Friday, July 31, 2020

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In August (2020)

According to: Selina

Photo By: Clem Onojeghuo

We keep hearing that theaters are going to reopen and then finding out there’s been another postponement. (Wear your damn masks!) While things settle, we’re going to be optimistic and keep to our original format for the Top 20. That means we’re considering all films coming out – whether digital, straight to DVD, or in theaters – as eligible for this list. However, we felt the need to still include a disclaimer.

There are certain states that meet all the requirements to reopen, and are doing well. In those states, we absolutely support people going to the movies, as long as they remain cautious and the theaters are following all safety precautions.

However, a lot of states are opening before medical experts believe they should.

If you live in one of those states, especially those with rising COVID-19 cases, we urge you to stay home. There are a lot of great movies that continue to be released digitally, and we hope you stick with those. We understand that cabin fever is setting in with everyone right now, we’re not immune to it, but put your health and safety – and the health and safety of your family – first.

That said, all the release dates mentioned in this article are tentative. Revisit this page throughout the month, we'll post small updates about postponed films as we are alerted to the delays.

Thank you for sticking with us through these strange times.

Side Note: We know that Tenet has been scheduled for a release in many places for late August, but since the writers for Trust the Dice live in the US we prioritize US release dates – and it’s not coming out here until early September. It absolutely would have been very high on this list, otherwise. The international release date is August 26 for Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Denmark, France, UK, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, South Korea, and Sweden. It’s coming out August 27 in Netherlands, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, and Vietnam. For US, the date is Sept 3. For Russia, the date is Sept 10. Remember, these dates are still considered tentative and prone to change.

20 – Tesla (8/21)

Production/Distribution: Passage Pictures, RNG Entertainment, Campbell Grobman Films, Intrinsic Value Films, Jeff Rice Films, Millennium Media, GEM Entertainment, Dutch FilmWorks, IFC Films, Joy n Cinema, VVS Films
Director: Michael Almereyda
Writer: Michael Almereyda
Actors: Ian Lithgow, Eve Hewson, Ethan Hawke, Hannah Gross, Kyle MacLachlan, Jim Gaffigan, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Lois Smith, Josh Hamilton, Lucy Walters, James Urbaniak, Donnie Keshawarz, John Palladino, Rebecca Dayan, David Kallaway, Dan Bittner
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 96 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A freewheeling take on visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, his interactions with Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan's daughter Anne, and his breakthroughs in transmitting electrical power and light

This trailer looks great. Ethan Hawke (The Purge, Regression, Boyhood) and Jim Gaffigan (I’ve Got Issues, Most Wanted, Troop Zero) offer a lot of promise for the story dramatically and – possibly – comedically. The biographical aspect seems to have a different, and interesting, tone in this film, as well.

There’s just one problem.

Didn’t we just get another movie touching on Tesla’s story not too long ago? Has Hollywood gone so overly biography-crazy lately that they have lapped around and feel the need to talk about the same people all over again?

I don’t know. It looks good, I just feel like it’s going to have a hard time standing out.

19 – The Personal History of David Copperfield (8/28)

Production/Distribution: Film 4, FilmNation Entertainment, Searchlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, GEM Entertainment, Film & TV House, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Lionsgate UK, PVR Pictures, Remain In Light, Roadshow Films, Shaw Organisation, Spentzos Films, The Searchers
Director: Armando Iannucci
Writer: Simon Blackwell, Charles Dickens, Armando Iannucci
Actors: Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Peter Capaldi, Benedict Wong, Fisayo Akinade, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Aneurin Barnard, Ruby Bentall, Gwendoline Christie, Morfydd Clark, Daisy May Cooper, Matthew Cottle, Rosalind Eleazar, Bronagh Gallagher, Lynn Hunter, Ranveer Jaiswal, Aimée Kelly, Divian Ladwa, Rosaleen Linehan, Anna Maxwell Martin, Sophie McShera, Scampi, Jairaj Varsani, Anthony Welsh, Paul Whitehouse, Ben Whishaw
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG
Length: 119 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A modern take on Charles Dickens's classic tale of a young orphan who is able to triumph over many obstacles.

The comedy shown in this trailer is extremely attractive. I originally had it much higher on my list. I mean, even without that comedy – look at the cast.

Dev Patel (Chappie, Hotel Mumbai, Slumdog Millianaire), Hugh Laurie (Avenue 5, Veep, Holmes & Watson), Tilda Swinton (Okja, Snowpiercer, Michael Clayton), Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who, Christopher Robin, Paddington 2), and Benedict Wong (Avengers: Endgame, Deadly Class, Gemini Man) are stand outs. They’re all fantastic actors with filmographies to envy. There’s no way that a film they’re all in isn’t going to do well.

So, what’s my problem? Simply put, it’s personal choice. These kinds of films just don’t tend to resonate with me. I keep trying to enjoy them, and I keep failing. Period pieces just don’t tend to do it for me.

I acknowledge that this looks like a great film, with a story that’s worth telling, and some really comedic script writing – if you’re into period pieces.

18 – Waiting for the Barbarians (8/7)

Production/Distribution: Iervolino Entertainment, Ithaca Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Ciro Guerra
Writer: J.M. Coetzee
Actors: Mark Rylance, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson, Gana Bayarsaikhan, Greta Scacchi, David Dencik, Sam Reid, Harry Melling, Bill Milner, Gursed Dalkhsuren, Tserendagva Purevdorj
Genre: Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 112 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A Magistrate working in a distant outpost begins to question his loyalty to the empire.

Movies that ask philosophical questions of their characters tend to stick with me. This one asks one of the main characters what’s more important to them, loyalty or that which is right. I think a lot of people need to be asking themselves that question right now.

There’s also the fact that the script was written by the author of the book, J.M. Coetzee (Disgrace, The Lives of Animals, Dust). I want to see how that works out. I think that may be the best way to get a good adaptation – entrust it to the person responsible for its creation to begin with.

I’m also a fan of seeing Johnny Depp (Murder on the Orient Express, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Alice Through the Looking Glass) get more attention right now. With what he’s been through lately, I’ve been hoping to see a real recovery for his career. Perhaps we’ll see that happening within the next few years. Then there’s Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse, High Life, Good Time), someone who has really become an indie god. Between them, there’s a lot of potential.

17 – G-Loc (8/11)

Production/Distribution: Goldfinch, Highfield Grange Studios, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Tom Paton
Writer: Tom Paton
Actors: Stephen Moyer, Tala Gouveia, Casper Van Dien, Emily Haigh, Toby Osmond, Shayne Ward, Alana Wallace, Mike Beckingham, John Rhys-Davies, Spencer Collings
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: In a world on the brink of collapse, mass migration to neighboring planet, Rhea, is humanity's final hope for survival. The only problem is, Rhea has become intolerant towards new settlers. 'Earther', Bran, has big dreams of a better life in this new world, but the odds are stacked against him. Confronted with a dangerous journey in a damaged spaceship, Bran must then face an even bigger threat: a hostile planet.

This sci-fi looks pretty interesting. It definitely seems to ask the question: what would you do if you found out you were the bad guy?

It seems to explore the idea of space explorers from Earth looking for a new place to call home for the human race. The thing is that they’re ignorant that the people who sent them believe the way to do that is through use of a genocide-causing bomb. At least, that’s what the trailer shows. It’s not what the IMDb blurbs suggest.

That makes me wonder if everything we’re seeing in the trailer is on the up and up. If it isn’t, that’s not necessarily a problem. It could just mean that there are a lot of surprises in store for us. Either way, it should be an interest film.

16 – Endless (8/14)

Production/Distribution: Summerstorm Entertainment, Thunder Road Pictures, Film House Germany, Ingenious Media, Minds Eye Entertainment, Rapid Farms Productions, Vie Vision Pictures, Quiver Distribution
Director: Scott Speer
Writer: Andre Case, Oneil Sharma
Actors: Famke Janssen, Alexandra Shipp, Ian Tracey, Nicholas Hamilton, Patrick Gilmore, DeRon Horton, Catherine Lough Haggquist, Aaron Pearl, Alexa Barajas, Zoë Belkin, BJ Harrison, Barbara Meier, Eddie Ramos
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Rated: NR
Length: 95 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When madly in love high school graduates Riley and Chris are separated by a tragic car accident, Riley blames herself for her boyfriend's death while Chris is stranded in limbo. Miraculously, the two find a way to connect.

Endless looks like a decent movie. It clearly takes inspiration from previous films, like Ghost (1990), to the point where it seems almost basic. If it had a different cast, I might believe exactly that.

I’m not familiar with everyone involved in the film – but Alexandra Shipp (Tragedy Girls, All the Bright Places, Dude) is much better than she’s been given credit for. Something about her presence in the trailer elevates the whole thing to another level. Just from the scene shown where she realizes her boyfriend is dead? I felt all kinds of things I shouldn’t have felt from a trailer alone.

This film has potential. It may very well do something with its recipe that is greater than most that came before it. It’s not a given, but worth a shot.

15 – Rogue (8/28)

Production/Distribution: Mannequin Pictures, The Electric Shadow Company, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, Eagle Films
Director: M.J. Bassett
Writer: M.J. Bassett, Isabel Bassett
Actors: Megan Fox, Jessica Sutton, Lee-Anne Liebenberg, Calli Taylor, Philip Winchester, Greg Kriek, Adam Deacon, Brandon Auret, Sisanda Henna, Isabel Bassett, Kenneth Fok, Ashish Gangapersad
Genre: Action
Rated: R
Length: 105 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Megan Fox (Transformers franchise) tackles a thrilling new role as a battle-hardened mercenary in this explosive action saga. As team leader O'Hara, she leads a lively squad of soldiers on a daring mission: rescue hostages from their captors in remote Africa. But as the mission goes awry and the team is stranded, O'Hara's squad must face a bloody, brutal encounter with a gang of rebels - and the horde of ravenous, enraged lions they encounter.

I’m going to be 100% candid here. This doesn’t look like a ‘good’ film. It didn’t make the list because I think it’s going to be good. It made the list because I think it’s going to be fun. There are other movies that I passed over that seemed like they’d be interesting, but I stand by my decision.

Most people would have given those other films this spot, but I don’t need my flicks to follow a technical recipe. I don’t need everything I watch to be Oscar-worthy or to have a deeper meaning. If you do, that’s cool. Do you. This one is definitely not for you.

However, if you want a mindless, action-filled, ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ film, that’s what I think this is going to be. Hell, that’s what I hope it’s going to be.

The trailer makes it look like Rogue is going to be a good time. Something you can crack open a beer and forget the bullshit with. Right now, that feels kind of perfect.

14 – I Used to Go Here (8/7)

Production/Distribution: Yale Productions, BondIt Media Capital, Buffalo 8 Productions, Party Over Here, SSS Entertainment, SSS Film Capital, Ten Acre Films, Gravitas Ventures, Signature Entertainment
Director: Kris Rey
Writer: Kris Rey
Actors: Gillan Jacobs, Jemaine Clement, Kate Micucci, Hannah Marks, Jorma Taccone, Zoe Chao, Josh Wiggins, Forrest Goodluck, Jennifer Joan Taylor, Tonray Ho, Khloe Janel, Brandon Daley, Kristina Valada-Viars, Rammel Chan, Steffen Garcia, Cindy Gold, Nik Whitcomb, Harv Blain
Genre: Comedy
Rated: NR
Length: 80 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate is invited to speak at her alma matter by her former professor. After accepting the invitation, Kate finds herself deeply enmeshed in the lives of a group of college students.

I Used to Go Here seems to touch on the aimless feeling of a dream not really working out the way you pictured it. I think, no matter who you are, that’s relatable. It’s not really the same thing as a dream not coming true. It’s more like things just not turn out the way you thought they would.

Every writer wants to be the next Stephen King (The Stand, Doctor Sleep, It) or Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games, Ticket Out, Clarissa Explains it All), not every author gets to be that.

In this movie I think we’ll get to see how someone comes to terms with that. The main character seems to be exploring a possibility of teaching, and a world where she can relive her youth a little bit before she moves onto her next chapter.

If this movie has some guts, then I think it could wind up being extremely relatable and encouraging. Of course, they could take the easy road. If they do, it’ll probably hurt the overall film.

13 – Centigrade (8/28)

Production/Distribution: Manhattan Productions, Phiphen Pictures, IFC Midnight, Italia Film, Premiere Entertainment Group, Signature Entertainment
Director: Brendan Walsh
Writer: Brendan Walsh, Daley Nixon
Actors: Genesis Rodriguez, Vincent Piazza, Mavis Simpson-Ernst
Genre: Thriller
Rated: NR
Length: 98 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A married couple find themselves trapped in their frozen vehicle after a blizzard and struggle to survive amid plunging temperatures and unforeseen obstacles.

I’m a sucker for a good claustrophobic horror/thriller. They’re cheap to produce, they highlight the ability of the actors, and they feed off a common human fear.

On one hand, they have less work to do in order to make the viewer feel uncomfortable. On the other, they take a lot of subtle writing/directing and they require a VERY good cast to pull off. The cast needs to convince people that they have no escape, while keeping the entertainment value up so that people don’t get bored.

I’m not familiar with the majority of the people actively credited for Centigrade’s acting, writing, or direction. That’s why I can’t move this film up at all. Still, I really want to see how it turns out.

12 – Work It (8/7)

Production/Distribution: AK Worldwide, Alloy Entertainment, STX Films, Netflix
Director: Laura Terruso
Writer: Alison Peck
Actors: Sabrina Carpenter, Jordan Fisher, Keiynan Lonsdale, Liza Koshy, Michelle Buteau, Drew Ray Tanner, Naomi Snieckus, Seughwan Min, Nathaniel Scarlette
Genre: Comedy, Music
Rated: NR
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When Quinn Ackerman's admission to the college of her dreams depends on her performance at a dance competition, she forms a ragtag group of dancers to take on the best squad in she just needs to learn how to dance.

Admittedly, I expect this movie to be so recipe that it never misses a step. So, why did I put it this high on the list?

Frankly put, I’m here for the cast.

Sabrina Carpenter (Horns, Girl Meets World, Noobz), Jordan Fisher (To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, Liv and Maddie, She-Ra and the Princess of Power), Keiynan Lonsdale (Love Simon, The Flash, Allegiant), and Liza Koshy (Escape the Night, Freakish, FML) are all superstars of their generation. Between the four of them, I have some high hopes that they’ll make an otherwise fully recipe-based movie more than watchable. I mean, it’d have been high on my list just because of Liza Koshy’s involvement. To add in the others… well that’s just the cherry on top.

11 – How to Fake a War (8/7)

Production/Distribution: 20 Steps Productions, Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME), Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Vertical Entertainment
Director: Rudolph Herzog
Writer: Tim Price, Raid Sabbah
Actors: Lily Newmark, Katherine Parkinson, Jay Pharoah, Daryl McCormack, Ali Cook, Lasha Kankava, Samuel Vargu
Genre: Comedy
Rated: NR
Length: 84 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When an outbreak of peace threatens rock star Harry Hope's charity concert, he dispatches his PR consultant to create a fake war story - until the concert, at least.

This one just looks hilarious… and a little topical.

The plot of How to Fake a War looks like a sliver of 2020 taken out of context and blown up to a ridiculous extreme. I think it’s going to take us on a hell of a ride through an Onion article-made real situation. In other words, I think it’s going to use that sliver of truth to let us find a touch of escapism.

Good or bad, it should be a fun – or at least, unique – ride.

10 – The Tax Collector (8/7)

Production/Distribution: Cedar Park Entertainment, Cross Creek Pictures, Faster Horse Pictures, Kodiak Pictures, GEM Entertainment, RLJE Films, VVS Films
Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Actors: Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, Shia LaBeouf, Jose Conejo Martin, Cheyenne Rae Hernandez, Cle Sloan, Richard Mesquita, George Lopez, Brian Martin Ortega, Aaliyah Lopez, Ricardo Gonzalez, Elpidia Carrillo, Lana Parrilla, Gabriela Flores, Noemi Gonzalez, Chelsea Rendon, Rene Moran, Roberto Garcia, Steve Louis Villegas, Cuete Yeska, Lee Coc
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 95 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A "tax collector" for a crime lord finds his family's safety compromised when his boss' old rival shows up in LA and upends his business.

I don’t pay attention to tabloid shit. That said, I also don’t have blinders on. I live on the internet and it’s impossible to not see things. For this reason, I know that Shia LeBeouf’s (Fury, Honey Boy, American Honey) real life eccentricities sometimes overshadow his acting ability. I don’t give a fuck about any of it. There is one thing you can count on where he’s concerned. If he’s in a film, he’s IN the film, 100%. He’s going to bring it.

You can see every bit of that in this trailer.

The movie looks dark and disturbing, and there are scenes in the trailer where LeBeouf FEELS dangerous.

I believe that working with a writer/director like David Ayer (End of Watch, Sabotage, Harsh Times), is the perfect place for LeBeouf. They’ve worked together before and Ayer’s films seem to bring out the best in his performances.

I doubt I’d be interested in this movie if it were created by someone different and had a different cast.

9 – Superman: Man of Tomorrow (8/23)

Production/Distribution: DC Universe
Director: Chris Palmer
Writer: Tim Sheridan
Actors: Alexandra Daddario, Ryan Hurst, Darren Criss, Zachary Quinto, Bellamy Young, Brett Dalton, Neil Flynn, Eugene Byrd, April Stewart, Cissy Jones, Ike Amadi, Piotr Michael, Cristina Milizia, David Chen
Genre: Animation
Rated: PG-13
Length: 86 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Daily Planet intern Clark Kent takes learning-on-the-job to new extremes when Lobo and Parasite set their sights on Metropolis.

Chances are high that there will never be a day that a DC animated film doesn’t make the Top 10 part of my list when it comes out. DC just excels at animation. I wish their live-action movies would follow suit.

I tend to prefer their darker stories, but you can’t really dislike Superman. At least, I can’t. I grew up on him and the whole Super family. This particular movie has the added bonuses of having a dream cast.

Darren Criss (American Crime Story, Royalties, Glee), Ryan Hurst (The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, CBGB), Alexandra Daddario (Can You Keep a Secret?, Night Hunter, When We First Met), and Zachary Quinto (High Flying Bird, Hotel Artemis, NOS4A2) are all exceptional actors with pretty spot-on voices for who they’re playing. I don’t really know Ike Amadi (Mortal Kombat 11, Avengers Assemble, Death Stranding), the actor playing Martian Manhunter, but I looked him up, and I’m feeling him too.

There’s really only one reason it’s this low on my list. I just prefer other Superman arcs. That’s all. I mean, Lobo’s great and I love Martian Manhunter, but my own personal preference just wouldn’t lead me to this particular arc.

Even with that, I’ll probably see the film. They should really be releasing their animated stuff to theaters; I think it’d make a killing.

8 – An American Pickle (8/6)

Production/Distribution: Point Grey Pictures, Gravitational Productions, Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Brandon Trost
Writer: Simon Rich
Actors: Seth Rogen, Sarah Snook, Sean Whalen, Jorma Taccone, Joanna Adler, Marsha Stephanie Blake, David Mattey, Geoffrey Cantor, Kevin O’Rourke, Carol Leifer, Eliot Glazer, Jon Donahue, Kalen Allen, Molly Evensen
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 90 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An immigrant worker at a pickle factory is accidentally preserved for 100 years and wakes up in modern day Brooklyn.

I will freely admit that this movie deserves to be a bit higher on my list, based on the trailer. It looks funny, dramatic, and incredibly unique. It’s ridiculous and eye-catching. Some of faces Seth Rogen (Zeroville, The Disaster Artist, The Interview) makes, the way he carries himself as the older man, the script that was highlighted, it’s all practically perfect. I want to see this movie VERY badly.

The only reason it’s not up at #4 or 5 is because it makes me nervous. There are not a hell of a lot of good projects out there where one actor plays two separate rolls successfully. For every Orphan Black (2013-2017), there are two Jack and Jill’s (2011). And, for some reason, the ones that go wrong tend to be comedies.

An American Pickle looks amazing, and they took some very big risks. I look forward to seeing how it plays out.

7 – The Secret Garden (8/7)

Production/Distribution: STX Films, Heyday Films, Fundamental Films, Canal+, Ciné+, STX Entertainment, StudioCanal, ACME, BF Distribution, Blitz Film & Video Distribution, Blitz, CJ CGV Viet Nam, China Film Group Corporation (CFGC), Corazón Films, Hakka Distribution, Kino Films, Lucky Red, Mongkol Major, Monolith Films, Movie Cloud, NOS Audiovisuais, PVR Pictures, Panorama Entertainment, Pioneer Films, Playlist, Remain In Light, SF Film Finland, SF Film, SF Norge A/S, Selim Ramia & Sons, Shaw Organisation, Spentzos Films, Square Box Pictures, Svensk Filmindustri, TGV Pictures, The Searchers, TriPictures, Vertical Entertainment, Volga Film Ukraine, Volga, bf Distribution
Director: Marc Munden
Writer: Frances Hodgson Burnett, Jack Thorne
Actors: Dixie Egerickx, Colin Firth, Julie Waters, Edan Hayhurst, Amir Wilson, Isis Davis, Maeve Dermody, Sonia Goswami, Paul Dean-Kelly, Anne Lacey, Jemma Powell, Tommy Gene Surridge
Genre: Drama, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG
Length: 99 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An orphaned girl discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle's estate.

For some people, this is going to be a controversial pick – especially putting it this high. The fact is, it looks like a scene-by-scene remake of the 1993 version.

The way I look at it, remakes are necessary. Especially for classics like The Secret Garden. It’s a timeless story and the best way to open it up to new audiences is to reshoot it with more currently well-known names and up-to-date methods. Without remakes we might not know about stories like Romeo and Juliet or Robin Hood. If you want to open a story up to younger generations, the easiest way to do it is to make it relatable to them.

So, although I understand that remake culture can be frustrating, I’m looking forward to the new Secret Garden. I hope the younger generation is, too.

6 – Max Reload and the Nether Blasters (8/7)

Production/Distribution: CineForge Media, Foxtrot X-Ray
Director: Scott Conditt, Jeremy Tremp
Writer: Scott Conditt, Jeremy Tremp
Actors: Wil Wheaton, Hassie Harrison, Kevin Smith, Martin Kove, Lin Shaye, Greg Grunberg, Joseph D. Reitman, Lukas Gage, Charlie Talbert, Joey Morgan, Eva Hamilton, Jesse Kove, Phuong Kubacki, Tom Plumley, Richard Lippert, Nick Marzock, Taylor Dahl, Jake Grunberg
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR
Length: 100 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A small town video game store clerk must go from zero to hero after accidentally unleashing the forces of evil from a cursed Colecovision game... Max Jenkins' gaming fantasies collides with reality when a legendary "lost" installment of the Nether Game series appears on the store counter of his workplace, Fallout Games. Unbeknownst to Max, the game bears a "Curse of The Ages", and in playing it, he has just unlocked the Nether, an ancient malevolent force of evil from the cartridge, upon his small hometown. Along with a mysterious masked man and his two best friends, Liz and Reggie, Max must figure out how to beat the Nether at it's own game before it's Game Over for humanity.

This film looks like so much fun. There are video games, explosions, twists to common plots, and a kick-ass cast. There are definitely months where this would have wound up higher on my list.

I’ll admit that I don’t think the plot will go very deep, but I don’t think that’s an issue. I think that Max Reload and the Nether Blasters was made as pure, whole-hearted escapism. Right now, I think that’s perfect. So much so, that I may shell out the 20 bucks for the physical copy of this film.

If you want something deep, this one probably won’t be for you. If you just want to laugh and have some fun for a couple of hours, I’m guessing Max Reload is going to be the safe bet.

5 – Random Acts of Violence (8/20)

Production/Distribution: Manis Film, Kickstart Productions, Image Comics, JoBro Productions & Film Finance, Trinity Media Financing, Elevation Pictures, Shudder
Director: Jay Baruchel
Writer: Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Actors: Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster, Jay Baruchel, Simon Northwood, Niamh Wilson, Isaiah Rockcliffe, Clark Backo, Victoria Snow, Eric Osborne, Nia Roam, Aviva Mongillo, Wade MacNeil
Genre: Horror
Rated: NR
Length: 80 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A pair of comic book writers begin to notice scary similarities between the character they created and horrific real-life events.

I found this movie a little late in the game. Shudder is a little new to me, so it’s taken me a bit for find a reliable source that gives me insight into which of their films are coming out in the next month. When I saw this, I had to restructure my whole list to make room for it.

The plot is a familiar one, I’ll admit that. Any TV show that’s had a writer/crime solver as a main character has put an episode into this kind of story. Bones (2005-2017), Castle (2009-2016), anything along those lines. I’ve even seen it done through use of a comic book in an episode of Criminal Minds (2005-2020). What makes this film different is that the people who notice what’s happening are not law enforcement of any kind.

That may seem like a minor difference, but if you think about it, that fact actually changes the entire feel of the plot. You see it from a whole different perspective, and when you have a different perspective, you have a completely different story to tell.

I’m also a huge fan of Jay Baruchel (Goon, How to Train Your Dragon, Man Seeking Woman). He’s just super underrated. His writing is great, his acting is worth watching, and I don’t even need to touch on his voice work. I’ve never seen him direct anything, so I’m really looking forward to that aspect.

As big a fan of Baruchel as I am, there’s no way I could ignore a project like this. He started writing it 7 years ago and has outright described it as a “labour of love.” He even turned down previous opportunities to make the film because he didn’t think it was ready. I love hearing that. When writers/directors puts that much into a film, it impossible to not have high hopes.

4 – Antebellum (8/21) - Delayed

Production/Distribution: Lionsgate, QC Entertainment, BF Distribution, Bir Film, Central Partnership, DeAPlaneta, Encore Films, Golden Screen Cinemas, Golden Village Pictures, Intercontinental Film Distributors (HK), Lark Films Distribution, Meloman, Mongrel Media, Monolith Films, Movie Cloud, Pro Video Film & Distribution Kft., Roadshow Film Distributors (NZ) Ltd., Roadshow Films, Splendid Film, Ukrainian Film Distribution (UFD), Vertical Entertainment, WW Entertainment, Eagle Films
Director: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz
Writer: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz
Actors: Jena Malone, Janelle Monáe, Jack Huston, Eric Lange, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Cowles, Robert Aramayo, Marque Richardson, Tongayi Chirisa, Betsy Borrego, Devyn A. Tyler, Choppy Guillotte, London Boyce, Grace Junot
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: NR
Length: 105 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it's too late.

The trailer for Antebellum is a little confusing and strange, but looking into the plot of the film – it makes sense. Whatever ‘horrifying reality’ the main character is stuck in, is clearly a time bending situation. The word ‘antebellum’ in itself suggests that we’ll be looking a time before the civil war in at least parts of the film.

I think what we get out of this film is going to far surpass simple thrills. I think we’re going to get to see a connection between our modern-day era and one from long ago that should never be relived.

Also, Janelle Monáe (Harriet, Welcome to Marwen, Homecoming) is one of those actors that are too good to not follow from project to project.

3 – Peninsula (8/7)

Production/Distribution: Movic Comics, Next Entertainment World, RedPeter Film, Next Entertainment World, Kross Pictures, ARP Sélection, BfParis, Clover Films, Golden Village Pictures, Well Go USA Entertainment, Shudder, Splendid Film, The Filmbridge
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon
Actors: Dong-Won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee, John D. Michaels, Re Lee, Daniel Joey Albright, Milan-Devi LaBrey, Hae-hyo Kwon, Geoffrey Giuliano, Pierce Conran, Christopher Gordon
Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
Rated: NR
Length: 116 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Sequel to the 2016 South Korean zombie film Train to Busan (2016).

This is the first time in a Top 20 I’ve been looking forward to two movies for YEARS. In this case, I’ve been looking forward to Peninsula for 2 years.

Train to Busan (2016) is one of the best zombie films I have ever seen. Cat and I agreed on that when we saw it in October of 2018. Since then, we’ve both been feigning for the sequel. When I saw it was coming out this month, I squeeled in glee. Of course, the chances of it being postponed due to the pandemic is still pretty high. At least in the US.

The trailer for this film looks fast-paced and terrifying. How about that mound of crawling zombies in the make-shift coliseum? That unnatural movement just sets your hair on end.

So far, Peninsula looks every bit as harrowing as I hoped it would be. The fact that it’s only #3 this month, says a lot about the movies that I placed before it.

2 – The New Mutants (8/28)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, Marvel Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, 20th Century Fox Argentina, Forum Hungary, Ukrainian Film Distribution, Walt Disney Studios Japan, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures Releasing (WDSSPR)
Director: Josh Boone
Writer: Josh Boone, Knate Lee, Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum
Actors: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, Henry Zaga, Colbi Gannett, Thomas Kee, Happy Anderson
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 98 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

I’ve been looking forward to Peninsula for 2 years. But The New Mutants? I’ve been looking forward to this one for 6 years. Since I first heard someone had decided to write a script for it.

This poor movie has been stuck in production hell for so long, that some fans think it’s cursed. If it keeps going down that postponement road, we may eventually just see it get released on Disney+. Which, honestly, I wouldn’t hate… but I’m dying to see it on a big screen.

Hopefully, theaters will open in time. My favorite theaters do indicate that they’re hoping to open in the beginning of August… but it’s not the first time they’ve said that. So, we’ll see.

What’s not to love about this film? It is a seriously dark superhero film with Marvel branding and relatively unknown characters (at least on the big screen). It’s different than what you’d expect from Marvel, or Fox, for their hero films.

The trailer just looks spectacular. The cinematography is so eye catching and the actors just feel like they’re giving their all.

I’m so hoping it doesn’t get delayed again. If it does, hopefully they’ll just bring it to a streaming program.

1 – Project Power (8/14)

Production/Distribution: Netflix, Screen Arcade, Supermarché
Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman     
Writer: Mattson Tomlin
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Machine Gun Kelly, Jamie Foxx, Rodrigo Santoro, Amy Landecker, Michael Thomas, Courtney B. Vance, Tait Fletcher, Casey Neistat, Dominique Fishback, Cecilia Leal, Yoshi Sudarso, Allen Maldonado, Joseph Poliquin, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Azhar Khan, Jim Klock, Andrene Ward-Hammond
Genre: Action, Crime, Sci-Fi
Rated: R
Length: 111 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When a pill that gives its users unpredictable superpowers for five minutes hits the streets of New Orleans, a teenage dealer and a local cop must team with an ex-soldier to take down the group responsible for its creation.

This movie came out of nowhere for me. I was so excited for The New Mutants and Peninsula, that I don’t think I bothered to keep an eye out for anything else this month. I ran into this movie on page five of my list of trailers to watch, with my head in my hands and my eyes in a perpetual ‘fuck this’ roll.

The first time I watched it, I thought that I was just looking at it through the eyes of someone who’d been bored for an hour and half. So, I watched it again. Then I played it for my husband. Then I played it for my mom. Then I showed some friends… etc.

Project Power looks fucking amazing. I’ve seen the trailer about 18 times now, and I’m looking forward to the full project more than the two movies I’ve been waiting years for.

The cast is outstanding. Anyone who claims that Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy, Baby Driver, Django Unchained) or Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Snowden, Inception, Looper) are not enough of a draw for audiences, has not been paying attention. Both actors are badass, and look even more badass here. They’re joined by some equally phenomenal supporting actors, like Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld, Reprisal, 300), Dominique Fishback (The Deuce, The Hate U Give, Random Acts of Flyness), Machine Gun Kelly (Captive State, Bird Box, Nerve), and Courtney B. Vance (The Photograph, Final Destination 5, ER).

On top of that, the cinematography portrayed in the trailer is visually perfect. The part where Gordon-Levitt gets shot in the face and you see the vibrations of his skull? That’s unheard of. It’s impossible to look away from.

Netflix has been killing it lately. Extraction (2020) and The Old Guard (2020) proved that they can do it right. Where Netflix tends to shoot themselves in the foot, is in editing. If their editor is on-point, though, I see no reason why this movie won’t be one of the best of the year.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Centigrade .20
Max Reload and the Nether Blasters .19
Antebellum .18
G-Loc .17
The Vanished .16
She Dies Tomorrow .15
What We Found .14
The Tax Collector .13
Black Water: Abyss .12
Random Acts of Violence .11
Rogue .10
Superman: Man of Tomorrow .9
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe .8
Sputnik .7
The Personal History of David Copperfield .6
The One and Only Ivan .5
The Secret Garden .4
Peninsula .3
Project Power .2
The New Mutants .1



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