With the state of the film and television industry in disarray, as the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes continue to ensure better pay and treatment for writers and actors, the future theatrical release schedule continues to shift. While certain fall releases have already been pushed, August has remained largely untouched. With plenty of festival favorites making their way to the big screen along with heavy-hitting tent poles such as “Blue Beetle,” the month ahead offers an eclectic bunch of releases. With such an array of titles and genres, it will be interesting to see if sequels and spinoffs continue to face lessened interest as original titles such as July’s “Barbie” continue to triumph.
“TMNT: Mutant Mayhem”
Directed by Jeff Rowe and co-director Kyler Spears and written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Rowe, Dan Hernandez, and Benji Samit, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” keeps the pop culture fixture alive. The film follows the four turtle brothers as they venture out into the world after having been kept hidden while growing up in an effort to be accepted by society. Our critic wrote, “In this movie’s wise deconstruction of its characters, “Mutant Mayhem” does the seemingly impossible and makes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cool again.”
Release Date: In theaters August 2 via Paramount Pictures.
“Meg 2: The Trench”
Jason Stratham takes on a giant shark again in “Meg 2: The Trench.” “Free Fire” and “High Rise” director Ben Wheatley steps in for the sequel as Stratham’s Jonas Taylor leads a research team into the ocean’s depths. The result is a mission that forces them into a survival game against prehistoric sharks. The film stars Wu Jing, Sophia Cai, Page Kennedy, Sergio Peris-Mencheta, Skyler Samuels, and Cliff Curtis (read our review).v
Release Date: In theaters August 4 via Warner Bros. Pictures.
Actor Randall Park makes the jump to director in his debut feature film “Shortcomings” starring Justin H. Min (“After Yang”), Ally Maki (“Hacks”), and Sherry Cola (“Joy Ride.”) The film based on the graphic novel by Adrian Tomine, follows three individuals as they navigate their relationships, their own egos, and the ability to find connections in the modern day. The film premiered at this year’s Sundance, where our critic wrote, “‘Shortcomings’ is an accomplished debut, a profoundly perceptive movie that challenges the status-quo in small, rewarding ways.
Release Date: In theaters August 4 via Sony Pictures Classics.
The recently rated NC-17 “Passages” made a splash at its Sundance debut earlier this year. Directed by Ira Sachs (“Little Men,” “Love is Strange”) and starring the formidable acting trio of Franz Rogowski, Ben Whishaw, and Adèle Exarchopoulos, the film follows what happens when one half of a long-term couple — played by Rogowski and Whishaw — has an affair with a woman, played by Exarchopoulos. Our critic praised the film, writing, “Adroit casting, writing, editing, performing and costuming shade the outline of an affair to a finely sharpened emotional realism, the cycles of fighting and reconciling we’ve all seen before regaining in rawness as if we’re now the ones living through it.”
Release Date: In theaters August 4 via Mubi.