SLIP/cuts: Best New Theatrical Releases – AUGUST

Every weekend several new movies get released on the silver screen. SLIP/cuts whittles down the selection to what looks best, based off the trailers, the assembled talent, and reflecting upon personal experience with cinematic history.

Let’s take a look at the best picks of August.


FANTASTIC FOUR

WHO? Directed by Josh Trank (CHRONICLE);  Written by Simon Kinberg (X-MEN: DOFP, STAR WARS REBELS); Starring: Michael B. Jordan (FRUITVALE STATION, CREED), Miles Teller (WHIPLASH), Kate Mara (HOUSE OF CARDS), Jamie Bell (BILLY ELLIOT, SNOWPIERCER), Toby Kebbell (DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES), Tim Blake Nelson (O, BROTHER WHERE ART THOU?)

WHAT? An experiment involving alternate dimensions turns four humans into fantasic super powered beings.

WHY? An impressive cast leads the way, along with an intriguing director and screenwriter. The tone looks much more serious and dark than the earlier (disastrous) F4 movies. I usually really enjoy myself with all Marvel movies, even ones made by other studios like Fox here.

WHEN? August 7


RICKI AND THE FLASH

WHO? Directed by Jonathan Demme; Written by Diablo Cody (JUNO); Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer (NEWSROOM), Sebastian Stan (WINTER SOLDIER)

WHAT? Streep plays an aging rock star who neglected her family. She returns home to help her daughter deal with depression.

WHY? The creative talent is a big draw, both the cast and behind the scenes. I really love Cody’s writing. It could be pure delight to see Streep deliver her dialogue. The movie, while sentimental looking, should be fairly cynical as well.

WHEN? August 7


DARK PLACES

WHO? Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult (MAD MAX FURY ROAD, YOUNG ONES), Chloe Moretz (KICK ASS, IF I STAY), Tye Sheridan (TREE OF LIFE, MUD), Corey Stoll (ANT-MAN), Christina Hendricks (DRIVE, MAD MEN)

WHAT? Theron’s character survived the savage murder of her mother and two sisters. Now, she’s approached by a murder solving group decreeing her imprisoned brother’s innocence.

WHY? Based on a Gillian Flynn (GONE GIRL) book. The concept is really strong. Good adult thrillers are few and far between. From the trailer, this one looks almost Oscar-caliber.

WHEN? August 7

WHERE? Limited release, initially.


THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

WHO? Directed by Guy Ritchie (SHERLOCK HOLMES, SNATCH); Starring: Henry Cavill (MAN OF STEEL), Armie Hammer (LONE RANGER, SOCIAL NETWORK), Alicia Vikander (EX MACHINA), Hugh Grant

WHAT? Set in the Cold War spy-word of the 1960s. A CIA agent must team up with a KGB agent to stop a mysterious criminal syndicate.

WHY? Ritchie films are always super stylish and lots of fun. From the trailer, the action looks really crazy and over the top. The dry sense of humour, means the jokes could fall flat, or really add a layer of charm to the spectacle. Plus, after EX MACHINA, I want to see Alicia Vikander in every movie she does next.

WHEN? August 14


STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

WHO? Directed by F. Gary Gray (ITALIAN JOB, FRIDAY); Starring: mainly unknowns for authenticty’s sake, plus Ice Cube’s son, the new Storm Alexandra Shipp, and Paul Giamatti.

WHAT? The true story of rap group NWA, growing up in the inner cities of California in the mid-80s. They made brutally honest music about their violent neighbourhoods and lifestyle. This is the story of their rise and fall, and their peaceful protest.

WHY? I grew up when hip hop started to really spread. I grew up watching great “hood” movies like MENACE II SOCIETY and BOYZ N THE HOOD. Blending the reality of Compton, the LA riots, police violence, with music and protest are all areas of interest. I’ve been waiting for this movie for years, back when John Singleton was developing it.

WHEN? August 14


I AM CHRIS FARLEY

WHO? Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Christina Applegate, Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels

WHAT? A documentary on Saturday Night Live comedian, Chris Farley. This documentary supposedly does not shy away from the bad, as it tells the story of Farley’s rise and fall.

WHY? Farley was a part of the SNL crew I grew up with. I enjoyed his early movies. He was on his way to being a big star when he tragically overdosed and died. I want to remember him, by listening to his closest friends and family tell his story.

WHEN? August 14

WHERE? Limited release


MASTERMINDS

WHO? Directed by Jarred Hess (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE); Starring: Zach Galifianakis (HANGOVER), Owen Wilson (WEDDING CRASHERS), Kristen Wiig (BRIDESMAIDS), Jason Sudeikis (WE ARE THE MILLERS)

WHAT? Zach plays an aloof armoured vehicle guard conned into a heist by some dumb criminals who plan to take off with the cash and pin the robbery on him. Based on a true story (?)

WHY? I skip out on a lot popular comedies lately. Wilson has burned me a few times. However, I really enjoy Wiig. Sudeikis and Galifianakis have been good in a few movies. And I really loved the weirdness, style, and heart of DYNAMITE. This trailer had me laughing out loud. Let’s hope they weren’t the movie’s only laughs.

WHEN? Wednesday, August 19


AMERICAN ULTRA

WHO? Jesse Eisenberg (SOCIAL NETWORK, 30 MINUTES OR LESS), Kristen Stewart (RUNAWAYS, ON THE ROAD, CAMP X-RAY), Topher Grace (THAT 70s SHOW)

WHAT? Think secret agent movies like SALT, then add some PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, a pinch of ADVENTURELAND, and crazy action like ZOMBIELAND, and you get AMERICAN ULTRA.

WHY? A silly stoner spy movie. The trailer was lots of fun. The action is really over the top. This could be a surprise like KINGSMEN. Plus, the screenwriter (Max Landis) wrote CHRONICLE, one of my favourite recent cult classics. Fingers crossed, ULTRA could be the next one.

WHEN? August 21


HITMAN: AGENT 47

WHO? No biggies… Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Ciaran Hinds, and Spock (Zachary Quinto)

WHAT? An elite genetically engineered assassin is the perfect weapon. The baddies want his powers to build an army. 47 has got to stop them.

WHY? Mindless action, but with a decent budget and stylish imagery. The trailer was definitely exciting. I’m a little hesitant, as the last film wasn’t too memorable. There just isn’t many balls-to-the-wall action flicks this month. This looks like the best pick for gunfights and car chases.

WHEN? August 21


MERU

WHAT? Documentary. A trio of expert climbers tackle the challenge of climbing the 21,000 foot Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru. This is one of the best destinations for Himalayan climbing. A fierce storm hits, cancelling their adventure. They return years later to finish what they started. Unfortunately, this time it gets way worse.

WHY? I really enjoy a good documentary. Survival docs are usually really impressive, especially on the big screen. This could be the next TOUCHING THE VOID. Plus, it will get me ready for the upcoming EVEREST with Jake Gyllenhaal.

WHEN? August 21

WHERE? Limited release


NO ESCAPE

WHO? Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan

WHAT? A family has moved overseas to make a better life. They are thrown into danger when rebels attack their new city, hunting down foreigners.

WHY? The motivations are easy to relate to. The premise is simple. The action looks intense. Wilson must protect his family and guide them to safety while navigating one dangerous obstacle after the other. Essentially, this could be a chase for most of the movie.

WHEN? Wednesday, August 26


Z FOR ZACHARIAH

WHO? Margot Robbie (WOLF OF WALL STREET, SUICIDE SQUAD), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 YEARS A SLAVE), Chris Pine (STAR TREK)

WHAT? A woman survives on her own, after a nuclear war devastated most of the area, until a stranger arrives. They begin to form a relationship, when a new stranger arrives, acting much more suspicious.

WHY? Post-apocalypse movies are usually good. I like how this one focuses on the aftermath and it’s effect on character’s lives, rather than aiming its lens on the spectacle of destruction. Will this be a vicious love triangle movie? Or something like STRAW DOGS? I can’t wait. This movie has been on my most anticipated list for a while now.

WHEN? August 28

WHERE? Limited release, initially.


ON THE FENCE INCLUSIONS

THE GIFT (Aug.7) – Joel Edgerton (also directs) stars alongside Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall in this thriller where a couple’s life gets complicated with the arrival of an old acquaintance.

THE RUNNER (Aug.7 – limited) – Nicolas Cage stars as a politician affected by the 2010 BP Oil Spill, and a sex scandal. Could be good Nic Cage. The focus seems split here. The interesting story angle is the BP Crisis.

SINISTER 2 (Aug.21) – Shannyn Sossamon (WAYWARD PINES, KNIGHT’S TALE) stars in this horror sequel. The first one with Ethan Hawke was actually scary. This time the evil spirit haunts this mother and her twin sons.


MOVIES I’M AVOIDING THAT MIGHT INTEREST OTHERS

SHAUN THE SHEEP (Aug.5) – Looks like a stop-motion family movie based on a series.

THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Aug.14) – Based on a novel, and aimed at a different demographic. It seems to be a little edgy, as the girl falls for an older man (Alexander Skarsgard) who happens to be her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend. Should be better than most young adult comedies.

WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS (Aug.28) – Zac Effron stars in what could be a music DJ version of BOILER ROOM. Effron’s young DJ gets mentored by an older DJ. His life gets complicated when he falls for his mentor’s girlfriend. I don’t know if this will get edgy. I’ve heard some buzz on it. But nothing really stands out, as of yet.


The cast from STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON

What do you think?

Charlize Theron in DARK PLACES

Leave a comment below.

Alicia Vikander in THE MAN FROM UNCLE

TWEET/TWEET @slipthroughnerd

Margot Robbie in Z FOR ZACHARIAH

14 thoughts on “SLIP/cuts: Best New Theatrical Releases – AUGUST

  1. I think your judgement here is sound, and I was thinking that August was downhill but as you point out, there’s still plenty left to sample!
    Shaun the Sheep is definitely just a kids’ movie. Very safe to skip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahah. Kate Mara. Fair enough, eh. I like the different marketing for F4 though. One I saw made me realize how awesome this release actually is… It focused on Jordan and his dad, with a lot of cool action scenes for Johnny Storm. It clicked. Marketed like this, F4 is the first big budget black superhero movie. Right on.

      As far Kate, have you seen in her in Deadfall? She really impressed me there. Good little indie crime thriller too.

      Liked by 1 person

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