Movies not to miss: July 2017

Movies not to miss: July 2017

Which of these are you going to watch?

Summer was just getting started in June, and July is when the releases are heating up to a blaze.

If you don't like having fun right under the hot sun, you certainly have plenty of reasons to grab some popcorn and sip your soda in the cooling halls of the cinema for every week in July.

The titles of this July may seem more sombre than what we are used to for summer blockbusters, but that gives us a good break from the nonsensical violence and highly pumped action we just saw in June (thanks "Transformers"), to turn on your head and get in touch with your heart for some of these moving titles this month.

So whether you are looking for the escapist adventures of a friendly neighbourhood superhero, or want to relive the dark moments of war, here are the movies not to miss this July.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Marvel fans went rabid the first time they saw their favourite web slinger appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in "Captain America: Civil War", and this is his feature introduction into the MCU. While still considered a Sony and Marvel Studios collaboration, Spider-Man goes through another 'reboot' with Tom Holland as a much younger Peter Parker, with different circumstances leading to him becoming a superhero, and a different set of characters from the comics to be the mainstay that we are used to. "Spider-Man: Homecoming" will be the demonstration as the start of a beautiful relationship between Marvel Studios and other rights holders, and hopefully more Marvel characters will be brought back into the MCU fold (*cough* Fantastic Four *cough*).

General Release Date: 6 July


We've seen what China is capable of in making their fantasy spectacle with their sometimes highly convoluted usage of CG (see "Wu Kong" also releasing this month), but they have been riling in the all style no substance approach of late, as their market is slowly wising up to see more 'clever' movies. While "Reset" doesn't set any new bar for the high-concept sci-fi genre of time looping, involving a time machine inventing single mother who tries to rescue her kidnapped son, it does show that China is willing to experiment with the edgier sci-fi genre that relies more on its plot and narrative value. Produced by the massive machinery that is Jackie Chan (who has got the action department covered), Yang Mi takes the lead as the desperate mother against Wallace Huo's Tsui Hu who manipulates the situation, and we are looking for a few surprising twists along the way to give us a different impression about Chinese blockbusters with smarter writing.

General Release Date: 6 July

A Day

Time-loops are a classic trope in sci-fi and it only gets more interesting when you get to see different countries approach it differently. South Korea is far more developed in their premise setting than relying on extensive CG than most of their Asian counterparts, and it is only by accident that they have a different take on the time-looping premise. Written and directed by Cho Sun-ho, a famous doctor played by Kim Myung-min returns to South Korea only to witness the death of his daughter due to a car accident, and then having to relive the day from his arrival every time he fails to save her. When his numerous attempts brings him in contact with a paramedic who is also experiencing this terrible cycle of deja-vu, the two of them try to figure out a way to take them out of this time-loop.

General Release Date: 13 July

War for the Planet of the Apes

Two years after the events of "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes", apes and man are now in a full flung war to determine the survival of their species. As the nominal leader of the apes, Caesar has been trying to protect his kind, while the humans, led by a grizzly Woody Harrelson, is out to exterminate all apes. This third instalment in the "Planet of the Apes" franchise takes an even darker tone compared to its predecessors, but also explores more redeeming themes when two sides are set on exterminating each other, which might be something related to our times. Even if the philosophical ideas being explored is not what you are looking for in your summer blockbuster, a main attraction of the "Planet of the Apes" franchise has always been the cutting edge of Weta's performance and motion capture, so you can watch this as a showcase to see how far the technology has gone.

General Release Date: 13 July

In This Corner of the World

The war train doesn't end there. Apart from the warriors who are fighting on the frontlines, war also affects those who are left at home. "In This Corner of the World" is another leftover from the magnificent year of 2016 in Japanese animation that is finally reaching our screens. Based on the manga series of the same name, "In This Corner of the World" depicts the life of a young girl who endures the hardships of war-time living in Japan, as it were before and after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, with buildings and scenes meticulously detailed based on photographs and testimonies. While we don't think it would measure up to the despair felt in "Grave of the Fireflies", but we need the occasional reminder on the ugly truths of war and its impact on innocent lives.

General Release Date: 13 July


Any summer that has a Christopher Nolan title is a good summer. That has been the case in 2010 with "Inception", and 2008's seminal "The Dark Knight". For 2017, we get "Dunkirk" which is a big change from his fictional works so far. "Dunkirk" is based on the real life events during World War II (again war is a big theme this month!) when British soldiers are left stranded on the beaches of Dunkirk for nearly 10 days, cut off on all sides by the German army and dubbed as a 'colossal military disaster' at the time by Winston Churchill. Admittedly, Christopher Nolan is not the first name of potential directors we want to see make a 'based on true event's' story, but he has far earned his directing and technical stripes to try something new for his audience. That, and also this would be his shortest feature length to date means that you won't be forcing yourself to hold it in until the rolling credits.

General Release Date: 20 July

Our Time Will Come

If defiance against the face of adversity is the theme of war, it just goes on and on with "Our Time Will Come" which depicts the life story of "Fang Gu" (or Aunt Fang), a female resistance leader living in Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation of World War II. This is another in the series of director Ann Hui's examination of prolific Chinese women in history after making the biopic of writer Xiao Hong for "The Golden Era" in 2014 that went on to represent Hong Kong for the Academy Awards. This time with the lady of choice for their powerful performance is Zhou Xun as the leading character. "Our Time Will Come" is also graced with a stellar supporting cast of Eddie Peng and Wallace Huo (again).

General Release Date: 20 July

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Alright, enough with the war movies and let's move back to something more fantastic. Based on the comic book series that does not involve any kind of superhero, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is an eye-popping and mind numbing sci-fi space adventure told through the lense of director Luc Besson who has not visited this scale of visual spectacle since "The Fifth Element". Dane DeHaan and newly minted actress Cara Delevingne star as the young leads as special operative agents keeping the peace on human territories in space. They will also be meeting the faces of Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke and Kris Wu. We don't know what else to expect from "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" other than anticipating the visuals, which is not a bad thing considering the last time someone tried something of this scale of visual diarrhoea resulted in "Jupiter Ascending".

General Release Date: 20 July

Baby Driver

Another hotlist director's name that we would always like to hear having a movie out, especially during the summer, is Edgar Wright. After being left out of his chance to be part of the directing stable of Marvel Studios, Wright went to make his long-gestating script since 1994, with a prototype in 2003. Already a darling since its premiere at SXSW, let alone that we are always excited to see the visual flair and clever writing of Wright in any movie he makes, a rocking cast that has Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacy, the next best thing we are most excited about is the music and soundtrack of "Baby Driver". We are willing to bet that after watching this car-driven heist action comedy, you will be plugging in your earphones to this soundtrack after "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2".

General Release Date: 20 July

The Salesman

The 2016 film by Iraninan director Asghar Farhadi has reached our screens numerous times, most recently during the Malaysia International Film Festival in May, but it has never had a wider screening till now. "The Salesman" competed at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, winning two awards for Best Screenplay and Best Actor, before going on to compete for the Best Foreign Film award at the Academy Awards and taking home that award as well. Needless to say, if you have been waiting to watch "The Salesman" since last year, this is now the chance to experience the rift created in a marriage after a tragic event that sets expectations on the roles of husband and wife in a religious society.

General Release Date: 27 July

Atomic Blonde

Based on the graphic novel "The Coldest City", MI6 agent Lorrain Broughton is brought into Berlin on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, to find a list of double agents smuggling into the West. If you thoroughly enjoyed this year's "John Wick Chapter 2" and saw the trailer for "Atomic Blonde" thinking that she was a female counterpart, you are not quite off-the-mark. Premiered at this year's SXSW, "Atomic Blonde" is directed by David Leitch - who also co-directed "John Wick" - making his solo debut, and you can see the action choreography is quite on point. We are pretty confident that this will remove the stain on Charlize Theron since "Aeon Flux" as long as she keeps taking more butt-kicking roles like this one (we are still waiting for that Furiousa spin-off), and it doesn't hurt to have James McAvoy, John Goodman and Sofia Boutella in the cast for some cinematic action too.

General Release Date: 27 July

Related Movies:
Spider-Man: Homecoming (06 Jul 2017)
Reset (Mandarin) (06 Jul 2017)
A Day (Korean) (13 Jul 2017)
War For The Planet Of The Apes (13 Jul 2017)
In This Corner Of The World (Japanese) (13 Jul 2017)
Dunkirk (20 Jul 2017)
Our Time Will Come (Mandarin) (20 Jul 2017)
Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets (20 Jul 2017)
Baby Driver (20 Jul 2017)
The Salesman (Persian) (27 Jul 2017)
Atomic Blonde (27 Jul 2017)

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