guest blog by Bonita Gutierrez
Summer is winding down (though, as I write this, it’s 105 degrees outside), and the blockbusters have all been released. So, I thought I’d recap my favorite movies from the past few months. Most you’ve probably seen, but there might be one or two that you haven’t checked out yet.
So, here are my top flicks of the summer…
Baby Driver — A crazy good heist movie with a kick-ass soundtrack.
Written and directed by Edgar Wright (Sean of the Dead)
Blurb: Talented getaway driver Baby (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. After meeting the woman (Lily James) of his dreams, he sees a chance to ditch his shady lifestyle and make a clean break. Coerced into working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), Baby must face the music as a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
Wonder Woman – This movie still makes me giddy every time I think about it. I need the DVD to come out!
Directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster)
Written by Allan Heinberg
Story by Zach Snyder
Blurb: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that’s raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword — I just watched the movie again on DVD and I still love this reimaging of the mythic tale!
Directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch)
Written by Guy Ritchie and Joby Harold
Blurb: After the murder of his father, young Arthur’s power-hungry uncle Vortigern seizes control of the crown. Robbed of his birthright, he grows up the hard way in the back alleys of the city, not knowing who he truly is. When fate leads him to pull the Excalibur sword from stone, Arthur embraces his true destiny to become a legendary fighter and leader.
Spider-Man Homecoming — Tom Holland delivers a charming, full-of-heart performance. Of all the Spidey incarnations thus far, Holland is my favorite.
Directed by Jon Watts
Written by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley
Blurb: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Wind River — This film blew me away. Could contend for an Oscar this year.
Written and Directed by Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water screenwriter)
Blurb: Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. When the autopsy reveals that she was raped, FBI agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.
Dunkirk — A heart-pounding 90-minute masterpiece! Best film of the year so far (IMHO).
Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight)
Blurb: In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.
War for the Planet of the Apes — The heart-wrenching, action-packed wrap-up to the reimagined Planet of the Apes trilogy.
Directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield)
Written by Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback
Blurb: Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless colonel (Woody Harrelson). After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face-to-face, Caesar and the colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both of their species and the future of the planet.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — A great follow-up to Vol. 1! The ending will break your heart.
Directed by James Gunn (GOTG Vol.1 & Slither)
Blurb: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter’s parentage is revealed.
Logan Lucky — A delightful hillbilly, “Ocean’s 7-Eleven” heist movie.
Drected by Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s Eleven)
Written by Rebecca Blunt
Blurb: West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. Jimmy also recruits demolition expert Joe Bang to help them break into the track’s underground system. Complications arise when a mix-up forces the crew to pull off the heist during a popular NASCAR race while also trying to dodge a relentless FBI agent.
Alien Covenant — Ridley Scott has taken the best of Prometheus’ intellectual science fiction elements and combined them with the original Alien/Aliens’ sci-fi horror awesomeness (I was on the edge of my seat the entire time) to create a very smart movie worthy of the series.
Directed by Ridley Scott (Alien)
Written by John Logan and Dante Harper
Blurb: Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members (Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup) of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David (Michael Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.
The Big Sick — Sweet, sad and hilariously funny, this film offers a glimpse into the world of a Pakistani-born comedian and the challenges he must face when he falls for a non-Muslim American girl.
Directed by Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer)
Written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon
Blurb: Kumail is a Pakistani comic who meets an American graduate student named Emily at one of his stand-up shows. As their relationship blossoms, he soon becomes worried about what his traditional Muslim parents will think of her. When Emily suddenly comes down with an illness that leaves her in a coma, Kumail finds himself developing a bond with her deeply concerned mother and father.
The Beguiled — A beautifully shot and wonderfully acted remake of the 1971 film; based on A Painted Devil by Thomas P. Cullinan.
Directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation)
Story by Thomas P. Cullinan
Original screenplay by Albert Maltz
Blurb: Cpl. John McBurney is an injured Union soldier who finds himself on the run as a deserter during the Civil War. He seeks refuge at an all-female Southern boarding school where the teachers and students seem more than willing to help. Soon, sexual tensions lead to dangerous rivalries as the women tend to his wounded leg while offering him comfort and companionship.
Atomic Blonde — A cool Cold War action movie that’s more James Bond than John Wick.
Directed by David Leitch
Written by Kurt Johnstad and Anthony Johnston
Blurb: Sensual and savage, Lorraine Broughton is the most elite spy in MI6, an agent who’s willing to use all of her lethal skills to stay alive during an impossible mission. With the Berlin Wall about to fall, she travels into the heart of the city to retrieve a priceless dossier and take down a ruthless espionage ring. Once there, she teams up with an embedded station chief to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies
The Dark Tower — A fun fantasy flick with a pinch of spaghetti western thrown in; based on the novels by Stephen King.
Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Written by Akiva Goldsman and Jeff Pinkner
Blurb: Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.
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