Grit Blogs > The Open Book

August Heat at the Theater

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor


Tags: Stolen, Independence Day, Crazy Heart, Alien Trespass, Cleaner, To Paris With Love, In the Electric Mist, Ondine, Captain America, Buck, Harry Potter, Cowboys and Aliens, Larry Crowne, Crazy Stupid Love, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Change Up, The Whistleblower, 30 Minutes or Less, The Help, Final Destination 5, Glee The 3D Concert Movie, One Day, Fright Night, Conan the Barbarian, Spy Kids, All the Time in the World, Amigo, Griff the Invisible, Our Idiot Brother, Dont Be Afraid of the Dark, Colombiana, Higher Ground, The Debt, Warrior, Drive, Moneyball, Dolphin Tale, 50 50, Dream House, Killer Elite, movies,

Jean Teller Since we last talked movies, I’ve gone to the theater to see Buck (a documentary showing at the local art film theater; excellent); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (sad to see the franchise end; this was an excellent ending, though); and Cowboys & Aliens (an interesting take on alien movies, well done, good if you like lots of explosions, and the special effects were excellent).

Rentals included Stolen (stars Jon Hamm of HBO’s Mad Men; haunting); Independence Day (from my collection; love the scene when Will Smith shoots down the alien craft and drags the alien into Area 51); Crazy Heart (not sure why it won so many awards, I don’t find drunks entertaining); Alien Trespass (fun, if you remember this is all campy cheesiness); Cleaner (with Samuel Jackson, kind of an interesting mystery but it’s also fairly predictable); I tried to watch From Paris With Love, but turned it off after about 15 minutes; In the Electric Mist (stars Tommy Lee Jones, kind of intriguing and kind of boring, all at the same time); and I started to watch Ondine, with Colin Farrell, but the Netflix Streaming version ended at 17 minutes. Sigh.

I have plans to see Captain America in the near future. I decided that Larry Crowne and Crazy Stupid Love were perfect rentals, so I’ll see those one of these days.

What’s in store for August, you ask? Well, in two words: Not much. (Why am I saying that so often these days?!)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes stars James Franco and Andy Serkis and is a prequel to the classic 1978 film. 

 August 5 brings Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco, Andy Serkis and Brian Cox. I have no desire to see this prequel. The classic 1968 film starring Charlton Heston is the only Planet of the Apes movie I need to see. (The four sequels in the early 1970s weren’t great, though I’ll take them over the prequel any day.) The prequel is rated PG-13.

 The Change-Up stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds. 

The Change-Up, rated R, stars Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds as two friends envious of the other’s life. A body switch proves what? And in limited release, The Whistleblower, rated R, stars Rachel Weisz as a police officer serving as a U.N. peacekeeper in Bosnia.

 30 Minutes or Less stars Jesse Eisenberg and Danny McBride. 

August 12 finds 30 Minutes or Less opening at your local theater. Not yet rated, the film stars Jessie Eisenberg as the kidnapped pizza delivery guy forced to rob a bank. The film will have wide appeal, I’m sure.

 The Help stars Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer. 

More my speed is The Help, starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, which opens August 10 and is rated PG-13. Good and bad buzz on this one; the book was a bestseller, so we’ll see how the big screen version does. Final Destination 5 is rated R, of course, and is in 3D. And the title of Glee: The 3D Concert Movie says it all.

 One Day stars Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess. 

August 19 brings One Day, rated PG-13, to the big screen. Starring Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess, the movie shows the two meeting on the same day for two decades. Reminds me of the Broadway play and movie Same Time, Next Year (the 1978 movie starred Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn).

 Fright Night stars Colin Farrell as a vampire who lives next door to teen Anton Yelchin. 

Also opening this weekend: Fright Night, rated R, finds a vampire (Colin Farrell) living next door to teen Anton Yelchin who goes to a magician (David Tennant) for help in this remake of a 1985 cult classic; Conan the Barbarian, rated R and in 3D, stars Jason Momoa as the barbarian in this new interpretation of the original Robert E. Howard stories; Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D (rated PG) stars Jessica Alba, Jeremy Pivin and Joel McHale in a reboot of the popular family franchise; Griff the Invisible, rated PG-13 and in limited release, stars Ryan Kwanten as an office worker moonlighting as a superhero, and also in limited release, the R-rated Amigo, the latest from director/writer John Sayles, takes a look at the Philippine-American War.

 Our Idiot Brother stars Paul Rudd as the titular character. 

Opening August 26, Our Idiot Brother stars Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer in an R-rated comedy about stoner Ned and his affect on the lives of his three sisters. My only question is, why, Paul, why?

 Colombiana stars Zoe Saldana as a cold-blooded assassin. 

Also opening this weekend: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, rated R and starring Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce, takes a horrifying twist as a young girl (Bailee Madison) discovers creatures in her father’s new home; Colombiana, rated PG-13, stars Zoe Saldana as an assassin after the mobster who killed her parents; and in limited release, Higher Ground, rated R, examines a woman’s struggle with her faith in an adaptation of the book This Dark World.

I might see The Whistleblower, The Help, Fright Night and Conan the Barbarian. Then again, they all might wait for my to-rent list. I see a lot of rentals in my future.

 Dolphin Tale is based on a true story about a dolphin without a tail. 

In September, look for The Debt (this one looks very good), Warrior, Drive, Moneyball (the buzz is high on Brad Pitt’s performance), KillerElite, Dolphin Tale (my niece has personally met the dolphin at the center of this feel-good movie), 50/50 and Dream House. Wow, looks like things might be picking up!

What’s on your must-see list? See ya at the movies!

 

muck boot diva
8/13/2011 12:57:46 PM

I am looking forward to seeing "The Help" as soon as I am able. Once I do, I will let you know what I think. Looks like an A+ to me! MBD


jean teller
8/9/2011 3:38:46 PM

Hi, Dave - nope, comedies aren't my speed. :) At least most of them. I hear good things about Crazy Stupid Love, so it'll go on my to-rent list. Smurfs, not so much. LOL Saw Captain America and thought it was very good. Stay until the end of the credits. And Cowboys & Aliens is definitely worth seeing in the theater - those $4 showings are terrific, aren't they?!? As for that Spy Kids movie in 4D - I'm not sure if it's really 4D or they're just spoofing all the 3D films. I found it hilarious to have that in the title. ROTFL! Have a good movie day!


nebraska dave
8/6/2011 10:11:01 PM

Jean, Heh heh, guess you weren't too impressed with the Smurf movie huh. I didn't go see it but my grandson and his Mom went to see it. I couldn't believe my grandson would pick the Smurf movie over Captian America. I didn't really see much that piqued my interest in your reviews this time. I really miss the Will Smith 4th of July releases of the past. I still would like to see Cowboys and Aliens but I might wait until it gets to the two buck theatre which is about the time it hits rental release. Although, the main line AMC theatres have a senior $4 showing before noon on weekdays in Omaha. A regular movie is up to $9.50 here and more for 3D. My big weakness is the snack bar. A snack pack which includes popcorn, drink, and candy on a small scale will cost $10. I noticed one of the movies you reviewed was in 4D. I had to look up what that was. Here's the definition. The combination of 3D movies with chair movement (vibration, sway, tilt, drop, wave motion, or movement in any direction) and other chair effects such as wind blowing, water spraying, leg and back ticklers is usually considered a 4D experience. Using additional hall effects such as smoke, rain, lightning, air bubbles and special smells (for example fireworks smell at the London Eye's Experience and gassy smells when the stinkbug sprays it at It's Tough to be a bug) is often regarded by many as 5D. Have a great experience at the movies day.


jean teller
8/5/2011 4:45:50 PM

Thanks, Robyn. I love writing them too. :) I saw a trailer for the new Sherlock Holmes recently, and it’s definitely on my must-see list, too! Thanks for reading!


robyn dolan
8/5/2011 3:54:15 PM

Jean, just love your reviews, always to the point! Saw Harry Potter, I think it was the best of all 8 movies! Also read all the books. Read The Help and enjoyed it. Am tempted to go see the movie, but it will probably have to be on my Netflix list, because my movie splurging seems to be limited to twice a year and I'm waiting for December to see the new Sherlock Holmes. Keep tellin' us what's good;)