Thursday, July 23, 2009

As August goes ice cold we head for the hills.

It's about this time that we start putting our monthly "Hot List" together for the movies we're most looking forward to next month. You can check out the regular column at the top of our Pulling Focus page at

As we approached our August list there were some immediate choices that we've been waiting for... The Time Traveler's Wife, adapted from the hit novel by Audrey Niffenegger starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams (not thrilled with the cast but the book was special), an adaptation of a cookbook and a blog serve as the story source for Meryl Streep and Amy Adams in the Nora Ephron directed Julie & Julia, and the always inventive and tremendously entertaining work of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki is on display again in Ponyo.

These are films that will have us curiously waiting in a box-office line. But that's three and we highlight six films each month. We'll let's see...

And then it hit us. As we're bearing down on the last month of summer... we're all out of movies. Whaaaaat? How's that? OK, OK, there's one more big popcorn movie in the wings but we're warning you now, it's a scene by scene mash-up of popcorn action flicks from duds like 1998's The Avengers and 2004's Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow to this summer's megahit Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. (Just the fact that that's the first 2009 movie to break 300 million is reason enough to know we need a vacation.) The silver screens in August go positively blank and we're seriously bummed.

The fact is we were already heading out for a week at a lake but the prospect for a bleak August has seemed to add some urgency. So much so that we gave up on trying to keep our hopes high and instead, for the first time, decided to replace our monthly "Hotlist" with an August "Ice-list". Movies that leave us cold for wanting to buy a ticket and hoping those responsible get iced on their bottom lines.

When we get back from canoe drifting days and stargazing nights, we'll officially publish the Ice-list but we couldn't help giving our readers a sneak preview on Moviedozer's front page. We can't help but give you a little taste right here of why August may be Netflix's best month for DVD rentals all year. Take a look and you may want to follow our example and go get some fresh air yourself.

Here's what some studios think a summer movie looks like in August...

Robin Williams. Another comic who thinks off-the-shelf kid flicks can be a career capper. Someone should Twitter Eddie Murphy for a little insight...

You can watch the trailer for this one on our new feature "Independent Feature Film Clips & Trailers". We swear we're not making this up. Jim Carey and Ewan McGregor playing gay and speaking French (not that there's anything wrong with that...), but then, this ain't exactly Seinfeld. Did we mention they meet in prison? (Now we bet you'll go watch the trailer.)

How about some really blatant high concept marketing built around a really high concept high school kinda musical sorta band kinda rock n' roll... screw coming up with an idea when there's so much stinkin' money yet to be made from ridin' somebody else's wave. No, this is not from Disney. The real head scratcher... David Bowie is in this somewhere.

And finally, we'll just say this. Brad Pitt with a smirk and a machine gun standing on a pile of bodies. What a lovely way to end a summer.

We'll be back at the top of the month. You can read the Ice-List at on August 4th.

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