Armie Hammer Feature

Some Movies to See this Weekend, August 14, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015 Rob Samuelson

It's a slower weekend, quantity-wise, than we've seen recently. The quality level, though, may be on the higher end of the spectrum, if some of the early word on both movies turns out to be true. With that in mind, let's see what's in store for us this weekend.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram, Jeff Kleeman, David C. Wilson
Starring: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki

You know who's really good looking? The entire cast of this movie. That appears to be at least part of the point of this ode to '60s television and James Bond, in which secret agents fight, then team up, then bicker a little before beating the real enemy. That's a straightforward plot and it's more than okay to go ahead with it, because the movie will butter its bread with how well the performers can push the “charming” and “witty” buttons while punching people and zip lining over the Berlin Wall.

Plus it's directed by Guy Ritchie, who is a nifty little action filmmaker I will forever associate with putting Jason Statham in a silly long-hair wig.

Straight Outta Compton
Director: F. Gary Gray
Writers: Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus
Starring: O'Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr.

I won't pretend that I know a bunch about the history of N.W.A. But I'll tell you, that trailer has me curious to learn more. As all biopics are, it will likely be overly simplified from reality, with some heavy “our heroes vs. the world” symbolism. But the hip-hop group was part of the culture that the government felt it just had to censor with the music rating system, lest the youth fall into a state of misbehavior. So it really is them against a big enemy trying to make them be quiet. That's powerful stuff well worth celebrating. Hopefully it doesn't go too far into hagiography like most biopics do, but for some reason I think it will mostly avoid those traps.  

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