Opening August 22
Hit & Run
Dax Shepard (Idiocracy, the TV show Parenthood) wrote, co-directed, co-edited, and stars in this car chase tale of a fellow who leaves witness protection to help his girlfriend (Kristen Bell). Action of the wild sort, some slapstick comedy, the feel of true romance (true because Shepard and Bell are a real-life couple). Tom Arnold is funny. Bradley Cooper is menacing.
Opening August 24
When some college kids get together to do a little paranormal experimenting, they accidentally let loose a nasty and of course murderous supernatural presence. They fight it off, but not very successfully. Low budget bumps in the night, and beautiful people running around in their underwear.
Farewell My Queen
An exploration of life during four days at Versailles right around the beginning of the French Revolution. Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) enjoys books, but is powerful enough to have others read them to her, and this story is told through the eyes of one of those readers, Sidonie (Lea Seydoux). It’s really a look at what’s going on behind the scenes at the palace, a kind of glitzy 18th century soap opera.
A bicycle delivery guy in New York City (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is given a special envelope – a “premium rush” job – that he’d better get where it’s going with no problems. Michael Shannon plays the mysterious guy who wants to get that envelope away from him before it’s delivered. Quite a few other people want it, too. The chase is on.
Opening August 29
Three brothers (Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Clarke) run a bootlegging monopoly in rural Virginia during the Great Depression. They’re doing so well at it, the law steps in, demanding a cut of the action. Gary Oldman plays a Chicago mobster, while Guy Pearce gives new meaning to being a supposed good guy-turned bad. With Jessica Chastain.
Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
Remember the Teletubbies? Same thing, only larger, and they can talk and, most unbelievably, a cast of well-known actors is taking part in all of this: Cary Elwes, Cloris Leachman, Christopher Lloyd, Chazz Palminteri among them. Only for VERY young viewers.
Opening August 31
Celeste and Jesse Forever
The title characters in this dramatic comedy are played by Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg. They’re a couple in the midst of a divorce who still really like each other and want to remain friends, but have trouble doing so when they each start dating others. Co-written by Jones and Will McCormick (who also appears in the film).
It’s the year of Matthew McConaughey. After strutting his stuff in Magic Mike, he now magnificently plays a small-town sheriff who’s a hitman on the side. He’s hired by a very stupid father and son (Thomas Haden Church and Emile Hirsch) to commit a murder for some insurance money, but he doesn’t react well when there’s a problem with the payment. This is a comedy of the blackest, sleaziest sort. With Gina Gershon and Juno Temple. Directed by William Friedkin.
Yard sales are bad for you, especially if you buy something – let’s say an antique box – that has an evil spirit living inside it. Especially if, when you take the box home and open it … well, you know what happens. The purchaser is a young girl (Em Brenek). Her divorced parents (Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick) reunite with hopes of saving her soul.