Monday, July 1, 2024

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In July (2024)

According to Cat
 20- Descendants: The Rise of Red (7/12)
Director: Jennifer Phang
Writers: Dan Frey, Ru Sommer, Lewis Carroll
Actors: Brandy Norwood, China Anne McClain, Rita Ora, Joshua Colley, Jeremy Swift, Kylie Cantrall, Ruby Rose Turner, Leonardo Nam, Malia Baker, Melanie Paxson, Grace Narducci, Paolo Montalban, Sam Morelos, Alex Boniello, Anthony Pyatt, Dara Reneé, Mars, Julee Cerda, Peder Lindell, Shazia Pascal, Morgan Dudley, Tristan Padil, Kabir Bery, Levin Valayil, Aiza Azaar
Genre: Fantasy, Musical, Adventure, Family
Rated: TV-G
Length: 1h 31min
IMDb Blurb: Follows Red, daughter of the Queen of Hearts, and Chloe, daughter of Cinderella, as they team up to save Auradon by traveling in back in time using the White Rabbit's pocket watch, to stop an event that would cause grave consequences.
I love the Descendants movies. They're a lot of fun, they have catchy songs, and it's interesting to peek into the imagined world where fairytale characters – both heroes and villains – coexist together (even if sometimes contentiously).
Be that as it may, when I heard there was going to be another one I was a bit perplexed. The series of movies had come to what felt like a logical conclusion with the animated wedding special. The story that had carried forward from all of the movies to that point was tied up in a nice little bow. Coupled with the tragic 2019 loss of Cameron Boyce (Grown Ups 2, Runt, Paradise City), who had played one of the core group of characters, I didn't see how they could respectfully move forward with the same character focus.
Descendants: The Rise of Red resolves that issue. This new story is set within the same fairytale world, and the school we have all come to know; however, it shifts gears to tell the story of new students and shenanigans. The only 2 characters that carry over from the earlier franchise films are Melanie Paxson's (Saving Mr. Banks, Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, Descendants: The Royal Wedding) Fairy Godmother and China Anne McClain's (Hubie Halloween, Black Lightning, House of Payne) Uma.
Brandy Norwood (The Game, Queens, Best. Christmas. Ever!) and Paolo Montalban (The Great Raid, The Girl Who Left Home, Asian Persuasion) portray the royal adult couple at the heart of this new story, though they aren't strangers to these roles. Brandy and Montalban had previously played Cinderella and Prince Charming in Disney's 1997 Cinderella live-action film.
While I have hope that we will still see an entertaining adventure full of new characters and challenges, I am unsure how closely this new film will follow in the footsteps of the prior installations, given that Kenny Ortega (Hocus Pocus, High School Musical, This is It) is no longer the director.
Even so, I'll hold out hope and still give Descendants: The Rise of Red the benefit of the doubt. I know my daughter wants to watch this movie, and we generally view them together. That might be one of the best things about these flights of fantasy – the quality time I get to spend with her.
Descendants: The Rise of Red is releasing straight to Disney+ on July 12th, 2024.
19 - The Convert (7/12)
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writers: Michael Bennett, Shane Danielsen, Lee Tamahor
Actors: Guy Pearce, Tioreore Ngatai-Melbourne, Antonio Te Maioha, Jacqueline McKenzie, Te Kohe Tuhaka, Lawrence Makoare, Dean O'Gorman, Jared Turner, Kelly Vivian, Jack Barry, Marris Collins, Duane Evans Jr., Andrew G Hill, Renee Lyons, Leonard Mathews, Madeleine McCarthy, Tania Nolan, Peata Panoho, Ariki Salvation-Turner, Mark Sole, Whiu Tomika, Will Wallace 
Genre: Drama, Action
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 59min
IMDb Blurb: A lay preacher arrives at a British settlement in 1830s. His violent past is soon drawn into question and his faith put to the test, as he finds himself caught in the middle of a bloody war between Maori tribes.
Guy Pearce (Iron Man 3, Alien: Covenant, Bloodshot) pops up in the most unexpected places, sometimes. It really only accentuates his range and bankability as an actor that he spans the spectrum between obscure indie movies, blockbusters, and the small screen. I digress...
Pearce, honestly, is what first caught my attention with The Convert. The second element was the setting as a period piece in what likely is New Zealand. I'm fascinated with the Maori culture and this movie is steeped in it.
Another element that attracted me to this film is the story. When I watched the trailer, I got a tickle of a feeling of nostalgia. This tale of historical fiction feels like a spin on some amalgamation of the plots from Dances with Wolves (1990) and Disney's Pocahontas (1995). It's unclear if there's any love story involved, but it's quite obvious that British settlements and a war between indigenous tribes very much so is. Further, there is some sort of factor where a British settler tries to intervene in a tribal matter as the instigating factor for the escalating events.
I'm interested to see how it all plays out, and how the movie's title applies to the situation or the people involved.
The Convert will be receiving a limited theatrical release and will become available for digital On-Demand rental both on July 12th, 2024.
18 - The Fabulous Four (7/26)
Director: Jocelyn Moorhouse 
Writers: Ann Marie Allison, Jenna Milly
Actors: Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Bette Midler, Bruce Greenwood, Timothy V. Murphy, Brandee Evans, Art Newkirk, Sophie von Haselberg, Abigail Dolan, Deja Dee, Nicholas Velez, Renika Williams, Kadan Well Bennett, David Goren, James Dormuth, Kaden Taylor, Avangeline Friedlander
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 1h 39min
Metacritic Blurb: A group of life-long friends (Susan Sarandon, Megan Mullally, and Sheryl Lee Ralph) travel to Key West, Florida, to be bridesmaids in the surprise wedding of their best college girlfriend Marilyn (Bette Midler). Over the course of one outrageous trip, sisterhoods are rekindled, the past resurfaces, and there are enough sparks, raunch, and romance to change all their lives in unexpected ways.
The Fabulous Four immediately caught my attention because of its cast. I adore Bette Midler (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, The Addams Family, Hocus Pocus 2) and Susan Sarandon (Ray Donovan, Jolt, Blue Beetle). Sheryl Lee Ralph (The Comeback Trail, Motherland: Fort Salem, Abbott Elementary) and Megan Mullally (Will & Grace, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Great North) are also familiar to me and the chemistry in the trailer between the four of them was ridiculous – in a good way.
I enjoyed the vibe the trailer was giving me, and I also have a soft spot for 'girl-squad shenanigans' movies. That's really all I needed to give this dramedy a shot.
The Fabulous Four is getting a limited theatrical release beginning July 26th, 2024. I've found a tenative blu-ray release date of September 10th, but on-demand and streaming information did not seem to be available at the time of this article.
17 - Murder Company (7/5)
Director: Shane Dax Taylor
Writer: Jesse Mittelstadt
Actors: Kelsey Grammer, William Moseley, Joe Anderson, Pooch Hall, Gilles Marini, Jilon VanOver, James Wiles, Roman Schomburg, Nathan Cooper
Genre: War, History, Action
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 26min
IMDb Blurb: In the midst of the D-Day invasion, a group of US soldiers are given orders to smuggle a member of the French resistance behind enemy lines to assassinate a high-value Nazi target.
While I don't usually gravitate to war movies, Murder Company feels like it would be one of the exceptions. This story, based on actual events, isn't about the horrors of the battlefield at-large. It, much like The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2024), is about a small special ops team in WWII setting out to take out a major Nazi target covertly.
Of course, the Ministry movie was on a much grander scale and flashier with a major A-list cast and director. I'm not trying to compare that aspect. That's apples and oranges, really. Murder Company's director isn't quite at the same point in his career, and this cast isn't stacked with blockbuster names – but that doesn't change the fact that the story, itself has heart and a grounding in reality.
I definitely recognize Kelsey Grammer (Jesus Revolution, The Marvels, Frasier) and William Moseley (Raven's Hollow, Medieval, On the Line) among the cast. This gives me some reassurance for the talent caliber in general, as a result.
I feel it is important for us to tell these little-known but very impactful stories about the events “behind the scenes” that helped make great leaps in progress against the Nazi regime. For that reason, if no other, I am all in on seeing where this band of military heroes takes me.
Murder Company is receiving a limited theatrical release beginning July 5th, 2024 and will become available for digital on-demand rental the same day.
16 - Widow Clicquot (7/19)

Director: Thomas Napper
Writers: Erin Dignam, Christopher Monger
Actors: Kelsey Grammer, William Moseley, Joe Anderson, Pooch Hall, Gilles Marini, Jilon VanOver, James Wiles, Roman Schomburg, Nathan Cooper
Genre: War, History, Action
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 29min
IMDb Blurb: The story behind the Veuve Clicquot champagne family and business that began in the late 18th century.
I am intrigued by this period piece. Aside from the well chosen cast including Haley Bennett (The Red Sea Diving Resort, Cyrano, Till), Tom Sturridge (Mary Shelley, Velvet Buzzsaw, The Sandman), and Ben Miles (Andor, Tetris, Napoleon), the fact this film is based on a true story is a big draw for me.
That's not always my “thing,” but with this particular story, it feels relevant. The young widow has to fight to run the business that should be hers by right – only because she's a woman. I think narratives like this are important to remind everyone that it wasn't so long ago that women were treated legally lesser than men... and it is important that we don't go backwards in that direction.
Widow Clicquot is receiving a limited theatrical release on July 19th, 2024. Unfortunately, details regarding digital on-demand rental or streaming were not available at the time of this article.
15 - The Duel (7/31)
Directors: Justin Matthews, Luke Spencer Roberts
Writers: Justin Matthews, Luke Spencer Roberts
Actors: Dylan Sprouse, Callan McAuliffe, Patrick Warburton, Denny Love, Hart Denton, María Gabriela de Faría, Rachel Matthews, Christian McGaffney, Ronald Guttman, Bashi, Bobby Easley, Mara Miller
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 1h 35min
Rotten Tomatoes Blurb: Upon discovering that his best friend, Colin (Dylan Sprouse), has been having an affair with his girlfriend, Woody (Callan Mcauliffe) decides that no modern form of revenge could possibly satisfy him. Instead, Woody challenges his closest companion to a classic contest of honor -- a gentleman's duel to the death. When two of their friends join the act, the once inseparable group of men inch closer to the day of destiny and test the bonds of their relationship until the moment of no return.
I've had a bit of a debate with myself about the placement of The Duel on this list.
I originally wanted to list it much higher, however, the method of distribution for this film was so irksome to me that I had to bump it down a few pegs – at no fault of the film, itself. This was strictly an accessibility factor. We'll cover that in a bit.
As for The Duel, I was intrigued when I watched the trailer. The set pieces here once the cast reaches this enigmatic estate look spectacular. I also am all for the story of a modern-day desire to use the very antiquated method of dueling to exact revenge or redeem personal honor. I felt like I was being whisked away to the lair of some secret society, as in The Skulls (2000).
I will admit that I'd probably watch out of curiosity, even if not for the aforementioned factors – simply because it's Dylan Sprouse (Dismissed, My Fake Boyfriend, Beautiful Disaster). My daughter's favorite channel while growing up (and, frankly, today too) is Disney. I probably have watched every episode of every show that the identical twin Sprouse brothers were involved with for the Moue House. Dylan's brother has had wider cinematic reach in recent years, so I'm all about seeing this half of the dynamic acting duo spreading his adult wings on the big screen.
Callan McAuliffe (The Great Gatsby, The Walking Dead, Bomber: Terror of WWII) is no stranger, either, as I am a big fan of The Walking Dead (2010-2022) universe.
If I'm talking cast, Patrick Warburton (Kronk's New Groove, Rules of Engagement, Family Guy) simply can't be ignored. I'd watch almost anything he's involved with just to hear his iconic voice and giggle along. His projects generally have some level of comedy involved, whether it's subtle and dry humor, sarcasm, irony, or just flat out absurdness.
So let's address the elephant in the room; albeit I put it there.
The Duel is receiving a very limited theatrical release. In fact, it is a one-night-only event through Iconic Events. Considering Lionsgate and Grindstone have the distribution rights for the movie, one would think it would have a more far-reaching release. Unfortunately, whether or not a wider theatrical run will be in the cards is currently unknown. I'm sure that a digital on-demand release will come along at some point this summer, though, there's simply no announced dates as of yet. Given the fact that you could blink and miss The Duel in the theaters and there's no other information available about how to watch this production otherwise, I had to lower its position on the list.
If you want to watch The Duel now rather than however long it takes to become widely available, grab your tickets ASAP for the one day only, Wednesday, July 31, 2024.
14 - Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps (7/28)
Director: Michael Hines
Writer: Greg Steinbruner
Actors: Sean Astin, Christopher Lloyd, Tami Stronach, Greg Steinbruner, Eddie Izzard, Jennifer Saunders, Daniel Portman, Martha West, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Michael Emerson, Stuart Bowman, Pauline McLynn, Bill Bailey, Greg Hemphill, Moyo Akandé, Bhav Joshi, Gareth Morrison, Reginald D. Hunter, Chris Forbes, Tyler Collins, Giovanni Pernice, Johnny Vincent, Katharine Edwards
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 34min
Metacritic Blurb: When a lonely goatherd discovers that he has been cursed at birth to never take a wife, he makes a bargain with a reclusive witch to reverse the spell, only to find that if he can't complete her three impossible tasks, he will never find true love.
 I need someone to pinch me.
Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps feels like some sort of alternate-universe convergence of some of my favorite movies of all time – at least from a cast standpoint. We're talking The Neverending Story (1984), Back to the Future (1985), and The Goonies (1985). I've been thrown back to the era of the pinnacle of 80s movies. This is my happy place (or one of them).
I'm not even kidding. Man and Witch is a passion-project spearheaded by the married duo of Tami Stronach (The Neverending Story, Fredy a Zlatovláska, Ultra Low) and Greg Steinbruner (Dare Double, Wake Me When I Leave, The Republic). Yes, the same Tami Stronach that portrayed the iconic Childlike Empress from a movie in my top 5 favorite ever. This is her return to the big screen after stepping back for many years. This film is also Steinbruner's screenwriting debut, as well as his big-screen debut, and they've produced Man and Witch with their own production company. Their daughter even appears in the movie, as well, as noted by a Deadline article.
Aside from those tidbits of information that make me go squee; among the cast Christopher Lloyd (Spirit Halloween, The Mandalorian, Knuckles) and Sean Astin (Stranger Things, Vindicta, The Shift) add to this dream team. I'd watch them in anything. They're amazing actors and always give me warm fuzzies, regardless of the nature of their roles.
Further, we have Michael Emerson (Lost, Saw, My Adventures with Superman) who makes my skin crawl (in a good way) with his role in Evil (2019-2024) and the unmistakable presence and voice of Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, Damsel). I adore the off-beat comedy of Eddie Izzard (Abominable, Green Eggs and Ham, Rock Dog 3: Battle the Beat), and adding to the British comedy element of this cast is Jennifer Saunders (Minions, Sing 2, Death on the Nile), who played half of the primary duo in the hilarious Absolutely Fabulous (1992-2012). Then there's Daniel Portman (Robert the Bruce, Vigil, Black Mirror) of Game of Thrones (2011-2019) note. I could go on.. but I'll spare you.
The story looks adorable and is very much an homage to the fantasy films of the 1980s, as IMDb's blurb for the movie suggests. I can already tell from the trailer where this is going, and I'm all about it as well as want to watch the story of how it gets there. I am also hyped about how Man and Witch subverts the typical Hollywood casting conventions for lead roles.
I really can't wait to see how Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps turns out, and I'm really rooting for its success.
Fathom Events is on the distribution team for Man and Witch and is offering a wide theatrical release beginning July 28th, 2024.
13 - MaXXXine (7/5)
Director: Ti West
Writer: Ti West
Actors: Mia Goth, Elizabeth Debicki, Moses Sumney, Michelle Monaghan, Bobby Cannavale, Halsey, Lily Collins, Kevin Bacon, Sophie Thatcher, Giancarlo Esposito, Uli Latukefu, Chloe Farnworth, Deborah Geffner, Marcus LaVoi, Cecilia Kim, Charley Rowan McCain, Simon Prast, Susan Pingleton
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller 
Rated: R
Length: 1h 44min
IMDb Blurb: In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx finally gets her big break. But as a mysterious killer stalks the starlets of Hollywood, a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past.
MaXXXine is the third and, allegedly, final movie in the trilogy that began with X (2022) and Pearl (2022), which were shot back-to-back. This new installment in the narrative seems to happen a bit in the future from the prior events, so it works out that it wasn't part of the prior marathon shooting schedule.
Mia Goth (Marrowbone, Suspiria, Infinity Pool) returns as Maxine for another captivating performance. I am also excited about some of her other castmates, such as Giancarlo Esposito (The Mandalorian, Abigail, The Boys), Halsey (If I can't Have Love I want Power, Sing 2, Americans), Michelle Monaghan (Mission Impossible - Fallout, Black Site, Echoes), and up-and-comer Sophie Thatcher (The Book of Boba Fett, Yellowjackets, The Boogeyman).
Of course, there's also Kevin Bacon (Patriots Day, Space Oddity, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special). When you have Kevin Bacon, you should always Kevin Bacon. Gotta keep up on my 6-Degrees knowledge, right? But seriously, I love watching him in new projects so I can discover new facets of his range.
Ti West (In a Valley of Violence, X, Them) has returned as writer/director for MaXXXine to round out his trilogy of terror. He's been involved with projects we've covered (and mentioned a lot) in the past, such as segments within V/H/S (2012) and The ABCs of Death (2012). I do have to say I've enjoyed his more recent work far more and he has definitely matured in his craft since those projects. It's also really cool that he went “old school” with the filming techniques, equipment, and effects for MaXXXine so it feels like it was a movie really shot in the 1980s so it authentically encapsulates that era.
I have watched X and Pearl, and am looking forward to seeing how this plays out – as well as how it ties in to the lore of the real-world serial killer The Night Stalker (aka Richard Ramirez). If you are wanting to catch up on the prior 2 movies before moving to this third, you can currently find X and Pearl on Hoopla and Prime Video with subscriptions, and otherwise available on-demand.
MaXXXine is receiving a wide theatrical release beginning July 5th, 2024. The dates for digital on-demand rental or streaming release are unavailable at the time of this article.
12 - Kill (7/4)
Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat
Writers: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, Ayesha Syed
Actors: Laksh Lalwani, Raghav Juyal, Tanya Maniktala, Abhishek Chauhan, Ashish Vidyarthi, Adrija Sinha, Harsh Chhaya, Parth Tiwari, Kashyap Kapoor, Devaang Bagga, Rupesh Kumar Charanpahari, Sahil Gangurde, Priyam Gupta, Vivek Kashyap, Sameer Kumar, Calib Logan, Moses Marton, Reyazz, Shakti Singh, Akshay Vichare
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 55min
Metacritic Blurb: When army commando Amrit (Lakshya) finds out his true love Tulika (Tanya Maniktala) is engaged against her will, he boards a New Delhi-bound train in a daring quest to derail the arranged marriage. But when a gang of knife-wielding thieves led by the ruthless Fani (Raghav Juyal) begin to terrorize innocent passengers on his train, Amrit takes them on himself in a death-defying kill-spree to save those around him.
It might be unusual for me to place a non-English speaking film so high on my Top 20. Generally, people are hit and miss on watching “foreign films” because of the subtitles. I don't think that will be an issue with Kill – at least not for me.
The intensity of the action and the close-quarters claustrophobic action sequences are going to be plenty of eye-candy for those of us adrenaline junkies that love action movies. I won't realize that I'm reading the screen for what dialogue there is. It was the same way with Train to Busan (2016). I got so wrapped up in what was happening that I was reading the subtitles without even thinking about it.
Kill doesn't have zombies, though. Instead, this movie is dealing with bandits. I was fascinated (and equally chagrined) to learn that this is something that happens in real-world India and robberies of this nature are part of the inspiration for this film, according to a Deadline article. I expect that Kill will resemble some sort of bloody amalgamation of John Wick (2014) and Bullet Train (2022).

Speaking of John Wick, a Hollywood Reporter article announced that John Wick director, Chad Stahelski's (John Wick, Day Shift, The Continental) production company is set to remake this movie in English for Lionsgate, and is still retaining the original writer/director from the Bolllywood original. That should be interesting... perhaps. We'll see. I digress...

Back to the current film. I definitely want to see this Bollywood version of Kill to understand the original vision for the story. In addition to action, gore, and thrills, Kill sports heart-felt romantic drama of star-crossed lovers fighting against the arranged marriage traditions of their homeland. Kill has already received rave reviews from its world premiere at Midnight Madness at the Toronto International FilmFestival, where it was runner-up for the People's Choice Award.
Kill is receiving a limited theatrical release through Lionsgate. It is unclear at this time when it will become available for on-demand or streaming.
11 - Oddity (7/19)
Director: Damian McCarthy
Writer: Damian McCarthy
Actors: Gwilym Lee, Carolyn Bracken, Tadhg Murphy, Caroline Menton, Steve Wall, Johnny French, Joe Rooney
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 38min
Rotten Tomatoes Blurb: When Dani is brutally murdered at the remote country house that she and her husband Ted are renovating, everyone suspects a patient from the local mental health institution, where Ted is a doctor. However, soon after the tragic killing, the suspect is found dead. A year later, Dani's blind twin sister Darcy, a self-proclaimed psychic and collector of cursed items, pays an unexpected visit to Ted and his new girlfriend, Yana. Convinced that there was more to her sister's murder than people know, Darcy has brought with her the most dangerous items from her cursed collection to help her exact revenge.
I am over-the-moon excited that Oddity is coming to Shudder this month.
Why? Well there are two reasons, but the first starts with the fact that it's an Irish film! Whether or not it deals with traditional folklore or is a brand new spooky story, I don't mind. I'm here for it. The second reason, of course, is that it is what looks like a really interesting ghost story that explores the connection between twins. I've always been a bit hyper-focused on the twin connection. As I was born an only child, I've had a life-long wonder about what it would feel like to experience a bond such as that. My first D&D characters I ever made were a pair of identical twins. You get the point.
I have a burning need to understand what the story does with the wild-looking wooden mannequin seen throughout the trailer. Is it a conduit to channel the sister's spirit? Is it meant to trap her killer? The only thing I'm fairly sure of is that this isn't one of those movies where the inanimate object comes alive. … I hope.
Writer/director Damian Mc Carthy (Never Open It, Jeremy Dyson's Haunted Recordings, Caveat) is a fresh face in the industry. We've previously reviewed his movie, Caveat (2020), and I swear I saw a flash of the odd, old, and raggedy cymbal-wielding bunny toy that is tied to that movie while watching the trailer for Oddity. I am not sure if the movies are connected, or if the director is telling us it's in the same world. I am looking forward to finding out.
Oddity becomes available to stream on Shudder / AMC+ beginning July 19th, 2024.
10 - The Abandon (7/12)
Director: Jason Satterlund
Writer: Dwain Worrell
Actors: Jonathan Rosenthal, Tamara Perry, Regis Terencio, Dan Kyle
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 37min
Rotten Tomatoes Blurb: Injured U.S. soldier Miles Willis awakens after witnessing a blinding white light on a battlefield in Iraq to discover he is trapped in a mysterious cube armed only with his combat gear. His dire situation escalates as the cube begins to change with violent shifts in gravity and the appearance of cryptic writing on the walls. As Miles begins to question his sanity, he finds a lifeline -- a voice on the other end of his satellite phone who claims to be a prisoner in a similar space. As the walls close in, these two strangers must put their heads together if they are to outwit their captors and unlock this deadly puzzle.
 My curiosity is piqued regarding The Abandon.
I have so many questions. Did the wounded soldier get kidnapped by aliens? Is it an inter-dimensional thing? Did he get zapped to the future or something? Regardless of what the answers end up being, I think the ride to get to this story's conclusion will be an interesting one reminiscent of the Cube (1997) franchise. It would be interesting if this ended up being a part of that lore, or at least adjacent to it.
The Abandon is getting a limited theatrical release beginning July 12th, 2024 and will become available for digital and on-demand on July 30th.
9 - The Inheritance (7/12)
Director: Alejandro Brugués
Writers: Chris LaMont, Joe Russo
Actors: Peyton List, Rachel Nichols, Austin Stowell, Bob Gunton, David Walton, Briana Middleton, Reese Alexander, Chris Wood, Brody Romhanyi
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 24min
IMDb Blurb: A billionaire on the eve of his 75th birthday, invites his estranged children back home out of fear that tonight someone or something is going to kill him. He puts each of their inheritances on the line, to make sure they'll help.
Director Alejandro Brugués (Nightmare Cinema, 50 States of Fright, Satanic Hispanics) has come a long way from his short film segment in ABCs of Death 2: E is for Equlibrium (2014). We tend to have a love/hate relationship with the ABC anthologies. Brugués entry was quirky, and darkly humorous. I've enjoyed his projects since that time, as well. That gives me some faith that The Inheritance will be an entertaining experience, even if it does look a bit predictable. I think it will be fun.
This story reminds me a little of the horror anthology series Slasher (2016-2023) and its 2021 Flesh & Blood season. In that production, however, the family were dysfunctional and all the worst aspects of people. In the narrative of The Inheritance, it appears that the estranged family members that return by the patriarch's request are the innocent collateral damage to be paid for the “sins of the father.”
Bob Gunton (The Lincoln Lawyer, Argo, Royal Pains) is a great choice as the nefarious head of family, here. He portrays characters of this nature quite well and is one of those character actors that you love to hate on screen. I am also jazzed that Peyton List (Cobra Kai, A Little White Lie, School Spirits) is among the cast here, too.
The Inheritance is receiving a limited theatrical release beginning July 12th, 2024 and will also become available on digital and on-demand rental the same day.
8 - Space Cadet (7/4)
Director: Liz W. Garcia
Writer: Liz W. Garcia
Actors: Emma Roberts, Tom Hopper, Poppy Liu, Gabrielle Union, Kuhoo Verma, Desi Lydic, Sebastián Yatra, Sam Robards, Dave Foley, Yasha Jackson, Andrew Call, Josephine Huang, Troy Iwata, Caroline Concannon, John Ahlin, Tomas Matos, Fergie L. Philippe, Alli Brown, Glo Tavarez, Allegra Heart, Natasha Warner, Max Jenkins, Shirley Roeca, Joshua Harto
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 50min
IMDb Blurb: Rex, a Florida party girl, turns out to be the only hope for the NASA space program after a fluke puts her in training with other candidates who may have better resumés, but don't have her smarts, heart, and moxie.
 “Fake it until you make it” comedies are generally a lot of fun. With this cast, including Gabrielle Union (Almost Christmas, Breaking In, L.A.'s Finest), Dave Foley (The Kids in the Hall, Dr. Ken, Fargo), Tom Hopper (Black Sails, Terminator: Dark Fate, The Umbrella Academy) and Emma Roberts (Nerve, UglyDolls, American Horror Story), there is definitely no shortage of talent here to pull this one off. This is also the big-screen live-action debut for Poppy Liu (History of the World: Part II, The Tiger's Apprentice, Hacks), and I'm loving her best friend energy in the trailer.
I think that there will be just enough blend of serious and seriously ludicrous to tread the razor's edge of suspending disbelief here. Obviously in the real-world, a fake resume is not going to pass scrutiny or military background check clearance for anyone to sneak into NASA in any capacty – but it's fun to think of a comedic scenario where a series of mistakes might let that happen in a benign way.
I am a big fan of Roberts and this cast and am super excited that Space Cadet is releasing as an Amazon Prime Original on July 4th, 2024!
7 - My Spy: The Eternal City (7/18)
Director: Peter Segal
Writers: Erich Hoeber, Jon Hoeber, Peter Segal
Actors: Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal, Ken Jeong, Anna Faris, Flula Borg, Taeho K, Billy Barratt, Craig Robinson, Tamer Burjaq, Paul du Toit, Kyra Janse van Rensburg, Peter Butler, Arin Gonçalves, Nicola Correia-Damude, Noah Dalton Danby, Devere Rogers, Richard Wright-Firth, Dylan Viljoen, Lara Babalola, Michal Kostrzewski, Mo Mjamba, Gabe Gabriel, Bilbo, Baldassare Galuppi
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 51min
Metacritic Blurb: Veteran CIA operative JJ (Dave Bautista) and his 14-year-old stepdaughter and protégé Sophie (Chloe Coleman) reunite to save the world when a high school choir tour of Italy is interrupted by a nefarious nuclear plot targeting the Vatican.
 The first My Spy (2020) was fun and adorable. I loved the blend of action and comedy and the chemistry between Dave Bautista (Dune, Army of Thieves, Knock at the Cabin) and Chloe Coleman (Gunpowder Milkshake, Avatar: The Way of Water, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves). Their banter and the way their characters' energy feeds off one another as adult spy and intelligent, yet rebellious kid/teen is everything.
I'm already sold that Peter Segal (50 First Dates, The Longest Yard, Second Act) is bringing us back for a 2nd story of this odd-couple father-daughter or mentor-protege pairing.
When you add the additional cast into the mix, you're already preaching to the choir for me; but it's worth noting Anna Faris (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Emoji Movie, Mom), Flula Borg (Pitch Perfect 2, Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Rookie), Kristen Schaal (Toy Story 3, What We Do in the Shadows, Bob's Burgers), Nicola Correia-Damude (Shadowhunters, Resident Alien, Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent), and Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, Tragedy Girls, The Bad Guys). Oh, and to put a cherry on that, we've also got Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken, My Little Pony: A New Generation, Fool's Paradise), one of the funniest men on earth (even if often leaning into cringe-comedy), playing a CIA director or team lead and front-and-center in this narrative.
Secondarily, I am also geeking out that the premise of this film begins as a choir trip to Italy. That gives me warm nostalgia fuzzies for the choir trips of my youth.
My Spy: The Eternal City is dropping on Amazon Prime Video on July 18th, 2024. You can bet I'll be watching right away.
6 - Fly Me to the Moon (7/12)
Director: Greg Berlanti
Writers: Keenan Flynn, Rose Gilroy, Bill Kirstein
Actors: Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Woody Harrelson, Jim Rash, Ray Romano, Peter Jacobson, Christian Clemenson, Colin Woodell, Anna Garcia, Joe Chrest, Greg Kriek, Noah Robbins, Bill Barrett, Tim Ware, Art Newkirk, Nick Dillenburg, Todd Allen Durkin, Donald Elise Watkins, Christian Zuber , Lauren Revard, Todd James Jackson, Jeremy Carr, Njema Williams, Kade Pittman, Trevor Morgan, Aidan Patrick Griffin, Gerry Griffin, Ashley Kings, Jimmy Willis III, Daryn Kahn, Peter Wallack, Chris Vroman
Genre: Romance, Comedy, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 12min
IMDb Blurb: Marketing maven Kelly Jones wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis's already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as back-up.
Okay, so they had me with the combo of Scarlett Johansson (Avengers: Endgame, Sing 2, Asteroid City), Channing Tatum (The Lego Batman Movie, Free Guy, The Lost City), amd Woody Harrelson (Midway, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Triangle of Sadness).
Done. Sold. Whatever it is, I'm watching it. I adore all of them. There are more talented people involved with this project, but I just started squeeing at the main 3 and it was pointless to try and list more. My attention span is not cooperating today.
The story of Fly Me to the Moon is also an interesting one and piques my curiosity. Moon landing conspiracy theorists are going to have a time with this one. I can just see the comments now: “This is how they really did it, it was all fake.” I just giggle and roll my eyes. I digress...
I am absolutely here for theatrical shenanigans for this historical fiction 'just in case' back-up plan with a side of a little romance. Not to mention the fact that I'm geeking over the fact that Fly Me to the Moon is directed by Greg Berlanti (The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy; Life as We Know It; Love, Simon), who was showrunner for The CW's DC “Arrowverse” from 2012-2023.
Fly Me to the Moon is receiving a wide theatrical release beginning July 12th, 2024.
I already have tickets for opening night, attending with family and friends.
5 - Despicable Me 4 (7/3)
Directors: Chris Renaud, Patrick Delage
Writers: Ken Daurio, Mike White
Actors: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Joey King, Will Ferrell, Sofía Vergara, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Madison Skyy Polan, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Stephen Colbert, Chloe Fineman, Brad Ableson
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 35min
IMDb Blurb: Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith, and Agnes welcome a new member to the family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad. Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal and his girlfriend Valentina, and the family is forced to go on the run.
I could babble on about the cast and all that jazz forever when talking about why I – or anyone else, for that matter -would want to see Despicable Me 4. Some out there might be saying, “Another one?” My answer is simply, “Yes.”
It's all about those goofy banana-yellow minions for me – and also Agnes and her love of unicorns that are so cute and fluffy that you might die.
Despicable Me 4 is getting a wide theatrical release beginning July 3rd, 2024. The official release dates for digital on-demand and streaming were unavailable at the time of this article, though Screenrant suggests that this film might be available for rental starting in August and may hit streaming in October.
4 - Longlegs (7/12)
Director: Oz Perkins
Writer: Oz Perkins
Actors: Maika Monroe, Nicolas Cage, Blair Underwood, Alicia Witt, Michelle Choi-Lee, Dakota Daulby, Lauren Acala, Kiernan Shipka, Maila Hosie, Jason Day, Lisa Chandler, Ava Kelders, Rryla McIntosh, Carmel Amit, Scott Nicholson, Malcolm Masters
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 41min
IMDb Blurb: In pursuit of a serial killer, an FBI agent uncovers a series of occult clues that she must solve to end his terrifying killing spree.
Longlegs is adding up to be one hell of a disturbing movie, and that's amazing for an audience. The cinema experience should make you feel something and move you to some sort of emotion – whether that be the warmth and satisfaction of a love story, frustration or shock if a story doesn't work out the way you think, or the adrenaline rush of action or terror. If a movie sticks with you, the writer and director have done their jobs in creating a lasting experience and you are less likely to forget it – and might watch again.
I have a feeling that Longlegs is going to be one with so many little details in it that it would require multiple watch-throughs to catch them all. I'm not sure at this time whether I would have the stomach for sitting through an unsettling experience that many times – but until I actually see the movie, my judgement is reserved. I am dying to know what happens.
I love the cast involved with Maika Monroe (It Follows, Tau, Watcher), Alicia Witt (Justified, I Care a Lot, Alice), and Blair Underwood (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Quantico, Origin) acting opposite the titular character played by Nicolas Cage (Pig, Sympathy for the Devil, Arcadian).
Let me tell you, it was a stroke of genius to keep Cage's appearance from the marketing materials from posters to trailers. It only adds to the mystery surrounding his creepy character. You can hear his voice in the trailer, and one poster shows only the top part of his face... but that's it. We don't know what he does to his victims, and we also don't know what all the occult clues and the like add up to, either.
If you're daring and want to creep yourself out ahead of watching Longlegs, you can call a phone number that the production company (Neon) set up to promote the film. It is 1.458.666.4355 and the pre-recorded message it plays from Cage in-character is one of the most disconcerting things that I have experienced in a long while. (Yes, I called it and the number is real and not an internet urban legend.)
Longlegs is getting a wide theatrical release and for the first part of its run, it will be exclusive to theaters. Digital on-demand and streaming dates hadn't been announced yet at the time of this article.
3 - Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F (7/3)

Director: Mark Molloy
Writers: Will Beall, Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, Danilo Bach, Daniel Petrie Jr.
Actors: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, Kevin Bacon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Ashton, Bronson Pinchot, Paul Reiser, Taylour Paige, James Preston Rogers, Patricia Belcher, Sarah Abrell, Eugene Kim, Giovannie Cruz, Christopher Matthew Cook, Joseph Aviel, Damien Diaz, Michael Camp, Kyle S. More, Walter Belenky, Brandon Edward Butler, Atticus Batacan, Daniel Kaemon, Francyne Wong, Keith Pillow, Sean Liang, Bryan Jordan, Jon Lee Richardson, Daniel Olsen, Jesse Sean
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 1h 55min
Metacritic Blurb: Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) is back on the beat in Beverly Hills. After his daughter’s life is threatened, she (Taylour Paige) and Foley team up with a new partner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and old pals Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton) to turn up the heat and uncover a conspiracy.
 I can't even begin to adequately express how excited I am that there is another Beverly Hills Cop (1984) movie coming out this month. I'm even more excited that it's hitting Netflix within the first week of the month so I don't have to wait or budget to see it.
Axel Foley, the chaotically brilliant detective, has been a part of my core cinematic landscape – and the soundtrack of my life. The theme song, an instrumental named simply after the character “Axel F” has been one of my favorite songs ever. I'm chomping at the bit to find out who has made the latest remix of that tune to go with this movie. I could recognize that song before I was even old enough to see the movie. It is actually playing in my head right now (and every time I see any movie from this franchise mentioned). I digress...
The best part? The whole gang's getting back together! It wouldn't be Beverly Hills Cop or Axel F without Eddie Murphy (Mr. Church, Coming 2 America, Candy Cane Lane). John Ashton (Gone Baby Gone, The Neighborhood, The Joke Thief) and Judge Reinhold (The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, I am Potential, Bad Grandmas) are reprising their roles as Taggart and Rosewood, respectively. Paul Reiser (War on Everyone, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Stranger Things) and even Bronson Pinchot (The Tale of Despereaux, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Clowning) are also returning. I giggle every time I see Pinchot's character, Serge. He reminds me so much of his character from Perfect Strangers (1986-1993), which was a sit-com I loved when I was younger.
All the nostalgia feels are firing on all cylinders here with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.
Of course, then you have the elements that bring it forward after this long span of years since the last movie. They can't just easily pick up where they left off, after all, because everyone has had to obey the whole laws of the universe and time thing. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, Knives Out, Wolfboy and the Everything Factory), Taylour Paige (Hit the Floor, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Another Country), and Kevin Bacon (R.I.P.D., Black Mass, Leave the World Behind) have joined the cast.
I've said this once before in this list – if you can Kevin Bacon, you should always Kevin Bacon.
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F will be streaming on Netflix beginning July 3rd, 2024.
You can be sure I'll be over here jamming out with it on Day 1.
2 - Deadpool & Wolverine (7/26)
Director: Shawn Levy
Writers: Shawn Levy, Rhett Reese, Ryan Reynolds, Zeb Wells, Paul Wernick, Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza
Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin, Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, Karan Soni, Leslie Uggams, Matthew Macfadyen, Tyler Mane, Jennifer Garner, Brianna Hildebrand, Kelly Hu, Ray Park, Patrick Stewart, Jason Flemyng, Shioli Kutsuna, Aaron Stanford, Lewis Tan, Stefan Kapicic, Randal Reeder, James Dryden
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 2h 7min
Metacritic Blurb: A weary wolverine finds himself recovering from his injuries when he comes across a loudmouth Deadpool who has time travelled forward to heal his greatest pal in the hopes to befriend the wild beast and to team up to take down a foe they both have in common.
Okay, so… this month is a little unusual. Any other month, I would have selected Deadpool & Wolverine as my #1 pick, hands down. Honestly, I’d have to say that there’s pretty much a tie for #1 this month, but this format doesn’t really work with that so here we are.
I have been dying to see Hugh Jackman (Logan, The Greatest Showman, Reminiscence) don the claws of Wolverine again, and I’d always thought it was such a shame that he’d decided to step back from the X-Men franchise just as Ryan Reynolds (Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Ghosted, IF) was reinvigorating the fun side of it with Deadpool’s chaotic shenanigans.
My notes regarding this trailer, and why I’d want to watch Deadpool & Wolverine simply said “duh.”
I’ve been bouncing in my seat with anticipation ever since Reynolds dropped the first teaser.
Further, the creative combination of Shawn Levy (Free Guy, The Adam Project, Stranger Things) and Reynolds is, frankly, magical. I adore every movie they have worked on together. When you add the camaraderie and friendly rivalry between Jackman and Reynolds into the mix, the energy is bonkers and will take this movie to the next level.
Aside from that, I am also excited to see some returning characters from early X-Men and Marvel-verse movies such as Jennifer Garner’s (Daredevil, Yes Day, The Adam Project) Elektra, martial arts master Ray Park (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Accident Man, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as Toad, and Kelly Hu (The Orville, The Legend of Vox Machina, BMF) as Deathstrike. Given the fact that this movie is dealing with the multiverse, there’s no telling how many more cameos and reappearances we’re going to see. 
Deadpool & Wolverine will be worth every penny of the ticket price or even rental price if you can’t make it to a theater in person. We can also be reasonably sure that it will eventually end up on Disney+, but this isn’t one I want to wait on.
While the on-demand information was unavailable for Deadpool & Wolverine, it is receiving a wide theatrical release beginning July 26th, 2024.
1 - Twisters (7/19)
Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Writers: Mark L. Smith, Joseph Kosinski, Michael Crichton, Anne-Marie Martin
Actors: Daisy Edgar-Jones, Glen Powell, Anthony Ramos, Brandon Perea, Maura Tierney, Harry Hadden-Paton, Sasha Lane, Daryl McCormack, Kiernan Shipka, Nik Dodani, David Corenswet, Tunde Adebimpe, Katy O'Brian, David Born, Laura Poe, Austin Bullock, Stephen Oyoung, Alex Kingi, Chris Adrien, James Paxton, Lily Smith, Capri O'Neill, Chris Zurcher
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 2min
Metacritic Blurb: Kate Carter (Daisy Edgar-Jones) is a former storm chaser haunted by a devastating encounter with a tornado during her college years who now studies storm patterns on screens safely in New York City. She is lured back to the open plains by her friend, Javi (Ramos) to test a groundbreaking new tracking system. There, she crosses paths with Tyler Owens (Powell), the charming and reckless social-media superstar who thrives on posting his storm-chasing adventures with his raucous crew, the more dangerous the better. As storm season intensifies, terrifying phenomena never seen before are unleashed, and Kate, Tyler, Javi and their crews find themselves squarely in the paths of multiple storm systems converging over central Oklahoma in the fight of their lives.
While my placement of Twisters ahead of Deadpool and Wolverine might be a controversial one, it’s a very personal decision for me. My first viewing of Twister (1996) was a visceral and unforgettable experience.
It was a midnight employee screening and the whole theater seemed to vibrate with the rumble of the storms – by design. The film came with instructions of bass sound level adjustments that theaters needed to implement so that the audience would get that effect. Our theater was small and older, so that was the extent our technology on-hand could enhance the experience. Let me tell you, it was enough to feel real to me with those stunning graphics on the screen and the excellent performance of the cast. I also adore the soundtrack… I digress.
 I think I nearly broke my boyfriend’s hand for how hard I was white-knuckling my way through the experience. You see, one of my deepest fears that gives me cold sweats is getting caught in a tornado.
They’re terrifying…but also mesmerizing. I’ve set out over the years to try and understand them better and watch as much media as possible in hopes I’ll desensitize myself just enough that I can think rationally if the worst ever actually happens. It’s working… somewhat. I’ve watched storm chasing TV shows, online videos, IMAX documentaries, and most of the movies released involving the spinning cloud columns of doom.
To this day, I still quote the 1996 movie and I will stop channel surfing and watch it if I see that it is on. In spite of its literal nightmare fuel contents, Twister remains one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s no wonder, considering Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, ER,  Westworld) was the screenwriter. He is one of my favorite authors, and I adore his ability to believably blend real science with fantasy for an immersive sci-fi experience.
That being said, I wondered why there was never a sequel to such a commercially successful movie. I have learned that Helen Hunt (Mad About You, How it Ends, Blindspotting) and the late Bill Paxton (Aliens, Tombstone, The Circle) both tried to spearhead projects that actually had gained some traction but were cancelled somewhere in development. In 2017, when Paxton tragically passed away, I had little hope that this would come to be – and yet, here we are.
Getting back to the movie at hand, I do need to mention upfront that Twisters is not a direct or “true” sequel to Twister. There aren’t any returning cast members or plot that specifically follows up on the original movie. As far as I know, the characters aren’t related, either. The ties that bind the two films together come from some of the intentional Easter-Egg-like homages to the movies that have come before as well as bringing forward some of the technology that was at the center of the first movie’s plot – namely Dorothy.
I also got a little misty-eyed and lost in my feels for a bit because some elements of this movie are a dedication to the real-world storm chasers TWISTEX team who lost their lives in the El Reno tornado of May 31, 2013.
The cast for Twisters is also amazing. Glen Powell (Top Gun: Maverick, Hit Man, Anyone But You) has a skyrocketing star in Hollywood at the moment, and he has become one of my favorites in recent years. Daisy Edgar-Jones (Under the Banner of Heaven, Where the Crawdads Sing, War of the Worlds) makes a good counterpoint for his character, and I  am loving that Anthony Ramos (Hamilton, In the Heights, The Bad Guys) is involved as well. I love that the plot seems to mirror some elements of the original, as well, and these actors are perfect to embody that spirit of Twister.
The trailers for Twisters are exciting and already have given me quite the adrenaline rush. You can bet that I’ll be in a theater seat within the first week of release. I can’t wait to see what the technology advancements in cinematography and movie making can bring to this viewing spectacle.
Twisters will open in a wide theatrical release beginning July 19th, 2024. Right now the digital or on-demand information for Twisters is not available, however, you might expect it to hit some streaming service sometime around September.
 Movies to Look out For
According to Selina
Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part Three .20
Descendants: The Rise of Red .19
Tyler Perry’s Divorce in the Black .18
Dead Whisper .17
The Inheritance .16
Oddity .15
Despicable Me 4 .14
Before Dawn .13
Mother, Couch .12
The Good Half .11
The Abandon .10
Man and Witch: The Dance of a Thousand Steps .9
Space Cadet .8
A Man of Reason .7
Fly Me to the Moon .6
Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F .5
Twisters .4
Escape .3
The Duel .2
Deadpool & Wolverine .1


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