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The 2017 Film Release Calendar: June

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.

The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.

I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.

June

Captain Underpants

Two mischievous kids hypnotize their mean high school principal and turn him into their comic book creation, the kind-hearted and elastic-banded Captain Underpants.

I cannot believe that stupid kids book I read when I was nine that was funny because it had Underpants in the title is now a movie.

It does not look good at all, but this isn’t for me. Which is fine.

2.5 stars.

This looks about as forgettable as that Peabody and Sherman movie a few years ago.

Wonder Woman

An Amazon princess leaves her island home to explore the world and, in doing so, becomes one of the world’s greatest heroes.

Well, D.C. is a disaster so far, and this is being talked up as the savior. That’s just them trying to salvage things. I’m not so optimistic.

The trailers I’ve seen could go either way. I think this could be entertaining, but I don’t think it’s gonna be great.

3.5 stars is the absolute most I’m gonna get out of this. Which is what Marvel gets. And even that is a throwaway action movie grade. 3.5 just means “fine.” I’m expecting 3 stars and another “Jesus, D.C.” kind of vibe, ultimately getting saved from Unforgivable because of the feminine angle. But even then, there’s that concern of her focusing her immortal identity around a single dude. Maybe they won’t, but there’s a long history of movies like this that say otherwise. And we’re not gonna know until it comes out.

Let’s hope for the best. This might be D.C.’s last chance.

Justice League, if it holds, is not that far after this. That could end it all.

Lady Macbeth

In this adaptation of Nikolai Leskov’s novella “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk, a 19th century young bride is sold into marriage to a middle-aged man.

This just feels like it could be 3.5 stars. I like these kinds of movies.

The Mummy

An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

The trailer looked decent, but it’s The Mummy. Starring Tom Cruise. That’s meant to start a universe of monsters. Too many clashing styles.

The Mummy alone earns somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars. Tom Cruise earns somewhere between 3 and 3.5 stars. The universe is not promising. So 3 stars.

Cruise is not automatic. Look at Jack Reacher 2. And the idea of The Mummy is good, but this is going for the more horror action vibe than the Brendan Fraser vibe. And while I’m not so incredibly tied to the Brendan Fraser version (which I admittedly grew up with and love) that I’m against this take, I see a lot of potential pitfalls for this take, as evidenced by the tones in all of these kinds of franchise starter movies.

Plus, the fucking universal monsters universe — how do you pull that off? Russell Crowe is playing Jekyll and Hyde. I think Javier Bardem is Frankenstein. Depp is Invisible Man. I just don’t see how they can try to do all this and make a really good Mummy movie. So I’m gonna be pessimistic about this and see if they can overcome it.

Cars 3

Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.

The teaser was interesting, because it suggested a darker tone. I’m not sure they’re gonna fully commit to that, but at least they’re changing up stories each time.

It’s Pixar. So 3.5 stars. 4 stars is likely the max here, and that’s if it’s really good. Pixar sequels rarely are great. The best this can be is really solid. So let’s hope for that.

Rock That Body

A male stripper ends up dead at a Miami beach house during a bachelorette party weekend.

The Broad City people are behind this.

Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Kravitz, Kate McKinnon and Demi Moore star. That is a much different cast than I’m used to seeing, which means I will give this more of a shot to be good than I normally would.

3 stars.

I can’t ever assume a comedy will be good. It has to be watchable, and then we can go from there. How many mainstream comedies have I legitimately loved the past few years? Not that many.

The Book of Henry

A single mother raises a child genius.

Colin Trevorrow’s followup to Jurassic World. Getting back to his indie roots, though clearly a more mainstream effort.

Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay star. Decent cast all around.

Let’s call it 3.5 stars. I’d like 4, I’ll probably get 3. It’s gonna depend on how cloying the whole thing is. The less cloying and more it feels earned, the better the rating will be.

Maudie

An arthritic Nova Scotia woman works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community.

Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Okay. Interesting enough.

3 stars.

Transformers: The Last Knight

It’s another Transformers film. What more do you need?

The last one was fun, but too long a bit incomprehensible. 3 was fun, 2 was a disaster, and 1 was actually good.

This one seems to be swinging for the fences. Unicron seems to be in there, Nazis and King Arthur.

4 stars. 3.5 seems likely, but fuck it. I enjoy these movies.

The Beguiled

While imprisoned in a Confederate girls’ boarding school, an injured Union soldier cons his way into each of the lonely women’s hearts, causing them to turn on each other, and eventually, on him.

Weird remake. Though I guess this is more “based on the novel than the previous film.”

Sofia Coppola directing.

Colin Farrell plays the Clint Eastwood role. Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman are in it. Elle Fanning. The little girl from The Nice Guys. The little girl from Southpaw. At least I recognize these child actors.

It’s Sofia Coppola, so based on her previous stuff, she gets a minimum guess of 3.5 stars. Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint. Her last two films have been underwhelming.

Amityville: The Awakening

A single mother moves her three children into a haunted house, unaware of its bloody history.

Yeah…. not interested in this.

2.5 stars.

Erring on the side of indifference.

Despicable Me 3

Balthazar Bratt, a child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination.

Why?

2.5 stars.

The House

A dad convinces his friends to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife spend their daughter’s college fund.

The director wrote Neighbors and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Which tells me everything I need to know before I go any further.

Starring Will Ferrell, whose good movie days are long behind him, Amy Poehler, who is mostly miss for me, and other various comics.

2.5 stars.

3 stars is the best I’m getting out of this. Let’s just hope it’s not Unforgivable.

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