(continued from part one)
August 17th - 19th - There are a grand total of 15 nationwide releases scheduled for August, over half of July's 7 releases. Week 3 of August contributes 4 of those. And those four are quite diverse, bringing something to about everyone. First up we get some serious action packed fun with The Expendables 2. The first Expendables movie came out two years ago and did fairly well. It was enticing because it brought in a whole slew of famous action stars into one movie. And if you have that, you pretty much know what you are getting into. The second one should be about the same, except the already large cast of action stars gets bigger. It includes Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolp Lundgreen, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture. You can't get a more highly decorated action-star cast than that and when you go into it, you aren't going for anything smart, moving, or deep. You are going for explosions, action, shooting, and fighting. And that is exactly what you will see in Expendables 2. Pure guys flick. Now I really don't know what Liam Hemsworth is doing this, but he's in there as well. There was a story about it being dummed down to PG-13 thanks to something Chuck Norris said or did, but it turned out to be false when it got the R rating a couple of weeks back. Now as some good counter programming, we also get a couple of family friendly films. The first of them being an oddly placed animated movie in ParaNorman. I say oddly placed because usually we don't get a major animated movie in August. But at that same time it does make sense because there is a huge slate of animated movies this year. We've already had The Lorax, Madagascar 2, Brave, and Ice Age this year, with a couple of smaller ones as well, and still have Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie, Wreck-It Ralph, and Rise of the Gaurdians each about a month a part so August is the only place ParaNorman fits in without having to worry about any competition close around it. Animated movies have been doing quite well this year with three of them having topped $200M and an additional one topping $100M. Now ParaNorman specifically is stop motion animation and the highest grossing stop motion animation movie is Chicken Run with 109M, so a extremely high total shouldn't be expected, but it's being advertised as from the creators of Coraline, which earned $75M back in '09. If ParaNorman matches those numbers it will be considered a success, but anywhere between $50M and $75M should be expected. It has a Supernatural / Halloween feel, which could be a draw for those in an early Halloween mood. The other family friendly film coming out this week for those not interested in ParaNorman is The Odd Life of Timothy Green. The genre of this movie is a fantasy drama movie. It's about a young couple who are unable to have children. They put their wishes for a child into a box and bury it. The next day, the child they want shows up on their doorstep. However, the child turns out to be different than he appears, part of which may being little branches growing out of his legs as he informs everyone he came from the ground and not from his mom's belly. It seems like a touching family film with a great cast as the lead roles are Joel Edgerton and Jennifer Garner. Last up we have the tribute to the late Whitney Houston called Sparkle. It is a music drama that stars both American Idol winner Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston, with Whitney being one of the producers as well. It wasn't intended on being a Whitney Houston tribute originally, but the singer died just three months after filming finished so that is what it has become. Whitney Houston fans should turn out for this to remember her and her legacy.
August 24th - 26th - This the fourth weekend in August is definitely the weekend that we can look at the movies coming out and officially decide that summer is over. Besides having a few weird movies that I will get into in a second, this weekend ushers in the horror season with The Apparition. Starring Draco Malfoy, I mean Tom Felton, this horror film plays with the psychological aspect of belief. The tagline in the movie is "Once you believe, you die." The idea in the movie is that ghosts are only real and haunt us if we believe in them. And of course, this being a horror film, it won't be all peaches and roses. People will believe and thus people will get haunted and possibly killed because they believed. Does that have truth to it? I don't know. I'll let you think about that. Playing with this psychological aspect of the human mind could successfully freak people out if done well and thus attract the crowds that like being scared by movies. But let's move on. The next movie could be really cool or it could be really dumb. It is Premium Rush.. Upon reading up on it and watching the trailers, what it honestly reminds me of is The Fast and Furious movies. But with bikes. A bike messenger picks up an envelope that gets the attention of the police. This leads to the police chasing the cyclist all around the city. The interesting thing is that the lead character, the cyclist, is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. JGL has become a huge Hollywood name recently, partly due to his role in Inception amongst other things and most recently, The Dark Knight Rises. He is also scheduled to be in Looper and Lincoln this year, so it's a big year for him. It'll be interesting to see if he can attract crowds to an odd movie like Premium Rush. Finally we get treated to another raunchy comedy called Hit & Run. In addition to being a raunchy comedy, it also is an action movie and includes a romance story line, so it looks like it is trying hard to be a big hit by expanding it's audience, but I honestly think it will be another flop. Make fun of me later if it becomes big.
August 31st - September 2nd - Yes, this weekend has two days in September, but the weekend starts in August, so I am including it in my August preview. The extreme movie rush that was August has ended by this point as only two new releases come out this weekend. The first is an intense action movie called Lawless. It gets the "based on a true story" tag that will make in intriguing. It is about two brothers that become outlaws and then after becoming outlaws they become heroes. They picked an interesting cast of brothers. One brother is Tom Hardy, who is ridiculously awesome. The other brother is Shia LaBeouf, who is really not that awesome. They both try to pull off the bad-a role and I believe Hardy can do it, but I don't know about LaBeouf. It also includes Guy Pierce and Gary Oldman, which make the cast more intriguing. On top of all this, it does have a Western feel to it. The second of the weekend and last movie of August is the second straight horror movie, The Possession. The Possession is what it sounds like and if the previous week's The Apparition doesn't scare crowds, this one should do the trick. I was kinda creeped out by the trailer, but maybe I'm just a wimp. It's a movie about a father and his daughter. The young girl buys a mysterious box at a yard sale that ends up having a spirit in it that possesses the young girl. The father does his best to try to find a way to get rid of the spirit, so it definitely has an Exorcism feel. Trying to creep out crowds even more, the movie is based on a true story.