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August movies, August films
Bullz-Eye Summer Movie Preview: August
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AUGUST: Four Weeks of Terror

As a rule, August has been a major dumping ground in years past. Sure, there have been some breakout hits here and there, but for every “Sixth Sense,” there have been 10 “Alien Vs. Predators” or “Mortal Kombats.” And let us not forget quite possibly the best example of dumping a movie into August in the last 10 years: “The Adventures of Pluto Nash.”

This year, August looks like one big splatterfest. Horror movie after horror movie after horror movie will be unleashed this year. We suppose, no matter how bad these horror flicks are (and a few of them look reeeeeeeeeally bad), they can’t be worse than “Pluto Nash.” Or can they?

Update: Since this piece was begun, a number of high-profile horror and action movies (“Doom,” “Domino,” “Red Eye”) have packed up and shuttled off to the fall. Instead, we’re in for a different kind of terror, God help us.

Who needs a plot when you've got the General Lee?
The Dukes of Hazzard (Warner Bros.)
Actors: Seann William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Jessica Simpson, Willie Nelson, Burt Reynolds, Lynda Carter
Director: Jay Chandraheskar
Rating: N/A
Opens: August 5

The Pitch: Plot? Please, you don’t need a plot in a “Dukes” movie! All we can muster up is that the Dukes (Scott and Knoxville), with help from their sister daisy (Simpson), tease the local law enforcement (Reynolds).
The Buzz: All sorts of sordid stories hit the Web during shooting, many involving Knoxville introducing Simpson to the, uh, darker side of pleasure. (Hint: Cartman’s mother explains it to the other boys’ mothers in the “South Park” movie.) Originally slated to come out in July, it is now schedule for August 5, though the web site simply says “Summer 2005.” Might this be moving again?
Trailer Highlight: We’ve only found screen shots of the trailer so far, and we’re sure you can guess what it contained: a scantily clad Simpson, and a high-flying General Lee. Wheee.
Bottom Line: This has ‘bad idea’ written all over it. Not even the camp factor will save it.
Official Web Site: www.dukesofhazzard.warnerbros.com

Cry Wolf (Focus)
Actors: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jared Padalecki, Jon Bon Jovi, Gary Cole
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Rating: N/A
Opens: August 5

The Pitch: Some wiseacre kids create a serial killer nicknamed The Wolf. Problem is, people start dying in a manner befitting The Wolf, and the kids soon find that they are the suspects.
The Buzz: It got a good plug on IMDb, but half the time those bits are written by studio flacks trying to generate buzz for their duds-in-waiting. There’s no way of knowing at this point which side this rave falls on.
Trailer Highlight: Not available at press time.
Bottom Line: It’s a horror movie in August. You know the drill.
Official Web Site: www.crywolfmovie.com

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (Columbia)
Actors: Rob Schneider, Eddie Griffin, Fred Armisen
Director: Mike Bigelow
Rating: PG-13
Opens: August 12

The Pitch: Our title character is, um, tricked into servicing the women of Amsterdam, but soon discovers that his fellow johns are turning up dead.
The Buzz: Schneider meets a bunch of freakish women, and a cat bites Griffin’s cock. Any questions?
Trailer Highlight: We took perverse pleasure in watching Schneider reduce himself to dressing up as a baby for a laugh. Grown-ups in diapers: the last refuge of the comedy scoundrel.
Bottom Line: The existence of this movie has us pondering the plot of “3001,” all of a sudden.
Official Web Site: www.sonypictures.com

The Skeleton Key (Universal)
Actors: Kate Hudson, Peter Sarsgaard, John Hurt, Joy Bryant
Director: Iain Softley
Rating: PG-13
Opens: August 12

The Pitch: A young caretaker watches over a catatonic man, and discovers that she is up to her eyeballs in voodoo.
The Buzz: Ehren Kruger (“The Ring,” “Scream 3”) is a very successful screenwriter, but he’s also one of the most overrated. Director Softley has something to prove as well; his last movie, “K-Pax,” went from “Starman” to “Awakenings” in about 10 seconds, and never recovered.
Trailer Highlight: “We’ve been waiting for you, Caroline.”
Bottom Line: Note to Hudson: do you still have Cameron Crowe’s number? We suggest you use it.
Official Web Site: www.theskeletonkeymovie.com

Hey, is that the Funky Bunch?
Four Brothers (Paramount)
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, André 3000, Tyrese, Josh Charles
Director: John Singleton
Rating: R
Opens: August 12

The Pitch: How about this for a twist: a remake of the western “The Sons of Katie Elder,” “Brothers” tells the story of four men who avenge the death of their mother.
The Buzz: Quiet, but the movie’s release is still a couple months away. Wahlberg has definitely done his part to raise his profile, thanks to “I Heart Huckabees” and Marty Scorsese’s upcoming “The Departed.” Singleton, after nearly a decade of slumming, is having a Soderbergh-esque revival. Maybe “Boyz ‘n the Hood” wasn’t a fluke after all.
Trailer Highlight: No trailer at press time.
Bottom Line: It’s been a long time since anything was expected from Singleton, which makes this movie and this time slot a good time to strike.
Official Web Site: N/A

The 40 Year-Old Virgin (Universal)
Actors: Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Falco, Seth Rogen, Jane Lynch
Director: Judd Apatow
Rating: PG-13
Opens: August 19

The Pitch: Carell (“Anchorman,” “The Daily Show”) is the title character, a man who meets a single mom (Keener), where they strike a deal to stay together, but remain chaste.
The Buzz: Director Apatow has been involved with some fluff as a producer, but chooses his directorial projects with a keen eye (“The Larry Sanders Show,” “Freaks and Geeks”). We just hope there’s much more to the premise than it appears.
Trailer Highlight: Sadly, no trailer available at press time.
Bottom Line: Carell stole “Anchorman” from some funny people. Leading, however, is much harder. Ask Rob Schneider.
Official Web Site: www.the40yearoldvirgin.com

Zu Warriors (Miramax)
Actors: Ekin Cheng, Louis Koo, Ziyi Zhang, Patrick Tam
Director: Hark Tsui
Rating: PG-13
Opens: August 19

The Pitch: Something about immortals in a sky-high mountain range, forbidden love, evil invaders, and a mortal who comes to save us all.
The Buzz: This has been on Miramax’s books since 2001, purchased along with “Shaolin Soccer” and “Hero.” There has been much discussion of Harvey “Scissorhands” Weinstein cutting the bejeezus out of this, leaving fans of the original unsure of which version is finally going to see the light of day here.
Trailer Highlight: Those vertebrae-like swords that bend like human spines. “Soul Caliber,” anyone?
Bottom Line: After four years, it may be too late, no matter how dazzling the choreography and wire work is.
Official Web Site: The address www.zuwarriors.com leads to Miramax’s site, which leads to…nothing. Bastards. You can find the trailer on Apple’s site.

The Brothers Grimm (Dimension)
Actors: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Monica Belluci, Jonathan Pryce, Peter Stormare,
Director: Terry Gilliam
Rating: PG-13
Opens: August 26

The Pitch: Two brothers who pretend to save villages from imaginary beasts encounter the real deal, and their “skills” are put to the test.
The Buzz: For a movie that’s supposedly been finished for quite a while (Dimension was going to release it last year, then pushed it back in favor of “The Aviator”), the lack of a web site or online trailer is cause for concern. Then again, when was the last time that a Terry Gilliam movie didn’t have some controversial back story?
Trailer Highlight: Not available at press time.
Bottom Line: We’re interested, but suspicious.
Official Web Site: www.miramax.com/thebrothersgrimm

The Cave (Screen Gems/Sony)
Actors: Piper Perabo, Cole Hauser, Morris Chestnut, Daniel Dae Kim
Director: Bruce Hunt
Rating: PG-13
Opens: August 26

The Pitch: A group of divers are stuck in a series of underwater caves, where a bunch of bloodthirsty beasties live.
The Buzz: Director Hunt has impressive credits (he worked on all three “Matrix” movies, as well as “Dark City”), so we’re curious why he chose this “Aliens”/”Pitch Black”/”Deep Rising” knockoff as his directorial debut.
Trailer Highlight: The leader fearlessly lighting his flare, only to see the beastie directly overhead.
Bottom Line: It’s the last weekend before September. Have you gotten any sun yet, or have you been inside watching movies the whole time? Get outside, call your mom, do some laundry.
Official Web Site: www.sonypictures.com  



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