North Shore Flick Chick: For the Boys of Summer

movies-Flick-Chick-August-When-the-Game-Stands-TallI let my better-writing half—comic book/horror movie reviewer and superhero/zombie enthusiast Mark L. Miller—weigh in on August releases.

Why? Because many of them seem designed for the men in our midst.

Here, he shares his thoughts on which dramas, comedies and action pics—plus a couple scary ones—to see in August…especially if you have more testosterone than estrogen running through your veins. That said, I intend to see some of these, too (with my head buried in Mark’s shoulder for at least two of them).

Opened August 1

Get On Up (PG-13)

Musician biopics are always a good time, especially when it means you get to sit through two hours of music worth listening to. If you’re a fan of the Godfather of Soul, you’ll definitely be gettin’ on up to the theater to see Chadwick Boseman (“42”) play James Brown in this film from Tate Taylor, director of “The Help.”

Guardians of the Galaxy (PG-13)

Marvel films seemingly can do no wrong lately, and although this one doesn’t feature characters as recognizable as Iron Man and Thor, the story of a ragtag band of space pirates freebooting across the galaxy and getting in and out of trouble looks fun—made even more so by Bradley Cooper’s voice work as a talking raccoon and a giant talking tree voiced by Vin Diesel.

Opening August 8

The Hundred-Foot Journey (PG)

This tale of dueling restaurants in France—one an Indian eatery, the other a bistro run by the esteemed Madame Mallory (played by Oscar winner Helen Mirren)—is sure to please foodies, and anyone else wanting a break from the action and horror that usually take up theater space in August. The fact that this film was produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Lasse Hallstrom (“Chocolat”) makes this comedy/drama all the more appealing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG-13)

While the turtles look somewhat frightening, producer Michael Bay’s films always seem to pack the masses into theaters. After blowing up stuff a-plenty in “Transformers: Age of Extinction” last month, Bay finds even more things to detonate, incinerate and pulverize in another big-budget adaptation inspired by toys you might have played with as a youth. Note: Megan Fox is in this … but she doesn’t play a turtle.

Opening August 13

Let’s Be Cops (R)

I laughed lots while watching the trailer for this ultra-wrong comedy about two guys who dress like police officers for a costume party and then decide to pose as cops when they realize how much respect they get wearing the badges. This promises to be one of those comedies where you crack up from start to finish. Here’s hoping all of the funny stuff wasn’t put into the trailer!

Opening August 15

The Expendables 3 (PG-13)

Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Statham, Li and Lundgren are joined by Gibson, Banderas, Ford and Snipes in this tribute to ‘80s action films. If you don’t know these guys by their last names, this probably isn’t for you. But if you’re like me and got a thrill out of putting all those names in the same sentence, it’s a pretty safe bet you’re going to be buying a ticket to see this on the big screen. Watching these giant action stars all in the same film is a thrill no guy can resist.

The Giver (PG-13)

Here’s another young adult adventure/drama book adaptation trying to leap into the gaping hole “Twilight” left in the box office. “The Giver” features Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Alexander Skarsgård, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift. I honestly can’t put into words how disinterested I am in this film about a perfect world and the heir apparent for all of the pertinent knowledge in the world.

Dinosaur 13 (PG)

Being a fan of all kinds of animal and nature documentaries, I can’t wait to see this film focusing on the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex fossils ever unearthed. As a kid, I loved dinosaurs, and if you’re looking for the intellectual flip side of the coin to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” for your child, this just might be it.

Life After Beth (R)

In the tradition of “Zombieland” and “Warm Bodies,” this zom-com scores points for having a hot young cast—specifically, the acidic wit of lead actress Aubrey Plaza, who plays a young girl who rises from the dead and wants to return to her life as it was before she passed. This looks to be a morbid, but fun time!

Opening August 22

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (R)

Director Robert Rodriguez adapts the next chapter in Frank Miller’s crime-noir comic books, which again sports an all-star cast including Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Rosario Dawson and Josh Brolin. Filmed in a unique and innovative style that looks like a graphic novel come to life, “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” promises to supply the same hard-boiled toughness that oozed from every frame of the original film in the franchise.

When the Game Stands Tall (PG)

It’s been a good couple months since the last big motivational sports movie was released. Filling the gap is this book-based film about Bob Ladouceur, a high school football coach (played by Jim Caviezel from TV’s “Person of Interest”) who took his team on a 151-game winning streak (true story). Expect lots of slow-mo smashes and helmet crunching in the flick, which will entice even Monday-morning quarterbacks out of their easy chairs and into theaters.

Opening August 27

The November Man (PG-13)

Pierce Brosnan may have put away his 007 license to kill, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still do spy thrillers. Here, he plays an ex-CIA man yanked out of retirement to take care of some unfinished business as well as a former protégé he trained to replace him. Director Roger Donaldson is no stranger to tension and suspense, and looks to have another intense thriller to offer those who like white-knuckle espionage.

Jessabelle (PG-13)

A Southern gothic tale in the darkest sense, Jessabelle fills the late-August horror slot that has been reserved for the “Insidious” films (the next installment opens in 2015). If you’re looking for a date-night movie where someone has to hide her (or his) head in your shoulder—or where you need a shoulder to hide YOUR head in—look no further than this spooky story about a young girl who returns home to find a spirit waiting for her.

Opening August 29

As Above, So Below (R)

The director of “Quarantine” and “Devil” brings audiences yet another tense thriller about a group of archeologists who get lost in the catacombs underneath Paris while searching for treasure. This appears to be riddled with tense, claustrophobic action that I, personally, can’t wait to get lost in.
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