14 days of film. Updated every second Thursday.
Well, Universal’s Dark Universe started with a thud. Critics hated The Mummy, and audiences weren’t too keen either — at least in North America. The problem seems to be that Universal is trying to make an action movie out of a horror movie. That can sometimes work, but it sure didn’t this time. I can’t imagine the rest of the movies/remakes being much better. But Universal will probably still give it a go. All that’s going to do is tarnish those classic monster movies. /Shane Hnetka
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT Man, I can’t believe Michael Bay is still making these crappy Transformers movies. I know they make money, but still. Pre-release publicity for the fifth flick in the canon claims this will be the last — although I thought number three was supposed to be the last. The plot has giant, overly complicated robots fighting and blowing things up while humans (including Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock and Josh Duhamel) run around looking amazed and pretending to matter in the grand robot scheme of things.
AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING Holy crap. Since the first one in 1979 there have been 19 movies featuring the Amityville name. Close to all them are lame. This one, which was supposed to be released in 2015 but kept getting bumped back, is no exception. The real horror story here is they keep pumping out this crap.
BABY DRIVER Sweet! Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs The World) is back with this tale of a young man nicknamed Baby (Ansel Elgort) who needs to listen to music to fight tinnitus which puts him in a Zen zone where he’s an awesome driver. He uses these skills to drive for a criminal organization run by Kevin Spacey. After meeting a young waitress (Lily James) he decides he wants out. Looks fun and fantastic.
DESPICABLE ME 3 Gru and his minions are back for more wacky hijinks. Sure, this is only the third movie. But it’s starting feel like this franchise has overstayed its welcome. Over merchandising of key characters can do that. Sadly, this will still make money as there is nothing else for kids to go see.
THE HOUSE Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler are a husband and wife team who decide to open an illegal casino in their basement after they lose their daughter’s college fund. Looks pretty dumb with Ferrell and Poehler overacting like crazy for laughs.
7:00 THE LURE This Polish horror musical sees two mermaids come ashore and work at a club — singing, dancing, and eating people, and also discussing mermaid vaginas. Strange weird awesome movie.
9:00 SONG TO SONG Director Terrence Malick’s latest is about four people caught in two love triangles. Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman star. After making three movies between 1973 and 2005, Malick’s been pumping them out at a pretty decent pace since then as this is his ninth feature. Of course, while his more recent stuff looks amazing, moviewise his earlier work is way better. Maybe Song to Song will change that — but I doubt it.
9:00 THE B-SIDE: ELSA DORFMAN’S PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY Legendary documentary filmmaker Errol Morris’ latest project is about Cambridge, MA photographer Elsa Dorfman who took portraits with a Polaroid camera for three decades. Some subjects were everyday people, while others, including Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Andrea Dworkin and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, were celebrities. Additional screenings July 2 and 4 at 7 p.m., July 3 and 5 at 9 p.m.
CHURCHILL Brian Cox stars as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in this historical drama that explores the heated discussions that occurred between the Allies during final planning for the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France in June 1944.
THE HERO Sam Elliot stars as an aging western actor who spends most days smoking weed with his former sidekick (Nick Offerman) until he finds out he’s dying. That “spurs” him to try to reconnect with his estranged daughter and find that last great role before he goes. Judging by the trailer, he even finds time to spark up a romance with Laura Prepon (who in real life is 35-years younger than Elliot).