MikeyB's Monthly Movie Roundup: August (2016)

 I'm sure you've noticed that I've been trying to keep a good flow of content lately and thats because I've realized that writing for my blog is something that I really enjoy. Im trying to keep reviews coming on a "every other week" basis and even going to try out some new ideas for articles. One of which I'll be debuting today. I see multiple movies every month but write about very few of them. So I figured at the end of each month I will do a nice little "round up" of the new releases I saw in theaters starting with this August 2016. So without further rambling lets dive right in to the "Monthly Movie Roundup"!

Suicide Squad 
Released Aug 5 2016
Director: David Ayer
Starring: Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Letto

 The third entry into the DC Comics cinematic universe is once again more divisive then Moses and the red sea. With a mostly negative critic score and pretty much the same sentiment from most movie goers it has nonetheless managed to rake in a big haul at the box office. I can see why too. As flawed as this movie is Ive got to admit it was damn fun. You can tell by everyone's performances that making this movie was a good time and its a vibe that runs throughout the whole picture. Margot Robbie is perfection as Harley Quinn and Will Smith is surprisingly restrained and low-key as Deadshot, allowing the movie to feel like a true ensemble piece. Also dare I say it but I really like Jared Letto's Joker. He's creepy and nasty and has a deeply unsettling vibe that emanates in his every scene. So if you enjoyed Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, you'll probably like this one too. If not though proceed with caution.

Florence Foster Jenkins 
Released Aug 12 2016
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg

 Its Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant in a feel good "dramedy" from the director of High Fidelity, The Queen, and Philomena. What more could you possibly want for a great time at the movies? Seriously one of the years best and one of my favorites as well.

Sausage Party 
Released Aug 12 2016
Director(s): Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Starring: Seth Rogan, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill

 I'll admit that the trailers for this one did not do much for me. It looked dumb to be quite honest. Imagine to my surprise though when watching it to find a smart and genuinely funny movie. I do have one complaint though. What the trailers don't show is a strong anti religious theme that may sour the experience for many. Being a religious man myself it did dampen my enjoyment a bit, but in the end I'm comfortable enough in my faith that it I can still have a good time.

Pete's Dragon 
Released Aug 12 2016
Director: David Lowery
Starring: Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford

 Disney is on a roll with the remakes lately. John Favreau's "Jungle Book" was fantastic and being a huge fan of the original 1977 Pete's Dragon I had high hopes for this new version. In all honesty this remake is better then the original and in my opinion one of the best family films ever. The script is smart and never pandering and it does the one thing I love to see in a "kids" movie: it doesn't coddle you. It deals with hard themes of loss, growing up, and what family truly means, but in a way that both kids and parents will understand. Its really remarkable filmmaking and one of my favorites of the year.

Kubo and The Two Strings
Released Aug 19 2016
Director: Travis Knight
Starring: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey

 Kubo deals with the same tough themes as "Pete's Dragon": Loss, growing up, and what family truly means. It also doesn't pander or dumb anything down despite being a "kids" movie. Pair these with the ridiculously gorgeous stop motion animation of Laika Entertainment, who've previously brought us Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Box Trolls and you have the front runner for my favorite film of the year so far.

Released Aug 19 2016
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Morgan Freeman

 I hate to end this on a sour note but I'll be damned if I call this remake a good movie. Thats not to say its horrible, its just that its terribly mediocre. It does have some great moments like the slave ship battle and the infamous chariot race but thats honestly about it. Which is sad because I had some high hopes for this one. I've loved Jack Houston since his heartbreaking portrayal of "Richard" in "Boardwalk Empire" and Toby Kebbell has been one of my actors to watch out for since his raucous debut in Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla". They do a great job with what they have to work with but its just not enough to stave off the boredom. Director Timur Bekmambetov is better known for the action movie "Wanted" and the ridiculously titled but undeniably fun action/horror hybrid "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter", and I wonder why he didn't choose to just take this remake in the same action route. Certainly the marketing tried to pitch it as such but, instead he has tried to make a more traditional "epic" that honestly just falls flat. Disappointing.

 Well that wraps it up for this month. Did you see a movie I didn't and want to talk about it? Do you disagree with my opinions? Let me know in the comments below and I'll see you guys next month!