’ve purposely avoided reading much about what this one’s about. I suspect it’s going to be something like – Bourne looking for answers and government guys not wanting to give them to him, cue chase and fight scenes. I’m hoping it’s a worthwhile sequel. I would say this one must be Damon’s swan song as Bourne, but as Connery said, “Never say never”.

One thing I don’t like – the title. I wish they came up with a snazzier Bourne sounding title than just Jason Bourne. If you do a James Bond movie it should have a weird title. If you do an Indiana Jones movie you indicate something about his adventure in the title. If you do a Bourne movie it should be called ‘Bourne’ then a single word following it. Kinda lazy just to call it Jason Bourne. But that’s forgiven if the movie is good.


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1 Response

  1. Great summary.
    The one thing I never understood about Tarzan is that he is cut off from humanity, brought up in the jungle and has no access to any of the amenities of modern man. So who cuts his hair and where does he get his razor blades from ?.

    Ghostbusters really does look a complete miscalculation. I simply cannot get my head around why they didn't make Ghostbusters 3 and have the 4 girls related to the original cast. If Ackroyd and Murray are happy to cameo in it, so, er, why the re-imagining? As you say in the summary, gender is not the problem. Like many "comedies" that come out from Hollywood this one looks like DOA

    To your point that we forget every summer how bad films are becoming, this is pretty evident this year. Sequels are doing bad in the box office. Some films are really under-performing domestically such as Alice Through The Looking Glass and Independence Day 2. New films too like Warcraft was practically saved by the Chinese market. With so much quality TV at the moment (Game Of Thrones is currently out-Hollywood Hollywood) it looks like bad films are no longer being rewarded for just being "out there". Many past summer flicks have bombed, but this year feels different given the number of films that have bombed at the box office. Paying $20 to see rubbish is no longer justifiable given we will know just how bad a film will be on the day of the release. Thank god for the internet. It changed the music industry forever with downloads. With instant access to information it could start to change Hollywood.

    "Must do better" sums up the summer of 2016

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