Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Some late summer surprises at the Movie Trailer Park

With the end of July and the beginning of August comes an inevitable pop culture fact, that the dog days of summer bring on true dogs of film into our multiplex kennel.

Granted, some would say that we've already had our fair share of cinematic stinkers early on in the season but no one can deny that most of the movies released at the tail end of summer are destined for a quick opening and closing.

However, there are some actual gems to be unearthed at a theater near you this time of year and here are a handful of popcorn possibilities to go to the movies for better reasons than to beat the heat:

AUSTENLAND: This love letter to Jane Austen fans(based on the novel by Shannon Hale) stars Keri Russell as Jane Hayes,who becomes Jane Erstwhile during her stay at a specialized vacation retreat on an English estate.  She's joined by Mrs. Charming(Jennifer Coolidge) who is more interested in the men wearing snug Regency outfits than reliving an Austen novel and must stick to the guidelines for the role playing set forth by Mrs. Wattlebrook(Jane Seymour),who is the ruler of the Austenland realm.

Those who enjoyed the recent version of Northanger Abbey will be thrilled to see that production's Henry Tilney(J. J. Feild) as one of the possible love interests for our Darcy dazzled heroine while even those who aren't familiar with our Dear Jane should get a kick out of the romcom antics in place here:

 THE BUTLER: Based on the real life story of an African-American butler in the White House who served for eight presidencies, this film has a strong ensemble cast which is lead by Forrest Whitaker in the title role.

Oprah Winfrey plays a key role as his wife while other notable names include Robin Williams( President Eisenhower),John Cusack(Nixon),Alan Rickman and Jane Fonda(Ron and Nancy Reagan),plus Nelson Ellis(Martin Luther King,Jr.).

Also on board are folks such as  Mariah Carey,Cuba Gooding Jr, Vanessa Redgrave. and Lenny Kavitz. The screenplay is co-written by the director Lee Daniels and Danny Strong and it's the last picture to be produced by the late producer Laura Ziskin. With such a distinguished group joining together for this project, the results should be impressive,indeed:

LOVELACE: Amanda Seyfried portrays the actress who brought pornography into the mainstream and then later in life, sought to break free of that industry as well as her controlling husband(Peter Sarsgaard).

 Included in the cast are Sharon Stone,playing her mother and Chloe Sevigny as a feminist journalist who encouraged Linda Lovelace to strike out on her own. The movie has already hit the film festival circuit and received mixed reviews but at this point, the good outweigh the bad.

Lovelace is set for a limited release,so you may have to hunt around to find it playing at a theater near you. Sort of ironic,if you think about it there:

THE WORLD'S END: Fans of Simon Pegg's pop culture parodies  will be happy to discover his latest British import. Pegg leads off the cast as Gary, a professional idler who convinces his old school buddies to complete a pub crawl(marathon attendance of bars) back in their old home town.

During their mission, the gang realizes that most of the town's residents have been taken over by alien invaders and replaced with robot duplicates. Naturally, the fellas attempt to stop this insidious scheme in their own bumbling manner which doesn't offer as much hope for humanity as you would want in this situation.

 The World's End is meant to be the last in a trilogy(with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz being the earlier installments) but fortunately, this is not a series that requires you to view the first couple of movies and hopefully, this won't be the last we get to see of Pegg and company's marvelous sense of humor:

 I'm sure there will be a few other decent movies worth checking out,each according to your own taste. However, when it comes to film going during the last half of summer, bad movies must be endured as much as a heat wave is,with patience,care and surety that cooler fare will eventually come. Autumn will be here soon enough and with it, plenty of that sophisticated Oscar bait cinema we've grow to expect there:

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