The second proper week of August looks to be a doozy. Though it may not start well (unless you, for some reason, like the cinematic black hole that is Adam Sandler, or the Hollywood collective getting all preachy), the end of the week is chock full of films that should be great fun. There’s no serious, introspective Oscar-bait, and none of those pesky superheroes either– just summer cinema as it should be.
First up this week is 2015’s major Golden Raspberry contender, if early reviews and audience reaction from the US is anything to go by. Pixels is the latest offering from the Daniel Day-Lewis of shit films – Adam Sandler. The film’s plot finds aliens mistaking classic arcade games as a declaration of war and invading Earth using giant PacMans and Space Invader-type things, prompting the US military to hire professional arcade gamers to help combat the alien threat. So basically that one Futurama episode. The film co-stars Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), which is a shame, because it would be great to see him in a lead-role that actually gave him some room to act for once – and before anyone starts loudly screaming something about X-Men, Days of Future Past didn’t do that either. Pixels opens on Wednesday.
Next up is a documentary named Unity. Made by Shaun Monson (Earthlings), the film will attempt to take a look at the self-destructive nature of humanity. There isn’t really much else to say about the film, its marketing being somewhat opaque. What we do know however, is that it has a ridiculous number of well-known narrators, including: Aaron Paul, Adam Levine, Amanda Seyfried, Amy Smart, Ben Kingsley, Ben Whishaw, Casey Affleck, Catherine Tate, Dr. Dre, Ellen DeGeneres, Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, January Jones, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Anniston, Jessica Chastain, Joaquin Phoenix, Kevin Spacey, Kristen Wiig, Lena Headey, Marion Cotillard, Martin Sheen, Michael Gambon, Moby, Olivia Wilde, Pamela Anderson, Selena Gomez, Tom Hiddleston, and Zoe Saldana. Unity is released on Wednesday.
On now to Friday, the day all the real cinema stuff seems to happen. The first Friday film – which sadly doesn’t begin with an “F” – is Absolutely Anything. The film follows the adventures of a man granted with the ability to do absolutely anything he wants (see what they did there?) and his dog. Starring Simon Pegg and Kate Bekinsale, alongside the voices of the Monty Python cast and (brace for misery) Robin Williams in his last film role. With Pegg, Williams, and the Pythons all bottled up into one film, expect some wacky-as-hell hilarity from this one.
The biggest of this week’s films is the latest offering from director Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch), 60s spy throwback The Man from U.N.C.L.E., based on the TV series of the same name. An action comedy whose premise is that US and Soviet spy agencies are forced to team up to stop a mysterious criminal organisation, all while you know, the Cold War is still happening (which will no doubt be a main source of comedy) – think live-action Archer. The film stars Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), Armie Hammer (The Social Network), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) and, based almost entirely off the trailer, looks awesome. It is released in cinemas everywhere on Friday.
Our third Friday film sees writer/director Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) and actress Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) reunite for Frances Ha 2: Electric Boogaloo – sorry, I mean Mistress America. The film follows a college freshman who gets dragged into the crazy world of her soon-to-be step-sister as the two of them romp through New York – or one of them romps, and the other kind of follows, I imagine. If you liked Frances Ha, by which I mean if you like happiness, you’ll probably like this. If not, I don’t know, go away and have a long think about your life, or just watch Requiem for a Dream again, you miserable bastard.
Wrapping up the week is Trainwreck. The film is made by Judd Appatow, who was the guy who gave us, like, most of the comedies (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Superbad – Judd Apatow pretty much gave birth to Seth Rogen), but has since become a little stale. Anyway, Trainwreck, which stars Amy Schumer (who also wrote it), and Bill Hader (who is a funny man), follows a woman who from an early age was disillusioned with monogamy, only to meet a genuinely good guy and have to deal with an actual relationship, or something like that. Having already been released in the US, the film has made decent money at the box office, as well as receiving incredibly favourable praise from critics, so it looks to be one to watch.