The Year of the Movie: 2015- August

August 2015

It now seems clear that 2015 has surpassed the expectations of many as three films have crossed the billion dollar mark. (Furious Seven, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Jurassic World). Many other records have fallen throughout this year, and we aren’t quite done yet.August will provide some interesting options. I consider it the end of the blockbuster season and the start of the Oscar season.

August 7th

Fantastic Four

Genre: Action, Adventure, Science-Fiction

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell

I despise that so many films are getting remakes, reboots, and needless sequels.  I hate that Hollywood has become that.  Though it is partly our fault, the more people watch mindless, repetitive, garbage. The more studios will create. However, with a few exceptions, we’ve seen movie theater attendance decline in recent years. There are several reasons why that is, but part of it is because of the endless stream of recycled ideas has grown weary. More so, television and streaming networks have created wonderfully original and well made shows. (Let’s not forget the rise in Independent films which are growing ever more superior to the mainstream.) Anyways, let’s get to the movie.

Fantastic Four is one of the few franchises I think actually needed a remake. Those original two movies were horrendous. Also, so many people are bent because Michael B. Jordan is playing Johnny Storm. I think that superhero films need to get more diversity into their casts. Finally, it’s not about the color of the skin, but about the actor’s ability to play the character. If he shows us a new Johnny Storm and does it well, I will embrace it with open arms. His ability as an actor is all I care about.

Fantastic Four is about four survivors of a scientific experiment which transported them to an alternate dimension. Within this new dimension, their physical forms are altered and creates shocking new physical powers. Now they must come to terms with these new powers and how it changes their lives, but also deal with a new and dangerous enemy.

I’m interested in this new version of the famed comic book characters. The best version I’ve seen in the last two decades was characters on The Venture Brothers. The writer of this script is Simon Kinberg who is very hit or miss featuring X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Sherlock Holmes (2009), This Means War (2012), and X-Men: Days of Future’s Past (2014). So either he has crafted a marvelous and interesting script or will be on record for another dismal comic book creation.

If you watched the movie Chronicle (2012) and enjoyed it, well sit back because that director Josh Trank is the director of this movie. I disliked the way Chronicle was filmed, but thought the overall story and character development was effective. (Not a fan of shaky cams.)

Bottom Line:

They are trying to rebuild this franchise from the ground up. Some say that Marvel comics sabotaged the series by shutting down the comic book versions. This may cause problems, but if the movie gets positive reviews and is actually good, people will show. The problem this film faces is that its two predecessors were awful. Audiences need to be convinced that this movie is going to be better. If they are, expect big box-office sales. If not, expect success, but much much milder.
Rikki and the Flash

Genre:Comedy, Drama, Music

Director Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia/ Silence of the Lambs)

Writer: Diablo Cody (Juno)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Rick Springfield, Sebastian Stan, Kevin Kline

This movie has Meryl Streep in it. I can’t say it will be great, but it already has a positive going for it. The film looks like a well made if not somewhat formulaic storyline. I think that the film has enough star power to draw in some super-hero worn fans looking for something lighter. It has a talented cast. Expect the acting to be good, the comedy decent, but the drama to be soaked into this.

Shaun the Sheep (August 5th)

Genre: Animated, Adventure, Comedy

IMDB 7.4 of 7,882 ratings

It is Marc Burton and Richard Starzak’s directorial debut. If you like Wallace and Gromit styled animation and comedy (I certainly do.). Then you will likely enjoy this movie. It is definitely directed towards a younger audience, but also have plenty of jokes for accompanying adults. With the Minions coming out July 10th, this may be the next chance for kids to get out and enjoy a good family movie.

Also consider that potentially three quality movies all aiming for different audiences get released on the same day. No wonder Masterminds got pushed back to October.  Probably a good move by them.

August 14th

The Man From U.N.C.L.E

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes/Snatch)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Hugh Grant (So much for retirement)

The CIA and KGB must team up against an organized criminal syndicate trying to acquire nuclear weapons which could potentially end the world.

I think the movie looks like fun. It doesn’t seem to break new ground too much, but still can be fun. There is always the potential for a movie like this to do something you wouldn’t expect to make it go from good to very good. I’m hoping this is going to be a late summer smash rather than an summer snooze.

Straight Outta Compton

Genre: Biography, Drama, Music

Starring; Paul Giamatti, Jason Mitchell, Corey Hawkins

I do not know much about the NWA, but I see the trailers for this movie and I’m interested about their story. It could have a powerful social message behind the film. Where some suggest the rap music creates the environment, these musicians say that the music is a reflection of the environment in which they were grown out of. This movie stars a lot of fresh actors who either do work on television shows or are almost completely new to professional acting. It will be really interesting to see what comes out of this movie. Maybe some brand new stars of the acting world, and hopefully a better understanding of NWA and the world they grew up within. I have high hopes for this one to be surprisingly successful.

August 21st

Grandma

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Lilly Tomlin, Judy Greer, Elizabeth Pena (RIP)

About three generations of women coming together looking for some sense of redemption after struggles in both of their lives.

Hitman: Agent 47

Action, Adventure, Thriller

This year’s version of Lucy, except I would imagine it is a superior movie. (really hard not to be better than that garbage.) I look at this film and shrug. Sure, it looks cool, but very violent. It looks like everything else coming out in its genre. It doesn’t even have that humor I enjoy to kinda mask the fact that it’s like so much I’ve already seen. Based on trailers alone, the film looks cool and that sometimes is enough to make a movie a later summer hit. Especially with a weak opening.

Also see American Ultra. I would say these movies are remarkably similar. Except this one has stoner comedy and Kristen Stewart.  Which you see or both is up to you. It will be fun to see which turns out to be the better film. (Of course, both of them could be dreadful.)

August 28th

Sinister 2

Genre: Horror

I enjoyed the first Sinister movie. It had the right amount of creep factor, it was disturbing without being exceptionally gory. A bit predictable, but I above average for modern horror. Now we have a sequel. I feel like this is a forced sequel, since horror films are so weak these days, anything that can be a franchise, will now be one, even if it is terrible. The only hope I have for this movie is that it did bring back the writers of the first film, Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill.

Regression

Genre: Thriller

Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke

A father is accused of a heinous crime, but he has no memory of committing it.

This film looks pretty intense and I love that Emma Watson is starting branch out the types of roles she gets. This film at first look reminds me of a cross between Memento (2000) and The Judge (2014). It’s been done, but sometimes that doesn’t matter. Perhaps this movie can breathe new life into an old story. I love when that happens.

We Are Your Friends

Genre: Drama, Music, Romance

Starring Zac Efron

Zac Efron back in a serious role after several comedies. About a DJ that wants to make it big on the electronic music scene. It seems pretty cut and dry, but you never know what these sort of movies can show us. Perhaps the film is shallow and simple as it seems, but there is so much we don’t know. It is worth keeping an open mind to. I’ll admit I put this one on the list simply because I like Efron and want to see him rise into a legit star. I truly believe he has the talent.

Notable to watch.

She’s Funny That Way (2014)

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston, Cybill Shepherd,

Decent cast. Could be an interesting comedy. Too early to tell.

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