Summer Movie Preview: August

OK, not too much witty stuff here today, there’s just too many movies coming out in August.  Enjoy the trailers and maybe some of our ramblings on some of the movies being released over the next few weeks.

The Smurfs 2

Release Date: August 2nd (well, really it was released today)

Synopsis: The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer’s newest creation – creatures called the Naughties – into real Smurfs. The film is being directed again by Raja Gosnell, with all the main cast returning (Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria, Jayma Mays, etc). New cast includes Christina Ricci and J. B. Smoove as members of the Naughties, and Brendan Gleeson as Patrick Winslow’s stepfather.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I didn’t let the first Smurfs movie ruin my cherished childhood Smurf-related memories I am sure as hell not going to start now by seeing this one. (Strange, my spell check doesn’t recognize “Smurf-related” as a word…maybe it’s not supposed to be hyphenated.)

Jennie: OK, I love Neil Patrick Harris but, this movie isn’t for me. Not that I think it looks (too) terrible, but it is geared towards a much younger audience. Some family movies are fun for adults too, but I don’t think this one fits into that category.

Rob: I’m sure this will bring some joy to some children, but not nearly as much joy as that felt by those actors’ agents. Yay, 10%!

Felix: Raja Gosnell took a great Scooby Doo script in which they had a bunch of adult themed jokes into the incomprehensible piece of garbage we saw. He did the same for the Smurfs. Just saying, this is going to suck.

Dave: Wait…you know the writer of Scooby Doo??

Felix: Read the original screenplay.

Jennie: Wait, you read the original screenplay for the Scooby Doo Movie???

Felix: Yes

Nicole: We saw the first one and I wouldn’t say it was awful, it did have some funny parts but it was slow and not great overall. I’m not really looking forward to this one even though I love NPH. My daughter however has been counting the days until it comes out. I haven’t been gutsy enough yet to tell her that we will not be seeing it on opening weekend

2 Guns

Release Date: August 2nd

Synopsis: A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who have been tasked with investigating one another find they have been set up by the mob — the very organization the two men believe they have been stealing money from. Directed by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur and starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. Based on a graphic novel of the same name.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: Not so pumped about this one. Kind of looks like a generic buddy cop type movie that will probably make money based solely on the stars. I know that sounds pretentious, but I haven’t seen anything that would make want to rush out and see this one…Also, I’m not as big of a Marky Mark fan as everyone else seems to be.

Felix: While I am not going to stand in line on opening night for this, I am curious to see it. Buddy cop movies can be either great (Lethal Weapon, 48 Hours, Turner and Hooch) or horrible (Cop Out). I have faith in Denzel’s ability of choosing a good script.
I lost all faith in Marky Mark when he signed on for Transformers 4.

Jennie: I feel like I’ve seen this movie before. I like Denzel Washington so I’ll probably give it a shot, just maybe not right away though.

Rob: I find myself very suspicious of a movie starring Denzel and Marky Mark that I’m hearing about for the first time 8 days before release… (And I’m naturally suspicious of Denzel Washington movies to begin with. Stupid John Q…)

Jennie: Yeah, Washington is a wonderful actor but I don’t think he is very selective about his scripts

Felix: I think last year’s Oscar nomination will make him a better selector.

The Spectacular Now

Release Date: August 2nd

Synopsis: A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.”  She’s different: the “nice girl” who reads science fiction and doesn’t have a boyfriend. While Aimee has dreams of a future, Sutter lives in the impressive delusion of a spectacular now, yet somehow, they’re drawn together.  Directed by James Ponsoldt, written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (based on The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp), and starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: FINALLY! An indie-type movie with hipster music about a super popular/confident High School kid who finds love and starts to figure out what life is really about! {Please read with a tremendous amount of sarcasm}

Jennie: Yes, it doesn’t look innovative, but it does look enjoyable.

Dave: Yeah, Yeah. It will be quirky and charming like all of these movies are.

Rob: It gives off kind of a Garden State/Perks of Being a Wallflower vibe. Being from the writers of (500) Days of Summer though, it runs the risk of just trying too hard to be too precious.

Felix: Fake Vince Vaughn and George Clooney’s daughter make a cute couple. I’m gonna watch it… when it’s streaming online…


Release Date: August 9th

Synopsis: Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. Directed by Neill Blomkamp and starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: This looks a little bit off the wall. Not your typical big-time movie star action movie…which is probably a good thing. I thought Blomkamp’s District 9 was a pretty cool concept and very well done considering the (relatively) small $30 million budget. Now we get to see what he can do with a real movie budget. It seems that most Sci-Fi movies of late have been remakes, or adaptations or just plain stupid. I can generally respect a Sci-Fi movie that seems to be as original as this.

Jennie: I really liked District 9 more than I expected and am very much looking forward to this one. The earlier previews didn’t show that Damon’s character needed a cure, which I thought made for a nobler story line, but that’s OK.

Rob: The robot soldiers definitely strike me as very Blomkampian (that’s right, I’m making that a word). I expect this one to be good.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Release Date: August 9th

Synopsis: In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece and to stop an ancient evil from rising.  Based on the Rick Riordan novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 2010 film Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Directed by Thor Freudenthal and starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Nathan Fillion, and Stanley Tucci.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I think I could get into these movies plus I Love Stanley Tucci. There are several Harry Potter-esc kind of moments in this trailer which is probably isn’t a bad this (or on accident)

Rob: The first movie wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t all that good either, so I expect more of the same here.

Felix: This will be better because it won’t be directed Chris Columbus.

Nicole: This is another one that I will see because of my daughter. She just started reading the books so its a given we will have to see the movie. Hopefully they won’t spend a lot of time on the back story.


Release Date: August 9th

Synopsis: Dusty is a crop-dusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The problem? He is hopelessly afraid of heights. With the support of his mentor Skipper and a host of new friends, Dusty sets off to make his dreams come true.  Directed by Klay Hall and starring the voices of Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Val Kilmer, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: It’s like Cars…with Planes…which means it will make crap tons of money and I assume be a generally decent movie…unless it’s more like Cars 2 with Planes…then it will just make a crap ton of money.

Jennie: It’s set in the same “world” as Cars right? Are there crossover characters? I think that would add to the draw at least a little bit.

Rob: This should appeal to 3-8 year-olds and introduce a new line of cute plane merchandise, but not much more. And I’m sure that’s exactly what Disney’s hoping for.

Felix: This was going to be a direct to DVD film and it’s not made by Pixar. This looks as bad as Return of Jafar.

Jennie: You shut your mouth, Return of Jafar is a classic

Felix: Fine, this will be as bad as Simba’s Pride

Nicole: I have to agree with Rob on this one. I know I will end up seeing it because of my boys but it’s all about the merchandise. We have been seeing toys in the stores since January. In fact, I thought we missed the movie itself because the promo stuff has been out for so long. I’m sure like Cars, that there will be some funny lines so hopefully it’s enough.

We’re the Millers

Release Date: August 9th

Synopsis: Small-time pot dealer David hires a phony family as camouflage to bring two metric tons of weed from Mexico to Colorado. This plan includes working with cynical stripper Rose as his faux wife, along with homeless teen Casey and geeky neighborhood kid Kenny as their offspring.  Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber and starring Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Will Poulter, and Emma Roberts.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: Generic wacky comedies like this seem to have about a 50/50 chance of being funny. Could be good…but that also means it’s got a 50/50 chance of being really really stupid. I guess i like the actors well enough. We’ll see.

Jennie: Jason Sudeikis is wonderful and I’m liking Jennifer Aniston in these edgier comedy roles. I fully anticipate that there will be a lot of stupid stuff, but it seems to me that the funny could outweigh it. OR, it could be bad in a good way and end up in the guilty pleasure category.

Rob: My money’s on “really really stupid”.

Jennie: I hope not, but you’re probably right.

Kick-Ass 2

Release Date: August 16th

Synopsis: The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows.  The film was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow and co-produced by Matthew Vaughn, who directed the first film. The film stars Aaron Taylor-JohnsonChristopher Mintz-Plasse, and Chloë Grace Moretz reprising their roles from the first film and adding Jim Carey as Sal Bertolinni / Colonel Stars and Stripes.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: Remember when Chloe Grace Moretz was in Hugo? That was nice…

So, isn’t this the plot of Spiderman 2, crossed with The Incredibles, crossed with Watchmen?

Rob: If it’s violent enough to activate Crazy Jim Carrey it can’t be all bad.

Felix: I’m gonna wait for rental.


Release Date: August 16th

Synopsis: An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss’s old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.  Directed by Robert Luketic. The screenplay was written by Barry L. Levy and Jason Dean Hall, based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Joseph Finder. It stars Liam HemsworthGary OldmanHarrison FordAmber Heard and Josh Holloway.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I am pretty pumped about this movie. I love (love love) Gary Oldman and generally enjoy a good thriller. I am a little weary though because it is directed by Robert Luketic, who hasn’t really done anything good. (Depending on how you feel about Legally Blonde)

Rob: I think Luketic’s real talent is taking a screenplay and making the absolute most generic movie he can out of it.

Felix: It does look like generic thriller, but I’m curious to see Oldman.

The Butler

Release Date: August 16th

Synopsis: A look at the life of Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made.  The film is based on the real-life account of Eugene Allen, who served as a White House butler during eight American presidencies from 1952 to 1986.  Directed by Lee Daniels and stars Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, and a whole slew of other wonderful actors.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I really love the idea of this movie. It could be really great. I’m hoping it’s not too heavy-handed and overly sentimental. Not sure if I’m sold on the super famous people playing Presidents thing… John Cusack as Nixon? Robin Williams as Eisenhower? Alan Rickman as Reagan? Arnold Schwarzenegger as Rutherford B. Hayes? That could be tragic. Hopefully not. (Disclaimer: I may have just imagined the Arnold/Hayes thing…I got a little bored in the middle of the trailer.) If this movie isn’t a total mess it’s got Oscars written all over it.

Jennie: I think it’s going to be amazing. And I like all those folks as the presidents. In general, the casting looks great. Oscar #2 for Mr. Whitaker perhaps…

Apparently, they had to change the name of the film to “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” because WB owned the rights to the title “The Butler” from a 1916 short. Um… somebody’s legal department needs a hobby…

Rob: Yeah, Harvey Weinstein was raging against the machine for a while on that one.

Felix: This looks good.


Release Date: August 16th

Synopsis: The biopic stars Ashton Kutcher as the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, and will touch on Steve Jobs‘ most defining and personal moments, motivations, and the people in his life. The film covers Jobs from his early years as an impressionable youth and wayward hippie, through his initial successes with and infamous ousting from the company he founded, to his storybook return and ultimate triumphs with Apple. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern and also stars Josh Gad, Dermot Mulroney, and J.K. Simmons.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: The trailer for this seems to make it less laughable than I would have initially thought. Rumor has it that Aaron Sorkin is writing a Jobs movie based on the authorized biography by Walter Isaacson. I assume that will be better than this…but you never know. What I do know is that both these movies are going to have a hard time competing with 1999’s made for TV Noah Wyle cinematic masterpiece Pirates of Silicon Valley. (I’m only partially kidding here. I actually did really enjoy that movie.)

Jennie: The trailer looks good, and Kutcher seems to be a convincing Steve Jobs.

Rob: “It only takes one person to start a revolution”… unless you count that other fuzzy hobbit who was also a co-founder…

I’m really not looking forward to this one, though I’m not sure how much of that is just my anti-Apple bias showing through…

Felix: I will skip this unless it’s nominated during awards season. It’s because I’m anti Apple and anti Ashton.

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

Release Date: August 16th

Synopsis: The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Written and directed by David Lowery, the film stars Rooney Mara as Ruth Guthrie and Casey Affleck as Bob Muldoon.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I’m cautiously looking forward to this movie. It looks good, but probably slow.

Rob: I would definitely want to see it after a good night’s sleep, I could imagine falling asleep pretty easily.

Jennie: Agreed. All of Mara’s lines in the trailer seemed whispered and Affleck’s voice could put anyone to sleep.

Nicole: First of all, I would have never recognized Ben Foster with that mustache! Second, I was starting to be concerned about it having the same basic story of the Gyllenhaal/McGuire movie Brothers, which was disturbing at best. I like the love story aspect though, and it makes me at least a little more interested in the film.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Release Date: August 23rd

Synopsis: When her mom is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl, Clary Fray, finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back that changes her entire life.  Based on the first book of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and directed by Harald Zwart. It stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Lena Headey.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: blah. I’m pretty tired of this paranormal teen movie crap.

Jennie: I didn’t read this series, so I’m not sure what to expect. It looks from the trailer to be well made though.

Rob: I haven’t read this series either, but I’m reading the prequel series right now. I think there’s definitely a good movie to be made in this world, the trailer leaves me undecided though. There are some good-looking scenes in the trailer, but also some that look like they could come from the worse Underworld movies.

Felix: Lilly Collins peaked at Mirror Mirror

Jennie: For her sake, I hope not

Rob: I wish I hadn’t peeked at Mirror Mirror.

Nicole: I have heard good things about these books and was slightly disappointed by the first trailer they released. This one has a lot more to it, so I am encouraged. I want to read the first book before I see the film though.

The World’s End

Release Date: August 23rd

Synopsis: Five childhood friends reunite after twenty years to repeat a legendary pub crawl from their youth (which they originally failed) returning to their hometown once again to attempt to reach the fabled pub “The World’s End”. Over the course of the night, they realize that the town has been taken over by robots and they begin to realize that the real struggle is “not just theirs but humankind’s”, and completing the crawl becomes the least of their worries.  Directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, and Rosamund Pike.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I’m excited for this one. I’ve really enjoyed the other Wright/Pegg/Frost movies. I expect this to be just as funny.

Jennie: I’m looking forward to this a lot as well. Their movies (Wright, Pegg, Frost, etc) tend to be a bit violent (for me sometimes) but they are so well done and funny. I’m pretty sure they are always shooting and destroying the same bars in all of their movies.

Felix: I’m also looking forward to this. The Wright/Pegg/Frost team are necessary spokes of a wheel. Their “standalone” projects (Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World; Pegg and Frost’s Paul) demonstrate how much they need each to balance out over the top violence with over the top parody.
Also, including Bilbo Watson (Martin Freeman) makes this look very funny.

Dave: Is there even such a thing as a three spoke wheel? Doesn’t seem like it would do a great job at distributing the weight. Some one call an engineer!

Jennie:  Google Search – Three Spoke Wheel

Dave: OK, first off, half of those are steering wheels. Those don’t count. Secondly, I guess I was more thinking of a bike wheel…but maybe it’s the same principle as a car wheel. I’m not a scientist type guy.

Rob: I’m really looking forward to the finale of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (Which is apparently a thing!) Wright/Pegg/Frost haven’t us down as a team yet. Apparently it hasn’t been doing too well at the British box office though.

Jennie: Really? That seems surprising that it wouldn’t be doing well in the UK.

Rob: It opened at #2 in the UK behind Monsters U in its second weekend. It pulled in £2.1 million, compared to £5.9 million for Hot Fuzz’s first weekend.

Nicole: These movies always drive me nuts but I will admit that this one looks really funny. Pegg consistently makes me laugh if for nothing more than his facial expressions!


Release Date: August 30th

Synopsis: Brent Magna must get behind the wheel and follow the orders of a mysterious man to save his kidnapped wife. He is aided on his race against time by an anonymous, computer savvy girl known just as the Kid.  Directed by Courtney Solomon and starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voight.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: So let me get this straight, Ethan Hawke’s wife is kidnapped, he is forced to drive really fast around town with seemingly no purpose (ala Speed), and then a young girl who tries to car jack him ends up being a useful addition to this story?

Rob: This could be interesting in a Buried/Phone Booth kind of way. (I suspect all the driving really fast around town will have more of a stated purpose in the actual film.)

Jennie: I hope so. The trailer suggests that he doesn’t know the purpose though.

Closed Circuit

Release Date: August 30th

*Warning, we totally derail during the “Our Thoughts” section of this one.  Apologies in advance…

Synopsis: Following a mysterious explosion in a busy London market, the police swoop in, a suspect is detained, and the country prepares for one of the most high-profile trials in British history. Two exceptional lawyers with a romantic past step into a dangerous web of secrets and lies, and when evidence points to a possible British Secret Service cover up, it’s not just their reputations but their lives that are at stake.  Directed by John Crowley and starring Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarán Hinds, and Julia Stiles.

Our Thoughts:

Dave: I’m upset Steve Guttenberg isn’t back for this one. Although Eric Bana seems to do a bang up job as Johnny 5. You can barely even tell he’s a robot.

Jennie: Disregarding that entirely…
My gut response is that this looks good. I am a little concerned that it will be similar to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which was good, but very slow and not as suspenseful as advertised.

Dave: Oh, come on. That was damn funny.

I’m very clever

Jennie: I didn’t say it wasn’t funny, I just didn’t have a response, and thought we should actually talk about THIS movie.

Dave: Now you’re getting picky. Steve Guttenberg is a genius and I’m tired of you crapping all over his legacy, god rest his soul.

Rob: He was only in ONE Short Circuit movie though. You obviously should have gone with Fisher Stevens.

Dave: No way. Fisher Stevens isn’t even close to the talent of Guttenberg! …and he’s kind of racist in these movies…

Rob: Well sure, the use of brown face was disturbingly racist, but that also makes him a much more relevant reference for a movie about terrorism. Get with the program Dave.

Dave: Yikes. Rob is just as racist as Fisher Stevens!

Rob: For the record, I did not suggest that Fisher Stevens should play the terrorist. In fact, I suspect he’s secretly playing the Julia Stiles part.

Dave: This got out of hand quickly.

Rob: On a more serious note, the trailer looks good. The question’s going to be whether they can maintain that level of intrigue and interest when they don’t have that music playing behind the entirety of the actual movie.

Jennie Stoddart (24 Posts)

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