This July welcomes an exciting array of monsters, mutts, and Marvel to your home theater. Disney+, Hulu, and Amazon Prime are offering up documentaries, summer blockbusters, and animated children’s series to keep you both entertained and informed.
We’ve rounded up some suggestions on titles you don’t want to miss, including a few titles that we think are ideal summer fare. Enjoy our top picks and read on for a complete list of everything coming to these three services in July.
A spinoff of the beloved Disney Pixar film “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsters at Work” picks up where that story left off with characters both new and old. Though Billy Crystal and John Goodman will return to voice Mike and Sully, the focus here is on the young up-and-comers of the Monsters Inc. world, namely Ben Feldman’s Tyler Tuskmon who dreams of becoming a terrifying monster. Hijinks ensue when Tuskmon is assigned to maintenance and must adapt to a changing world that doesn’t seek to scare, but amuse.
One of the most anticipated movies of the summer heralds the beginning of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It will be over two years since the last film, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” was released in theaters, and while Marvel fans have enjoyed the small-screen offerings on Disney+, many are eager to return to movie-length stories. A prequel starring original Avenger Black Widow, this film is a much-deserved solo story that looks to pack plenty of action, family dynamics, and allusions and references to the greater MCU. “Black Widow” is being released on Disney Premier Access and in theaters simultaneously; either way, don’t forget to stay for the credits.
National Geographic kicks off this year’s Sharkfest with a one-hour special, “Shark Beach With Chris Hemsworth,” in which the title alone is enough to draw viewers in. Through the month on Disney+, new specials will be added, including “The Croc That Ate Jaws” and “Shark Attack: The Paige Winter Story.” Don’t be scared though: as a famous mayor once said, “It’s a beautiful day, the beaches are open and people are having a wonderful time.”
Another notable piece of Disney filmdom history is coming to the small screen in a slightly different form as “Turner & Hooch” is rebooted into a series. Josh Peck stars as Scott Turner, the son of Tom Hanks' character from the movie, and just like his dad, he’s a tight-laced cop who gets paired with a slobbering, rule-breaking dog. We expect similar entertaining antics to the film although likely with a slightly more family-friendly tone.
The third entry into this Marvel documentary series comes one week after the sixth and final episode of “Loki”. Just like “Assembled” did for “WandaVision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” we’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the series and all its inspirations and allusions. Expect some fascinating interviews and maybe a few hints and reveals at what might come next.
The famed chipmunks Chip and Dale return to the small screen in this kid-oriented reboot that's a little different than previous iterations and appearances. Colorful and chaotically animated, this series is non-verbal and aimed at younger audiences. What’s more, each episode will comprise three shorts that are seven minutes in length, ideal for those with shorter attention spans.
Disney loves to mine its own properties to spin off and reboot - as this list has identified - and here once again Disney is looking to a theme park ride to spur a franchise. “Jungle Cruise,” a live action adventure starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, comes to both Disney+ and theaters simultaneously, aiming to be the next “Pirates of the Carribean.” We anticipate charm, shambolic action and some exciting visual set pieces.
This unique film garnered a lot of attention on the award circuit for its heart, intimacy, and perspective. Indeed, this documentary - or dog-umentary - follows Zeytin, a stray pup on the streets of Istanbul, employing the animal’s gaze to look back at humanity. A fascinating account of the world from a viewpoint that we hardly consider, it’s equally thought-provoking and calming.
July certainly seems like the perfect month to enjoy some films about menacing sharks and the young attractive actors trying to avoid them. Hulu welcomes a pair of some of the better underwater monster movies in “Open Water” and “47 Meters Down.” Both films are rather similar: “Open Water” finds a couple treading water after being left behind by their scuba-diving group while “47 Meters Down” finds two sisters trapped in a cage that snapped from their boat amid shark-infested waters. Don’t expect a bloody body count and instead embrace these psychologically-chilling films with unseen terrors.
Directed by Questlove, this invigorating and revealing documentary follows the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which became known as Black Woodstock. The lively concert featured many notable and beloved musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & The Family Stone, Gladys Knight & The Pips, and B.B. King. The documentary blends interviews with never-before-seen clips and performances culled from over 40 hours of footage and makes for a fun summer evening.
This absurd and entertaining comedy is the perfect summer drink of a movie, a colorful and silly adventure with two folksy, unassuming women at the center. Annie Mumolo and Kristin Wiig star as the titular Midwest friends who take to gaudy central Florida for some much needed relaxation. While there, they stumble upon a disenchanted henchman (Jamie Dornan) who is tasked with destroying the coastal city for his cold-hearted boss, and who turns out to be just as goofy and warm-hearted as they are. Don’t think too much about this one, just sit back and enjoy.
A spinoff of the long-running series of almost the same name, “American Horror Stories” is a limited anthology show, with scary and isolated one-hour episodes. The first two stories drop together for the premiere and fans will recognize some of the same cast members from the main series. There will be seven episodes in all - leading into the 10th season of “AHS” - that tackle some popular haunting myths and lore.
Another musical documentary takes a different form and focus in “McCartney: 3, 2, 1.” In this six-episode series, Paul McCartnery chats at length and in great detail with music producer Paul Rubin about the entirety of his musical career, one that spans some 50 years. There is sure to be some fascinating insight and thoughtful commentary that music fans are sure to love.
This 2013 Jim Jarmusch film is an engrossing, thoughtful, and indeed strange story about two vampires. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play the titular duo who have navigated the world for centuries and find the modern world troubling. Reconnecting after time apart, their peaceful lives are upended when a youthful, reckless family member enters the picture. If you’re not familiar with the works of Jarmsuch, you’re in for a treat - it just might not be what you’re expecting.
Another major summer action blockbuster, this spectacle stars Chris Pratt as a soldier who is recruited by an army from the future to join the war against an invading species. It already seems like it’s pulling from many other popular sci-fi films, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be tons of fun. We’re especially excited to see J.K. Simmmon who, from the trailer, looks like he means serious business.
For the reality show fans among us, Amazon welcomes an original series from Australia that adds to the growing genre of realtor agency TV series. This offering brings viewers to the rich and dramatic world of listings in Sydney. We’re not sure how many emotions will play into the show like “Selling Sunset” and others, but we’re definitely into seeing stunning houses and beautiful vistas.
One more reality show, Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn return for the second season of the competitive series “Making the Cut”. Ten aspiring designers from around the world will be challenged to employ their craft and create unique, stylish, and ground-breaking looks and brands.
This new series from the BBC looks to be some wicked fun as it follows a passionate young woman from an upper-class British family seeking to meet her match. Starring Lily James, the period comedy/drama boasts plenty of wit and charm, incredible costumes, and way more than a hint of sensuality. It also features the fantastic Andrew Scott - and he dances. We’re all in!
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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