Movie highlights in July and August

GET ready for more star-studded films than you can throw a bucket of popcorn at this July and August in cinemas. Jessica-Anne Lyons has the lowdown on which flicks you should get tickets to, rather than give the flick to.

To The Wonder (July 4)

If you caught director Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or award-winning film The Tree of Life, you definitely want to watch his next film To The Wonder when it comes out next month. The film tells of a beautiful romance blossoming between Neil (Ben Affleck) and Maria (Olga Kurylenko) in Paris. However, when Maria decides to travel to Neil’s home in America, problems arise and she finds herself drawn to a priest (Javier Bardem), while Neil finds comfort with another woman, Jane, played by Rachel McAdams.

Much Ado About Nothing (July 11)

From blockbuster to Bill Shakes, director Joss Whedon has come straight off the hugely popular The Avengers film to direct the latest screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. This modernised film version of the classic play is set in Los Angeles. For those familiar with the original story, Shakespeare’s Much Ado is a hilarious commentary on a crazy little thing called love, focusing on the love story between Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof), who just can’t seem to let their true feelings known to each other.

Before Midnight (July 18)

The third instalment to the popular romantic drama trilogy, Before Midnight revisits the love story between Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), who we are first introduced to in Before Sunrise and the following film Before Sunset. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the first two films; there’s still a few weeks until Before Midnight is released for you to catch up on the story. In the third chapter of Jesse and Celine’s funny and endlessly wise love story, they are spending the summer in Greece and trying to understand what they want next out of life and each other.

The Wolverine (July 26)

For all of you comic book film lovers, the latest superhero film featuring Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine isn’t one to miss. This time, the Wolverine finds himself in Japan after being called upon by a powerful figure whose life he saved in the past. This man offers the the self-healing Wolverine a special service in return for saving his life; the chance to become mortal. But his decision will utterly change and challenge him. Expect an action-packed film, and if the trailer is any indication, also some rad samurai fighting scenes!

The Bling Ring (August 8)

Imagine sneaking into the homes of celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom and stealing their clothes, jewellery and luxury belongings. It sounds crazy and dangerous, but that’s exactly what a group of daring teenagers did from 2008 to 2009. Based on that true story comes The Bling Ring, directed by Oscar-winning director Sofia Coppola. Led by Nicki (played by Emma Watson), these teens steal millions of dollars worth of goods from celebrities, and this film explores the themes of teenage temptation and the obsession with material things. The film also stars Israel Broussard, Claire Julien, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann, Gavin Rossdale and newcomer Katie Chang.

Elysium (August 9)

There definitely hasn’t been a shortage of post-apocalyptic films lately and Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium is the next one to see. Starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, the film is set in the year 2159 and two very different classes of people have been established. The rich live on Elysium, a space station free of war and sickness. Everyone else however, is forced to fend for themselves on the desolate remains of earth. But earthbound Max (Damon) decides to try to get on to Elysium to not only save his life but unite the two worlds. Think Avatar and the Hunger Games mixed in with a bit of Transformers, and you get Elysium.

The Artist and the Model (August 12)

The above film trailer is NSFW.

If you caught this gorgeous French-speaking Spanish film when it debuted in Australia at the Spanish Film Festival, lucky you! If you missed it, Fernando Trueba’s film tells the tale of a old sculptor who has lost all inspiration to create, until he encounters a beautiful young Spanish girl on the run who reignites his passion for art. The elderly artist and his wife take her in and the young girl strikes up a wonderfully poignant friendship with the couple. The film stars the famous French actor Jean Rochefort who returned from retirement for this role, as well as Claudia Cardinale and Aida Folch.

Kick-Ass 2 (August 16)

For a quirky take on the superhero flick, the sequel to cult favourite Kick-Ass is sure to make you laugh as much as the first one. Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson as “Kick-Ass” and Chloe Moretz as the spunky “Hit-Girl”, expect a lot of crassness and comical humour as our two protagonists and their new comrade “Colonel Stars and Stripes” (Jim Carrey) fight back against a villain whose name we’d rather not repeat.

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