In my mind, the July movie schedule is usually the time when some of the biggest releases of all time reach audiences. I’m thinking of the final Harry Potter film or The Dark Knight. But this year the studios don’t have anything like that. Instead there are 14 wide release movies, which is way too many. There are a few franchise titles that will be fun, but there isn’t enough room for all these movies to make money. So I anticipate some fireworks… as in some movies bombing so badly they blow up. Here’s our July movie preview.
July 1st– The BFG, The Legend of Tarzan, The Purge: Election Year, Swiss Army Man
The BFG stands for “Big Friendly Giant.” For the longest time I couldn’t think of what the F could mean in a PG rated movie. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the story is adapted from the Roald Dahl book of the same name. A little girl encounters a giant and finds him to be quite nice despite his intimidating appearance. The BFG is an outcast among his kind because he doesn’t eat children. Mark Rylance, who won an Oscar this year for his work in Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, stars as the giant in question.
Starring Alexander Skarsgard’s abs, The Legend of Tarzan takes place after the Tarzan stories you’re used to. Tarzan is now known as John Clayton, but must return to the jungle to investigate a new danger to his old stomping grounds. Along with Skarsgard, who plays the famous lead, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christoph Waltz also star. Plus gorillas, there are a lot of gorillas.
The hot topic on everyone’s minds this election year is of course what we should do about the Purge. Well maybe not in real life, but that’s the premise for The Purge: Election Year. The third movie in the horror franchise has a presidential nominee targeted during the annual murder fest due to her vow to outlaw the Purge if she gets elected. But if she were to be murdered that would, of course, be legal because all crime is legal during that night. Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell star.
Giants, swinging from vines and crime spree holidays have nothing on the weirdness of the fourth film coming out on the 1st. Swiss Army Man stars Paul Dano as a man stranded in the wilderness. At his wit’s end, he befriends a corpse, played by Daniel Radcliffe. They then go on a weird journey together. It looks kind of inspiring, ridiculous, amazing, and terrible. But it definitely doesn’t look boring. So we’ll have to reserve judgment on this one.
July 8th– Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Secret Life of Pets
Zac Efron and Adam Devine team up in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. The premise is as the title suggests. Two dudes, who have a penchant for screwing things up, need dates to their sister’s wedding. So they place an ad online that goes viral. Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza play two women who take them up on their offer pretending to be classier than they actually are. This is a great group of comedic actors to join forces. So it could be one to look out for.
It’s the age-old question, what do pets do when their owners are away? The Secret Life of Pets aims to answer that. An animated feature by the studio home of the Minions, Illumination Entertainment, a group of pets must act when they discover a cute bunny is leading an army of lost pets aiming to take revenge. The voice cast includes Louis CK, Albert Brooks, Ellie Kemper, and Kevin Hart as the vengeful, yet cute, little bunny. Of course that’s whom he’s playing.
July 13th-15th– Ghostbusters, The Infiltrator
I’ll admit it right here. I think the new Ghostbusters looks really funny. The internet lost it’s mind when the trailer starring the new all female team was released a few months back, and not in a good way. Directed by Paul Feig, the man behind Bridesmaids, Spy, and a bunch of other successful comedies, this one has the new team attempting to save the day from all types of slime spewing ghosts. Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig star alongside SNL standouts Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones to make up the new crew. I’m a big fan of the original. I even liked the sequel, though admittedly not as much. But this looks like a fun remake that is trying to stand on it’s own. So internet, don’t be such haters.
Bryan Cranston may have just joined on to be Zordon in the new Power Rangers film, but he’s got quite a different type of threat on his hands in The Infiltrator. Based on a true story, Cranston plays a US Customs agent who infiltrates some of the most dangerous cartels. While undercover, he plays a part in discovering the money-laundering organization of the notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar. If he needs help he should “recruit a team of teenagers with attitude.” Okay, no more Power Rangers jokes.
July 22nd– Ice Age: Collision Course, Lights Out, Star Trek Beyond
Ice Age: Collision Course is the 85th movie in the Ice Age franchise. Okay, there aren’t quite that many. But after the four short films and two television specials, this is the fifth feature length movie. That’s quite a franchise. I didn’t even mention the video games! This time the crew must join forces to try and stop a meteor that could destroy everything. With each new movie the voice cast for these continue to grow more massive. Newcomers include Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam Devine, and Nick Offerman.
Teresa Palmer stars in Lights Out, a horror film where she is haunted by a monster that only shows up in the darkness. That is literally the premise for 95 percent of horror movies. At least in this case, they’re being honest. Expect scary things when it gets dark. Well it’s only rated PG-13. So expect moderately scary things when it gets dark.
The third film in the rebooted sci-fi franchise, Star Trek Beyond has flown under the radar up until recently as an afterthought on the summer movie calendar. But with The Fast & Furious director Justin Lin taking over for JJ Abrams, expect some serious action. Plus Simon Pegg was involved in the writing of the film. So expect some serious comedy. The tragic death of actor Anton Yelchin has been a major talking point in the press leading up to the film’s release. But many of those involved have used their interviews to pay tribute to the 27 year old, who plays Chekov. The story has Kirk, Spock, and co. facing off against another new villain. This one is called Krall, played by Idris Elba.
July 27th-29th– Bad Moms, Jason Bourne, Nerve
Moms are just the best. But in the new movie Bad Moms, they’re putting their responsibilities on the back burner to have some fun. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn star as the titular Bad Moms. But to enjoy their newfound freedom, they’ll have to face off against the evil president of the PTA, played by Christina Applegate.
Remember there was that one Bourne movie that didn’t have Jason Bourne in it? Well, no more of that nonsense. Matt Damon is back in the movie titled Jason Bourne. With his memory returned, Bourne is on a mission to learn the truth. But in the meantime, he’s going to kick some butt and there will be explosions and stuff. Paul Greengrass, who directed the second and third films, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, also returns to the franchise for this one.
Nerve is part creepy thriller movie and part commentary on internet culture. Emma Roberts plays a high school senior looking to get out of her comfort zone by playing “Nerve,” an online truth or dare kind of game streamed live to a bunch of “watchers.” Her night starts out innocently enough by being told to kiss a stranger, played by Dave Franco. But from there, things get creepier and creepier as the two have to team up.
So that’s that. Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, and Jason Bourne are probably the stand out titles among the July movies. I’m looking forward to those. But there is a good amount of variety. So even if you’re not into the big popcorn blockbusters, you have some decent options. Happy hunting!