Box Office Weekend: July 2021

July trailers are here! This month we have superhero movies (American and international), a serious drama from Nicholas Cage, several heists, multiple romantic comedies, and a teen horror trilogy. Cheers to us and cheers to summer.

New in theaters this weekend:

Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat is a kids and family movie written by Bill Myers, a Christian Author. That’s how you get ‘em, you get ‘em young, with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Secret Agent Dingledorf, and then you seal the deal with Lord of the Rings (wait, that didn’t work…) I was going to make a joke about My Day and McGee and Me, by Myers is best known for creating that, so the joke does not stand.

The Phantom is a true crime documentary. Carlos DeLuna was convicted of the1983 murder of Wanda Lopez and protested his conviction, claiming through his execution that another man (also named Carlos) was the killer. A 2012 article in the Columbian Human Rights Review points to Carlos Hernandez, who looked like DeLuna, though the state of Texas said Hernandez doesn’t exist. And maybe we should abolish the death penalty! 

The God Committee is a medical thriller starring Kelsey Grammer, Julia Stiles, Colman Domingo, Janeane Garofalo, and Dan Hedaya. A group of medical professionals must decide who will get a heart transplant. 

The Forever Purge, the fifth and allegedly final film of The Purge franchise, is the “most overtly political” (OK, Purge, OK), and seems unnecessary, since we’re living in the Forever Purge right now. Set on the border of the U.S. and Mexico, it stars film stars Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Huerta, Josh Lucas, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Alejandro Edda, and Will Patton. In the film’s defense, it was set to release last July, in 2020, and was delayed due to the still-ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So I guess it would have been timely, since it would have released pre-election (ew). The plot: A Mexican couple on the run from a drug cartel take refuge at a ranch, where a group of–dare I say–insurrectionists plan to continue the Purge on their own, legal or not. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Just watch Bacarau instead.

Boss Baby: Family Business is the sequel to the 2017 Boss Baby, which your kids liked for some reason. You know what’s great and streaming on Netflix? An American Tale.

Streaming now on HBOMax:

No Sudden Move is a period crime thriller from Steven Soderbergh starring Don Cheadle, Benicio del Toro, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe, Ray Liotta, and Matt Damon. When their job goes sideways, a gang of criminals scrambles to find out why.

Streaming Now on Amazon:

The Tomorrow War, surprisingly not based on teen lit meant to turn teens into Libertarians, stars possible Three Percenter Chris Pratt, Sam Richardson, Betty Gilpin, Edwin Hodge, and J. K. Simmons. Pratt is a former Green Beret who is enlisted in a “future war” to save the present. 

Streaming now on Hulu:

Summer of Soul, a documentary about the 1969 Harlem Culture Festival. Directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the festival was held over six weekends in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park, it hosts the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival) and featured Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, The 5th Dimension, The Staple Singers, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Sly and the Family Stone. It was filmed, though the footage was unseen until now. This film may also be in a theater near you. 

YouTube suggested this excellent segment from CBS Sunday Morning, and I think you’d like it, too:

Streaming now on Netflix:

The 8th Night, a thriller-horror. A group of strangers bands together to banish a mysterious spirit.

Haseen Dillruba, a thriller from Netflix India. A widow is either an innocent victim or a calculating killer.

Fear Street Part 1: 1994, the first of three films inspired by the R. L. Stine series follows a group of teenagers hellbent (ha!) on uncovering the mysteries of Shadyside. Trailers for the other films, out later this month, are not available. This trailer from Netflix has footage from all three films, however: 

Tomorrow on Netflix:

We the People, on Netflix Family, blends animation and the vision of ten artists to tell the story of America.

Coming to the service Wednesday:

Major Grom: Plague Doctor is a French superhero movie about a hero dressed like a plague doctor. Too soon, France.

New in theaters Friday, July 9:

Black Widow, the newest Marvel drama, features Black Widow, portrayed by Scarlett Johansson. Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour also star, and the film is directed by Somersault’s Cate Shortland. The film takes place after Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Natasha Romanoff is on the run and must confront her past. 

Meander is a French sci-fi thriller. A woman wakes up to find herself trapped in a series of tubes (like the Internet?)

Summertime chronicles the (fictional) lives of several young Angelenos over the course of a hot summer day. Looks like it would pair well with Dope.

Coming to Netflix July 9:

Fear Street Part 2: 1978, the second in the Fear Street trilogy, travels to a cab in murder in the late ‘70s.

How I Became a Superhero a “fresh” take tread by Watchmen and The Boys: “A lone wolf cop teams up with a brilliant detective to dismantle a dark organization trafficking superpowers.” 

Last Summer: “The summer when you had your first love is different from all summers.”

Streaming on the service Wednesday, July 14:

A Classic Horror Story, a comedy horror that uses tropes to its advantage (maybe).

The Guide to the Perfect Family, a film that would star Jennifer Garner if it were made in America. How do you say YIKES in French?

Gunpowder Milkshake, an action film with a cast I adore: Michelle Yeoh, Karen Gillan, Angela Bassett, and Lena Headey. Gillan is a “fierce hitwoman” raised by the crime syndicate her mother worked for, and is aided by a firm called “The Librarians.” 

Heist, a…drama? about people taking advantage of easy cash? From the producers of Two Distant Strangers.

And the following day: 

A Perfect Fit, a romantic comedy about a fashion blogger who Meets Cute in Bali.

My Amanda, a romance from the Philippines: “Two unusually close friends share every aspect of their lives together. As their lives evolve, their bond remains the only constant.”

New in theaters Friday, July 16:

Pig stars Nicholas Cage as a reclusive truffle hunter whose beloved pig disappears. I’m going to watch the hell out of this.

Out of Death stars Bruce Willis in a film, to paraphrase a YouTube commenter, that appears to be filmed in the backyard of the director’s vacation home.

Mama Weed is a French thriller. Based on the critically acclaimed novel La Daronne, it stars Isabelle Huppert as a woman who sells weed to cover her debts. Well, it’s more complicated than that (it stars Isabelle Huppert!). It’s like if Weeds was less embarrassing, more sophisticated, and French.

Space Jam: A New Legacy, the sequel to 1996’s Space Jam, stars LeBron James as a fictionalized version of himself. Much like the original, the NBA star will have to join forces with Looney Tunes characters in an intergalactic basketball game to save his son and return home. James is joined by Don Cheadle, Sonequa Martin-Green, and Zendaya, who voices Lola Bunny. (Reportedly, this incarnation of Lola Bunny will be an improvement.) I’m the rare Millennial who doesn’t like Space Jam, but this looks pretty good. It will also air on HBOMax.

No Ordinary Man is a documentary about influential, legendary, and forgotten jazz musician and trans man Billy Tipton, who was outed after his death. 

How to Deter a Robber is a comedy about a “stubborn” woman and her husband who stumble into the wrong cabin in a remote Wisconsin town, foiling? bungling burglars.

Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is a documentary about the legendary chef and travel show host who died in 2018. 

Streaming on Netflix:

Deep: “Four insomniac med school students are lured into a neuroscience experiment that spirals out of control — and must find a way out before it’s too late.”

Fear Street Part 3: 1666 visits the 17th century in this trilogy.

Coming to the service Wednesday, July 21:

Chernobyl 1986, a drama, follows a retired firefighter “plunged back into danger” via the Chernobyl disaster. I don’t know, I guess this is shorter than the acclaimed HBO series?

New in theaters Friday, July 23:

Settlers stars Sofia Boutella and Jonny Lee Miller. The thriller is about a family under attack on Mars.

Old is a thriller written, directed, and co-produced by M. Night Shyamalan (so your mileage may vary), “inspired by” the graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. You know things are going to be bad when one of the Wolff brothers shows up (in this case it’s Alex), and you know I’m right because a pregnant teenager scales a cliff and falls to her death, oh, and she was six when the movie started, because a bunch of (rich, I assume) families age the course of their entire lives on a beach (they were warned not to go to!) on a beautiful afternoon. The film also stars Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Embeth Davidtz, Emun Elliott, and Kathleen Chalfant.

Joe Bell is a drama about Joe Bell, the man who planned to walk across the country (Oregon to New York City) in honor of his son Jadin, who died by suicide as the result of bullying. Bell was hit by a truck and died in Colorado. Bell is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, because these are the only roles he takes now. (Is he mad he wasn’t cast in American Sniper, or…?) Oh, and Gary Senise is in this movie for some reason, too.

Fear and Loathing in Aspen is a comedy about author Hunter S. Thompson’s run for Sheriff in Aspen in 1970.

Snake Eyes is a G.I. Joe origins drama about Snake Eyes, “a tenacious loner who is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir apparent.” It stars Henry Golding.

Mandibles is a French-Belgian comedy. Two friends find a giant fly in their car and try to train it to earn money and acclaim.

All the Streets Are Silent is a documentary about skate and hip-hop culture in Lower Manhattan in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Comeback Trail stars Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Morgan Freeman. It is a remake of the 1982 comedy.

Coming to Netflix:

Bankrolled, a Spanish-language comedy about two “bros” who pitch a social justice app, make millions, and struggle to make the app. 

Blood Red Sky, an action-horror film about a woman who has to decide if she should reveal her inner monster (she will) when terrorists take over an airport.

Kingdom: Ashin of the North, a “sidequel” to Kingdom explaining the backstory of character Ashin. Looks fun!

The Last Letter From Your Lover, a 1960s romance about a forbidden affair, starring Shailene Woodley and Callum Turner, and Felicity Jones as the present day reporter who finds their letters. Two of these actresses are Oscar nominated, what are they doing?

Coming to the service Thursday, July 29:

Resort to Love, a romantic comedy starring Christina Milian as a singer who takes a gig at a “swanky resort” only to find that the man who broke her heart is getting married there, that weekend! The film also stars Jay Pharoah and Sinqua Walls.

New in theaters Friday, July 30:

Nine Days is the story of a girl… no, just kidding. Winston Duke stars as a man living in limbo. He interviews souls to choose the next candidate for life on earth and is challenged by an especially free-spirited one, played by Zazie Beetz.

Enemies of the State is a docu-thriller from Sonia Kennebeck. An All-American family believes it’s the target of a vast conspiracy after their son becomes an active member of the group Anonymous.

Jungle Cruise, Disney’s latest entry it its campaign to turn every ride into a feature film, is here at long last (it was delayed over a year due to the pandemic).  The action-comedy stars Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson. The (somewhat controversial) ride was inspired by The African Queen. The film will also stream on Disney+ for Premier Access members.

The Green Knight is an Arthurian drama! I’m excited about it, because fun fact about me, I was Very Into This Stuff as a tween. Dev Patel stars as Sir Gawain, a knight who confronts the Green Knight, a formidable “tree-like creature,” portrayed by Ralph Ineson (and a lot of CGI). We should probably listen to the Myths & Legends take on this tale first.

Stillwater stars Matt Damon (Mark Wahlberg wasn’t available, I guess) and Abigail Breslin, who portrays an American college student accused of murder and jailed in France. Damon is her father, who is trying to get her out of jail by proving her innocence.

Coming to Netflix:

The Last Mercenary, an action film starring Jean-Claude Van Damm. 

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