Total Recall (August 3) -If there was one “classic” film that I thought deserved a remake, it was the original Total Recall. Don’t get me wrong, I love that film. It was great. But I could never completely buy Arnold Schwarzenegger as Joe Working Class. You have this Teutonic Hercules working a construction site next to you? And that doesn’t raise any questions?
Colin Farrell seems to be more down to Earth and, therefore, more realistic. And I’ll take Kate Beckinsale over Sharon Stone any day of the week. It would be hard to mess this concept up. Let’s hope they don’t. – William Gatevackes
The Babymakers (August 3) – The comedy troupe Broken Lizard has already found a degree of success in their own comedies, but for this film they take on supporting roles behind Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider as a young couple who find themselves having a bit of trouble getting pregnant. When Schneider’s character discovers that their lack of success is on his shoulders… and parts a bit lower. So he enlists his friends, the Broken Lizard crowd, to help him break into a sperm bank and steal back the last remaining deposit he made there years earlier. Hilarity supposedly ensues. The question is, will Broken Lizard fans be content with their heroes playing second bananas? – Rich Drees
The Bourne Legacy (August 10) – Jeremy Renner is developing a career path that involves him taking over successful franchises. After last year’s Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, where he was being groomed to fill Tom Cruise’s shoes in that franchise, he steps into Matt Damon’s in this one.
As good as Damon was in the role, the Bourne concept is the draw here, in my opinion. But that doesn’t mean I want to see Renner plugged in to a script that has stains from Damon’s coffee mug on it. I hope the powers that be have done some work to make it new and to separate it from the Damon character.-WG
The Campaign (August 10) – A comedy about a hotly contested political campaign seems like a win-win situation in a year with a Presidential election. After all, after being exposed to non-stop back and forth to try to get votes, who wouldn’t want to see a film that shows up each side for what they really are.
However, I’m not sure this is the film that is the best to do that job. Will Ferrell portrays his typical character–the arrogant boob of a man child. And Zach Galifianakis plays his character like some kind of bizarre, even-more-effeminate Mr. Rogers. I don’t know what the script is about, but you don’t need such characterization to make a campaign funny.-WG
The Expendables 2 (August 17) -If you were a fan of cheesy action films of the 1980s like I was, the The Expendables was right up your alley. The only thing that could have made it better for these fans was if there were more action movie icons in the cast.
Well, if that was the way you felt, then this sequel is already an improvement. It adds Chuck Norris and Jean- Claude Van Damme to the cast, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Wills supposedly play a bigger role this time around. Don’t expect anything more than action and a tongue-in-cheek sensibility (for example, Van Damme’s character is name Jean Vilain). But if you like those kinds of things, here’s more of it.
Sparkle (August 17) – If this film came out last year, you’d see a lot of stories about how this was Whitney Houston’s comeback to film after 15 years away. You’d probably have some stories sprinkled in there about her relationships and rumors of drug abuse. And the film would have been a curiosity, with the outside chance of it getting any viewers outside of its target demographic.
But the film wasn’t released last year, it is being released now, six months after Houston’s death. It is only half a year after the world beatified Houston for her unbelievable talents and all her flaws were forced to the background. Now, this film has become her epitaph. It will be interesting to see if the good spirit granted Houston in the period of mourning will transfer over to this film, and make it a bigger success at the box office than it would have been before. – WG
ParaNorman (August 17) – It used to be that usually this far into the summer season was a dumping ground for bad films. But that seems to have changed somewhat in the past couple years, even to the point where a fairly funny looking animated family film like ParaNorman can have a chance being as good as its trailer suggests. And you can raise those odds a bot by factoring in that the film is coming from the same studio that brought us the delightful Coraline in 2009. Norman is a teenage boy who can see dead people but it looks as if this film will contain more laughs and action than The Sixth Sense.
For A Good Time Call… (August 31) – Last summer’s hit Bridesmaids has sent studios scrambling for female-oriented comedies to fill the niche that the raunchy comedy proved existed. In this entry, Ari Graynor and Lauren Miller star as two women who start up a phone sex line. The plot looks fairly formulaic from trailer – one’s a party girl, the other is more uptight and I am sure that they will learn a valuable lesson about each other by the end. Graynor and Miller are fairly unknown quantities but hopefully there is something about them that can bring the laughs.