August Preview: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Change-Up, The Help, Our Idiot Brother

Monthly Movie Preview – August 2011

Summer is winding down, but you wouldn’t know it with the release of big-budget Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the comedic potential of The Change Up and the movie version of the bestselling novel The Help. Sure, The Whistleblower is there as a counterweight to remind us that awful things happen and endings aren’t always happy – but once we’ve been thoroughly bummed out, we can cheer ourselves up with really expensive special effects and Andy Serkis pretending to be a chimpanzee.

It will be interesting to see if the movie The Help is as beloved as the book. If history is any indicator, we’d guess not, since Hollywood has a long tradition of sucking all the life out of novels and then regurgitating it for our viewing pleasure.

Still, it’s more than enough to medicate us against the harsh reality that the warm is on it’s way out!

August 5

Movie of the Week

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

The Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Frieda Pinto
The Plot: A scientist (Franco) experiments on a chimp named Caesar, who develops super-intelligence and not a little resentment. Caesar gathers an army of primates and prepares to take over the world.
The Buzz: The trailer looks phenomenal and we have ourselves a delicious blend of talent. Franco is buckets of fun when he’s excited about the project (127 Hours) and a buzzkill when he’s not (the Oscars debacle). So it’s a little worrying when Franco suggested he wasn’t as into Apes as other projects and then compared his level of interest in the film on par with the Oscars mess. But we won’t let that get us down, when Andy Serkis (Gollum) is doing the motion-capture for Caesar, the chimpanzee leading the charge, and the whole shebang is in the capable hands of director Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist). Let’s keep a positive attitude and maybe Franco’s bland feelings for the film will pan out to be little more than grumbling.

The Others:

The Change Up – Jason Bateman, Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Wilde, Leslie Mann
The Whistleblower – Rachel Weisz, Monica Bellucci, Vanessa Redgrave
Bellflower – Evan Glodell, Tyler Dawson, Jessie Wiseman

Trailer of movie of the week from trailer addict


August 12

Movie of the Week

30 Minutes or Less

The Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Nick Swardson
The Plot: Two amateur criminals (McBride, Swardson) kidnap a pizza delivery guy (Eisenberg), strap a bomb to him, and force him to rob a bank.
The Buzz: This is a winning combination of comedic elements. We have Ruben Fleischer directing Jesse Eisenberg again and the last time these two got together we ended up with Zombieland. If you let McBride off his leash and the writing has a strong foundation, this should be fun.

The Others:

The Help (August 10) – Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer
Final Destination 5 – Nicholas D’Agosto, Emma Bell, Arlen Escarpeta
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie – Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron, Lea Michele


August 19

Movie of the Week

One Day

The Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Patricia Clarkson
The Plot: Emma (Hathaway) meets Dexter (Sturgess) on the night of their graduation, July 15, 1989. As their relationship progresses, we are shown that progress through the years on July 15.
The Buzz: Lone Scherfig (An Education) is directing and you have a very strong cast. Hathaway is charming enough to round up an audience on her own merits, even if the movie looks like it could be a bit of a downer. But, hey, there’s a whole demographic that just love downers.

The Others:

Fright Night – Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant
Conan the Barbarian – Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan
Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D – Jessica Alba, Jeremy Piven, Joel McHale




August 26

Movie of the Week

Our Idiot Brother

The Stars: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel
The Plot: After Ned (Rudd) is sent to jail for possession of pot, he loses everything: his girlfriend, his apartment, and his dog. Now he has to rotate between the homes of his three sisters while he tries to get some semblance of his independence back.
The Buzz: Funny, though maybe a tad on the long side, like a few of the jokes might overstay their welcome just a bit. However, that is easily forgivable when you have a premise as playful as this one. There is a lot of potential for consistent comedy in My Idiot Brother.

The Others:

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark – Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison
Colombiana – Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue

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