Hooray, in the movies: August premieres

Cinemas have opened since August 1. The prime minister has announced a lot, but most of the category: to declare something that is not a pity to remove if we are suddenly closed again. However, Olya Tretyakova managed to find interesting films that would be a pity to miss on the big screen.

Escape from Pretoria

  • Premiere: August 1.
  • Genre: thriller.
  • Producer: Francis Annan.
  • Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Daniel Webber, Ian Hart.

About what? Two political prisoners try to escape from a prison in South Africa.

Why watch? I don’t know if you like movies based on real events, but this one is just like that. Tim Jenkin was a political prisoner during the apartheid era, went to jail, escaped and wrote the book Inside Out: Escape from Pretoria Prison about it.

I’m more worried about something else: this year Harry Potter turned 40, and Daniel Radcliffe, who played him, is 31. He is already quite an adult, a wonderful versatile actor, and still in every film I expect him to pull out a magic wand and … although magic outside Hogwarts is still prohibited. I just mean that it’s hard for me to believe that someone with the face of a boy who survived will not be able to get out of prison. Even as creepy as the Pretoria prison.


My spy

  • Premiere: August 1.
  • Genre: comedy, family.
  • Producer: Peter Segal.
  • Cast: Dave Batista, Chloe Coleman, Kristen Schaal.

About what? A spy accidentally ends up on video with a nine-year-old girl who sets a condition: she will give him the tape if he teaches her spy tricks.

Why watch? I really want to return to normal life (although a return to the past is impossible): walk the streets freely, without fear of being fined for not wearing a mask, not recoiling in horror from a sneezed passerby, not thinking that at any moment the planet can be quarantined again. And, of course, watch a funny goofy movie in the company of children and their many noisy friends. This is where the main problem for a super spy like James Bond is some kind of recording in the hands of a schoolgirl with a smartphone.

The main role is played by Dave Batista, the famous wrestler, ex-WWE champion. I’m not a fan of wrestling, so I first saw him as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy and, honestly, had no idea what he looked like without makeup. It turns out to be about as impressive. In this film, he is also a producer: if you don’t like something, you can express it personally to him. If you are not afraid, of course.


Waiting for the Barbatians

  • Premiere: August 6.
  • Genre: drama.
  • Producer: Siro Herra.
  • Cast: Mark Railans, Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson.

About what? XIX century. In one of the colonies of the British Empire, attacks of barbarian tribes are expected. The cruel Colonel Joll arrives to repel them. But the city magistrate, a quiet and peaceful person, is against brutal methods. Their confrontation, of course, will be ruthless.

Why watch? The author of the book of the same name, John Coetzee, is a Nobel laureate in literature. On the basis of “Waiting for the Barbarians”, an opera was created, and now a movie, and the author of the script is the writer himself.

The film was already shown at the Venice Film Festival in 2019, but the worldwide release had to be postponed due to well-known events. Let’s see a good movie on the big screen? The film should capture not only the plot, but also the acting, as well as breathtaking views – the shooting took place in Morocco.


Furious / Unhinded

  • Premiere: August 6.
  • Genre: thriller.
  • Producer: Derek Borte.
  • Cast: Russell Crowe, Karen Pistorius, Jimmy Simpson.

About what? The usual road fight between a young mother and a lone driver escalates into a deadly battle. The offended driver will not stop until he ruins a woman’s life to the core.

Why watch? Recently I was literally cursed in the subway by a woman who thought that I was somehow looking at her wrong. I’m not complaining about it – I’m rather surprised at the disproportionate reaction. But it is like this now often, serious showdowns for minor reasons happen everywhere from social networks to entrances: the year we, frankly, turned out to be not the calmest.

Perhaps that is why I was attracted by this, in general, banal drama in terms of the plot. Perhaps a couple of years ago we would have said: well, nonsense, it doesn’t happen! And even Oscar winner Russell Crowe would not have convinced us. And now it seems – as it happens. Now this film is a reminder that even in the most desperate situation it makes sense at least to try to remain human before the irreparable happens.


The High Note

  • Premiere: August 6.
  • Genre: drama, musical, medical drama.
  • Producer: Niche Ganatra.
  • Cast: Dakota Johnson, Bill Pullman, Ice Cube, Down Rafael.

About what? The assistant of a famous singer dreams of becoming her producer. However, she not only does not believe in her – she does not even remember the name. But on the way to the dream, any means are good.

Why watch? Spiritual uplifting films about how a person walks, walks and eventually arrives at his dream are needed at all times. Anyway, for those who are achievement-oriented. Because if the conditional Maggie managed to break out of nameless assistants into respected music producers, then we will succeed.

You shouldn’t expect plot revelations from the film, but there is an interesting fact. Both performers of the main roles are children of not just stars, but of legends. Tracy Ellis Ross is the daughter of Diana Ross, Dakota Johnson is Melanie Griffith. The heroine of Dakota is even named Tess – in honor of the heroine of the film “Business Girl”, which brought her mother an Oscar nomination.

The daughters managed to emerge from the shadows of their super-famous mothers (Tracey-Ellis Ross was nominated for the Golden Globe, and Dakota Johnson’s world fame after her role as Anastacia in Fifty Shades of Gray), and nature did not rest on them.



  • Premiere: August 20.
  • Genre: thriller.
  • Producer: Rick Roman Waugh
  • Cast: Gerard Butler, Morgena Baccarin, Scott Glenn.

About what? A comet is flying to Earth, which is about to destroy all living things. The only way out is to hide in a bunker in Greenland. This is where our heroes are heading – an ordinary family.

Why watch? The jokes about the fact that this year of cataclysms are on schedule are not so funny after the arrival of the comet Neowise in July and the approach of a large asteroid to Earth in August.

Not that we needed disaster films to keep up. But we definitely need films – reminders that no matter what ends there, the most important thing is happening here and now. Hopefully, the filmmakers didn’t turn up a bunch of good actors just for a dumb ride.


Tesla / Tesla
  • Premiere: August 27
  • Genre: biography, drama, historical.
  • Producer: Michael Almereida
  • Cast: Ethan Hawke, Josh Hamilton, Kyle McLaughlin.

About what? Nikola Tesla invented the alternating current, radio, the world’s first robot, and the remote control. Without it, our world could be completely different. It is all the more interesting to see its history.

Why watch? Firstly, here is Ethan Hawke (whom the damned T9 in the last review changed everywhere into “Ivan” – as in a mockery of my admiration for his acting talent). Secondly, this is the story of Nikola Tesla, one of the coolest inventors in world history.

What would we do without electricity and robotics? After whom would Elon Musk name his supercar? And Tesla’s life itself is a ready-made script. He almost died of cholera, had to become a priest, was fond of gambling (he handed out the winnings to the losers), had a terrible fight with another inventor – Thomas Edison, invented a huge number of things that we cannot do without. He became the hero of pseudo-scientific myths and legends – in particular, there is a theory that the Tunguska meteorite is actually one of his unsuccessful (or successful?) Experiments.

And Tesla slept no more than two hours a day, was terrified of germs and, they say, knew how to predict the future. In a word, if you collect all the facts and mix them with legends, then we get not a real historical personality, but a superhero from the Marvel universe.



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