I've been going to the movies this summer!
Wonder Woman - Of course I saw this! It was really good. My biggest criticism is that the climactic battle at the end goes on for too long, to the point that I was getting bored with it, but everything up until then was great. Honestly, beyond whether I liked the movie or not, I'm just thrilled that a female-directed, female-led, superhero movie broke though in a huge way with audiences, critics, and at the box office.
The Beguiled - During the Civil War, wounded Union soldier Colin Farrell is taken in by the women and girls remaining at a Virginia boarding school, led by Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst. With a fox in the henhouse, trouble, naturally, ensues. This was very atmospheric and beautiful to look at, and the actors are all great. There's been some criticism leveled at the movie for nearly completely eliding over the existence of slavery, and I agree that it's a weird, off-putting, choice that makes the story feel completely disconnected from the reality of history. Having said that, I did like this movie while I was watching it, though I'm not sure it amounts to much in the end.
The Big Sick - The real-life love story of comedian/actor Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily Gordon, who meet after one of his stand-up shows and fall in love, but break up after Emily realizes that Kumail doesn't see a future for them because his devout Muslim Pakistani parents are trying to arrange a marriage for him and he's afraid they'll disown him if he admits to them that he's dating a white, non-Muslim woman. Shortly after they break up, Emily becomes very ill and ends up in a medically-induced coma, causing her parents, played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano, to come to town. This was really good, very funny and sweet. It does suffer from third-act sag, where a few minutes should have been trimmed off to make the movie tighter and sharper, but overall I really liked this one.
Baby Driver - Baby (Anson Elgort), is the genius getaway driver for crime boss Kevin Spacey. Baby just has to work on one more big score, then he'll be out of debt to Spacey and able to drive off into the sunset with his waitress girlfriend. Naturally, things go sideways and he ends up running for his life. First, it must be acknowledged that this is a terrible title, one that makes it sound like a kid's movie, like Boss Baby. I saw this because the reviews were nearly universally positive, making it sound like a fun, unique, action-comedy. And parts of this movie ARE a lot of fun; the car chases are staged almost like musicals, set to the music that Baby is constantly listening to through ever-present earbuds. But in the last third, everything devolves into a hyper-violent climax, and...meh. I can't get into all the reasons this movie fell apart for me without getting into spoiler territory, but I walked out feeling unsatisfied by the whole thing. However, on the plus side, it was both filmed in and set in Atlanta, and it was fun to see some familiar sights, including a chase through the Peachtree Center Mall, home of the food court everyone eats at during Dragon*Con.
Because I saw all these movies, I also saw a lot of movie trailers recently:
Atomic Blonde - Charlize Theron kicks people in the face. Looks good!
Pitch Perfect 3 - Answering all the questions left by Pitch Perfects 1 & 2.
Home Again - Reese Witherspoon plays a 40 year old divorced mother, who, on the night of her birthday, picks up a young twentysomething guy for a one-night stand. Somehow, he and his two friends end up living with her and her kids? Then her ex-husband reappears, wanting his family back. Without seeing this movie, I am going to predict that it will end with Reese and her ex reuniting, which is the most boring and predictable way that it could end.
Thor: Ragnorak - I've seen this trailer several times now, and doubt that I'll see the movie until it hits Netflix, but I have to admit, I laugh every time when Thor sees the Hulk and says "We know each other from work!"
Flatliners - Apparently, the world needed a remake of this 1990 Julia Roberts/Keifer Sutherland thriller. I've seen the original a couple of times and remember absolutely nothing about it.
American Assassin - I watched two seasons of Teen Wolf, and I absolutely did not recognize Dylan O'Brien (Stiles) as the actor playing the main character in this trailer. The plot of this movie hinges on the death of O'Brien's girlfriend.
The Foreigner - Jackie Chan seeks vengeance on Pierce Brosnan. The plot of this movie hinges on the death of Chan's daughter.
The Dark Tower - Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey star in this adaptation of the Stephen King novel. No women speak in this trailer.
IT - Also based on a Stephen King novel. You know, the one with the clown. I don't remember any women or girls speaking in this trailer, but Beverly has to be there, right? Either way, I'm not going to watch it again to find out.
The Kingsmen 2 - Sequel to the movie from a few years ago about British spies. No women speak in this trailer (though, to be fair, music plays over most of the trailer).
Dunkirk - WW2 war movie. No women speak in this trailer (though, to be fair again, it's mostly battle scenes and there probably were not many, if any, women present at the Battle of Dunkirk).
Daddy's Home 2 - The ace comedy team of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reteam for more dad-based hijinks, this time with their own fathers, played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson, who we're apparently allowing to be a movie star again. There is a little girl with a short line of dialogue in this trailer. The only other woman who says anything is a a mother who says "No, no, no," when Gibson starts to tell the kids a joke that starts out "Two dead hookers washed up on a shore." So, Gibson doesn't just get to star in movies again, he also gets to tell violently misogynistic jokes in them. Cool. Cool. Cool.