Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summer 2009 Movie Preview (August)

While July is generally filled with potential box office smashes, the releases for August look to be a more decidedly mixed lot. There are some potential hits here, but a few could just as easily flop. The following are a few of the more notable movies coming out for the month. Release dates are subject to change.

“Julie & Julia”
Starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Edmond
Directed by Nora Ephron

Streep, who has become a bit of a box office sensation in recent years (“The Devil Wears Prada,” “Mamma Mia!”), headlines this story as the noted American chef Julia Child. Co-star Adams portrays a New York housewife who takes on the task of cooking all the recipies from one of her book’s over the span of one year. As noted above, Streep is on a roll with summer movies, and this one will likely continue that hot streak. (Aug. 7)
Official Web site

“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra”
Starring Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, Channing Tatum and Dennis Quaid
Directed by Stephen Sommers

Admittedly, I loved the cartoon and action figures growing up, but even I find it hard to get excited about what is, like “Transformers,” a movie based on a toy. This one could be good, escapist fun or a bit of an embarassment. The trailer doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, but the cast at least seems kind of interesting. (Aug. 7)
Official Web site

Starring the voices of Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Fans of Japanese animation have got to be excited about the prospect of Miyazaki’s latest being a darkhorse hit. The director of “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Spirited Away” has got an A-list vocal cast on board for a tale about a young boy and his friendship with a goldfish princess who wishes to become human. (Aug. 14)
Official Web site

“The Time Traveler’s Wife”
Starring Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston, Stephen Tobolowsky
Directed by Robert Schwenke

Those who loved “The Notebook” (and you know who you are) shouldn’t go in expecting the same thing here, despite it being a romantic drama based on a bestselling book and starring McAdams. This one would seem to incorporate a bit of science fiction, as the husband (Bana) of McAdams’ character deals with the problems created by the ability to involuntarily time travel. No other romantically-themed movies seem to be in existence during this month, so this film has that genre to itself. (Aug. 14)
Official Web site

“Inglourious Basterds”
Starring Brad Pitt, Melanie Laurent, Christoph Waltz, Eli Roth, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger
Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Having made a splashy and largely positive debut at the Cannes Film Festival, the central draw for audiences will be the pairing of superstar Pitt with writer/director Tarantino. The subject matter, a group of Americans form a killing squad, targeting Nazis in German-occupied France, might be a little harder for some audiences to sit through. This could prove to be a real test of Pitt’s star power. (Aug. 21)
Official Web site

“Halloween 2”
Starring Malcolm McDowell, Sheri Moon Zombie, Tyler Mane, Scout Taylor-Compton, Brad Dourif
Directed by Rob Zombie

Just in time for the holiday (OK, two months early), comes a sequel to director Zombie’s version of “Halloween,” which was in itself a remake of the 1978 classic by John Carpenter. This one is a continuation of Zombie’s first film, but is not a remake of “Halloween 2,” which picked up right where the original left off. Anybody followin all of this? Despite its missed opportunity of an October release, this could do some decent late summer business. (Aug. 28)
Official Web site

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