Buy, Rent, or Wait: July 2021

Theatrical releases are still a bit of a rarity due to the impact of the pandemic, which means that it can be difficult to learn which films are coming out soon as they’re now delivered through various different platforms. So we’re casting our eyes further afield than just your traditional cinema to find five upcoming new releases for the month. Some will still find their way to the silver screen, but others will be available from the comfort of your home. Our job will be to make wild guesses based on their synopsis and trailer as to whether they’ll worth your time, separating them into one of three categories:

Buy: This film is worth multiple viewings and maybe even a purchase of a hardcopy!

Rent: A movie in this category will be worth the cost of admission, whether that’s an actual ticket or a few dollars as a video on demand.

Wait: This means the film isn’t really worth any additional effort on your part. If you happen to catch it on broadcast television or on a streaming service you’re already paying, then maybe it’ll be worth your time. Or maybe not even that!

Last Month’s Results

Before we get to our film predictions, let us take a look at the outcome of our June predictions!

1. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 56%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%

IMDB Score: 6.4

Box Office

Budget: $39 million.

Worldwide: $161 million

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It may have resurrected cinemas thanks to an impressive box office performance, but many found this latest offering to be a little lifeless.

Our review!

2. Awake

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 27%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 28%

IMDB Score: 4.8

Amusingly bad, Awake presented an interesting premise in the most generic way possible.

3. Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 68%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 90%

IMDB Score: 6.2

Box Office

Budget: $45 million.

Worldwide: $109 million

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway may have unsuccessfully dodged the scorn of critics by trying a meta approach to its storytelling, but it seems its cleverness has worked a treat on general audiences.

4. Luca

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 90%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 88%

IMDB Score: 7.6

While Luca is not considered one of Pixar’s best, many enjoyed the whimsical sun-kissed adventure nonetheless.

5. F9: The Fast Saga

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score: 59%

Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score: 84%

IMDB Score: 5.5

Box Office 

Budget: $200+ million. 

Worldwide: $418 million 

The franchise’s storytelling capabilities might be growing stale and slowing down, but that’s stopping fan from enjoying the ridiculousness and pumping up the box office.

Our review! 

And now for the films releasing this month!

Black Widow

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 9, 2021

Distribution: Disney + with Premiere Access and simultaneous theatrical release.

Synopsis: A film about Natasha Romanoff in her quests between the films Civil War and Infinity War. (IMDB).

Director: Cate Shortland

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, David Harbour

Black Widow is finally here! …Right when my interest has completely waned. Black Widow’s solo film was already long overdue even without the added delay of the pandemic. Out of all the female characters present within the MCU, she tended to be the most popular given that she was introduced so long ago, with some arguing they would have preferred Black Widow’s film before Captain Marvel. The presence of her movie now is a little odd given the events in End Game, leaving many scratching their heads as to what it all means; either Black Widow is only fractionally relevant, or the story ultimately undermines the character’s previous journey and continues Marvel’s tradition of limiting its stakes. Or is there a third option? Personally I’m less interested in what the MCU has to offer now that it completed its first decade-long story arc, and instead I’m more looking forward to watching an amazing supportive cast (Florence Pugh, David Harbour, and Rachel Weisz) and seeing if they can pull off a Russian accent. For this one, whether you wish to buy, rent, or wait will ultimately depend on how you currently feel about the status of the MCU. Personally, I can wait a little longer to see whether it’s worth to continue following Marvel and forking out new release ticket prices. But for others? The MCU may have lost its steam recently, but let’s face it, many people will be lining up at the cinemas to watch Black Widow not because of the film per se, but rather due to being deprived of blockbuster flicks for so long.

Prediction: Buy

Space Jam: A New Legacy

Rating: PG

Release Date: July 16, 2021

Distribution: HBO Max with simultaneous theatrical release.

Synopsis: NBA superstar LeBron James teams up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes for this long-awaited sequel. (IMDB).

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Starring: LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Cedric Joe

While it was within my time, Space Jam was a film I never got around to seeing during my childhood. It had its fans, though it was never really considered one of the greats within family entertainment. So it is a little left of field to now see a sequel, especially given the first premiered a quarter of a century ago. This very much feels like it’s for a new generation, swapping out the legendary basketballer Michael Jordan with LeBron James and essentially retelling the same plot but with higher stakes. But why now? I cannot help but feel that copyright law has a hand in the decision, where Looney Tunes and a number of other megcharacters (Mickey Mouse, Snow White, Superman, Batman) will soon be released into the public domain. So now is the time for the relevant production companies to make the best of these characters while they still own them, possibly modernizing their look and appeal as a way to update their market and ownership before the old version is lost to a grey area of legal rights. It might be weird to see the Looney Tunes on the big screen, but I predict we’ll be seeing them more often from here on out. As for whether this will be worth a watch? It feels like a standard underdog flick meant for children. Watch it if you’re desperate to keep them occupied otherwise there’s no rush to see this one.

Prediction: Wait

Old

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 23, 2021

Distribution: Theatrical release.

Synopsis: A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day. (IMDB).

Director: M. Night Shyamalan

Starring: Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Embeth Davidtz

It’s no secret that M. Night Shyamalan’s made a few flops throughout his directorial career (I still loved him though). The Sixth Sense was such a phenomenal hit that his later works paled in comparison, with some story concepts failing to hit any kind of mark (The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth). When his failures began to outstrip his successes to the point he was no longer listed on promotional material, he finally regained his footing with the small horror film, The Visit, which curiously explored a fear of the elderly. Old may prove to tap into that same vein, teasing audiences with a story about a cursed beach which makes its visitors age rapidly, playing on our fears of growing old. Much like A Quiet Place, it’s a horror film with a gimmicky plot and will no doubt only be worthwhile watching once, but you better believe I’m curious to see how this thing ends. Shyamalan is notorious for his twist endings, and if you wait too long to see this one, you may have it spoiled. If you are even remotely longing to see this film, better watch it fast!

Prediction: Buy

Jungle Cruise

Rating: PG-13

Release Date: July 30, 2021

Distribution: Disney + with Premier access and simultaneous theatrical release.

Synopsis: Based on Disneyland’s theme park ride where a small riverboat takes a group of travelers through a jungle filled with dangerous animals and reptiles but with a supernatural element. (IMDB).

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt, Edgar Ramírez

Look, Dwayne Johnson takes average films and makes them… better than average. Couple this with the fact that the last time Disney based a movie off a ride was The Pirates of the Caribbean… and that surprisingly worked out well for them! I don’t harbour any hatred towards this film: it’s either going to be a lacklustre action flick, or an entertaining action flick. I can’t really complain too much about either outcome. Jungle Cruise looks like a fun, brainless outing, weirdly combing swashbuckling vibes with the spirit of The African Queen. I’m down for that, though it may not be worth the full price of admission. But it’ll be worth a look at some point.

Prediction: Rent

The Green Knight

Rating: R

Release Date: July 30, 2021

Distribution: Theatrical release.

Synopsis: A fantasy re-telling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. (IMDB).

Director: David Lowery

Starring: Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton

There was a time when fantasy films couldn’t catch a break from the box office, but thanks to the success of Game of Thrones, they might have a fighting chance again. I couldn’t be more ecstatic! Fanciful creatures in medieval settings are seemingly back in fashion in Lowery’s retelling of the Arthurian legend, The Green Knight. Director David Lowery has a way of mastering some of the harder emotions of cinema. He beautifully captured an ethereal tone in his experimental think piece, A Ghost Story, while he managed to create a sense of freedom and exhilaration in one of the better Disney live action remakes, Pete’s Dragon. Yet The Green Knight appears to be his most ambitious production yet. It looks gorgeous, mysterious, and as wonderfully breathtaking as one could ever hope from the genre. In a cinematic landscape filled with reboots and superhero stories, his vision feels fresh and invigorating, and I can’t wait to spend two hours in the hauntingly spectacular world he has crafted.

Prediction: Buy

Thanks for joining us for Buy, Rent, or Wait! Let us know your predictions in the comment section. Join us in August for our next edition!

Are you looking forward to any of these films? What are your predictions? What film are you looking forward to most in July?

Juliana Purnell

After obtaining a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts, Juliana Purnell has enjoyed a successful acting career, working within theme parks, businesses, and on film sets. She has also taken on crew roles, both in film and theatrical productions. When Juliana isn't working, she enjoys watching movies of all genres at the cinema, writing, and playing with Samson, her pomeranian.

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