|Guardians of the Galaxy
It appears that August has arrived with every last minute summer movie release including the kitchen sink! But viewer beware, just because Meryl Streep (The Giver) is in it doesn’t mean it’s a good film. August has a bad reputation for being the dumping ground for movies that just don’t fit anywhere (“summer blockbuster release, award season release? I just don’t know. Hey! Let release it in August!”). This makes me wonder, why is Guardians of the Galaxy being released in August? The word around town is that this could be the best Marvel picture of them all. Is August becoming the new December?
So, whether you choose to checkout that indie you’ve heard so much about or the latest big studio release, don’t forget to click on the movie title below to view the trailer. We want to make sure you know what you are getting into before you head to the theater.
—Myrna E. Duarte
Get on Up
Get On Up is directed by Tate Taylor (The Help) and written by Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Fair Game, The Last Legion) with Steven Baigelman (Feeling Minnesota, Brother’s Keeper). Based on the incredible life story of James Brown (Chadwick Boseman star of 42), the film takes a look inside the music, moves and moods of the Godfather of Soul, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Jill Scott also star in the film produced by Brian Grazer and Mick Jagger. It doesn’t sound like Boseman is doing his own singing, but he certainly seems to have Brown’s mannerisms and speaking voice nailed.
Guardians of the Galaxy (3D)
Brash adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan (Lee Pace), a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Dissel), a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista). But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand. Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon is knocking it out of the park while Chris Pratt seems like the perfect makeshift Han Solo as Star-Lord. Guardians of the Galaxy is directed by James Gunn (Slither, Super).
Following a premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Calvary, is the latest film from John Michael McDonagh (The Guard). Brendan Gleeson, who also starred in The Guard, leads the film as Father James, a good priest in a small town who only wants to help members of his church with their various scurrilous moral and even amusing problems. However, for some reason he still feels some kind of dark forces closing in on his life. This looks like another dark sort of comedy in the same vein as The Guard.
What If (Limited)
The indie romantic comedy What If was formerly known as The F Word when it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year and is directed by Canadian filmmaker Michael Dowse (Goon) from a screenplay by Elan Mastai. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan play two people destined to fall in love, with too much in their way (including a boyfriend). The supporting cast includes Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis and Rafe Spall.
The Hundred-Foot Journey
The Hundred-Foot Journey, stars Helen Mirren as Madame Mallory a nasty French chef who’s Michelin-starred French restaurant is given a challenge when a passionate Indian family (Indian actors Om Puri and Manish Dayal star as father and son) opens their own restaurant right across the street. This does look like a family charmer. The Hundred-Foot Journey is directed by acclaimed Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, The Shipping News, An Unfinished Life, The Hoax, Dean John, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Hypnotist, Safe Haven), from a screenplay written by Steven Knight (Dirty Pretty Things, Amazing Grace, Eastern Promises, Hummingbird, Closed Circuit, Locke).
Into the Storm
Into the Storm is directed by Steven Quale and written by John Swetnam (Step Up: All In). In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of tornadoes. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Nathan Kress, Arlen Escarpeta and more star in the film.
Step Up: All In
Step Up: All In is directed by Trish Sie (who directed the treadmill music video from the band OK Go) and written by John Swetnam. In the next latest entry in the Step Up franchise, all-stars from previous installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder (William Fichtner) and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April (Megan Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Clash of the Titans) and written by Josh Appelbaum & Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol).
Deepsea Challenge 3D (Limited)
Deepsea Challenge 3D is directed by John Bruno, Ray Quint and Andrew Wight, with the later co-writing the documentary with John Garvin. The film follows the dramatic story of James Cameron’s odyssey as he undertakes an expedition to the deepest part of the ocean. Much like his endeavors on film, this was a breakthrough event as Cameron became the first person to travel solo to this part of the planet with a little help from National Geographic, Rolex and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This is a journey of historic proportion and risk. The film will mesmerize viewers of all ages with the thrill of true discovery and the allure of the unknown, of new life forms, and of vistas never before captured on camera — all right here on good old planet Earth.
The Expendables 3
More guns, more action, more explosions, more actors, more of everything. The Expendables 3 is directed by Patrick Hughes (Red Hill) and written by Sylvester Stallone andOlympus Has Fallen scribes Creighton Rothenberger & Katrin Benedikt. Barney (SylvesterStallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill…or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables, but Barney has other plans with a new era of Expendables team members, younger, faster and more tech-savvy.
The Giver is directed by Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Saint, Catch a Fire, Salt) and adapted by newcomer Michael Mitnick. The haunting story, adapted from Lois Lowry’s young adult book of the same name, centers on Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep also star in the film.
Dinosaur 13 (Limited)
Dinosaur 13 is a compelling enough film about a fierce legal battle that ensued for the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton that most of the public knows as Sue. The doc focuses on the diggers who found the skeleton and shows an exhausting and frustrating court case determining the rights to this history-making dino.
Frank is directed by Lenny Abrahamason (What Richard Did) and written by Jon Ronson (author of The Men Who Stare at Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). The film follows Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), who discovers he’s bitten off more than he can chew when he joins a band of eccentric pop musicians led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender) and his terrifying sidekick, Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Frank’s uniqueness lies in the fact that he makes music purely for the joy of creating and because he wears a giant fake head. Could that be enough to make them a hit?
Life After Beth (Limited)
Life After Beth is written and directed by Jeff Baena (I Heart Huckabees) and premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Dane DeHaan stars in the film as Zach, devastated by the unexpected death of his girlfriend, Beth (Aubrey Plaza). But when she miraculously comes back to life, Zach takes full advantage of the opportunity to share and experience all the things he regretted not doing with her before. However, the newly returned Beth isn’t quite how he remembered her and, before long, Zach’s whole world takes a turn for the worse. John C. Reilly, Anna Kendrick, Molly Shannon, Paul Reiser and Cheryl Hines all star in the film
The Trip to Italy (Limited)
Following their tasty, international comedy The Trip in 2010, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back for seconds with The Trip to Italy. The comedy sequel debuted at Sundance earlier this year, and is already airing for our friends across the pond on BBC. But here in the United States, the film will hit theaters sometime this year, and the first trailer has arrived to show off more fantastic impressions, in depth discussions on particular music, and in a bit of meta writing, the merit of sequels.
Let’s Be Cops
Let’s Be Cops is directed by Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door) who co-wrote the film with Nicholas Thomas (“Canoga Park”). When two struggling pals (Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., both of the series “New Girl”) dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line. Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy and Andy Garcia also star in the film.
If I Stay
If I Stay is directed by R.J. Cutler (The September Issue) from a script by Shauna Cross (Whip It), based on on the novel by Gayle Forman. Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or choose to be with the love of her life, Adam (Jamie Blackley). But a carefree family drive gone wrong changes everything, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (3D)
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is directed by Robert Rodriguez who co-wrote the script with William Monahan (The Departed) and Frank Miller, creator of the graphic novel series and co-director of the first film. Dwight (Josh Brolin) is hunted down by the only woman he ever loved, Ava Lord (Eva Green), and then watches his life go straight to hell. Chronologically, this story takes place prior to “The Big Fat Kill” (seen in the first Sin City) and explains how Dwight came to have a dramatically different face. Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke, Juno Temple, Jaime King, Rosario Dawson and many others star in the film.
When the Game Stands Tall
When the Game Stands Tall is directed by Thomas Carter (Coach Carter, Save the Last Dance) and written by Scott Marshall (The Score, Men of Honor) based on the book of the same name. The film is inspired by a true story, detailing the journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Caviezel), who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport. Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis and Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games) also star in the film.
Are You Here (Limited)
Are You Hereis written and directed by Matthew Weiner (“Mad Men” and “The Sopranos”). The film follows two childhood best friends, weatherman and bachelor about town Steve (Owen Wilson) and bi-polar screw-up Ben (Zach Galifianakis). The pair travel home when Ben’s estranged father dies, only to discover that he’s actually inherited a ton of money. There, the friendship is tested thanks to complicated relationships with Ben’s sister Terry (Amy Poehler) and Steve’s lust for Angela (Laura Ramsey), Ben’s father’s too-young widow.
Love is Strange (Limited)
Ira Sachs’ Love is Strange, stars Alfred Molina and John Lithgow as a couple together for 39 years. It really is a beautiful, tender, moving film. While it’s very timely in its presentation of an elderly gay couple struggling with society, it’s very timeless in the way it talks about love, and how much love always shines through and can teach great lessons. The supporting cast includes Marisa Tomei, Cheyenne Jackson, Charlie Tahan and Christian Coulson. I really lovethe film and want to support it as much as I can.
The Prince (Limited)
The Princeis directed by Brian A. Miller (The Outsider, Officer Down and Caught in the Crossfire) written by Jeremy Passmore (Red Dawn) and Andre Fabrizio (The Cleaner). A retired assassin (Jason Patric of The Losers) is drawn back into the life he gave up when his daughter is kidnapped by his former rival (Bruce Willis), forcing a violent confrontation in order to rescue her. John Cusack and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson also star in the film.
The November Man
The November Man is directed by Roger Donaldson (The Bank Job, Thirteen Days) and written by Michael Finch (Predators) and Karl Gajdusek (Oblivion), based on a novel by Bill Granger’s novel. Code named The November Man, Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is a lethal and highly trained ex-CIA agent enjoying a quiet life in Switzerland. Lured out of retirement for one last mission, he must protect valuable witness, Alice Fournier, (Olga Kurylenko). But he soon learns this assignment marks him a target of his former friend and CIA protégé David Mason.
As Above/So Below
As Above, So Below is directed by John Erick Dowdle from a script he co-wrote with his brother Drew Dowdle (Quarantine, Devil). Miles of twisting catacombs lie beneath the streets of Paris, the eternal home to countless souls. When a team of explorers ventures into the uncharted maze of bones, they uncover the dark secret of what this city of the dead was meant to contain. Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, and Edwin Hodge star in the film
The Last Weekend
When an affluent matriarch gathers her dysfunctional family for a holiday at their Northern California lake house, her carefully constructed weekend begins to come apart at the seams, leading her to question her own role in the family. The Last Weekend is directed by Tom Dolby and Tom Williams and stars Patricia Clarkson, Zachary Booth and Joseph Cross.
The Congress (Limited)
The Congress, a loose adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s dark, sci-fi comedy The Futurological Congress, is written and directed by Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir). The story follows actress Robin Wright playing a fictional version of herself as an aging actress who agrees to an experimental procedure whereby her youthful form is scanned and replicated for future use and profit by movie studios. But the consequences of her decision affect her life in ways she didn’t consider. The film also stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston, Harvey Keitel and Paul Giamatti and premiered as part of the Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at Cannes in 2013.
The Damned (Limited)
The Damned is directed by Victor Garcia (Mirrors 2) and written by Richard D’Ovidio (The Call) and David Higgins. American David Reynolds (Peter Facinelli of The Twilight Saga), widowed from his Colombian-born wife, flies to Bogota with his new fiancée (Sophia Myles) to retrieve his rebellious teenage daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos). En route to the city of Medellin, a car accident leaves them stranded in a rundown isolated inn. When they discover the old innkeeper has locked a young girl in the basement, they are determined to set her free, but ultimately unleash an ancient evil that’s been waiting to wreak havoc on all in its path.
Life of Crime (Limited)
Life of Crime is written and directed by Daniel Schecter (Goodbye Baby), based on Elmore Leonard’s novel The Switch. The wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a corrupt real estate developer (Tim Robbins) is kidnapped by two common criminals (Yasiin Bey and John Hawkes), who intend to extort him with inside information about his crooked business and off-shore accounts. But the husband decides he’d actually rather not pay the ransom to get back his wife, setting off an unbelievable sequence of double crosses. Will Forte ad Isla Fisher also star in the film
One Chance (Limited)
One Chanceis directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) and written by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List) and tells the true story of Paul Potts (James Corden), a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night. Paul became an instant YouTube phenomenon after being chosen by Simon Cowell for “Britain’s Got Talent.” Wowing audiences worldwide with his phenomenal voice, Paul won “Britain’s Got Talent” and the hearts of millions. Julie Walters, Mackenzie Crook, Colm Meaney and more star in the film.
Starred Up, directed by British filmmaker David Mackenzie (Asylum, Mister Foe, Spread, Perfect Sense), stars Jack O’Connell, Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom, The Dark Knight Rises, Place Beyond the Pines), and Rupert Friend. The screenplay is by Jonathan Asser, a psychotherapist that worked in the UK penal system, who won the Best British Newcomer Award at the 2013 BFI London Film Festival. The film has been described as a unique mix of Bronson + Hunger + Un Prophete + a bit of Short Term 12.
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