A DEA agent (Mark Wahlberg) and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer (Denzel Washington) 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.
Our Take: Meh, it’s a generic summer action flick directed by the guy who made the B-movie thriller Contraband, starring two of the genre’s current heavyweights. There are worse ways to kick off the August doldrums.
After its victory over Leonidas’ 300, the Persian Army under the command of Xerxes marches south towards the major Greek city-states. The Democratic city of Athens, first on the path of Xerxes’ army, bases its strength on its fleet, led by admiral Themistocles. Themistocles is forced to an unwilling alliance with the traditional rival of Athens, oligarchic Sparta, whose might lies with its superior infantry troops. But Xerxes still reigns supreme in numbers over sea and land.
Our Take: Instead of visionary director Zack Snyder at the helm of this interquel/sequel, we have the man who directed the flop that was Smart People. Sure, Snyder helped with the script, but it’s based on recent work by comic book creator Frank Miller, which has not been great, lately. Don’t be surprised if the magic is gone the second time around.
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.
Our Take: Director Neil Blomkamp shocked the world with his imagination and visual/storytelling prowess with District 9 – and this film looks like it’s going to make total fools out of the studio execs who once stood in the way of Blomkamp directing the long-stalled Halo movie. One of our most anticipated of the summer, no doubt.
Dusty (Dane Cook) is a cropdusting 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 (Stacy Keach) and a host of new friends, Dusty sets off to make his dreams come true.
Our Take: This is the official turning point where Disney animation tries its best to imitate the work of its branch studio, Pixar, without the general public taking notice. Will the level of quality be maintained across both studio divisons? Many would say the sight of Dane Cook in the starring voice role is a clear omen that it will not.
We’re the Millers
A veteran pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) creates a fake family (Jennifer Anistion and Emma Roberts) as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico.
Our Take: Aniston and Sudeikis were golden in Horrible Bosses, and additions like Hangover star Ed Helms, Parks and Recreation star Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn (Hung) make this funny premise look like it will pay off. We might even get a surprising amount of heart to go along with the laughs.
The costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass (Aaron Johnson) joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows.
Our Take: Matthew Vaughn isn’t directing this sequel to his cult-hit comic book adaptation, but from everything we’ve seen – including more of Chloe Moretz as that badass Hit-Girl and Jim Carrey looking especially loony as “Col. Stars and Stripes” – Kick-Ass 2 is going to deliver exactly what we loved about the first film.
An entry-level employee (Liam Hemsworth) at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss’s (Gary Oldman) old mentor (Harrison Ford) to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.
Our Take: This film has flown under the radar, but it’s got a great cast – Oldman, Ford, Hemsworth, along with Amber Heard, Josh Holloway, Lucas Till and Richard Dreyfuss – and a competent director in Robert Luketic (21, Legally Blonde). A nice corporate thriller will be a welcome change of pace for the adult crowd… even if it falls slightly on the B-movie side of the line.
In order to restore their dying safe haven, Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece and stop an ancient evil from rising.
Our Take: The first installment was a fun enough young adult adventure, and with a bigger budget, the increased fame of its principal stars (Lerman, Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson) and a geek-rousing appearance by Nathan Fillon, the second installment will likely deliver more of a good time.
When her mom (Lena Headey) is attacked and taken from their home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl, Clary Fray (Lily Collins), finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back, that changes her entire life.
Our Take: While we’re not experts on this particular YA franchise of books (by author Cassandra Clare), but the concept certainly looks a lot more intriguing than Twilight (and even Disney’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice movie from a few years ago). The cast – including Jamie Campbell Bower and Jonathan Rhys Meyers – is pretty solid, and director Harald Zwart overcame some pretty long odds to make The Karate Kid remake worthwhile. We expect good things from this.
20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s.
Our Take: Edgar Wright’s “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy comes to an end with this film. We loved Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and we expect to love The World’s End just as much (if not more).
When the Davison family comes under attack during their wedding anniversary getaway, the gang of mysterious killers soon learns that one of victims harbors a secret talent for fighting back.
Our Take: Having a feeling of Deja Vu? That’s probably because you read the synopsis for the May release No One Lives, which (at least on paper) sounds like the exact same movie as this. Having seen director Adam Wingard’s work in horror anthologies like V/H/S and ABCs of Death… we’d (literally) put our money on No One Lives.
One Direction: This Is Us 3D
An all-access pass to the British pop sensation One Direction live in concert.
Our Take: We just HAD to end with this. If the subject matter makes you cringe, you’ll positively convulse when you hear that documentary superstar Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me, Greatest Movie Ever Sold) is the man behind the 3D camera. Oh Morgan…
Other August Movies
- The To-Do List (8/16) – Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall.
- Closed Circuit (8/28) – Two ex-lovers, Martin (Eric Bana) and Claudia (Rebecca Hall), find their loyalties tested and their lives at risk when they are joined together on the defense team in a terrorism trial.
That’s it for our Summer 2013 Movie Preview – Vote for your top 3 Most Anticipated films above and discuss the summer season in the comments!