Welcome to MovieWeb's Summer Preview: August - By Brian Gallagher

It’s coming up on that time of the year again. The sun is shining, adults are skipping work to play golf and students are skipping class to do, well, whatever it is they do when they’re not in class. It was a case of Budweiser and a porterhouse for me on days too nice to go to class, but I digress. The best part about spring time, is that summer time is just around the corner. And summer time brings us the most extravagant blockbuster movies of the year. Last summer, Johnny Depp gained mainstream popularity (finally!), Bennifer faltered, and we saw more sequels than I can remember seeing over a summer. What’s in store for this summer? Let’s take a look at what’s coming, as they say, to a theater near you, this summer. All release dates are subject to change.

Click on a date to find more releases surrounding the date. For more information on any of the films, click the title or the poster for the film!

August 6th

Movie PictureCollateral: Starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx

Directed by Michael Mann

Along with The Terminal and The Village, this is last in the three-way race for my potential favorite movie this summer. This movie has just a phenomenal premise. Tom Cruise, in a very rare role as a bad guy, is a hitman who takes a cab driver, played by Foxx, hostage, forcing him to drive him around to all of the people he’s been hired to kill. So Foxx has to figure out how to stop Cruise before he becomes the last victim. I haven’t seen a concept this tight in a long time, and it’s quite surprising that this movie was languishing in development for years. It will be nice to see Cruise step outside his guy-in-need-of-redemption realm, and Foxx has shined in recent years so he should do well here also. I imagine the script, by top-notch scribe Frank Darabont and director Michael Mann is very tight, and Mann’s direction should be nearly-flawless, as usual. This will probably be the last big hit of the summer, and maybe even the biggest.

Movie PictureShall We Dance:– Starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarrandon

Directed by Peter Chelsom

No, we shan’t….This is basically Bringing Down the House, with Richard Gere instead of Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez instead of Queen Latifah, and ballroom dance instead of hip-hop grooves. Miramax is trying to pimp the dance angle from Chicago and transform it to ballroom dance, mixed in with a storyline about a husband trying to win his wife back. Blah…

August 13th

Movie Picture

Alien vs. Predator: Starring Sanaa Lathan, Ewen Bremner, Lance Henriksen

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

Last year, this same weekend brought us Freddy vs. Jason. This year, Alien vs. Predator. I don’t even want to know what versus movie is in store for us next August…But this movie has been anticipated by fans of both series for years. It could be decent…who knows. It’s about a bunch of explorers in Antarctica who find a bunch of kiddy Predators who are hunting Aliens, for some reason. The cast is somewhat interesting, and the CGI for the Alien and Predator looks pretty good. I wasn’t a huge fan of Anderson’s Resident Evil, but we’ll see how he does here.

Movie PictureWe Don't Live Here Anymore: Starring Mark Ruffalo, Laura Dern, Peter Krause

Directed by John Curran

I don’t know much about this movie either, but it won the Grand Jury Prize for a drama at Sundance this past year. The story is pretty simple – two couple’s lives are torn apart by infidelity, but the cast is great. Naomi Watts stars here as well, and she is always great. Peter Krause, best known for HBO’s Six Feet Under, makes a rare film appearance here, and he is a marvelous actor. Ruffalo and Dern are usually solid in these types of roles also. I don’t know how wide of a release this movie will get, but it could be worth seeing if it’s in your neighborhood.

Movie PictureThe Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement: Starring Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews

Directed by Garry Marshall

I never saw the first movie, but it was a surprise hit, I guess. This time, the princess gets ready to marry an English suitor. This will probably haul in some huge bank, since it will, more than likely, be in much more theaters than Alien vs. Predator, and probably every teen girl under the sun will hit the theaters for this one before school starts.

August 20th

Movie PictureExorcist: The Beginning: Starring Stellan Skarsgard, James D’Arcy, Izabella Scorupco

Directed by Renny Harlin

This prequel to the 1973 horror classic stars Stellan Skarsgard as the young Father Merrin, as he has his first meeting with the demon Pazuzu. I don’t really know a whole lot about this one as well, and Harlin has more experience in action movies than in horror movies. What I don’t understand is how Skarsgard is supposed to be a “young” Father Merrin. He’s 53 years old. Max von Sydow, who played Father Merrin in the original Exorcist, was 44 when that movie was released in 1973…I have no idea how they plan to pull him off as the young Father Merrin, but it could be interesting anyway.

Movie PictureWithout a Paddle: Starring Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard, Seth Green

Directed by Steven Brill

This looks like some more dumb fun to close out the summer. Three guys go into the wilderness of Washington State, in the spirit of their dead friend, and mischief and mayhem, naturally, ensues. What makes this movie interesting, is that they go out there because their deceased friend was obsessed with finding the $194,000 that is still lost from D.B. Cooper’s famed airline parachute jump. Lillard, Green and Shepard, one of the guys from Punk’d, are all pretty funny, and with the D.B. Cooper stuff, this might not be too bad after all.

August 27th

Movie PictureAnacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid: Starring Morris Chestnut, Nicolas Hope

Directed by Dwight H. Little

The end of August is always seen as the movie industry’s Pet Semetary. They bury all of the projects they aren’t optimistic about on this weekend, hoping they’ll come back to life. But what they usually get is, well, none of their money back. This year’s burial is the Anaconda sequel. Did the first movie make enough money to warrant a sequel in the first place? Anyway, a different crew is in search of a flower that apparently can prolong life. Of course, the snakes get in their way. I’ll see this movie if I’m bored enough that weekend.

Brian B.