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Published July 21st 2016
Ab-Fab Moms, Superheroes, a pair of Dogs and a Burger?
After 2 months, our federal election is almost over as the AEC shuffles the last giant ballot papers. While the US presidential race bombards us with Hillary vs. Donald headlines, we can escape into the film worlds premiering in cinemas throughout Australia. As the lights dim and the movie begins, gently remind any avid gamers to switch off their phones as Pokemon Go and immersive cinema don't mix. In August, comedies are king but unstable superheroes and a junk-food juggernaut are joining us on the silver screen. Read on to discover the best movies premiering in Australia in August 2016.
Absolutely Fabulous The Movie (image by Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Suicide Squad – August 4
In 1967, The Dirty Dozen premiered, featuring 12 criminals offered clemency if they attempted a suicidal mission against the Nazis during WW2. Their exploits, based on a true story, led to dozens of remakes and sequels exploiting the challenges of the anti-hero. In 2016, the premise receives the comic-book treatment with Suicide Squad. The new gang of criminals fighting for freedom include The Joker, the giggling nemesis of Batman, played by Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club, Fight Club, Panic Room, Requiem for a Dream) after Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger excelled as the evil clown and Harley Quinn, a dysfunctional psychiatrist, played by Aussie star Margot Robbie (Neighbours, The Legend of Tarzan, The Wolf of Wall Street, Z for Zachariah). Will Smith (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness, Bad Boys, Fresh Prince of Bel Air) joins the crew as Deadshot, a mercenary assassin. The fictional world is in the DC Comics universe so Batman (Ben Affleck – Argo, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) makes an imposing cameo.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie – August 4 24 years ago, 2 women in Britain hit our televisions as they partied in a haze of drugs and alcohol, recovering from the chaos of their scandalous antics. After their adventures became reality in America with the Kardashians, the original and the best return with a feature film. Embarrassing themselves at a fashion party resembling a scene from Zoolander, the pair attempt to flee the onslaught of aggressive paparazzi. Escaping in style, they join the rich and famous on the French Rivera to continue their endless life of excess without consequence. Jennifer Saunders (French and Saunders, Shrek 2) and Joanna Lumley (The New Avengers, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Maybe Baby, The Wolf of Wall Street) are back as Edina and Patsy, joined by Aussie star, Rebel Wilson (Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect) and over 60 over celebs making cameos.
Bad Moms (image by STX Entertainment)
Bad Moms – August 11 Hangover, the 2009 comedy hit featuring 3 friends recovering from a big night out, beating Beverly Hills Cop as one of the top-grossing R-rated comedies. After a pair for sequels, the writers are looking to beat the Hangover headache with the antics of a trio of females in Bad Moms. Overworked, these mums, Mila Kunis (Ted), Kristen Bell (The Boss) and Kathryn Hahn (Tomorrowland) need downtime. Perhaps inspired by the Absolutely Fabulous parenting guide, they party and indulge until chaos ensues. Trying to restore order, Christina Applegate (Vacation) parodies the absurd life coach with her cult of perfect mums tut-tutting in response.
The Chilcot Report, published in the UK in July, highlighted some of the issues of the 2003 Iraq War. America's ventures into Afghanistan also deserve a careful review from the comfortable armchair of hindsight. In America's military epicentre, the Pentagon, civilians were contracted to negotiate with Afghani locals, giving them with weapons to forcibly sway political momentum. Rather than endure thousands of pages of an official report, War Dogs captures the inane antics as a situation becomes more and more outlandish and an exit strategy becomes too embarrassing to contemplate. Jonah Hill (21 Jump Street, Moneyball, Knocked Up, The Wolf of Wall Street), often skipping between comedic and dramatic roles, joins Miles Teller, still sore from his drum solo in Whiplash, in this dramatic comedy with a few thrills, directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Due Date, Old School).
The Founder (image by The Weinstein Company)
The Founder – August 25 McDonalds, home of the dominating Big Mac, became a staple in the diets of billions since the first burgers and fries were devoured in the 1950s. Since those nostalgic times, the fast-food franchise has spread, cheered as a beacon of American values when Russians queued for hours to try the decadent western comfort food. The diabetes epidemic caused from giant quantities of processed food and drink, has tarnished the shiny plastic golden arches as hungry diners discover daily doses of comfort food puts us in uncomfortable hospital beds. Michael Keaton, previously the frenetic star of Beetlejuice, Batman, Night Shift and The Paper, was almost unrecognisable as the Birdman. After Spotlight, he's back as Ray Kroc, the cunning salesman grabbing the McDonald's burger diner and creating a billion-dollar franchising empire.