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Summer Movie Guide: 10 Movies to See in August 2010

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The summer movie season is fading. It is, after all, August.  Unfortunately, the bad movies (G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra) far outweigh the good (The Sixth Sense) in this miserable month as studios drop the projects they at one point thought were worthy of greatness but have pretty much acknowledged most audiences would rather take a power drill to their skulls than watch the crap they’ve produced. Still, August – as with every month – promises one or two movies worth seeing, and 2010 is no different.

Here are the ten movies to see this August:

Going the Distance

10. Going the Distance – August 27, 2010

Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star as two young people who meet and start a six-week relationship, followed by a long distance one once she moves across the country. The two struggle to stay together despite the distance, nagging friends and protective family members.

Our take: Going the Distance could very easily be a cliche romantic comedy, but both Barrymore and Long have the ability to elevate material. The movie trailer suggests it’ll be edgier than some of Barrymore’s other fare, and could serve as a source for some late summer entertainment.

Middle Men

9. Middle Men – August 6, 2010

“Middle Men” centers on a straight-and-narrow businessman (Luke Wilson) who builds the first online billing company dealing exclusively with adult entertainment and finds himself in the middle of a whirlwind filled with starlets, conmen, Russian mobsters, federal agents and international terrorists – all while trying to hold on to his marriage and family.

Our take: Middle Men has the potential to be a cult classic – if done right. That’s a big IF. On the one hand, the topic looks interesting and the presentation stylish; on the other hand, it’s an August drama starring Luke Wilson. I like Wilson, but as a dramatic lead – especially in what is meant to be an edgy crime drama – I have to question just how seriously it’s going to take the material.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed

8. The Disappearance of Alice Creed – August 6, 2010 (LA/NY)

Two ex-cons planning to make a mint on the ransom for a young woman kidnap Alice Creed (Gemma Arterton), daughter of a rich businessman, chosen by Vic and Danny as their passport to a better life. Terrified and immobile at first, it soon becomes clear that Alice isn’t about to let her captors use her as capital without a fight.

Our take: An indie thriller getting a very limited release in Los Angeles and New York, the movie looks exciting and refreshing, even if its concept is basic. I haven’t hopped on the Arterton bandwagon yet (I didn’t like her in Clash of the Titans and she looked equally unimpressive in Prince of Persia, which I haven’t seen), but something down and dirty like The Disappearance of Alice Creed could be just the ticket to win me over.

Lebanon

7. Lebanon – August 6, 2010 (limited)

June, 1982 – The First Lebanon War. A lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town – a simple mission that turns into a nightmare. The four members of a tank crew find themselves in a violent situation that they cannot contain. Motivated by fear and the basic instinct of survival, they desperately try not to lose themselves in the chaos of war.

Our take: The movie trailer directly suggests that Lebanon is the “Das Boot of tank movies,” and from the footage at hand, that could very well be the case. While I don’t have that unrealistic of expectations for this Israeli war drama, it does look like it will be an intense experience – something that is lacking among August movies.

Flipped

6. Flipped – August 27, 2010 (August 6 limited release)

When second-graders Bryce and Juli first meet, Juli knows it’s love. But Bryce isn’t so sure. Girl-phobic and easily embarrassed, young Bryce does everything he can to keep his outspoken wannabe girlfriend at arm’s length… for the next six years, which isn’t easy since they go to the same school and live across the street from each other.

Our take: It’s not every day that a movie like Flipped comes along. Not anymore. A coming-of-age tale that appears to be pulled directly from the 80′s, Flipped looks a lot like Stand by Me – and what do you know? It’s helmed by Rob Reiner, the director of Stand by Me (and Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride and several other classics). Flipped looks like a refreshing, nostalgic and family friendly experience – the perfect way to cap off the summer movie season.

Animal Kingdom

5. Animal Kingdom- August 13, 2010 (limited)

Welcome to the Melbourne underworld. Following the death of his mother, seventeen year-old Joshua ‘J’ Cody moves in with his hitherto-estranged family, under the watchful eye of his doting grandmother, Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody, and her three criminal sons – the Cody boys. ‘J’ finds himself at the centre of a cold-blooded revenge plot that turns his family upside down and which throws him directly into the path of senior homicide detective, Nathan Leckie (Guy Pearce).

Our take: With so many Australian actors working in Hollywood, it’s surprising that more Aussie flicks don’t make it across the ocean. Regardless, Animal Kingdom looks to give us a rare glimpse at the Australian mafia. The movie looks intriguing, different and disturbing, and readers of this blog know that such things get me excited.

Eat, Pray, Love

4. Eat, Pray, Love- August 13, 2010

Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia,” Julia Roberts stars as a married woman who seemingly has it all but realizes that she’s not living the life she wants. She divorces her husband and sets off on a journey around the world.

Our take: Julia Roberts may not be the box office tour de force she was once was, but she continues to pick quality projects (well, except for Valentine’s Day) and Eat, Pray, Love, based on a novel, looks like another worthy entry to her resume. The August release is a little odd as this one would have been better served in December or February, but Eat, Pray, Love is one of the few female-oriented movies of the month. It also looks pretty good.

The Other Guys

3. The Other Guys – August 6, 2010

There are badass cops, and then there are the other guys. In The Other Guys, the other guys are Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, two misfits who are forced into action and encounter all kinds of trouble.

Our take: Buddy cop movies are all but extinct, especially goofy ones such as The Other Guys. This may be why the movie looks so refreshing, or, if “refreshing” is too praising of a word, simply entertaining. Ferrell’s leading antics have become tiresome, but he’s proven he is more tolerable when paired with other big names. I’m not expecting a lot from this movie, but it could be a fun ride. And it’s August, so you can’t expect much to begin with.

The Expendables

2. The Expendables – August 13, 2010

Sylvester Stallone, Curtis Jackson, Randy Couture, Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis and yes, even Arnold Schwarzenegger star in this bloody action film about a band of mercenaries who have to blow stuff up. Any other details on the plot are unnecessary.

Our take: For those of you who miss vintage ’80′s action movies, Stallone is promising to deliver. There are those who won’t appreciate the masterful casting of this production, but as far as B-grade action is concerned, it will be hard to beat The Expendables this summer. Can’t wait. Too bad it opens the same day as our #1 film…

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – August 13, 2010

Michael Cera stars as an awkward young man (surprise!) who meets the girl of his dreams. The catch: to win her over, he has to defeat the girl’s seven evil exes, who, like him, have superpowers. From the creators of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Our take: Have you seen Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz? My point exactly. If you’re going to see one movie this August, see this zany, over-the-top action-romantic-comedy. Sadly, this movie won’t appeal to everyone, but those with a willingness to see something unique should find plenty to enjoy.

Other August movies to end the summer movie season

Here are a few more to consider:

  • Piranha 3D - the movie looks pretty stupid, and yet it’s from director (The Hills Have Eyes, High Tension), so you know it’s going to be bloody goodness.
  • The Switch – Jason Bateman is funny, and Jennifer Aniston still has potential, but several movies have already proven that artificial insemination comedies just don’t work.
  • The Last Exorcism – You can only go so wrong with exorcism movies, but The Last Exorcism‘s trailers haven’t convinced me that this one is anything more than a late summer throwaway.

For more August 2010 movies, click here.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies, Top 10 Movie Lists
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  • Luke Baggins

    Scott Pilgrim looks like lots of fun! It’s nothing really like Shaun or Hot Fuzz, but Edgar Wright went for a different style which is fresh. I saw Winter’s Bone and The Kids Are All Right, and they were both very good.

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