Opening August 8
Hope Springs –Director David Frankel, who made the awful Marley & Me, and the over-exaggerated The Devil Wears Prada, tries again. He’s got another castful of good actors in this story of a long-married couple (Tommy lee Jones, Meryl Streep), who go through a week-long session with a therapist (Steve Carell) to help their relationship. It’s listed as a comedy-drama.
Nitro Circus the Movie 3D – We’ve seen this kind of thing with the Jackass people, but the folks here take death-defying stunts to a different level. This is not golf carts and alligators. This is stuff that happens way up in the air, and sometimes it’s not over water. These guys are idiots … in 3D.
Opening August 10
The Bourne Legacy – After writing the screenplays for the first three Bourne films, Tony Gilroy wrote and directed this one. But there’s no Matt Damon or Jason Bourne this time around. Now we’re focused on a different CIA operative – Aaron Cross, played by Jeremy Renner – who has just been willingly placed in that same program, one that creates killers.
The Campaign – Jay Roach, who directs both comic (Austin Powers) and serious (Game Change) movies, mixes both ( but tilts more into absurd comedy) in this look at a small-town congressional race that spins out of control when PAC funding creates some nasty TV ads. Dirty player incumbent Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) faces naïve newcomer Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis).Their initial hatred toward each other escalates into the hilariously unimaginable. There are cameos from lots of cable news commentator s, a tendency to feature gags instead of issues, and some screen time that will go down in movie history as “the nipple scene.”
Ruby Sparks – A once successful writer (Paul Dano) having a dry spell gets his creative juices flowing again by inventing the woman of his dreams. The weirdness begins when she’s suddenly really there, living those dreams with him, played by Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the script. Great support from Annette Bening, Chris Messina, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan and, in an all-too-short psychiatrist part, Elliott Gould.
Opening August 15
The Odd Life of Timothy Green – A dramatic comic fantasy about the Greens (Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Garner) who really want a son, and resort to making wishes to get one. When Timothy (C.J. Adams) does arrive, he’s sort of a Mother Nature’s son, with more connections to the environment than you would ever consider. A real family film from Disney.
Opening August 17
Dark Horse – A couple of adult wallflowers with no social graces (Jordan Gelber and Selma Blair) meet and embark on what some might call a relationship. He’s a loser who still lives with his parents (Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow, oh my!), and she’s trying to climb her way out of depression. Written and directed by Todd Solondz (Happiness, Life During Wartime), so you know it’s gonna be funny but emotionally squirm inducing.
The Expendables 2 – You take a look at the cast list, and that’s how you decide if you want to see it. Bruce Willis, Sly Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Liam Hemsworth, Randy Couture.
ParaNorman – It’s a stop-motion animated film – silicon figures, moved an increment at a time, 24 times per second – about an outcast lad named Norman (voice of Kodi Smit-McPhee) who has the ability to speak to ghosts, and who must save his town from the forces of evil. With the voices of John Goodman, Leslie Mann, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jeff Garlin, and Elaine Stritch as Grandma.
Sparkle – The tepid 1976 movie starring Irene Care, about a girl group that faces all kinds of personal and professional problems in achieving musical success, gets the remake treatment with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks now in the lead. Set in the’60s, based at Motown, telling a new version of the same story, the film also features Derek Luke and the late Whitney Houston.