It is generally believed that cinema in summer is off-season or even a dead one: indeed, everyone is on vacations, there are nice warm days… So, how to ensnare audience in the cinema?
Still, we offer to you seven valuable reasons to buy the ticket and to drop by the cinema. It is nevertheless off-season distributors have prepared for you some very tempting novelties: from refined aesthetic dramas to spectacular bright blockbusters.
Leto (lit. “Summer”, Russia, directed by Kirill Serebrennikov). Release date: 28th of June.
Such a paradox: young people who were born many years later the Victor Tsoi’s death still continue sing his songs along the streets and write on walls: “Tsoi is alive!” At the same time, little remember, for instance, Mike Naumenko, his music band “Zoopark” and the equally interesting song texts. But they are recalling it now.
The film “Leto” by Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov came between old rockers, young filmmakers, music fans, who remember Tsoi and Mike being alive and also those, who know them only by records. If we extrapolate all these heated discussions (though Grebenschikov wasn’t good with words, however, he didn’t even watch the film), then two irreconcilable positions will come out: “how could Serebrennikov infringe on the most sacred, everything is wrong in the film” and “how lovely the idols were shown to us!”
The film is based on a book written according to memories of Natalia Naumenko, wife of Mike. The action takes place in the early 80’s of the twentieth century in Leningrad. The first rock club in the USSR was officially opened then in the city on the Neva on Rubinstein Street, 13 (an incredible thing!) even if it was under the supervision of the KGB and the Komsomol. Underground rock stars were forced to play in apartments, finally got the opportunity to play officially regularly: Grebenshchikov, Kinchev, Tsoi, Mike … – Serebrennikov focuses on the latter two. Mike was played by Russian rock-musician, Roman Bilyk, who is Ukrainian by father, from music band “Zveri” (had had an actor’s experience in the show “Brief Guide To A Happy Life”), German actor of Korean origin Teo Yoo as Tsoi (played in the movie “One on One” directed by world famous legend Kim Ki-duk (2014)), Russian actress Iryna Starshenbaum as Natalia (“Attraction” (2017)).
Kirill Serebrennikov have made the right decision: the film is black and white and is in harmony with the epic (documentary form) and the mood, because then everything was simple: “we” are alive and against “them” – deceitful and violent dictatorship – totally dualistic worldview. Nobody knows why rock-classic apologists are furious, but both Roman and Teo sang repertoire of their heroes wonderfully, with the same cadence. Actually it is an interesting talents’ collision because prototypes have completely different not only destinies, but music as well. Serebrennikov puts inside this creative otherness something else more, some kind of love triangle. Natalia doesn’t hide her sympathy to Tsoi; Mike, obviously, is jealous, but also respects Victor’s talent and helps to grow further. And all these are in a context of dark days of “stagnation” period.
The film premiered on the 9th of May at the Cannes Film Festival, it won the prize from journalists for the best soundtrack. But the director wasn’t there: Serebrennikov is under house arrest in the case of theft 68 million rubles that the government had allocated to the project “Platform”. He doesn’t plead guilty, probably he might be added to the list of artists who were imprisoned by Putin’s regime.
“Ant-Man and the Wasp” (the USA – Great Britain, directed by Peyton Reed). Release date: the 5th of July.
This movie is the twentieth within cinema space of Marvel. The previous “Ant-Man” was released in 2015 and it advantageously stood out against other Marvel’s films because the work was really funny, witty both into situations and dialogues. The main protagonist is Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). He transformed to the ant after he had found shrinking technology. In “captain America: Civil War” (2016) he came into conflict with Avengers. And this time we see him in San Francisco as a family guy. But his mentor Hank Pym (was played by great Michael Douglas) asks for help: a new dangerous enemy appears in the city – white superbeing looks more like a ghost, which is able to go through the walls and that is why can do anything. Lang himself though has the winner status is still klutz and that is why needs a wingman. That is because Pym puts one superinsect to the team, the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) can transform her proportions and the size of other things.
It is going to have many stunts and jokes, minimum of paphos as opposed to other films about Avengers. Almost perfect family movie.
“The Endless” (the USA, directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead). Release date: the 12th of July.
Aaron and Justin are brothers, as children, they escaped from the apocalyptic cult, which are more than enough in America. The events unfold from the moment when guys received a video message on the old cassette, after which they have to return to their previous home. First they wanted to fill the gaps in the history of their childhood, but instead put themselves into embarrassing and frightening situations, face with obscure paranormal phenomena that are activating around the camp. For instance, moving abysses appear in the clouds, the same trajectory birds copy; at night second Moon shows up, which is possible to pull and other miracles. Members of the cult have been waiting for a mysterious decisive event, Justin and Aaron should become its important part. Brothers have to deal with everything before something bad happens.
A gifted duo Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead were directors and main characters. They gave their names to protagonists. Guys were working together before on projects “Resolution” (2012), “Spring” (2014), “V/H/S: Viral (segment “Bonestorm”)” (2014). Also in the film played Callie Hernandez (“La La Land” (2016), “Alien: Covenant” (2017)), Emily Montague (“Fright Night” (2011), “Resolution” (2012)), James Jordan (“Seraphim Falls” (2006), “Wind River” (2016)), Tate Ellington (“The Invention Of Lying” (2009), “Remember Me” (2010), “Straight Outta Compton” (2015)). The film premiered on April 21st in 2017 at authoritative Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Film critics of the website Metacritic rated the film 81/100, and picky website Rotten tomatoes has 96% positive feedbacks. Reviewers express admiration: “hypnotic”, “breathtaking” and “scary” are the most popular compliments, so the film is recommended to check it out.
“Hotel Artemis” (Great Britain, directed by Drew Pearce). Release date: the 23rd of August.
In Los Angeles events take place within the mix of “noire” and dystopia in 2028. After successful robbery bad guys have to treat injuries. The best place for that is hotel “Artemis”, which is kind of unofficially hospital for offenders, who were injured in the crossfire or suspicious adventures. If you are the member of the special group, you can get there the best treatment and rest. This place works because of confidence and strict rules. The stuff with the Nurse in the head oversees the implementation rules. It is forbidden to have guns over here or to kill other patients by other artifacts. But main characters Waikiki and Honolulu took one very interesting item in the robbery: “normal” pen, which costs $18 million and belongs to the Wolf King – powerful crime lord. He, obviously, comes to take it back with his army. The real bloodbath begins with unpredictable results.
The director is 43-year-old Drew Pearce, who is famous in his country by cult sitcom “No Heroics”. “Artemis” is his first movie for the big screen and, how it usually goes with debutants, he does not know the “right” way to film such entertainments, so he makes it to the fullest. The result is not perfect, but the work is spectacular and even with aesthetics tone. Hollywood filmmakers would have done the same more simple, but “this is Great Britain, babe”.
Experienced film stars help Pearce to entertain the audience. Above all, owner of two Oscars, legendary Jodie Foster (“The Accused” (1988), “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991), “Inside Man” (2006)) and quite unusual Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park” (1993), “Powder” (1995), “Independence Day” (1996)), which in his turn transformed the Wolf King to real human being to whom you empathize despite all abuses. From juniors are Sterling K. Brown (“Marshall” (2017), shows “This Is Us”, “American Crime Story”) and Sofia Boutella (“Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2015), “Atomic Blonde”, “The Mummy” (both of 2017)).
“Tully” (the USA, directed by Jason Reitman). Release date: the 19th of July.
Marlo is de facto single mother with living husband. She has three little children. Kids squeeze from her all lifeblood, take life energy away. There is a scene, where she says: “I am empty”. Though husband loves her, at least he says so, but does not adequately support. Marlo also loves her children, but it is hard for her, she is terribly tired. And brother made unusual present for her birthday – hired experienced nanny Tully. At first Marlo resists, she thinks about stereotypical plot from cheap horror movies, where tricky nanny murders the whole family, however she does not have big choice. Though Tully is a little bit weird, she seems like a real treasure and panacea for Marlo, at least at the start.
Film deserves attention at least because the director of it is Canadian Jason Reitman. His biography is a rare example of breaking out of his father’s shadow and choosing his own way. Jasom is the son of Ivan Reitman, the maker of super successful comedies as “Ghostbusters”, “Twins” and “Junior”. Reitman Jr. started to make intelligent and independent films, where he keeps the balance between humor and psychological drama. The recipe works on all six: these reserved pictures make millions during the release and gain many awards. His world fame came to Jason, when his “Juno” (2007) had had the Oscar for original plot.
Charlize Theron played a tired Marlo in “Tully” who is perfect for this role. A decent company was Mackenzie Davis as Tully. It seems that after the last films which reviewers left in tatters, this story became for Reitman a real rebirth: the site Metacritic has a score of 75/100, and Rotten tomatoes – 94% positive reviews (15/16).
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (the USA, directed by Christopher McQuarrie). Release date: the 26th of July.
“I decide when it is the end” – the words of Tom Cruise, which sound in an advertising trailer, remind us, humble spectators, until Cruise is alive “Mission: Impossible” is alive too.
This time we have the sixth movie within immortal franchise.
In new film everything goes by well-known script. Ethan Hunt and his team fall into disgrace after the previous mission. Suddenly another terrorist maniac runs out of nowhere, who asserts that all he wants are only good and justice. But in order to get this from such a mean creature as a person, it is necessary to purify, that is a man – that is humanity – by suffering. Plus, the villain has his own accounts with Hunt personally. And the last is handcuffed, because the control over the operation was transferred to the CIA, and there is even a traitor in the management, who leaks the information to bad guys.
The director is Christopher McQuarrie, who specializes in similar pictures: “The Way of the Gun” (2000), “Jack Reacher” (2012) and previous “Mission” (2015). In the “Fallout” he together with Tom Cruise managed to save the status of “Mission” as parade of stunning tricks, most part of them actors do by themselves without stuntmen. The story about making HALO-jump by Cruise has become a legend. This is a military method of parachuting when a soldier is dropped from high altitude (7.5 km), and the parachute uncovers at a low altitude (600 meters). The stunt is deadly. In training Cruise had jumped more than 100 times from different attitudes, finally he did it perfectly.
Cruise is a good actor, after all there are “Rain Man” (1988), “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999), “Collateral” (2004; played an offender brilliantly, yes-yes). But “Mission” is his favorite game and he doesn’t see himself without this fad. Apparently he feels on top on the world, and this passion he sends from the screen with greater or lesser success.
“Woman at War” (“Kona fer í stríð”, Ukraine – France – Iceland, directed by Benedikt Erlingsson). Release date: the 16th of July.
There are three reasons to watch “Woman at War”. First, its world premiere was at Cannes in the International Critics’ Week section (I am reminding that in 2014 the film “The Tribe” by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy won three prizes together with the Grand Prix within this section). Second, it got two rewards: SACD (Authors Society) – the prize for the best music, which is awarded by consortium of writers and composers. In addition, it also got the only state award of the Cannes Film Festival, named “Gold Rails” and awarded by the French railways. Third, this film was shot with participation of Ukraine.
“Woman at War” is the second work of Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson. The picture tells the history of choir conductors named Halla. She is about fifty years old, and she leads the secret life of a radical environmental protector. When the main character plans her the most brave operation, she receives unpredictable letter: her application for adoption of a child has finally been approved and a little girl from Ukraine is waiting for her. Halla prepares to break her pattern of ecosaboteurs, but she decides to do the last attack, a devastating blow, on aluminum industry, which is very dangerous for the environment. Filming were lasting for 8 weeks on different locations in Iceland and Ukraine.
The music in the film appears to according to theatrical principle: artists appear in particularly difficult moments to “play along” with thoughts or especially complicated decisions of character. This is a brilliant ironic ensemble of Icelandic jazz musicians, as well as Ukrainian women’s trio singing folk songs: Irina Danilejko, Galina Goncharenko and Susanna Karpenko. The texts of the songs were adapted by the director of the Kyiv laboratory of ethnomusicology of the National Music Academy Iryna Klimenko and the director of the picture Benedikt Erlingsson.
Text by Kostyantyn Levin