(Image credit: Warner Bros)
Including Barbie, Oppenheimer and the latest Mission: Impossible – Nicholas Barber lists this month’s releases not to be missed.
Somehow, one of the most anticipated films of the year is a live-action tie-in to a line of Mattel children’s dolls — and those aren’t even dolls that everyone likes. “We have to recognize that there are many people who are not “Barbie fans,” Margot Robbie, the film’s star and producer, told Alyssa Bailey in Vogue. “And in fact, they’re not just indifferent to Barbie. you active to hate Barbie.” Robbie’s solution was to hire Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird, Little Women) to write and direct, along with co-writer – and Gerwig’s partner – Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story, White Noise). In their irreverent comedy, Barbie and Ken (Ryan Gosling) venture beyond the perfect pink plastic dreamland they share with dozens of other Barbies and Kens and find themselves in the real world, much to the annoyance of a Mattel exec , played by Will Ferrell. The Lego Movie meets Enchanted, everyone?
For general release July 21st
(Credit: Paramount Pictures)
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
The Teenage Mutant Turtles first appeared in 1984 in a small independent comic strip that parodied Daredevil, the X-Men, and other mainstream superheroes. Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s creations later included their own animated and toy series, followed by six films, but the seventh film appears to be the first to do justice to the characters. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is an animation directed by Jeff Rowe, co-director of The Mitchells vs. The Machines; the main speakers are teenagers themselves; and the producer and co-writer is Seth Rogen. “As a lifelong fan… oddly enough, the ‘teenage’ part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had always caught my eye the most,” he told Perri Nemiroff at Collider. “And as someone who loves teen movies, who’s done a lot of teen movies, and who literally started his entire career writing a teen movie [Superbad]”The idea of focusing on that element was really exciting for us.”
For general release July 31st
3. They cloned Tyrone
Creed II co-writer Juel Taylor says his directorial debut is the kind of high-profile sci-fi comedy you could get “if the Truman Show drank a bottle of vodka.” The three heroes, played by John Boyega, Jamie Foxx and Teyonah Parris, discover a secret laboratory under a supermarket where government scientists are conducting cloning experiments. But They Cloned Tyrone is a stunning homage to the 1970s blaxploitation movies, so the three aren’t serious citizens or belligerent detectives: they’re a drug dealer, a pimp, and a sex worker. “Me and my writing partner [Tony Rettenmaier] “I used to joke about who would make the worst possible detectives,” Taylor told Empire magazine, “the worst candidates to get caught in the middle of a conspiracy.”
Released July 21 on Netflix
(Source: Universal Pictures)
Christopher Nolan has long been fascinated by amazing scientific advances, as evidenced by works like Tenet, Interstellar, Inception, and The Prestige. But Oppenheimer is the first time he has channeled that fascination into a biography about a real person. The person is J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), the theoretical physicist who helped develop the first atomic weapons. Emily Blunt plays his wife, and notable supporting actors include Robert Downey Jr., Matt Damon and Florence Pugh. “It’s just an incredible idea,” Nolan told Wired’s Maria Shresinsky, “people doing these calculations, looking at the relationship between theory and the real world, and coming to the conclusion that the likelihood of them destroying the whole world, very low.” I mean, it’s literally the most dramatic moment in history.
For general release July 21st
(Credit: Paramount Pictures)
5. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
In the seventh Mission: Impossible adventure, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his trusty crew of globetrotting secret agents learn about a deadly new weapon that is… well, not to mention the plot. Mission: Impossible movies aren’t really about the story, they’re about the opportunity to watch Cruise pull off increasingly outrageous stunts. In this case, he rides a motorcycle off the edge of a cliff in Norway and free falls 4,000 feet before his parachute opens. “Of course you hear the idea and you get an idea of what’s going on in your head,” said Cruise’s co-star Simon Pegg, who witnessed the stunt. “But it wasn’t until I got to the top of the mountain that I realized how death-defying it was… We could expect to lose our leading man. It was really a fear. But, my God, it was exciting.”
For general release July 12th
6. My name is Alfred Hitchcock
This is no ordinary Hitchcock documentary. Written and directed by Mark Cousins, creator of The Story of Film: An Odyssey, it takes an approach to explore six themes that run through the thrillers of The Master of Suspense. The boldest thing about it, however, is that the documentary is narrated by Hitchcock himself—or so it seems: Cousins wrote a screenplay from the director’s perspective, and Impressionist Alistair McGowan read it in a voice eerily close to reality. “Even if you’ve already seen all the clips and heard many of the stories, the new film is refreshing and even stimulating, thanks to Cousins’ deep knowledge of his subject and the clever way he thought of it, giving audiences the opportunity.” “Deep-dish Hitchcockiana,” says Todd McCarthy on Deadline. “There is a sense of a spiritual encounter between Hitchcock and cousins, due at least in part to both men’s obsession, deep understanding of the medium, and mutual enjoyment of quirks and pranks.”
Released July 21 in the UK
(Image credit: Maslow Entertainment)
7. Talk to me
Danny and Michael Philippou are notorious for their YouTube channel RackaRacka, but the Australian twin brothers’ superb debut film proves they’re also accomplished screenwriters and directors. Talk to Me introduces Mia (Sophie Wilde), a young woman grieving the loss of her mother. To cheer herself up, she goes to a party involving holding a ceramic hand and using it to contact the spirits of the dead. The problem is that Mia longs so much to be reunited with her mother that she keeps playing the game long after it starts letting evil spirits into our world. “Talk to Me is a hauntingly spooky horror offering, with powerful performances, chilling creature designs, a splatter of blood and gore, and hands-on effects that will blow your mind and give you goosebumps,” says Kristy Puchko of Mashable. “If you’re looking for spooky spooky fun, then this is the one for you.”
For general release July 26th
8. The Miracle Club
One of the most popular subgenres of 2023 is the heartwarming comedy about girlfriends of a certain age who take a journey together. After 80 For Brady and Book Club: The Next Chapter, The Miracle Club, directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan, is the latest example. In 1967, Maggie Smith and Kathy Bates star as working-class Dubliners who sing in a local talent contest and win a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. Also on the bus is a once-close friend, played by Laura Linney, who has lived in the United States for 40 years. “What really intrigued me about the story is how three powerful characters face each other and then, by embracing the truth, realize that the miracle they’ve all been looking for is right in front of them: in the strength of their friendships and the unwavering togetherness.” said O’Sullivan. “What we have accomplished together is to make an emotional film that is genuinely joyful, uplifting and ambitious.”
Released July 14 in the US and September 29 in the UK
9. Joy Ride
Oscar-nominated Stephanie Hsu for her role as the universe-leaping supervillain in Everything Everywhere All at Once returns to the big screen in a wacky road trip comedy starring Adele Lim (the co- Author of “Crazy” (directed and co-written by Rich Asians). Hsu plays one of four friends on a trip to China. One of them (Ashley Park) is there on business, but after a meeting turns disastrous, she instead goes in search of her birth mother. “Joy Ride is a prime example of the importance of representation on screen and proves that Asian American comedians can be just as fun, raunchy and successful as their white male counterparts,” says Marisa Mirabal at Indiewire. “Apart from the thematic elements around identity and friendship, Joy Ride delivers sizzling comedy by exploring sex, drugs, cultural immersion and bridging the gap between young and older generations.”
General release July 6th
10. Insidious: The Red Door
This month there are two horror films to choose from, in which malevolent spirits possess the bodies of the living. Alongside Talk to Me is Insidious: The Red Door, the fifth film in the James Wan and Leigh Whannell hit series. The first two Insidious films were about Josh and Renai Lambert (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) whose young son Dalton (Ty Simpkins) made contact with an empire called The Further. After two prequels without the Lamberts, the family is back, and this time Wilson makes his directorial debut alongside the role of Josh. “They went through some very, very traumatic experiences in the second film,” he told Jim Vejvoda at IGN. “It started for me with the story: What is the trauma? What are they dealing with? “
General release July 5th
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