Summer Movies – June 2017

Wonder Woman movie 2017 Gal GadotFor decades June had traditionally been the start of the summer movie season. Then Hollywood realized folks were willing to go see big-budget, crowd dazzlers even earlier in year. After that mind-blowing discovery, the summer movie season expanded to a full four months to include May.

So now moviegoers get a jumpstart on summer movies by the time June comes around. Before the kids get a break from school and adults take vacations summer movies have been dotting the multiplex landscape for awhile now. But we want the new stuff

Last June the movies were hitting one after another – and audiences were just as quickly forgetting them. Boy, that was a terrible summer. When was the last time you heard someone talk about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Warcraft, Now You See Me 2, Independence Day Resurgence? Yep, they were sure easy to forget about.

This June looks like there’s more flicks that will have some staying power. Franchise starters and continuations that will draw folks in and have them be discussing them until the next inevitable installment.

There’s something for superhero fans, horror lovers, females ready for a girls night out with some raunchy laughs, kids anxious for the return of favorite cartoons and those fans who continue to go see Transformers movies – whoever they are.

Will any of this crop of flicks be any good though? Hmmm. Let’s take a look!

 

June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot Wonder Woman movie 2017The most famed female superhero in history gets to headline her first big-screen major motion-picture. This ain’t Lynda Carter spinning around on tv sets wearing shiny red underpants!

Princess Diana (Gal Gadot) of the Amazons is enjoying a nice violent female-only life on Paradise Island until pilot Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) lands on her beach. She then heads to the outside world with him where she shows off super heroics with her sword, shield and magic lasso and expands the DC Extended Universe even further!

Let’s get this out of the way – I don’t think there’s really that much riding on this. You keep hearing this phrase by a lot by fans. “There’s a lot riding on Wonder Woman to save the DC films.” Nah, not really.

Let’s face it, if Wonder Woman is good it won’t redeem in any way the movies that have come before that DC/WB have churned out or suddenly make me more optimistic of what the future holds for this universe.

This will be the fourth film in this series of interconnected movies – does anyone really expect one movie to save what came before? If anything it will just show everyone how entertaining a DC movie can be. So with that now proven, what are the excuses for all that middling previous crap?

A two-hour exciting rollick won’t make me forget the six-plus hours of depressing, nonsensical DC nonsense I’ve had to endure. While many might feel encouraged that a good Wonder Woman film is the turning point in this DC franchise and mark it as a sign of clearer skies ahead, I’ll view it as a lone high point in a sea of crap. I will remain as skeptical as ever about the upcoming Justice League movie no matter how good Gadot is with her magic lasso here.

Wonder Woman Gal Gadot Patty Jenkins director movie 2017Now, if Wonder Woman is lousy it will just be the norm for this cinematic universe and maintain the status quo of low quality they’ve been giving to audiences. As long as it makes money DC/WB can ignore any criticisms and they will most likely just keep plowing forward with whatever plan they come up with during the week for this series.

So, in my mind Wonder Woman is all by her lonesome. Actually, it probably would have been better had they made all of these separate movies. The stinky baggage each latest DC movie has been forced to follow from the one before has done no one any favors. The fact Wonder Woman is associated with a crop of bad movies is more of a handicap to me than being ‘neato’ it’s part of this low-grade cinematic universe.

So, this is sort of a win/win for the Amazonian Princess and director Patty Jenkins. If Wonder Woman is even a remotely decent movie, the bar has been lowered so much fans will herald it as the first bright spot in this DC cinematic universe. If it sucks it will be par for the course – but isn’t it cool we finally got a Wonder Woman movie.

I’m thinking this will be decent. There’s some uniqueness with the WWI setting (that will inevitably bring up comparisons to Captain America; The First Avenger) and the character of Wonder Woman herself will bring along excitement upon its release. She was a high point in Batman v Superman, so a lot of folks will be anxious to see her again. Little girls will surely enjoy seeing Wonder Woman onscreen and this will probably be her introduction to a whole new generation of fans. Prepare to see plenty of little Wonder Woman’s during Halloween.

Wonder Woman movie 2017 Gal Gadot Chris PineI have much more faith in Jenkins to deliver an entertaining superhero romp than Snyder when he’s fully at the helm. Gadot and Pine should be fine. Added humor and romance will be welcomed and that could balance out the continued use of muddy CGI landscapes, cliched slo-mo action shots, reverberating blue explosions that disintegrate buildings and probably Wonder Woman fighting a lame villain in the final climax. It will be a big hit.

It will be the best movie that DC/WB has done, so I guess we can break out the champagne. That still won’t ‘save’ anything for this DC Expanded Universe for me though.

 

June 9, 2017

The Mummy

Tom Cruise The Mummy movie casketHey! Talking about interconnected movies, here’s the beginning of the newest one! A new horror movie franchise that will begin building a cinematic universe around the classic Universal movie monsters.

Well, it doesn’t really seem like a horror series, but more like action/fantasy. The odds are probably pretty slim we’ll be seeing anyone navigating through a haunted house holding a candle. But we’ll definitely see cities getting destroyed, CGI-mayhem being unleashed and crowds of civilians running around panicked with our hero trying to survive and defeat whatever monster is the headliner.

At least that’s how The Mummy looks. The only candle we possibly might get to see will be in the background sitting on a mantle.

They made the radical decision to get Tom Cruise to star in this new franchise and have him do a bunch of a stunts with a female mummy roaming around. It already sounds quite cookie-cutterish. When the trailer debuted many people had deja vu to Cruise’s Mission Impossible franchise. This looked like Mummy Impossible.

I am an old school Mummy fan. The Mummy to me is Boris Karloff (look him up kids). I have never seen any of those 90’s Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser. I know they were big hits – they were sort of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies back in the day – but I never had any interest in them. This looks like it’s an update of those movies rather than resembling anything in the old classic Mummy movies. Probably the closest connection they’ll have to those is a scene in the desert.

The Mummy Sofia Boutella 2017 movie special effects CGIThis doesn’t look interesting to me. If it took a bit more of a horror, creepy tone like the old monster movies then at least that would have been something unique. Instead this Mummy looks like any other superhero, disaster, sci-fi, special effects-heavy, franchise movie that comes out every month.

I get my fill of seeing Cruise do stunts in the Mission Impossible movies. If I want CGI disaster porn I can watch any big-budget, crowd-pleasing blockbuster. The hook of them having a female Mummy isn’t as special to me as they’re trying to make it sound. Didn’t the Fraser flicks have a female Mummy?

And the promise of this being the first in a shared universe of monster movies does not get me anxious to jump on this train. Oh boy, so Russell Crowe plays Dr. Jekyll and he’ll be the character to start connecting all these different monster movies – gee what a novel idea! Yeah, right.

I’ll probably catch this when it hits cable our of curiosity, but it’s not a movie that I have much interest to see. It looks like typical summer popcorn fare that might entertain, but can easily be forgotten – except with the guaranteed promise of them doing more of them.

 

June 16, 2017

Cars 3

Cars 3 Lightning McQueen movie sequel 2017Lightning McQueen and the world of Cars returns.

For this third go around McQueen is faced with aging and not being as fast a race car as he used to be. He begins training and struggles with trying for one last win on the racetrack – or something.

I never saw any of the Cars movies. I think I saw a few minutes of the first one, but it wasn’t a Pixar flick I gravitated to. I thought the second one was pegged as the worst sequel the company had done. I might be wrong, but I think they did some TV shows and spinoff movies with these guys. I guess they’ll continue with the world of Cars as long as kids watch them and buy the toys.

It looks harmless enough. The animation looks nice and from the trailer it appears to have a nice ‘don’t give up’ message. I’m an old cranky fogey though and will skip it.

 

Rough Night

Rough Night comedy 2017 cast Scarlett Johansson Kate McKinnonIf you’re a frequent visitor of mine you probably know I’ve been pretty much done with comedies for a long time now. This flick doesn’t look like it will change my stance.

Five women go off on a trip for a bachelorette party weekend, hire a male stripper, he ends up dying and things spiral out of control into hilarious situations.

This looks like it’s a raunchy comedy in the same vein as Bridesmaids, The Hangover, Bad Moms. Even later in the summer there’s a movie called Girls Trip that is cut from the same cloth – that one looked funnier to me actually. Use the same exact premise as Very Bad Things and maybe throw in some dead body gags from Weekend at Bernie’s in it as well.

This appears to be another entry of the same kind of comedies Hollywood specializes in nowadays. The laughs are based around disgusting and outrageous jokes, along with actors doing that rambling, jokey, improv dialogue with awkward reaction shots by others.

It looks like it was an easy paycheck for Scarlett Johansson, but won’t be a high point on her resume and she should have spent her time working on something else. Despite everyone telling me how great Kate McKinnon is this doesn’t look like it will make me a fan. I think she does an Australian accent in this or something. I’m also reading Demi Moore pops up in this too.

I’ll gladly skip this. It might be fun for the ladies to get together, goto the theater and make a night out of seeing this, sort of like what gals did with Bridesmaids. I will admit it looks better than last years Ghostbusters, but really not by much. Make sure you have plans to do something afterwards to salvage the night in the event it’s truly awful.

 

June 23, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight

Transformers Last Knight 2017 sequel Optimus Prime

Hey, surprise everyone – they’re still making these Transformers movies!

Yes! Michael Bay has continued to be the grandmaster of this franchise that will soon reach fifty entries of incompetent, headache-inducing, incomprehensible, dizzying summer entertainment.

Or maybe it just feels like they made that many.

I don’t care about Transformers. I tried watching the first one once and just couldn’t manage through it. I bailed and haven’t looked back. The only thing I enjoy about these movies is the vitriol that comes from critics and fans who take loud vocal aim attacking these flicks for the messes they are.

If you are a Transformers fan then go and enjoy yourself – I’m sure there is….stuff that will happen in this, there will be special effects and there will be traces of a story to entertain you. If you’re someone who has been longing for this series to turn itself around and are holding out hope that this one will finally do it…..well, I hate to break it to you, but I’d say the odds are against that.

Baby Driver

Baby Driver Ansel Elgort Edgar WrightAnsel Elgort is a young, music-listening getaway driver named Baby. His criminal life is filled with awesome car chases, a rocking soundtrack and working alongside unfriendly associates. When he meets a pretty waitress, Baby thinks she’s the perfect reason to leave his crime-breaking life behind, but gang boss Kevin Spacey isn’t very thrilled with losing his best driver.

Edgar Wright directs this comic, action caper and will most likely bring his usual visual flair to it. The film has quite a good cast who look like they’re going to have a ball playing the bad and comical. If you were disappointed with the Guardians 2 soundtrack Baby Driver could bump it as the most popular set of tunes this summer. And from the trailer the car chases and stunts look great. They appear much more exhilarating and down-to-earth than anything I’ve seen from those Fast and Furious movies!

If this connects with audiences it could be the sleeper hit of the summer. Unfortunately, its release date has shuffled quite a bit. I didn’t even realize it was coming out in June and had to come back to include it here. Plus, capturing moviegoers attention away from all the glossier, big-budget fare could be a challenge.

Somehow I keep thinking Baby Driver will end up being this summers The Nice Guys. A really good, smaller, unique movie that will get buried amongst the huge summer offerings. It will probably gain more fans when it hits dvd and possibly become a future cult classic.

June 30, 2017

Despicable Me 3

Despicable Me 3 Gru twin brotherKids’ favorite reformed villain Gru is back and this time he meets his twin brother Dru, who wants him to go back to bad-guying and help him out with a villainous plan.

I only saw the first Despicable Me and it was entertaining. Kids seem to love this series and those cute Minions, so this newest entry in the series will probably be a big hit and kids will continue to love it.

The one trailer I saw for this was funny. It featured some 1980’s inspired bad guy attacking a ship with bubble gum, rubik cube weapons and all the while doing Michael Jackson dance moves. It had me chuckling. So, if adults get dragged to this they’ll probably get some laughs from it as well.

 

Amityville: The Awakening

Amityville The Awakening horror sequel 2017The house in Amityville New York has new residents and they too will be terrorized by otherworldly terrors. This time it’s a single mother two daughters and a son who’s in some kind of coma that are the victims to this Amityville supernatural horror.

I read that this movie has been pushed back a few times – not a good sign. The trailer didn’t look very good to me. If the remake of the original was lousy and bombed I’m not sure why they continue with these movies. I didn’t realize how many of them they’ve done! I’ve read the number is sixteen! Sixteen of these flicks. Unreal.

Perhaps they think the Amityville name is still enough of a draw to get audiences into the seats for a horror movie. I wouldn’t bank on that. To me, seeing the name ‘Amityville’ on a movie carries about the same amount of worth as seeing ‘National Lampoon’ stamped on a comedy nowadays – which is nothing!

If I had to make a prediction – this flick will come and go so fast everyone will forget about it long before they do the next Amityville movie.

UPDATE: Amittyville: The Awakening has been pushed back AGAIN with no release date slated for it. So for anyone who was interested in it, you’ll have to continue to wait. Maybe you’ll get a chance to see it around Halloween.

 

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1 Response

  1. Sam says:

    With the possible exception of Cars 3 (I reserve judgement on whether I will see this thing until after reviews come in) I think Hollywood just saved me $60 ($120 if I count the wife)

    Hollywood. Here to save you money and time by giving you other things to do.

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