'The Bourne Legacy,' 'The Campaign' are two movies to look for in August

'Premium Rush' and other upcoming releases mean the end of summer may hold some of the season's biggest movies.

Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters
'The Campaign' stars Zach Galifianakis (l.) and Will Ferrell (r.).

We're more than halfway through 2012, and many of the year's biggest releases have already arrived; but that doesn't mean things have slowed down at the multiplex. In fact, August offers up an exciting and eclectic mix of films, and our list of highly-anticipated movies this month is even longer than the one we did last month, which was dominated by big superhero releases.

In August, Jeremy Renner takes command in a new Bourne movie, while an Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi/action film gets remade with Colin Farrell in the lead. Add to that an Expendables sequel that offers up a killer cast (including Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme), and we're in for one hell of a month at the movies.

With that in mind, here's our list of the 10 movies we're looking forward to seeing in August 2012.

August 3rd: 'Total Recall'

In 1990, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred with Sharon Stone in the blockbuster action film Total Recall . The movie focused on a man who seeks to import false memories into his mind and inadvertently realizes that the life he's living is a complete lie. Now, the film has been remade with Colin Farrell starring alongside Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale.

From what we can tell, the remakes hews closer to the original source material than its predecessor and features a more serious tone. Additionally, as Rob Keyes' report from the set notes, the special effects and the technology look to be far more impressive in this version.
It's been twenty-two years since the original arrived, so many youngsters might not be familiar with it and that gives the remake a fighting chance. To take a look at what's in store for the film, make sure you check out its latest trailer.

August 10th: 'The Bourne Legacy'

After three Bourne films starring Matt Damon in the title role, Jeremy Renner takes over the reins of the franchise in The Bourne Legacy. Although his character- Aaron Cross- doesn't know Jason Bourne, the two characters are very similar. They were both involved in a secret government project that the CIA is eager to hide from the public at large.

Damon has served as the face of the franchise, so it will be interesting to see if Renner will live up to expectations and prolong the series. If he succeeds, and a fifth film is made, it's possible that Damon will join Renner in that new chapter.

If you're interested to see Renner try to pull off the main role, check out the film's trailer for a preview of the action.

August 10th: 'The Campaign'

Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis offer viewers a respite from politics as usual with their new comedy, The Campaign. The film focuses on a Congressional race that pits an arrogant incumbent (Ferrell) against a naive political newcomer (Galifianakis). Jay Roach, who previously directed the outrageous Austin Powers films and the television movies Recount and Game Change, could be the perfect person to helm a comedy that mixes outrageous gags with a political story.

Ferrell and Galifianakis both have solid comedic credentials but it's difficult to create a political comedy that appeals to a broad audience. Will this movie live up to its potential or will it just serve as another disappointing comedy with a solid cast like The Watch did last month? We'll have to wait to find out.

Click here to see the trailer to see if this political film is worthy of your vote.

August 17th: 'The Expendables 2'

In 2010, Sylvester Stallone starred with Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and other tough guy actors in the throwback actioner The Expendables. This year, the team is back in The Expendables 2, which promises to feature more intense action and more stars. With Chuck Norris, Liam Hemsworth, and Jean-Claude Van Damme on board, the movie could be an even bigger hit than its predecessor.

At the film's Comic-Con panel, Stallone noted that this sequel surpasses the original in every way - a sentiment that star Terry Crews previously noted.

Truthfully? It's hard not to  get excited based on the trailer alone.

August 17th: 'Paranorman'

The stop-motion animated film Paranorman tells the story of a young boy who can speak to the dead and is forced to save his town from a threatening curse. At the film's Comic-Con panel, writer Chris Butler noted that the feature is a "zombie movie for kids." Even though the film does feature a few scary elements, the directors said during their discussion that the PG film is suitable for kids over seven or eight years old.

The movie's voice cast includes talented youngsters like Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Kodi Smit-McPhee.  And with the dearth of quality family films this summer, Paranorman could end up being a surprise hit.

You can check out the trailer here.

August 24th: 'Premium Rush'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who last month played a major supporting role in The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), returns to theaters in the new thriller Premium Rush. He plays a bike courier who is given a mysterious message that he has to transport across the city.  Man of Steel Actor Michael Shannon co-stars as a crooked cop who is trying to prevent that message from being delivered.

The trailer promises plenty of action and thrills on bicycles, and Gordon-Levitt has proven adept at choosing quality roles (i.e., 50/50, Inception and TDKR). The concept, however, may not seem that exciting for some viewers, so the movie will likely have to prove itself early on in order to make a splash at the box office.

One of its greatest assets, however, is director/screenwriter David Koepp. Koepp is responsible for writing Mission: Impossible (19966), and B-movie thrillers like Stir of Echoes (1999), and Secret Window (2004), so this film could further cement his reputation in Hollywood...

August 24th: 'The Apparition'

Ashley Greene, who plays Alice Cullen in the Twilight series, stars in The Apparition, a new horror film about nightmares becoming a reality. The story focuses on Greene's character and her boyfriend struggling with their worst fears coming  true after a college experiment goes wrong. Tom Felton, who previously starred in the Harry Potter series and The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, co-stars as an expert seeking to prevent the fears from destroying all of their lives.

The movie's trailer holds promise and Felton's short resume shows that he knows how to choose quality projects. The film's PG-13 rating is surprising, given the subject matter, but the film could prove to be worthwhile if it conjures up the scares and thrills that have so often been missing from the theater this year.

August 24th: 'Hit and Run'

In Hit and Run, real-life lovebirds Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell star as a couple on the run after Shepard's criminal past catches up with them.  Shepard, who wrote the screenplay, also co-directed the comedy with previous collaborator David Palmer.

The film, which promises viewers  a blend of action and comed,y features a strong supporting cast. Bradley Cooper (who is barely recognizable) plays Shepard's former accomplice who recently served time in jail and is looking for Shepard to pay him back for the... ahem, 'pain and suffering' he endured behind bars. Additionally, Tom Arnold, Beau Bridges and Kristin Chenoweth play smaller roles in the movie.

If Hit and Run sounds intriguing, check out the film's trailers to see if the new comedy is worth running to the theaters to see.

August 31st: 'Lawless'

Based on the book The Wettest County in the World, the new movie Lawless features an exciting cast of new and young actors. Guy Pearce, Shia LaBeouf, and Jessica Chastain star in the film alongside Gary Oldman and Tom Hardy, who were last seen together in The Dark Knight Rises.

The violent film - which is based on a true story - focuses on three troubled brothers who are involved in the alcohol bootlegging business in the early 1900s. The trailer definitely looks promising and the all-star cast could make this one of the most intriguing movies of the year.

Also, Lawless will be John Hillcoat's first feature since The Road (2009), so this movie has some serious talent behind the scenes that could make  it one to remember.

August 31st: 'The Possession'

In The Possession, Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars as a father whose daughter becomes possessed after a mysterious box comes into the family's hands. Morgan stars in the horror flick alongside Kyra Sedgwick and Madison Davenport.

Although  the movie hasn't received much publicity, it has potential as a psychological thriller - and with producer Sam Raimi behind the scenes, the movie could be better than expected. Will the film exceed expectations and show horror film fans a story that they've been missing?

Decide for yourself by checking out the trailer here.

July might have been a huge month at the box office, but August promises to be a big one as well. Two franchises could prove their longevity this month, while one film could show Hollywood if the public's appetite for remakes is still alive and well.

John Hanlon blogs at Screen Rant.

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