The end of this year’s blockbuster season is nigh but that doesn’t mean that the box offices won’t be ringing this month.
Possibly the most anticipated movie last month is comic book superhero flick Captain America: The First Avengerwhich garnered US$24.9 million (as well as many positive reviews) in US ticket sales during its second weekend in theatres, while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, hit its third weekend, finished fourth with US$21.9 million. The final installment of the popular boy wizard series topped US$1 billion in worldwide sales to date, the ninth film in history to hit that mark, distributor Warner Bros. said. Captain America will get tongues wagging for next summer's The Avengers, in which Steve Rogers and Thor will join Tony Stark (Iron Man), Bruce Banner (The Hulk) and other Marvel-ous heroes in what will be Marvel's biggest hit yet.
As mentioned, August sees no lack of must-watch movies such as the Jennifer Aniston-Jason Bateman-Jason Sudeikis helmed black comedy Horrible Bosses, Planet of the Apes reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes and sci-fi western Cowboys & Aliens.
So get ready to for a slate of both new and familiar material in the month of August!
Week of 4 August
The Stars: Charlie Day, Jamie Foxx, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell
The Buzz: Eternal poster girl Jennifer Aniston, ditches the good-girl image in this movie, playing a dentist who makes outrageously lewd advances on her male assistant. This is the first time the former Friends star is taking on such a sexually aggressive role, and we hear that she played the role down pat.
The Story: Nick (Jason Bateman), Dale (Charlie Day) and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) are fed-up with their present work predicaments. Meeting over drinks at the local bar, the trio decide to try the unthinkable: Why don’t they kill their bosses like that Alfred Hitchcock movie, Strangers on a Train? What first starts as a joke becomes a reality when the trio hires the services of Dean ‘MF’ Jones (Jamie Foxx), a professional hitman who offers the boys some advice. Their eventual plan to kill their bosses obviously takes many unexpected turns, and the resulting fiascos are priceless.
inSing.com says: In a movie season where raunchy comedies have either been excellent (Bridesmaids) or mediocre (The Hangover 2), Horrible Bosses successfully finds middle ground with a funny premise, several hilarious scenes and excellent actors (SEVEN!) doing their hardest to make us laugh. Definitely more rounded than Bridesmaids and The Hangover 2, the laughs for Horrible Bosses certainly come quicker than the other two as we constantly see the three bosses (Aniston, Spacey and Farrell) giving the trio their own personal hell daily.
Also opening: This week also see the release of the reboot to the Planet of the Apes franchise--Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The movie sees James Franco as a scientist whose attempts to cure Alzheimer's involve a chimp named Caesar. But instead of just repairing the human brain, the experiments also amplify the primate's intelligence -- putting him on a path toward revolution. Also opening this week is local film Fist of Dragon. Directed by Michael Chuah, the film stars local starlet Fiona Xie, comedian Henry Thia and the director himself.
Week of 11 August
The Stars: Clancy Brown, Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Noah Ringer, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell
The Buzz: This movie is one of the last comic-to-screen adaptations this year. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the movie features a cast of well-known names, among them 11 producers or executive producers including Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, plus half a dozen credited writers such as Roberto Orci (Transformers, Star Trek) and Damon Lindelof (Star Trek, Lost, Crossing Jordan).
The Story: Daniel Craig's a stony-faced cowboy and amnesiac with a weird hunk of metal locked on his wrist who wanders into a dusty town of Absolution in the American Wild West just before alien craft swoop in and start abducting the locals. Along the way, he catches the eye of local belle Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde) who may know more about his past than he does. He then joins cattle baron Woodrow Dolarhyde’s (Harrison Ford) posse to retrieve the missing and teach these creatures not to mess with gun-slinging cowboys (especially one with a hunk of metal on his wrist).
inSing.com says: Definitely not your typical comic book or superhero movie, Cowboys & Aliens take us back to the Wild West where a cowboy (with the help of a shiny bracelet that shoots lasers) leads the fight to save our world from little green men—kinda like Independence Day-Lone Ranger style. With heavyweights lending their name to the movie, this sci-fi western based on a comic book of the same name is one to watch.
Also opening: Don’t miss Kevin James, Adam Sandler and Rosario Dawson in the hilarious The Zookeeper which is also opening this week. James star as the titular zookeeper whose animal charges decide to play matchmaker. Also opening this week is the sci-fi thriller Womb which stars Eva Green as a woman who loves her dead boyfriend so much, she decides to clone him. She impregnates herself with his DNA and gives birth to him. The child then grows into what might be an exact replica of his "father." Freaky stuff.
Week of 18 August
The Stars: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan, Stephen Lang
The Buzz: Conan the Barbarian, directed by Marcus Nispel, is the updated big-screen version based on the character created by Robert E. Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger played the title character in the 1980s, and played by Momoa in the remake)
The Story: After Conan's father is murdered and the village is destroyed, the Cimmerian warrior goes into a world where he survives as a thief, pirate and warrior. He meets the warlord responsible for the destruction of his tribe.
inSing.com says: We last saw the broad-sword wielding, loin-clothing wearing warrior back in 1982 (Conan The Barbarian) and 1984 for Conan The Destroyer on the silver screen. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal as the Cimmerian warrior was so iconic that others that tried paled in comparison. Momoa who plays the titular role, recently wowed audiences in his excellent portrayal of horselord Khal Drogo in the HBO’s The Game of Thrones, an adaptation of acclaimed writer George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels. The new movie aims to reboot and reinvent the character's big-screen presence for a new generation. Will this remake stand up to Arnie’s original? We can only wait and see.
Also opening: Other than Conan, there isn’t much big budget flicks releasing this week. But if you’re into Japanese anime and manga, there’s Gantz 2: Perfect Answer. There’s also Beginners where Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor star. The movie is a wistful memory piece about a straight son and his dying gay father.
Week of 25 August
The Stars: David Koechner, Emma Bell, Miles Fisher, Nicholas D'Agosto, P.J. Byrne
The Buzz: Final Destination 5 is directed by Avatar visual effects supervisor and second unit director Steven Quale. He even co-directed Aliens of the Deep with James Cameron. Eric Heisserer, who wrote the Nightmare on Elm Street update and the upcoming prequel to The Thing, scripted the next iteration in the popular horror series.
The Story: In this fifth (and possibly final) instalment of the Final Destination franchise, Death is just as omnipresent as ever and is unleashed after one man’s premonition saves a group of coworkers from a terrifying suspension bridge collapse. But these unsuspecting souls were never supposed to survive, and in a terrifying race against time, the ill-fated group frantically tries to discover a way to escape Death’s sinister agenda.
inSing.com says: If you’re familiar with the first FOUR movies, this fifth instalment typically follows the same premise: It focuses on a character who has a seemingly spontaneous vision of a major disaster moments before it occurs. Like the others behind it, this one is obviously formulaic. Only the characters, details of the accident, and how they die change. But the fun part about watching Final Destination 5, as with its predecessors is guessing who die next and how.
Also opening: Bad Teacher sees Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel getting their funny on in this raunchy comedy set in a high school. Diaz stars as Elizabeth Halsey, an example-setting hard partying high school teacher with little care for the rules. The last week of August also sees the sequel to Pixar’s 2006 smash hit Cars.Cars 2 finds Lightning McQueen, voiced by Owen Wilson, competing in the World Grand Prix, with races in Tokyo, London, and on the Italian Riviera. Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) tags along and winds up getting involved in an international espionage mission with British agents Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer).
(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)