Some surprise successes at the summer box office this year

Some surprise successes at the summer box office this year

So the summer is still with us despite the weather and what better way to get out of the rain then going to the cinema?

As we have spent the last few articles discussing anything but new releases, here is a small round up of what's currently screening in a cinema near you.

Suicide Squad

Dir: David Ayer

DC's latest attempt to make a decent film version of one of their many comic creations once again falls flat on it's face.

Much like Batman V Superman before it this is a badly made film, clearly rushed through production in order to hit targets that have nothing to do with the quality of film-making, acting or storytelling. Margot Robbie and Viola Davis are about the only good things about this super mess.

DC's worrying portrayal and attitude towards women is once again to the fore and I'm sure Mr Ayer, who wrote Training Day and directed Brad Pitt WW2 film Fury and misfiring cop drama End Of Watch, would disown this film if it was not for the fact he got paid as much money as Wayne Rooney gets in a day to keep his mouth shut.

That's a lot of money by anyone's standards. Like a man who has run out of matches on Tinder: Desperate.


Pete's Dragon

Dir: David Lowery

Summer movie's are usually aimed at the younger people among us as the lucky things don't have to go to awful work like the rest of us.

Lowery's live action family film will not disappoint them. It tells the story of a boy named Pete, he is five when his parents are involved in a car crash which kills them, leaving Pete wandering the forest alone.

This is where he meets Elliot, a really friendly dragon, they live a happy tranquil life together in the trees, that is until a kind forest warden played by Bryce Dallas Howard, her fiancé and his idiot lumberjack brother turn up on the scene to cause trouble for Pete once again.

Based on the 1977 Disney film, this is a surprisingly gritty affair given the subject matter and far less cuter and cuddly than the original film.

Lowery who directed Ain't Them Body Saints, never lets this become an all out fantasy, always grounding the action in an emotionally real and at times cruel world.

This isn't reinventing the wheel stuff but it's solid and entertaining.


The Shallows

Dir: Jaume Collet- Serra

What could one want with a film about Sharks? After all we have already had Jaws, why would we possibly want to watch another film about those black eyed buggers? Well if you thought that you'd be dead wrong.

The Shallows reminds us of just how much fun films like this can be when they are made by people who know what they are doing. Serra directed the very good Spanish horror Orphan and brings the same slick style to proceedings here.

Nancy played by Blake Lively, is a medical school drop-out who is trying to come to terms with the death of her mother by going on an extended holiday in Mexico.

When we meet her she is getting a ride from her hotel to a "secret" beach. We see from photographs she looks at that once too her mother visited the same beach and it is this link with her mother which draws Nancy to the secluded cove.

After she settles in and stays on when her guides leave her, things take a turn for the worst and she spends the rest of the film trying to fight a really nasty shark and somehow stay alive.

It's a real testament to the film-makers that they manage to keep everything pacey and taut and deliver us entertainment they had no real right to given the minimalism of the subject matter.

There is a wonderful simplicity at work here which is a delight to behold.

The surprise film of the summer.


66 Days

Dir: Brendan J Byrne

Solid and balanced documentary about the life and legacy of the hunger striker.


Finding Dory

Dir: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane

Sequel to the much loved Finding Nemo and adults and children who enjoyed that first film will find much to love here, a must do trip to the cinema for the kids among us.