Monthly Movie Preview: August 2015

July had some of the year’s biggest blockbusters, but August still has a few tricks up its sleeve – a variety of action reboots, indy heart-warmers and weird concept films.

August 4-12 only – Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F

Starring: The original voices of Dragon Ball Z

A great many of us grew up watching Dragon Ball Z after school, I still have a few of the VHS. I used to just be in love with the show. Akira Toriyama, the original creator, has written the screen play and a long time series animator, Tadayoshi Yamamuro directed. The big story about this movie is it heralds the return of Frieza, possibly one of the most important antagonists from the the series. Now, yes, Frieza did return once before, with his father even but that didn’t last very long. Now he’s been resurrected via the dragon balls and he’s back and stronger than ever and he seems to have yet another form. Frieza turns a nice bright golden yellow, very much like a super saiyan. One thing that the trailer hasn’t revealed yet are actually super saiyans though, which is strange because is a time line of the series we know that all of the saiyans have gone full yellow hair. Oh and Master Roshi has definitely juicing. – Scott

August 7 – The Fantastic Four

Starring: Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reginald Cathey

The Fantastic Four movies are like paying someone 7-15 dollars to barf in your face. There just hasn’t been a good one yet, and it’s really difficult to convince me a good one could ever come. And if that’s not bad enough, FF2: and Silver Surfer Too! has probably obliterated any chance we’ll ever see a legit Silver Surfer movie. But then again… this trailer looks significantly better than any other FF movie stuff we’ve seen before. It looks like a movie that was intentionally made and not a CW after school special. It also seems like it’s adopting the Ultimate Fantastic Four story vein of (slightly) harder science, and more inclusive character rosters, and slightly updated themes and story ideas. I think overall I like the image of this movie: I’m legitimately excited about Reed’s interdimensional machine; Thing looks pretty great (his face looks wonky, but great otherwise); and it feels like I’m watching a trailer for a more respected sci-fi epic. I think I’m on board. The only thing that makes me nervous is how much they aren’t showing Doom: a single second in the whole 3 minutes. That’s iffy. I also heard they made him an angry blogger. That’s intensely dumb and possibly a movie breaker, but there’s enough here to make me willing to give it a chance. And if you haven’t read Ultimate Fantastic Four, you definitely definitely should. – Montgomery

August 7 – Shaun The Sheep Movie

Starring: Justin Fletcher, John Sparkes, Omid Djalili, Kate Harbour

This is basically another Wallace and Gromit but with sheep. I personally hate the Claymation style of movies but despite that, this looks like it could be very funny. It has a sort of Madagascar 3 vibe going on with the sheep on the run from animal control in an unknown city. The best part of the whole trailer is when they are brought to animal control, there is a Siamese cat in a collar that does the whole Silence of the Lambs Hannibal Lector thing. It’s pretty funny. – Robert

August 7 – Ricki and the Flash

Starring: Meryl Streep, Mammie Gummer, Audra McDonald,  Kevin Kline, Charlotte Rae, Rick Springfield, Sebastian Stan

Typically, I would not go for this kind of movie. But for some reason it is reminding of Stepmom in feel. Adult women looking back on their lives and their decisions and trying to make things better now. I kinda like that idea. Plus, you know, Meryl Streep. And she looks damn cool with that hair! Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer, plays Ricki’s daughter, and has said publicly it was hard being mean to her mom. I think it would be interesting just to see that dynamic. This is one I will definitely see, but maybe I’ll wait until Redbox. – Adrian

August 7 – Cop Car

Starring: Kevin Bacon, single separations of Kevin Bacon

Fuck da police!!! Naw, just kidding, cops can be alright sometimes I guess. However, Kevin Bacon is not one of these cops. As two young boys find an abandoned cop car with no signs of ownership within range, they decide to be young badasses and take the cop car on a joy ride through the country side. Yet, things may not be as they appear. Although it is unclear as to why Kevin Bacon wants the boys who took his car dead, I am guessing it has something to do with whatever is hidden in his trunk. Or it could have something to do with the body he was dragging away. Either way, the events which will occur on that day are for sure going to leave those two boys with severe trauma if they don’t end up dead. I think before ever seeing this movie, it is obvious that taking an abandoned, well working police car is a bad idea. Kids are stupid. – Evan

August 7 – Diary of a Teenage Girl

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgard, Bel Powley, Christopher Meloni, Margarita Levieva

The title really threw me off. I was not at all interested until I saw the preview. Diary of a Teenage Girl follows a 15 year-old who loses her virginity to her mom’s boyfriend (played by Alexander Skarsgard). As she searches for love, she also starts to think that love means sex. This movie immediately caught my attention when it began incorporating comic book elements; in my research, I found out that Diary of a Teenage Girl is a graphic novel released in 2002 by Phoebe Gloeckner. Like the book, I imagine the movie will be a disturbing, yet honest telling of what it is like to grow up female in America. – Adrian

August 7 – The Gift

Starring: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton (Owen Lars to you Star Wars nerds), Tim Griffith, Allison Tollman

The Gift leaves me torn: on one hand it looks like a terrifying psychological thriller, on the other hand it may be so predictable within the first thirty minutes that the viewer is likely to fall asleep. The movie tells the story of a man (Jason Bateman) who moves home with his wife (Rebecca Hall) and runs into an old “friend” (Joel Edgerton). The friend comes on too strong in some odd ways and is told to stay away, at which point he starts doing insane things to the man and his wife, ultimately culminating in the revelation of a terrible secret from the past and what will likely be a gruesome and disturbing murder involving the wife and a baby. At face value this sounds like something that will be really scary in that dark way that sticks with you, in that way that you just cannot shake. However I have two issue with this – first, violence towards infants is typically a trashy tactic, and unless done extremely well and purposefully it will destroy and credit the film had up to that point. Second, the trailer seems to elude that as it turns out, th man (Bateman) may actually be the wolf in sheep’s clothing which has been done over and over before. I definitely think this movie is worth a shot, because it looks genuinely horrifying and like it will leave audiences speechless, but I cannot guarantee that it won’t lose it’s unique edge but inching into far too familiar territory. – Keriann

*Note: I am only speculating that there will be violence towards an infant. There is no guarantee, I am just fearing the worst from seeing the trailer. If that is something that will turn your stomach in an irreversible way you may want to avoid this movie on opening weekend to be on the safe side.

August 14 – Underdogs

Starring: Nicholas Hoult (Beast from Days of Future Past), Bella Thorne, Taran Killam (Wild N Out), Bobby Moyniham (ChoZen), John Leguizamo, Matthew Morrison

GOOOOOAAAALLLL!! If animated movies have taught me anything, it’s that the power tears can do all sorts of things. From bringing people back from the dead to making foosball figures come to life. The logic and power never ceases to amaze me. The town is about to be destroyed………… so we play a soccer match to save it. If only that type of business deal was conducted in today’s society. It was only a matter of time before they made a soccer movie I suppose. This movie has a pretty big list of well-known actors and looks like it will be full of laughs. – Robert

August 14 – People Places Things

Starring: Jemaine Clement (MIB III), Jessica Williams (The Daily Show), Regina Hall (Scary Movie 2), Michael Chernus (OITNB)

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but there’s something about single dad movies that really draw me in. Comedian Jemaine Clement, or Professor Koontz from Napoleon Dynamite, as some may know him, stars as Will Henry, a graphic novelist and teacher who walks in on his wife cheating on him. I’d explain the rest of the plot, but it can be summarized with “he tries to raise his two daughters and find himself.” It’s full of cute, dry humor, and would be an excellent movie to see with a partner. Or by yourself; I bet it works out for Will. – Sherif

August 14 – Ten Thousand Saints

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ethan Hawke, Avan Jogia (Tut), Hailee Steinfeld, Julianne Nicholson, Emile Hirsch

Ender is all growed up! Asa Butterfield plays Jude, a teenager who is mixed up in sex and drugs at a young age. When his bff dies of a drug overdose, Jude is sent to live with his dad in Manhattan and becomes part of a straight-edge group, a total turn around from the life he has known. All of it is set in 1987 (the year I was born!), so I am really interested in it. Immediately, the trailer reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Wackness. I have a feeling this will be a hit for me. – Adrian

August 14 – The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Starring: Henry Cavill, Arnie Hammer, Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Elizabeth Debicki, Jared Harris, Hugh Grant,

There is so much yes that I have for this movie. Most modern movie updates seem blah, but this one is clearly packed with punch. Humor and action is exactly what this franchise needs. Cavill and Hammer have already proven themselves excellent actors, and I expect they will play well off of each other. I also really like that instead of trying to totally update the story, we will be transported to the 60’s. This will be the last good action movie of the summer, and will be totally worth it. – Adrian

August 14 – Straight Outta Compton

Starring: O’Shea Jackson (Ice Cube’s son), Corey Hawkins (soon to be Heath in The Walking Dead), Jason Mitchell, Aldis Hodge (Leverage), Neil Brown Jr. (Guillermo from The Walking Dead), Paul Giamatti

Just watching this preview makes me feel like a badass! I am ready to riot to some straight west coast rap and rebel against the establishment all for the sake of improving life’s conditions and watching a good movie. Ever since I first saw a trailer for this movie, months and months before it ever had a release date, I have been drooling with excitement. Being able to view the rise and struggles of NWA on a big screen seemed like a crazy idea only a few short years ago; however, today it will be a true work of art for hip-hop heads (hopefully). Although, I do not expect this movie to make a smashing at the box office due to its narrow audience. This movie appears to resonate with minorities, the hip-hop community who enjoy classics and history, and those interested in the overall culture NWA produced. Other than these individuals, I don’t see this having much appeal to other audiences. With Corey Hawkins playing Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell playing Eazy-E, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube’s son) playing Ice Cube, this movie is staying close to home. This movie is also said to portray Snoop Doggy Dogg, Suge Knight, Warren G and Tupac. I’m curious if Nate Dogg, Kurupt, or any other member of the Dogg Pound will make an appearance. Overall, this movie is bringing a lot of excitement and personally, I cannot wait to see it in theaters. – Evan

August 14 – Return to Sender

Starring: Rosamund Pike, Shiloh Fernandez, Nick Nolte, Illeana Douglas

Rape revenge story—totally have no plans of going to see it. Just watching the preview bothered me in ways that I have no desire to watch it.  I don’t think I’ll have to worry missing out on anything. The preview itself is edited in a hap-hazard and choppy fashion. It comes off as a Lifetime movie. And I feel you pretty much get the whole story in the preview. If you plan on to watch save your money; I’m sure it will be in the free movie section on demand in no time. – Jené

August 21 – Being Evel

Starring: Johnny Knoxville

I always refer to crazy drivers as driving like Evel Knievel , so this movie is a great opportunity to look at the origins of that phrase. It is a documentary style film with some of the biggest daredevils in the business talking about his life, how it changed everything and what it all meant to them. Johnny Knoxville seems to have a large part in the narration which should be enjoyable because of his hilarious personality. It will also be interesting to see how he feels about the legend and the way it shaped Jackass. – Robert

August 21 – Grandma

Starring: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox (OITNB), John Cho (Harold & Kumar)

Grandma looks absolutely hilarious. Lily Tomlin’s granddaughter finds herself pregnant and broke. Tomlin’s character is anything but senile and dottering. Her humor and personality is bigger than life. I was sold when Tomlin hits her granddaughters boyfriend in the crotch with a hockey stick. This is one indie I can’t wait for. – Adrian

August 21 – Hitman: Agent 47

Starring: Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto, Hannah Ware, Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder from Game of Thrones)

Agent 47 is back and it looks like he will send the majority of the film with another clone like him. Being a major fan of the games, it is hard for me to look at this objectively. The entire game is supposed to be played without ever being noticed, and in the movie he gets into a shootout in the middle of a crowded intersection with an elite commando team of some sort. It does look like they tried to borrow as much as possible from the games but in the end it will probably be nothing like them. All that being said, I can’t wait to see this movie. – Robert

August 21 – American Ultra

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace, John Leguizamo, Connie Britton, Walton Goggins (“Damn you, Du-jango”), Tony Hale (Buster Bluth),

This movie has the potential to be amazing, but also to be trash. Jesse Eisenberg fits the role of stoner sleeper agent perfectly, and Kristen Stewart has finally shed the glittery stigma of her Twilight days. Then again, Topher Grace is leading the military charge against Jesse Eisenberg; I can’t believe that guy is still getting roles after he defiled Eddie Brock… Anyway, it’ll be full of murder, mayhem and pot jokes. Whether or not that is your thing will determine if this is worth your time. – Sherif

August 21 – She’s Funny That Way

Starring: Owen Wilson, Imogen Potts, Will Forte, Jennifer Aniston, Rhys Ifans,

This trailer reminded me of the She’s All That trailer. A character is married to another character, who’s sleeping with other character, who’s in love and date other character…The list could go on. The movie looks like it’ll be pleasant enough. And it’s been awhile since I’ve seen Owen Wilson in anything and him alone makes me think I’ll try to watch the movie. Jennifer Anniston is also in the film so, how wrong could the film go? Imogen Poots (28 Days Later) and Rhys Ifans (Elementary) are also in the film a few favorite British actors. I think the movie, based on the trailer will be a rather enjoyable and comedic watch. – Jené

August 28 – Sinister 2

Starring: Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, Dartanian Sloan, Lea Coco, Tate Ellington

Did you see Sinister? Yes? Good deal, then you don’t need to see Sinister 2. If not, you still don’t need to see Sinister 2, just go watch the fist one because the sequel has literally nothing new to offer you. What a disappointment this movie is. Sinister didn’t need a sequel, but because money rules the world Sinister 2 came into existence and tells the exact same story as the first one. Throughout history there has been this ghoul, and he does this thing where he corrupts children and gets them to kill their parents and siblings – and for some reason he has them film it too. Probably because that makes the movie seem scary when in reality it’s just a disturbing tactic to make you feel ill. Sinister 2 once again finds a father researching this ghoul without realizing that his obsession is subjecting his children to said ghoul. The kid will become evil and kill his family and the cycle will continue. It is the exact same as the first movie, only there will be different meat suits to kill off in interesting ways and stuff into body bags. This movie seems like nothing more than a ploy to try and make more money off of an idea that was poorly thought out in the first place. You can avoid this one, even once it comes to Netflix. – Keriann

August 28 – We Are Your Friends

Starring: Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski, Wes Bentley (Seneca Crane), Jon Bernthal

This is the white man’s Straight Outta Compton. It seems like the shadow of High School Musical will forever loom over Zac Effron. At least we won’t have to listen to him sing in this movie. I find it hard to watch movies about music because they often times try to appeal to various emotions in the most uncomfortable ways. That, and I can’t stand watching the main character construct his Magnum Opus of the film by putting together the most random collection of sounds ever found to make something that is played back either in slow motion or with a crappy flashback to him gathering the sounds. They show him recording a nail gun in the trailer for crying out loud. This has got to be the must miss of the season. – Robert

August 28 – Z for Zachariah

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine

With an all-star cast like Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine, you’d think we would have heard more about this movie, right? The world has ended (of COURSE it was a nuclear fallout – do you even have to ask anymore?), and a scientist (Ejiofor) connects with a young woman who fears she is all alone. Until, that is, he is super duper cock-blocked by Chris Pine. And I think that’s the jist of the movie. It’s like The Walking Dead if only Rick, Shane, and Lori existed… and if Lori was the hottest woman on the planet. – Sherif

August 28 – 7 Chinese Brothers

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Stephen Root, Tunde Adebimpe (lead singer of TV on the Radio), Alex Karpovsky (Ray on HBO’s Girls), Alex Ross Perry (writing live-action Winnie the Pooh movie)

At first I thought this movie looked terrible but it actually seems to have some potential. It has Jason Schwartzman starring in it, who has an interesting sense of humor based on the few things I’ve seen him in. There have been plenty of movies out there like this, so it is hard to recommend someone drop money on an independent film. This is one that I will wait until it comes out at RedBox or Netflix…… and probably still not rent since I will have forgotten about this trailer. Also, what does this name have to do with anything? – Robert

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