Friday, May 31, 2019

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In June (2019)

According to: Selina

20 – Murder Mystery (6/14)

Production/Distribution: Vinson Films, Endgame Entertainment, Happy Madison Productions, Tower Hill Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Kyle Newacheck
Writer: James Vanderbilt
Actors: Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Luke Evans, Gemma Arterton, Jackie Sandler, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Terence Stamp, Shioli Kutsuna, David Walliams, Sufe Bradshaw, Victor Turpin, Dany Boon, Erik Griffin
Genre: Action, Comedy, Mystery
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A New York cop and his wife go on a European vacation to reinvigorate the spark in their marriage, but end up getting framed and on the run for the death of an elderly billionaire.

This film was initially higher on my list, but we just watched The Week Of (2018) last night and I was reminded about how badly Happy Madison Productions has been doing lately. Now, I don’t see it as right to put this as any higher than last place. Even then, I considered taking it off.

Murder Mystery has a great concept and that makes me want to see it, but I’m concerned. It’s very possible that all the good parts of the movie are in the trailer. I notice that a lot of the Happy Madison Production films tend to have bad editing, so that could be part of it.

Long story short, it looks like it could be a good movie, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

19 – Annabelle Comes Home (6/28)

Production/Distribution: Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, The Safran Company, Warner Bros.
Director: Gary Dauberman
Writer: James Wan
Actors: Gary Dauberman
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: Unknown
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren keep a possessed doll locked up in an artifacts room in their house. When the doll awakens the room's evil spirits, it soon becomes a night of terror for the couple's young daughter and her friends.

Honestly, I haven’t seen any of the previous Annabelle (2014-2019) films. I’ve wanted to, but I haven’t had the time. When I do have the time, there’s usually something I want to watch a lot more.

I almost didn’t add this movie to my list. I didn’t want to, but there wasn’t anything else that could have replaced it. If this were a top 18 instead, I’d have had no second thoughts about leaving Annabelle Comes Home off. That’s not because the series is bad or anything, just because I haven’t seen it and with this being the third movie, I don’t really care much about it.

If you love the Annabelle series, then I hope you like this one.

18 – Nightmare Cinema (6/21)

Production/Distribution: Cinelou Films, Cranked Up Films, Good Deed Entertainment, Indy Entertainment, Cranked Up Films, Stargate Studios, Trimaran
Director: Alejandro Brugués, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade, Joe Dante, Mick Garris
Writer: Sandra Becerril, Alejandro Brugués, Lawrence C. Connolly, Mick Garris, Richard Christian Matheson, David Slade
Actors: Various
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Length: 119 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Five strangers converge at a haunted movie theater owned by The Projectionist (Mickey Rourke). Once inside, the audience members witness a series of screenings that shows them their deepest fears and darkest secrets over five tales.

I love horror anthologies. There’s so much potential. Since each story is usually written, directed, and acted by different people, you rarely have to worry about a single bad segment.

Sure, there are projects like The ABCs of Death (2012) that remind you that you ALWAYS have to worry a little, but that’s kind of rare. One of the directors lined up actually worked on the sequel to the aforementioned horror anthology, but the other directors involved look pretty bad ass. 

I understand that this looks like a B-movie, and it probably is, but I like B-movies, too. I think this will likely be a fun step into the horror world.

17 – Wild Rose (6/14)

Production/Distribution: BFI Film Fund, Creative Scotland, Fable Pictures, Film4, Neon, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Entertainment One
Director: Tom Harper
Writer: Nicole Taylor
Actors: Jessie Buckley, Maureen Carr, James Harkness, Julie Walters, Adam Mitchell, Daisy Littlefield, Louise Mccarthy, Janey Godley, Brian McQuade, Craig Parkinson, Doreen McGillivray, Sophie Okonedo, Ryan Kerr, Nicole Kerr, David McGowan, Jamies Sives, Mark Hagen, Bob Harris, Ashley McBryde
Genre: Drama, Music
Rated: R
Length: 100 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

In a lot of ways, this looks like your basic rags-to-riches music-based movie. That said, I think there’s enough conflict to really alter the feel the of the film.

Mixing American Country music with a foreign Irish take – especially in a time laced with so much xenophobia – is risky. Sure, not as risky as it could have been, but still. It’s an interesting take on the basic starry-eyed dream of country girls in the US. It gives a lot of room for something new to take root.

The addition of the motherhood and criminal storylines could make things interesting, or they could make things seem a little overdone and overwhelming.

There’s a balance that the writing will need to reach in order for Wild Rose to be great – but I believe the possibility is there.

16 – Late Night (6/7)

Production/Distribution: 3 Arts Entertainment, 30West, FilmNation Entertainment, Imperative Entertainment, Kaling International, Stage 6 Films, Entertainment One, Amazon Studios, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
Director: Nisha Ganatra
Writer: Mindy Kaling
Actors: Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, Reid Scott, Denis O’Hare, Max Casella, Paul Walter Hauser, John Early, Luke Slattery, Ike Barinholtz, Marc Kudisch, Amy Ryan, Magalyn Echikunwoke, Blake DeLong, Jia Patel, Bill Maher, Seth Meyers, Annaleigh Ashford, Halston Sage, Maria Dizzia, Jake Tapper
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 102 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A late-night talk show host suspects that she may soon be losing her long-running show.

I’ve never been much of a fan of Mindy Kaling (Ocean’s Eight, The Mindy Project, The Office). She just plays too much into that ‘empty-headed, but it’s ok because she’s adorable’ character stereotype. I hate that stereotype. So very much. That means I always get a touch annoyed whenever I watch her for too long.

That said, I can’t deny that there’s a lot of amusement in the concept for this film. I also know I’m in the minority on how I feel about Kaling – which is fine.

I think there’s potential for Late Night to be an empowering and funny film. I also really like John Lithgow (Pitch Perfect 3, Pet Sematary, Interstellar) and Emma Thompson (Missing Link, Beauty and the Beast, Burnt). So, we’ll see.

15 – Changeland (6/7)

Production/Distribution: Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Karivara Films, Living Films, Gravitas Ventures
Director: Seth Green
Writer: Seth Green
Actors: Seth Green, Rachel Bloom, Macaulay Culkin, Brenda Song, Breckin Meyer, Clare Grant, Rose Williams, Rob Paulsen, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Randy Orton, Andrea Romano, Monib Abhat, Rita Khori, Somchai Santithayangkun, Kenneth Won, Maop Seengoen, Dennis Charles Bidwell, Khiri Lowenstein
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: While visiting Thailand, two estranged friends realize there's no rule book for finding purpose and meaning in life.

Who doesn’t love Seth Green (Family Guy, Sexy Evil Genius, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)? He’s definitely one of those actors that can do no wrong in my mind. He’s great with comedy – but equally good when there’s some seriousness woven in. Super down-to-earth, but insanely talented.

As odd as this is going to sound, I feel like this film is a mix of the funny adventure from Without a Paddle (2004) and the more serious plot from – of all things – the Sex and the City (2008) movie. I know. It’s an odd mixture to think of. I might have been able to figure out better movies to mix in this comparison, but I really do think those two are fine for this use.

That said, I like both those films and I have faith in Changeland in general.

14 – Say My Name (6/14)

Production/Distribution: Electric Entertainment
Director: Jay Stern
Writer: Deborah Frances-White
Actors: Lisa Brenner, Nick Blood, Celyn Jones, Mark Bonnar, Alan Cox, Peter Davison, Grant Crookes, Jamie de Courcey, Laurence Dobiesz, Gwen Ellis, Abbie Hirst, Tony Leader, Dafydd Llyr-Thomas, Aled Pugh, Tonya Smith, Sindhu Vee, Melanie Walters
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 83 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Mary and Statton's one-night stand at a hotel gets interrupted by a robbery, and the complete strangers are forced to help each other navigate the seedy underbelly of a sleepy Welsh island in order to get back their stolen property.

There’s a lot of casual humor and amusement buried in this ‘wrong place-wrong time’ plot. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the writer and director handle explaining how two people were arrested for robbing themselves.

I’m sure it’s something like them being arrested for the criminal’s previous acts, but it’s more amusing to think about it being about their own robbery.

Say My Name does look like it could be a bit trope-filled. I’ll admit that. However, it also looks like the script might be clever enough to make up for it. We’ll have to wait and see.

13 – The Last Black Man in San Francisco (6/7)

Production/Distribution: A24, Longshot Features, Plan B Entertainment
Director: Joe Talbot
Writer: Joe Talbot, Jimmie Fails, Rob Richert
Actors: Jimmie Fails, Jonathan Majors, Danny Glover, Tichina Arnold, Rob Morgan, Mike Epps, Finn Wittrock, Thora Birch, Willie Hen, Jamal Trulove
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 120 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A young man searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind.

Gentrification has been on my mind a lot lately.

I know, that’s a weird sentence, but let me explain.

I grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn. It wasn’t the worst neighborhood in the world, but it was mostly low-income families. The area started to be renovated. New buildings. New businesses. It wasn’t long before our building was sold to a new landlord who wanted to turn the structure into condos. Since none of us has the money to pay that kind of rent? He wanted us OUT.

Little by little people began to trickle out, but he wouldn’t rent out the empty apartments. Instead, he opted to keep the building as empty as possible. Once the last of the easy-to-convince tenants left, he started in on the rest of us that simply didn’t have the money to go somewhere else.

He wouldn’t get refills on fuel during the winter and we’d go weeks without heat. He stopped doing repairs or upkeep. The exterminator was never called. Paint peeled. Locks broke. Windows stuck. Walls cracked. Water damage piled up. At one point, part of our couch fell through the floor and we had to use a board to hold it up so it wouldn’t fall into the basement.

It took almost a month to get that fixed. A hole. That nearly dropped our couch into the basement.

My mom is a fighter, so she organized the remaining tenants and took them to court. Several times. It took almost ten years to finally get the building fixed up so that it was livable.

Recently, I’ve been looking to move into my own house with my husband and daughter. We saw a beautiful house in an area of Long Island that was in the middle of gentrification. It met all our requirements. It had the right amount of space, low taxes, in our price-range… and there was a great new shopping area only a few blocks down that had just been erected. A little bit of work needed to be done, but the price was such a steal that we would have had no problem saving up for it.

But the tenants were there when we visited. I saw their faces. I recognized the anger in their eyes. Just judging on that and their attitudes toward us, I’m certain they weren’t leaving willingly.

I said no.

I knew if we looked long enough, we’d find another house in our price range that met our requirements. In the meantime? There was no part of me that would have been capable of being the reason that family had to move. Everyone, even my mom, told me that if it wasn’t us – it would be someone else. I understand that. But the few weeks it would take for them to find another family interested in buying the house might have been the time that family needed to find other options.

Since then, I’ve avoided areas in the process of gentrification for our search.

I get that there are two ways to look at the subject, but I’ve seen it from the wrong side.

This film looks like it explores that side of the story, while explaining the nostalgia one has for their childhood neighborhood – even if it wasn’t the best.

I’m aware that I’m bias in favor of The Last Black Man in San Francisco, but it’s not all subjective. There are some amazing actors involved in it. Rob Morgan (Stranger Things, Daredevil, The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete), Mike Epps (Acts of Violence, Survivor’s Remorse, The Hangover Part III), and Danny Glover (Proud Mary, Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses, The Dead Don’t Die) are all amazing at what they do. I’m not familiar with most of the other actors, but I have to imagine they have what it takes if they are working alongside those three.

Single-genre drama isn’t for everyone, but I think this one has some serious promise.

12 – Vault (6/14)

Production/Distribution: Dos Dudes Pictures, Verdi Productions, Grindstone Entertainment Group, Film & TV House, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Tom DeNucci
Writer: Tom DeNucci, B. Dolan
Actors: Theo Rossi, Clive Standen, Samira Wiley, Chazz Palminteri, Don Johnson, William Forsythe, Sean Ringgold, Chuck Zito, Vincent Pastore, Eric Lutes, Burt Young, Antonio Cupo, Dorothy Lyman, John Fiore, Ken Baltin, Gillian Williams, Armen Garo, Claudio Orefice, Lala Kent, Germán Figueroa, Michael Zuccola, Danielle Guldin, Johnny Cicco, Bob Dio
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Vault tells a story about a group of small time criminals in 1975 who attempt to pull off the biggest heist in American history; stealing over $30 million from the Mafia in the smallest state in the union, Rhode Island.

I don’t think I originally gave this film enough credit. I had it at 17. After a few follow-up watch-throughs of the trailer, I opted to push it up on my list.

First of all, this feels like it’s trying to be more of a classic mob film than a lot of the stuff we’ve gotten in the past couple of decades. I think the majority of people my age miss those ‘made man’ movies from our childhood.

Second of all, the cast is insane. I’m a huge Theo Rossi (Luke Cage, Sons of Anarchy, Kill Theory) fan, and Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale, Legend, Jolene) is one of the most believable mob-boss actors out there. When you add in the immense talent of Samira Wiley (Orange is the New Black, Nerve, Social Animals), you get a cast that you absolutely cannot afford to underestimate.

The trailer also looks a bit understated – but I don’t see that as a flaw. I think it was meant to be understated.

Vault is a smaller film, but I expect a lot from it.

11 – Manou the Swift (6/12)

Production/Distribution: LUXX Film, Sola Media, Kinostar Filmverleih, Paradiso Entertainment, Turbo Films, Forefront Media Group
Director: Christian Haas, Andrea Block
Writer: Axel Melzener, Andrea Block, Phil Parker, Christian Haas, Gregory Baranes
Actors: Kate Winslet, Willem Dafoe, Rob Paulsen, Josh Keaton, Julie Nathanson, David Shaughnessy, Arif S. Kinchen, Friedrich Mücke, Dominik Kuhn, Cassandra Steen
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: Unknown
Length: 88 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The little swift Manou grows up believing he's a seagull. Learning to fly he finds out he never will be. Shocked, he runs away from home. He meets birds of his own species and finds out who he really is. When both seagulls and swifts face a dangerous threat, Manou becomes the hero of the day.

I’ll admit that the message of this film is done pretty often. Enough so that I have to say it’s basic. That said, I think this is an amusing take on it.

The characters shown in the trailer, although they’re animals, seem relatable. As a child, I would have been all over begging my mom to let me go see Manou the Swift in the theater. A basic message with a fun and interesting façade sometimes makes for a great children’s film.

In this case, there are some decent names behind the project. Kate Winslet (Triple 9, Insurgent, The Mountain Between Us) and Willem Dafoe (Aquaman, John Wick, The Grand Budapest Hotel), in particular.

I think it will be worth watching with your kids.

10 – Papi Chulo (6-7)

Production/Distribution: Treasure Entertainment, Metrol Technology, Head Gear Films, Bankside Films, Blue Fox Entertainment, Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Director: John Butler
Writer: John Butler
Actors: Matt Bomer, Alejandro Patiño, Elena Campbell-Martinez, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Michael Shepperd, Tommie Earl Jenkins, Shaughn Buchholz, Tom Beyer, Irene White, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Blaine Swen
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 98 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A lonely TV weatherman strikes up an unusual friendship with a middle-aged Latino migrant worker.

This is such a simple concept with a simple trailer and, for some reason, I cannot tell you how much I adore it. It puts such a smile on my face each time I watch.

Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol, Jonathan, White Collar) is such a warm and inviting personality. It’s difficult to not want to see more of him.

In this case, the plot examines a friendship that probably shouldn’t be – at the very least, it’s unexpected. I love that kind of thing.

The world seems so at odds right now. Some days it feels like everybody hates everybody else – with no room for friendship or love or anything else. A movie like this reminds us that you really don’t need anything in common to show friendship to someone. In this case, they don’t even speak the same language. It’s perfect – exactly what the world needs right now.

9 – The Secret Life of Pets 2 (6/7)

Production/Distribution: Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures, B&H Film Distribution, Finnkino, Toho-Towa, Tulip Entertainment, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val
Writer: Brian Lynch
Actors: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, Chris Renaud, Ellie Kemper, Pete Holmes, Henry Lynch, Nick Kroll, Sean Giambrone, Meredith Salenger, Scott Mosier
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 86 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day.

I thought the first Secret Life of Pets (2016) was adorable. Not incredibly deep, but fun anyway.

This one looks like it’s going to follow suit but, for some reason, the trailer makes it look so much more epic than it will probably be. Like it’s going to take some superhero inspiration, from films like The Incredibles (2004). Now, I think that part is pretty much going to be all semi-parody, or played up for the trailer. Never-the-less, it’s hard to ignore.

It should, as the very least, be a cute family film that will be great for kids and tolerable for adults.

8 – Yesterday (6/28)

Production/Distribution: Etalon Film, Working Title Films, Universal Pictures, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Jack Barth, Richard Curtis
Actors: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Sophia Di Martino, Ellise Chappell, Meera Syal, Harry Michell, Vincent Franklin, Joel Fry, Michael Kiwanuka, Karma Sood, Gus Brown, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Karl Theobald, Alexander Arnold, Ed Sheeran, James Corden
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Music
Rated: PG-13
Length: 112 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A struggling musician realizes he's the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.

I’ve seen a lot about this film in the past couple of months. Each time I see the trailer I’m convinced it’s more unique and creative than the last time.

I’m not even a fan of the Beatles.

Sure, we all know how it’s likely to end. It’s probably some fever or coma dream and the main character will wake up at the end like Dorothy at the end of Wizard of Oz (1939). That said, I’m all about imagining that the situation is really happening throughout the film – and there’s always the chance that they’ll take a sharp left on the ending and surprise us all with something clever.

I’m willing to put a LOT of faith in Yesterday just based on the concept. The trailer looks great, but even if it didn’t the movie still would have wound up high on my list.

7 – Child’s Play (6/21)

Production/Distribution: Orion Pictures, KatzSmith Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Oddfellows Entertainment, TF1 Studio, United Artists Releasing, Capelight Pictures, Central Partnership, Digicine, Dutch FilmWorks (DFW), Elevation Pictures, Forum Film, Garage Play, Golden Village Pictures, Imagem Filmes, Kinepolis Film Distribution (KFD), Kino Swiat, Latam Pictures, Midnight Factory, Mis. Label, Mongkol Major, NOS Audiovisuais, Noble Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Roadshow Films, Toho-Towa, United International Pictures (UIP), Vertigo Releasing, Vértigo Films, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, GEM Entertainment, Sierra / Affinity
Director: Lars Klevberg
Writer: Tyler Burton Smith, Don Mancini
Actors: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Hamill, Tim Matheson, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, David Lewis, Beatrice Kitsos, Trent Redekop, Ty Consiglio, Amber Taylor, Hannah Drew, Nicole Anthony, Carlease Burke, Kristin York, Zahra Anderson
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Length: 120 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A mother gives her son a toy doll for his birthday, unaware of its more sinister nature.

This reboot of the Child’s Play (1988) series looks amazing. It looks like exactly what I want in a reboot.

It seems to have the same creepy vibe as the original film, but it’s brought into this century. You get a robotic toy that can sync up with the character’s homes, cars, phones, thermostats… it actually makes Chucky so much creepier in my opinion.

That’s a hell of a feat, because Chucky is fucking creepy even in the 80s version.

This new version of Child’s Play has the opportunity to be one of the best reboots created. Of course, that will depend on how well they balance the script and setting. You don’t want to lose that humanity and loss-of-innocent aspect the characters had in the old version, but you also want to go far enough with the update to the era for it to be worth rebooting. We should see the technological updates work in harmony with the parts of Chucky that haunted our dreams in the first place.

Personally, I don’t want to see them remove the supernatural part of Child’s Play. I’m worried they’ll make it more of a malfunction of technology or virus or something. There best still be a serial killer’s soul in that creepy-ass doll.

6 – The Dead Don’t Die (6/14)

Production/Distribution: Animal Kingdom, Film i Väst, Focus Features, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI), Universal Pictures
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Writer: Jim Jarmusch
Actors: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Eszter Balint, Austin Butler, Rosal Colon, Maya Delmont, Danny Glover, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Caleb Landry Jones, Carol Kane, Rosie Perez, Iggy Pop, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Taliyah Whitaker
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 105 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The peaceful town of Centerville finds itself battling a zombie horde as the dead start rising from their graves.

I have to admit, this looks like my dream film. A zombie horror B-movie concept with A-list properties. It’s Shaun of the Dead (2004) with a star-studded cast. I’m well in the belief that we could all use a little more Shaun of the Dead in our lives so, I’m here for this one.

There’s just something about a horror-comedy that does it for me. And this one looks insane.


5 – I Am Mother (6/7)

Production/Distribution: The Penguin Empire, Southern Light Films, Rhea Films (II), Southern Light Alliance, StudioCanal, Concorde Filmverleih, Netflix
Director: Grant Sputore
Writer: Michael Lloyd Green
Actors: Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank, Clara Rugaard, Luke Hawker, Tahlia Sturzaker, Jacob Nolan, Maddie Lenton, Summer Lenton, Hazel Sandery
Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller
Rated: Unknown
Length: 115 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A teenage girl is raised underground by a kindly robot "Mother" -- designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of humankind. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.

I’ve enjoyed a lot of the Netflix original sci-fi films that have come out. Now, I expect a lot from them.

The trailer for I Am Mother encourages my high hopes. We can see a lot of great acting moments in the trailer, but there’s more than that. By the end, we’re still left not knowing whether the android or Hilary Swank’s (Logan Lucky, The Black Dahlia, Million Dollar Baby) character is the antagonist. That’s a difficult thing for a trailer to do. Normally, even with films that explore that kind of psychological angle, you’re leaning one way or another by the end of the trailer (whether or not you’re leaning the right way is not the point).

I’m looking forward to when this comes out.

4 – Men in Black: International (6/14)

Production/Distribution: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Amblin Entertainment, Original Film, Parkes+MacDonald Image Nation, Tencent Pictures, The Hideaway Entertainment, Galaxy Distributors, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writer: Matt Holloway, Art Marcum
Actors: Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth, Rebecca Ferguson, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Rafe Spall, Kumail Nanjiani, Jess Radomska, Viktorija Faith
Genre: Action, Comedy, Sci-fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization.

I’m skeptical, but I seriously can’t put Men in Black: International any lower on my list than this. I LOVE this series. It’s one of those things I can put on and watch pretty much all the time. It’s just so much fun. That said? I’m skeptical of sequels when they have a different cast – even if the cast is full of popular A-listers like this one.

I’m going to miss Will Smith (Suicide Squad, Hancock, The Pursuit of Happiness) and Tommy Lee Jones’ (Captain America: The First Avenger, Jason Bourne, The Family) presence, even if this movie exceeds all other expectations.

Basically? Tessa Thompson (Westworld, Avengers: Endgame, Sorry to Bother You) and Chris Hemsworth (Avengers: Endgame, Ghostbusters, Red Dawn) have big shoes to fill. Hopefully they’re working with the kind of script that will help them do the series justice. With two of the writers credited on Iron Man involved, Matt Holloway (Transformers: The Last Knight, Punisher: War Zone, Shadow of Fear) and Art Marcum (Transformers: The Last Knight, Punisher: War Zone, Shadow of Fear), there’s hope.

3 – X-Men: Dark Phoenix (6/7)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, Bad Hat Harry Productions, Donners' Company, Kinberg Genre, Marvel Entertainment, TSG Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Forum Hungary, Press Play Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Warner Bros.
Director: Simon Kinberg
Writer: John Byrne, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, Simon Kinberg, Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
Actors: Sophie Turner, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Michael Fassbender, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Alexandria Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi McPhee, Evan Jonigkeit, Hannah Emily Anderson, Ato Essandoh, Daniel Cudmore, Summer Fontana, Kota Eberhardt, Scott Shepherd, Lamar Johnson, Andrew Stehlin, Aphra Williams, Gregg Lowe, Joey Coleman
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 113 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

This definitely looks like a potentially epic addition to the X-Men (2000 -) franchise. It may even win back some of the fans that were pushed away by earlier films. I’m cautiously optimistic about Dark Phoenix, but I’m not naïve. Some great ideas and stories have gotten fucked up in the X-Men series.

I also hear that there’s going to be a connection to the MCU in the film. Honestly? I think that’s bullshit. This movie was made before the merger – or nearly made, I’m not entirely sure of the specific timeline. I wouldn’t expect a connection just yet…

But I’m still going to stay until the end of the credits.

2 – Shaft (6/14)

Production/Distribution: Davis Entertainment, Khalabo Ink Society, Netflix, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Digital Networks, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution
Director: Tim Story
Writer: Kenya Barris, Alex Barnow, Ernest Tidyman
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Alexandra Shipp, Avan Jogia, Regina Hall, Luna Lauren Velez, Richard Roundtree, Jessie T. Usher, Matt Lauria, Method Man,
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: John Shaft Jr., a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, enlists his family's help to uncover the truth behind his best friend's untimely death.

Samuel L. Jackson (Avengers: Endgame, The Hateful Eight, Kingsman: The Secret Service) was born to play Shaft. Yeah, sure, he’s a great enough actor that I’d watch a video of him shopping for an hour and half and still probably be entertained… but my statements here aren’t based on that. Shaft is his. As much as Wolverine is Hugh Jackman’s (The Greatest Showman, Pan, Rise of the Guardians).

I have faith in the film because there’s no way Jackson would allow it to suck. If you’ve seen any interviews with him then you know, he’s not exactly shy. He’ll speak up if something in a movie needs to be changed. I highly doubt this would be the exception.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing one-liners in the trailer. I want more of that. So much more. It’s going to be a VERY quotable flick.

The best thing about another Shaft coming out now? The exploitation aspect won’t be a thing. I have no doubt Sam L. is the highest paid mother(shut-your-mouth) in that film – as damn well he should be.

One question. How the hell does a production company name a sequel the exact same thing as the original? I feel like they could have done better there.

1 – Toy Story 4 (6/21)

Production/Distribution: Hurwitz Creative, Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, B&H Film Distribution, Cineforum, Forum Hungary, United International Pictures (UIP), Walt Disney Studios Japan, Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing (WDSSPR)
Director: Josh Cooley
Writer: Andrew Stanton, Stephany Folsom, John Lasseter, Martin Hynes, Rashida Jones, Will McCormack, Valerie LaPointe, Josh Cooley
Actors: Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Tom Hanks, Patricia Arquette, Jordan Peele, Jay Hernandez, Annie Potts, Kristen Schaal, Timothy Dalton, Wallace Shawn, Laurie Metcalf, Joan Cusack, Tim Allen, Keegan-Michael Key, Tony Hale, Bonnie Hunt, John Ratzenberger, Don Rickles, Jodi Benson, Ally Maki, Jeff Garlin, Lori Alan, Estelle Harris, Madeleine McGraw, Blake Clark, Bud Luckey, Lila Sage Bromley, Jeff Pidgeon
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: G
Length: 100 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

I know there are some epic films coming out this month, but how could this not be number 1?

Toy Story (1995-2010) was an iconic trilogy, and now they’re coming out with a fourth. It’s a film that most people agree probably wasn’t needed. The third Toy Story had such a sense of finality to the ending that no one could have predicted another sequel, especially nine years later.

But we’re all going to see it, anyway.

Whether it’s in the theater or when it hits streaming/cable, we’ll be there. Sure, it’s nostalgic but it’s also an addition to a series that exceeded all expectations when it first existed. How could we not want to see the new one?

Hopefully it lives up to its predecessors. I believe it will. I’m prepared for the feels!

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Wild Rose .20
Vault .19
Hampstead .18
Say My Name .17
Late Night .16
Murder Mystery .15
Nightmare Cinema .14
Changeland .13
Yesterday .12
Shaft .11
Annabelle Comes Home .10
Toy Story 4 .9
Child’s Play .8
Men in Black: International .7
Ophelia .6
I Am Mother .5
Anna .4
The Secret Life of Pets 2 .3
The Dead Don’t Die .2
X-Men: Dark Phoenix .1


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Jonathan (2018)

Movie Name/Year: Jonathan (2018)
Genre: Drama, Sci-fi
Length: 100 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Manis Film, Raised by Wolves, Kinostar Filmverleih, Presidio, Well Go USA Entertainment, Front Row Filmed Entertainment
Director: Bill Oliver
Writer: Gregory Davis, Peter Nickowitz, Bill Oliver
Actors: Ansel Elgort, Suki Waerhouse, Patricia Clarkson, Matt Bomer, Douglas Hodge, Souleymane Sy Savane, Shunori Ramanathan, Joe Egender, Ian Unterman, Alok Tewari

Blurb from IMDb: Jonathan leaves the office everyday at noon. When he gets home, he goes to sleep. Every morning he wakes up and there is a breakfast prepared for him along with a video telling him about the second part of his day.

Selina’s Point of View:
I found the concept of Jonathan fascinating. The moment I heard of it, I was looking forward to seeing it. However, we’ve seen a few films recently that haven’t lived up to their potential. When we have a streak like that, it’s hard to keep an open mind going into the next movie.

In this case, however, I think Jonathan absolutely lived up to what I wanted it to be.

I absolutely understand that this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s very heavy on the drama – with not much else to fall back on. Even I don’t tend to like that kind of thing, but there are always exceptions and this is one of them.

I loved the use of jump-cuts to show the transformation from one version of John to the other. It was jarring at times, but it was meant to be.

Throughout the film we see only one perspective, and that character lives in a state where he’s used to losing time. We not only see his point-of-view, but the editing ensures that we feel it as well. We actively live with his disorder for an hour and a half.

It’s just as fascinating as I hoped it would be.

Personally, I would have preferred a slightly different ending, but there was nothing wrong with the conclusion they went with. I just would have gone a different route. It doesn’t affect the quality of the film at all.

I would highly recommend Jonathan.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 65%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 54%
Metascore – 62/100
Metacritic User Score – 4.6/10
IMDB Score – 5.9/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4.5/5

Movie Trailer: