The summer season is nearly here, and for moviegoers, that means blockbusters and more. But will 2017 produce any major hits or just major disappointments? Here is our list of summer movies we are most looking forward to.
Nate: Spiderman makes his triumphant return to the Marvel studios umbrella. This time played by Tom Holland, it will be the third reboot for the web slinger in 15 years. We caught a brief glimpse of Holland in the role in last year’s Civil War that proved to be a solid appetizer, one has to wonder though, how many variations of “with great power comes great responsibility” can there be? As Marvel’s flagship hero, Spiderman will undoubtedly be among the top box office earners of the year but perhaps Marvel isn’t as confident in the hero as they want to be given the amount Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man has appeared in the promotional material thus far. If he can’t propel Holland to the top, Marvel has also brought in Michael Keaton to play the villainous Vulture so maybe this film is the one that finally solves that nagging villain problem?
A Ghost Story (July 7)
Nate: Another A24 produced film that has critics buzzing and for myself, this is my most anticipated movie of the summer. Based on early reports this could be an awards contender that stars a fittingly decorated cast including last year’s Best Actor winner Casey Affleck and Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara.Like La La Land last year I am captivated by this film from the trailer alone which based on how well La La Land did (at least up until that disastrous Oscars fiasco) is definitely an encouraging sign. It is rare that an awards contender gets released this early in the year so consider this haunting tale on the fragility of existence to be a must see movie amongst the summer movie schedule.
War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14)
Michael: The third installment in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, there are certainly high hopes for this movie, especially considering the excellence of its two predecessors. Both Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) were wonderfully crafted movies that combined thrilling action scenes (and great use of motion capture technology) with genuine human emotion and pathos. Andy Serkis brilliantly played ape leader Caesar that made these films really solid works of science fiction filmmaking. With this third movie, the hope will be to keep this successful streak going. Screenwriters Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa will produce the film but have left the screenplay to Mark Bomback. Will their absence have a negative or positive effect on the film? It remains to be seen, but there’s much optimism to be had about this third sequel.
Dunkirk (July 21)
Michael: Director Christopher Nolan returns with his first feature length film since 2014’s Interstellar. Dunkirk is the story of the evacuation of Allied Forces in France in World War II.” Based on trailers, the film appears to have an epic feel to it (indeed Nolan seems most in his element in large scale multifaceted productions; even The Dark Knight Trilogy can be called epic in certain respects). There have been many war films made, particularly on World War II (Hacksaw Ridge most recently) so of course, the question arises: what will Dunkirk offer that is new? Fortunately, we have a great director at the helm (he also wrote the screenplay) and he has chosen to chronicle a chapter of the world conflict not previously heavily spotlighted. We’ve seen the D-Day beaches, the Pacific Theatre, and the war in continental Europe, but the Dunkirk evacuation is a seldom covered topic outside of academic circles. There is much promise for this movie to be another classic in the World War II genre and another great feat in Christopher Nolan’s filmography.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 21)
Nate: Luc Besson has been hit or miss lately after skyrocketing with the likes of The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional but he returns to direct Valerian. Based on the popular French graphic novel, it looks like a stylistic affair built on an 180 million dollar budget. This feels like a make or break role for Cara Delevigne to prove her worth as an actress as her performances in Suicide Squad and even Paper Towns has me questioning her abilities. This might be the biggest boom or bust of the summer season either becoming the next big movie franchise or a potentially the movie that loses the most money this year.
Atomic Blonde (July 28)
Nate: On top of being an Oscar Winner, Charlize Theron is also a certified badass. That trend looks to continue as she gets in more kick ass action in just the trailer for Atomic Blonde alone than she did in the entirety of the dismal Fate of The Furious. Coming from John Wick director David Leitch, Atomic Blonde is a spy action thriller sure to be a wild ride that if nothing else should win the affection of the internet.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (July 28)
Michael: The sequel to the Academy Award-winning 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, this film will chronicle the continuing efforts by environmental activists to reduce the effects of climate change. Al Gore’s impassioned campaign and pleas to take global warming seriously will take centre stage again. Like the original expect this film to have both champions and critics. It will probably feature many striking facts, images and other information that will spur people to action once again. Will it be as impactful or memorable as the original? It remains to be seen, but the subject matter will certainly never get old and this movie could once again start a wider discussion on the topic of planet earth
Detroit (August 4)
Michael: From the Oscar-winning team of Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) comes this dramatization about the infamous 12th Street Riot in Detroit in 1967. The racially charged event saw mass protests, police arrests and the death of a group of black men. Both Boal and Bigelow have shown themselves to have mastered the art of suspense and tension, even if we know the end result. This is none clearer than in Zero Dark Thirty, where although we know the fate of Bin Laden, the quest and raid to kill him remains very suspenseful. This film could very well have those similar elements, and the trailer certainly gives the impression that it will. The subject matter is also very topical in a divided America and this could serve as a very poignant commentary on the still imperfect race relations that dominate the United States.
Nate: Dark Tower will look to follow in the footsteps of fellow Stephen King adaptations The Shining and Shawshank Redemption rather than The Mist or Secret Window. This hotly anticipated film has gone through multiple phases of production hell with an assortment of actors and directors attached to it before finally being released this year to the delight of many fans. Starring the power duo of Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, it will be interesting to see the pair play off each other in a battle for the fate of the world.
Wind River (August 4)
Nate: Elizabeth Olsen continues her impressive streak of working with at least one Avenger in nearly every single movie she’s in (though I suppose everyone is an Avenger or a superhero these days). This time she teams up with Jeremy Renner to solve a murder on an Indian Reservation. The directorial debut for Sicario and Hell or High Water writer Taylor Sheridan, it will be interesting to see if his talent for writing compelling tension translates as a director.
Ingrid Goes West (August 11)
Nate: Aubrey Plaza stars as the unhinged stalker of a socialite played by Elizabeth Olsen.In a plot not unlike an episode of Black Mirror (in fact it is reminiscent of the episode Nose Dive), Ingrid Goes West gets sandwiched near the tail end of the summer (not that it was ever going to have a massive box office haul anyway). However as the season winds down, this could be one of those films that make for an unexpectedly fun film. Not every movie will win awards or be these giant tentpole blockbusters, sometimes you just want to watch Aubrey Plaza go crazy and mace a newly wed bride.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard (August 18)
Michael: An action comedy, and a parody of the 1992 Whitney Houston film “The Bodyguard”, this film revolves around a bodyguard hired to protect a notorious hit man who is to testify at the International Criminal Court. Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ryan Reynolds and Gary Oldman, the film looks to be fun, action filled, and clever. The comic chemistry between Jackson and Reynolds could prove to be rewarding; a good comedy film would be a nice way to end the summer as the more dramatic and serious works begins to appear for Oscar season again.
Death Note (August 25)
Nate: You know when people say that they watch NASCAR to see the cars collide in epic fashion? Well, that’s the case with Death Note, a movie that is sure to draw ire regardless of how it turns out. Already being hit with a whitewashing controversy for its casting of mainly Caucasian actors for an anime adaptation, the rabid fanbase behind this property will surely have some strong opinions on the final product. But, it can’t be worse than the Avatar: The Last Airbender live action adaptation right?