ForReel August Movie Preview
As summer blockbuster season winds down, here's a look at what we are and are not looking forward to before fall sets in:
The Most Anticipated
Christopher Robin (Aug 3) - There likely will not be a movie in August as heartwarming as Christopher Robin. In many ways, it seems very similar to what we've seen in Paddington film adaptations, but with that sprinkle of Disney nostalgia we all love.
Slender Man (Aug 10) - The Slender Man is such a fascinating lore that has long deserved a cinematic narrative. While light marketing, release conflicts, and pushback on the project is concerning, the most recent trailer seems to position this film as a bona fide horror flick.
Mile 22 (Aug 17) - That's right everyone, another Mark Wahlberg lead pure action flick. While it's ambitious to believe Mile 22 can offer a compelling narrative, the action in the trailer seems exciting, which could make this movie a fun time at the theater.
Happytime Murders (Aug 24) - An R-rated muppet comedy starring Melissa McCarthy? Yes please. The combination just sounds too good to resist.
Searching (Aug 24) - We've seen found footage movies before. In fact, the style of this movie seems similar to the Unfriended films. But early reviews indicate Searching has an interesting premise and unique delivery, so it will be interesting to see how this film can differentiate itself.
Pick of the Litter (Aug 31) - Because this film has had a very successful film festival run, different outlets are reporting different release dates. It is likely the film will release limitedly, but it's important to include it on this list because the reviews have been stellar for this documentary about dogs that are literally born to be service dogs.
The Least Anticipated
The Darkest Minds (Aug 3) - It's superhero. It's YA. It's...all been done before. The premise of kids rising up to upset a distopian order has run its course, and only a selection number of the biggest budgeted franchises were able to make it work. The Darkest Minds does not seem to offer any special reason to reinvigorate the genre.
The Spy Who Dumped Me (Aug 3) - Perhaps there are a few laughs to be had, but everything about The Spy Who Dumped Me says it's nothing more than a run-of-the-mill comedy. Go to see Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon do silly stuff.
Dog Days (Aug 10) - There is a place in this world for a charming cast to pair with adorable animals and run around for almost two hours. While it might be a dream film for animal lovers, that doesn't necessarily mean it will be good. Dog Days has its target audience, and that's who it will pander to.
The Meg (Aug 10) - It seems that the goal of The Meg is to be Jaws on steroids, starring Jason Statham. There is a chance that it crosses that threshold where it gets so silly, it's entertaining, but walking in with that expectation ruins the potential.
Alpha (Aug 17) - Yes, the second dog-oriented movie of the month is also on our Least Anticipated list. While I hope there is more to the movie than the terrible trailer alludes to, the premise seems to be as basic as possible, making the film seem "wildly" predictable.
A.X.L (Aug 24) - Yes, yes, the third dog-oriented movie of the month is also on our Least Anticipated list. To be fair, of the three dog movies, this one looks like it could be the best. But it's a family film, which lends it to being pretty basic and cliche as well.
The Question Marks
Crazy Rich Asians (Aug 15) - Building narratives around race and stereotypes is a challenging task in film. Productions like Dear White People, Get Out, and Sorry to Bother You, among others, have pinned down the struggles of African American culture in entertaining and satirical ways. Can Crazy Rich Asians do the same for the Asian community, or is race the gimmick the film uses to sell a bland rom-com story?
Operation Finale (Aug 29) - The premise here seems interesting, the tone of the film through trailers seems serious, and the cast is top-notch. However, this is Matthew Orton's first outing as a feature-length screenwriter, and Chris Weitz has a directing resume with highs and lows that include About A Boy, The Golden Compass, Down to Earth, and Twilight: New Moon. Can their talent combine to tell a compelling post-WWII story?
Kin (Aug 31) - Based on the title of the movie and the trailer, family ties will be a major theme of the film. However, a sci-fi film of this caliber could've been named something far more sci-fi-ish, making it easy to wonder if the family message has more to do with the premise than it appears. After all, with dialogue in the trailer like "He's going to figure it out eventually." and "I can't believe this whole time, you haven't told me this," the question here is will Kin be a basic sci-fi adventure, or is there something more to the story?
Of these August movies, which one are you most looking forward to? Which one are you least interested in? Answer in the comments below!