Hot Stuff

The 2012 PopMatters Summer Movie Preview (August)

by Bill Gibron

3 May 2012

 

24 and 31 August


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Premium Rush

Director: David Koepp
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung, Dania Ramirez, Aaron Tveit
24 August
Premium Rush

Who knew being a bicycle messenger was so dangerous or controversial. Indeed, this thriller has an equally interesting backstory on top of the already known narrative involving a courier and the dirty cop chasing him around NYC. Apparently, author Joe Quirk wrote a book called The Ultimate Rush which features a rollerblading hero who finds himself pursued by some bad elements of the Big Apple. Naturally, he sued the studio, claiming copyright infringement, able to site similarities in character names, places, and plot points to the script he himself adapted from the tome. The resolution is still pending. The film, apparently, is still being released.

 

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The Apparition

Director: Todd Lincoln
Cast: Ashley Greene, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Sebastian Stan, Luke Pasqualino
24 August
The Apparition

For some reason, August seems to be the resting place for Hollywood’s annual foray into fear. Horror films like The Last Exorcism and the Final Destination franchise love to call the end of Summer home, even when they are less than successful, scare wise. This effort takes a more Paranormal State approach, offering a couple who seek the help of a group of scientists when the title entity infiltrates their home, ruining their lives. And it’s supposedly based on a true story. Whatever the case, we’ll hold off judgment until the official trailer arrives.

 

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Hit & Run

Director: David Palmer, Dax Shepard
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Michael Rosenbaum, Dax Shepard, Beau Bridges
24 August
Hit & Run

Dax Shepard is a slacker named Charles Bronson (are you laughing yet?) who is in the Witness Protection Program. When his girlfriend asks for a ride to LA, he agrees, unleashing both the US government and the baddies he turned State’s evidence against. The chase is on! Yes, it’s a road movie, made even more ridiculous by the insane premise presented. Shepard is also playing both sides of the camera, starring as the lead and lending his talents (?) to both the writing and directing of the film. There is little word on the final result… or much buzz for the project, actually. Could be a solid sleeper. It could also be as bad as it sounds.

 

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Lawless

Director: John Hillcoat
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman
31 August
Lawless

Director John Hillcoat made an major impression on audiences worldwide when his revisionist Western, The Proposition, became one of 2005’s unsung treasures. Four years later, he was tackling Cormac McCarthy’s epic The Road... and reducing it to a gritty, grim mess. So now he gets to make up for such mismanagement by tackling the tale of bootleggers in Virginia. The script is also by the Proposition‘s Nick Cave (yes, the cult musician) and stars several excellent actors (Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Guy Pearce). The only downside? The lead is Shia LaBeouf who has yet to prove himself outside a mechanical menace.

 

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The Possession

Director: Ole Bornedal
Cast: Natasha Calis, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport, Grant Show
31 August
The Possession

The last time the Hebrew evil known as a Dibbick was used in a horror movie, the results were the awful The Unborn. Now, we get a combination of that terrible terror tale and last year’s hit Insidious... sort of. Apparently, a little girl buys a cigar box at a yard sale, unleashing the aforementioned demon. She becomes… well, the title says it all and her parents must battle to win her back. Sounds so familiar that it should feature a campground and a masked killer named Jason Voorhees. Anyway, with August being both a last chance and a dumping ground, we’re betting on legitimate landfill.

 

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7500

Director: Takashi Shimizu
Cast: Jamie Chung, Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Nicky Whelan, Scout Taylor-Compton, Leslie Bibb, Jerry Ferrara
31 August
7500

The last time we saw Japanese filmmaker Takashi Shimizu, he was jumpstarting a whole new wave of terror with his terrific The Grudge. Now that J-Horror has gone the way of torture porn and the last girl, he’s back bringing shivers to a group of airplane passengers. No, there are no motherf***ing snakes on the motherf***ing craft, just a ghost or something supernatural. Some are even suggesting this is a remake of the classic ‘70s ABC Movie of the Week The Horror at 37000 Feet. The credits are quiet on that account. The trailer tells a different story, actually.

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