2015 Movies In Review: July / August

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Today in the fourth installment of our look back at the big movies of 2015 we reach July and August, and discover that Summer at the multiplex was very hit or miss!

All dates quoted are for UK releases.

Terminator: Genisys (July 2nd)

Ant-Man (July 17th)
In this year's utterly crazy summer that produced four billion-dollar blockbusters and a whole host of other hits, it would have been very easy indeed for Ant-Man to get totally lost in the mix. Thankfully, Ant-Man was good enough to rise above the melee and make a real mark of its own. Rudd, Lilly and Douglas provide an awesome if unlikely lead trio, and the Thomas The Tank Engine sequence is one of the all-time highlights of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What's not to love?

Inside Out (July 24th)
Pixar hasn't had the greatest track record over the last few years. After the giddy heights of the late 00s/early 10s, when every film they released was a masterpiece, things took a decidedly dodgy turn and by this summer, I was longing for another Pixar classic. I most certainly got one. Hilarious, ingenious, heart-warming and tear-jerking from scene to scene (sometimes all at once!), Inside Out is the very essence of Pixar, and is hopefully ushering in the next golden era. 

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (July 30th)

Fantastic Four (August 6th)
Here is a short list of some terrible things we hope you never have to experience...
  • Being buried alive.
  • Going to jail for a crime you didn't commit.
  • Tinnitus.
  • Stepping in poo.
  • Becoming homeless.
  • Miley Cyrus.
  • Contracting Ebola.
  • Being dumped by the love of your life.
  • Tofu.
  • Dropping your phone in the toilet.
  • Being slowly eaten by rats.
  • Fantastic Four.
Sadly, back in August Sam (and Jeremy) were exposed to one of those terrible things...

Pixels (Aug 12th)
Sigh. Insert generic Adam Sandler in yet another rubbish movie joke here.

The thing is, unlike most of Sandler's output in the 21st Century, I really really wanted to like Pixels. Back in 1982, where Pixels starts, you'd have found me in the arcades playing all the games that Pixels riffs on. I've grown-up and sired a geeky family. We're pretty much the target audience.

The original short which Pixels is based on which features video games attacking earth is a great idea, and here in the movie the execution of the game characters themselves is pretty good. Where Pixels fails big time is at its most basic element - it's supposed to be a comedy but it's just not funny. At all.

Adam Sandler, as we've come to expect, phones it in. I find myself longing for the days when he just cast Rob Schnieder as his right hand man, but now he's best pals with Kevin James and so all we get is the same clumsy fat guy schtick that James has had nailed down for the past decade or so. Josh Gad, who I believe to be so much better than this, left me thinking that maybe he's not better than this after all, and, despite having the only laugh-worthy moment in the entire film, even Peter Dinklage sucks!

The script is terrible. The editing is just weird, with scenes starting and ending abruptly with no real flow. But the biggest disappointment of them all has to be that Pixels was directed by Chris Columbus. Yep, Harry Potter, Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire Chris Columbus.

Pixels is a disaster all round, and may be used in the future as an example to teach how not to make a movie.

Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Aug 14th)
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.’ relied a bit too heavily on style over substance - the cast, scenery, beautiful cinematography and soundtrack which really does transport you to the 1960’s, the clothes, cars etc were fantastic but they all seem to take centre stage over the plot and I can’t help but feel that ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ did that better. This film is still very entertaining and is a somewhat quirky spy movie - something that I have missed during the current era of James Bond. It is an enjoyable action film and is very funny in places and I am definitely looking forward to seeing the inevitable sequel.

Hitman: Agent 47 (Aug 27th)
The worst thing about this movie is that it really has absolutely nothing in common with the video game series it is spawned from. Rupert Friend has all the ability to own a role, but not this one. In the games, Agent 47 has a big physical presence and stealthy approach to his kills. Friend is too sleek of frame and plays the part about as stealthy as Glaswegian drunk on New Years Eve. Pretty much all the 'action' scenes feel boring and generic. Most of the time it is just a case of Agent 47 makes a lot of noise, sees an enemy, shoots said enemy in head with pistol, alerts other enemy, and repeat.

Don't waste your money on this version of Hitman, go but the 2007 Timothy Olyphant film on DVD instead.

Next Tuesday we look back at September and October 2015. In the meantime, did you watch any of these films? And what did you think of them? Let us know in the comments below.

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