AUGUST 2012 MOVIES
The Bourne Legacy
A story centered on a new CIA operative in the universe based on Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels. Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton and Joan Allen.
OUR TAKE: A lot of people just now realizing this movie exists are complaining that it’s a “knock-off” just because it doesn’t have Matt Damon or his character Jason Bourne in it. Given that Bourne Legacy is being written and directed by Tony Gilroy (who wrote all the previous Bourne films and directed the excellent thriller Michael Clayton), we think this film has everything it needs to succeed.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
School is out and Greg (Zachary Gordon) is ready for the days of summer, when all his plans go wrong. What on earth is he going to do all summer?
OUR TAKE: We’ve never been sure who, exactly, goes to see these movies – but there must be enough of them if they keep making new ones. To those fans of the franchise: enjoy.
As the nation states Euromerica and New Shanghai vie for supremacy, a factory worker (Colin Farrell) begins to suspect that he’s a spy, though he is unaware which side of the fight he’s on. Bryan Cranston, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Ethan Hawke, Bokeem Woodbine and Bill Nighy co-star.
OUR TAKE: Total Recall doesn’t look like THE WORST remake in the world – but then again, it doesn’t look like much more than a generic sci-fi/action flick, either. Worthy of a do-over? Probably not.
Two rival South Carolina politicians (Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis) with presidential aspirations tangle with one another. Dylan McDermott, Jason Sudeikis, John Lithgow, Brian Cox and Dan Aykroyd co-star.
OUR TAKE: It’s hard to joke about politics in America (especially during an election year) without hurting somebody’s sensitive little feelings. Political jibes also makes comedic stars into lightning rods for those “out of touch Hollywood” accusations. Still, if there are two guys who can make the D.C. crowd pucker their puckers, it’s probably Ferrell and Galifianakis.
Three sisters form a successful singing group and must deal with the fallout of fame and drugs. Jordin Sparks, Tika Sumpter, Carmen Ejogo, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Cee-Lo, Omari Hardwick and Whitney Houston star.
OUR TAKE: A familiar rags to riches to emotional breakdown story of superstardom in America. Fans of films like Dreamgirls will be in attendance for another round of soul-singing drama, while morbidly curious moviegoers will turn out to see the last onscreen performance from the late Whitney Houston.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
A childless couple bury a box in their backyard, containing all of their wishes for an infant. Soon, a child is born, though Timothy Green is not all that he appears. Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Garner, Common, Ron Livingston, and Cameron Adams star.
OUR TAKE: Want to see something heart-warming and tear-jerking in dead heat of summer? (Well… do you?)
The Expendables 2
Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat. Jason Statham, Liam Hemsworth, Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Scott Adkins, Terry Crews, Randy Couture and Arnold Schwarzenegger star.
OUR TAKE: Did you see that list of action stars???? Plus there’s a director with some skill (read: not Stallone) behind the camera this time!? When it comes to purchasing a ticket for this sequel, consider the money in our wallets (wait for it…) expendable.
A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse. Voices by Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Kendrick, Leslie Mann, Casey Affleck, Jeff Garlin and John goodman.
OUR TAKE: ParaNorman looks like a good mix of unique animation style for the kids, and fun twists on horror movie tropes for older viewers. Toss in a story with something meaningful to say about what it is to be the “weird” kid, and if all goes well, Laika Entertainment (Coraline) might just deliver a Pixar-level hit.
A couple are haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment. Sebastian Stan, Ashley Greene and Tom Felton star.
OUR TAKE: This film has been sitting on the shelf for over a year now – was there really any need to dust it off and put it in theaters? Oh, right: to give hormone-driven teenagers a PG-13 excuse to swarm the theater with their friends before school starts up again.
Hit And Run
Former getaway driver Charlie Bronson (Dax Shepard) jeopardizes his Witness Protection Plan identity in order to help his girlfriend (Kristen Bell) get to Los Angeles. The feds and Charlie’s former gang chase them on the road. Bradley Cooper, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Rosenbaum, Beau Brides, David Keochner, Joy Bryant and Tom Arnold co-star.
OUR TAKE: The film is co-directed by David Palmer and star Dax Shepard and features a cast made up largely of their friends. The last film to fit that description was Brother’s Justice - do you remember that one? Yeah, didn’t think so.
In this film by horror master Takashi Shimizu (The Grudge), passengers aboard a flight across the Pacific Ocean encounter a supernatural force. Amy Smart, Nicky Whelan, Jamie Chung, Leslie Bibb, Ryan Kwanten, Scout Taylor-Compton and Jerry Ferrara star.
OUR TAKE: We’ll skip the more obvious “Ghosts on a plane” jokes and just say that the prospect of a TSA cavity search is already making air travel more frightening. But The Grudge was a freaky (if not overly convoluted) ghost story, so here is hoping Shimizu can creep us out again.
A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Grant Show and Natasha Calis star.
OUR TAKE: Another film that has been sitting on the shelf for awhile and has seen virtually no marketing and promotion to speak of. Could be a winner? (Sarcasm.)
Set in the Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities who want a cut of their profits. Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Mia Wasikowska and Jason Clarke star.
OUR TAKE: We called this film one of our 20 most anticipated of the year, based on its impressive cast alone. The numerous release date shifts and title changes have made us worry a bit, but we still expect good things from this 2012 summer movie finisher.
That’s it for our 2012 Summer Movie Preview. Which film are you most excited for? Which one do you think will be the biggest surprise hit? The biggest disappointment? Is there any film on the list that you think has a shot at Oscars glory in the winter?