July’s Jaunts

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Wow! Ten movies in the month of July.  Not a record, but respectable.

Whether or not this level of moviegoing will continue remains to be seen. My supplier is Moviepass and this past week with them has been… dramatic. I think someday there will be a comedy made of the Moviepass story.  User reactions alone could supply a lot of the bits.

Therefore, this could be the last month for your friendly neighborhood movie grader. I am a teacher and there is no way 10 movies could budget in a single month without Moviepass.

So what did July bring us? Let’s take a look (in order, btw)-

Sicario: Day of the Soldado: B-
A decent follow up to the first Sicario. It doesn’t do anything particularly original but it is an enjoyable hit-man/black-ops movie. Brolin and Del Toro take it from passable to moderately engaging.

The First Purge: D-
I have to confess, I have not seen any of the previous Purge movies. If this one is any indication, I made the right move. The motive for the Purge (give everyone 24 hours to do whatever the hell they want without consequences) is so bizarre that I just couldn’t quit shaking my head at the absurdity. This premise sets up a lot of pointless action with even worse dialog. This movie should have been direct to video.

Ocean’s 8: C+
I think I left this movie a little disappointed because I was hoping to like it more than I did. The word that keeps coming to mind is… fine. The acting was… fine. The story was… fine. The humor was… fine. I anticipated a twist ending but rather than wowing me, I shrugged when it arrived. I can’t put my finger on what was missing but, for me, it just failed to launch.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: B+
Another enjoyable Marvel movie to add to the list. A couple of new angles in this sequel but it was not quite as fun as the first. It suffered from a lack of an engaging bad guy and they took all the likeability out of Michael Douglas’s character. Still, it had enough of the usual Marvel cleverness and excitement to make it a worthy view.

Skyscraper: C-
Take Die Hard and remove all the humor, clever lines, and the over-the-top villain. Really, they could have released it at Christmas and called it Die Hard 6. It was watchable but just barely.

The Equalizer 2: B
I guess the Equalizer series is how you get Denzel Washington to play a super-hero. No costume, but all the other elements are there. Who wouldn’t enjoy watching Denzel take out bad guys for an hour or two?

Unfriended: Dark Web: C+
Dark web gets points for being a unique experience for me – you essentially watch an online chat session (although I am told they did this in the first movie of the series as well). It was well done for what it was, but still… you watch a chat session for an hour and a half. I think it would have functioned better as a 1-hour Black Mirror episode.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies: D-
Wow… was this movie tedious! Every character delivered their line in an overly excited tone while their head raised and their eyes boggled. I was beyond annoyed after the first 15 minutes.

Most modern cartoon movies find that sweet spot of balancing being enjoyable for children and yet keeping the adults entertained. I suspect the only person who could tolerate this dumpster fire is a high-strung eight-year-old who had just been given carte blanche at the concessions counter.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again: B
Another enjoyable Mama Mia movie. Perhaps a little less humor than the first but also a bit more touching. Like its predecessor, it is a simple, happy time spent on a Mediterranean island with music and dancing. What’s not to like?

Mission: Impossible – Fallout: B+
Did you know that this series is now 22 years old? I wonder how many more they will do. I suspect for however long Tom Cruise can run (or until he kills himself doing one of his own stunts).

Really, I think Cruise will do these into his 70s. Why not? Mission Impossible is always a fun ride. It hits every trope, but you kind of want it to. It is the comfort food you expect in summer movie going.

See you next month!

Maybe.

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