2010 Summer Movie Preview: August
The Other Guys (August 6)
Mark Wahlberg might not be the first guy you think of when comedy comes to mind -- unless, that is, you're thinking of Andy Samberg's "SNL" bit where Wahlberg is a doofus who talks to animals -- but that could change with "The Other Guys," which puts Wahlberg alongside Will Ferrell in a buddy cop comedy from director Adam McKay ("Talladega Nights," "Step Brothers"). Wahlberg and Ferrell play a pair of B-level cops whose envy of the department's finest (Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) sends them plunging in over their heads in pursuit of a case that could make their careers. It's been a couple of years since Ferrell gave us one of his trademark idiot characters, and one look at the trailer is enough to let us know the drought is over.
The Disappearance of Alice Creed (August 6)
Despite her turn as a Bond girl in "Quantum of Solace," Gemma Arterton is largely unknown in the States; her fame, up 'til now, has largely been restricted to the United Kingdom. That should start to change with "The Disappearance of Alice Creed," which gives Arterton the chance to flash her dramatic chops -- as well as much of the rest of what God gave her -- in the center of a grim thriller about the kidnapping of a wealthy businessman's daughter. Already out overseas, "Alice Creed" has earned largely positive reviews -- catch it during its limited run and say you saw Gemma before she became a household name.
The Expendables (August 13)
The musclebound action heroes of the '80s rise again in Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables," which proves irrefutably that Sly can do more than just tack on sequels to the Rambo and Rocky franchises -- he can assemble an all-star lineup of cinematic ass-kickers from Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to Jason Statham and Let Li, ship them all off to South America, and toss in a little Dolph Lundgren for good measure. What's the plot about? Who cares? It's got bullets and explosions to spare, and if you've been waiting for a decent old-school action flick since the closing credits of "True Lies" rolled, here's the cure for what ails you.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (August 13)
The hero of Bryan Lee O'Malley's beloved graphic novels comes to life in the form of Michael Cera, who takes on the world -- or, at least, a gang of Mary Elizabeth Winstead's bloodthirsty ex-boyfriends -- in Edgar Wright's hotly anticipated adaptation. And if you can't imagine the Michael Cera of "Year One" and "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" batting a strong breeze, let alone some ticked-off dude, maybe that's sort of the point -- and maybe this is the role that'll finally prove Cera is capable of playing more than just variations on George Michael from "Arrested Development."
Piranha 3-D (August 27)
What do Elisabeth Shue, Ving Rhames, Jerry O'Connell, Richard Dreyfuss, and Christopher Lloyd have in common? They're all part of the nutty ensemble cast Alexandre Aja arranged for this 3-D update on Joe Dante's 1978 cult classic, which pits the residents of a small town against murderous prehistoric fish. And did we mention Shue plays the sheriff? Summer traditionally goes out on a bit of a low note, and "Piranha 3D" obviously isn't anyone's idea of high art, but we're hard-pressed to think of a better finale for the season than strapping on a pair of 3-D glasses and watching Paul Scheer get eaten by a piranha. Now where the hell is "Kingdom of the Spiders 3D"?