Coming Soon Trailers: War for the Planet of the Apes, Wish Upon.

Coming Soon Trailers: War for the Planet of the Apes, Wish Upon.

Coming Soon Trailers: War for the Planet of the Apes, Wish Upon.

Everyone’s bananas for Planet of the Apes while 7 VOD releases drive me ape!

Coming Soon Trailers: War for the Planet of the Apes, Wish Upon.
Don’t make Shotgun Monkey angry!

Hollywood continues its feast and famine summer programing.  After everyone cleared out to make room for Marvel’s Spider-Man reboot last week, we get a rush this week in the form of two new wide release films, two new limited release films, and a metric ton of video on demand.  We’ll keep this short and sweet since there’s a ton of trailers to talk about.  Let’s get cracking.

Wide Release.

War for the Planet of the Apes.

Caesar and his genetically enhanced simian brethren narrowly avoided full scale war against humanity in the last film.  This time out, a ruthless human (Woody Harrelson) leads an army to Caesar’s doorstep in order to ensure human dominance of the planet.  Forced to fight, Caesar must create his own army as the full scale conflict to see who rules Earth comes to a climax.

See It?:  Yes.

The first movie in the new Planet of the Apes trilogy was fun but forgettable.  Director Matt Reeves took over for the second installment and it was glorious.  Reeves returns for the conclusion, and I can’t wait to see what he does with it.  Andy Serkis has proven his motion capture performances are revolutionary and this series has had the CG to back him up.  This is the monkey movie we didn’t know we were waiting for.

Wish Upon.

A young woman discovers a music box that can grant her wishes.  As with all magic, though, there is high price to pay for getting what you want.  As people around start to die in alarming ways, she has to see if she can put the genie back in his bottle before everything is ruined.

See It?:  Rent it.

An interesting, but borrowed plot (Monkey’s Paw, anyone?) with some teen drama thrown in, a la Final Destination.  It doesn’t look terrible, but certainly doesn’t look like you need to see it on the big screen.

Limited Release.

The Big Sick.

Based on real events in Kumail Nanjiani’s life, this romantic dramedy tells the story of an aspiring comedian (Nunjiani) and a young woman who meet at a comedy show.  They form a bond, but their wildly different lives make a relationship impossible.  Tragedy strikes as the young woman is stricken with a mysterious illness and the comedian has to sort out his family problems and life expectations when he discovers his deeper feelings for her.

See It?: Yes.

Heartfelt and charming in a way that’s not afraid to be uncomfortable.  The cast is excellent and give understated performances that lets the events speak for themselves.  A rare gem in the rom-com genre.

The Beguiled.

In a small boarding school for women in the Confederate controlled South, six women and their headmistress (Nicole Kidman) find a badly injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) in the woods.  They take him in and care for him, but are conflicted about how to handle their patient.  The man begins a dangerous game of seduction in order to stay at the school instead of being sent back to the war.

See It?:  Rent it.

I remember really liking The Beguiled (1971) when I saw it on television.  It’s a small-scale but gripping drama with the backdrop of the Civil War adding depth to it.  Sofia Coppola has assembled a fine cast, but I don’t see that very much has been added to the drama.  Worth a rental just to see if this remake can stand up to the original.

Video on Demand.


A young man receives a package from a relative that contains a creature.  He is told that the creature will be released from the package and kill everyone it can find unless it is given to someone he loves before the timer goes off.

See It?:  No.

Not a bad little premise, but this project is doomed by bad CG and horrible acting.  Just another bad horror movie on VOD, move along.

Not My Day.

A desperately bland accountant decides to spice up his life when he is caught up in an armed robbery.  He volunteers to become a hostage and gets sucked into the world of a criminal who can’t seem to catch a break.  Their faults compliment each other, and they start a partnership that will either turn around their dead-end lives…or get them killed.

See It?: Yes.

Despite the subtitles, the dialogue is crisp and fun.  The two leads have a nice energy to their performance and the director seems to get the most out of his “odd couple in crime” premise.

Love at First Child.

A woman reaches out to a deadbeat Lothario for help with her daughter.  The aging Romeo had run out on his own unintended pregnancy decades ago, and the son that came of that relationship is about to pull a runner on his own bastard child.  She hopes that by changing the old man’s heart he will in turn help to make a decent man of his son before a new cycle of abandonment begins.

See It?: Yes.

Another fine foreign film.  It has a novel premise and a quirky rom-com aspect that never devolves into silly comedy or unbelievable romance.  The lead actress is fantastic, and the deadbeat dad has an irreverent style that comes off as genuine.  Give it a whirl unless you absolutely can’t bear subtitles.

A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff.

Two would-be filmmakers decide that the best way to achieve notoriety is to make a fake snuff film (for those who don’t know, snuff films feature the torture and killing of person or animal.)  They kidnap a young actress on the belief that she will eventually be thrilled to be in a famous experimental film.  They figure wrong.

See It?: Yes.

On a roll here!  This screw-up screw ball comedy actually manages to be funny about a very unfunny premise.  It has a bit of the Coen brothers vibe to it where a well-intentioned pair of idiots get in way over their head.  Looks fun.

She Makes Comics.

A documentary about the history of women in the comic book industry, the history of female readership, and the efforts by modern female artists to make the genre more accessible and representative for readers who have been on the outside for generations.

See It?:  Rent it.

I know that this topic is near and dear to several wonderful ladies I know, and I’m glad it’s available.  It works both as a historical primer on women in the industry and as a celebration of their achievements, all while making a compelling case for opening up the genre to be more inclusive.

The Answer.

A young man gets a mysterious device from a long-dead relative.  The gizmo gives him and his companion clues that lead to other electronic devices, but the pair soon find themselves being hunted by men with super-natural powers.  Can they find the Answer before it’s too late?

 See It?:  Wait for a lower price.

This film has its heart in the right place, but just falls shy of getting a thumbs up.  The dialogue is kinda wonky but not terrible, the action is frenetic but slightly cheesy, and the whole premise feels like it came out of the 1980’s B Movie boom.  This could be a great nostalgia trip for kids who cut their teeth on late night viewings of Scanners.

The Sabbatical.

A photographer stuck in life faces several enormous hurdles.  His wife insists on him getting a vasectomy he doesn’t want, and his publisher insists on him creating a book more like his famous first book, despite him wanting to go in a new direction.  When he meets a pair of free-wheeling twenty-somethings, he decides to throw out the scrip to his life and try something new.

 See It?: No.

The plight of professional white male artists has been done to death.  Go read John Updike if you want an elegy for the proud white penis and it’s doomed battle against time.  This film doesn’t have anything new to say on that subject, and neither the script nor the cast bring anything that can elevate it.  A waste of time.

Chasing Coral.

A documentary that explores and celebrates coral reefs, and brings awareness to the decimation of this diverse ecosystem by human-caused climate change.

See It?:  Netflix it.

It helps that this film is already on Netflix, so my recommendation isn’t snarky this time!  Well shot and timely, this is a pretty documentary that speaks to current events.



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