Friday, August 2, 2013

At the Movies – August 2013 – Part 3: Most Anticipated Films

Must-See of the Month:

The World’s End (Edgar Wright) – Sci-Fi Action Comedy – Aug 23
Plot Summary: As youths, five friends tried but failed to complete their epic pub crawl. Now twenty years later, the friends reunite to try again. Only one problem – this time completing the pub crawl might actually be mankind’s only chance for survival. Filmmakers: The World’s End is the final chapter of writer-director Edgar Wright’s Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz being the first two films) with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. He is working again with composer Steven Price (Attack the Block), production designer Marcus Rowland (who has worked on all Wright’s films) and fantastic cinematographer Bill Pope (Scott Pilgrim vs the World). Cast: In addition to Pegg and Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, and Paddy Considine star. Rosamund Pike co-stars, and Bill Nighy, Pierce Brosnan, and David Bradley feature in support. Expectations: The World’s End looks like it is going to be brilliantly funny with entertaining sci-fi action. Wright wonderfully mixes genre aspects in his films with comedy (the horror/zombie genre with Shaun of the Dead and the Hollywood action genre with Hot Fuzz for example). I am very excited to see his version of an alien invasion movie. August might be this summer's most prolific month for great films. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Worth Checking Out:

The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt) – Dramedy – Aug 2
Plot Summary: High school senior Sutter Keely thinks that there is nothing better than spending his days partying and enjoying his youth, with no further aspirations for the future, however that all changes when he meets sheepish nice-girl Aimee Finicky. Filmmakers: Director James Ponsoldt is back with his third feature, coming off the breakout success of his great indie drama about alcoholism Smashed. He is working with composer Rob Simonsen (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), cinematographer Jess Hall (Hot Fuzz), and production designer Linda Sena (who also worked on Smashed). Cast: The film stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, and features Mary Elizabeth Winstead (also a holdover from Smashed), Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bob Odenkirk, Kyle Chandler, Kaitlyn Dever, and Andre Royo in support. Expectations: The Spectacular Now looks like a fantastic indie dramedy/romance. It won this year’s Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Dramatic Acting, going to its two leads. It was also nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. In addition to having a wonderful supporting group of actors, I am interested to see Shailene Woodley in her follow up to The Descendants (in which she gave my favorite supporting female performance of 2011) – especially working with James Ponsoldt who gets a lot out of his actors. I think this is a must-see for fans of nostalgic high school romance films (as this is probably 2013’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a film I very much like). Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Elysium (Neill Blomkamp) – Sci-Fi Action Thriller – Aug 9
Plot Summary: Set in the year 2154, the population has been divided further by wealth. The rich live in a beautiful space station orbiting Earth called Elysium, free from disease and pollution, while the poor are left behind on the dying, ravaged planet. Max De Costa is just an average inhabitant of Earth. He goes about his day as a factory worker, as well as dabbling in car thievery. One day, though, things change for Max. He is mortally wounded during an accident at the factory, absorbing a fatal dose of radiation only having a few days to live. His only hope is to get to Elysium for treatment, but to do that he must break in guns blazing. Filmmakers: Finally, writer-director Neill Blomkamp is back with a follow up to his great political action sci-fi film District 9. He is working again with cinematographer Trent Opaloch and production designer Philip Ivey. New to the team is first-time composer Ryan Amon. Cast: The film stars Matt Damon, with William Fichtner, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley (who starred in District 9), Alice Braga, and Diego Luna in support. Expectations: District 9 is beloved by many making the anticipation and expectations for Elysium sky high (maybe too high). That said, it looks to be another great mix of political awareness (especially given today’s more public begrudging of the wealthy) and intense sci-fi action, which is just what fans want. The film is visually ambitious, and if it all comes together might be the summer’s best action film (given the overall weakness of this summer – as it stands, Iron Man 3 is probably my favorite blockbuster so far). This is one I have been looking forward to for a long time. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Plot Summary: Ruth Guthrie and Bob Muldoon find themselves surrounded by cops, holed up in a remote cabin in Texas. They try to shoot their way out but are captured. Bob takes the fall for his love and goes off to prison, while Ruth returns to normal society to raise their daughter. Years pass. Bob breaks out of prison to reunite with his family, but Ruth has moved on living with a local sheriff Patrick Wheeler. Bob's return can only bring death and destruction into her life now. Filmmakers: Ardent fan of Terrence Malick, writer-director David Lowery makes his first feature to receive major theatrical distribution with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (and fourth overall). He also edited Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color. He is working with composer Daniel Hart, cinematographer Bradford Young, and production designer Jade Healy (The Innkeepers). Cast: The film stars Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster. Rami Malek and Keith Carradine feature in support. Expectations: Ain’t Them Bodies Saints won this year’s Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award and Indian Paintbrush Producer’s Award, while also being nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. It looks like a great artistic drama, very much in the style of Terrence Malick. Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, and Ben Foster are all brilliant character actors capable of giving powerful performances. If nothing else, this will be extremely well shot and acted. It is a must-see for fans of more artistically-minded cinema. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

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