Good afternoon moviegoers. As Autumn creeps ever closer, our options at the movie theater begin to diversify from our standard action or comedy flicks of summer. The line-up of movies that are hitting theaters this weekend sounds like the set up to a great joke (A dragon, a talking sausage, and Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep walk into a movie theater...) Here are the new releases to look forward to for the weekend of Aug. 12.
The one that secretly holds a place in my heart: "Florence Foster Jenkins"
I'm going to be completely honest with you movie goers, I very much want to see "Florence Foster Jenkins" which tells the real life story of, you guessed it, Florence Foster Jenkins, who was a singer in the 1940's who would perform even though there will people around her who doubted her talents. The movie has a lot going for it, including a stellar cast (headlined by the aforementioned Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and Simon Helberg,) with enough wit and charm to fill its own concert hall. While this movie may not be cinematically groundbreaking, chances are you will leave the theater with a smile on your face (and an out of tune song in your heart) and sometimes that is enough (The movie is also currently sitting at an 88 percent on rottentomatoes.com.)
The (necessary?) remake of a childhood classic: "Pete's Dragon"
At first glance, this movie looks like Disney going back into the well to update a movie that general audiences may have forgotten about (for the record, forgetting the 1977 "Pete's Dragon" is just as bad as forgetting about Dre.) I wasn't a fan of the uneven tone of the trailer, which goes from deeply serious for the first half, and then begins to sprinkle in jokes. In what is looking be a trend this weekend, the cast features a list of actors that I love and respect (Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Wes Bentley, and Karl Urban) and the reviews and general buzz for the movie is positive. This might be the movie that proves me wrong, but I am not holding my breath (mostly because I'm terrible at it, and holding your breath through a whole movie is dangerous.)
The movie that made me laugh, groan, and have an existential crisis in the span of 89 minutes: "Sausage Party"
Oh boy, where in the world do you start when talking about "Sausage Party." Going in I knew this was probably going to be one of the raunchiest movies of the year, and it may just be one of the raunchiest movies of all time. That isn't hyperbole. I have a really high tolerance for 'dirty' comedy, but this movie made me blush and groan through my tears of laughing so hard.
The voice cast knocks it out of the park (Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, Nick Kroll) knocks it out of the supermarket, from their comedic timing to the sincerity with which they deliver what would be in the hands of any other actors, cringe-worthy dialogue.
We also need to talk about the deep religious undertones of this movie. Don't read that sentence again, your brain processed it correctly the first time. The movie whose main characters are sentient food items manages to tackle world religions and geopolitics with such a candid and frank tone that really catches you off guard at first. By the end of the movie, you aren't really going to know how to feel, and in this case that is definitely not a bad thing.