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Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to August

“INTO THE STORM”

Who: Sarah Wayne Callies, Richard Armitage, Jeremy Sumpter and Matt Walsh
What: A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado.
When: August 8th
Why: It’s been nearly 20 years since “Twister” was released in theaters and it still looks better than this CG-fueled disaster flick, which doesn’t appear to be particularly interested in its human characters at all. Instead, director Steven Quale has gone the Michael Bay route by making it all about the destruction, and while that will likely result in some cool effects shots and action sequences, the movie itself looks about as empty as the calories in a bag of theater popcorn. I wouldn’t expect any less from the director of “Final Destination 5” and the writer of “Step Up All In,” but it’s hard not to feel bad for the actors involved, especially Richard Armitage, because he deserves better than this kind of SyFy summer schlock.

“LET’S BE COPS”

Who: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle and Andy Garcia
What: Two pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations, getting tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives.
When: August 13th
Why: Writer/director Luke Greenfield must be a fan of the Fox series “New Girl,” because in casting Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. opposite each another in this buddy comedy, it feels like a spinoff featuring their characters from the show. The movie doesn’t seem very different from the other films in the genre apart from its premise, and while that formula worked for David Gordon Green’s “Pineapple Express,” that was mainly as a result of some excellent chemistry between the two leads. Johnson and Wayans Jr. have proven that they can be really funny when sharing a scene, but whether or not they can keep it up for 90 minutes will determine whether “Let’s Be Cops” is a surprise hit or just another flop.

“THE EXPENDABLES 3″

Who: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford
What: Barney and his team come into conflict with ruthless arms dealer Conrad Stonebanks, the Expendables’ co-founder, who is determined to destroy the team.
When: August 15th
Why: At this point in the “Expendables” franchise, you pretty much know what to expect. It usually involves a ridiculous plot, some cheesy dialogue and a cool action scene or two, but the real draw continues to be seeing how many former action stars Sylvester Stallone can cram into a single film. Though none of the new recruits beat the nostalgia factor of the Chuck Norris cameo from the last sequel, the addition of Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford makes “The Expendables 3” pound for pound the most intriguing installment yet. The absence of Bruce Willis stings a little, as does the exclusion of Steven Seagal, but for those who like their movies big, dumb and fun, you won’t find a better guilty pleasure this summer.

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