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Movies Not to Miss: August

Writer: Casey Lee


Which of these are you going to watch?

Though some may say that the summer of 2016 has come and gone with lacklustre movies, but this August is not about to let summer fade away without making an impression. Other than the return of superheroes (albeit a different kind) in the release schedule, August has proven to have a good mix of amazing animations to tenuous thrillers, with even some space for a couple more blockbuster material trying to stand out at the threshold of summer. This is a well-packed month for lovers of adrenaline cinema.

As we give one last hurrah to summer of 2016, here are the movies you shouldn't miss this August.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Video gamers may not have very fond memories the last time the beloved Final Fantasy franchise appeared on movie posters. Still, that shouldn't be a reason to feel disheartened for another Final Fantasy movie on the silver screen for the first time after 15 years.

Part of a multimedia project to herald in the latest installment in the Final Fantasy video game series, "Kingsglaive" will be introducing an all new setting, with an all new cast of characters that will be directly related to the game. Produced mainly by the Visual Works division in Square Enix, and directed by Takeshi Nozue, "Kingsglaive" will be made by the talents who were behind the flashy "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children" movie. So if there is little faith that the story won't cut it, you can be sure that it will look at least damn good at it.

General Release Date: 4 August

Suicide Squad

After two hollow months of summer without a single superhero in sight, that's not to say that the year is done with them. Marvel and Warner Bros. may have wisely put their superhero tentpoles away from the usually overcrowded summer month to the chiller months of Fall to face less competition (from each other anyways), but just as the first round between Marvel Studios and Warner Bros. went down earlier this year, Warner Bros. got to go first. But this won't be the kind of superhero movie that we will expect. When the world needs saving from an unknown but powerful threat, Amanda Waller and her secret government agency decides to recruit its most notorious but skilled imprisoned supervillains of the DC universe to do the dirty work for them, in exchange for clemency.

After a mixed reaction towards what should have been a charming charge into the superhero space, all eyes are now on the supervillains of "Suicide Squad" to do what Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman could not do combined for Warner Bros. and DC. Seeing the goodwill it has generated though, hopes are more optimistic, not less by the solid cast of Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney and Cara Delevingne. But most of all, the highlight of "Suicide Squad" would most undoubtedly be seeing Jared Leto as The Joker, and see if he can go above the bar set by the late Heath Ledger.

General Release Date: 4 August

Nerve

It's been a while since we had a good techno-thriller and it looks like "Nerve" might just fill the void. Starring Emma Roberts, Dave Franco and Juliette Lewis, this movie explores what happens when the age old game of 'truth or dare' gets envisioned as an online reality video game where people can sign up as 'players' or 'watchers'. Meek Venus (Roberts) decides to break out of her shell and take part in the game as a player. With cash prizes as a reward for each dare she completes, the game pushes her to see how far she is willing to go, especially when she gets a partner named Ian (Franco) and the only way to come out alive is to win.

General Release Date:
11 August

The BFG

Adapted from the well-loved novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, Sophie is taken to Giant Country after staying up at night when she shouldn't. Befriending the big friendly giant, they work together to stop Fleshlumpeater, the evil giants who feast on human flesh.

Long been in development since the 90s, it was Spielberg's Dreamworks that finally picked up the rights to the book and put it on film. Casting his Oscar-winning supporting actor Mark Rylance as the lead, the cast also includes Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader and Jemaine Clement as the flesh-eating giant. "The BFG" is set to be a family friendly Spielberg movie like any other, including the masterful touches of Janusz Kaminski, John Williams and Michael Kahn in the cinematography, music and editing departments.

General Release Date: 18 August

Call of Heroes

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Asian movie fans will be busy this August if they intend to catch every single Cantonese and Mandarin release that are coming out this month. It wasn't easy to pick out of the litter of romances, procedurals and comedies, but we finally narrowed it down to what is uniquely a Hong Kong favourite; the epic martial arts flick.

Directed by Benny Chan, with some of the best cast gatherings (that can only be competed by David Lam's "S Storm" also released in August) this year, "Call of Heroes" is set in the 1914 after the fall of the Qing dynasty, and a criminal is set to stand trial as a corrupted warlord intervenes. Leading the rebellion is Sean Lau, and supported by an admirable Louis Koo, Eddie Peng, and Wu Jing. This is Sean Lau's first martial arts appearance in 20 years, but with the action choreographed by Sammo Hung, we are already looking forward to the dazzling display of fist, kicks and weapons to make this trip to the cinema worth it.

General Release Date:
18 August

Sadako vs Kayoko

Horrors are a safe bet this August with plenty of choices to choose from Thai to Hollywood, but we can't miss up the chance to see two big players of the horror genre coming together to scare you on the same screen. What was first thought to be an April Fool's joke in 2015 turned out to be everyone's worst nightmare when the idea of having the vengeful spirits of Sadako and Kayoko appearing together, didn't seem so bad to be a movie. Marking as the 12th installment for both the "Ring" and "Ju-on" franchises, we couldn't think of worse - to do a crossover of the most feared icons of Japanese horror. Either this is a silly poke at itself (but the reviews so far have said otherwise), or a shocking combination to scare you s**tless, this is the "Batman v Superman" that die hard horror fans have been waiting for.

General Release Date: 18 August

Kubo and the Two Strings

2016 has already seen a strong showing of animations with entries from both Pixar and Disney, and there are many others who will show up later this year. But a year of animation is never complete without another breath-taking entry from the stop-motion masters and crafters of Laika. "Kubo and the Two Strings" may be Laika's most ambitious and stunning outing yet; told in an oriental setting of a young boy with the power to bring origamis to life with his two-stringed instrument. This would be a worthy competitor with its 3D counterparts in the next animation Oscar, and we'll make sure not to blink to savour its glory.

General Release Date: 25 August

Don't Breathe

Needing money to move out from her neglectful parents, Rocky, her boyfriend and her friend, decides to break into a blind man's apartment and steal his safe, expecting little resistance. Home invasion movies are frightening because they make us feel the insecurity of having our homes invaded. But director and co-writer Fede Álvarez, who was inspired while living in Uruguay, is turning the fear on its head. Anyone who has seen the trailer will know where the twist comes in, and it's a good spin on the home invasion formula. There has been a good run of horrors with a twist this year so far, and we are glad that "Don't Breath" is putting momentum on this trend.

General Release Date: 25 August

War Dogs

August has a few good offerings for those who like true-to-life stories. While there is the story "The Man Who Knew Infinity", but we wanted a less dreary biopic with a little more fun and outrageous injected into it. In 2007, two 20-somethings by the name of David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, landed themselves a U.S. government contract to supply weapons to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Unbeknownst to the danger of the gun running business, the two entrepreneurs find themselves in trouble abroad and at home.

Based on the true crazy story that first appeared in Rolling Stones then into the book "Arms and the Dudes" by Guy Lawson, the biopic war comedy only gets crazier by the cast it snagged to do the job. Directed by Todd Philips of "The Hangover" trilogy (even Bradley Cooper is in it), who is no complete stranger to doing wild roadtrips and brash comedy, the deal only gets better by having Miles Teller and Jonah Hill behaving badly with guns in what we would expect to be "The Wolf of Wall Street" meets "Lord of War".

General Release Date: 25 August

Green Room

When a young punk band happen to witness a murder in the back room of a Neo-Nazi skinhead club, its proprietors decide to lock them up until they can decide on what to do with the band. In the green room, a story of brutal violence and desperate violent struggle take place between the band and their angry captors.

While "Don't Breathe" takes our recommendation for its clever play on its genre, "Green Room" deserves our recommendation for the promise of a gripping performance from its cast. Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier who follows this after his devastating directorial debut "Blue Ruin" in 2013, we expect him to bring a different level of suspense and shock here. While this is sadly one of the last works where we will see actor Anton Yelchin (in probably one of his finest performances), he is also stuck in the "Green Room" with Imogen Poots, among others. But the main highlight here is Patrick Stewart, who may have mellowed us as the kindly Professor Xavier from the "X-Men" series, but let him put on a beard and a fierce temperament, and you will see that he can be as vicious a villain to be terrified by.

General Release Date: 25 August

Kanang Anak Langkau: The Iban Warrior

We've had many movies made about the war stories against the Communist insurgency and while many have touched upon the many sacrifices by the brave men of West Malaysia, we should not forget the contributions made by those who crossed the South China Sea to fight a common enemy. Sergeant Kanang Anak Langkau was an Iban from Sarawak, who served in the 8th Rangers of the Malaysian Army and was brought in as a tracker to find enemies hiding in Tanah Hitam, Perak during 1980. Directed by Bade Hj Azmi, "Kanang Anak Langkau: The Iban Warrior" re-enacts the operation that made Kanang the most decorated soldier in Malaysian military history, where he demonstrated bravery and the unbreakable spirit of 'Agi Hidup Agi Ngelaban' in service of the country.

General Release Date: 25 August

Cinema Online, 31 July 2016

Related Movies:
Suicide Squad (04 Aug 2016)
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (04 Aug 2016)
Sadako Vs Kayako (Japanese) (18 Aug 2016)
Call Of Heroes (Cantonese) (18 Aug 2016)
Nerve (11 Aug 2016)
The BFG (18 Aug 2016)
Kubo And The Two Strings (25 Aug 2016)
Kanang Anak Langkau: The Iban Warrior (Malay / Iban) (16 Mar 2017)
Don't Breathe (25 Aug 2016)
Green Room (25 Aug 2016)
War Dogs (Not Showing)



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