The summer has been blistering and Hollywood has been churning out some major blockbusters and disastrous duds. May and June exhausted the superhero and multiplex mania that summer releases often demand. Even with some major long-weekend holidays, July seems to play it a little bit low-key. Here’s what’s slated for release this month.
Deliver Us From Evil (July 4)
This summer screamer stars Eric Bana (where has he been?!) as NYPD officer Ralph Sarchie as he joins forces with an unconventional priest to combat “possessions” which terrorize the City. This is one of those “based-on-true-events” tales hell bent on scaring the hell outta me. Director Scott Derrickson has taken on this genre before with The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister. The plot may not be anything new – but horror movies tend to make a killing at the summer box office.
Tammy (July 4)
Melissa McCarthy stole the show in Bridesmaids, but her box office exploits since then have been lacklustre. Tammy seems to continue the streak of obnoxious unfunny “comedy”, in which McCarthy plays yet another loud, insufferable character who after losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother (played by Susan Sarandon?!!).
Life Itself (July 4)
“For me the movies are like a machine that generates empathy. It lets you understand hopes, aspirations, dreams and fears. It helps us to identify with the people that are sharing this journey with us.” – Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert shaped how I watch movies. For me, he was the most influential and well known mainstream film critic. I’m really looking forward to this documentary on the life and times of Roger Ebert.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a huge critical and commercial surprise in 2011, prompting an inevitable sequel which promises to be bigger and better than its predecessor. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Starring Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and the immensely versatile Andy Serkis.
Boyhood (July 11)
Boyhood is a completely unheard of filmmaking feat – following the life of a single boy from age 5 to 18. Richard Linklater’s film is risky and ground-breaking – an ode to growing up and parenting. Boyhood is a film that was literally twelve years in the making – following a single character as he literally grows up on screen.
Sex Tape (July 18)
Reuniting the Bad Teacher pair, Sex Tape stars Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz as a married couple who wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts. Seems… forgettable, but given the general lack of R-rated comedies in July, it might be a raunchy sleeper hit.
The Purge: Anarchy (July 18)
Fans of the ultra-violent first installment will most likely flock to the movies to see this one. The Purge series may turn into the next Saw franchise. I’m sure the third installment is already in the direct-to-dvd- works.
Wish I Was Here (July 18)
In Wish I Was Here, Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff) is a 35-year-old man who finds himself at major crossroads, which forces him to examine his life, his career, and his family. Zach Braff’s kickstarter campaign led to the fan-based financing of this film – so he’d better deliver. [Honest Confession Time… I didn’t really care for Garden State]
Hercules (July 25)
The Rock takes on Hercules: The Later Years…. Or…as the trailer promises, Hercules, the Greek demigod, defeating a tyrannical warlord. My synopsis: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson looking like a mountain of a man. Greek Mythogolgy (kind of). Muscles on muscles on muscles.
Lucy (July 25)
In Lucy, Scarlett Johansson finds herself accidentally caught in a dark deal that transforms her into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. It looks sleek, smart and sexy as hell. If the Avengers and Captain America: Winter Soldier were any indication, Scarlett Johansson will be kicking some serious ass in this.
Magic In the Moonlight (July 25)
Woody Allen continues to make talkies, this time with Emma Stone and Colin Firth. Allen seems to have been churning out small films at an increasing pace for the past few years – let’s hope Magic In The Moonlight is as charming as its cast.
That’s it for July…. but don’t worry – the summer flicks keep on kicking in August – with big name stars in big time movies.