The Secret Life of Pets holds it's #1 position, after trumping Finding Dory two weeks ago. The "controversial" Ghostbusters came in at a hard second. Regardless of where you stand on the reboot/sequel/whatever, I'd imagine the studio (and fans) were hoping for a much bigger opener, especially considering there weren't any other blockbusters premiering. With Star Trek: Beyond, Suicide Squad, Jason Bourne (which reminds me I forgot to write my blurbs on that post!), and more animated features releasing, it will be interesting to see how Ghostbusters fares over the next few weeks.
Today I'm highlighting a mixture of movies that are releasing over the next 2-3 weeks. Only one potential blockbuster among them, but many of the smaller, more independent projects look really good!
Don't Think Twice (7/22/2016):
This looks like a cute movie about the relationships revolving around an improv group and the conflict that arises once a member catches a big break. The film features Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu, Tomorrowland), Gillian Jacobs (Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Community), and Mike Birbiglia (Adult Beginners, The Fault in Our Stars). Hopefully the chemistry between the cast is strong, and the humor is a lot more lively than in the trailer. I'm really only familiar with Keegen-Michael Key, but I think a lot of the casting looks promising. Whether this will be strictly comedy or eventually morph into a dramedy is unclear, but the latter seems likely.
I've always been curious about trying improv, but I don't think my anxiety could handle it. It's definitely an art form that I enjoy watching, but isn't for everyone.
Star Trek: Beyond (7/22/2016):
Chris Pine (Z is for Zacharia, Horrible Bosses 2), Zachary Quinto (The Slap, Margin Call), Karl Urban (The Loft, Dredd), Zoe Saldana (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avatar), and more reprise their roles in the continuation of adventures taken aboard the USS Enterprise. I believe a missed this original trailer (or avoided watching it because I had yet to see, and still do, Star Trek: Into Darkness). At first I thought the music selection of "Sabatoge" by the Beastie Boys was a bit out of place, but in the context of this trailer, not so much. It's a good choice, as was said! This trailer is a bit elusive as to who the real enemy of the movie is, played by Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Prometheus), but as usual, it sounds like the crew is pitted against overwhelming odds!
I can't help but think of Anton Yelchin (Green Room, Odd Thomas), who recently passed away in a tragic accident, when it comes to the rebooted Star Trek franchise. He is great in the role and an overall very talented performer, finding a replacement seems a crime, but it will happen (the fourth movie has already been greenlit). There also seems to be a bit of controversy over other matters revolving around this recent installment. Chris Pine has come out stating that making a "smart" Star Trek isn't possible in today's market and George Takei voiced disappointment with Simon Pegg (Paul, Hot Fuzz), who plays "Scotty" and also helped write the script, after a decision to make the character of Sulu gay. For those unfamiliar, that was the character Takei played in the original series, now played by John Cho (Zipper, Harold and Kumar go to White Castle).
All that aside, I think the movie looks good. I was a fan of the original reboot movie, and I'm almost positive I will like the sequel. The cast has great chemistry! There's always plenty of action with comedy and drama sprinkled throughout. Either way, we'll see if Justin Lin, director of Fast & Furious, can drive this one home!
I'm not sure what I think about this movie (or its trailer). It stars Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad, Enemy of the State) and James Purefoy (High-Rise, The Following), both of whom I like. The trailer just seems dull. Perhaps I'm a bit overexposed to the high-octane levels offered by those similar to Star Trek: Beyond? I'm not sure. There could be a fairly intriguing and well developed thriller here, dealing with Wall Street, money, and power. The acting looks good and I'm really interested in seeing Anna Gunn taking on a leading role. Unfortunately, I will most likely wait to catch this on Redbox/Netflix.
This seems to be a tale of self discovery. A young man facing difficult choices and hardships due to his chosen religious views, family, and love. The leads are played by Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold, Enemy) and Logan Lerman (Fury, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and I'm going to say a huge factor on whether or not this movie is successful depends on their chemistry. I really like the setting and tone (although slow and lacking flashiness, it doesn't bore me) and how the trailer lays out the plot, with hints of possibly mystery/thriller aspects. Even though I'm unfamiliar with the actors involved (okay, technically I saw Fury), I am looking forward to seeing this film!
This Netflix original movie stars Uzo Aduba (The Wiz Live!, Orange is the New Black), Ellen Page (Juno, Hard Candy), Allison Janney (Spy, Mom), and Tammy Blanchard (Moneyball, The Good Shepherd). It has a fairly weird plot about a woman who randomly takes on a babysitting gig and later decides to kidnap said baby. Apparently not deciding to go on the run at that point, the baby thief decides to pretend its hers to get into the good graces of one of her ex's mother. Okay, sounds legit, sold!
I love Allison Janney in Mom, so I'm excited to see her here. Ellen Page as well. The story seems kookie and far-fetched, but it looks like it will end up being very touching. I think the chemistry between Janney and Page will be great and who knows what kind of shenanigans they end up getting into involving a kidnapped baby. Although, there's a good chance this doesn't have a happy ending... This will definitely be worth looking into once it hits Netflix.
Little Men (8/5/2016):
And last, but not least, we have a coming-of-age story featuring the talents of Greg Kinnear (Heavan Is for Real, As Good as It Gets), Jennifer Ehle (Fifty Shades of Grey, The Ides of March), Alfred Molina (Species, Hideaway), Talia Balsam (No Strings Attached, The Cake Eaters), and introducing Michael Barbieri and Theo Taplitz. I've long been a fan of Kinnear since his Talk Soup days. He's had many successful supporting roles since his move to the big screen, but I enjoy when he gets to play more than a supporting character.
This movie definitely focuses on the children, however, and how their friendship is strained, but survives (I'm assuming) through love, despite their parents being in conflict with one another. The trailer kind of hints at that struggle, but doesn't really do a good job explaining what exactly is going on. Barbieri and Taplitz seem to mesh really well and they are definitely the heart of the story. Hopefully this movie, if well received, can help launch them into even more roles! I may not rush out to see this in the theater, but it's on my radar.
Did any of the featured movies interest you? Have you ever tried improv? Have you ever had to deal with resentment when someone you know succeeds at something you strive for, but you haven't yet yourself? Do you think making a "smart" Star Trek isn't something that would be well received? Do you agree with George Takei on his belief that the current iteration of Sulu shouldn't be portrayed as gay? Do you like Wall Street thrillers? Were you a fan of either Breaking Bad or The Following? Have you ever struggled with religion within your family, friends, school, and/or workplace? Have you ever dated someone your parents didn't approve of? Ever babysit before? Ever contemplate kidnapping the baby/child...? To protect it, of course... Ever have a situation where your parents were at odds with a friend's? Have you, or anyone you know, ever lost a business and/or fell on hard times?