EVERYBODY’S MAKING WAVES
Mile 22, Disenchantment and Great Lake Swimmers stir things up, but each in their own distinctive way, Chris Lackner writes.
Big Releases on Aug. 17: Mile 22 Big Picture: Mark Wahlberg in action movies is like Bond, but with only half the charm, half the sophistication and half the wit. He’s like Bourne without the tortured identity crisis. And now he’s The Transporter with more hair (sorry, Jason Statham). But you have to hand it to Marky Mark. No matter what action hero he plays, Wahlberg always comes to work with the same brand of steely-eyed snark. In this outing, he’s James Silva, a CIA operative in a unit called Overwatch that officially doesn’t exist — and officially has the worst, dullest squad name since The Fantastic Four. As his character eloquently puts it, “We’re ghosts, but we’re very real. And we get (stuff ) done.” Silva is charged with transporting and extracting a prisoner with lifethreatening information before the enemy (everyone from fellow agents to corrupt cops and governments) ends both of their lives.
Forecast: I know —you were hoping this was a sequel to 8 Mile, too.
Big Events: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Aug. 17, Netflix); Disenchantment (Aug. 17, Netflix); The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (Space Aug. 19) Big Picture: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before finds Netflix staking out new turf: the teen rom-com. What happens when a girl secretly writes letters to her five crushes and then those notes are mysteriously sent to them? (I don’t know, but I sure hope it doesn’t happen to me — because the last thing I want to see when I get home after work is my wife chasing Jennifer Lawrence off the porch with a broom.) Disenchantment is a promising cartoon from Simpsons creator Matt Groening. Think Futurama, but for fantasy. A failed princess, a demon and an elf growing up in the Dark Ages. Given history and pop culture riffs, the comic opportunities could make for a never-ending story. Meanwhile, The Sharknado franchise is taking a last twirl. Fin (Ian Ziering) time travels through history via sharknados to eliminate the falling sharks once and for all. But if sharknados are his time machine vehicle and he stops them at their very outset, will this movie cease to exist? Some of you probably hope so. Others are ready to embrace to cheesy absurdity of it all. (Case in point: Fin apparently even takes a ride on Noah’s Ark.) Forecast: Disenchantment will cast a spell on viewers.
Big Releases on Aug. 17: Great Lake Swimmers (The Waves, The Wake); Death Cab for Cutie (Thank You For Today); Ariana Grande (Sweetener)
Big Picture: Death Cab for Cutie is alt-rock royalty and frontman Ben Gibbard is a king. No disenchantment expected with this dependable group. Meanwhile, Ariana Grande releases her fourth album Sweetener. (I can only assume the followup will be Two Sweeteners and One Cream.) Ariana’s effort promises a more mature sound ... with the help of guest appearances by Missy Elliott, Nicky Minaj and Pharrell Williams. Meanwhile, Canadian folk heroes Great Lake Swimmers dive into woodwind instrumentals on their latest album, which was recorded in a 145-year-old church in London, Ont. Speaking of spells, lead singer Dekker says the group became “disenchanted with the sound of the standard acoustic guitar” during the writing and recording process. (No guitar? What!? That’s like Drake giving up singing in a listless monotone.)
Forecast: The battle is close, but music lovers are better off swimming in a great lake than riding a death cab.
John Malkovich, left, with Chae-rin Lee, is one of the good guys (we think) in the action thriller Mile 22.
Simpsons creator Matt Groening brings his brand of dark humour to the Dark Ages with his new animated fairy tale, Disenchantment.