WTLFT: August 2011

7 07 2011

Hard to believe we can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is summer 2011.  So, here’s what to look forward to – or not – in the month of August.

August 5

“The Change-Up” – it’s “Freaky Friday,” but rated R and starring two dudes.  We’ll see how this goes.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out why on earth James Franco is doing “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”  Between getting two doctorate degrees and just receiving an Oscar nomination, you would think he would have the smarts and the options to avoid making a movie like this for money or for résumé.  Then again, everyone nowadays has to go to drastic measures to pay for higher education in this country.

I feel like I have to embed the trailer for “Bellflower” rather than just link to it, simply because I can tell it isn’t trying to be like some other movie just to sell tickets.

Being a fan of both the novel and the film “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” I have to see “Magic Trip,” Alex Gibney’s latest documentary which spotlights the book’s author Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters in the 1960s.

August 10/12

Getting a head start on the weekend by opening on Wednesday is “The Help,” which looks to be a late-summer sleeper, hoping to please the oft-neglected female crowd by adapting a best-selling book.  But with this one looking to be less geared towards one gender and even a potential awards play, this could outgross “Green Lantern” or other summer flops.

The premise of “30 Minutes or Less” feels, quite frankly, a little recycled.  But since it boasts the comedic talents of Aziz Ansari (the funniest part of “Parks & Recreation”), Danny McBride (the best part of “Pineapple Express“), and Jesse Eisenberg being reteamed with the director of the hilariously awesome “Zombieland,” it may end up being pretty good.

And because “THE Final Destination” wasn’t final enough, there’s “Final Destination 5,” which is shot in 3D.  Too bad the title “the 3D event of the summer” was already taken – and I don’t think they could stretch it into 5 dimensions quite yet.  There’s also a “Glee” concert movie in 3D in case you haven’t spent enough buying their singles on iTunes.

August 19

Is it just me, or does “Fright Night” = “Disturbia” + zombies?  Also, Anton Yelchin is keeping crazy busy.  He beat unemployment.

As for a last big summer action movie, count me out for “Conan the Barbarian.”  You can even count me out for the inevitable Arnold Schwarzenegger classics marathon that will be running all weekend on Spike.  I think I’ll pass on the latest “Spy Kids” movie as well, which is a TOTAL sell-out of a series that I actually loved when I was 8.  Aroma-scope?  Gross.

August 26

I will see ANY movie with Paul Rudd, so “Our Idiot Brother” is a must-see for me.  It’s only made better by the fact that it played at Sundance to a great deal of acclaim.  Huzzah!

There is no trailer available yet for “Higher Ground” (grr!), but I think this may be my must-see movie of August … because I probably won’t get to see it until December.  Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut, a religious movie, just Vera Farmiga in general – sign me up!

In other indie news, the 2010 TIFF debut “Brighton Rock,” Rowan Joffe’s remake of the old British film, finally sees release in America.  “Chasing Madoff” looks like a sleek documentary, but I’m wondering what will distinguish it from the perfectly good “Frontline” special on PBS that unfurled his whole story.  “Circumstance” brings Iranian youth to the screen, and again I have to wonder what makes this any different than a live action version of “Persepolis” set in the present day.

I wasn’t the biggest “Pan’s Labyrinth” enthusiast, so Guillermo del Toro’s “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” isn’t necessarily high on my list for the weekend.  Nor is “Colombiana,” the Zoe Saldana-starrer which looks like a carbon copy of Luc Besson’s “The Professional.”  Oh, it’s also directed by him … coincidence?  I think NOT!

So, what do you think will please crowds in August?  Are you looking for one last bang from the summer – or for it to just end already?  Sound off in the comments AND take the poll!

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6 responses

7 07 2011
fogsmoviereviews

Have to say, the trailer for Planet of the Apes was pretty good. Has me expecting more than I would have thought I would at the beginning of the summer… I actually have hopes for it now.

Another one (I only get one vote though) is Conan. After seeing Jason Momoa on Game of Thrones, he could be really awesome.

Sad to hear you didn’t dig on Pan’s Labyrinth… that’s an all time great movie in my opinion. Hope you see it again sometime and it connects with you.

7 07 2011
Steven Flores

To be quite honest with you, I’m not really looking forward to any of these films.

7 07 2011
Steven Flores

Actually, with the exception of “Bellflower”.

7 07 2011
Marshall

The only things I would say I’m really looking forward to are “Higher Ground” and “Our Idiot Brother,” although I have somewhat muted expectations for the latter. Just because Paul Rudd is awesome doesn’t mean the movie will be equally so: case in point, “Dinner for Schmucks.”

8 07 2011
Andrew

Game of Thrones made me reverse my opinion about Conan. I’m all aboard. Granted, that’s because I want the movie to do well because I want Jason Momoa to do well– I expect he’ll be appropriately ferocious and badass in the role, and I don’t expect much else, though I’ll concede that Conan and Khal Drogo are very, very different characters at their cores. Still, I’m going to check it out if I can.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, though, is way at the top of my August list. I’ve not heard a single negative thing about the movie from audiences that have seen it at the various screenings enjoyed across the country, and being as I’m an avid reader and Chewer on CHUD.com, I’m invested in it based on Troy Nixey’s involvement. (And, hell, GDT too. Of course.)

Gotta see Bellflower. It looks like the kind of movie that absolutely must be seen, regardless of the mixed press surrounding it.

Columbiana looks like more of a sequel to Leon than a carbon copy, and I think that Besson’s involvement explains a lot. He’s hinted at wanting to make a Matilda movie before– maybe this is his way of getting it made without actually making it. I remain skeptical.

8 07 2011
Sam Fragoso

August looks dismal.

Nice write up.

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