The Watch List: 14 Must-See August Movies
Sylvester Stallone and company are back to lead off your August new film preview, along with a look at the month’s must-have DVD/Blu-Ray releases.
The Expendables 2
In 2010, The Expendables crammed together enough meat to fill a butcher’s window. And now Sly Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and the rest of the not-so-Expendables have been joined by Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In a summer marked by Dark Knights, Avengers and Spider-Men, good old-fashioned men of action are a delight. In theatres Aug. 17.
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
He’s been arrested, detained for weeks on end, had his studio bulldozed and his blog taken down, but China’s most famous artist has remained an outspoken critic of his government and its censorship. He is unabashed, unafraid and truly never sorry. In theatres July 27.
A lot of hi-def releases are just old DVDs converted and slapped into a new box. Not so with the much-awaited Jaws. As part of Universal’s 100th Anniversary Series, the studio subjected Steven Spielberg’s seminal summer flick to a frame-by-frame restoration and put together a new 7.1 audio mix. You’re going to need a bigger TV. On Blu-ray Aug. 14.
Kelsey Grammer’s post-Frasier hit sees him trading highbrow quips for furrowed glowering. His turn as Tom Kane, a ruthless politician who is secretly suf-fering from a creeping neurological impairment, snagged him a well-deserved Golden Globe. On DVD and Blu-ray July 24.
Vive la France!
The Intouchables directed by Olivier Nakache
When it was released in France in late 2011, this story of a friendship between a wealthy quadriplegic and his Senegalese caretaker shattered box-office records-it’s currently the second-highest-grossing non-English-language film of all time, after Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. Uptown Theatre, Barrie, Ont., Aug. 1.
Total Recall directed by Len Wiseman
This big-budget remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven film is also one of the most expensive Hollywood productions ever shot in Canada. Colin Farrell does his best to fill out the XXL workboots worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the original, playing an average Joe who finds out he may be a superspy. In theatres Aug. 3.
Renner does Damon
The Bourne Legacy directed by Tony Gilroy
Who says you need Jason Bourne to make a Jason Bourne movie? The fourth film in the series sees Jeremy Renner (The Avengers’ Hawkeye) take on the role of a graduate from the same espionage program that trained Matt Damon’s famous secret agent. In theatres Aug. 3.
Celeste and Jesse Forever directed by Lee Toland Krieger
Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones star as a recently divorced couple trying to remain on friendly terms-and date other people. Because that always works. In theatres Aug. 3.
Madge makes a movie
W.E. directed by Madonna
This biopic of Wallis Simpson, the divorcee who seduced Edward VIII away from the British throne, marks the directorial debut of pop star Madonna. The best part is, unsurprisingly, the couture. Lebovic Centre for the Arts and Entertainment, Stouffville, Ont., Aug. 8.
The devils you know
The Campaign directed by Jay Roach
Funnymen Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis square off in this campaign-trail comedy. Galifianakis plays an innocent dope picked by two CEOs to unseat Ferrell’s incumbent North Carolina congressman. Expect escalating pranks and duelling Southern drawls. In theatres Aug. 10.
Never too late for romance
Hope Springs directed by David Frankel
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones have a lot of fun as an aging couple that enlists the help of a crackpot counsellor (Steve Carrell) to spice up their marriage. We’re going to go out on a limb here and guess that they end up falling in love all over again. In theatres Aug. 10.
Take This Waltz directed by Sarah Polley
In actor-director Sarah Polley’s latest, Michelle Williams plays a Toronto woman mulling over an affair with the handsome rickshaw driver across the street (Luke Kirby)-all while her sweet husband (Seth Rogen) obliviously perfects recipes for his chicken-only cookbook. Vernon Towne Theatre, Vernon, B.C., Aug. 20.
Premium Rush directed by David Koepp
Cashing in on the urban romance of bicycle messengers and their brakeless, fixed-speed steeds, Premium Rush casts Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a courier carrying a high-priority package sought by Michael Shannon’s grimacing gangster. In theatres Aug. 24.
Lawless directed by John Hillcoat
In Hamilton-raised filmmaker John Hillcoat’s new film, Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy play bootlegging brothers moving liquor into Prohibition-era Virginia. Scripted by punk icon Nick Cave, who also collaborated with Hillcoat on 2005’s The Proposition. In theatres Aug. 29.