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2010 Summer Movie Preview: August

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This year’s summer movie season ends on Labor Day weekend. Between now and then, we have an appealing plethora of drama, biopics, comedies, fantasies, adapatations, and a 3D dance movie.

NOTE: All dates subject to change. Check each film’s ratings and content.

August 4

The Sicilian Girl – This crime drama, directed and co-written by Marco Amenta, is based on the true story of Rita Atria, who went up against the Mafia after a family tragedy (New York).

August 6

Cairo Time – Patricia Clarkson travels to Cairo, Egypt for a vacation with her husband but instead finds a blooming relationship with his close friend, played by Alexander Siddig, in this romantic drama. Written and directed by Ruba Nadda (limited release).

The Disappearance of Alice Creed – This kidnapping thriller has plenty of plot twists as two men, played by Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston, hope for a big ransom for Alice, played by Gemma Arterton. J. Blakeson writes and directs (NY, LA).

Flipped – Director Rob Reiner directs this comedic childhood romance between Bryce and Juli, played by rising stars Callan McAuliffe and Madeline Carroll. Anthony Edwards, John Mahoney, Rebecca De Mornay, Aidan Quinn, and Penelope Ann Miller co-star (limited then wide release on August 27).   

Lebanon – This military thriller follows a tank squad caught in some tense situations during the First Lebanon War in 1982. Samuel Maoz directs and writes (NY; LA release on August 13).

Middle Men – George Gallo directs this star-studded comedy based on a true story about business success in adult entertainment. Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, James Caan, Peter Stormare, Kelsey Grammer, and Rachael Taylor star (limited then wide release on August 20).

The Other Guys – Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as an unlikely pair who try to measure up to another police pair played by Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson in this NY police action comedy.

The Oxford Murders – Elijah Wood and John Hurt star as student and professor in this crime thriller from writer/director Alex de la Iglesia. Based on Guillermo Martinez’s award-winning novel (limited).

Step Up 3D – The dance drama series continues in New York’s street dancing underground. Playing in 3D theaters.

Thru the Moebius Strip – Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Chris Marquette and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) star in this sci-fi adventure about a boy searching for his father (limited).

Twelve – Drugs and the urban party life turn into murder in this ensemble drama, directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Emma Roberts, Chace Crawford, Rory Culkin, Ellen Barkin, Kiefer Sutherland, and Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson (limited).

The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest – This mountain climbing documentary features narration from Liam Neeson, Hugh Dancy, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, and the late Natasha Richardson (limited).

August 13

Animal Kingdom – David Michod writes and directs this Australian crime drama starring James Frecheville, Jackie Weaver, Guy Pearce, and Luke Ford (limited).

Eat, Pray, Love – Julia Roberts, James Franco, Javier Bardem and Viola Davis star in this comedy/drama based on the memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert.

The Expendables – An amazing action cast in a film centering on a special mercenary group. Sylvester Stallone directs, writes, and stars in all star action extravaganza about mercenaries hired to take out a South American dictator. Jet Li, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, and Mickey Rourke co-star while Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger have cameos.

La Soga – Manny Perez stars and writes this thriller, set in the Dominican Republic, as revenge, romance, and politics factor into a man’s choices through a tragic life (NY).

Mesrine: Killer Instinct – Rising French director Jean-Francois Richet starts a two-part film series about a famous gangster named Jacques Mesrine, played by Vincent Cassel. See September 3 for the second part film summary (LA, NY).

The People I’ve Slept With – A pregnant woman seeks the father of her child in this comedy. Unfortunately this woman has many, many partners to sort through. Quentin Lee directs (limited).

Salt of This Sea – Annemarie Jacir writes and directs this romantic drama about a woman’s travels to find peace among conflicted lands in the Middle East (NY).

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Comedy about a young guitar player who must contend with his new girlfriend’s ex-boyfriends. Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead star.

Tales from Earthsea – Disney continues importing Japanese animated films with Goro Miyazaki’s fantasy adventure where the world grow more unstable. Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin, Timothy Dalton, and Mariska Hargitay provide voice talent (NY, LA, SF, Seattle, Honolulu).

They Came to Play – This musical documentary features world class pianists facing personal challenges in a week long competition in Texas (NY).

August 18

Vampires Suck – This spoof from director/writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer mainly skewers the Twilight film series. Matt Lanter, Jenn Proske, and Ken Jeong star.

August 20

Down Terrace – Director Ben Wheatley and co-writer/star Robin Hill team up for this dark comedy about a crime family in the U.K. (limited).

Hiding Divya – Rehana Mirza debuts as director/writer of this mental illness drama involving three woman and their families (limited).

The Lottery Ticket – Ice Cube, Bow Wow, and Keith David star in this comedy about a boy who wins the lottery, but cannot claim the ticket until after a holiday weekend.

Mao’s Last Dancer – Director Bruce Beresford helms this Li Cunxin biography pic featuring stunning ballet dance sequences. Chi Cao, Joan Chen, Kyle McLachlan, and Bruce Greenwood star (limited).

Nanny McPhee Returns – Emma Thompson returns in the title role while providing the screenplay for this family comedy set on a farm. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Rhys Ifans, Maggie Smith, and Ralph Fiennes co-star.

Piranha 3D – Flesh-eating fish frenzy during spring break in Lake Victoria. Elisabeth Shue, Jerry O’Connell, Ving Rhames, Richard Dreyfuss, and Christopher Lloyd star.

Soul Kitchen – This comedy centers on culinary chaos and strong music as two brothers try to make their restaurant business succeed. Fatih Akin directs (limited).

The Switch – Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman star in another artificial insemination comedy. Patrick Wilson, Juliette Lewis, and Jeff Goldblum co-star.

The Tillman Story – Josh Brolin narrates this documentary about the well-known pro football player Pat Tillman who was killed in action as an Army Ranger (limited).

What If… – Kevin Sorbo stars a soul searching man who finds surprises and redemption stemming from his past. Kristy Swanson, John Ratzenberger, and Debby Ryan co-star (limited).

August 25

Louis – A silent film. Yes, director Dan Pritzker teams up with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond in a film centering on musician Louis Armstrong in New Orleans as a young boy. Anthony Coleman, Jackie Earle Haley, Michael Rooker, and Shanti Lowry star (limited).

August 27

Centurion – Michael Fassbender, Olga Kurylenko, Dominic West, and David Morrissey star in this Roman Empire action thriller set in the early 100s. Neil Marshall directs and writes (limited).

The Last Exorcism – This horror fest is set in a rural area. A preacher tries help a farm family as a documentary film crew follows the events.

The Milk of Sorrow – Set in Peru, Claudia Llosa directs and writes this tragic drama about women fighting mistreatment (NY; LA release on September 3).

August 27

Going the Distance – Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star in this romantic comedy about a long distance relationship.

Takers – Matt Dillon, Paul Walker, Jay Hernandez, T.I., Chris Brown, Zoe Saldana, and Hayden Christensen star in this banking robbing action film.

September 1

The American – George Clooney stars as a weary assassin in this international thriller directed by Anton Corbijn and written by Rowan Joffe. Bruce Altman, Thekla Reuten, Violante Placido, and Paolo Bonacelli co-star.
September 3

A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop – Chinese director Zhang Yimou helms with comedy/thriller, set in China, but based on the 1985 film Blood Simple (limited).

Machete – Robert Rodriguez writes and co-directs this Grindhouse preview expansion starring Danny Trejo as the lead assassin character in this star-filled action fest. Jessica Albo, Steven Seagal, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin, Robert DeNiro, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, and Don Johnson co-star.

Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 – Jean-Francois Richet helms the second installment about the French gangster’s rise to fame, prison escapes, and ultimate fate (LA, NY).

White Wedding – Jann Turner writes and directs this romantic comedy, set in South Africa, starring Zandile Msutwana, Kenneth Nkosi, Jodie Whittaker, and Rapulana Seiphemo (NY).

The Winning Season – Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts, Shareeka Epps, and Rob Corddry star in this basketball comedy centering on a local high school basketball girls team (limited).

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