Tuesday, July 5, 2016

DVD Outlook: July 2016

Last month I mentioned how the summer blockbuster season is in full throttle, however the annual showcasing has left plenty to be desired. Therefore, if you're in search on some intriguing movie options, look no further than July's fresh new DVD releases to satisfy your movie cravings (June's suggestions). Here are my top three selections arriving this month:

Everybody Wants Some!! - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Richard Linklater created a cult classic with his 1994 stoner-comedy, Dazed and Confused. This year the Oscar-nominated director returns with what he's self-described as its spiritual sequel, Everybody Wants Some!!. A fresh cast of mostly unfamiliar faces star in this hilarious story of a first-class college baseball team in Texas that welcomes in a new crop of freshman. This coming-of-age film plays as a passing of the torch as we follow the lives of quirky and irrational star athletes who must comes to terms with new beginnings. As you would expect from a Linklater film, Everybody Wants Some!! succeeds on the backbone of many exceptional onscreen moments. While the overall story is a bit of a meandering mess and the running time feels a little over-extended, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud scenes to carry you along from start to finish. (July 12th)

Green Room - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

After news of last month's tragic accident that took the life of Anton Yelchin, a young and gifted actor, Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room is a chance to catch one of the talented performer's finer films. This visceral thriller follows a touring hardcore punk band who's forced to fight for their lives when things go south after a gig at a skinhead bar. Patrick Stewart and Imogen Poots co-star in this bloody and tense effort that refuses to hold anything back. With a mere 95 minutes of total screen time, Green Room is well-paces and energetic. The late Anton Yelchin provides a stellar leading turn that reminds us all of his many talents. And if you enjoy Green Room, it's also worth catching filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier's previous debut feature and revenge flick, Blue Ruin. (July 12th)

Barbershop: The Next Cut - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Ice Cube continues to stand as a cultural voice of a new generation, and he's an excellent voice to have leading the way. In the next line of Barbershop films, we revisit Calvin's (Ice Cube) shop nestled in the heart of South Side Chicago. But as the neighborhood's violence spirals out of control and gang-related murders become a daily occurrence, Calvin needs to decide if it's time to abandon the mean streets he grew up on, or take back the city he knows and loves. The Next Cut wins over its audience with a hysterical crop of characters that keep a strong balance between comedy and drama. Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Common, Nicky Manaj and J.B. Smoove co-star in this welcome return to a solid franchise that packs a powerful dramatic punch. (July 26th)

Honorable Mention: As you can tell, July is short on exceptional options. Therefore many of these other films are either mediocre efforts or works that I haven't seen. Either way, the D.C. Comics' release, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (7/19), and first-person action adventure, Hardcore Henry (7/26), are both available this month. A few intriguing indie options this month include the British teen comedy, Sing Street (7/26), Jake Gyllenhall stars in the drama, Demolition (7/19), and Don Cheadle writes, directs and stars in the Miles Davis biopic, Miles Ahead (7/19). And finally, fans of Melissa McCarthy can catch her latest comedic effort, The Boss (7/26), where she stars as a wealthy CEO who loses it all after she's convicted of insider trading.

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