- As we roll past 2015's midpoint, most of the year’s biggest movies are already in the rearview mirror. With summer blockbuster mayhem having hit its peak, the downslope into more serious fall and winter fare means that July may have a few movies you’ll hear about again come awards season. But just because Jurassic World will still make more money in July than many of the month’s fresh releases doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to get excited for the weeks to come.
Between Marvel’s latest, a new Apatow comedy, and the return of the Terminator, the following 7 movies look to keep you hanging around the multiplex well into 2015’s second half.
Magic Mike XXLRelease Date: July 1st
Built on double entendre and music selection that’s made 1996’s “Pony” a strong candidate for song of the summer, Magic Mike XXL might have the smartest marketing campaign we’ve seen this year. The return of Channing Tatum and all his male stripper friends is being hyped up with confidence that’s rare, even for a sequel.
Considering that Magic Mike turned out to be more of a Steven Soderbergh working class dramedy than just an ab-tastic party, it falls to the hunky physiques of Magic Mike XXL’s stars to draw back viewers spurned by the first movie. Take one look at these guys and that task, unlike everything else in XXL, doesn’t look too hard.
Terminator: GenisysRelease Date: July 1st
An unstoppable machine barreling forward ceaselessly, even as it starts to resemble nothing more than a skeleton of its former self: is that a description that better fits the Terminator or his movies?
After 2009’s Terminator Salvation changed history by saving Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines from being the Worst. Terminator. Ever., it seems impossible that Genisys could be another franchise misstep as big as its misspelled title.
Early reviews make a continued downward trajectory for the series seem fated, even with Schwarzenegger back in the titanium saddle. We can only hope that the combined power of Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, and star Emilia Clarke can somehow save the Terminator’s future.
AmyRelease Date: July 3rd
Director Asif Kapadia is no stranger to rise-and-fall stories of meteoric proportions, and his 2010 documentary Senna is a brilliant look at talent and tragedy that anyone who’s never heard of Formula One, or Ayrton Senna can appreciate.
Plenty of people have heard the music, and the sad story of Amy Winehouse, the British songstress who died of alcohol poisoning in 2011, but combining interviews with friends and family along with footage of Winehouse herself, Kapadia’s documentary is already being met with high praise for its thoughtful remembrance of a voice that left an indelible mark on the last decade of pop music.
Ant-ManRelease Date: July 17th
Making an Ant-Man movie was always going to be a challenge, even for Marvel Studios. The character lacks the cultural cache of a Captain America or Iron Man, and it’s not like the public departure of original director Edgar Wright did the project any favors. With Peyton Reed stepping into the tiny director’s chair, Ant-Man might benefit hugely from following so closely on Age of Ultron’s heels.
Described as Marvel’s take on the heist movie, Ant-Man’s emphasis on comedy and small-scale action could make for a breath of fresh air in a brand that’s getting bigger and more bloated by the year.
TrainwreckRelease Date: July 17th
Amy Schumer’s ascent from standup standout to “Biggest Name In Comedy” will likely be complete with the release of Trainwreck. The film is directed by Knocked Up’s Judd Apatow and written by Schumer, who stars as an attachment-free woman thrown for a loop when love rears its ugly head.
Just looking at the cast list will spoil a bevy of cameos that might steal the supporting spotlight from LeBron James, who makes his big screen debut here. Between the surprising heart Apatow always brings to his films, and Schumer’s ability to hilariously subvert audience expectations, Trainwreck could simultaneously be both the year’s biggest celebration, and takedown of the romantic comedy.
SouthpawRelease Date: July 24th
The Gyllendustrial Revolution of the last few years has turned Jake Gyllenhaal into one of Hollywood’s most reliably electric leading men. After last year’s one-two punch of Nightcrawler and Enemy, his odds at awards nominations for the boxing drama Southpaw seem a sure bet. With direction from Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua and a script from Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, Southpaw looks to be as intimidating as Gyllenhaal’s sinewy new physique.
Unfortunately, the soundtrack will also add extra dramatic weight to Southpaw: the film is one of the last scored by esteemed composer James Horner, who died in a plane crash on June 22nd.
Mission: Impossible - Rogue NationRelease Date: July 31st
It might be in Tom Cruise’s best interest that the fifth Mission: Impossible film fail. Otherwise, another sequel would mean having to one-up the death-defying stunts he’s been putting into the franchise since dangling outside of the Burj Khalifa for Ghost Protocol. But if director Christopher McQuarrie can maintain the momentum and goodwill generated by the last entry in the spy series, then Rogue Nation could take Mission: Impossible’s globetrotting action and winning cast to heights equal the 5000 foot altitude Cruise reached clinging to the side of an airbus for one of the stunts.