Thursday, June 30, 2016

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In July (2016)

According to: Selina

20 – Marauders (7/1)

Tag Line: The rich will pay.
Production Company: Emmett/Furla Films, 4th Wall Entertainment, Grindstone Entertainment Group, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Steven C. Miller
Writer: Michael Cody, Chris Sivertson
Actors: Bruce Willis, Christopher Meloni. Dave Bautista, Adrian Grenier, Lydia Hull, Tyler Jon Olson, Christopher Rob Bowen, Chris Hill, Danny A. Abeckaser, Texas Battle, Alyshia Ochse, Carolyn Alise, Ryan O’Nan, Shea Buckner, Michael Urriquia, Kristen Rae Myers, Alora Catherine Smith
Genre: Action
Rated: R

So, I never saw the episode where Detective Stabler left Law and Order: SVU (1999 -). Now I know it's because he was transferred to homicide. It makes so much sense now.

Alright, Christopher Meloni (Underground, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) isn’t actually playing Detective Stabler in this film, but the character seems pretty damn similar according to the trailer. As an avid fan of the Law and Order: SVU series, I’m finding that incredibly difficult to ignore. I miss Meloni’s L&O character and I’ll happily watch this to get a little dose of it.

Aside from that, the movie actually looks like there’s a decent mystery going on in it. I’m kind of interested to see how Dave Bautista (Spectre, Riddick, Guardians of the Galaxy) does in a film like this as well.

19 – Indignation (7/29)

Tag Line: Based on the novel by Philip Roth.
Production Company: Bing Feng Bao Entertainment, Likely Story, RT Features, X-Filme Creative Pool
Director: James Schamus
Writer: James Schamus, Philip Roth
Actors: Sarah Gadon, Logan Lerman, Ben Rosenfield, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond, Danny Burstein, Joanne Baron, Noah Robbins, Pico Alexander, Philip Ettinger, Susan Varon, Richard Topol
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

When I saw the Indignation trailer, I thought it was a thriller. I was surprised to find out it was a drama. The music and the psychological mystery that seems to be portrayed in the trailer really didn’t scream ‘drama’ to me.

Even so, I’m still interested. The idea of a psychological drama can often be similar to a thriller and, at the very least, is rarely boring.

Besides, Logan Lerman (Fury, Noah, Gamer) hasn’t graced the big screen in roughly a year. He’s a great actor and I’m looking forward to seeing him back in action again.

18 – Undrafted (7/15)

Tag Line: One game. One team. One problem.
Production Company: Dead Fish Films, Parlay Pictures
Director: Joseph Mazzello
Writer: Joseph Mazzello
Actors: Tyler Hoechlin, Aaron Tveit, Joseph Mazzello, Chace Crawford, Matt Barr, James Belushi, Philip Winchester, Manny Montana, Michael Fishman, Toby Hemingway, Billy Gardell, Jay Hayden, Matt Bush, Ryan Pinkson
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Rated: NR

Undrafted has a star-studded cast and a ridiculously silly script. The plot is a little less on the silly side, though. It’s more along the lines of lost/broken dreams. It feels like an old school 90s-movie type of dramedy and that makes me just… super happy.

The cast is pretty amazing also. Even if you don’t like all the actors, the huge list of names is difficult to ignore: Tyler Hoechlin (Hall Pass, Teen Wolf, Solstice), Aaron Tveit (Graceland, Les Miserables, Gossip Girl), Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Twelve), James Belushi (The Whole Truth, The Secret Lives of Dorks, The Defenders)… and more.

17 – Fathers and Daughters (7/8)

Tag Line: He wrote to her, about her, and for her.
Production Company: Andrea Leone Films, Busted Shark Productions, Fear of God Films, Voltage Pictures
Director: Gabriele Muccino
Writer: Brad Desch
Actors: Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Diane Kruger, Quvenzhane Wallis, Bruce Greenwood, Janet McTeer, Kylie Rogers, Jane Fonda, Octavia Spencer, Jenny Vos, Brendan Griffin, Ryan Eggold, Chris Douglass, Jake Scheib, Matt Scheib, John Shepard, Jason McCune, Paula Marshall
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

Movies about the bond between a father and a daughter always make me feel a little bit bitter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge their worth.

The story shown in the trailer for Fathers and Daughters looks heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. It’s difficult to not want to see the film. It’s got a seemingly great story, great actors, and a great director, giving me nothing to really complain about. For girls with an important relationship with their dads, it should also have an incredible emotional response.

16 – The Secret Life of Pets (7/8)

Tag Line: Think this what they do all day?
Production Company: Dentsu, Fuji Television Network, Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Writer: Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul
Actors: Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Hannibel Buress, Tara Strong, Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Jim Cummings, Steve Coogan, Dana Carvey, Bobby Moynihan, Laraine Newman, John Kassir, Michael Beattie, Sasha Lester
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Rated: PG

Plain and simple, I’m in this for the head banging Poodle. Rock on, Leonard. Rock on.

15 – Cell (7/8)

Tag Line: When everyone is connected no one is safe.
Production Company: The Genre Co., Benaroya Pictures, Cargo Entertainment
Director: Tod Williams
Writer: Adam Alleca, Stephen King
Actors: John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Isabelle Fuhrman, Clark Sarullo, Ethan Andrew Casto, Owen Teague, Stacy Keach, Joshua Mikel, Anthony Reynolds, Erin Elizabeth Burns, Jeff Hallman, Mark Ashworth, Wilbur Fitzgerald
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: R

This looks like the movie Trust the Dice reviewed earlier in the month: Antisocial (2013). As you recall, I really enjoyed that movie although Cat didn’t so much. I think Cell has a very similar plot, but seeing as it has an amazing cast and it’s based off a story by Stephen King (Haven, Under the Dome, Carrie), this film will likely be better than Antisocial. Or, at the very least, less polarized.

John Cusack (Drive Hard, Grand Piano, The Frozen Ground) and Samuel L. Jackson (Chi-Raq, The Hateful Eight, Kite) make for an interesting team and I can’t wait to see them do this film together.

14 – Lights Out (7/22)

Tag Line: You were right to be afraid of the dark.
Production Company: Atomic Monster, Grey Matter Productions, New Line Cinema
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Eric Heisserer, David F. Sandberg
Actors: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia, Billy Burke, Maria Bello, Rolando Boyce, Ava Cantrell, Ariel Dupin, Emily Alyn Lind, Lotta Losten, Amiah Miller, Andi Osho, Elizabeth Pan, Maria Russell, Alicia Vela-Bailey
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13

I was scared of the dark for a really long time. I don’t just mean when I was a kid either. I was scared of the dark until my early twenties when I forced myself to move passed it. This film exploits that natural fear of darkness.

There are a lot of movies that exploit the fear of darkness, but there’s something very interesting about this one. It seems like the mother in the film is actually friends with, or working with, the apparition that’s haunting her son and his… sister? Babysitter? The trailer isn’t clear about the exact type of character it is that Teresa Palmer (Triple 9, The Choice, Cut Bank) is playing.

I think that if you’re going to see Lights Out you shouldn’t expect anything based off of brilliant fright. It’ll likely be more about jump scares and the story than anything else.

13 – The BFG (7/1)

Tag Line: The world is more giant than you can imagine.
Production Company: Amblin Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Walden Media, DreamWorks SKG, Reliance Entertainment, The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writer: Melissa Mathison, Roald Dahl
Actors: Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhil, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Bill Hader, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Adam Godley, Michael Adamthwaite, Daniel Bacon, Jonathan Holmes, Chris Gibbs, Paul Moniz de Sa
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG

This movie is a remake of an animated movie, of the same name, from 1989. That film was directed by Brian Cosgrove (Danger Mouse, The Magic Ball, On Christmas Eve) and the adaptation was written by John Hambley (The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, Count Duckula, Minder). Both adaptations are based on a book (also with the same name) written by Roald Dahl (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Matilda) that was published in 1982.

Ignoring the fact that I really do enjoy watching movies based off books in order to compare and contrast the two, The BFG looks incredibly cute and full of fantasy. If I’d known about the original version when I was younger, I definitely would have seen it. As it is, I can’t wait to see both versions. I’ve been looking forward to this film for a few months now.

I may even attempt to see it in theaters.

12 – Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (7/8)

Tag Line: They needed hot dates. They got hot messes.
Production Company: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Chernin Entertainment, TSG Entertainment
Director: Jake Szymanski
Writer: Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O’Brien
Actors: Aubrey Plaza, Anna Kendrick, Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Sugar Lyn Beard, Chloe Bridges, Stephen Root, Kumail Nanjani, Sam Richardson, Alice Wetterlund, Stephanie Faracy, Branscombe Richmond, Hilty Bowen, Mary Holland, Wendy Williams, Ayden Mayeri
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

There is nothing about this film that I don’t want to see. It is right up Adam Devine’s (Modern Family, Workaholics, Pitch Perfect) alley of funny and it’s going to be awesome to see Zac Efron (Dirty Grandpa, That Awkward Moment, The Lucky One) meet his level. I feel like they’d do well together. I’ve also previously said I would follow Anna Kendrick (Get a Job, Into the Woods, Life After Beth) anywhere. Yes, I even watched the crap Twilight (2008-2012) movies because she was in them. I even think Aubrey Plaza (Life After Beth, Dirty Grandpa, Parks and Recreation) has a unique style as well and she should work well with Kendrick.

The story and script look hilarious. I feel like there’ll be a lot of cringe-worthy scenes, but that there will be something smart behind it. Especially since it’s got Jake Szymanski (7 Days in Hell, John Mulaney: New in Town, Brooklyn Nine-Nine), a director associated with Saturday Night Live and Funny or Die Presents, as well as Andrew Jay Cohen (American Storage, Acting with James Franco, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) and Brendan O’Brien (American Storage, Acting with James Franco, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising), writers both associated with Neighbors.

11 – Equals (7/15)

Tag Line: Find your equal.
Production Company: Freedom Media, Infinite Frameworks Studios, Route One Entertainment, Scott Free Productions
Director: Drake Doremus
Writer: Drake Doremus, Nathan Parker
Actors: Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart, Scott Lawrence, Kate Lyn Shell, Rebecca Hazlewood, Yu Hwan Park, Bel Powley, David Selby, Aurora Perrineau, Nathan Parker, Guy Pearce
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13

I can’t tell if this movie reminds me more of District 13 from The Hunger Games books or Erudite from the Divergent books. In both cases, I’m specifically talking about the books, not the movies.

Either way, each series was an amazing read, which makes me raise an eyebrow at this trailer.

The story is very dystopian and very heart wrenching, which is what I like from my sci-fi and my romance respectively. I’m really looking forward to this.

And for those of you sitting there scoffing about how Kristen Stewart (Personal Shopper, Still Alice, On the Road) is in it and how she’s got no range of emotion? This movie is about a world where emotion is suppressed and not felt. So, even if you’ve got no faith in her range, you can’t deny she could probably pull that off.

10 – Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (7/22)

Tag Line: It's a huge great bloody movie, sweetie!
Production Company: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Writer: Jennifer Saunders
Actors: Gwendoline Christie, Rebel Wilson, Jon Hamm, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, Suki Waterhouse, Julia Sawalha, Kamil Lemieszewski, Barry Humphries, Chris Colfer, Joan Collins, Alexa Chung, Kate Moss, Eunice Olumide, Emma Bunton, Jerry Hall, Graham Norton, Poppy Delevingne, Perez Hilton
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

I saw this movie was coming out and I was super excited. I used to watch the TV show once upon a time. I’m talking about near the end of the 90s. It was hilarious. Definitely on the slapsticky, crass side of humor and I enjoy that kind of stuff. I was thrilled to see that they were using the same actresses. I lost track of the show in the early 2000s, so I didn’t realize it had gone on as long as it did, so it still feels nostalgic to me.

Also, it’s probably the perfect film for Rebel Wilson (Super Fun Night, Pitch Perfect, Struck by Lightning) to appear it.

9 – The Purge: Election Year (7/1)

Tag Line: I purged.
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions, Platinum Dunes, Universal Pictures, Why Not Productions
Director: James DeMonaco
Writer: James DeMonaco
Actors: Elizabeth Mitchell, Frank Grillo, Ethan Phillips, Raymon J. Barry, Terry Serpico, Christopher James Baker, Rob Vardaro, Christy Coco, London Hall, Liza Colon-Zayas, Roman Blat, Jon Douglas Rainey, Michael Steven Swanson, James Best
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: R

I’m a huge fan of this series. I think the idea of The Purge is incredibly unique. I thought it when the first movie came out and I still think it. The plot line is not something I’ve ever seen done before and I find it very difficult to predict the way the movies are going to go.

The fact that James DeMonaco (Little New York, The Kill Point, Skinwalkers) chose to focus on an election year as the setting of his chilling horror’s next installment is probably coincidental, but it strikes me as an important parallel to the way things are going during this current presidential election. There is so much hate and violence that it practically feels like the purge is something that could come upon us just to try and lessen the amount of suck that’s going around.

I don’t give a fuck who you’re voting for. I’m tired of seeing hate every single place I look. Try to remember you love your family and your friend regardless of their political opinions or leanings. It seems like a lot of people are forgetting…

8 – Ice Age: Collision Course (7/22)

Tag Line: Brace yourself.
Production Company: Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation
Director: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu
Writer: Michael Berg, Yoni Brenner, Aubrey Solomon, Michael J. Wilson
Actors: Melissa Rauch, Adam Devine, Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg, John Leguizamo, Stephanie Beatriz, Nick Offerman, Seann William Scott, Max Greenfield, Josh Peck, Keke Palmer, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Ray Romano, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Wanda Sykes, Jessie J, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael Strahan, Chris Wedge
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG

Ok, the last entry was on the heavy side for this article, luckily the only things heavy about this entry are the mammoths….

And how fucking adorable Scrat is.

I love that stupid, spastic, klutzy-ass squirrel. In this sequel to the Ice Age films, it looks like Scrat has become responsible for the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. It’s looking more and more like the series is going to go through all the various theories scientists have had over the years for how the dinosaurs died out.

I don’t mind. I think this series is adorable.

7 – The Legend of Tarzan (7/1)

Tag Line: Human. Nature.
Production Company: Dark Horse Entertainment, Jerry Weintraub Productions, Riche Productions, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: David Yates
Writer: Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Actors: Alexander Skarsgard, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Sidney Ralitsoele, Osy Ikhile, Mens-Sana Tamakloe, Antony Acheampong, Edward Apeagyei, Ashley Byam, Casper Crump, Adam Ganne, Aleksandar Mikic
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rated: PG-13

Most of the incarnations of Tarzan that I have seen have been funny or animated or both. It’ll be nice to see a serious version with such an amazing cast in it.

I have some issues with the trailer, but that may just be the way the trailer was made and have nothing to do with the plot or movie in general. Trust the Dice has seen its fair share of epic trailers that turned out to poorly represent the film.

6 – Bad Moms (7/29)

Tag Line: Party like a mother.
Production Company: Block Entertainment, STX Entertainment
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Writer: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Actors: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chase Savoie, Oona Laurence, Tilton Lipoma, Megan Ferguson, Emjay Anthony, Kesha, Lilly Singh, Christina DeRosa, Annie Mumolo, Allyson Leigh Jordan, Amy Brassette, Gwen Parker
Genre: Comedy
Rated: NR

I saw this trailer when it first came out in… I’m pretty sure it was May. I was all over it then and I’m all over it now.

I have a very close friend that has kids and she does all the cooking and the cleaning and she’s the head of the PTA and she participates in every single thing… she’s super-mom and it looks fucking exhausting. I feel like a movie like this is aimed at people like her. People who do absolutely everything and don’t get quite as much appreciation or recognition as they deserve.

It’s the movie version of every family sitcom ever made where the mom goes on strike. Only it’s actually funny and features Mila Kunis (Family Guy, Jupiter Ascending, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn) alongside Kristen Bell (House of Lies, Zootopia, Frozen).

You really can’t go wrong.

5 – Nerve (7/27)

Tag Line: Are you a watcher or a player?
Production Company: Allison Shearmur Productions, Keep Your Head, Lionsgate
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Writer: Jeanne Ryan, Jessica Sharzer
Actors: Samira Wiley, Kimiko Glenn, Juliette Lewis, Dave Franco, Emma Roberts, Emily Meade, Machine Gun Kelly, Jonny Beauchamp, Miles Heizer, Marc John Jefferies, Casey Neistat, Arielle Vandenberg, Ed Squires
Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

The moment I saw that Dave Franco (Neighbors, Now You See Me, Warm Bodies) was a romantic lead I was immediately interested. The younger Franco brother does not get as much love as I think he deserves. Nothing’s wrong with James Franco (Sausage Party, The Little Prince, King Cobra), but I’m a Dave girl and he gets type-cast way too damn much. This is a good film for him to be in.

The plot is intensely interesting to me because, just going by the trailer, I absolutely believe something like this could happen.

A game, online, maybe on the dark net, where watchers give the players crazier and crazier orders until someone winds up dead? We have a voyeuristic society and – if you’ve ever read the comments on a news article or YouTube video you know – people are assholes, especially on the internet.

That makes this movie seem that much more frightening.

4 – Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (7/31)

Tag Line: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Unless what happens is this.
Production Company: The Asylum, BondIt, Syfy
Director: Anthony C. Ferrante
Writer: Thunder Levin
Actors: Tara Reid, Masiela Lusha, Stacey Dash, Ryan Newman, Alexandra Paul, Cody Linley, Mindy Robinson, Gary Busey, Carrie Keagan, David Hasselhoff, Ian Ziering, Imani Hakim, Gene Lee Nolin, Tommy Davidson, Caroline Williams, Cheryl Tiefs, Todd Chrisley, Duane Chapman, T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, Kym Johnson, Patti Stanger, Steffanie Busey, Anthony Rogers
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR

In the third installment of Sharknado, viewers were asked to vote on whether or not April died. Now, in my research for this fourth film, I unfortunately got spoiled on the answer. However, the trailer I’ve included above does NOT include the same spoilers I came across. It is safe for viewing but I do not recommend you do any googling of this film if you are looking forward to being surprised when it airs.

That being said, I have no god damn reason why I love these films. I just do. There’s no good excuse.

I’ll be having a viewing part at my house, again. I’m gonna make my watermelon/fruit salad shark again, but I’m definitely not gonna be stupid enough to try to cater it myself. Subway will be catering it and maybe I’ll make some vegetables on the side because I’m old and try to make people I care about eat green things.

That said, I can NOT wait for the 31st!

3 – Batman: The Killing Joke (7/25)

Tag Line: The madness Begins.
Production Company: The Answer Studio, Warner Bros.
Director: Sam Liu
Writer: Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Alan Moore, Brian Bolland, Jerry Robinson, Brian Azzarello
Actors: Mark Hamill, Nolan North, Tara Strong, Robin Atkin Downes, John DiMaggio, Ray Wise, Kevin Conroy, Kari Wahlgren, Fred Tatasciore, Brian George, Maury Sterling, Andrew Kishino, Rick D. Wasserman, Bruce Timm, Anna Vocino, JP Karliak
Genre: Animation, Action, Crime
Rated: R

I cannot stress this enough: The Killing Joke is a DARK story. I’ve seen a lot of bad reviews given to DC movies because they’re dark and people weren’t expecting it. So, I’m giving you all plenty of warning. THIS STORY IS DARK. There are triggers everywhere. Death, sexual assault, torture, do not expect a laughing Avengers-type movie experience. If that’s what you’re looking for, this film is NOT for you.

After re-reading the comic, I was worried about how they were going to do certain scenes, but there was animation in the trailer that showed they were going to do the scenes as close to the comic as humanly possible, which means this will not be a soft rated R, it will be a hard rated R.

I can’t wait to see it. The movie is straight to DVD.

2 – Ghostbusters (7/15)

Tag Line: Who you gonna call?
Production Company: Columbia Pictures, Feigco Entertainment, Ghostcorps, LStar Capital, The Montecito Picture Company, Pascal Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig, Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Kate McKinnon, Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Bill Murray, Leslie Jones, Elizabeth Perkins, Dan Aykroyd, Michael Kenneth Williams, Andy Garcia, Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson, Matt Walsh
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13

I don’t care what you think of the trailer, if you were an 80s kid, you’re going to watch this film. If not in theaters, then when it hits cable. Don’t lie. It’s not cute.

1 – Star Trek Beyond (7/22)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Bad Robot, Perfect Storm Entertainment, Skydance Productions, Sneaky Shark
Director: Justin Lin
Writer: Simon Pegg, Doug Jung, Gene Roddenberry, Roberto Orci, Patrick McKay, John D. Payne
Actors: Anton Yelchin, Zoe Saldana, Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Sofia Boutella, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Shohreh Aghdashioo, John Cho, Fiona Vroom, Deep Roy, Melissa Roxburgh
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR

This trailer makes me sad. I miss Anton Yelchin (Green Room, Broken Horses, The Driftless Area). I have no idea what they’re gonna do for any other planned sequels for this Star Trek series. Will they end it? Will they replace Yelchin? Will they kill off Chekov? Too many questions, not enough answers.

That being said, I’m a Trekkie. I’m not just a Trekkie, I’m a Kirk-born Trekkie. Picard or Kirk? Kirk. I don’t even have to think about it. I was raised on the first series. Needless to say, the reboot amuses me. I also think the actors make amazing versions of the characters they were meant to portray.

Know what else is cool? Simon Pegg (Paul, Hot Fuzz, The World’s End) has a writing credit for this film. THAT is awesome. I can’t wait to see what he did with it.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Absolutely Fabulous .20
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates .19
Fathers and Daughters .18
Batman: The Killing Joke .17
Our Kind of Traitor .16
Beta Test .15
Dear Eleanor .14
Lights Out .13
The BFG .12
Marauders .11
Nerve .10
Ice Age: Collision Course .9
The Purge: Election Year .8
Jason Bourne .7
Bad Moms .6
Ghostbusters .5
Star Trek Beyond .4
The Secret Life of Pets .3
Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens .2
The Legend of Tarzan .1

Monday, June 27, 2016

Nightcrawler (2014)

Number Rolled: 20
Movie Name/Year: Nightcrawler (2014)
Tagline: The closer you look, the darker it gets.
Genre: Drama
Length: 117 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Bold Films, Sierra / Affinity, Nightcrawler
Producer: Betsy Danbury, Garrick Dion, Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Juliana Guedes, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak, Gary Michael Walters, Stephanie Wilcox
Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, James Huang, Kent Shocknek, Pat Harvey, Sharon Tay, Rick Garcia, Bill Seward, Rick Chambers, Holly Hannula, Carolyn Gilroy, Kevin Rahm, Ann Cusack, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed

Blurb from Netflix: A young hustler gets sucked into the sordid but lucrative business of trolling the streets of Los Angeles to film fires, car crashes -- and murder.

Selina’s Point of View:
This is one of the films I was really looking forward to watching. I enjoy Jake Gyllenhaal’s (Donnie Darko, Southpaw, End of Watch) work and I have heard nothing but good things about Nightcrawler. Unfortunately, the movie just didn’t resonate with me.

Normally, I watch my Monday film on Sunday night in order to have the blog up and ready on time the next day. However, as most of you probably know, the Game of Thrones (2011 -) season finale aired last night. Due to that, I was out with friends at a viewing party until very late. (No spoilers, but it was epic. Two of my theories were proven true and my friends and I had a lot to debate.)

Instead of watching the film late at night when I got home, and trying to give it a fair shot while exhausted, I simply fired up Steam and played some video games before bed. That way I was fresh, rested, and excited to see the film Monday afternoon.

The actors were great. Rene Russo (Thor, Lethal Weapon 4, The Intern) and Jake Gyllenhaal are both very good actors and you’d expect nothing but the best from them. I’m much less familiar with Riz Ahmed (Day of the Falcon, Rage, Centurion), but even he was absolutely believable. The script and plot weren’t bad either. Even the music, costume design, and settings were on point.

Still, I wasn’t feeling it.

I think my issue is that they tried to stretch what could have been a 90 minute movie into a full two hours. That made certain scenes seem too long or repetitive. I have no problem sitting through a long movie. I’ve sat through three hour films without blinking an eye… but they have to need to be that length. If a production company or a director is stretching scenes to meet a certain time or is too conservative about cutting scenes that aren’t necessary… it makes a film feel like it’s dragging.

Although I only had the one issue with Nightcrawler, it was enough to pull me out of it. I was bored for the majority of the film. However, I think that was mostly personal opinion and not professional.

Really, I believe the movie is a lot better than I thought it was. I think my opinion is influenced by issues that probably shouldn’t affect it. For that reason, I’m going to give this film a 50/50 score and urge people to pay more attention to Cat’s opinion for this week.

Cat’s Point of View:
The first thing I have to say about this movie is… wow.

I am currently fighting the urge to go shower until my hot water runs out, because this film left me feeling grimy. This wasn’t a gore-fest by any means. I don’t feel dirty because of any salacious imagery. I just feel like I’ve been dragged through the gritty sludge that occupies the space where the main character’s morals and social consciousness should have occupied.

Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead, Source Code, Enemy) is an amazing actor. I am seriously flummoxed that he didn’t get at least nominated for an Oscar with this one. I admire his ability to chameleon into roles. He dropped a significant amount of weight for this role, just as he put on a significant amount of muscle for his role as a boxer. I barely even recognized him in Everest (2015).

He did most of his own driving stunts in this film; and even got so into the moment in an improvisation with one scene that he cut himself and had to go to the hospital for 14 stitches. He barely even blinks for this role – seriously. (He did it on purpose, too.)

The portrayal of Lou Bloom was eerie and actually made me feel uncomfortable as I watched him. I’ve seen the character described as a charming sociopath. I don’t know about that – the vibe I got from him was anything but charm. However, there was a savant-like brilliance about the guy that was near mesmerizing.

This is more than a crime thriller. This film looks at the underbelly of news media, and brings up the heavy questions of not ‘can we’ but ‘should we’ air such images of the worst things imaginable. Is the documentation and awareness of an event as important as the people it is happening to?

Sure, it’s not exactly true-to-life in that people can’t just walk into a newsroom like that off the streets. The movie is successful, however, in suspending that disbelief.

I would highly recommend this film. I wouldn’t mind watching it again, even. For those with a sensitive conscience, however, steel yourself first – this one will make you squirm.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 85%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4.5/5

P.S. This film was very loosely based on the real-life career of Arthur “Weegee” Fellig.

P.S.2. There’s some speculation that this film takes place in the same universe as Drive (2011), another movie reviewed by Trust the Dice that starred Ryan Gosling (The Nice Guys, Only God Forgives, Lars and the Real Girl), was directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Only God Forgives, Valhalla Rising) and written by Hossein Amini (47 Ronin, Jude, Killshot). The basis for this theory is a diner setting used in both movies that was filmed in the same location and set up the same way. It’s worth noting, as part of this theory, that both films have connections to the production company: Bold Films.

Movie Trailer: