The 2018 Film Release Calendar: August
It’s January, which means it’s preview time up here at B+ Movie Blog.
I don’t really peruse other places, but if I were to guess, I would say I’m the only person that goes this deep on their preview coverage for a year. I go month to month based on what’s scheduled to come out, preview like 200 extra movies that you probably have never even heard about as of now, and then bring back all the stuff from last year and previous years that I’ve been tracking that hasn’t come out yet. I’m not the kind of person who just goes, “Oh my god, Avengers! Wrinkle in Time! (Insert other movies the studios are paying us to talk up to fit the narrative to get us more clicks)!” If you ever see a slideshow from me, then you know I’ve given up.
The reason I do this is purely for me, though I imagine anyone stumbling on this will get something out of it to. What I try to do is preview everything so I’m aware of it when it comes out, and, to make it interesting for myself, try to guess what I’m gonna think of it when I do see it. That way, I can see what films surprised me or disappointed me from every angle (before, during and after).
The Equalizer 2
No synopsis yet. It’s a sequel to the first one with Denzel. That one was 3 stars, this one will be 3 stars. Not really a whole lot of mystery there. This one also has Pedro Pascal, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo, for those who need the extra bit of convincing on seeing this.
It’s a Predator remake written and directed by Shane Black, who co-starred in the original.
I’m down for anything Shane Black wants to do.
Stars include Olivia Munn, Jacob Tremblay, Sterling K. Brown, Thomas Jane, Boyd Holbrook, Edward James Olmos, Keegan Michael-Key and Trevante Rhodes.
3.5 stars. Can’t assume 4 here. If it’s original Shane Black, I’d go 4. But Predator is a known entity. If he can make it feel fresh and original, then he might get 4 out of me. Otherwise, 3.5 seems completely
The Spy Who Dumped Me
A pair of friends embark on an espionage adventure after one of them finds out her ex is a spy.
The director’s previous movie is Life Partners with Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs… which I may have seen.
Stars… Kate McKinnon, Mila Kunis, Justin Theroux, Gillian Anderson.
Not… not thinking much of this. I’m not a Kate McKinnon fan, nor am I a Mila Kunis fan, and I’m pretty indifferent on Theroux.
And it sounds like the exact kind of comedy I will not like that also has the possibility of going Unforgivable depending on how badly I do not like it.
Let’s just call this 2.5 stars and wait and see. Let’s assume indifference and hope for not the worst.
Working-class family man Christopher Robin encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.
So it’s Hook with Winnie the Pooh?
Marc Forster directs, going back to that Finding Neverland well after a couple of action movies and the ‘Blake Lively is blind’ movie. Ewan McGregor plays Robin, Jim Cummings voices Pooh again, which is awesome. Hayley Atwell is in this and Brad Garrett voices Eeyore.
Honestly, this sounds really fun.
I have to say 3.5 stars, just because I don’t know what kind of tone or storyline I’m getting past that initial pitch, but I think I could get 4 out of this.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral
A joyous family reunion becomes a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets.
So I guess I’m watching Tyler Perry movies now. (This might serve a purpose on this website at some point in the semi-near future, for those of you who know what that means.)
After having seen two of them now… the first one I didn’t care about and the second one was bad.
So, based solely on those, my go-to Tyler Perry rating is somewhere between 2 and 2.5 stars.
I think we need to assume 2 stars and hope I can maybe just not give a shit.
After escaping an attack by what he claims was by a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.
You know there’s not much hope for a movie when Eli Roth doesn’t do it. (Though there’s the distinct possibility he was fired off of it as well.)
They’d tried to make this for years. Guillermo Del Toro flirted with the notion of directing it at one point (before better sense intervened).
Jon Turtletaub is there now. He… has a pretty undistinguished career with a few movies sprinkled about that you love. 3 Ninjas is a staple of my childhood. Cool Runnings, I think we can all agree, is great. While You Were Sleeping — whatever. Phenomenon I like quite a bit. The Kid — ehh. National Treasure is awesome. But since then… National Treasure 2, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Last Vegas. Doesn’t give you much hope for this one, does it?
However, Jason Statham is starring. As are Ruby Rose, Cliff Curtis and Rainn Wilson.
I don’t know what tone they’re going for here. If it’s deliberately campy, it probably won’t work with Turtletaub directing it. He’s not exactly the Piranha 3DD type, you know? That leads me to believe it’s trying to be a big action movie with some fun elements (you know… like Geostorm). All of this is pointing to a huge bomb that everyone despises.
But, it’s Statham, and there’s gonna be so much money thrown into this ($150 million reported budget) that there’s really no way it’s going less than 3 stars. Statham is the kind of the 3 star action movie. Now, for that money, you should be able to get more than that, but look at the director — I’m not expecting anything more than ‘workmanlike’.
A remake of the 1988 comedy, ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, in which two down-and-out con artists engage in a “loser leaves town” contest.
Why would you do this?
It stars Anne Hathaway… fine… and Rebel Wilson… not my favorite. Directed by a British comedian, which makes you think that maybe he’ll bring that Veep (he directed some episodes) class to it. I… don’t have such hope.
2.5 stars. If The Spy Who Dumped Me was on Unorgivable watch, then this one is practically DVR’d.
Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.
I like the set up. That doesn’t mean it’ll be any good.
Rupert Wyatt directs. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was solid. I liked The Gambler, for whatever that’s worth.
Vera Farmiga and John Goodman star.
I mean, I’m down. Though I really don’t know where to go on this one, ratings-wise.
Let’s say that Rupert Wyatt has established himself as a baseline 3.5 stars kinda guy. I’m thinking the lowest this movie goes is 3, and I’d be fine with being a half a star wrong if I am.
Crazy Rich Asians
Three wealthy Chinese families prepare for the wedding of the year.
I feel like this was a best-selling book.
Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Ken Jeong, Gemma Chan. Ideally there are no white people in this entire movie.
John M. Chu directs. He did Step Up 2 The Streets, Step Up 3D, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Jem and the Holograms and Now You See Me 2. So he works.
I want to go 3.5 stars just because of the all-Asian cast. But because I think this could be a wildly over the top comedy in the bad sense and because the director hasn’t really made a good film yet, I have to say 3 stars. I want it to be better, let it be better. I can’t assume better.
No matter what happens, I’m ecstatic that this exists.
The Happytime Murders
When the puppet cast of an ’80s children’s TV show begins to get murdered one by one, a disgraced LAPD detective-turned-private eye puppet takes on the case.
I’ve been hearing about this movie for years. Granted, I’m a lot closer to it than most people, but still, this was one of those things that’s been in the pipeline since 2011 at least.
It was meant to be an R-rated puppet mystery, where actual murders and shit happen. Thus making it a really difficult sell. I’ve seen so many people come through, potentially starring in it. Katherine Heigl, Jamie Foxx. They landed on Melissa McCarthy. Which doesn’t particularly fill me with hope, but the puppets are the stars here. Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks and Joel McHale are also in it.
Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson and director of The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, directs.
I have no reason to think this will be less than 3.5 stars. This is weird and offbeat, and that’s exactly the kind of thing I go for. If this straight up goes dark, like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? dark, then I’m totally in for it.
An ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum security prison.
The director of this also did the Benicio Pablo Escobar movie that wasn’t very good. BUT — here’s the cast: Clive Owen, Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Ana de Armas and Common. Which works just fine for me.
Based on a Swedish novel — sounds like a fun action movie. 3 stars. You can never assume more than 3 for something like this without a bigger director or a better release date.
White Boy Rick
The story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.
I thought this movie would come out in January/possibly make an Oscar push. This was one of the great scripts floating around town for years. Yann Demange came in, fresh off ’71, to make this his second movie. When he took this, he had his pick of almost anything in town (I think he might still be in the running for Bond).
The cast includes — Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Eddie Marsan, Rory Cochrane, Piper Laurie, Bel Powley, RJ Cyler and newcomer Richie Merritt as the main character.
I have no reason to think this is anything less than 4 stars. I have slight top ten (or top twenty) hopes for this one. This was something I’ve been excited about for two years. I don’t even care that they’re putting it in late August. I want this to be great.
A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident.
That trailer wasn’t great. Keanu’s been attached to this for like two years. It looks cheap and generic.
3 stars. I’m worried it’ll be 2.5 stars, and am strongly considering changing to that, based on that trailer. But Keanu has proven to me that he generally picks okay material, and even the bad ones (Knock Knock, 47 Ronin) at least have moments that can make it marginally interesting for me.
When a cop who is just out of rehab takes the graveyard shift in a city hospital morgue, she faces a series of bizarre, violent events caused by an evil entity in one of the corpses.
Yawn. Boring horror shit.
An ex-convict and his brother are forced on the run by a vengeful criminal.
Based on a short film called “Bag Man.” The directors expanded it into a feature.
Cast includes James Franco, Zoe Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Dennis Quaid, Jack Reynor — shit, how’d they get all these people?
Should I be paying attention to this?
I’m deliberately avoiding the short, because I know if the short is great, I’ll be disappointed in how they expanded it. If the short isn’t great, I’ll be harsher on my rating.
Let’s say 3 stars, since there’s nothing really here that convinces me it can go higher as of now. Maybe it’ll be solid. I’m fine with that. But 3 is the guess. Has to be.
The Little Stranger
Tells the story of Dr Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1947, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants – mother, son and daughter – are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how terrifyingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own.
This is Lenny Abrahamson’s follow up to Room. So I’m in no matter what.
Not as interesting to me as Room was. The horror vibe isn’t my element. But I love Abrahamson, so I’m in.
Stars Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, Charlotte Rampling, Will Poulter. Sure.
3.5 stars. He gets 3.5 or 4, but since I’m not totally sold on the story, I’ll stick with 3.5. Hoping for 4, thinking I get 3.5.
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