Movies Not to Miss: July 2015 | News & Features | Cinema Online
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Movies Not to Miss: July 2015

Writer: Casey Lee


Which of these are you going to watch?


July may be Raya month, but cinemas this year aren't going to be choked full of local movies. Already on the release schedule are three major blockbusters that are more than enough to keep you occupied for the month, but there is certainly plenty more where they came from. July has turned out to be a good month for those looking for horror, animations, and coming-of-age romances, or if you are looking something out there, maybe a satirical take on suicide bombers could fit that niche.

So take a look at what's for your selection after breaking fast or to enjoy your Raya holiday for July!

While We're Young

 

Josh Schrebnick is a faltering documentary filmmaker, who is having marital troubles with his wife, Cornelia, for being unable to have a child. When the Schrebnicks meet with a young and aspiring documentary filmmaker and his girlfriend, the couple feel that they being rejuvenated with a new youthful energy as they get more and more involved with their younger counterparts. Ever since "Frances Ha", that same creative energy could be said to have rejuvenated director-writer Noah Baumbach that is said to be running well in "While We're Young". With a cast comprising of Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as the middle aged pair, contrasted by Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried as their foil, it is a cast worthy to carry this drama comedy of aging, marriage and wild and willful ambitions.

General Release Date: 2 July

Attack on Titan: Crimson Bow & Arrow

Anime fans and children will have reasons to be going to the cinemas this month as cinemas have lined up three animations to be shown on our screens here. While parents should have no trouble taking their young ones to go and see "Doreamon The Movie: Nobita and the Space Heroes" or "Detective Conan: Sunflower of Inferno", our pick for this one should strictly only be seen by the parents without their impressionable offspring.

Based on the manga by Hajime Isamaya, "Attack on Titans" can be considered to be one of the most gritty and gory animes to come out back in 2013, with gruesome death tolls, shocking plot twists and dark despair that would make it comparable with "Game of Thrones", except with man-eating giants. While fans would have to wait until 2016 for the continuation of the series, "Attack on Titan: Crimson Bow & Arrow" could do well as refresher course that will compile the first half of the first season, with a second part to cover the rest of the series. It would also be a good appetizer for fans who are anticipating for the live-action adaptation, so it's time to prime your maneuver gears for high-flying heroics and crushed hopes.

General Release Date: 2 July

Terminator Genisys

June brought us back to be fascinated and to fear dinosaurs with "Jurassic World" and July is going to bring us back (in time) to revisit another old favourite franchise; the Terminator series. "Terminator Genisys" can be taken as a soft-reboot, with an altered timeline when Kyle Reese is sent back to the point in time where it all began, but things have drastically changed thanks to the events that happened prior to stopping the emergence of Skynet in the past. When a new mainframe known as the Genisys has been identified to be the one that will turn into Skynet, Kyle Reese, Sarah Connor and an aging Terminator are on a new mission to stop it all from happening again.

While now is probably the best time to use that famous Arnie quote, we probably don't need our best impression to tell you that Schwarzenegger would be reprising his old T-800 killing machine. However, this time he would be joined by a mostly fresh faced cast taking on the major roles that we are all too familiar in the franchise. Among them is Emilia Clarke, who will be taking time off as the Mother of Dragons to be the mother who will bear mankind's saviour, Sarah Connor, as she welcome the human soldier of the future. Jai Courtney would take the mantle of said soldier, while Jason Clarke would be the leader of the human resistance. Directed by Alan Taylor who did a fair job in "Thor: The Dark World", Academy winner J.K. Simmons and all-time Asian bad guy Lee Byung-Hun would also be making an appearance here.

General Release Date: 2 July

Return to Sender

If any man has seen "Gone Girl", they would probably know by now that hell hath no fury that a Rosamund Pike scorned. While Pike did not star in the latest adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel "Dark Places" seen last month, but she is going to nail that point pretty clearly in "Return to Sender". In this sophomore outing of director Fouad Mikati, Pike plays as a surgeon nurse who is raped by a stranger at her home while she was expecting a blind date. Seeking to move on from the trauma of her ordeal, she confronts her rapist with letters while he is in prison, making suggestions that all could be forgiven. When the convict is released, he is invited to her home to see if they can make amends or more.

While not written by Gillian Flynn (and as far as we can tell not adapted from any source material), "Return to Sender" already has the set up that will allow Pike to do an encore of her award-worthy performance, and with veteran actor Nick Nolte taking the role of her confused father as to why she would want to see her rapist, we would let the suspense chill you upon the reveal of her true intentions.

General Release Date: 9 July

The Monk Comes Down the Mountain

While director Chen Kaige will always be remembered for his Cannes-winning tragedy "Farewell My Concubine", the Fifth Generation filmmaker was also responsible for directing marital art epics from "The Emperor and the Assassin" to "The Promise" that are geared to please a blockbuster audience. Adapted from the best-selling novel by Xu Haofeng, "The Monk Comes Down the Mountain" tells of a monk who is skilled in the martial arts who is forced out from his monastery in the mountains. Upon arriving in the city, he inadvertently becomes embroiled with worldly affairs, while seeking for a new master. China funnyman Wan Baoqiang stars as the titular monk and in his misadventures he will stumble onto a cast of characters played by the likes of Aaron Kwok, Chang Chen, Lin Chi-Ling, Fan Wei, Wang Xueqi, and Vanness Wu.

General Release Date: 9 July

A Little Chaos

Sabine de Barra is a French widow with an unusual sensibility to gardening. When she is hired to oversee a grand waterworks project for the garden of Versailles under the court of King Louis XIV, she would have to learn to survive in the delicate politics of the court, while trying to bring her vision to fruition. Sabine is also finding terms with her own personal guilt from her broken marriage that ended tragically, whilst being engaged in romantic pursuits from her employer, the royal gardener André Le Nôtre.

For lovers of the period drama, "A Little Chaos" cannot be set in a setting that can be more classy and pompous than the 17th century court of the French monarchy. This is Alan Rickman's second directorial since his 1997's "The Winter Guest" and has already graced the Toronto Film Festival last year, where it has received warmed receptions for Kate Winslet as Sabine, and Matthias Schoenaerts as the royal gardener. Rickman plays as the King himself, with Stanley Tucci also taking a role as the king's brother.

General Release Date: 9 July

Gangsterock: Kasi Sengat

When gang boss Khidir wants to quit from his life of crime, the only way out is death and his brother, Rude, is more than willing to deliver in order to rise up in the ranks. Meanwhile, two out-of-luck rockers who have been abandoned by their band are somehow brought into the power struggle.

With Raya being celebrated for the month of July, there are sure to be numerous local titles to entertain Malay audiences during the festive period. While those who are still pining for the one could go and see "Suamiku Jatuh Dari Langit" (starring Nora Danish), our Raya recommendation would be to go and see "Gangster Rock Kasi Sengat". After years of playing second fiddle in stereotypical gangster and ghost movies, Soffi Jikan is now staking out on his own to be his own leading man in his directorial feature debut. We can't say that we aren't impressed by the cast he has managed to bring in this time around, with strong names like Saiful Apek who plays alongside Soffi as the bad luck rockers, Namron and Aqasha taking the main roles. Other noteworthy names on the cast are Sharifah Amani, Izara Aishah, Khir Rahman, Syafie Naswip and Z. Zamirie. This will also be one of the last appearances of the late Harun Salim Bachik.

General Release Date: 17 July

Marvel's Ant-Man

The Marvel Phase 2 comes to an end, not from the last hurrah of the original Avengers in "Age of Ultron", but from the tiniest superhero to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. When small-time thief Scott Lang manages to break into the lab of scientist Hank Pym, he is given a chance to redeem himself if he is willing to don on the suit as Ant-Man.

"Ant-Man" will officially be the first superhero to be introduced in the upcoming Phase 3 of Marvel Studios that will be bringing in a new batch of superheroes to our screens in the near future. Initially to be directed by Edgar Wright, Wright was later replaced by Peyton Reed (who last directed "Yes Man"), while the suit would be changing hands from Michael Douglas as Hank Pym to Paul Rudd's Scott Lang. The cast is supported by Evangeline Liliy and Michael Peña and Corey Stoll will be the nemesis in his yellowjacket suit.

General Release Date: 16 July

Ju-On: The Final

Since 2002's "Ju-On: The Grudge", the "Ju-On" series has had a long run that lasted up to seven movies as of its latest in 2014. Now that hints of the origins of the white-skinned boy origins have started to emerge in "The Beginning of the End", the franchise is finally ready to wrap up its reign of terror in cinemas. Set after the events when elementary school teacher Yui Shono disappeared after entering into the Saeki household, her sister Mai sets out to find her missing sister and the cause of her disappearance.

As the last installment of this long running series, this is most obviously a must-see for fans who have followed through every movie, and the premise gets even more mysterious when the entire house containing the vengeful spirits is removed entirely. That is one added mystery to solve and perhaps we can finally put our spirits to rest whenever we hear the slow croaking from here on.

General Release Date: 16 July

The Gallows

If Japanese horror series aren't your thing or you don't think having to force yourself to sit through seven movies prior is your idea of enjoying the latest installment, then July is not afraid to give you more options for your standalone scares. Indeed, there is enough horror from every region to go around, whether you are looking for something local in "CCTV", haunted houses in "The Strange House", or recorded possessions in "Vatican Tapes".

However, our pick would go to the mind-twisting found footage horror "The Gallows", which is the latest offering from Blumhouse Productions. When a high school decides to put up a play that caused the gruesome death of one of its students 10 years ago, a group of highschoolers decide to play pranks on the set the night before it opens, but are soon reminded that some old graves should not be stirred.

General Release Date: 23 July

Paper Towns

The adaptation of author John Green's novel "The Fault In Our Stars" might turn out to be too sappy for those who haven't read his work, but this next adaptation should be able to show that Green is an author who can get into the mind of his young audience and readers. When Quentin "Q" Jacobsen's childhood friend and neighbour, Margo, climbs into his room one night and asks him to accompany on a revenge spree in the middle of the night, Q gladly takes this risky opportunity to reconnect with the girl that has drifted apart from him. The following day, Margo is nowhere to be found and is presumed missing. When Q starts finding clues that are left behind by Margo to find her, Q decides to go on a road-trip to bring her back, as he slowly uncovers more about Margo and himself.

While Josh Boone is not returning to direct this second adaptation, the screenplay is still being adapted by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. As for the direction, that duty has been given to Jack Schreier, who is not a complete unknown for the work he had done with the rather impressive "Robot and Frank", so we know that things are in good hands. Also, changing is the less than star-driven cast that "The Fault in Our Stars" had with its leading starlings, instead Nat Wolff who became our favourite blind would be looking for his lost love, to be played by uprising newcomer Cara Delevingne.

General Release Date: 23 July

Twenty

When three highschool friends have reached the age of 20, they think of what is ahead of them in life while addressing them with their personal quirks, circumstances and the people around them.

There is certainly no shortage of coming-of-age movies this month. If you haven't found yourself in "Paper Towns", then you might be able to relate with these three sometimes spoiled and sometimes aimless youths, played by Kim Woo-Bin, Lee Joon-Ho, and Kang Ha-Neul. This is the second directorial outing for writer-director Lee Byeong-Hun who last made "Cheer Up Mr. Lee", so we are looking forward to what this rising director can bring. At least from the trailer, we are going to have some fun.

General Release Date: 23 July

Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation

The year of the spy continues with its next entry for the genre in July. After getting a clever and hilarious poke on the genre from Paul Feig's "Spy", it's time to switch it back to high gear with "Mission:Impossible Rogue Nation". After being formally disavowed by the US government in "Ghost Protocol" but still being able to save the world from a terrorist threat, the IMF are now going to be faced their deadliest mission yet; their survival from a rival organisation whose sole mission is to wipe out the IMF.

Returning to form the IMF is Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rames, with Rebecca Ferguson being the new face who has information for the team. Director Christopher McQuarie will be on the helm this time around, but this is already his second directorial collaboration with Tom Cruise, and he certainly won't be toning down the high risk stunt as evident in the trailer.

General Release Date: 30 July

Bangistan

Hafiz and Praveen are two 'aspiring' suicide bombers from two different organisations who have been tasked to carry out their mission at a world convention of religious leaders. Will their lack of talent for the one-way job be made up by their abundance of ideology and motivation?

"Bangistan" is a Bollywood satire comedy about what is a serious and dark topic. When we saw the trailer, we were quite taken in by debuting director Karan Anshuman's approach to the subject of suicide bombers and able to put a light spin on it that puts us in perspective of their point of view. Riteish Deshmukh and Puklit Samrat will be donning their turbans and growing their beard for this one, with appearances from Jacqueline Fernandez, as they traverse across the historical city of Krakow, Poland to go out with a bang.

General Release Date: 30 July

Cinema Online, 30 June 2015

Related Movies:
Marvel's Ant-Man (16 Jul 2015)
Terminator Genisys (02 Jul 2015)
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (30 Jul 2015)
Paper Towns (23 Jul 2015)
Return To Sender (09 Jul 2015)
The Gallows (23 Jul 2015)
A Little Chaos (09 Jul 2015)
While We're Young (02 Jul 2015)
The Monk Comes Down The Mountain (Mandarin) (09 Jul 2015)
Gangsterock: Kasi Sengat (Malay) (16 Jul 2015)
Ju-On 4: The Final Curse (Japanese) (16 Jul 2015)
Twenty (Korean) (23 Jul 2015)
Attack On Titan: Crimson Bow & Arrow (Japanese) (02 Jul 2015)
Bangistan (Hindi) (Not Showing)



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