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August Movie Preview: And You Thought the Block Had Busted

Following box office numbers and the movie business from a financial standpoint tends to be a doom and gloom endeavor. Yes, numbers are down this summer and July only had a few movies that got audiences really excited. But before you write off summer 2014 as a lost cause, check out the blockbusters set for an August release. It’s really everything I look for in a month at the movie theater. I think I’m in love. …don’t tell my wife.

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August 1st- Guardians of the Galaxy, Get on Up

We all love Captain America and those guys, but I find myself more excited for Guardians of the Galaxy than I was for recent Avengers movies. It looks funny, action packed and different. Maybe it won’t pull Iron Man 3 numbers, but with the safety of the entire galaxy depending on this group of alien convicts, it really makes The Avengers defending New York look like child’s play.

Get on Up is a biopic about singer James Brown and his rise from a poor childhood to super-stardom. Chadwick Boseman stars as the soul legend only a year after he portrayed another icon, Jackie Robinson, in 42.

August 8th- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Hundred Foot Journey, Into the Storm, Step Up All In

Our old artistically named friends are back in the remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Producer Michael Bay caused a ruckus years back when he said they wouldn’t actually be turtles, but when the dust settled, they are. They have their colored masks, April O’Neal, played by Megan Fox, has her yellow jacket and Shredder, William Fichtner, is also the villain. So the ingredients are all here, but the jury is still out on how the movie will be.

Helen Mirren stars in The Hundred Foot Journey as the owner of a French restaurant in a small French town. When an Indian family opens a restaurant across the street, she makes life difficult. Romantic-comedy? Dramedy? Its genre is a bit unclear, but you’re sure to get some good acting in this one with Mirren in a lead role.

I tend to be a fan of disaster movies, but I don’t know about Into the Storm. The trailer shows these humongous tornadoes cause fires, proceed to suck up the fire and become super fire tornadoes! That’s some scary stuff. Side note: Thorin Oakenshield himself, Richard Armitage is in this.

I dare you to pretend you’re not pumped for Step Up All In. The fifth installment in the break-dancing franchise, the collective casts from the previous films are back (except for Channing Tatum, who has much more important things to do). This time the bigger and better crew competes in a big dance battle to earn a Las Vegas contract. I suspect “it” is about to go down.

August 13th-15th- The Expendables 3, The Giver, Let’s Be Cops

Speaking of large casts with familiar faces, The Expendables 3 stars every person who has ever been in an action movie in the history of the world. #Exaggeration. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Statham, Li and the usual suspects are back again. Newcomers Harrison Ford, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas add some new blood to the team also. Oh and did we mention the villain is Mel Gibson. Any kind of intro to the Expendables films inevitably ends up being a list of famous names, but I imagine there are also a bunch of fights and explosions too.

I never read the original novel for The Giver but I’ve definitely seen its cover, so that counts for something, right? The film adaptation stars Brenton Thwaites, of Maleficent fame as a young person in a world without violence and sickness. He is selected to learn about what Earth was like before. (Cue imagery of our current garbage can Earth I suppose.) Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges also star. The latter is the titular “giver”.

Let’s Be Cops is the “New Girl” movie without the girl. Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr., who co-star in “New Girl,” play different characters in this movie. After dressing up as cops for a costume party, they like how things went when people thought they were cops. So they continue wearing the uniforms. It goes without saying that things proceed to go wrong for the duo.


August 22nd- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, If I Stay, When the Game Stands Tall

You may recall the year 2005 when a little film called Sin City came out and changed the way we look at Elijah Wood, the color yellow and cowboy chaps forever. Well it’s been awhile but we’re going back to Sin City in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. A whole new group of episodes play out with some familiar faces (Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke) and some new ones (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin). I don’t think the city folk have reformed so expect big violence.

Not feeling Sin City and looking for a good cry? If I Stay stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a girl who has a pretty good life until a car accident puts her in a coma. She then has an out of body experience and has to decide whether she should come back to life or not. This may be a good title to trade your popcorn for a box of tissues.

When The Game Stands Tall is a sports drama based on the true story of a high school football team that goes on a 151 game winning streak. But after a shock loss, they have to come together. Jim Caviezel plays the coach of the team and Alexander Ludwig from The Hunger Games is one of the players.

August 27th-29th- As Above/ So Below, The November Man

There’s some horror this month with As Above/ So Below. Under the streets of Paris a pair of archeologists investigate the catacombs that run throughout the city, but as is expected, the job isn’t so cut and dry. There is a “dark secret.” Ahhh!

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think releasing The November Man in August was just a missed marketing opportunity. Just look at the title. Pierce Brosnan stars in the spy thriller as a character not named Senor James Bond. The character, a retired CIA agent, is brought back into the field and is quickly caught up in a twisty case involving high ranking US officials and even Russians! An actor can leave James Bond behind, but James Bond can never leave the actor.

So now do you believe me? August movies are no joke. For my picks I first have to go with Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel just does it the best. In addition to that I’m looking forward to Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, which is quite overdue. Nine years is a long time since the last one. With this August movie roster, the summer is definitely going out with a bang.