New movies to watch in August
If Barbenheimer was intended to restore the all-mighty power of the big screen experience, Hollywood has decided to completely quash that goodwill with a limp and unambitious August.
If you ask the studios, the SAG and WGA strikes are to blame for them pushing back projects like Gran Turismo (Aug. 11) from a mid-month release date by two weeks. When the film inevitably fails, they’ll likely blame the unions, despite the fact that the movie based on a popular driving video game looks terrible.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (new movies to watch in August)
Other major releases are also franchise projects. At the top of the month, we have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (Aug. 2). Our favourite mutants want to win over the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers. Produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the film also features a voice cast that includes Rogen (naturally), Jackie Chan, John Cena and Ayo Edeibiri.
Blue Beetle (new movies to watch in August)
After The Flash failed to inspire at the box office, DC has another superhero film set to hit the big screens this summer. In the superhero origin story Blue Beetle (Aug. 18), an alien relic chooses Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) to be its symbiotic host, bestowing the teenager with a suit of armour that’s capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the superhero Blue Beetle. The supporting cast includes Susan Sarandon, George Lopez and Harvey Guillén.
In 2018, I watched The Meg, a film about a giant shark, and instantly thought, “Wow, I can’t wait for a sequel.” Five years later, the sequel no one asked for Meg 2: The Trench (Aug. 4) is back on the big screen. Jason Statham returns in the lead role and heads a research team that encounters multiple threats while exploring the ocean’s depths, including a malevolent mining operation.
If you’re hoping for some raunchy adult humour, look no further than Strays (Aug. 18). The R-Rated “dog movie” stars Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Will Forte, Isla Fisher, Randall Park, Josh Gad, Harvey Guillén, Rob Riggle, Brett Gelman, Jamie Demetriou and Sofía Vergara. Though the film about an abandoned dog that teams up with other strays to get revenge on his former owner may seem dumb enough to skip, it’s written by comedic genius Dan Perrault, creator of one of Netflix’s best original programs, American Vandal.
Shortcomings (new movies to watch in August)
For something a little lighter, Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) makes his directorial debut with Shortcomings (Aug. 4), a dramedy that premiered earlier this year at Sundance to strong reviews. It’s based on a comic by Adrian Tomine (who also pens the screenplay) about a trio of young Bay Area urbanites as they navigate a range of interpersonal relationships, traversing the country in search of the ideal connection.
Red Rooms (new movies to watch in August)
Look a little beyond Hollywood and the August release schedule looks slightly better. Quebec’s Red Rooms (Aug. 11) is a dark drama that follows two serial-killer groupies. The harrowing cyber thriller directed by Pascal Plante recently premiered at Karlovy Vary and Fantasia and has really won over audiences. Montreal is also finally getting the very sexy Passages (Aug. 18), the latest film from Ira Sachs. Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw and Adèle Exarchopoulos star in the love triangle about two men married to each other whose marriage is threatened as one has an affair with a woman. ■
This article was originally published in the August 2023 issue of Cult MTL.
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