Last week I finally nailed down another theme, but we're back to a smorgasbord concoction tonight! We have some Indy, some horror, some thriller, some comedy. This selection may not contain any Summer blockbusters, but a handful are unique in their own way. Whatever your cup of tea, hopefully you'll find something you enjoy.
Our Kind of Traitor (7/1/2016):
Ewan McGregor (Big Fish, Trainspotting) has been in more movies lately than you may realize, but they have almost all flown under the radar. I fear the same will be true for this project. Our Kind of Traitor is a thriller also featuring the talents of Stellan Skarsgård (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Thor), Damian Lewis (Homeland, Life), and Naomie Harris (Spectre, 28 Days Later). This looks to be one of those slow burn movies. A thriller that is wrought with tension and plot twists, which hopefully won't be very predictable. I like all of the main cast, but it's really hard to judge any chemistry from the trailer.
I feel for it to succeed, they really have to play those plot twists close to the chest, as well as make them surprising, I don't think the trailer spoiled any. You expect them to happen, but it's best not knowing when. It does a good job at hinting that no one can be trusted and for an espionage film that's paramount. You want to strike that paranoia nerve of the audience and keep them guessing! I think this movie looks really good, but unfortunately, it feels like there is no marketing behind it. Hopefully it does decent.
The Purge: Election Year - Trailer 2 (7/1/2016):
I've missed out on the Purge franchise and I have to be honest, while the first movie looked good (I'm a fan of Ethan Hawke), I didn't expect sequels to start springing up. Maybe it will go continue like Saw did? Who knows. What I do know is that I wanted to avoid this trailer because I hadn't seen the previous installments. I can't help but notice a lack of an actor from the original... so... spoiler alert? Dammit!
This third installment stars Frank Grillo (Captain America: Civil War, The Grey) and Elizabeth Mitchell (Who I didn't even recognize in the trailer — Revolution, Lost), and revolves around a story centered around a politician attempting to be elected to end the annual purge event. Obviously, those in power wish to stop that from happening, so they are planning a very special purge for the senator. Sounds legit. Mykelti Williamson (24, Forrest Gump) is about the only other actor I'm vaguely familiar with in the movie.
The trailer was a bit bloodier than anticipated, but it laid out the overall plotline well enough. Maybe giving away a bit too much? It's annoying when there is the attempt to build suspense of protagonists in danger, but then spoiled in trailers it's all good. Well, except for later on in the trailer where the exact opposite seems to be shown, so... kudos to that! I'll likely try to watch the franchise once this shifts out of theaters.
Captain Fantastic (7/8/2016):
This looks like a great Indy drama to me. It looks like very touching, emotional story that is bound to tug at the heartstrings. Viggo Mortensen (The Road, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) is a great actor and his performance — portraying a man and father, forced to abandon his preferred way of life after the death of his wife — looks fantastic. The supporting cast, consisting of Kathryn Hahn (The Family Fang, Parks and Recreation), Steve Zahn (Sahara, Joy Ride), and Frank Langella (Robot & Frank, The Ninth Gate), are equally talented. I haven't seen Steve Zahn in anything for a long while, so I'm hoping this gives him some renewed exposure.
I know people who would opt for this particular type of lifestyle. Maybe some have even tried. I'm a bit torn on the subject matter, however, because I can see how it would be appealing and very freeing, even beneficial, but also destructive in a way. Much like how it seems to be presented in the trailer. It's an interesting topic and I'm looking forward to seeing this once it hits Redbox/Netflix.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (7/8/2016):
I'm not sure what to say about this movie. Nothing about the trailer really grabs me. The plot, the gags, the performances. Don't get me wrong, I like many of the actors involved — Zac Efron (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, We Are Your Friends), Aubrey Plaza (Monsters University, Safety Not Guaranteed), and Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect 2, Into the Woods). Not so much Adam Devine (The Intern, Workaholics) — but it just isn't connecting with me. I even watched the red-band trailer they released (kind of standard issue now for comedies) and still nothing.
The only thing I was excited by in the trailer was the appearance of Stephen Root (The Lone Ranger, Finding Nemo) who I loved from News Radio. Aaaaaaand, yeah, that's about it. Maybe it won't be as bad as I think it'll be. I'm definitely not going to find out by paying top dollar in the theater, though, sorry. Especially when the trailer didn't make me laugh.
Lights Out (7/22/2016):
I can't be certain, but I swear there was some YouTube video revolving around the same subject matter. An entity that would only appear when the lights went off. Maybe this movie originated out of that? Maybe there is some other source material I'm clueless about? I have to say, though, that the concept is freaky. I have a wild imagination and shit like this gives me the chills. I don't need gore (that just grosses me out), just well done creepy ghosts/undead/whatever. The trailer seems full of what most would call "cheap" scares, but the very essence of what's being portrayed specifically hints at that.
Billy Burke (Revolution, Twilight) and Maria Bello (Prisoners, A History of Violence) are the only actors I'm familiar with, but the rest of the cast seems decent. The kid, Gabriel Bateman (Band of Robbers, Annabelle), sure can looked scared shitless, so that's definitely a good thing! He doesn't appear to be a stranger to horror films either.
This is a horror film I'm definitely interested in seeing, but maybe at home, where I can leave the lights on...
Did any of the featured movies interest you? Do you think there will be predictable plot twists in Our Kind of Traitor? What was the last Ewan McGragor movie you saw? Have you seen the previous Purge movies? Do you think such an event could happen for real? Do you know anyone who prefers to live their life in their own unique, unconventional way? Do you agree or disagree with it and why? Have you ever needed to find a wedding date out of the blue? Have you ever actually attended a wedding that was chock full of shenanigans? Do you recall a YouTube video fairly similar to the movie premise of Lights Out? Do you think it will creep you out?