New CIFCC member Danielle Solzman of Solzy at the Movies reviews thirteen new films to open July

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DUNKIRK

Based on an inspiring true story, Dunkirk delivers a film that should give Christopher Nolan a long-overdue Oscar nomination for outstanding directing.

FUTURE ’38

A love letter to the screwball comedies of the 1930s and 1940s, Future ’38 is a throwback screwball worth seeing.  Written and directed by Carmen Sandiego veteran Jamie Greenberg, the film stars Betty Gilpin, Nick Westrate, Robert John Burke, Ethan Phillips, Sophie von Haselberg, and Ilana Becker.  The film starts with Neil deGrasse Tyson introducing us to a lost film from 1938.  He talks about the science behind the movie and what they got right.

THE 4TH

What’s really impressive about The 4th is just how quickly it came together as a feature film.  Even for a film as short as this one is, not many films will have the large majority of footage shot over the course of four days.  The 4th was supposed to be an exercise in using the new Adobe Premiere editing software but it soon turned into so much more.

ECHOES FROM THE ATTIC

Echoes from the Attic, a short documentary released in 2015, wasscreened this past April at the Museum of Tolerance in conjunction with Yom HaShoah.  It’s the follow up to Debbie Goodstein’s 1987 groundbreaking documentary, Voices from the Attic.  In this update, the 26 members of the family travel to Poland after learning that Farmer Grocholski and his family would be honored by Yad Vashem as being Righteous Among the Nations.

THE LITTLE HOURS

It’s a laugh-out-loud comedy but not in the sense that one could expect from Mel Brooks or Monty Python–no strangers to comedies set during historical time periods.  While the cast has the opportunity to largely improvise from a 25-page scripted outline, they use a lot of today’s language but it only adds to the comedy.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

Taking place fifteen years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and two years after Dawn of the Planet of the ApesWar for the Planet of the Apes brings the trilogy to an end with a fitting conclusion.

A GHOST STORY

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is a unique movie-going experience that will haunt you long after the credits finish rolling.  Reuniting his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints co-stars, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, writer-director Lowery returned to Sundance this year with a film that could only be made as such.  A story of this nature could not possibly be done in any other medium, be it print or visual, and knowing this only adds to the movie-going experience.

HICKOK

Hickok may not be the best Western to have been made but the film manages to do the job with the first big screen depiction of the lawman since 1999’s Purgatory.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best incarnation of Spider-Man on the big screen as the web-slinger joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his first big screen adventure.  Following his brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Holland) returns to the big screen for a new adventure.  For years, there was talk of Larry David playing the Vulture if Sam Raimi had been allowed to make a fourth Spider-Man movie.  I don’t know how that film would have looked but Michael Keaton does a fine job as Adrian Toomes.

AUSTIN FOUND

This film was rather predictable in that anyone could see Leanne’s decision coming a mile away.  If there’s nothing better playing–by all means, be my guest. As far as comedies go in 2017, it just hasn’t been a great year between the theaters and VOD platforms.  There’s no doubt that the cast is talented here.

THE JOURNEY

As Paisley, Spall is rather menacing but there’s more to him as we get to know the character.  The funniest scene is takes place at the gas station.  After Jack’s credit card is denied, Paisley sees to it that the card goes through.  This film was funnier than I thought would be, which echoes the other comments I heard as I walked out of the theater last week.

DESPICABLE ME 3

Despicable Me 3 isn’t the best outing for the franchise but if you’re looking for laughs from a studio comedy in 2017, the best offerings this year are from animated films.

THE REAGAN SHOW

What made the Reagan years so unique compared to prior presidents is that the late president had come from a background in acting before pursuing a career in politics.  Reagan’s background in acting clearly shows in acrhival footage from his repeated commercial takes for an advertisement supporting John Sununu’s campaign for the New Hampshire governor’s race.  Not so much of questioning whether or not he truly supports the candidate but because of his behavior after a take is completed.  It makes him come off as more of a person–something you don’t really see at the moment with the 45th person to hold the office.

 

 

 

 

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