Sunday, August 18, 2013

Upcoming Films Preview: August 23rd

The Films of August 23rd


                The World’s End, the new film from director Edgar Wright, looks to be the most entertaining film of this weekend. His previous three films, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, have all developed cult followings. I’m also pumped for his 2015 film Ant-Man, which will be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
                The movie is about a group of friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time. They reunite to attempt a pub crawl they failed to finish when they were teens. In the course of this, they discover an alien invasion is taking place.

                Edgar Wright regular Simon Pegg stars and co-wrote the script with Wright. Nick Frost, who appeared in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz also comes back. Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Pierce Brosnan fill out the cast.
                The World’s End has been released in the United Kingdom. It’s already gotten great reviews and is at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes as of August 18th. David Edelstein of New York Magazine even called it “by light-years the most entertaining movie of the year.” If this film lives up to expectations, it will easily be among the best films of 2013.


                The Grandmaster, directed by Wong Kar-wai, was released in Asia this January and is coming to theaters in North America this weekend. Kar-wai is a Hong Kong filmmaker responsible many critically acclaimed movies such as Chungking Express, 2046, and In the Mood for Love.
                All three of those films featured the star of this film, Tony Leung. Leung has also appeared in films such as Infernal Affairs, Hero, and Lust, Caution.  He plays Ip Man, the legendary martial artist who trained Bruce Lee. A Hong Kong film was previously made of his life in 2008.
Also in the cast is Zhang Ziyi, star of films such as House of Flying Daggers, Memoirs of a Geisha, 2046, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

                 This film seems to be a bit more mainstream than Kar-wai fans may be used to.  Maggie Lee of Variety states, “Wong’s Eurocentric arthouse disciples, however, may not be completely in tune with the film’s more traditional storytelling and occasionally long-winded technical exposition.” Other than that, the review was mainly positive.
                Clarence Tsui of The Hollywood Reporter praised the film’s visuals and said it “contains some of the most dazzling fights ever seen onscreen…” However, Tsui also complained about a lack of character development.


                You’re Next is an upcoming horror film from director Adam Wingard, who made one of the segments of the 2012 film V/H/S. In this film a family reunion is invaded by killers who wear creepy animal masks.
                You’re Next was first released in 2011 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was then picked up by Lionsgate.
                The reviews that have come in so far have been mostly positive. As of August 18th, it sits at 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.


                This film is based on the first book of The Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Clare. It’s a best-selling fantasy series for young adults. The series began in 2007 and the sixth and final book is scheduled to be released in 2014.
                The filmed adaptation was directed by Harald Zwart. He’s previously directed The Pink Panther 2, the 2010 The Karate Kid remake, and Agent Cody Banks, all of which were presumably terrible (I haven’t seen them, but come on). It was written by Jessica Postigo, who according to IMDB has no previous writing credits. The stars include Lily Collins, Jared Harris, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Lena Headey, and Kevin Durand.

                The filmmakers are hoping this will be the beginning of a franchise. The sequel, City of Ashes, is supposed to start production this September.

                No reviews have been released as of August 18th for The Mortal Instruments.

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