Coming Soon: My Watchlist for August 2016

August is traditionally a dead month as far as movies are concerned, but this year seems to be an exception. I’m actually really looking forward to this month in film, so bring on the movies:

Suicide Squad“Suicide Squad”

Synopsis: It feels good to be bad…Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity. U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate individuals with next to nothing to lose will do. However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself? (Official Site).

David Ayer’s filmmaking has been very up and down – in 2014 he both failed with “Sabotage” and succeeded with the war film “Fury” – but apparently Warner Bros. is confident with him for “Suicide Squad.” About a year ago, marketing for the film first started with a “Suicide Squad” panel at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, meaning that Warner Bros. is anticipating a huge payday. We can only hope that any of the film’s box office popularity will come from the quality, not just the huge marketing campaign. “Dawn of Justice” has made all of us a bit wary of anticipating DC films, but I know that I still have an inkling of hope that “Suicide Squad” will break the trend.

“Suicide Squad” releases on August 5th.


Sausage Party Poster“Sausage Party”

Synopsis: Sausage Party, the first R-rated CG animated movie, is about one sausage leading a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store. The film features the vocal talents of a who’s who of today’s comedy stars — Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, and Salma Hayek” (Official Site).

A lot of the hype over “Sausage Party” has been due to its presence as the first R-rated animated film. However, that’s not what I’m excited about; I’m more interested in the cast and crew of the movie. Many of the best names in comedy are on this cast list, and if that isn’t tempting enough, there’s Evan Goldberg, who’s co-written the movie. If you’re not familiar with Goldberg, he’s known for his writing work with Seth Rogen; movies like “Superbad”, “Pineapple Express”, “This is the End”, and “The Night Before”.

“Sausage Party” releases on August 12th.


ben-hur-poster“Ben-Hur”

Synopsis: ‘Ben-Hur’ is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brotherMessala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but an encounter with Jesus (Rodrigo Santoro) leads him to the Crucifixion, where he discovers forgiveness and finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ’. Also starring Morgan Freeman” (Official Site).

One of my biggest sins as a cinema fan is that I have not seen the original “Ben-Hur”, which is something I will rectify before this movie comes out. Then, of course, for curiosity’s sake, I’ll want to see this remake. I’m not expecting much from it, but sometimes remakes can surprise.

“Ben-Hur” releases on August 19.


war-dogs-poster“War Dogs”

Synopsis: Based on a true story, “War Dogs” follows two friends in their early 20s (Hill and Teller) living in Miami Beach during the Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military Contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a 300 million dollar deal to arm the Afghan Military – a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government” (Official Site).

The last I saw of Miles Teller, he was stuck in the muddle of “The Fantastic Four”, and it was a real step backwards from “Whiplash”. Who knows when Teller’s next opportunity for such a gem will come, but in the meantime, why not watch him foray into comedy? The “buddies-who-are-in-over-their-head” style is always fun, and Jonah Hill and director Todd Phillips have shown themselves to be more than capable in the genre.

“War Dogs” releases on August 19.


the-hollars-poster“The Hollars”

Synopsis: Synopsis: John Hollar, a struggling NYC artist is forced to navigate the small middle-American town he left behind when news of his mother’s illness brings him home. Back in the house he grew up in, John is immediately swept up in the problems of his dysfunctional family, high school rival, and an over-eager ex-girlfriend as he faces impending fatherhood with his girlfriend in New York” (Sony Classics).

I’m a huge John Krasinski fan – what can I say, he won my heart in “The Office”. “The Hollars” will be the second feature film that Krasinski has directed, and that makes it an iffy bet. Unfortunately, his directorial debut in 2009 was poorly received, but I still haven’t given up hope, and I’ll definitely be giving “The Hollars” a chance. On the brighter side, Krasinki has a talented cast in the film, so that should give him a leg up.

“The Hollars” releases on August 26.

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