It is almost time for the summer to draw to a close, and that means there are still a few more summer blockbuster films to catch before school starts up again. Sure, the sun may not have gone away, but wouldn’t you rather sit in the air-conditioning and relax instead of getting one more sunburn? Here’s what’s coming up for you in the month of August.
The Dark Tower
For thousands of years, the Gunslingers have been knights to protect the world. The last of the Gunslingers (Idris Elba) has been locked in battle with the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) to protect the Dark Tower, a monolith that holds the universe together. When Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) falls into the Gunslinger’s world, he is reminded of what is at stake if the Tower should fall. Based on the series by Stephen King. Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Western. Rated PG-13 for thematic material including sequences of gun violence and action. 1 hour and 35 minutes. My First Opinion: While I’ve never read the series myself (and I recently had it spoiled for me a little), I’m interested to see what King things of this adaption of his work. He’s usually not thrilled with it.
In 1967, the city of Detroit, Michigan is racially charged, under curfew, and patrolled by the National Guard. During this time three young African American men are killed at the Algiers Motel, while seven more were beaten along with two white women. Almost fifty years later, the question still remains: what exactly happened at the motel? Crime, Drama, History, Thriller. Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language. 2 hours and 23 minutes. My First Opinion: This is not a period of history I know much about, but it is always interesting to hear a story that no one quite knows the answer to.
Karla Dyson (Halle Berry) and her son Frankie (Sage Correa) are enjoying their day at a park when Frankie is abducted in broad daylight. Karla catches a glimpse of the abductors as they drive away, and after realizing how many children are abducted and not found by the police, she decides to race against time to find her son herself. Thriller. Rated R for violence/gore, profanity, and frightening/intense scenes. My First Opinion: I could’ve sworn I’ve seen trailers for this movie at least five months ago, if not more. That doesn’t make me want to see it less, mind you, I’m just surprised it wasn’t out before now and I just missed it.
A young girl is murdered on the Wind River reservation, one of the most isolated areas of the United States where murders often go unsolved and killers walk free. FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) teams up with local tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) to track down the murderer. Action, Crime, Mystery, Thriller. Rated R for strong violence, a rape scene, disturbing images, and language. 1 hour and 47 minutes. My First Opinion: This is another one I could’ve sworn was already out, but it looks badass and I’m looking forward to watching it!
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
In the sequel to the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore addresses the progress that has been made in the fight to tackle climate change, as well as the obstacles still in humanity’s way. It follows Gore to the 2016 signing of the Paris Climate Agreement and his efforts to persuade governmental leaders to invest in renewable energy. Documentary. Rated PG for thematic elements and some troubling images. 1 hour and 38 minutes. My First Opinion: I never saw the prequel documentary, but these guys sure do know how to put together a powerful trailer.
Jab Harry Met Sejal
Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) is a tour guide who has no direction in his life, until Sejal (Anushka Sharma), who has just finished a tour with him, loses her engagement ring and asks him to help her find it. The search teaches Harry how to understand love and relationships, and Sejal experiences a newfound freedom and solace. Comedy, Drama, Romance. Not Yet Rated. 2 hours and 23 minutes. My First Opinion: It does look cute, but I’m not sure I want to spend 2.5 hours on it. I had a hard time sitting through Wonder Woman (2017) for that long.
Chip Taylor (Matthew Gray Gublar) and his girlfriend Liza (AnnaLynne McCord) come up with the perfect plan to steal $68,000 from her sugar daddy. But as soon as they enter the man’s house things begin to go wrong, and Chip begins the longest and most terrifying night of his life. Comedy, Crime, Romance, Thriller. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 33 minutes. My First Opinion: This movie looks fun and hilarious and Matthew Gray Gublar is 80% of the reason why.
Korean-born Jin (John Cho) finds himself stuck in the architecture Mecca of Columbus, Indiana, when his father falls into a coma. There he meets Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young woman who chooses to stay in Columbus to care for her mother, a recovering addict, rather than pursue her own dreams. Comedy, Drama, Romance. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 40 minutes. My First Opinion: This seems like the sort of movie that was filmed not necessarily for story, because they found a place where they could get really pretty shots anywhere they choose to put the camera.
A well-off woman named Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and a working-class man named Boris (Cédric Kahn) have enjoyed fifteen years of marriage and two daughters. They have fallen out of love and decided to divorce, but because Boris cannot afford to find a place of his own, their life revolves around schedules and new rules. As they argue over the rightful share of their home, they become deadlocked, and begin to wonder if there is any way out of their deteriorating relationship. Drama. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 40 minutes. My First Opinion: There is a nice line in the trailer about how people don’t fix things anymore but buy new, and I like that, but I can’t tell if that’s what the movie is about or if it’s something entirely different.
A Tokyo college student is attacked one night by a ghoul, a super-powered being that feasts on human flesh. He survives, becoming part ghoul, and becomes a fugitive from those who seek to destroy ghouls and protect the human race. Based on the manga series by Sui Ishida. Action, Drama, Horror, Thriller. Not Yet Rated. My First Opinion: I have not watched the anime or read the manga, both of which I prefer to do before seeing a live action movie, just because they tend not to live up to the original.
After the death of their young daughter, a doll maker and his wife open up their home to a nun and several orphan girls. One becomes the target of one of the doll makers creations, Annabelle, who houses the spirit of the daughter, but soon the house begins to suspect that something darker lurks within the doll’s body. Horror, Mystery, Thriller. Rated R for horror, violence, and terror. 1 hour and 49 minutes. My First Opinion: I actually really don’t get this movie, even though I saw Annabelle (2014) (and it really wasn’t very good). Based on that, I was under the impression that the doll was cursed by the cult lady who died holding it, is this supposed to have happened before or after that? Or, since that movie was a false prequel to the tale of the nurses that brought the doll into The Conjuring (2013), is this supposed to be what really happened to the doll before the nurses got it? This is what happens when you try to make a movie out of a side plot.
The Glass Castle
A young Jeannette Walls (Brie Larson) comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nomad, where her mother is an eccentric artist (Naomi Watts) and her father (Woody Harrelson) is an alcoholic who tries to stir his children’s imagination to distract them from their family’s poverty as they run from debt collectors. Based on the memoir of Jeannette Walls. Biography, Drama. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking. 2 hours and 7 minutes. My First Opinion: I am looking forward to this one, and hoping that this opens the door for someone to adapt Mary Anna King’s Bastards.
In 13th century Ireland, a group of monks begin a pilgrimage across their war-torn island to escort their holiest relic to Rome. They are accompanied by a young novice (Tom Holland) and a mute lay-brother (Jon Bernthal), and they soon discover that in a wild land of ancient superstition, their faith can both bind them together and destroy them. Adventure, Drama. Will be rated for violence/gore and frightening/intense scenes. 1 hour and 36 minutes. My First Opinion: Now I know this movie is supposed to be serious, but can we please focus on how Tom Holland looks like Frodo Baggins and how adorable that is?!
Ingrid Goes West
Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is an unhinged social media stalker who confuses a “like” with a meaningful relationship with another person. Her latest obsession is Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen), an Instagram-famous “influencer”, and that obsession causes Ingrid to move herself to Los Angles to become part of Sloane’s life. Comedy, Drama. Rated R for language throughout, drug use, some sexual content, and disturbing behavior. 1 hour and 37 minutes. My First Opinion: So it’s Aubrey Plaza obsessed with Instagram. Great…SKIP!
The Only Living Boy in New York
A recent college graduate (Callum Turner) who is adrift in New York City attempts to impress a girl he likes and discovers his father (Pierce Brosnan) is having an affair. He attempts to warn the mistress (Kate Beckinsale) away from his father, and ends up falling for her himself. Drama. Rated R for language and some drug material. 1 hour and 28 minutes. My First Opinion: On the one hand, Marc Webb gave us Gifted (2017) this year, and that was good. On the other hand…this movie seems weird in a very different way.
Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) finds himself on the run to break his younger brother Nick (Ben Safdie) out of prison after a bank robbery gone wrong. Crime, Drama. Rated R. 1 hour and 40 minutes. My First Opinion: This movie looks like someone watched Run Lola Run while high on something.
The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature
Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) and his friends find themselves with a new problem on their hands when the mayor of Oakton City decides to bulldoze their park to make way for an amusement park. It’s up to them to stop the mayor, his daughter, and a mad animal control officer if they want to save their home. Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family. Rated PG for action and some rude humor. 1 hour and 31 minutes. My First Opinion: Yes…this was definitely the movie series that needed a sequel…
The two Barlow sisters, Laura (Natalie Portman) and Kate (Lily-Rose Depp), are believed to possess the supernatural ability to connect to the ghost world. When they travel to Paris they cross paths with the visionary French producer André Korben (Emmanuel Salinger), who wishes to show the paranormal world on film for the first time. Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller. Will be rated for sex/nudity. 1 hour and 45 minutes. My First Opinion: While I like Natalie Portman generally, I am not seeing as many ghosts is I would’ve hoped for this movie.
The Trip to Spain
Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon decide to embark on an episodic road trip through the whole of Spain, trying the restaurants and seeing the sights along the way. Drama. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 55 minutes. My First Opinion: Apparently this is a series…it looks more like a TV show to me, but okay.
Rob Anderson (Marlon Wayans), a man who is nervous about finally getting married, finds himself forced to relive the same nerve-wracking hours just before his wedding over and over again, until he can finally get things right (and get some clothes on). Netflix release. Comedy. Not Yet Rated. My First Opinion: This actually looks pretty funny. I’ll have to get my Netflix account running again before this comes out.
Two brothers (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver) down on their luck concoct a plan to pull of a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina, but to do that they will need the skills of Joe Bang (Daniel Craig), who is currently in jail. Comedy, Crime, Drama. Rated PG-13 for language and some crude comments. 1 hour and 59 minutes. My First Opinion: I had exactly 0 interest in this movie until they showed me Sebastian Stan. Drat.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
The world’s top bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) is assigned to guard a hit man (Samuel L. Jackson) who must testify at the International Court of Justice. The two must put their differences aside to get to the court on time, while avoiding everyone out to kill the hit man. Action, Comedy. Rated R for strong violence and language throughout. 1 hour and 58 minutes. My First Opinion: This looks awesome and I’m definitely going to see it. Asking anyone to guard Samuel L. Jackson is hilarious, but asking Ryan Reynolds to do it is just plain adorable.
Patricia Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald) is a young aspiring rapper living in New Jersey, going by the names Killa P and Patti Cake$, and her quest for glory is an unlikely one, but she knows what she wants and will get it. Drama. Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual references, some drug use, and a brief nude image. 1 hour and 48 minutes. My First Opinion: I don’t really know enough about rapping (or enjoy it enough) for this to looking interesting.
Dave Made a Maze
Dave (Nick Thune), an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, takes a weekend to create a fort in his living room out of sheer frustration. He becomes trapped within its pitfalls, booby traps and critters, and when his girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) leads a group to rescue him, they all become enveloped in a man’s imagination that becomes larger than life. Adventure, Comedy, Horror. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 20 minutes. My First Opinion: This actually looks fun, like very fun, like I want to build my own inescapable fort in my living room now.
Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars
Federation trooper Johnny Rico (Casper Van Dien) finds himself on Mars somehow, ordered to work with a group of new recruits, as giant bugs descend upon the satellite station as their next point of attack. Animation, Action, Sci-Fi. Rated R for some sic-fi violence, and for language. 1 hour and 40 minutes. My First Opinion: I don’t know anything about this series, but I’m getting Final Fantasy flashbacks and that’s not a good thing.
An aimless teenager (Harris Dickinson) living on the outer edges of Brooklyn tries to escape his bleak home life through his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and the older men he meets online while he ponders questions of self-identity. Drama. Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use, and language. 1 hour and 35 minutes. My First Opinion: This looks like an Oscar-bait kind of movie, but the kind I’ll catch when it gets nominated and not before.
Birth of the Dragon
Before he was a household name as an actor, Bruce Lee (Philip Ng) taught kung fu in 1960s San Francisco. He attracts the attention of kung fu master Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia), who is upset that he is teaching kung fu secrets to white men, and challenges him to a battle that begins the legend of Bruce Lee. Action, Biography, Drama. Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence, language, and thematic elements. 1 hour and 43 minutes. My First Opinion: This should be an interesting movie, since sometimes it feels like we (as a community) know Bruce Lee’s name and what he’s good at, but not much else about him.
Two young orphans, Felicie (Elle Fanning) who dreams of being a ballerina, and Victor (Dane DeHaan) who wants to be the world’s greatest inventor, flee their small orphanage in Brittany to go to Paris, where their dreams are put to the ultimate tests. Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Musical. Rated PG for some impolite humor, and action. 1 hour and 29 minutes. My First Opinion: It looks cute, but nothing very original seems to stick out to me. It’s a hit or miss really.
A young couple go on an adventure vacation to Thailand, but when they are abandoned by traveling companions, they naively disrespect the traditions of the Ghost House, causing a malevolent spirit to haunt them. Horror, Thriller. Not Yet Rated. 1 hour and 29 minutes. My First Opinion: This sort of looks like The Forest (2016), as least in that someone will probably get angry that another country’s traditions are being used for a commercial horror film. This one doesn’t look nearly as compelling though.
After a night out partying, Ava (Anna Harr) comes home to find someone who looks exactly like her sleeping in her bed. A time-traveling fugitive has jumped back and stolen Ava’s body, leaving her as a virtual ghost. She realizes that others have also come back to change the course of an apocalyptic future (or preserve it), and she is the only one who can fix the timeline permanently. Adventure, Sci-Fi. Will be rated for sex/nudity. 1 hour and 30. My First Opinion: Meh. Just meh. That is literally all I’m feeling after that trailer.
Film’s in Wide Release:
Tulip Fever – originally released in February
Savage Dog – originally released in May