Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to August

“Sausage Party”

Who: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader and Danny McBride
What: An animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence.
When: August 12th
Why: An adult animated film that takes a child-like premise to its most perverse and darkest extremes? This could be a sleeper hit that becomes a cult comedy, or it could just be a one-joke film with most of the good parts ruined in the trailer. The buzz on “Sausage Party” has been mixed; some say it’s a hilariously messed up and purposefully offensive animated film, while others have decried it for being lazy and going for lowest common denominator jokes. Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on how much you tolerate certain things, but most likely, it falls somewhere in the middle as an occasionally inspired but also intermittently lazy comedy that tweaks the Pixar formula in just the right way.

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

Who: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey and Rooney Mara
What: A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
When: August 19th
Why: Laika is three for three so far with the likes of “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “The Boxtrolls,” offering up darker tales with complex storylines and relatable characters, all while being told in exquisite stop-motion animation. Will this be the film that breaks the streak or a continuation of their winning formula of incredibly original stories rendered in unique but beautiful ways? The trailer offers up signs that, if nothing else, this will be a gorgeous film to watch and will create new worlds and mythos to consume the minds of viewers who wish to live in these magical realms well after the end credits have finished.

“Ben-Hur”

Who: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi and Morgan Freeman
What: A falsely accused Jewish nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his Roman best friend, who betrayed him.
When: August 19th
Why: It’s pretty audacious to remake a classic like “Ben-Hur.” While the novel by Lew Wallace has endured and been loved by many, it’s the 1959 film adaptation that has stayed in the public’s conscious ever since the chariot race exploded on the big screen. But then, if there’s one thing about director Timur Bekmambetov, it’s his willingness to do outrageous things and attempt to realize them with film. The mad Russian is definitely facing an uphill climb to outdo the spectacle of the original, but it’s possible that he will find a way to update it with his signature style and flair.

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