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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Aug 012019
 

August 6

  • Pokemon Detective Pikachu

    photo for Pokemon Detective Pikachu The story begins when ace detective Harry Goodman goes mysteriously missing, prompting his 21-year-old son Tim to find out what happened. Aiding in the investigation is Harry’s former Pokemon partner, Detective Pikachu: a wise-cracking, adorable super-sleuth who is a puzzlement even to himself. Finding that they are uniquely equipped to communicate with one another, Tim and Pikachu join forces on an adventure to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City — a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokemon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world — they encounter a diverse cast of Pokemon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokemon universe. Based on the 2016 video game. Vitals: Director: Rob Letterman. Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Bill Nighy, Rita Ora, Chris Geere, Ken Watanabe. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 100 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $143.531 million, Warner. Extras: “Detective Mode,” deleted scenes, “My Pokemon Adventure,” “Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Welcome to Ryme City,” “Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Uncovering the Magic,” “Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Action,” “Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Colorful Characters,” “Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Bringing Pokemon to Life,” “Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary,” “Ryan Reynolds- Outside the Actor’s Studio,” “Carry On” by Rita Ora & Kygo. 2 stars

  • The Souvenir

    photo for The Souvenir In this lush, dreamlike story of young adulthood and first love, a shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams. Vitals: Director: Joanna Hogg. Stars: Honor Swinton Byrne, Tom Burke, Tilda Swinton. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 120 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.912 million, Lionsgate. Extras: Commentary with writer-director Joanna Hogg, “Making of The Souvenir” featurette. 3 stars

  • The Curse of La Llorona

    photo for The Curse of La Llorona The timeless Hispanic legend comes to terrifying life. La Llorona. The Weeping Woman. A horrifying apparition, caught between Heaven and Hell, trapped in a terrible fate sealed by her own hand. The mere mention of her name has struck terror around the world for generations. In life, she drowned her children in a jealous rage, throwing herself in the churning river after them as she wept in pain. Now her tears are eternal. They are lethal, and those who hear her death call in the night are doomed. La Llorona creeps in the shadows and preys on the children, desperate to replace her own. As the centuries have passed, her desire has grown more voracious … and her methods more terrifying. In 1970s Los Angeles, La Llorona is stalking the night—and the children. Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm. Their only hope to survive La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide. Vitals: Director: Michael Chaves. Stars: Linda Cardellini, Patricia Velasquez, Raymond Cruz, Sean Patrick Thomas, Marisol Ramirez, Madeleine McGraw. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Horror, Box office gross: $54.733 million, Warner. Extras: “The Myth of La Llorona,” “Behind the Curse,” “The Making of a Movie Monster,” deleted scenes, storyboards. 2 stars

  • Poms

    photo for Poms Comedy about Martha (Diane Keaton), a woman who moves into a retirement community and starts a cheerleading squad with her fellow residents, Sheryl (Jacki Weaver), Olive (Pam Grier) and Alice (Rhea Perlman), proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Vitals: Director: Zara Hayes. Stars: Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Pam Grier, Celia Weston, Phyllis Somerville, Charlie Tahan, Bruce McGill, Rhea Perlman. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 91 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $13.631 million, Universal. 2 stars

  • Tolkien

    photo for Tolkien From legendary halls of Oxford to the grim and bloody trenches of World War I, this biopic explores the early years of J.R.R Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) and the relationships that defined the legendary author he would become. Chronicling his romance with Edith Brant (Lily Collins), as well as the various members of the Tea Club, Barrovian Society, Tolkien slowly grows from a shy and bookish young man into one of history’s most beloved writers — seasoned by life, and everything that comes with it. Vitals: Director: Dome Karukoski. Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 111 min., Bio-drama, Box office gross: $4.535 million, Fox. Extras: Deleted scenes, “First Look,” gallery, audio commentary by director Dome Karukoski. 2 stars

 

August 13

  • Avengers: Endgame

    photo for Avengers: Endgame After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’s actions and undo the chaos to the universe, no matter what consequences may be in store, and no matter who they face. Vitals: Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Brie Larson, Tom Holland, Karen Gillan, Zoe Saldana, Evangeline Lilly, Tessa Thompson, Rene Russo, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Dave Bautista, Tilda Swinton, Jon Favreau, Hayley Atwell, Natalie Portman, Marisa Tomei, Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, William Hurt, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Vin Diese, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Redford, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Samuel L. Jackson. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 181 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $835.215 million, Disney. Extras: “Remembering Stan Lee”in which filmmakers and cast honor the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos; “Setting the Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr.”; “A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America”; “Black Widow: Whatever It Takes”; “The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame”; “The Women of the MCU”; “Bro Thor”; six deleted scenes; gag reel; “Visionary Intro” by directors Joe and Anthony Russo; audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. 3 stars

    Unplanned

    photo for Unplanned As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, Abby Johnson was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women on their reproductive choices. Her passion surrounding a woman’s right to choose led her to become a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, fighting to enact legislation for the cause she so deeply believed in. Until the day she saw something that changed everything. Vitals: Director: Cary Solomon, Chuck Konzelman. Stars: Ashley Bratcher, Brooks Ryan, Robia Scott. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Bio Drama, Box office gross: $18.972 million, Pure Flix Entertainment. 2 stars

 

August 20

  • A Dog’s Journey

    photo for A Dog’s Journey Bailey (voiced again by Josh Gad) is living the good life on the Michigan farm of his former “boy” now grown to manhood, Ethan (Dennis Quaid) and Ethan’s wife Hannah (Marg Helgenberger). He even has a new playmate: Ethan and Hannah’s baby granddaughter, CJ (Kathryn Prescott). Everything is great on the farm until CJ’s mom, Gloria (Betty Gilpin), decides to take CJ away and chase her own fulfillment in the big city. Ethan asks Bailey to watch over CJ wherever she goes and thus begins Bailey’s adventure through multiple lives filled with love, friendship and devotion as he, CJ, and CJ’s best friend Trent (Henry Lau) experience joy and heartbreak, music and laughter, and a few really good belly rubs. Vitals: Director: Gail Mancuso. Stars: Marg Helgenberger, Betty Gilpin, Henry Lau, Kathryn Prescott, Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 109 min., Drama, Box office gross: $22.089 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, gag reel, “A Dog’S Sequel” featurette, “Everyone’s Best Friend” featurette, “Working With Dogs” featurette, “A Healing Journey” featurette, “Scoring the Journey” featurette, feature commentary with director Gail Mancuso. 3 stars

  • The Hustle

    photo for The Hustle Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway star as a pair of con artists plying their trade in a stunning seaside town in the south of France. Josephine Chesterfield (Hathaway) is a glamorous, seductive Brit with a sprawling home in Beaumont-sur-Mer and a penchant for defrauding gullible wealthy men from all corners of the world. Into her well- ordered, meticulously moneyed world bursts Penny Rust (Wilson), an Aussie who is as free-form and fun-loving as Josephine is calculated and cunning. Where Penny amasses wads of cash by ripping off her marks in neighborhood bars, Josephine fills her safe with massive diamonds after ensnaring her prey in glitzy casinos. Despite their different methods, both are masters of the art of the fleece so they con the men that have wronged. A female-centered remake of the 1988 film “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine), which was a remake of the 1964 film “Bedtime Story” (starring Marlon Brando and David Niven). Vitals: Director: Chris Addison. Stars: Anne Hathaway, Rebel Wilson, Alex Sharp, Dean Norris. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $35.164 million, Universal. Extras: “Hitting the Mark” behind-the-scenes featurette; “Comedy Class” featurette; “Con Artists” costume design and production design featurette; commentary director Chris Addison. 2 stars

  • Brightburn

    photo for Brightburn Brightburn follows the adventures of a young boy from a far off alien planet who crash lands in rural America. The couple who finds him as an infant attempt to raise him into a good man while helping him learn to control the miraculous powers he develops as he grows. Breaking with convention, however, the boy does not become a hero. Instead, his darker impulses begin to take hold, turning the normal rebelliousness and angst of growing up into a deadly and horrific nightmare. As his powers grow and things continue to get more out of hand, his parents must try to find a way to stop him while struggling to determine whether their son still has the potential for good inside him. Vitals: Director: David Yarovesky. Stars: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Matt Jones, Meredith Hagner. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Horror, Box office gross: $17.300 million, Sony. Extras: Three “Quick Burns” vignettes hosted by Elizabeth Banks, Producer James Gunn and director David Yarovesky; “Hero-Horror!” featurette; “Nature vs. Nurture” featurette about the creative process involved in flipping the script of the traditional “Superhero” and diving into what motivates and moves our new Anti-hero, Brandon Breyer; commentary with Yarovesky, DP Michael Dallatorre, and costume designer Autumn Steed. 2 stars

 

August 27

  • Rocketman

    photo for Rocketman A musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years. The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John. This inspirational story — set to John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton — tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture. Vitals: Director:. Stars: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: R, 121 min., Musical Biopic, Box office gross: $95.546 million, Paramount. Blu-ray extras: Extended musical numbers; deleted scenes; “It’s Going to Be a Wild Ride: Creative Vision” featurette; “Becoming Elton John: Taron’s Transformation”; “Larger Than Life: Production Design & Costuming”; “Full Tilt: Staging the Musical Numbers”; “Music Reimagined: The Studio Sessions” behind the scenes in the recording studio with Taron & Elton”; “Rocketman Lyric Companion”: sing-along with select songs; “Rocketman Jukebox”: Jump straight to the music. 3 stars

  • The Secret Life of Pets 2

    photo for The Secret Life of Pets 2 Explores the emotional lives of our pets, the deep bond between them, the families that love them and answers the question: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home? Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be. Vitals: Director:. Stars: Voices of Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddis, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Harrison Ford. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 96 min., Family Animation, Box office gross: $150.021 million, Universal. Extras: Mini Movies: “Minion Scouts” and “Super Gidget”; “The Making of the Mini Movies”; four deleted scenes; ” A Tapestry of a Tail: The Making Of” featurette; “How to Draw” step-by-step tutorial to learn to draw Max, Snowball and Chloe; ” Frame by Frame: How to Make a Flip Book”; 10 Character Pods; “A Party Fit for a Pet” how-to featurette; “Pops’ Puppy Training School”; “Pets Yule Log” animated ‘Yule Log’; Lyric Videos: “Panda” and “It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day (The Secret Life of Pets 2).” Blu-ray adds “The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball” interactive featurette; “My Buddy and Me” Illumination cast and crew interview; “Pets with Jobs: A Documentary”; “Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pets Massage”; “Production Pets.” 3 stars

  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters

    photo for Godzilla: King of the Monsters Action adventure pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history. The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch, which needs to figure out how to fend off colossal-sized monsters, including the famed Godzilla. Members of Monarch believed that some of these mega monsters, including Mothra, Rodan, and the three-headed King Ghidorah, were mere myths. But as they all appear and battle each other head to head to become the ultimate champion, the fate of human existence is threatened … until Godzilla is called upon to fight his ultimate nemesis, King Ghidorah. Monarch has a short time in which to save the human population–or doom humans into extinction forever Vitals: Director: Michael Dougherty. Stars: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Bradley Whitford, Charles Dance. 2019, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 132 min., Action/Science Fiction, Box office gross: $110.074 million, Warner. Extras: Commentary by Michel Dougherty, Zach Shields and O’Shea Jackson Jr.; “Welcome to the Monsterverse”; “Monsters 101” featurettes; “Evolution of the Titans” featurtettes; ” Monarch in Action” featurettes; “Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature”; “Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight”; “Monsters Are Real”; deleted scenes; trailers. 2 stars

 Posted by on August 1, 2019  Add comments

  One Response to “August’s Top Movies”

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