Your guide to summer blockbuster season for July 2014

Tammy (July 2)

After losing both her job and her husband, Tammy (played by Melissa McCarthy) decides to take a road trip with her grandmother.  Viewers can expect plenty of situational humor and general silliness along the way, including the hold-up of a fast food joint in order to bail Tammy’s grandmother out of prison.  Fans of McCarthy’s previous work–which includes titles such as Identity Thief, The Heat, and CBS’s Mike and Molly–will likely find Tammy to be just as funny.

Earth to Echo (July 2)

The best way to describe Earth to Echo would probably be a kid-friendly cross between Chronicle and Super 8.  It’s towards the cooler end of the kid movie spectrum, though that might not be enough to keep the adults awake.  Still, given the choice between this and Planes: Fire and Rescue . . . the answer should be a no-brainer.

Begin Again (July 4)

With names like Kiera Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine, there’s no denying Begin Again has quite the cast.  The movie follows a down-and-out music business executive and the ex-girlfriend of a newly famous musician who team up to make records together.  Director John Carney hasn’t had the most successful career, but his last music-based film Once did pretty well at the box office.  You can expect Begin Again to do just the same.

Life Itself (July 4)

Okay, so Life Itself may not exactly have a whole lot of blockbuster potential, but it’s Roger Ebert.  The guy was one of the greatest film critics of all time.  If you’re into documentaries, this is almost guaranteed to be a great one.  Also, I’m about 90% sure CTV majors are required by law to see this at some point.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11)

Being that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is yet another prequel to the original Apes movies, most of us already know where this is going.  Regardless, this addition to the franchise looks like a great deal of fun, not to mention a step up from it’s 2011 predecessor.  With director Matt Reeves of Cloverfield at the helm, it’s already one step in the right direction.

Boyhood (July 11)

Movies that take place over several years can be pretty tricky, especially when dealing with child actors. With Boyhood, however, that isn’t a problem.  Director Richard Linklater spent twelve years working on this three-hour drama, which follows a young boy all the way from Kindergarten to early college.  And yes, the actors are the same throughout.  Not gonna lie, it looks pretty impressive.

The Purge: Anarchy (July 18)

While The Purge was a box office success when it released last summer, it didn’t manage to win over the critics. To put things in perspective, the film has a 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  While this summer’s sequel, The Purge: Anarchy, attempts to right the wrongs of its predecessor, it remains to be seen whether it can win back those who felt cheated last year.

Planes: Fire and Rescue (July 18)

Ah, Planes.  Where to even start.  To those like myself who pine for the Pixar days of old–where animated films were creative powerhouses not solely engineered to sell merchandise–this Disney ripoff is nothing more than an affront to our childhoods.  Despite these complaints, this sequel to the spinoff of a sequel (with another on the way) is going to make more money than we can wrap our heads around, so we might as well learn to deal with it.

Wish I Was Here (July 18)

Ten years after Zach Braff’s directorial debut Garden State, he has finally returned with his sophomore feature, Wish I Was Here.  Believe it or not, the entire film was funded through Kickstarter, pulling together over $3 million.  If the trailer is any indication, the film ought to be very intriguing.

Hercules (July 25)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson stars in the titular role of Hercules, a popcorn action flick with lots of sweaty men doing lots of sweaty things.  That’s the best summary I can give you, really.  Viewers can also anticipate a heavy CGI interpretation of Greek mythology akin to the dreadful 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans and its even-more-dreadful sequel Wrath of the Titans.  Not saying Hercules will be quite as dreadful, but . . .

Step Up: All In (July 25)

Step Up is the sort of franchise along the lines of Fast and Furious that one could make a million movies out of. And after four Step Up movies, what’s one more?  Right?  For fans of the first few movies, All In promises to be bigger and better than ever before.  For those that aren’t, this one will try its absolute hardest to win you over.

A Most Wanted Man (July 25)

As one of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s final films, A Most Wanted Man is basically a must-see.  If you’ve ever seen the 2005 film Capote, Hoffman takes the direct opposite approach here–rather than the high falsetto of Truman Capote, A Most Wanted Man has him growling in a deep, intimidating German accent.  On top of this, the film appears to a fantastic spy thriller, starring the likes of Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, and Willem Dafoe.