What’s New in Theaters: Summer’s Last Hurrah at the Cineplex

By Christa A. Banister | senior editor, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Wed, 08/10/2011 - 13:48

Between superheroes aplenty, Harry Potter’s final bow, and cowboys, aliens and even smurfs, it’s been quite an eventful summer at a theater near you. And while August is typically the month when audiences are treated to Hollywood’s leftovers (really, only January is worse in terms of sheer cinematic quality), this month’s line-up is actually a little stronger than usual.

So if you’re looking forward to seeing one last flick before school is back in full swing, here’s the skinny on the latest films.  

Don't miss the gmc world premiere of Trinity Goodheart, August 20 at 9pm et, a powerful, family-friendly film about love, faith and forgiveness.

The Contender: The Help, starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer
Release Date: August 10
The One-Two Punch: It not only features summer’s “it” actress Emma Stone in a dramatic role, but the highly anticipated film is based on the New York Times’ bestselling novel by the same name.
The Premise: Set in 1960s-era Jackson, Miss., one fearless reporter makes it her mission to tell the story of the African American women working tirelessly behind the scenes of the city’s most esteemed families. Appalled by the mistreatment of these women, not to mention the fact that they are instructed to use separate bathrooms from their employers, the book that’s eventually published sends the city into a frenzy.
The Verdict: While the language is a bit coarser than it needs to be, and parts are a bit too simplified, The Help is a crowd-pleasing effort that faithfully captures the spirit of the book. Plus, it provides a glimpse of history that’s just as troubling to relive as it was to live through.

The Contender: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco, Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis and John Lithgow
Release Date: August 5
The One-Two Punch: The familiar franchise gets a thoroughly modern reboot with James Franco taking the reigns and San Francisco serving as the backdrop for the hostile primate takeover.
The Premise: When trying to find a cure for his ailing father’s Alzheimer’s, a scientist’s experiment with genetic engineering goes horribly wrong when the apes on which he tests the medicine turn against the human race.
The Verdict: I wanted to like this movie – I really did. Unfortunately, aside from Andy Serkis, who gave another extraordinary performance like he did when he brought Gollum to frightful life in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the movie is just flat. If anything, James Franco looks just as bored and disconnected as he did hosting this year’s Oscars.

The Contender: Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
Release Date: August 12
The One-Two Punch: Everyone’s favorite musical show (you know, aside from “American Idol”) gets the big-screen treatment.
The Premise: Shot live during this year’s “Glee Live in Concert” summer tour, the film is a behind-the-scenes documentary.
The Verdict: While the 3-D aspect doesn’t exactly add anything, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie provides enough giddy excitement to tide you over until the new season.

The Contender: Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D, starring Jessica Alba, Joel McHale Jeremy Piven
Release Date: August 19
The One-Two Punch: The successful kiddie franchise gets a big upgrade, both technologically speaking and from a storytelling perspective.
The Premise: Kicking her retired status to the curb, agent Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba) recruits her two stepkids in order to stop a new villain called Timekeeper from taking over the world.
The Verdict: Sequels aren’t known for their originality, but the latest installment in the Spy Kids franchise has plenty of thrills, especially thanks to Jeremy Piven who makes a thoroughly engaging arch-nemesis.

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