Every month, particularly during the hectic summer blockbuster period, thaings can get more than overwhelming, to say the least, when it comes to picking what movies to see. To give you a bit of an advantage, we’ve whittled all of the films releasing this August down to the ten we think are worth your attention and the price of a cinema ticket. Let’s kick things off with the horror hit already making waves in the US…
The Conjuring – 2 August
Making over 40 million in it’s first weekend alone The Conjuring is THE horror movie to catch this summer and quite possibly this year.
Director James Wan (Saw/Insidious) is renowned for going off the beaten track to find new ways of developing suspense, refraining from the use of cheap trickery, and, based on the current reviews the film has been getting, audiences can expect more than a few chills down their spine.
Add to the above the fact that the film is based on a real-life case of paranormal investigator duo Ed and Lorraine Warren, with their experiences previously used for films such as The Haunting in Connecticut and The Amityville Horror, even the non-believers will panic when those hands start clapping we’re sure.
Only God Forgives – 2 August
Although director Nicolas Winding Refn’s films tend to find critics and audiences sat firmly on both sides of the fence, early reviews suggest more critics have fallen over to the negative side this time round. That hasn’t happened with us to date and if Only God Forgives is anywhere near as polarising as Drive then we can’t wait for his next sensory stimulating platter.
In his follow-up, coincidentally written prior to Drive, Winding Refn pares down the plot in favour of mood and atmosphere. Expect Refn’s aesthetic to become the storyteller and, although marketed as a martial arts revenge film Only God Forgives is certainly beyond your average revenge thriller, particularly with Refn’s Oedipal injections, hinting as to why our protagonist is unable to stand up to his own mother’s orders, quietly accepting her more than harsh criticisms.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa – 7 August
First and foremost this is the transition of Steve Coogan‘s finest comic creation to the big screen. Not much else needs saying given that Coogan has been in the Norfolk DJ’s shoes for a good 22 years so we know what to expect.
What we are eager to discover is just how well he goes down with international audiences but over here we’re sure he’ll remain the celebrity whose catchphrases and misshapen metaphors are repeated throughout the land.
The script welcomes back long time Partridge scribes Steve Coogan himself, Armando Iannucci, Peter Baynham, Neil Gibbons, and Rob Gibbons whilst direction comes from the talent behind the cameras of such fine television as Happiness and Little Britain, Declan Lowney.
Kick-Ass 2 – 14 August
Matthew Vaughn revealed first exclusive footage of the original Kick-Ass at Comic-Con all of four years ago with this lesser-known comic book hero blowing everyone away. Even so, Kick-Ass flopped on first opening but thankfully went on to rake in nearly $100 million worldwide, so there is clearly demand enough for us to see more of Chloe Moretz cussing and beating the *cuss* out of grown men. Since the unlikely hero’s first outing, director Jeff Wadlow has also garnered massive amounts of buzz, now signed on to direct an X-Force movie for Fox as well as speedboat actioner Go Fast.
Jim Carrey’s decision to steer clear of promoting the film due to it’s ultra violent nature has added audiences’ desires to see what all the fuss is about. According to Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar Carrey’s announcement resulted in “millions of dollars’ worth of attention for the cult hit’s sequel.”
We’re keen to see if said attention translates into ticket sales when it comes out. Something tells us it will.
2 Guns – 16 August
From one lesser-known comic book to another that hasn’t received a lot of attention is 2 Guns but then again, it was always going to be an uphill challenge facing the likes of Iron Man, Superman and The Wolverine over the busy summer months.
The film brings Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington together as Marcus and Bobby, a pair of criminals who rob a bank together. While the creepy masks bring recent memories of The Town and 2 Guns could be easily passed off as another run-of-the-mill action movie with more than familiar plot devices, a Wahlberg and Washington team up is what everybody wanted, right?
The trailer below shows the producer’s have gone for just the right doses of humour, action and violence making it one we think you should want to catch when it hits cinemas on 16 August.
Here’s the recently unleashed red band trailer, originally from IGN:
Elysium – 21 August
If Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9 follow up, Elysium is half as good as any trailers and footage we have seen so far then this could well be the next great sci-fi movie we were all waiting for.
Jodie Foster and Matt Damon play opposite poles with Foster living it large on the planet Elysium while Damon is just another unfortunate soul stuck on what’s left of Earth – now barren wasteland. Left with all of five days to live after being irradiated in a factory accident Damon gets suited and booted to go into battle with the only cure being to reach the mysterious planet of the rich.
All trailers and clips released to date are being praised for the film’s blend of summer blockbuster entertainment and social awareness, which will certainly have you recalling District 9. Blomkamp also recently previewed ten minutes of the movie in Hollywood for a select group of press which left all attendees just as excited to see the whole shebang as the trailers had already left them. Chief Los Angeles Correspondent for BuzzFeed tweeted the following which says it all really:
After seeing 10 minutes of #Elysium footage, I’d like Neill Blomkamp to make all the movies.
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) April 8, 2013
We’re The Millers – 23 August
We’re the Millers finds its protagonist Jason Sudeikis as a small time weed dealer having to go big time after getting way too deep in debt with dealer (Ed Helms) who forces Sudeikis to pick up a major shipment from Mexico for him. How to pull it off? What any man would do: pretend to be a run of the mill American family heading to Mexico for a short break.
To make sure everything runs like clockwork Sudeikis finds two kids to pretend to be his offspring whilst getting his stripper neighbour (Jennifer Aniston) to play his pretend wife. Despite the actress having reached the tender young age of 44, you may well recall that The Wrestler saw Marisa Tomei prove that a seasoned actress can still shake their stuff on a stripper pole so there’s no complaints here.
The trailer below is not probably not very suitable for open plan office arrangements.
The Dylatov Pass Incident – 23 August
The Dyatlov Pass Incident marks the return of the prodigal director Renny Harlin, responsible for a variety of highly delectable, high-flown ‘90s action-thrillers such as Die Hard 2 and Cliffhanger. Whilst enthusiasm may be abashed given we have yet another found footage offering on our hands, the fact remains that Harlin has found some solid and compelling material to work with.
The film centres on the mysterious events when hikers disappeared in the Ural Mountains in Russia in 1959. All nine bodies were later discovered half dressed, nowhere near their camp, having clearly suffered violent injuries and exposed to lethal doses of radiation. Harlin attempts to investigate the strange occurrence by following a present day expedition carried out by five students to film a ‘Mountain of Death’ documentary. As you can imagine, it’s not long before the unlucky souls start to find themselves beleaguered by strange occurrences, ultimately leading to a horrific climax.
Given Harlin’s amazing choices of scenery – Cliffhanger springing straight to mind – we can expect similar breathtaking shots, coupled with a fascinating true story premise. We’re sure the film will make for a solid dose of unabashed entertainment.
Upstream Colour – 30 August
Upstream Colour reaches the UK this August under the wing of writer/director/composer/once-engineer Shane Carruth who garnered some more than deserved attention with his Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning debut time travel feature, Primer.
This is his first full-length feature since then and, based on early reviews, Carruth’s insistence to tell his story in his own personal way has endured, credited as the film’s producer, editor, cinematographer and composer.
Upstream Color will more than cater for fans of the likes of Nicolas Winding Refn and Park Chan-Wook with a desire for movies that serve up a feast for the senses with a hearty side order of food for thought. Carruth’s own description of the film alone has us foaming at the mouth. He claims that people will be watching this movie the same way they listen to music. “You don’t listen to a song and then never listen to it again … movies can be the same way.”
It’s not so often promotion encourages audiences to approach a film in such a manner so we’re eager to see if Upstream Colour lives up to Carruth’s presage.
You’re Next – 30 August
If, like me, your a home invasion aficionado then this is just for you this month. For those tired of said horror subgenre fear not as this could be the reinvention of the wheel you were all waiting for as it looks to add a fresh twist to the mix – but we won’t spoil that for you.
Writer, Simon Barrett, and Director, Adam Wingard, previously collaborated on A Horrible Way to Die, which was an excellent dark horror trip and You’re Next looks just as grim. The duo’s recent offerings in the form of segments in both The ABCs of Death and V/H/S/2 also promise some adept juggling of both gore and giggles.
If nothing else, You’re Next certainly intrigues us more than most horror as it looks more committed to digging into our brains and tickling our funny bones than battering our retinas to death with gratuitous violence.
You’re Next, starring Sharni Vinson, Ti West, and Joe Swanberg, starts peeping into windows with animal masks this 30 August.