Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Reel Preview: The Year in Film 2015, Episode VII

 The current movie industry loves to move the goalposts around, as studios release Summertime fare in the Spring and possible awards contenders in the Summer. This July is an example of that way of thinking; as it is packed with light-hearted action, comedy, along with a few possible peeks into Oscar-land. Here are the notable films for the month of July. 

It all travels back with…

TERMINATOR GENISYS – The fifth entry in the sci-fi franchise with the bizarre sub-title features Arnold Schwarzenegger reprising his role as the killer cyborg from the future. This time around, the role of Sarah Connor is held down by Emilia Clarke (GAME OF THRONES), with the human doorknob, Jai Courtney (A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD) playing Kyle Reese. Co-stars J.K. Simmons (WHIPLASH) and Jason Clarke (ZERO DARK THIRTY). Directed by Alan Taylor (THOR: THE DARK WORLD). 

MAGIC MIKE XXL – The sequel to the male-stripper comedy-drama from 2012 arrives with Channing Tatum (FOXCATCHER) returning in the buff. Co-stars Joe Manganiello, Andie MacDowell, Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Elizabeth Banks. 

MINIONS – Those funny little yellow bastards from the DESPICABLE ME films get their own spinoff. This computer-animated romp features the voice talents of Sandra Bullock, Jon Hamm, Steve Coogan, Geoffrey Rush, and Michael Keaton. 

SELF/LESS – In this mind-messer-upper sci-fi flick, Ben Kingsley (IRON MAN 3) is a dying wealthy man who transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). 

BOULEVARD – The late Robin Williams, in his final screen role, plays a man in search of himself in this drama. Directed by Dito Montiel (EMPIRE STATE). 

ANT-MAN – Marvel Studios wraps up Phase 2 of their ongoing series of connected films and kicks off the third with one of their more obscure characters from their catalog. Paul Rudd (ANCHORMAN) plays the shrinking hero, and he is joined by Michael Douglas (!), Judy Greer, Corey Stoll, John Slattery, Hayley Atwell, and Evangeline Lilly (THE HOBBIT). 

TRAINWRECK – This screwball comedy has Amy Schumer playing a career-minded woman finding true love. Co-stars Tilda Swinton, Bill Hader, Colin Quinn, Ezra Miller, Marisa Tomei, and Daniel Radcliffe (HARRY POTTER). Directed by Judd Apatow (THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN). 

MR. HOLMES – In what may an early Oscar contender, Ian McKellen (X-MEN, THE LORD OF THE RINGS), plays a 93 year-old Sherlock Holmes who is called out of retirement to solve an old case of his. Co-stars Laura Linney and is directed by Bill Condon (GODS AND MONSTERS, DREAMGIRLS). 

IRRATIONAL MAN – Another possible awards-contender, Woody Allen writes and directs this mystery drama in which a philosophy professor finds himself in an existential crisis. Joaquin Phoenix (HER), plays the professor, and he is joined by Emma Stone and Parker Posey. 

PIXELS – Based on the most-excellent short-film of the same name, classic video-game characters from the 1980’s come to life and attack the Earth. Stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong. 

SOUTHPAW – Another early hopeful-contender. Jake Gyllenhaal (NIGHTCRAWLER), plays a boxer trying to keep his family together. Co-stars Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Forest Whitaker, Victor Ortiz, and Tyrese Gibson. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY), and written by Kurt Sutter (SONS OF ANARCHY). 

AMERICAN HEIST – Loosely based on the 1959 film THE GREAT ST. LOUIS BANK ROBBERY, this heist film has two brothers pulling off a major score. Stars Adrien Brody (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL), Hayden Christensen (STAR WARS), and Jordana Brewster. 

VACATION – In the fifth installment of the NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION series, Ed Helms (THE HANGOVER), plays a grown-up Rusty Griswold taking his family on vacation. Co-stars Christina Applegate, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Chris Hemsworth (THOR). 

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION – The fifth installment of this franchise has Tom Cruise back as super-spy Ethan Hawke. Co-stars Jeremy Renner (THE AVENGERS), Simon Pegg (SHAUN OF THE DEAD), Alec Baldwin, and Ving Rhames. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie (JACK REACHER). 


Next month, Reel Speak previews the final month of the Summer Movie Season. 

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