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Movies Not to Miss: What to watch this August

We are finally in the final month of the summer blockbuster season, but it won't be going out without a bang. Closing up this year's array of action-packed blockbusters are some of the biggest men, woman and turtles that would be blowing up the screen, but if you are into local movies, the flavour of the month is "Adnan Sempit Sawadikap".

If you already had enough of the guns blazing or bladed weapons flaring for this year, it would be good to know that this month's adrenaline pumped releases are uncharacteristically balanced by some estrogen-inducing romances for the couples. In the meantime, some potential award contenders are already making an early entry to the cinemas this month, which would be appreciated as appetizers to unwind your tension coils when the award season comes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In a city overrun by crime, violence and fear, a new clutch of heroes have emerged from the sewers to bring justice and peace. When reporter April O'Neil finally records a clip of these hard shelled vigilantes, the true villains of the city are out to put an end to the age of heroes. 

Returning to the big screen after more than two decades of absence, the heroes in a half shell are given a facelift with new motion capture technology and the distinguished destruction from Michael Bay. But before you go throwing your toxic hate at Bay for destroying another of your childhood heroes, While Bay's hand in this is prevalent, keep in mind that the proceeding of things would be directed by Jonathan Liebesman, who last directed 2012's "Wrath of the Titans". If you haven't had enough of Bayhem from last month's "Transformers: Age of Extinction", this is where you will get your next dose with more to come, or you are just there for Megan Fox. 

General Release Date: 7 August

Into the Storm

The town of Silverton finds itself at the mercy of several tornadoes that ravages everything in their path. While some run for their lives to seek shelter from the inevitable, others head towards the eye of the vortex to capture this once-in-a-lifetime event, to complete the picture of an unprecedented disaster on camera. 

Found footage releases have been consistently made its way into the release schedule throughout all summer. While some are already on well-trodden grounds of the sci-fi or horror variety, "Into the Storm" breaks new ground by merging it with the disaster movie. The result of this new perspective is one that feels fresh for those who can stomach being whirled around the shaky visuals, but this is certainly one you need to hold onto your seats and get blown away by the Dolby Atmos. 

General Release Date: 7 August

The Expendables 3

When a once ruthless arms-dealer and co-founder of The Expendables team comes howling for the blood of Barney, the team is endangered to put an end to its past for good. Meanwhile, Barney is planning to add in some young blood into the aging team, as a new clash between the old-school and the tech savvy is erupting between the members. 

The testosterone overloaded tough guys are back and ready for their roll call. Other than the revered veterans who have appeared in the last expeditions, "The Expendables 3" have brought in Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson, (with Jet Li quietly returning) to relive their action star days, as they chewing their way through bad guys with references until they are out of bumble gum. Even if you had somehow watched the leaked version that have been circulating online, there's nothing that can replace watching all the destruction, stunts and explosions in its full glory at the cinema. So do yourself a favor and expend a few more bucks for that experience. 

General Release Date: 14 August

Coming Home

Separated after being arrested as a political prisoner, Lu Yanshi returns home during the end of the Cultural Revolution to find that his wife, Feng Wanyu, had forgotten about him after suffering from amnesia, while she continues to wait for her husband's return. In order to rekindle her memory of the past, Lu decides to relive the past with her to let her know that he has finally come home. 

Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Yan Geling, this is the second adaptation done by director Zhang Yimou who had previously adapted Yan's "Flowers of War". This story of separation, set during the painful years of China's Cultural Revolution, is one that has been lived through by Zhang himself and it would be the reunion film for him with actress Gong Li, who hasn't made a film with him since "Curse of the Golden Flower". Coupled with Chinese veteran actor Chen Daoming, expect this to be a performance-driven showcase not to be missed if you love Chinese cinema. 

General Release Date: 21 August


Having ingested a new type of drug while acting as a drug mule for the underworld, a battered Lucy wakes up to find that she has a heighten level of cognitive abilities that is unlocked by her brain's new capacity.

Luc Besson may be known more for producing some of the junk food of action movies in recent years (The "Taken" series, "Colombiana"), but he has never quite top his best works with strong female characters since the 1980s. Lucy is set to join the ranks of Besson's femme fatales from "La Femme Nikita", "Leon: The Professional" and "The Fifth Element", and there is almost nothing more we can ask for than to have Scarlett Johansson put the beat-down on criminals. If "The Expendables 3" has too much muscle for your action, then you can wait to catch this one instead for a woman's touch. 

General Release Date: 21 August

The Hundred Foot Journey

Madame Mallory is the queen of culinary delights of her little town in southern France and runs her empire from her restaurant. When a displaced family from India moves in to open up their own Indian cuisine restaurant just a hundred feet away from Mallory's, they earn the French lady's ire that will begin a journey with the taste of both worlds. 

Based on the best-selling book by Richard C. Morais, this adaptation has long been heralded as a must see since it was announced. Produced with the strong backings of Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, written by Steven Knight (who directed last month's "Locke") and led by Academy-winning actress Helen Mirren, this story would be more of a delicious delight than a sap from director Lasse Hallstrom. Whether it would have any award potential remains to be seen, but on paper this one has the makings of it for an early entry. 

General Release Date: 28 August

Cafe Waiting Love

Si-Ying is a part-time worker at the Cafe Waiting Love, where she works for the tomboyish Abusi and is infatuated with Ze Yu; a frequent customer at the cafe. Finding camaraderie with her college senior A Tou, who visits the cafe to court Abusi, the two college mates develop a friendship as they find their way into their own love life before coming to know who they really need. 

There are a surprising number of romance dramas and comedies for the last month of manly mayhem (see "Break Up 100" and "Wedding Palace"), and "Cafe Waiting Love" slightly stands out because it is based on Gidden Ko's "You Are the Apple of My Eyes", that was also the material for the 2011 hit Taiwanese romance dramedy. Although not directed by Gidden this time around, the trailer for "Cafe Waiting Love" seem to hit the beats of friendships, heartbreaks and love for a romantic outing if you are a coffee lover, or still waiting for the one. 

General Release Date: 28 August

The Signal

When MIT student Nic awakens after a confrontation in the desert, they are interrogated in captivity about their experience with the Signal. As Nic tries to recall the incident from the past, he must make a decision that will change his life. 

Premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival, "The Signal" is the latest unconventional sci-fi to have come out from the festival in the likes of "Safety Not Guaranteed" and "Upstream Colour". While the trailer is mostly discreet about its plot, it contains enough metaphorical fimmaking, mixed in with a little action, to be intriguing if you are a supporter of indie filmmakers, particularly of the unorthodox sci-fi genre. 

General Release Date: 28 August

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