When we last talked movies, it was June. Yikes! So I went back to my calendar to check which movies at the theater drew my attention this summer. Not a great movie summer, in my opinion.
On Memorial Day weekend, traditionally the spot for big summer movies, I saw Prince of Persia and Letters to Juliet. Both are good and well worth a rental. The rest of June saw me go to the theater for Robin Hood and The A-Team, while I rented Walk Don’t Run, Valentine’s Day, Unthinkable, Book of Eli and Eagle Eye. I would recommend Robin Hood and Book of Eli.
In July, I saw Knight and Day and Inception. Knight and Day was OK, and I would most definitely recommend Inception. Visually spectacular and very thought provoking. My Netflix watching consisted of the second season of the SyFy series Sanctuary. (I’m ready and waiting for season 3!)
August started out with Salt, then The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Charlie St. Cloud, The Kids Are All Right, The Expendables and Get Low. Rentals: The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Ugly Truth, The Bounty Hunter, Shutter Island, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. And I started September with Whiteout. My recommendations? Salt, The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Ugly Truth, Shutter Island, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (the Swedish version), with other five I saw at the theater as possibles.
So what’s September hold? There are more on my list, but I have a funny feeling I won’t be seeing many of them in the theater.
The American: Starring George Clooney as a weary assassin ready to retire, The American takes place in Italy as his past comes back to haunt him. The buzz I’m hearing is that while Clooney’s good, his supporting cast are the ones to watch. Rated R, The American opened September 1.
Machete: Rated R, Machete stars Danny Trejo, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Don Johnson, Jessica Alba and Robert de Niro. From Robert Rodriguez, Machete tells the story of an ex-Federale (Trejo) who returns for revenge on those who left him for dead and framed him for murder. While I like Trejo and Fahey, I’ll probably skip this blood bath, at least until it’s released on DVD. Opens September 3.
Going the Distance: Starring real-life couple (most of the time) Drew Barrymore and Justin Long, the rom-com follows the romance of Erin and Garrett during a summer fling in New York City. Then reality intrudes, Erin heads home on the West Coast, Garrett stays in New York, and they decide to try to make the relationship work long distance. Can they make it work? The trailers look fun, so this one might be worth a look. Rated R, Going the Distance opens September 3.
Never Let Me Go: Listed as a thriller, Never Let Me Go stars Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield as childhood friends. They meet at an English boarding school (or is it?), and as they mature, they must confront their feelings for each other and for a “haunting reality” that awaits them. Not sure what this one is all about, so it might wait for a rental. Rated R, Never Let Me Go opens in limited release September 17.
Easy A: The trailers look like fun, though I can hear a few parents cringing over Easy A. The story of good-girl Olive (Emma Stone) who uses the high school rumor mill to advance her social standing has a connection to classic literature. The A comes from The Scarlet Letter; I’ll let you take it from there. Rated PG-13, Easy A opens September 17.
The Town: A movie I will probably go to see in the theater, The Town stars Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Blake Lively. Affleck is a bank robber who must decide between his crew and a bank manager he falls for during a heist. Then you have the FBI agent (Hamm) who is pursuing the crew. I’m actually looking forward to this one, although I’m quite sure it’s not going to end happy. Rated R, The Town opens September 17.
Jack Goes Boating: The film marks Philip Seymour Hoffman’s debut as a director, and he also stars. As far as I’m concerned Hoffman can do no wrong, so I’ll probably see this one. He portrays a limo driver who, when he goes on a blind date, opens up his world to more possibilities. Listed as a romantic comedy, Jack Goes Boating also promises more than a few poignant moments. Take tissues. Rated R, Jack Goes Boating opens in limited release September 17 and goes wide September 23.
Catfish: From what I’m hearing, it’s best to go into this film without any information. It’s a documentary with a number of twists, and I have no idea what those twists are. It’s about social media and most of those who have seen it call it “powerful” and “moving.” And it has a very interesting website. Rated PG-13, Catfish opens in limited release September 17.
Alpha and Omega: An animated delight from Lions Gate Family Entertainment, Alpha and Omega tells the tale of two wolves trying to return to their original park after rangers ship them across the country. Voiced by Hayden Panettiere and Justin Long, Kate and Humphrey not only have to travel cross country, they have to survive each other. Looks fun. Rated PG, Alpha and Omega opens September 17 in 3D.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: Nope, I won’t be going to see this one, but it’s getting a lot of hype. The original Wall Street, also starring Michael Douglas, stormed theaters in 1987, and Douglas won an Oscar for his portrayal of Gordon Gekko. This time around, Gekko returns after a stint in prison and partners with a young trader (Shia Lebeouf) who is also engaged to Gekko’s daughter (Cary Mulligan). Charlie Sheen reprises his role as Bud Fox, and Josh Brolin also stars. Rated PG-13, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opens September 24.
You Again: High-school rivalries return as Marni (Kristen Bell) discovers her brother is marrying her nemesis, and Marni’s mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) comes face to face with the bride’s aunt (Sigourney Weaver), her high-school rival. The comedy also stars Betty White, Odette Yustman, Kristin Chenoweth, Cloris Leachman, Victor Garber and Patrick Duffy. Another fun movie, and I may head to the theater for this one. Rated PG, You Again opens September 24.
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole: An animated feature from Zack Snyder, Owls is based on series of books by Kathryn Lasky. This installment follows Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess, Across the Universe) who follows a legend and becomes one himself. Other voices are provided by Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Hugo Weaving, Helen Mirren, Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Geoffrey Rush and Sam Neill. The visuals look stunning, and it sounds to be a poignant story as well. Rated PG, Legend of the Guardians opens September 24.
Buried: A strange premise, Buried takes place in real time as Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) attempts to figure out who buried him with only a lighter and a cell phone. I’m not sure how much of the story takes place out side of the coffin, but it appears that the majority of the film only shows Reynolds in the confined space. We’ll see how this one is received by the general movie-going public. I may wait on this one. Rated R, Buried opens September 24 in limited release, going wide October 8.
I’m more than a little disgruntled with the movie industry these days: poor product, higher and higher ticket prices, remakes galore. Am I just romanticizing the way it was? Or has the industry really gone down hill in recent years? Whichever it is, I’ll be doing more renting, and more reading.
See ya at the movies (maybe)!