Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to July


With summer blockbuster season in full swing, July is surprisingly full of original releases. Sure, there are three sequels, a remake and a reboot, but the rest are original (or adapted) films that seemingly have something to offer everyone. From horror to comedy, intense drama to family-friendly fare, and even some of those patented, action-packed blockbuster franchises, July looks to be an eclectic month for moviegoers.

“The BFG”

Who: Ruby Barnhill, Mark Rylance, Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement and Rebecca Hall
What: A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kindhearted soul that refuses to eat children.
When: July 1st
Why: Steven Spielberg returns both to family fare and summer spectacle with this adaptation of the beloved Roald Dahl book. On hand are some seriously funny people (Hader, Clement) and the always-welcomed presence of Oscar-winner Rylance to help deliver the story of childhood outcasts and strange friendships that helped cement Spielberg’s reputation back in the Amblin days of the ’80s. Will this be a return to form or too sentimental for most crowds? Will the darker elements of the story translate to the movie? And does that mean Spielberg’s old relishing of darker tones in children’s films will also return? Lots of unknowns, but this film may surprise a lot of people.

“The Purge: Election Year”

Who: Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson and Ethan Phillips
What: When presidential nominee Senator Roan vows to end the Purge, her enemies hatch a deadly plan, prompting new head of security Leo Barnes to spring into action.
When: July 1st
Why: After course-correcting from the first film, “The Purge: Anarchy” was a delightfully twisted exploration of the actual goings on of The Purge and became an action-packed “survive the night”-type film with a motley crew of survivors. Add in a touch of political metaphors about the tension between the Haves and the Have-Nots, plus timed expertly for the increasingly heated real-life election, and this could be another stellar entry in the series that delves into the darker sides of people’s psyches and the corporate political machine.

“The Legend of Tarzan”

Who: Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz
What: Having acclimated to life in London, Tarzan is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.
When: July 1st
Why: Tarzan has never quite worked in the modern age of filmmaking, but director David Yates is looking to change all that. On hand for the festivities is a murderer’s row of talent, including Skarsgård as the titular lord of the jungle, Robbie as Jane, and Tarantino vets Jackson and Waltz. It’s possible that, if done right, this will make many people forget about the 1999 Disney musical (and “Greystoke,” not that that’s difficult) and will bring an incredible adventure to the screen the likes of which haven’t been seen in more than half a century. The question is: will the whole thing be too hokey for modern audiences, or will Yates be able to find that appropriate tone that makes vine swinging and jungle action fun again?

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