Will There Be Any Surprise Movie Gems in August?
This past weekend, “The Other Guys,” starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, unseated “Inception” for the top spot at the box office. Notorious for mediocre movies, August is typically the worst month of the year for any moviegoer who craves an inspired experience at the theater.
This August, however, may be different as “The Other Guys” has already gotten solid reviews from critics and a $35 million opening weekend. The re-teaming of Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay has already spiced up the box office for the early part of August and several other titles makes one wonder if the rest of the month will live up to its first weekend.
The weekend of August 13th will see the opening of three very different movies any of which could be major duds when the grosses are calculated. The most anticipated release is the Julia Roberts movie “Eat Pray Love” based on the best-selling memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert about a woman who takes a break from her hectic career and personal life in an attempt to discover true happiness.
While the movie boasts an excellent cast including Roberts, Javier Bardem and James Franco and is directed by “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy, the movie has the potential to focus too much on beautiful scenery and fluff and not enough of the main character’s spiritual journey. Fans of the book and Roberts are sure to turn out in droves, regardless, and Murphy has been having a successful last few years so “Eat Pray Love” might be the perfect ending to the summer season.
Also opening this weekend is “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” starring Michael Cera as a young man who must fight and defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of the girl he wants to date. It will come as little surprise that the movie is based on a comic book, like so many movies that have been released in 2010, but “Scott Pilgrim,” which is directed by fanboy favorite Edgar Wright, already has a loyal following which will likely be happy with the movie no matter what the result.
Not likely to get much attention during the awards season, “The Expendables” will be competing with “Eat Pray Love” and “Scott Pilgrim” and is definitely the movie many moviegoers and industry insiders are interesting in seeing. The movie, which was written and directed by and stars Sylvester Stallone, is the ultimate fantasy lineup for fans of hardcore 80s action movies where explosions are as ubiquitous as cheesy one-liners. With a cast that includes Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham, Jet Li and even Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, testosterone junkies all around the country will be salivating for a little old school ass-kicking.
Later this month, “The Last Exorcism” will hit theaters in an attempt to cash in on the success of last year’s “Paranormal Activity” and the found footage style of filmmaking. The movie tells the story of a minister who agrees to perform one last exorcism that goes terribly wrong. The trailer for the film looks pretty disturbing which is ideally a good thing for this type of movie. Whether or not the movie succeeds will depend on how believable the actors are when trying to play horror in a realistic style.
The movie which could possibly be the dark horse in terms of box office and fan appreciation is “Centurion” which stars hottest-actor-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender as a member of a Roman battalion who go to do bloody battle behind enemy lines. The movie appears to be a cross between “Gladiator” and “300” without the over-the-top visual effects. With a talent like Fassbender leading the group of soldiers, “Centurion” is likely to be at least a solid action movie with at least one good performance.