Crushingly, July threw up its fair share of cinematic disappointments… I’m still upset about Monsters University. However, it also produced my favorite film of the summer thus far with The World’s End. But things are just getting started with August heralding the release of some of the most anticipated films of the year; including the first big screen outing of Alan Partridge – the UK’s finest radio DJ. We’re also going to be treated to the latest Gore Verbinski/Johnny Depp extravaganza, which brings one of TV’s most loved characters back to the screens… “Hi-Yo, Silver!”
Only God Forgives (Dir. Nicholas Winding Refn) – Drive was one of the best films of 2011; it was a super-stylish, ultra-violent modern day fable. Only God Forgives reunites director Refn with star Ryan Gosling for a tale of family, crime and revenge. Co-starring Kristen Scott Thomas & shot almost entirely under the neon glow of Bangkok, there’s a lot of hope riding on Only God Forgives packing the same punch as Refn’s motorized masterpiece.
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Dir. Declan Lowney) – Alan Partridge first appeared on radio back in the early 90s & given his continued popularity, it’s surprising that is has taken this long for him to get his own movie. Alpha Papa follows Partridge as he tries to defuse a hostage crisis at his current radio station. Written by Partridge regulars including Armando Iannucci & Steve Coogan, Alpha Papa promises to bring all your favorite Partridge characters to the big screen, led by the man himself.
The Lone Ranger (Dir. Gore Verbinski) – The Lone Ranger was a long running TV show in the 40s and 50s that was also adapted for cinema back in the day. After (hopefully) finally realizing that they have taken the Pirates franchise too far, Verbinski & Depp have reunited to bring Tonto, Silver the horse and the titular ranger back to the big screen. Working as an origin tale for how the central characters came to meet, The Lone Ranger looks exciting, comical and immersive; with both Verbinski and Depp back at the top of their game.
Kick-Ass 2 (Dir. Jeff Wadlow) – After the original gained a surprising cult status, it was only a matter of time before we were gifted a Kick-Ass sequel. Original director Matthew Vaughn has returned as producer only, with Jeff Never Back Down Wadlow taking both the director’s chair and the writer’s pen. However, all the major cast members have returned and are joined by Jim Carrey, amongst others. This time we see Kick-Ass & Hit-Girl, along with their newly formed band of vigilantes, take on Red-Mist (now known as The Motherfucker), who is out for revenge following the death of his father at the end of the first film. You’ll be able to see if Wadlow’s vision lives up to the title when Kick-Ass 2 is released on August 14th.
Elysium (Dir. Neil Blomkamp) – Neil Blomkamp made a memorable mark on the Sci-Fi genre with District 9 and now returns to cement his reputation with Elysium. If District 9 focused on the problems of immigration, Elysium is about the segregation of the wealthy and poor. Its top draw cast includes Matt Damon & Jodie Foster and with a substantial budget to play with, Blomkamp’s vision looks spectacular.