Traditionally, July proves to be the point when the summer movie season really begins to heat up. Whilst May and June prove to hold a few blockbusters which are more than worthy of attention (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman have certainly been two of the years biggest releases), July is truly when the season kicks into overdrive and the money starts to roll in. July 2017 certainly looks to continue this trend with a whole host of big releases yet to roll into your local multiplex, as well as a number of smaller releases which may easily slip under your radar. So what’s hot this summer? What should you be spending your hard-earned cash on? What should you travel to the farthest reaches of the country to find? Have a look at some of July’s highlights…
Spider-Man: Homecoming, dir. by Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Marissa Tomei, Jon Favreau.
Release date: July 5th
The summer would feel woefully incomplete without a movie like Spider-Man: Homecoming. Whilst the aforementioned Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Wonder Woman have provided audiences with their virtually required dose of summer superheroes, there’s just something about everyone’s favourite web slinger that makes everything better. “But David, how could anyone possibly be excited for ANOTHER incarnation of Spider-Man just three years after the somewhat disastrous Amazing Spider-Man 2?!” Well this time Marvel Studios and the modern-day Midas of superheroes Kevin Feige are on hand to help Sony out, with this new Peter Parker being brought to life by Tom Holland initially in the spectacular Captain America: Civil War last summer, prior to his proper homecoming this month in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Holland earned rave reviews for his scene stealing antics and many were extremely satisfied with the character, it’s almost single-handedly served to elevate excitement for this sixth Spider-Man movie in 15 years. With an ensemble packed full of stars and extremely talented actors, Marvel are going all out to give Spider-Man the movie he deserves and arguably hasn’t received since 2004, in bringing the teenage hero back to his roots in high school and re-grounding the guy, Homecoming should be the purest form of the character yet; it promises to be a hugely entertaining summer blockbuster for all.
It Comes at Night, dir. by Trey Edward Shults
Starring: Joel Edgerton, Christopher Abbott, Carmen Ejogo.
Release date: July 7th
A24 may just low-key be the best production company in the industry right now. Lets look at their roll call over the last few years; The Spectacular Now, Under the Skin, Ex Machina, Room, The Witch, Green Room, Swiss Army Man, 20th Century Women and, to cap it all off, the best picture-winning Moonlight. Moving forward in 2017, anticipation and expectations are high for the likes of The Florida Project, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Disaster Artist, which makes the prospect of Trey Edward Shults’ It Comes at Night arriving on our shores that much more exciting. Marketed as a horror film (perhaps falsely if critics in the US are to be believed) and set in an apocalyptic-near future, It Comes at Night tells the story of Paul (Joel Edgerton), a father who runs his home in tenuous circumstances, but his order is challenged when a young family arrives seeking refuge. The domestic, minimalist thrillers have taken off in recent years with the likes of The Gift, Ex Machina and Get Out making waves and keeping audiences gripped – expect It Comes at Night to continue this trend and offer us another tightly wound, nail bitingly tense thriller which will stick with you well after the lights have come up.
Dunkirk, dir. by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead.
Release date: July 21st
Few filmmakers can pull in an audience on name brand alone like Christopher Nolan can; he has an incredibly strong batting average, a solid box office track record and big ideas and concepts to boot, it’s no wonder that he is perhaps the most popular and prolific director of the 21st century. As such, Dunkirk could be sold to you on Nolan alone, but there’s a lot more to grab ones attention. The questionable and completely left field casting of Harry Styles aside, it’s a film packed with hugely talented character actors such as Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and recent Oscar winner Mark Rylance who all undoubtedly bring the gravitas required for such a story as that of the Dunkirk evacuation. Ever the visionary, Nolan shot this one in IMAX for the ultimate big screen experience – expect stunning visuals that in a summer filled with superheroes and giant robots should stand out as the perhaps the most memorable.
The Big Sick, dir. by Michael Showalter
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano.
Release date: July 28th
“I knew that I wanted to tell this story in a movie […] you’ve gotta sort of find the window where it’s been long enough that you can still feel the feelings, not so long that you can’t feel the feelings, but long enough that they’re somehow processed […] I really wanted to tell this story because in a lot of ways it’s like telling a story is therapy […] I just knew that telling this story would articulate a lot of things for me personally”. Writer and star of The Big Sick Kumail Nanjiani spoke with Roth Cornet of Screen Junkies News and explained how this movie came about. The Big Sick tells the remarkable true story of Kumail (who plays himself) and his now-wife Emily V. Gordon (played by Zoe Kazan), who, after dating for a few months, faced a difficult test in their relationship as she fell ill. Add in the cultural differences of the two and The Big Sick becomes a neat and perfect little recipe for what may are hailing as the year’s best rom-com. After its debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, The Big Sick grabbed all the headlines and received all the praise as Amazon Studios purchased the distribution rights in a $12 million deal, one of the largest in the festival’s history. Having struck success in its limited release in America thus far, the arrival of The Big Sick in the UK is a prospect that gets more exciting by the minute.
Read The Edge’s review of The Big Sick from this years London branch of the Sundance Film Festival here.
EDITOR’S PICK: War for the Planet of the Apes, dir. by Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Judy Greer, Steve Zahn.
Release date: July 11th
“War has… already begun. Ape started war. And human… Human will not forgive”
With those words, Matt Reeves’ stunning Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came to a conclusion and perfectly set the scene for what is to come – War. The rebooted Apes franchise has set a new standard in CGI and motion capture work, with War reportedly featuring the best and most realistic presentation of it yet and as Caesar, Andy Serkis has leapfrogged his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings franchise as he commits wholeheartedly to the physicality and mentality of the ever-evolving ape, bringing this astonishing computer creation to life in a jaw dropping manner. As the third entry into this trilogy, Apes has been building and building scene by scene, movie by movie into a perfect culmination and outcome – the war for dominance between humans and apes. It’s gritty, grounded, powerful and spectacular storytelling, it’s set a new precedent for blockbuster filmmaking in the 21st century. It’s not just Reeves and Serkis who are worth pointing out here though, Woody Harrelson is on board as the mysterious Colonel, the leader of the humans and rival to Caesar. From the trailers alone, Harrelson looks to be commanding presence in the film and a man who is seeking to end the apes once and for all – in Rise humanity sought to control them, in Dawn they sought to survive them, but now in War, humanity wants to eradicate them. The stakes are high, the hype is building and the potential is monumental – do you really need any other explanation as to why War for the Planet of the Apes is my top pick for July?