Summer Movie Preview: August 2014

I'm really falling down on my movie-watching duties lately. What is with this crap of my job and podcast research and spending time with loved ones? Drains, all of them! Still, I like to keep myself up-to-date on what I should be seeing, so let's take a look at August. As always, let's get them tagged with a handy Must-See, Rental, TBD, or Pass label. It'll make organizing the Netflix queue simpler when I inevitably miss out on going to the theater.

August 1

Guardians of the Galaxy: This next entry in the Marvel universe has already been released, and is already a huge success. That's not hard to understand; it's luring me in pretty handily, and I have no prior experience with this set of characters at all. A space adventure with a talking raccoon as one of the protagonists sounds deeply silly, and yet everything I've seen of and about this movie makes it look like a ton of fun. (Must-See)

What If: I'm not really sure how this one pinged my radar. At first glance, it seems like a pretty standard movie about a meet-cute couple that starts of platonic and flails towards romance. Sounds pretty dull, yes? This one stars Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, and while I'll probably let it slip by unnoticed, I'm keeping my eye on it for now. Maybe it's because I haven't been keeping up with Radcliffe's films, post-Potter, and Kazan was pretty intriguing in Ruby Sparks. I don't know. This one is a textbook example of wait-and-see. (TBD)

August 8

The Hundred-Foot Journey: Oprah and Steven Spielberg collaborated on this Lasse Hallström film, which stars Helen Mirren as a snooty chef. Promising! Mirren's character is unhappy that an Indian family has opened a restaurant nearby, and I'm guessing that a lot of lessons are learned and delectable food porn is shown. Sounds good to me! (Rental)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Michael Bay produces this update, starring Megan Fox. Thanks, I think we can stop there. (Pass)

Lucy: ScarJo has been killing it lately. Pun intended! She's been kicking ass as Black Widow, swatting down men as an alien in Under the Skin, and now, an unstoppable force hopped up on an experimental drug. I've heard a lot of critical feedback on this one, and reviews are decidedly mixed. The gist seems to be that viewed as a movie attempting to put across a resolute point of view, Lucy doesn't work. But as a turn-your-brain-off goof of a movie, it works pretty well. Normally, this would get a free pass to the Netflix queue, but with a huge backlog of movies and TV for me to catch up on, it's been demoted to maybe-someday status. (TBD)

August 13

Let's Be Cops: Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. dress up as cops, then get into a lot of shenanigans when the costumes don't come off. I want to say that while this premise is silly, I know the cast is funny and likable, so how bad could it be? But that's the exact same thing I said about Walk of Shame, which was immediately scorched, then forgotten. I've learned my lesson, and will see how reviews and word-of-mouth goes before I make any decisions on this one. (TBD)

August 22

Love is Strange: Now this sounds fascinating. John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are a married couple who are forced to live separately when they sell their home and look for less expensive options. Being apart and living with friends takes its toll on all involved. I'm not sure this is one that begs for me to rush right out and see it in the theater, but it sounds like a really interesting film that is perfect for a chilly autumn evening at home. (Rental)


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