Features
Movies Not to Miss: August 2017


Date Posted: 31 July 2017


Which of these are you going to watch?

And so summer ends with but a whimper. While there is no shortage of titles for the action seekers of Hollywood this August, this is an unconventional month that is not purely dominated from Hollywood. We have Asian titles that make up half of our recommendations and also a couple of documentaries that ever so rarely make it onto our big screens that are worth catching.

So to help you wind down your adrenaline with the Fall season coming, here's our list of movies not to miss this August!

Hijabsta Ballet

A Muslim girl's aspires to be a full-fledged ballerina while not compromising on her faith and keeping her hijab on. When director Syed Zulkifli Syed Masir and his four-man team of researchers and writers wanted to find out what's missing in Malaysian movies being watched in cinemas, "Hijabsta Ballet" is the result. Going back to basics of storytelling and having a character facing numerous odds in a very relatable and local context, "Hijabsta Ballet" is a sincere attempt of finding the middle ground of being faithful to one's own religious teachings, while still being able to achieve our dreams. Professional dancer Puteh Maimun Zahrah makes her acting debut, and will be guided along the way by Betty Banafe, Aida Khalida and Aman Graseka.

General Release Date: 3 August

The Dark Tower

When a young adventurer follows clues that take him to the Mid-World in another dimension, he meets with the Gunslinger, who is on a journey to reach the Dark Tower to save all existence from extinction. This feature adaptation of the renowned sci-fi western fantasy novel series by Stephen King has been long in the making since 2007. Once having J.J. Abrams and Ron Howard attached to direct, the final cut was directed by Nikolaj Arcel, who you might not have heard much in his directing capacity, but we are fans of "The Royal Affair" from 2012 that was nominated for a Best Foreign Oscar for Denmark. If the director doesn't inspire much confidence, we are quite sure the cast makes up for it with Idris Elba as the Gunslinger opposed by Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black. This feature length is planned to be the start of a transmedia franchise for the novel series, taking place after the end of the novels, and continuing its legacy as a television series with possible feature sequels.

General Release Date: 3 August

Napping Princess

Instead of studying hard for her university entrance exams, Kokone has been dozing off from her studies and frequently taking naps. However, during each of her naps, she dreams of an upcoming catastrophe that will happen to her hometown, days before the 2020 Olympics in Japan. Japanese anime is definitely on the menu of movies to watch this August. Fans of the "Fairy Tail" series may be more excited to see its second feature length, "Dragon Cry", but for the casual fans who are looking for something without a tie-in, our recommendation firmly goes Kenji Kamiyama's "Napping Princess". While this may be Kamiyama's first original written and directed feature title, he has long established his directorial voice in "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" and "Eden of the East" series that has elevated him as one of the top working anime directors of today.

General Release Date: 3 August

The Beguiled

What is more unexpected to see being released for the summer months, is the even more unexpected release of Sofia Coppola's next outing onto our screens. Coppola's latest outing has already been met with tremendous praise and applause at the recent Cannes Film Festival, where Coppola made history as being the second female director to be awarded the Best Director. This feminine take of the novel by Thomas P. Cullinan is definitely a curiosity for those who had seen the Clint Eastwood adaptation, but the tour-de-force of female cast led by Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning dipped in Coppola's soft light and coloured style is certainly a beguiling offer.

General Release Date: 3 August

We Are X

Premiered earlier at this year's Sundance and SXSW, Japan's most influential and revered rock band gets its first inside documentary feature that delves into its storied history centered on band founder and music pioneer Yoshiki, involving deaths and despair and the hard life he has been through with the band. This is easily a must-see for any ardent fans of JRock that not only has interviews with its surviving band members, but also western musicians like Gene Simmons, Marilyn Manson, George Martin (and even a cameo of Stan Lee!) and contemporary prominent Japanese bands; Luna Sea, Dir En Grey and Glay, who speak about the massive influence the music of X Japan has touched.

General Release Date: 5 August

Annabelle: Creation

The fourth movie in the highly successful "The Conjuring" series and aprequel to 2014's "Annabelle", "Annabelle: Creation" with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes has already got the critics raving who have been praising it mostly for its vast improvement from its predecessor. The movie finally clarifies the origin of the doll and how it came to be such a terrifying thing. Husband and wife, Sam (Anthony LaPaglia) and Esther (Miranda Otto) open up their farmhouse to a six girls and a Nun from an orphanage, twelve years after the death of their 7-year-old daughter Annabelle. Yeah, you can guess by now what that entails, but also know that scares are aplenty in this one thanks to director David F. Sandberg from "Lights Out".

General Release Date: 10 August

The Battleship Island

During the Japanese occupation, 400 forced labourers from Josean are sent to mine for coal at Hashima Island. Under the cruel supervision of their jailers, some of the workers plan to make an escape. Made with the intent of being a historical fiction based on the real island, director Ryoo Seung-wan is more known for not letting up on the intensity and pace than his historical accuracy. Ryoo is reunited with his "Veteran" lead Hwang Jung-min, who is joined this time by So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki and Lee Jung-hyun for this thrilling and also depressing prison break.

General Release Date: 17 August

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Top protection agent and bodyguard Michael Bryce is given a new assignment to protect his most unexpected client yet; Darius Kincaid, one of the world's most notorious hitmen and Bryce's nemesis. Bryce needs to ensure that Kincaid is kept alive while he is transported to the International Court of Justice to serve as witness. Once tapped to helm "The Raid" remake, director Patrick Hughes was given to direct this latest action mayhem since "The Expendables 3". While we aren't sure what to make of the chemistry between Samuel L. Jackson without his eyepatch and Ryan Reynolds outside of his Deadpool costume, but having Gary Oldman as an East European dictator and Salma Hayek as an assassin's wife is just too good to pass up for some action comedy.

General Release Date: 17 August

Cars 3

Six years after the events of "Cars 2" (2011), we're set to see Owen Wilson return to voice everyone's favourite red racing machine, Lightning McQueen. But this time around, things are set to take a grim turn around the race track thanks to a new generation of racers that use the latest technology to boost their game. Facing unwanted retirement, Lightning gives it his all and suffers a nearly fatal end. Now under recovery, Lightning has got to make his way back with help from his friends. Armie Hammer voiced Jackson Storm, is Lightning's new racing rival and the face of the new generation of racers.

General Release Date: 24 August

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

It's been 10 years since former U.S. vice president Al Gore made his appeal to global leaders on the need to fight climate change, and the progress since then until the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016 looked like it had achieved its mission. Premiered this year at Sundance, "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" tracks the progress that has been made, but has unfortunately taken a drastic turn. With the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement, there is expected to be a new cut to the film. This will be another reminder to the harsh reality and future we could face if climate change is not reversed, and also a time stamp on how international politics has changed the discourse of climate change.

General Release Date: 24 August

Gintama

One of the longest running manga and anime series by Hideaki Sorachi receives its first live-action adaptation. Directed by Yuichi Fukuda, who is no stranger in directing slapstick comedy mixed with exaggerated action from his "Hentai Kamen" days, seems a good fit to balance the serious samurai sword fights with the hilarious antics of its diverse and massive cast of characters. This is one laugh fest that fans of the series will not want to miss to see in Malaysian screens.

General Release Date: 24 August

American Made

If seeing Tom Cruise in a new franchise property didn't quite cut it for you, perhaps it's time to change gears a little to see him in something that doesn't scream 'franchise potential'. While not quite the type of plane we were hoping to see him in, Cruise plays as the true-to-life story of pilot Barry Seal who becomes involved with the Medellin drug cartel while being hired by the CIA. This is the next collaboration between Cruise and director Doug Liman since "Edge of Tomorrow", and the true story of Seal's exploits and involvement is set in one of the fascinating (and also embarrassing) times of the Reagan administration that follows how deep in bed the United States government was with the Contras.

General Release Date: 31 August

Writer: Casey Lee



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