This has been a completely grueling summer, right? I’m not just being an unpleasable grouch? Because it feels like no matter how much I lower my expectations, they still end up being too high. Anyway, it’s all going to over soon, and we can start looking forward to the at least potentially exciting movies of September and even more October, which is both so close and so far away…
There’s nothing about the “antagonistic buddy cops” genre that can possibly still be exciting or surprising at this point, but it’s also an unusually reliable formula: just make sure the two actors are well-paired and have good chemistry. And all signals point to Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg having perfectly fine chemistry in 2 Guns. Like to be a classic? Clearly not. But it should at least be fun enough to not be a waste of time, and that is where we’ve ended up at this point.
They made another Percy Jackson movie. Isn’t that dear? Anyway, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is all set to be the first dead-on-arrival YA lit adaptation of the month. There’s also a terrible, terrible looking pot smuggling comedy, We’re the Millers, with a cast that’s simply much too good for it to possibly be as grating as the trailer implies.
The DisneyToon Studios spin-off Planes looks stupid and bland, of course, but I can’t possibly be alone in thinking that it’s probably going to be an improvement over Cars 2, right? The animation doesn’t look excruciating, and there’s no Larry the Cable Guy. God, I hope there’s no Larry the Cable Guy.
That being said, the smart money is on Elysium, one of the few promising films of the month. I wasn’t hugely up on director Neil Blomkamp’s previous film, District 9, but heady and visually impressive sci-fi – and the film looks to be both of those things – will be an unusually refreshing chaser at the end of this particular season.
I love about August that it ends up being crammed full of weekends that feel like catch basins, for movies that are perhaps too promising to get dumped outright, but not nearly appealling enough to merit any real attention. And the most schizophrenic weekend of the summer – maybe even the year – is easily the one that bears witness to Kick-Ass 2, the sequel to a snotty, nihilistic movie that I hated; to Paranoia, an office espionage thriller that feels like it’s been lying around since 1994; to Jobs, a hagiography starring the infinitely punchable Ashton Kutcher; to The Butler, a Lee Daniels film about apolitical politics. Speaking as one with an established Daniels fascionation, the last of these is easily the standout to me, but everything here seems weirdly flat in disparate, but equally aimless directions.
Hey look, it’s another stillborn YA literary adaptation! The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, though I think that if one of them is going to do at all well, it’s clearly going to be this one.
Thank God, a movie that I feel absolute no ambivalence towards, only straight-up joyous, childlike anticipation: The World’s End, the third of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Cornetto Trilogy, and since Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were both ingenious genre deconstructions and hilarious comedies, it stands to reason that this should be, at a minimum, awfully good.
Two lawyers and ex-lovers are teamed up to defend a terrorism suspect in Closed Circuit. On the subject of movies that feel like rejects from the 1990s.
Do you like One Direction? Probably not, because I really don’t imagine that there’s any overlap between their audience and this blog’s. Nonetheless, if you are interested in a 3-D One Direction concert film, One Direction: This Is Us (advertised under the far superior title (1D3D) exists, so go see it, or whatever.
Ethan Hawke’s inability to make movies that are good when Richard Linklater isn’t involved continues with Getaway, where he and Selena Gomez fight criminals, or whatever.