Only four trips to the theater in the month of July. I might have seen Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets if it didn’t come out the same week as one of my most anticipated movies of the year. But let’s just dive right in!
Despicable Me 3 was fine. Better than Minions but not better than the two previous films in the franchise. Perhaps it was the random side plot involving the youngest kid that added nothing to the rest of the movie. Maybe it was too much Minion stuff, once again involving a side plot, about jail, that amounted to little. On top of all that, the main plot just didn’t seem cohesive. I still enjoyed myself, but not as much as I would have liked. Trey Parker, of South Park fame, was the best part of the movie. He played an ‘80s-styled villain. Like shoulder pads, Rubik’s cube, and moon walking ‘80s-styled. Redbox this one, folks.
SEE IT ONCE.
Movie of the month goes to Spider-Man: Homecoming. This movie is awesome. Perhaps the best Spider-Man movie ever. (Need to rewatch the first two Tobey Maguire ones before stating that definitively.) Tom Holland adds to his amazing performance in Captain America: Civil War to give us a very John Hughes-inspired high school superhero film that just works. Michael Keaton is fantastic as the Vulture, a stellar villain performance that was excellently written. You understand his motivations even if you don’t agree with his actions. I really enjoyed the interplay between Peter Parker and Ned, his best friend. Oh, and the person they got to voice the AI for the Tony Stark-provided Spider-Man suit is an excellent in-joke. We also got a sly reference to a fan favorite character that we’re sure to see in a sequel eventually. I’m looking forward to seeing where Peter goes from here. Mysterio would be lovely.
SEE IT A MILLION TIMES!
The revamped Planet of the Apes franchise has had its ups and downs. The first film in the reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, is now in my bottom 10, kicking Adventureland out. (That movie was really just a placeholder anyway.) It was stupid in such a way that insulted the audience’s intelligence. Multiple times. I won’t get into all of the ways it does this, but I live Tweeted my hatred for that movie as I was watching it over last New Year’s weekend. Why replace nuclear war with a convoluted disease humans created themselves? The second one in the series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, was just dumb fun. There’s one scene where an ape rides into battle on a horse duel-wielding machine guns. War for the Planet of the Apes is the third installment. It tries to be poignant but fails to reach that height. I would say it is not as good as the second one, which was a solid B in my book. Andy Serkis again gives a stunning motion capture performance as Caesar. Woody Harrelson plays a good villain. There’s just not much war in a movie with “War” in the title. “Philosophical Conflict for the Planet of the Apes” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, I guess. Overall, I’d give it a B-, nearly C+.
SEE IT MORE THAN ONCE.
Why did it take so long to get a movie about the Miracle of Dunkirk? I don’t know, but Dunkirk provides. This movie was visually stunning in IMAX. Christopher Nolan is immensely talented at cinematography. Mark Rylance easily gave the best performance in the movie. I knew a member of One Direction was in this somewhere, but I couldn’t recognize him with a gun to my head. Intensity with supreme visuals best describes this movie. Not much mention of Winston Churchill, though. Yes, this was focused completely on the soldiers and those who directly aided them, but still. On that note, Gary Oldman looks awesome as Churchill in the upcoming Darkest Hour. Maybe the movie that finally gets him an Oscar. In conclusion, someone mentioned to me that the film lacked heart. Thinking about it, I have to agree. The Prestige remains my favorite non-Batman Nolan movie.
SEE IT MORE THAN ONCE.
Since I managed to see a movie on the first of August, I will probably see at least five movies during that month. Although, it seems some weekends don’t have the best releases. We’ll have to see…