Smoothie at the Movies: July picks
The temperature is turned up to eleven. Now's the time, even when the sun's a shinin', to duck into the theatre for some non-stop, over the top action flicks, and even a few movies that could revive your belief in cinema. Here's what you'll want to add to your cinematic to-do list for July:
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11th):
The first installment of the Planet of the Apes reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, came with little fan fare. James Franco and a CGI monkey? Sure, I guess. But what started out as popcorn fodder turned into one of that summer's best movies. The ability of the CGI craft makers and Andy Serkis (who plays the man behind Caesar the Ape) to make the Apes seem so life-like (so human-like perhaps?) has fully turned the franchise around.
The battlelines have been firmly drawn this time. The Apes want peace, but Gary Oldman and the surviving humans are looking for war. The explosions are gonna be wild. Just look at the trailer. There is an ape riding a horse through a burst of fire, while shooting a machine gun. How can you not want to see that?!
Lucy (July 25th):
Scarlett Johansson is kidnapped at a night club in a foreign land. She wakes up to find that she is now a drug mule with a bag of a new synthetic drug that increases a person’s brain power inside her body. The bag breaks. The drug leaks and ScarJo gets crazy smart and super bad ass. It’s an Angelina Jolie-style action movie with the director of Leon: The Professional, Luc Besson, at the helm. It’s all the makings of a great action film. #fingerscrossed
Hercules (July 25th):
It's basically a perfect role. Who better to play a mythical man who has the strength of a god but the modern day demi-god Dwayne ‘The Rock" Johnson? Instead of working in his old profession of wrestling, these days The Rock just lifts weights and acts (or is just himself) in action movies. Not a bad routine. The movie has "over the top ridiculous" written all over it. It’s the Rock versus giant lions, multi headed swamp monsters, and hundreds of demons. Good or bad, watching a strong man beat the crap out of something is always worth a watch.
Life Itself (July 25th):
Roger Ebert was the greatest movie critic of his time. Hell, of all time. His span as a critic lasted through most of cinema’s life span. He lived a crazy existence of ups and downs, and at times, was one of the harshest critics you could face. But most importantly he made generations of people want to go out and see the movies. Life Itself is the story of his journey. It's funny and sad and, most importantly, it’s worth going to the movies to see.
Boyhood (July 11th):
Richard Linklater’s newest film was shot in only thirty-nine days. The interesting part about it is that those thirty-nine days were spread out over twelve years -- following the same child (Eliar Coltrane) from the ages of adolescence to his teenage years. We get to witness firsthand as the boy deals with his separated parents (played by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette) and his struggle from being a child to trying to figure out how to be an adult -- some of the most challenging and relatable times in all of our lives really. Depicting the pure awkwardness of growing physically and mentally, the first loves, the first fights, it should be a pleasure to watch a master like Linklater take us all through memory lane and remind us how we felt during personal milestones in our own lives.
Matt ‘Smoothie’ Sargeant is a nolavie film writer. Contact him at mjsargeant83