Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Opening This Weekend - August 21

Movies come out every week, but it's easy to forget which ones. And worse yet, it's hard to know exactly what we should be on the lookout for. With that in mind, here's what I'm looking forward to.

American Ultra

From the writer of "Chronicle," "American Ultra" looks like a hilarious good time. It stars Jesse Eisenberg in a role that seems a bit like a return to the fun of his breakout film "Zombieland." He's a well-trained government sleeper agent who doesn't know he's an agent. He has the skills locked inside his brain but doesn't realize where they're coming from. Having been targeted as a liability after being activated, he has to fight back to survive. But who activated him and why? There could be some mystery to the plot, but mostly it looks like a fun action film not to taken too seriously.

Hitman: Agent 47

Could this finally be a good film based on a video game franchise? Many have tried and failed to adapt games to films, including this very franchise, but the Hitman story here seems to bare a passing resemblance to other super soldier stories that have done well. It features rising star Rupert Friend (who was in "Meet Me in Montenegro" from earlier this year) and Mr. Spock himself Zachary Quinto. It also appears to have some exciting action sequences. I can just as easily see this one do well at the box office or become a total flop. Only time will tell. For now though, I'm cautiously optimistic.

Digging For Fire

I enjoyed Joe Swanberg's previous film "Drinking Buddies," which was an indie slice of life drama. This one looks like a far funnier indie slice of life film. For the most part I like Jake Johnson for his humor, even though sometimes he goes further into broader comedy than I typical prefer. Here he's joined by a star studded cast. In fact it's so star studded, I couldn't quite catch all the names and faces I recognized in the trailer even after multiple viewings. It also looks like the type of meandering comedy that will turn some off, but if handled correctly I do find meandering slice of life films quite enjoyable. One way or another this is an outstanding cast and a fairly humorous concept.

She's Funny That Way

Here's another star studded cast, this time under the direction of one of the great, underappreciated directors of our time in Peter Bogdanovich. "They All Laughed" and "Paper Moon" are two of my favorites by Bogdanovich, and this one looks to recapture some of the madcap fun of ensemble piece "They All Laughed." It involves multiple love triangles amongst a group of people working on a play. Even if you haven't heard of Bogdanovich, this cast alone should peak your interest.

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