‘Superbad’ (Aug. 4)
Congratulations, you’re old: Hollywood’s last super-huge teen comedy is about to turn 10. And it’s aged awkwardly, too. Back in 2007, the Judd Apatow Machine was still primarily obsessed with boys, be they the teens (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill) of “Superbad” or the man-children of “Knocked Up.” Over the years, everyone, even Seth Rogen, has grown up, become a little more mature, a little more interested in the world outside their clique. That’s to say they’d almost certainly never make something as dude-centric as “Superbad.” At least it’s still funny.
‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ (Aug. 27)
No offense to Meryl Streep, who does a fine job replicating the tuneless, wallpaper-peeling warbling of history’s worst singer, but the real reason to watch this biopic is Hugh Grant. As St. Clair Bayfield, the sexless partner/manager of Streep’s society dame-turned-notorious crooner, Grant gets to play both the kind of charming asshole you see in “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and a tragic figure, who knows the good times are up soon as his sugar momma passes off this mortal coil. Maybe if you watch “FFJ,” we convince Grant, who hates acting, to act more.
The first five ‘Saw’ movies (Aug. 1)
First off, do you know how complicated these movies are? We don’t mean they’re thoughtful; they’re dumb. We mean in terms of plot, in terms of world-building. What started off with a simple premise — two dudes awaken in an underground lair, chained to pipes, with two saws laying on the ground — ballooned in its sequels into a byzantine, time-jumping puzzle revolving around a serial killer (Tobin Bell) who dies in the third one yet is still setting up death traps from beyond the grave over four more films. Binging the first five in the series will seriously melt your brain.
‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure/Bogus Journey’ (Aug. 1)
Do you know that we’re in the middle of a Keanu Reeves renaissance? A Keanu-ssaince! The onetime superstar has been killing it lately, and not just in the “John Wick” movies. He’s been stealing the likes of “The Neon Demon” and “The Bad Batch” in small roles. He’s even become a euphonious orator — this, the guy who once murdered Shakespeare in 1993’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Revisit his younger days (he’s about to turn 53, by the way) with one of his finest roles, and not just in the justifiably classic original. The sequel’s good stuff, too.
‘Breakdown’ (Aug. 1)
We’re also in the middle of a Kurt Russell renaissance! The Disney child star-turned-man’s man had one of his best vehicles in this lean thriller, playing an everyman whose wife (Kathleen Quinlan) mysteriously disappears as they drive through the desert. And the man who may have kidnapped her is played by J.T. Walsh, the character actor extraordinaire who left us far too soon in 1998.
‘Eve’s Bayou’ (Aug. 1)
Twenty years ago, Roger Ebert surprised film fans by naming the best movie of 1997 “Eve’s Bayou,” a small, little-seen drama about a little girl in 1962 Louisiana who catches her charming father (Samuel L. Jackson) cheating on her mother. Along with vividly conjuring up a time and place, it’s a gutting look at memory and self-deception, inventively directed by Kasi Lemmons, who’s way up there on the list of filmmakers we wish had better careers.
‘The Dead Zone’ (Aug. 1)
There are around 40 Stephen King movie adaptations, and we’d reckon only a handful of them are actually good-to-great. The ones that are were made by a master directors: Brian De Palma’s “Carrie.” Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” George A. Romero’s “Creepshow” (which is not an adaptation but a collaboration). And then there’s David Cronenberg’s “The Dead Zone,” starring Christopher Walken as a traumatized man who can suddenly see the future. It’s one of the director’s least out-there movies, with his usual body horror obsessions completely contained to the brain. It does, however, feature an ending in which a dangerous politician who’s bound to destroy the world is conquered because he made a horrible gaffe for which the public never forgives him. Good times.
‘High Noon’ (Aug. 1)
Gary Cooper had more sides to him than you may think. He could be bumbling (“Ball of Fire”), lovelorn (the totally insane “Peter Ibbetson”), even deeply weird (“Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife”). But in “High Noon,” the movie that scored him his second Oscar, he’s in tough and noble mode, playing a sheriff who learns that an outlaw he jailed is free and ready to kill him — and that no one in his small town will get his back. Often hailed as one of the best Westerns, it’s not; it lacks the life and verve of “Rio Bravo,” for one, which Howard Hawks made as his conservative-ish response to this classic lefty oater.
The complete list of August arrivals below:
All Dogs Go to Heaven
Bad Boys (1983)
Bad Company (1972)
Benny & Joon
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Box of Moonlight
The Dead Zone
Far from Home (1989)
Friends and Lovers
The General's Daughter
The Mod Squad
New in Town (2009)
The Pursuit of D.B Cooper
Save the Last Dance
Teen Wolf Too
Terry Fator: Live in Concert
Wayne's World 2
Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally: Summer of 69: No Apostrophe
My Bloody Valentine
Florence Foster Jenkins
Gimme Shelter (2013)