By Jack Rico
August is here and summer is almost gone. Have you seen anything worthwhile lately at the movies? No clue of what to go see? Do not worry my cinematic cinephiles, we have sifted through all the irrelevant movies and are leaving you with an interesting array of films for all your tastes. From Wong Kar-Wai to Neill Blomkamp even animation like Disney’s “Planes,” our 9 Best Movies To See This August list is sure to make your life a little easier.
9. Planes (Animation – Val Kilmer, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gabriel Iglesias, Carlos Alazraqui)
Plot: Dusty is a plane that dreams with participating in a high-flying aerial race. But he was not exactly built to compete and it turns out that … he is afraid of heights! So, he resorts to an experienced naval aviator who helps him qualify for the race in order to challenge the defending champion. Dusty will demonstrate his valor to reach unimaginable heights and will show the world what you have to do to take off.
Why you have to see it: Disney released “Cars” in 2006 and it was only obvious that “Planes” made its appearance flying high on the big screens. This charming and uplifting movie is made for the whole family, it is a 3-D animated comedy made by the new studio “Disney Toons”, but it has all the features of the Pixar machine (the animation and the universal charm and humor) to make it a success. Children and adults will have no problem enjoying it.
8. Closed Circuit (Drama – Eric Bana, Rebecca Hall, Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent)
Plot: Martin and Claudia are lawyers — and ex-lovers — who find themselves put at risk after they join the defense team for an international terrorist’s trial.
Why you have to see it: Steven Knight is the screenwriter of Eastern Promises. Whoever gets to write a film like that deserves to have all his films viewed at least once. Eric Bana (formerly The Hulk) is a solid actor with much more potential than he shows. The sultry Rebecca Hall is another solid actress with a huge upside (Iron Man 3, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Town) and is coming onto her own. The film promises an intriguing plot and great acting.
7. The Butler (Drama – Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack, Lenny Kravitz, David Oyelowo)
Plot: It tells the true story of Eugene Allen (Forest Whitaker), an employee of Color in the White House who served eight families of presidents of the U.S. government over three decades.
Why you have to see it: The last time we saw Forest Whitaker embody a drama of this kind, he came out winning an Oscar for Best Actor for “The King of Scotland.” Will he be able to pull it off again? The cast is also brilliant. Let us remember that Oprah, the most powerful woman in media, participated in “The Color Purple” which was nominated for 11 Oscars. Director Lee Daniels knows how to create and intense film, with excellent performances and memorable scenes, if you don’t believe me, I dare you to go to see “Precious”. That film will disturb you for days.
6. You’re Next (Horror – Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg)
Plot: A family reunion becomes a terrifying nightmare when masked murderers break and enter into the family’s home.
Why you have to see it: What if criminals were to invade your home, but it was you who was hunting them one by one? That’s the attractant twist of ‘You’re Next,’ a horror film with comedic tones. The movie will scare you till you get goose bumps, but will also relieve the stress with some hearty laughter. The end result is a satisfying experience with elements of satire, a script full of cunning and good fun.
5. Kick-Ass 2 (Action/Comedy – Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jim Carrey, John Leguizamo)
Plot: After the crazy courage of Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) inspired a whole new wave of defenders led by Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey), our hero decides to join them. But when Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) who returns with the name of The Mother decides to dispose of the amateur superheroes, only Hit Girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) can prevent the annihilation.
Why you have to see it: The original film “Kick-Ass” was a critical and box office success in 2010. This irreverent sequel continues with all the elements that led to the original hit – intense violence, humorous moments, witty insight and abundant action sequences. This film will be one of the most stimulating and fun movies of the summer.
4. The World’s End (Action/Comedy – Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike)
Plot: 20 years after an epic night of partying, five friends meet after one of them arranges a get-together: Gary North (Simon Pegg), a forty-year-old who keeps holding onto his adolescence, drags his friends to his hometown. But while trying get to the bar they fantasized about, “The World’s End,” they discover that the future of humanity is at stake.
Why you hate to see it: Every time Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up to make a movie, the results are explosive and push the limits of the imagination. With movies like “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz” and “Paul” as part of their resumé, the highly anticipated “The World’s End” unites all the previous films and creates a hilarious experience, full of adventure and heartwarming moments. What many will enjoy is that the DNA of the film is rooted in nostalgia, those moments that will never return, but also never die. This deep and universal feeling is what distinguishes the film from other typical American comedies that are vacuous and predictable. Get ready for lots of fun in one of the best comedies of the summer.
3. Jobs (Drama, Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, J.K. Simmons, Annika Bertea)
Plot: It focuses on the most important entrepreneurial life in the United States and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs (1955-2011), looking mainly at his early years as creator and entrepreneur.
Why you have to see it: You have to see it because one needs to know from what mind the vision to create the Apple products that have revolutionized the world came from. Many of you right now are using a device by Steve Jobs, so doesn’t your curiosity start to itch to find out how he originated the company? What sparked his vision? Ashton Kutcher does a magnificent job, he even looks like the Steve himself. This biopic is one of the most anticipated of the year, simply because of one single name – Jobs.
2. Elysium (Action/Drama – Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Diego Luna, Talisa Soto, Alice Braga)
Plot: In the year 2154, humans are divided into two groups: the rich, who live on the space station Elysium, and everyone else, who survive as they can on a devastated and overpopulated earth. Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a harsh ruler, promotes a rigid anti-immigration law, which aims to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of the space station. However, the inhabitants of the earth will do everything possible to migrate to Elysium. Max (Matt Damon) accepts an almost utopian mission, which if it were to be successful, would mean the achievement of equality between people of the two opposite worlds.
Why you have to see it: Clever, interesting, and entertaining are some of the qualities offered by “Elysium,” the new film by director Neill Blomkamp. Hollywood hardly makes this type of movies anymore – those that have something to say about our society and where we are heading. But this movie isn’t boring. Blomkamp disguises didactic lectures with special effects in a science fiction story. He is excellent at it; you only have to see his previous film “District 9” to understand that. That film was full of political and social commentary, and in particular, immigration is seen as the inspiration behind his films. With “Elysium” it is hard not to see the Marxist and utopian shades, but the film promises a meaty script, superb performances and great special effects.
1. The Grandmaster (Action/Drama – Ziyi Zhang, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Chen Chang, Jin Zhang)
Plot: Biopic about the martial artist Ip Man (Tony Leung), the man who trained Bruce Lee.
Why you have to see it: Just the premise grabs you instantly. But when you find out that Wong Kar-Wai is directing it, you can expect a visual spectacle that needs to be watched. Similar to the acclaimed and award-winning “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Grandmaster” is not another Kung-Fu or Wing Chun movie. This is an epic martial arts movie that combines artistic cinematography with HEAVY martial arts sequences and dialogue along with a touching love story. The three are exactly what American audiences love and this film seems likely to deliver it with magnificent results. Also the union of Wong Kar-Wai, recognized as a genius for his visually unique work which is stylish and emotionally resonant, with Yuen Woo-Ping, renowned as one of the major martial arts choreographers in the world of action films in Hong Kong, will make for an unforgettable film experience.