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What’s Worth Watching – August 2013

What's Worth Watching, Spooool.ie, Matt Damon in ELYSIUM

After a great July which had something for everyone (catch up on all our reviews here), we now step into the month of August with a few questions. Are the best of the blockbusters now behind us? Will there be something that’s going to make you laugh or think (ideally both) at your local multiplex? Will it continue to rain and force you inside as an escape, effectively forcing you to see all these films? Who knows!

Don’t forget you can win a free Spooool.ie mug by sharing memories of Jurassic Park and 1993 in our July/August podcast. We also preview some of August’s upcoming pictures including Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (7th August) and Upstream Color (August 30th). As we have covered them and Only God Forgives (August 2nd) so extensively we’ll leave them out of this feature, just believe us when we say we think they’ll be worth watching.

Irish Cinema Release Dates – August 2013

2 August 2013

7 August 2013

9 August 2013

16 August 2013

21 August 2013

23 August 2013

28 August 2013

29 August 2013

30 August 2013

(all dates subject to change, turn on your tv and check out aertel pg 350 for latest times)

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#1 – The Conjuring

August 2nd

The Conjuring

Finally a horror film to look forward to. It’s been over two years since the brilliant Insidious and since then we’ve had strong efforts like Evil Dead, The Woman in Black, Cabin in the Woods, V/H/S and The Pact but nothing that has really generated as much universal buzz as James Wan’s latest effort which has a rather spiffing 86% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes -pretty high for a genre film.

This looks like one to see with a hyperactive packed-house on opening weekend.

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#2 – The Lone Ranger

August 9th

THE LONE RANGER

So yes we all know this is meant to be a big bloated sack of steaming horse dung. But, and bear with me, I think there may be something of merit to be found in Gore Verbinski’s latest film which follows up his brilliant animated western Rango and his tired work on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

From a distance it looks like a traditional family film that should probably be exempt from broadsheet newspaper analysis and criticism as it’s meant to be old-fashioned fun. Rewind the clock 12 or 15 years and this would have been a huge hit but now audiences are more attuned to production problems and budget woes than yesteryear so those who come on opening weekend arrive with their knives sharpened.

Anyway early feedback from its Irish previews hasn’t been great but hell it’s fun to find merit in something everything else hates and it features “the best thing about everything else he’s in” William Fichtner as the baddie. We shall see.

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#3 Call Girl

August 16th

Call Girl

This Swedish drama played at the most recent TIFF and JDIFF festivals and is now opening up in Ireland and the UK. It is set in the late 1970s and tells the story of two 14-year-olds who are groomed to grow up as prostitutes. It looks bleak and grim and the director Mikael Marcimain worked as 2nd Assistant Director on Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy with the film seemingly calling on the same colour palette, tone and style.

Not one for the first date though.

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#4 – Elysium

August 21st

Elysium

Remember when you saw District 9 for the first time back in 2009? Remember how we all said director Neill Blomkamp was one to watch? Remember how we got really annoyed that he didn’t direct the “Halo” movie? Remember how it got really annoying just waiting for him to make something else? WELL HERE WE ARE FOUR YEARS LATER.

Elysium is notable as it sees two big Hollywood stars who don’t show up in big action blockbusters very much any more – Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. It looks like it owes a world of debt to the world of video-game design and with vastly different production design for the film’s two worlds of Earth and Torus, it promises to be a feast for the eyes. Plus judging by the director’s earlier work it will probably say something quite intelligent about society too. Early buzz suggests this may be the year’s most enduring and intelligent science-fiction film, we’ve got our fingers crossed veeeery tightly…

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#5 – The Way, Way Back

August 28th

The Way Way Back

Here are some names of talented people: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janey, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet. Pair them all up with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (the Oscar-winning writers of The Descendents) and you’ve got us interested.

The Way Way Back refers to the tiny seat that is at the back of some old station wagons which is so cramped that it faces the other way to the rest of the car. How ostracising. The film is a coming-of-age story about 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) who goes on holidays with his mother, her boyfriend and his daughter. It debuted at Sundance earlier this year and was one of the festival’s most buzzed-about titles.

Also remember the 2012 Oscars? No us neither, but remember this moment when Jim Rash mimicked Angelina Jolie’s wacky leg pose while accepting his Oscar for co-writing The Descendants? We should all go and see his new film to reward him for having the cajones to do such a blasphemous thing.

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This month’s bonus pick is You’re Next (August 28th) which wowed audiences at its midnight screening at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. Now, almost two years later it is finally showing up on screens. Why it has lingered for so long is anyone’s guess but it is a riotous horror-thriller featuring a former “Home and Away” star Sharni Vinson. Well worth heading to for that magical combo of laughs and screams.

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Nigel

Nigel loves stupid films almost as much as he likes clever films. He'll watch anything but is usually drawn to documentaries, North American independent films, Irish cinema and gung-ho, balls-to-the-walls Hollywood blockbusters. Here's what he's been watching.