Our Most Anticipated Films of Summer 2017
It's hard to believe, but the summer movie season is drawing near. We at Talk Film Society are super excited for the various offerings the next four months has to offer, which is why some of us have decided to list off our most anticipated of the bunch. Check out our picks, and be sure to leave a comment with your own top 5 below!
It’s Edgar Wright’s latest and by all accounts it’s another must-see from the director of one of my all-time favorites. An action-musical that’s already been described as Drive meets La La Land—why are we all not seeing this, like, right now?
Shameless plug: yes, I’m recording a Soderbergh podcast in the lead up to the never-really-retired director’s latest movie. It has all the elements there for another Soderbergh slam dunk—look at that cast, it’s a heist movie, Soderbergh is directing, shooting, and editing it. So yeah, this is the film event of the year for me.
War for the Planet of the Apes
The reboot series, that has no right being as amazing as it is, returns and we’re guaranteed more ape vs. human fighting, lead by technology-pushing effects, with another assuredly great Andy Serkis performance. I can’t wait to see what references this film makes to the classic Apes franchise.
From the makers of John Wick, comes a movie in which Charlize Theron kicks all sorts of ass. We need a lot more woman-kicking-ass movies, and here’s to the first in a 10-movie Atomic Blonde franchise.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Slither and Super director James Gunn’s latest film looks to be a small affair, starring TV actor Chris Pratt in a touching, lighthearted space drama—okay, fine, it’s another Marvel movie and we’re all going to see it, and I’m going to have a lot of fun.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Hoo boy, Luc Besson is directing a bonkers sci-fi adventure in the vein of The Fifth Element again? Sign me up! Everything I've seen in the two trailers so far seems right up my alley, from the scope, to the creature design, to the breathtaking visual effects. If this turns out to be half as fun as The Fifth Element and Lucy, we're in for a treat.
Anytime Ridley Scott releases a new film is a personal cause for celebration, as he's been my favorite filmmaker for years. Marking his third endeavor in the Alien universe, Covenant looks to be an extremely violent crash course in what not to do when encountering a violent new lifeform. With an unexpected cast (Danny McBride?!) and some top tier gore, this should be just what the android ordered.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Having been burned by this series in the past, particularly with the second and fourth installments, you'd think I'd be done with these movies? Welp, I'm not. Being a sucker for Michael Bay’s signature style, as well as Anthony Hopkins, I'm looking forward to The Last Knight. I'm sure the final product will have all of the issues I can't stand about this series but at least I'll get to experience an evil Optimus Prime and the trademark Bay action sequences I crave.
Anyone that knows me should be aware that I'm not biggest fan of Christopher Nolan's work and I certainly don't get excited for his films anymore. That all changed with the first trailer for Dunkirk, his upcoming WW2 film, starring Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance. This looks like supreme entertainment, with a story that I'm actually interested in. A little Branagh goes a long way for me, and I can't wait to see this on opening night.
Steven Soderbergh returns from his premature theatrical retirement and I couldn't be more pleased. Seemingly a heist film, it stars Daniel Craig and Soderbergh muse Channing Tatum. I know little to nothing else about the picture but the return of Soderbae is enough for me.
Edgar Wright has yet to make anything close to a bad film, and based on the early reactions to Baby Driver, that quality continues to be upheld. A crime-thriller mixed with a jukebox musical, with an inspired ensemble including Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, and Jon Hamm, jt looks like the most entertaining original film of the summer. The fact it was recently moved up six weeks from its last release date shows the studio has confidence in this one.
Sofia Coppola goes Southern Gothic horror in this adaptation of the 1966 novel previously made by Don Siegel and Clint Eastwood. With a stellar cast including Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Angourie Rice, not to mention a Cannes berth, it should be among the most talked about arthouse titles of the whole season.
A Ghost Story
Its reception at Sundance was surely mixed, but David Lowery's latest film, reuniting him with Ain't Them Bodies Saints co-stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, looks to be a wholly unique endeavour. The fact this spiritual drama about a deceased man returning to haunt his lover has already received comparisons to the works of Apichatpong Weerasethakul makes me more excited than anything.
I always look forward to the release of a new Christopher Nolan movie, even if his last few titles were somewhat overblown. Dunkirk is especially unique in that it marks the first instance of him adapting true events - in this case, the massive evacuation of Allied troops stationed in France back to England. It will undoubtedly mark a new chapter in Nolan's filmography, and one that should be the can't miss cinematic event of the summer.
Steven Soderbergh retired, but thank god he changed his mind, because Logan Lucky looks like a total blast. He's also brought along a solid cast with him, including regulars Channing Tatum, Riley Keough, and more promising additions in Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Sebastian Stan, Katherine Waterston, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes, and Macon Blair.
Look. I fully understand your mistrust at this point with the DC film run. That being said, Princess Diana is coming to big screen for the first time ever(I’m not counting BvS damn it) and she’s being directed by Patty Jenkins of Monster fame. Day one for me just to see her deflect bullets off of her Bracelets of Submission and stomp terrible men into the ground.
Team Wick is back with Furiosa, er, I mean Charlize Theron in a MI6 undercover spy thriller. Um, yes please. Action director David Leitch, co-director of John Wick, returns and that’s always good news. The sequences he and his team have brought to the film world have always been stunners. Can’t wait for more.
Obvious statement: Edgar Wright is a damn fine filmmaker. Over and over he has proven that he can dazzle with visuals and music better than most directors can ever dream of. From that badass trailer to the hype from SXSW, I am dying to see Baby make a clean getaway with no-bullshit-we-did-that stunts.
Christopher Nolan returns with a WW2 story about bravery in a hopeless situation. I have always loved looking at a Nolan movie even if the end result has disappointed me. A true supporter of shooting on film, he fills his frames properly and makes great use of the IMAX format. The shot in the trailer of the soldiers hearing a plane getting closer and their reaction of fear spreading through the whole platoon completely grabbed my by the throat.
Steven Soderbergh is a monster. Beyond being a potent director, he is a great cameraman and editor as well. So when the man who can do it all has a new film coming out, my ears perk up like a deer being hunted in the woods. A heist film with a NASCAR slant and a killer all-star cast (oh hi, Macon Blair), Lucky Logan should a recipe for a complete success.
Based on trailers, Atomic Blonde looks like it's going to be John Wick but with Charlize Theron. Considering the Wick movies are the most exciting American action films being made right now, I couldn't be happier that a similar one is coming so quickly.
Edgar Wright has a near perfect track record. I'm not going to be fool enough to miss his latest, especially after the stellar reviews it received out of its premiere at SXSW.
I could not have cared less about this when it was announced. But then the trailers started dropping and it looks like it's going to be visually inventive and maybe even scary. If this works out I'm not going to doubt Tom Cruise again.
I'm a defender of Snyder's DC Universe and a lover of last year's Batman v Superman. The way that Wonder Woman comes across in its marketing makes it look like it's going to be better than either of Snyder's entries. On top of that it's the long awaited feature film return of Patty Jenkins, the director of one of my favorite movies, Monster.
Zac Efron makes me laugh more than just about anybody making comedies today. Combine his talents with Dwayne Johnson and give them an R-rating and it could very well be something special. Hopefully this R-rated reboot of a long dead TV series is more 21 Jump Street than CHiPs.
Edgar Wright is a fun filmmaker, his nervy, and erratic imagination always yields something fun. Baby Driver could be about a talking duck who shorts the stock of a textile company, and it would still retain his brazenly youthful sense of humor and penchant for playful violence, but centering on a getaway driver finding love amid a life of crime ensures his kid-in-a-sandbox style direction will persevere.
Clint Eastwood and Don Siegel were a crackling good team, and that good will extends to their weirder-than-thou film of 1971 The Beguiled. It’s twisted exploration of sex, violence, religion, gender and race against the Civil War backdrop begs any viewer to ask themselves “how” and “why” this movie got made, it’s absolutely batshit crazy! Seeing as the upcoming version is helmed by an index of strong women in front of, and behind the camera (and Colin Farrell!) instead of the machismo mechanics consistent with the makers of the original we have Sofia Coppola offering what will be, undoubtedly one of the most unique films on the horizon. Instead of remaking or rebooting franchise bait or a superhero Coppola's unearthing something unexpected and challenging modernist sensibilities, can’t wait.
Well as a self proclaimed sucker for costume dramas set in Victorian England, Lady Macbeth is an easy sell. While this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the great Bard it does look like an intensely mature and violent; so not too unlike the story from which it gets it’s namesake? Lady Macbeth looks like it has elements of DePalma’s psychosexual fascinations with the claustrophobic atmosphere of Polanski’s horror films.
Christopher Nolan is a filmmaker with big appetites and ambitions; is Dunkirk the movie he’s been working toward throughout the entirety of his career? Nolan has taken the fantastical platitudes of space travel, dream “logic,” illusion, magic, and of course Batman, and somehow made the intangible feel somehow tangible. While his technical prowess (if sometimes cold and rigid) is always evolving, his tendency toward epic scope and eye for detail might lend to Dunkirk being a new frontier for Nolan.
The Dark Tower
The work of Stephen King and its relationship with the film industry leads us to greatness or a very, very dark place; so whenever his many works are graced with a screen treatment, it’s always fun to see how it’ll shake out. So will The Dark Tower be on par with The Shining, or Thinner? But the legacy around King’s The Dark Tower series is massive, just as the series itself, of which I am ignorant, but the idea of a gunslinging Idris Elba roaming a landscape that evokes both dark sci-fi and the western has me excited.
Sofia Coppola making a feminist period thriller is intriguing enough but the cast she assembled is bonkers: Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, Angourie Rice, Oona Laurence. Coppola’s ethereal directing style might get a shot of adrenaline with this premise and her all star cast has the potential to bring the house down. 2017 is shaping up to be a landmark year for Nicole Kidman, after her Oscar nomination for Lion and Big Little Lies success. Seeing her team up with Coppola is fascinating, especially for something like this.
I am praying for this movie. The first big screen live action major woman oriented superhero movie in over a decade has a lot of pressure on it. The DCEU’s track record is horrendous, but the Wonder Woman trailer is promising—though to be fair, we’ve been down that road before. I have trust in Patty Jenkins, whose last film Monster was a terrific character study. Everything she and star Gal Gadot have been saying online is on the right track. But the film has the Zack Snyder cloud hanging over it. So, yeah, this movie is in my prayers every night.
A Ghost Story
Casey Affleck aside, I am looking forward to this promising horror drama. Director David Lowery made the gentle, infectious, elegant Pete’s Dragon last year so he’s become a director to watch. Everything I’m hearing about the movie is exciting me, and star Rooney Mara is compelling onscreen. While I don’t look forward to watching Affleck mope onscreen and call it acting, A Ghost Story looks like a modernist take on the traditional haunted movie and I’m here for Lowery and Mara.
Girls Trip/Rough Night
As far as goofy dumb R-rated summer comedies go, Girls Trip and Rough Night seem to be what the doctor ordered: ladies behaving badly and getting into wacky situations. Both films gathered really brilliant casts. Girls Trip stars Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish. Rough Night features Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer, and Zoe Kravitz. Neither movie promises to change the world, but how can one argue with those actresses?
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
But like how do they fit a thousand planets into one city? I don’t know anything about this movie outside what I gleaned from the trailer, and I don’t want to know until I go see it. Good cast, bananas director, interesting visuals, and that delicious title are enough to pull me in. Oh, and Rihanna’s in it? Please, and thank you. I really like Luc Besson (his Lucy is a favorite of mine) and hopefully he’s going all in for this movie. I hope this movie does well sight unseen (hopefully it’s not blindingly offensive) because it looks one of a kind. All I can hope for is a more coherent, less kidnappy Jupiter Ascending.
Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero, and now he's being brought into my favorite superhero franchise ever. YES PLEASE.
Even if this weren't directed by Edgar Wright, I'd see this day one. I'm a sucker for flashy editing that syncs up to the music.
If it's just lady John Wick, that's good enough for me. Put right in my eyes.
A Ghost Story
I'm 100% down for any movie that puts a sheet on a man and calls it a ghost.
I grew up with the books, and am filled with a strange need to see how this turns out. So I await this with excitement and concern.