Friday, July 3, 2020

365 Days (2020)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: 365 Days (2020)
Genre:  Drama, Romance
Length:  114 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Ekipa, Future Space, Next Film, TVN, Netflix
Directors: Barbara Bialowas, Tomasz Mandes   
Writers: Barbara Bialowas, Tomasz Klimala, Blanka Lipinska, Tomasz Mandes
Actors: Michele Morrone, Anna Maria Sieklucka, Bronislaw Wroclawski, Otar Saralidze, Magdalena Lamparska, Natasza Urbanska, Grazyna Szapolowska, Tomasz Stockinger, Gianni Parisi, Mateusz Lasowski, Andrea Batti, Natalia Janoszek, Lukasz Choron, Reda Pawel Haddad, Sandra Majka

Blurb from IMDb: Massimo is a member of the Sicilian Mafia family and Laura is a sales director. She does not expect that on a trip to Sicily trying to save her relationship, Massimo will kidnap her and give her 365 days to fall in love with him.

Cat’s Point of View:

I am slightly at a loss of words, having just finished watching 365 Days. My feathers are ruffled – and I wish it was just because there was some hot chemistry taking place on-screen.

Alas, much like the backlash that surrounded the glorification of toxic relationships in media that surrounded the Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) trilogy adaptations, this movie follows closely along those lines.

I have a few fundamental problems with the narrative of this soft-core production. The story takes the whole alpha male dominant schtick a bit too far. At least the female lead in the aforementioned trilogy comes to Grey of her own free will – we’ve got kidnappings molestation, and intimidation going on here.

There was potential for an interesting story here, but it seems that the opportunity for developing something of substance was passed over in favor of fast-tracking the leads to sexy-time.

In another parallel to the Grey movies, this is also a book adaptation. I’m afraid I haven’t heard of the books before, but they are likely to be found in the adult romance section. Don’t get me wrong. I read a guilty pleasure book now and again – I just usually prefer my hardcore romance to be paired with supernatural shenanigans and laced with purpose into an actual story of substance. For example, I absolutely adore Laurel K Hamilton’s (Blue Moon, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned) Anita Blake series and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s (Julian of Macedon, Seize the Night, Wager) Dark Hunter books. There haven’t been any screen adaptations of those, however.

I have a problem with how the film made the rapeyness and Stockholm Syndrome seem ok. The movie even seemed self-aware that it was crossing lines but threw caution to the wind and went for it anyway. I completely understand why critics have panned the production and audience reviews aren’t much better.

They make a steamy couple and look smokin’ without clothes on, so let’s let the stalker, kidnapper, mobster do whatever, right? For a little bit I was hoping that the female lead character would have a spine. I can understand how she fell for the manipulation, though. When I was in my late teens, and before I met my husband, I experienced date-rape. I fell prey to intimidation at the time. That made some of this movie really hard to watch.

I do try to find something positive to say about everything I watch – even if I don’t like it. The cinematography was fairly good here. The production did a great job taking in the scenery and there were some really pretty visuals scattered throughout. The sex, while pornish for most in the US, was at least tastefully shot. They even took care during the naked shower scene to avoid full-frontal nudity for both leads. 

All told, consider this just like one of those adult movies that airs on late-night cable. Keep it away from the young, and watch only if that’s really what you’re looking for. There isn’t enough substance to recommend the movie for anything but eye-candy. I’ve learned that there’s a good chance there may be a sequel, considering this is based on the first book in a series. Brace yourself. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 0%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 30%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – 0.3/10
IMDB Score – 3.4/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 1/5

Trust The Dice Parental Advisory Rating –  Borderline NC-17

Movie Trailer:

[ Trailer unavailable ]

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For in July (2020)

Trust the Dice Disclaimer

Most, if not all, theaters in the US are scheduled to reopen at some point this month. As a result, we’ve gone back to our original format for the Top 20. We’re considering all films coming out – whether digital, straight to DVD, or in theaters – as eligible for this list. However, we felt the need to include a disclaimer.

There are certain states that meet all the requirements to reopen, and are doing well. In those states, we absolutely support people going to the movies, as long as they remain cautious and the theaters are following all safety precautions. 

However, a lot of states are opening before medical experts believe they should.

If you live in one of those states, especially those with rising COVID-19 cases, we urge you to stay home. There are a lot of great movies that continue to be released digitally, and we hope you stick with those. We understand that cabin fever is setting in with everyone right now, we’re not immune to it, but put your health and safety – and the health and safety of your family – first.

That said, all the release dates mentioned in this article are tentative. If the pandemic escalates further, movie theaters in the US may decide it is not time to re-open after all. Revisit this article throughout the month, we'll post small updates about postponed films as we are alerted to the delays.

Thank you for sticking with us through these strange times.

Top 20 by Cat

20 – The Kissing Booth 2 (7/24)

Production/Distribution: Komixx Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Vince Marcello
Writers: Vince Marcello, Jay S Arnold, Beth Reekles
Actors: Joey King, Molly Ringwald, Jacob Elordi, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Joel Courtney, Joshua Daniel Eady, Meganne Young, Taylor Zakhar Perez, Frances Sholto-Douglas, Camilla Wolfson, Michelle Allen, Kai Luke Brummer, Nathan Lynn, D. David Morin, Bianca Amato, Morné Visser, Carson White, Bianca Bosch, Chase Dallas, Judd Krok, Matthew Dylan Roberts
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: Unrated
Length: 130 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Following the love adventures of Elle, Noah, and Lee.

It was really a no-brainer for me to put The Kissing Booth 2 on my Top 20 list this month. Selina and I reviewed the first movie back in 2018, and I recall that we both enjoyed it and wanted more. Our wish has been granted!

I’m still curious what effects the long-distance will have on Elle and Lee’s relationship. I’m also wondering how the bestie’s love-life is doing. I’m still super happy that the story didn’t pair the best friends in a relationship, and can’t wait to see what else might buck Hollywood teen-rom-com traditions with this sequel.

The non-traditional trailer doesn’t give us much to go on, though. The giant question marks due to lack of information on plot and the like have resulted in this film’s placement on the list.

19 -  Legacy of Lies (7/28)

Production/Distribution: 13 Films, Eager Films B.V., Film Polska Production, Legacy Films, Sarke Studio, Toy Cinema, Ukrainian State Film Agency, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Adrian Bol
Writer: Adrian Bol
Actors: Scott Adkins, Honor Kneafsey, Andrea Vasiliou, Matt Mitler, Martin McDougall, Yuliia Sobol, Tetiana Nosenko, Leon Sua, Victor Solé, Anna Butkevich, Marco Robinson, Samantha Bruce, Sergey Kalantay
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: An ex-MI6 agent is thrown back into the world of espionage and high stakes to uncover the shocking truth about operations conducted by unknown secret services.

We all know that action movies are a summer staple. This month’s offerings have stacked the deck with thrills. Legacy of Lies promises to be a solid spy thriller that will deliver action in spades. Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange, No Surrender, Avengement) is generally a sure bet with the genre, but it was Honor Kneafsey (Miss You Already, Slumber, A Christmas Prince) that really won me over. The trailer snagged me hook, line, and sinker. I want to know whether or not she gets out of this predicament alright.

18 - The Outpost (7/3)

Production/Distribution: Millennium Media, York Films, Century 21, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Dutch FilmWorks, Fox Box, Kinepolis Film Distribution, Eagle Films, Joy n Cinema, Screen Media Films
Director: Rod Lurie
Writers: Eric Johnson, Paul Tamasy, Jake Tapper
Actors: Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Milo Gibson, Bobby Lockwood, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Celina Sinden, Taylor John Smith, Alexander Arnold, Cory Hardrict, James Jagger, Will Attenborough, Kwame Patterson, Fahim Fazli, Alfie Stewart, Marin Rangelov, Aleksandar Aleksiev, Jonathan Yunger, Scott Alda Coffey, Ahmad Sakhi, Ernest Cavazos, Jack Kalian, Jack DeVos, Jeremy Ang Jones, Chris Born, Brandon Wengrzynek, Henry Hughes, George Arvidson, Dancho Koleff, Petar Petrov
Genre: Drama, History, War
Rated: R
Length: 123 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A small team of U.S. soldiers battle against hundreds of Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

If you could consider movies having a pedigree, this one should certainly have an excellent one – genetically speaking, of course. I say this because The Outpost is populated with the offspring of some of the greats in the entertainment industry. They’re rising in star-power on their own merit, though.

Scott Eastwood (Fury, Mercury Plains, Pacific Rim: Uprising), Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, Mission of Honor, Breaking & Exiting), Will Attenborough (Denial, Dunkirk, Hunter Killer), and James Jagger (Stealing Summers, Fatal Crossing, The Last Full Measure) are all involved with this movie. While it is odd to see Orlando Bloom (Digging for Fire, Unlocked, Carnival Row) in a uniform rather than a pirate outfit, I’m excited to see what he brings to the table here, too.

The trailer is engaging and tells the story of the fairly impossible odds it seemed these soldiers faced during this battle in the Afghanistan War. What better holiday than the 4th of July to watch a movie based on a true story of grit and valor?

17 - Relic (7/3)

Production/Distribution: AGBO, Carver Films, Film Victoria, Nine Stories Productions, Screen Australia, IFC Midnight
Director: Natalie Erika James
Writers: Natalie Erika James, Christian White
Actors: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote, Jeremy Stanford, Chris Bunton, Christina O'Neill, Catherine Glavicic, Steve Rodgers, John Browning, Robin Northover
Genre: Drama, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 89 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A daughter, mother and grandmother are haunted by a manifestation of dementia that consumes their family's home.

Dementia is a horrible and scary thing. I’ve had several relatives succumb to this mind-stealing condition. It’s very hard to watch someone you love experiencing this. In that way, I can relate to the predicament that the mother and daughter find themselves in. When it’s clear that a loved one can’t live on their own safely, the decisions that follow aren’t easy at all. When you throw something supernatural into the mix, it turns something already awkward and tragic into an even more horrendous experience.

The trailer left me feeling unsettled and sad. I think that’s the only reason it’s this far ‘down’ my list. I expect this one’s going to be a rollercoaster of feels with a side of creepy craziness. You can bet I’ll be watching it as soon as I can.

16 - The Rental (7/24)

Production/Distribution: Black Bear Pictures, GEM Entertainment, IFC Films, The Searchers
Director: Dave Franco
Writers: Dave Franco, Joe Swanberg, Mike Demski
Actors: Alison Brie, Jovani Ridler, Toby Huss, Dan Stevens, Jeremy Allen White, Sheila Vand, Anthony Molinari
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 89 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Two couples rent a vacation home for what should be a celebratory weekend get-away.

The concept of a vacation rental is alluring. You can practically pay money for a slice of another life entirely. When I was younger, and time-shares were ‘the thing to do,’ I had family and friends that would invite me along for a week here or there. It was fun. The last time I did that, though, was back when I was in college and I doubled up with another couple (much like this movie) to vacation in the Outer Banks, NC. The trip had its ups and downs, but mostly due to sleeping arrangements differing from what was expected.

Thankfully, the trip didn’t go awry quite in the way that these poor couples experience in this film. No one tried to kill us, even though our friendships with the couple we traveled with were damaged along the way. I digress.

The movie looks terrifying, really. It looks to play on the inherent vulnerability people accept when renting from services such as AirBnB where the property owners could be anyone. I’m also excited that this is the feature directorial debut for Dave Franco (Nerve, The Lego Ninjago Movie, If Beale Street Could Talk). It also helps that Dan Stevens (The Guest, Beauty and the Beast, The Call of the Wild) and Alison Brie (Community, The Little Hours, Weathering With You) are among the leads. I really enjoy their work.

15 - Money Plane (7/10)

Production/Distribution: Dawn's Light,Taylor & Dodge, 101 Films, Quiver Distribution
Director: Andrew Lawrence
Writers: Tyler W. Konney, Andrew Lawrence, Tim Schaaf, Richard Switzer
Actors: Adam Copeland, Kelsey Grammer, Thomas Jane, Denise Richards, Katrina Norman, Patrick Lamont Jr., Andrew Lawrence, Joey Lawrence, Matthew Lawrence, Al Sapienza, Aleksander Vayshelboym, Jolene Kim, Candi Brooks, Tom DeNucci, Hick Cheramie, Cristina Franco
Genre: Action
Rated: Unrated
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A professional thief with $40 million in debt and his family's life on the line must commit one final heist - rob a futuristic airborne casino filled with the world's most dangerous criminals.

There are so many reasons that I am excited to watch Money Plane.

First, the concept is interesting. The heist movie genre is full of varying modes of transportation as targets. This is the first I can think of that takes place in the air. Capers happening on planes, especially in a post-9/11 world would be extremely difficult and I am interested in how they plan to pull it off in the story.

The cast also excites me. Thomas Jane (A-X-L, Crown Vic, The Expanse) and Denise Richards (The Prayer Box, The Bold and the Beautiful, Reality Queen!) are great and versatile. The incomparable Kelsey Grammer (The Expendables, Storks, Grand Isle) has proven time and again that he can own any part you throw at him. Also, for someone like me who grew up watching him on Cheers (1982-1993) and Frasier (1993-2004), seeing him play villains is extra interesting.

The Lawrence brothers trio of Matthew Lawrence (Of Silence, Melissa & Joey, Desperate Waters), Andrew Lawrence (Confessions of a Womanizer, Big Baby, Better Than Love), and Joey Lawrence (Public Disturbance, Hawaii Five-0, The Office Mix-Up) are all involved. I’m interested in where their roles lie in the story. I haven’t seen the recent work they’ve done together, so this will be my personal first time to see them all on the same project.

Of course, I can’t forget Adam “Edge” Copeland (Bending the Rules, Interrogation, Vikings). I’ve grown up watching professional wrestling, and I have to say that his vampire character was one of my all-time favorites. I’ve enjoyed seeing him branch out into other media such as TV shows and movies. The last movie we reviewed of his was some time ago so I’m really interested in seeing how much he’s grown as an actor since then.

14 - Desperados (7/3)

Production/Distribution: Lost City, Good Universe, MXN Entertainment, Netflix
Director: LP
Writer: Ellen Rapoport
Actors: Robbie Amell, Nasim Pedrad, Heather Graham, Anna Camp, Lamorne Morris, Sarah Burns, Jessica Chaffin, Izzy Diaz, Mo Gaffney, George Basil, Bryan Safi, Allan McLeod, Niccole Thurman, ViviAnn Yee, Scott Rodgers, Toby Grey, Mon de León, Guillermo Peña, Rodrigo Franco
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: Unrated
Length: 105 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A panicked young woman, with her reluctant friends in tow, rushes to Mexico to try and delete a ranting email she sent to her new boyfriend.

I’m sure quite a few of us wish we could unsend or delete an email or text message after-the-fact. This story of how one woman decides to do just that looks hilarious and endearing. I could babble for years about the cast so I’ll spare you that – but it’s safe to say there’s an excellent line up here.

The trailer sucked me in and now I want more! I can’t wait to see how this adventure turns out and whether or not the lead makes it in time to delete the message before its read.

13 - Saint Maud (7/17) - Delayed

Production/Distribution: Escape Plan Productions, Film4, BFI Film Fund, A24, Diaphana Films, Elevation Pictures, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Stage 6 Films
Director: Rose Glass
Writer: Rose Glass
Actors: Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle, Lily Knight, Lily Frazer, Turlough Convery, Rosie Sansom, Marcus Hutton, Carl Prekopp, Noa Bodner, Takatsuna Mukai
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 84 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Follows a pious nurse who becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.

I was raised Catholic, so I understand that church lore describes some extremely devout members of the faith have experienced some form of Stigmata – or a manifestation on the body of the wounds of Christ at the time of his crucifixion. This is taking that premise to an entirely different level that seems to border some sort of possession. I imagine the Church is not that thrilled with this film as a result.

I was thoroughly creeped out by the trailer and winced quite a bit as I watched the little teased bits of what this zealot nun does in the name of her faith and piety and her attempt at saving her charge’s soul.

I’m intrigued and want to see how this plays out and if there’s a clear explanation for what is going on with Maud.  

12 - Summerland (7/31)

Production/Distribution: Iota Films, Shoebox Films, The Searchers, United International Pictures, Vie Vision Pictures, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, IFC Films
Director: Jessica Swale
Writer: Jessica Swale
Actors: Gemma Arterton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Penelope Wilton, Siân Phillips, Tom Courtenay, Amanda Root, Amanda Lawrence, Sally Scott, Dixie Egerickx, Jessica Gunning, David Horovitch, Martina Laird, Toby Osmond, Lucas Bond, Joshua Riley, Casper Allpress, Aoibhine McFlynn
Genre: Drama, War
Rated: PG
Length: 99 minutes

IMDb Blurb: During World War II, an Englishwoman "Gemma Arterton" opens her heart to an evacuee after initially resolving to be rid of him in this moving journey of womanhood, love and friendship.

The premise of an eccentric writer in the English countryside having a young boy thrust upon her during World War II, is interesting. The trailer promised a touching and poignant story about relationships and love – both familial and romantic. The movie seems to touch on the emotional battles of those on the home front, rather than the physical ones on the front lines, and that’s a refreshing change of pace. The trailer alone took me on quite the rollercoaster of feels. I have a feeling I’m going to need tissues handy when I watch this one.

11 - The Grizzlies (7/17) - Delayed

Production/Distribution: Hammond Entertainment
Director: Miranda de Pencier
Writers: Moira Walley-Beckett, Graham Yost
Actors: Jack Anawak, Fred Bailey, Seth Burke, Mary Buscemi, Tantoo Cardinal, Brad Fraser, Madeline Ivalu, Joel Keller, Jennifer Kilabuk, Anna Lambe, Emerald MacDonald, Jeff Mahon, Ricky Marty-Pahtaykan, Simon Nattaq, Daniel Niego-Akavak, Paul Nutarariaq, Will Sasso, Ben Schnetzer, Eric Schweig, Booboo Stewart, Jamie Takkiruq, Natar Ungalaaq
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 102 minutes

IMDb Blurb: In a small Arctic town struggling with the highest suicide rate in North America, a group of Inuit students' lives are transformed when they are introduced to the sport of lacrosse.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a reluctant fan of sports-driven movies. I end up watching them anyway because my husband always wants to watch them, and then I find myself enjoying the films in spite of myself. This film looks like it falls squarely into that category, with its story of a school lacrosse team coming together in the far North.

This isn’t your average kids join sports and make-good movie, though. While the trailer did depict a narrative similar to something along the lines of McFarland, USA (2015), it’s drawing the audience’s attention to an area of the world that is rarely addressed.

The Inuit people of the snow-bound reaches of North America face their own struggles for survival that we can’t even begin to fathom here in the ‘lower 48.’ I only have the smallest inkling of some of the conditions up there due to my love of watching Ice Road Truckers (2007-2017).

I also noticed that the rating for The Grizzlies is a little more hard-core than this typical sort of teen-focused movie. There are several reasons that the film earned the R rating, but it boils down to an unapologetic and gritty look at reality and the challenges some of the Northern people face.

This promises to be both heart-wrenching and uplifting, and well worth the time spent watching. Besides, it’s summer and all that snow looks amazing when the temperatures are hitting 90+ here in Louisiana.

10 - The Big Ugly (7/24)

Production/Distribution: 4G Vision, Vertical Entertainment
Director: Scott Wiper
Writers: Scott Wiper, Paul Tarantino
Actors: Ron Perlman, Nicholas Braun, Malcolm McDowell, Vinnie Jones, Leven Rambin, Elyse Levesque, Joelle Carter, Lenora Crichlow, Bruce McGill, Stephen Marcus, Brandon Sklenar, Mark Rhino Smith, Dan Buran, Leilani Barrett, David Myers Gregory, Jon Bruno, Melodie Past, Marty Blankenship
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 106 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Anglo-American relations go bad when London mob bosses invest in a West Virginia oil deal in hopes of laundering dirty money.

I really only needed one reason to want to watch this movie badly – the trifecta of Ron Perlman (Pacific Rim, Sons of Anarchy, Hand of God), Vinnie Jones (Escape Plan, Arrow, Madness in the Method), and Malcolm McDowell (American Satan, Mozart in the Jungle, Bombshell).

Perlman excels portraying men of questionable morals up to no good. Jones is one of my favorite Brit action staples. It’s also fun to see what machinations McDowell’s characters are up to. He usually ends up playing a really diabolical character in most of his work.

If that isn’t enough for you, this looks like a great revenge story. It’s the Brit against a pack of good ol’ boys that have screwed up big time. Don’t let the IMDb description fool you. This is just as much a crime thriller and action film as it is a drama – at least, that’s what the trailer would have you believe.

9 - Most Wanted (7/10)

Production/Distribution: Caramel Film, Goldrush Entertainment, Entertainment One, Saban Films, Les Films Séville
Director: Daniel Roby
Writer: Daniel Roby
Actors: Josh Hartnett, Stephen McHattie, Jim Gaffigan, Antoine Olivier Pilon, J.C. MacKenzie, Rose-Marie Perreault, Don McKellar, Mark Camacho, Domenic Di Rosa, Sahajak Boonthanakit, Frank Schorpion, Max Laferriere, Jessica Abruzzese, Raphael Grosz-Harvey, Robert Crooks, Marcello Bezina, Dawn Lambing, Frédéric Millaire-Zouvi, Cory Lipman, Kenneth Won, Gillian Doria
Genre: Biography, Crime, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 135 minutes

IMDb Blurb: In 1989, a Canadian journalist investigates the circumstances surrounding the suspicious arrest of a heroin addict imprisoned in a Thai jail.

I’m not really familiar with this director’s work, but the trailer seems to promise a rather hard-hitting story based on actual events. I’m highly curious about what the scandal is that the plot revolves around. It’s also interesting to see Jim Gaffigan (Them That Follow, Troop Zero, Drunk Parents) outside of the comedy genre. My curiosity is piqued further, wondering how his part plays into the bigger picture here. The fact that Josh Hartnett (30 Days of Night, Penny Dreadful, The Ottoman Lieutenant) is involved is the icing on the cake.

8 - Palm Springs (7/10)

Production/Distribution: Limelight, Party Over Here, The Lonely Island, Neon, Hulu
Director: Max Barbakow
Writers: Andy Siara, Max Barbakow
Actors: Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes, Tyler Hoechlin, Chris Pang, Jacqueline Obradors, June Squibb, Tongayi Chirisa, Dale Dickey, Conner O'Malley, Jena Friedman, Brian Duffy, Martin Kildare, Lilli Birdsell
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: Unrated
Length: 90 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When carefree Nyles and reluctant maid of honor Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated as they are unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other.

I absolutely adore the time loop genre when it’s executed well. Palm Springs ups the ante here by giving this story a new twist – bringing a second person along for the looping. Most movies along these lines only have one person repeating a day until they achieve some sort of karmic lesson. With two involved here, it will be interesting to see what the universe is looking for before the characters stuck in rinse and repeat mode will be allowed to move forward in their lives. Of course, it’s an assumption on my part that they will eventually get out of the loop.

With that said, the trailer had me laughing and I am really looking forward to seeing all of the shenanigans that this pair gets into.   

7 - Never Too Late (7/10)

Production/Distribution: F.G. Film Productions, R&R Films, Pacific Northwest Pictures, Blue Fox Entertainment
Director: Mark Lamprell
Writers: Luke Preston, Grant Carter
Actors: James Cromwell, Jacki Weaver, Dennis Waterman, Jack Thompson, Shane Jacobson, Renee Lim, Max Cullen, Roy Billing, Darren Gilshenan, Simone Annan, Zachary Wan, Edmund Pegge, Jai Koutrae, Tess O'Flaherty, Chrissie Page, Akkshey Caplash
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Rated: Unrated
Length: 95 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A group of seniors plan to break out of their retirement home.

These days, we all could use more reasons to laugh. That’s a big reason why this comedy is high on my list this month. Not only does Never too Late seem hilarious, it’s stirring up a lot of nostalgic feels for me, as well.

I couldn’t help but notice the parallel regarding the name of the retirement home the main characters are stuck in – Hogan Hills. That reminds me of Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971). I caught the re-runs of that show in the late ’80s and the shenanigans these veterans employ to spring themselves from the facility seem on par.

While the movie focuses on Vietnam veterans instead of World War II, I can’t help but draw some parallels to The Great Escape (1963) as well.

Never too Late’s trailer promises a lot of laughs and even a bit of romance, and I can’t wait for this film to brighten my day.

6 - Unhinged (7/10)

Production/Distribution: Burek Films, Ingenious, Solstice Studios, Diamond Films, Leonine Distribution, The Searchers, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Eagle Films, VVS Films
Director: Derrick Borte
Writer: Carl Ellsworth
Actors: Russell Crowe, Jimmi Simpson, Gabriel Bateman, Caren Pistorius, Anne Leighton, Lucy Faust, Austin P. McKenzie, Gregory Hobson, Devyn A. Tyler, Stephen Louis Grush
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 91 minutes

IMDb Blurb: After a confrontation with an unstable man at an intersection, a woman becomes the target of his rage.

I have a feeling that Unhinged is going to be a bit hard to watch. This is stuff right out of nightmares for me. My husband gets really impatient while driving and he fumes at the traffic around us. I am always telling him to hush because not only do I not want his karmic debt, what if someone heard him? What would happen if they got mad and decided to do something about it? (We used to have to drive with the windows down a lot for airflow because our SUV’s AC was busted. I am relieved it’s fixed now for multiple reasons!)

We live in a crazy world, and it just seems to get more insane by the day.  

The trailer for this movie was horrifying and this looks to be a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat once it starts building momentum. It will likely leave a lingering feeling of unease long after the credits roll, as well.

5 - Ghosts of War (7/17)

Production/Distribution: Miscellaneous Entertainment, Vertical Entertainment, Falcon Films, JL Vision Film
Director: Eric Bress
Writer: Eric Bress
Actors: Brenton Thwaites, Theo Rossi, Kyle Gallner, Skylar Astin, Alan Ritchson, Billy Zane, Shaun Toub, Matthew Reese, Laila Banki, Shannon McKain, Yanitsa Mihailova
Genre: Horror, Thriller, War
Rated: R
Length: 94 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Follows five battle-hardened American soldiers assigned to hold a French Chateau near the end of World War II. Formerly occupied by the Nazi high command, this unexpected respite quickly descends into madness when they encounter a supernatural enemy far more terrifying than anything seen on the battlefield.

I am seriously intrigued by this movie. I can’t say that I’ve seen a haunted house and war movie mash-up before. Of course, if there’s any set of circumstances that could breed this sort of experience, it’s a location formerly occupied and abused by Nazis. That would definitely leave one hell of a residual impression of ultra-negative energy.

I’m curious how this genre-blend will turn out, and I like the cast involved. It sounds like the recipe for a thrilling experience!

4 - The Old Guard (7/10)

Production/Distribution: Denver and Delilah Productions, Dune Films, Image Comics, Netflix, Skydance Media
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writers: Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez
Actors: Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Van Veronica Ngo, Matthias Schoenaerts, Natacha Karam, Marwan Kenzari, KiKi Layne, Anamaria Marinca, Luca Marinelli, Joey Ansah, Adam Collins, Tuncay Gunes, Peter Brooke, Latesha Wilson, Michael Ward, Steve Healey, Shala Nyx
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Rated: R
Length: 118 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.

I am really looking forward to The Old Guard. There are several reasons this movie vibes with me. The first is due to a really interesting premise. I’ve long enjoyed stories of immortals. If you couldn’t die, why not become a mercenary to try and right some of the wrongs of the world? I’m curious about the mythos surrounding these particular immortals and how they tick.

Another large reason I want to see this film is because of Charlize Theron (Kubo and the Two Strings, Atomic Blonde, Bombshell). She is versatile and badass, and I can’t think of any of her roles that I haven’t been impressed with her performance. It feels good seeing women in action leads like this.

I’m also extra excited that it will be streaming on Netflix so I don’t have to wait to watch it!

3 - Archive (7/10)

Production/Distribution: Independent, Hero Squared, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology, Untapped, Vertical Entertainment
Director: Gavin Rothery
Writer: Gavin Rothery
Actors: Rhona Mitra, Theo James, Toby Jones, Stacy Martin, Peter Ferdinando, Hans Peterson, Jeremy Wheeler
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: Unrated
Length: 105 minutes

IMDb Blurb: 2038: George Almore is working on a true human-equivalent AI. His latest prototype is almost ready. This sensitive phase is also the riskiest. Especially as he has a goal that must be hidden at all costs: being reunited with his dead wife.

The trailer for Archive pulled at my heart-strings and set off all sorts of internal alarm bells at the same time. For those that worry that A.I. will decide that humans are a pest that needs to be exterminated in the future, this should be extra horrifying. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – so would not the same apply to an A.I. that identifies as female?

Of course, this is ultimately one man’s quest to reunite with his dead spouse. It’s heartbreaking for Theo James' (Underworld: Blood Wars, How It Ends, Castlevania) character as he tries to push the limits of technology to achieve his goal, regardless of the cost.

There seems to also be the potential for a bit of corporate espionage involved here. There seem to be many layers to this sci-fi tale, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.  

2 - Mulan (7/24) - Delayed

Production/Distribution: Walt Disney Pictures, Jason T. Reed Productions, Good Fear Content, China Film Group Corporation, Blitz Film & Video Distribution, Blitz, Forum Hungary, Kinomania, Meloman, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing
Director: Niki Caro
Writers: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Hynek
Actors: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Pei-Pei Cheng, Xana Tang, Ron Yuan, Jun Yu, Chen Tang, Doua Moua, Jimmy Wong, Nelson Lee, Crystal Rao, Elena Askin, Vincent Feng, Roger Yuan, Jenson Cheng, Arka Das, Jen Sung, King Lau, Zhaidarbek Kunguzhinov, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Chum Ehelepola
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney's 'Mulan.'

I have been waiting impatiently for this new Disney live-action adaptation to be released. The trailers are all gorgeous, the action looks amazing, and it seems to have been cast really well.

I know that there are going to be some changes and differences between the original cartoon movie and this remake. I can live with them, though. I am almost 100% positive.

This is definitely one that I will be encouraging my family to rent on digital so we can watch it sooner rather than later.  

1 - Hamilton (7/3)

Production/Distribution: Walt Disney Pictures, 5000 Broadway Productions, RadicalMedia, Nevis Productions, Old 320 Sycamore, Disney+, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Thomas Kail
Writers: Ron Chernow, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Actors: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Phillipa Soo, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jonathan Groff, Chris Jackson, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, Sydney James Harcourt, Thayne Jasperson, Ephraim Sykes
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: 160 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The real life of one of America's foremost founding fathers and first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Filmed live on Broadway from the Richard Rodgers Theatre with the original Broadway cast.

I haven’t seen Hamilton yet, even though I’ve heard so much about it since the production hit Broadway. The music is awesome, and the cast is fantastic.

Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns, His Dark Materials, DuckTales) is a genius – just saying.

This is definitely a must-watch. My daughter and I plan to stream it together as soon as possible once it becomes available on Disney+.

 Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina

The Kissing Booth 2 .20
Saint Maud .19
Money Plane .18
Relic .17
Never Too Late .16
Most Wanted .15
The Big Uglu .14
Open 24 Hours .13
Denise Ho - Becoming the Song .12
The Rental .11
Desperados .10
The Fight .9
Unhinged .8
Archive .7
Ghosts of War .6
Greyhound .5
Palm Springs .4
The Old Guard .3
Mulan .2
Hamilton .1