6 Degrees Summer Newsletter


Happy Summer to all our Readers and followers! This is the Summer Film Newsletter from 6 Degrees…At this writing, the Cannes Film Festival is in full swing. Here’s hoping that the Festival will bring to light some new, standout performances and notable films.

Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, the Summer Premieres are starting earlier each year. One of the first fatalities of the early openers has occurred with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword from director Guy Ritchie. One of my favorite review titles came from Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers: Welcome to to a King-Sized Pile of Crap.”

One of the most anticipated openings as far as the Summer Blockbuster category has been Wonder Woman, which opens in early June to kick off what is also known as the Summer Comic Book Hero Season. The other notables have been the Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, which made a lot of money-no surprise. And the Alien: Covenant film is one of the continuing prequels in the Alien series, which has done well.  

Some of the anticipated kids movies are the fun sounding Captain Underpants, also opening in June. Also for kids, there is Cars 3, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which opened in May, and another Despicable Me movie with Steve Carell.

There’s the serial brigade: with Transformers: The Last Knight. There’s the remakes: The Mummy with Tom Cruise, My Cousin Rachel with Rachel Weisz and The Beguiled with Nicole Kidman.

There’s sci fi  flick: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets as well as War for the Planet of the Apes (another sequel/remake/rehash?).  For the documentary enthusiasts, there’s Letters from Baghdad in June and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power in August….

I’m looking for Dunkirk slated for July 21st and starring Tom Hardy. Lady Macbeth with Florence Pugh is set for July 14th. And Charlize Theron is in Atomic Blonde, an action pic opening July 28t

Other notable actors and openings are Once Upon a Time in Venice with Bruce Willis-June 16th; Baby Driver on  June 28th; Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7th; and another Charlize Theron film The Last Face on July 28th.

All in all it’s not a bad lineup. There are a few good films that are most likely watchable, and that’s sometimes hard to find when so many films are remakes or sequels/serials that don’t break new ground. Which is why Cannes and other film festivals are so important, as they often bring into prominence the smaller films with low budgets that are more interesting and have new faces and talent lurking under the radar.

There isn’t any one type of film that tells us that Hollywood is on the way out, but the handwriting has been on the wall for at least a decade or more. There are so many choices out there, with Indies and Bollywood vying for the same audiences, and the double-edged sword is that there’s a lot of talented directors and actors who are working in films with small budgets and are on the cusp of making it. But there’s also a higher than ever demand to keep cranking out the same stale formulaic versions of yesterday’s hits because they still make money for the studios! So that’s not going to change anytime soon.

But, there are a few art house movies that make us sit up and take notice. And I almost forgot….Will Ferrell is making a comedy, The House, set to open on June 30th, so let’s hope there are a few laughs along the way as we prepare for a long hot summer in the U.S.

Be on the lookout for the 6 Degrees Friday Flix posts and the latest installments in our 6 Degrees of Film magazine that will highlight some of the week’s top film news and news of note from Hollywood. Till next time, see you at the movies!-ML








Capsule Review: Anchorman 2

Anchorman 2If you liked the LAST Anchorman movie, chances are….you’ll find this one funny too. Fans of Ron Burgundy will know the legend continues…Someone remarked that this film runs too long. Yes, because most comedies run out of steam and the “bits” are just fillers to somehow wind down the plot. That is the nature of comic films.

It has been said that Dying is easier than Comedy. Comedy is hard. However, the bottom line remains: this film does have some funny bits. The notion that Ron Burgundy came up with some of the ideas that are floating through the newsrooms of all current 24 hour news networks is hilarious in itself. And there is a definite jab at all the networks as the makers of this film lambast the idea of what “real” news is, as opposed to the idea that we are simply chasing the bright, shiny objects that flash before our eyes in each 24 hour news cycle.

With that point out of the way, it’s good to note that the underlying thread running through this film is the idiocy of Ron Burgundy, the man. He is hopelessly politically incorrect, improbably lucky in his choice of jobs, and a veritable guide for the “what not to do” of life regarding personal and ethical relationships.

His storyline is correctly followed with the inevitable line-up of all-stars that helped bring him to life. Steve Carrell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate and a cast of cameos by Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey and Liam Neeson make this film worth watching. Yet none of it is possible without Will Ferrell. His great talent lies in conveying the blankness behind the eyes and is followed with the extreme utterances of a man with “no one home”.

One of my personal favorites is the scene in the RV with the gang heading into New York. Just the notion of getting the old “gang” together again is funny. But the humor is carried through in their choice of “day jobs” outside of local news. Not to give anything away, but the film moves along quite well from here, with the predictable making way for the ridiculous about half way through the film.

See this film for light laughs and a chance to further the legend…By all means, it’s worth a chuckle or two.