Out of the many films that are coming out this month, Ali Mendzil shares his top eight picks to see this August:
8. Absolutely Anything (release date: August 14th)
The British film Absolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale should be a fun and enjoyable summer flick. Directed by Terry Jones, the film is about Neil Clarke who discovers he has the ability to do anything he wishes, a challenge bestowed upon him by a group of power-crazed aliens (voiced by the Monty Python team). The film explores the ridiculous and greedy things that someone could do when they have the ability to summon whatever comes to mind.
7. Straight Outta Compton (release date: August 28th)
Straight Outta Compton tells the story of the rap group NWA. The film captures the controversy over their music which is centred around their lives growing up in Compton, California. Arguments over their music glamourising gun violence and drug abuse is defended by the artists in the trailer saying their ‘art is a reflection of their reality’. The film explores how NWA use their music to fight against abusive authority as they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. This seems like a great film to see if you’re a fan of NWA or simply interested in how these rappers became famous.
6. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (release date: 7th August)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is set in San Francisco during the 1970s. Our heroine is seventeen year old artist Minnie (Bel Powley) who enters into a complex love affair with her mother’s boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). This is the first film in a while that gets truly into the mind-set of a teenager. The use of a diary is not a new method to show what a character is feeling but this method fits perfectly with Minnie’s character. Thankfully, Minnie is not some boring one dimensional character who writes about falling in love as the film explores the sexual awakenings that teenagers go through and the frustration they feel at that age.
5. Escobar: Paradise Lost (release date: August 21st)
When young surfer Nick (Josh Hutcherson) falls for Escobar’s niece, he finds his life on the line when he’s pulled into the dangerous world of the family business. This exciting new directorial debut from actor Andrea Di Stefano looks to have created a great film that will surely put him on the path to making many more feature films.
Personally, the main reason to watch this film is to see the incredibly talented actor Benicio Del Toro who always has a strong screen presence and will definitely steal most of the limelight from the other actors by portraying the infamous and dangerous drug lord Pablo Escobar.
4. The Wolfpack (release date: August 21st)
The Wolfpack is directed by Crystel Moselle and recently won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for Best Documentary. The documentary follows the Angulo brothers who for the majority of their lives have been locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The brothers only learn about the outside world through the films they watch and spend their childhood re-enacting their favourite films to escape their reality. It seems so bizarre but at the same time, fascinating to go and watch how they coped by living in the strange environment they grew up in.
3. 52 Tuesdays (release date: August 7th)
This Australian indie film takes a unique look at the relationship between sixteen year old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) and her mother Jane/James (Del Herbert-Jane), who reveals her plans to go through gender transition. As a consequence of this important life choice, their time together is limited to Tuesday afternoons. The authenticity of the film is created through the unique filmmaking rules that were applied as Sophie Hyde filmed once a week and only on Tuesdays. This film showcases the themes of the responsibility of being a parent, the desire to transform oneself and Billie’s sexual awakening.
2. The Man from U.N.C.L.E (release date: August 14th)
Originally a television series beginning in 1964, The Man From U.N.C.L.E is revitalised by British director Guy Ritchie. Starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander, the film follows a CIA agent Napoleon Solo and a KGB operative Illya Kuryakin who participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons. Just from viewing the trailer, it seems that the leading actors pull off the witty comedy well and carry the action scenes seamlessly. However we’ll have to wait to see the whole film as there is a concern that the humour will be recycled and exhausted to an inch of its life.
1. Unity (release date: August 12th)
My number one most anticipated film to see this month goes to Unity which is a documentary directed and written by Shaun Monson. The film took seven years to make as it ‘takes an in-depth look at what it truly means to be human.’ Within that topic is one of the most important questions anyone can ask, which is, why we can’t seem to get along even after thousands and thousands of years?
The film is narrated by a cast of one hundred celebrities ranging from Sir Ben Kingsley to Tom Hiddleston and Helen Mirren to Susan Sarandon. The trailer shows a range of beautiful, sad and harrowing moments from what they have gathered from their seven year project. It’s safe to say that I can’t wait.
Unity is only available to watch on the 12th of August in the UK as it will be released on the same day internationally. The film will air all around the country and you can see here if there is a showing near you by following this link: http://www.specticast.com/en/titles/unity
What are the new films that you are most looking forward to seeing this month?
Comment with your thoughts.
– Ali Mendzil