The summer movie season is winding down fast and this week’s new releases for Friday August 13 offer quite a bit of variety for movie goers. Now that Sylvester Stallone has successfully (using the term loosely) revitalized both the Rocky and Rambo franchises in recent years, he has a new project called The Expendables, which he directs and stars in. The Stallone comeback film version 3.0 comes out this week with much hype and anticipation. It advertises itself as a throwback to the action films of the 80’s and 90’s. Films that made Sylvester Stallone who he is and made household names out of stars like Schwarzenegger, Willis, and even Van Damme. This time he teams up with this generation’s action heroes that include, Jason Statham and martial arts expert Jett Li among others. It has been reviewed already by most critics who while admitting it isn’t a great film, commend it for being exactly what it is, and 80’s blockbuster action film. Most people going to see it this weekend are expecting just that, so expect this movie to be a lot better received by the public than by critics.
It also happens to be going up against Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, a comic book adaptation directed by Edgar Wright. Fans of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and the short lived British comedy Spaced should be excited to see this. Although it doesn’t have Simon Pegg or Nick Frost, it does look like it will have ample room for Edgar Wright’s distinctive visual style to really shine. It is interesting that these two films are pitted against one another with The Expendables being about a group of tough guys and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World being about a typical beta male trying to get the girl. It will be interesting to see which movie ends up earning the top box office spot for the weekend. Will audiences choose the geeky pseudo romantic comedy star Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman that is basically the movie version of the high school nerd or the over the top action film that is basically the movie version of a high school jock.
There is actually several other films coming out this week. The third wide release is Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts. This essentially makes it a battle of the sexes for box office supremacy. Something tells me that Julia Roberts will end up being the one left out in the cold. There is also the Australian indie film Animal Kingdom that will be released in select cities.
As August winds down, next week marks the 3-D remake of Piranha. It looks to be similar to the Expendables in that it’s trailer promises over the top gore and nudity, a throwback to exploitative B horror films where a movie’s worth was determined by how much blood and clothes were shed within 75 minutes…plus 3-D. The summer is coming to an end nicely with plenty of guilty pleasure films to be had so you can leave your brain at home and just let your eyes do all the work.