By Matthew Moorcroft
The tail end of the summer movie season is upon us, and while that means it’s mostly the scraps of what is left, there is always a ton to look forward to movie wise as we progress through the summer!
Bullet Train (August 5th)
Probably the last big summer movie, Bullet Train comes courtesy of John Wick co-creator David Leitch, who has been forging his own path in Hollywood outside the franchise for sometime now. Bullet Train looks like a wonderfully wild time, and it’s premise – Die Hard on a train and starring an idiot – is pretty much all you need.
Luck (August 5th)
Luck unfournately comes with a ton of baggage on it, as while it’s the debut film of Skydance Animation, it’s also the return of previously outed executive producer John Lasseter, who was fired from Pixar after numerous sexual harassment reports. A shame that his name is attached to this film which otherwise looks incredibly cute and sweet, featuring a really clever premise involving the most unlucky girl in the world.
Prey (August 5th)
While the Predator franchise has had it’s ups and downs, it’s newest installment, Prey, appears to be a winner. Taking things a step back and bring the Predator formula to it’s bare essentials, Prey is not only notable for being the first movie in history to feature a Comanche language dub, but also the first Predator movie in years to feel like a genuine step forward for the franchise. One of the must watches of the month.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (August 5th)
Non-fans of the show might be a little lost if they jump into this most likely, as it’s plot appears to follow up on the original series and continue unfinished storylines in the wake of that show’s unceremonious cancellation. However, for veterans, this looks like more of the same – which is a good thing, as Rise of the TMNT is one of the best versions of the franchise by a good mile.
Bodies Bodies Bodies (August 5th)
It’s been a great year for slasher films, and the new Bodies Bodies Bodies is likely going to continue that trend. Reviews out of South by Southwest were glowing, and the premise which involves a fake game of murder gone very very wrong a perfect hook for anybody looking for a blast of a time.
They/Them (August 5th)
The directorial debut of John Logan, one of Hollywood’s most reliable and prolific screenwriters, They/Them‘s early reviews aren’t exactly great, but at the same time it’s hard to not be excited with a premise and pitch as good as this one. Set at a gay conversion camp being stalked by a mysterious killer, this could be the rare slasher film to have as much thematic bite as it does entertainment value.
Secret Headquarters (August 12th)
An original superhero film is rare to come by these days (and we have two of them this month!), so props to Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman for taking the plunge. While it’s definitely aiming for a younger audience, it should be a great showcase of the talents of one Walker Scobell, who has recently been cast as Percy Jackson, and might be worth watching due to that alone.
Day Shift (August 12th)
This high-concept vampire comedy looks to be one of Netflix’s better original outings in a while. Jamie Foxx is also always a fun action lead, having delivered the mildly enjoyable (if unoriginal) Project Power from a couple of years ago. It’s trailer was mighty great too, and at the very least should deliver some solid action sequences.
Emily the Criminal (August 12th)
One of Sundance’s darlings this year, this social thriller follows Aubrey Plaza as a struggling woman who gets involved in a credit card scam that spirals out of control. In our current landscape where more and more people are falling into debt, this film is likely to resonate with many, as well as be a tight, tense thriller.
Beast (August 19th)
All you really need to say is “Idris Elba fights a tiger” and 99% of audience members will be sold, but for the rare 1%, it also comes to us from Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, a reliable genre director whose credits include the shockingly solid Everest as well as the exceptional survival film The Deep. While Beast is obviously taking from other films, this is straight in his wheelhouse and should deliver a fun time at the movies.
Orphan: First Kill (August 19th)
There is some right to be skeptical about this one. It has been over a decade since the original Orphan, which ended up being a relatively solid little horror film back in the day, and while it’s nice to see Isabelle Fuhrmann back in the lead role – she’s always a blast – there is a big asterisk in the director. William Brent Bell has not had a good track record, and the majority of his filmography leaves something to be desired. Nevertheless, the original writers are both returning here, so hopefully some good comes from this.
Samaritan (August 26th)
If Secret Headquarters is meant to be the original superhero film for family audiences, Samaritan is clearly looking to be that for older adult audiences. Sylvester Stallone’s career hasn’t exactly been perfect recently, but seeing Julius Avery – director of the sleeper cult favourite Overlord – return to the director’s chair is enough to get excited.
Breaking (August 26th)
Originally titled 892 when it premiered to raves at Sundance, Breaking will likely end up on several Oscar hopeful lists thanks to John Boyega, whose performance was given the heap of the praise back in January. Yet another social thriller involving capitalism and debt, this one takes aim at actual events this time following the real life story of Brian Brown-Easley who robbed a Wells Fargo Bank in 2017.
Three Thousand Years of Longing (August 31th)
What might be the most interesting and high profile release of the month gets put at the tailend, but it’s in George Miller’s character to save the best for last. Described as a fantasy romance epic, the film was divisive at Cannes but is sure to likely be a must watch for Miller die hards, and a good tide over until Furiosa releases in 2024.