August has somehow managed to avoid losing steam entirely before Summer comes to its actual close, until now anyway. This weekend descends pretty deeply into what we've come to expect from this last month of the hot season, which is crass action, cash-out comedy, and amateur horror. Leading the pack is "Premium Rush", the bicycle action flick which honestly caught my interest slightly on the mention of Michael Shannon, but seems to have fizzled out. It's likely to be the main attraction this weekend, especially considering Joseph Gordon-Levitt's recent credentials as "Robin", but I wouldn't expect fruitful returns.
Even less enthusiastic is "The Apparition", a scare-of-the-week pic starring Tom Felton and Ashley Greene of "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" fame, respectively. Don't expect either of those to be enough to drag people into the theaters. Lastly on the mainstream end is "Hit and Run", which I had the painful misfortune of catching a trailer for. The thing that caught my eye most was the insistent hashtag in the corner of the screen. We have prosaically found rock bottom for the medium of cinematic promotion. The action-comedy has already tanked its opening day without even clearing $1 million. I'd expect a weekend take that doesn't even reach $5 million.
There's considerably more happening on indie end, as per usual. One is Sundance comedy "Sleepwalk with Me" from comedian Mike Birbiglia, which seems to be leaning very much on a standup aesthetic of comedy. It promises to be rather funny, but there's the worry that it won't emotionally translate beyond where most indie comedies have this summer. Also of interest is "Samsara", a 70 mm shot documentary which uses the medium to flaunt the visual mastery of the landscapes. Top of my list for this weekend is "Little White Lies", a French film starring Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin which debuted at London Film Festival nearly two years ago. It finally reaches US theaters this weekend.