Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW

The summer movie season is almost upon us and while there will be plenty of the usual expensive sequels, remakes and comic-book thrillers to drive audiences in to theaters, there's clearly a change in the air. Not only will there be plenty to see for adults during this season but I've noticed a very large number of female-driven films of all genres on the slate to be released. This is certainly a welcome development that is a long time in coming. Kids, teenage boys and nerds are not the only people that might want to see a movie this summer. There are a great number of interesting releases due over the next four months I want to see but here are ten movies I particularly want to put a spotlight on:

All release dates are subject to change:

"SNATCHED"

Release date: May 12, 2017

Goldie Hawn returns to the big screen after a way too long of an absence in the action-comedy, "Snatched". She plays an unadventurous mother who is convinced to go on a trip to South America to help cheer up her recently dumped daughter when they are kidnapped and must escape through the jungle. Ike Barinholtz, Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack also star. Oh. And Amy Schumer is in this too.



"WONDER WOMAN"

Release date: June 2, 2017

After getting an exciting tease of the character in the otherwise underwhelming, "Batman vs. Superman", the first big screen treatment of "Wonder Woman" is finally here. This is an origin story set in the early 20th Century when Diana (Gal Gadot), an Amazon goddess living on the all-female island of Themyscira, meets a downed World War I pilot (Chris Pine) who has washed up on shore. Falling for the handsome man and fascinated by his stories, Diana decides to go off with him to discover his world and help fight in this war. Patty Jenkins (best known for directing "Monster", the film that won Charlize Theron an Oscar) directs.



"BEATRIZ AT DINNER"

Release date: June 9, 2017

The film making team of director Miguel Arteta and writer Mike White, who brought us the indie classics, "Chuck & Buck" and "The Good Girl", have reunited once again for "Beatriz at Dinner", a timely dark comedy that examines the growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots along with causal racism and xenophobia that has become far more prevalent in this country. Salma Hayek plays Beatriz, a holistic medicine practitioner who ends up at a party of one of her wealthy clients and gets in to a politically charged run-in with a successful businessman (John Lithgow).



"MY COUSIN RACHEL"

Release date: June 9, 2017

Daphne du Maurier, the British novelist, has had many of her books and short stories turned in to films, the most notable being Hitchcock's versions of "Jamaica Inn", "The Birds" and "Rebecca". "My Cousin Rachel" has been made before in 1951 (which starred Richard Burton and Olivia de Haviland) and this latest features Rachel Weisz and Sam Ciaflin.  It's about a young man (Ciaflin) whose wealthy cousin dies, leaving his vast fortune to him. But he's convinced that his new wife, Rachel (Weisz) was behind his death to get her hands on his money. However, after meeting this enchanting woman, he falls in love. Could his suspicion about her be misguided? Or maybe not?



"THE BEGUILED"

Release date : June 23, 2017

Director Sofia Coppola returns with her version of "The Beguiled", a Civil War set drama based on the novel by Thomas P. Cullinan that was first made in to a film in 1971 and starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. Colin Farrell now plays the injured Union solider rescued by a student at an all-girls boarding school. Nicole Kidman is the headmistress who reluctantly allows him to stay until he regains his strength. Trouble brews with this handsome lone man surrounded by this group of lonely young women. Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning (who both previously worked with the director) also appear in this film which will make it's world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival in May.



"OKJA"

Release date: June 28, 2017

"Ojka" is another English-language feature from Korean filmmaker, Boon Joon-ho following his well-received first, "Snowpiercer" from 2013. A young girl (Ahn Seo-hyun) fights bravely against a powerful, international organization to protect her best friend, who happens to be a giant, animal-like creature named Ojka. An impressive cast includes Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Lily Collins and Giancarlo Esposito but the problem is that Netflix has picked-up the film, so I fear this will barely get a theatrical release. I hope I'm wrong and they will begin to follow what Amazon has successfully done with the films they acquire.



"A GHOST STORY"

Release date: July 7, 2017

The last time filmmaker David Lowery and actors, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara came together, it was with "Ain't Them Bodies Saints", an acclaimed romantic-crime drama in 2013. They have come back together for "A Ghost Story" which has already been met with rapturous praise at this year's Sundance Film Festival. It tells the surreal story of a recently departed man (who looks like a Halloween costume version of a ghost) attempting to reconnect with his distraught widow.



"GIRLS TRIP"

Release date : July 21, 2017

"Girls Trip" is a raunchy rom-com involving four childhood friends (Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and comedian, Tiffany Haddish) who decide to reunite in New Orleans during the Essence Music Fest. It's safe to say that wild adventures and sex-filled escapades will certainly be found in this road-trip comedy.



"ATOMIC BLONDE"

Release date: July 28, 2017

Charlize Theron is back in fine ass-kicking mode in the action-thriller, "Atomic Blonde". Based on the graphic novel, "The Coldest Day", the Oscar-winner plays Lorraine Broughton, a top British spy sent to Berlin shortly before the wall is set to come down to investigate a mysterious murder of an undercover agent by other spies. James McAvoy co-stars as a Berlin station chief assigned to help Broughton maneuver through the city. Stunt coordinator turned filmmaker, David Leitch ("John Wick") directs.



"DETROIT"

Release date: August 4, 2017

Loosely based on the 1967 Algiers motel incident, "Detroit" examines how a police raid at the motel during a racially charged riot sets off a violent and deadly rampage throughout the Motor City. The Oscar-winning team of director, Kathryn Bigelow and writer, Mark Boal (who brought us "The Hurt Locker" and "Zero Dark Thirty") are behind this intense period drama.