Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to August

“American Ultra”

Who: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Topher Grace and Connie Britton
What: A stoner government agent is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle.
When: August 21st
Why: After making the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad “Project X” – by far one of the worst movies of 2012 – it’s nice to see director Nima Nourizadeh get a second chance to show what he’s really capable of with this strange but clever mash-up of “The Bourne Identity” and “Pineapple Express.” Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart worked really well together in “Adventureland,” so it was likely a no-brainer to reunite the two actors, while the supporting cast is filled with reliable veterans like Connie Britton, John Leguizamo, Walton Goggins and Bill Pullman. If Nourizadeh can strike the right balance between comedy and action (and judging from the trailer, he’s done just that) “American Ultra” could be the biggest surprise of the summer season.

“Hitman: Agent 47”

Who: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Thomas Kretschmann
What: An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry.
When: August 21st
Why: Considering Hollywood’s incessant failure with adapting video games for the big screen, it seems a little crazy that Fox would choose to make another “Hitman” film when the 2007 version starring Timothy Olyphant was such a massive flop. The studio clearly hasn’t learned a thing from the experience, even going so far as to hire that movie’s writer, Skip Woods, to pen the screenplay for the reboot. Rupert Friend certainly looks the part of the titular assassin, and the action sequences appear to make good use of the R-rating, but with so many better video game properties begging to be made into films, did we really need another generic action flick based on one that didn’t work the first time?

“We Are Your Friends”

Who: Zac Efron, Emily Ratajkowski, Jonny Weston and Wes Bentley
What: An aspiring DJ looks to make it in the electronic music scene.
When: August 28th
Why: No disrespect to fans of electronic dance music, but “We Are Your Friends” looks dumb as hell, and I’d like to think that a majority of EDM enthusiasts would agree, because everything about this movie stinks of a bunch of old white guys in suits trying to cash in on the latest trend without any knowledge of the actual culture. It’s as if someone walked into Warner Bros. and pitched a film version of “Entourage” where the Vincent Chase character was an aspiring DJ instead of a Hollywood actor, only much douchier and with a less amusing group of friends. Here’s hoping this one bombs at the box office so we never have to speak of it again.

“Regression”

Who: Ethan Hawke, Emma Watson, David Thewlis and David Dencik
What: A father is accused of a crime he has no memory of committing.
When: August 28th (Ed Note: The film has since been pulled from this date.)
Why: It seems like an odd time of year to be releasing a movie like “Regression,” despite writer/director Alejandro Amenábar’s previous success in August with his 2001 supernatural thriller, “The Others.” But while its end-of-summer release date isn’t exactly encouraging, the movie has piqued my interest, especially with actors like Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson involved. The former has been on a pretty good run lately between “Boyhood,” “Before Midnight” and “Good Kill,” while Watson has still yet to find a project capable of taking her career to the next level. Will this be the one? That remains to be seen, but as long as “Regression” makes good on the potential showcased in the trailer, it certainly won’t hurt.

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