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August Movies

By on August 17, 2011

Apes on the move, a few Gleeks, and some Spy Kids are on tap for August. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD/Blu-ray.

By Jane Louise Boursaw


Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 8/5. Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.

The apes look frighteningly real in this remake of 1972’s ‘Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.’ That’s because the special effects and CGI apes were created by the genius minds at Weta Digital, the crew behind ‘Avatar’ and ‘Lord of the Rings.’ It’s present day San Francisco, and man’s experiments with genetic engineering lead to super-smart apes who don’t plan on kicking back with a few bananas. Instead, they wage war against humanity. This movie’s already taken some flack based on the trailer (if an ape is jumping towards a helicopter, how about just move the ‘copter over a few feet?), but the CG effects really are stunning. Directed by Rupert Wyatt, it stars James Franco, Tom Felton, John Lithgow, and Andy Serkis (Gollum from ‘Lord of the Rings’) as Caesar the Ape.


Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 8/12. Ok for kids 9+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.

Couldn’t get tickets to Glee’s North American tour? Here’s your chance to see it on the big screen in 3D (you’ll feel like you’re right there! Maybe…). Starring 14 members of the award-winning show’s cast and shot live during the summer tour, this movie includes performances of ‘Teenage Dream,’ ‘Get it Right,’ and the show’s anthem, ‘Don’t Stop Believin,’ among others. Lots of fun for Gleeks and music lovers.


PG-13 for thematic material. In theaters 8/12. Ok for kids 13+. Reel Preview: 4.5 out of 5 Reels.

Based on the best-selling book by Kathryn Stockett, this touching film stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen, and Octavia Spencer as Minny – three very different women in 1960s Mississippi who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. The result? A remarkable sisterhood that gives them the courage to cross societal lines and bring the town face-to-face with the changing times. If you think a few people can’t make a big difference, this movie will offer some hope.


PG for mild action and rude humor. In theaters 8/19. Ok for kids 8+.

Reel Preview: 2.5 out of 5 Reels.

These ‘Spy Kids’ movies have gotten worse with each sequel, but maybe there’s hope for this one. Directed by Robert Rodriguez (who helmed the previous three films), it stars Jessica Alba as Marissa Cortez Wilson, a woman who unbeknownst to her famous spy hunting reporter husband (Joel McHale), is actually a retired secret agent. Marissa is called back into action — along with her bickering ten-year-old twin step kids — when the maniacal Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to take over the planet. With the help of famous Spy Kids Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara), the group attempts to restore order to the world. Of course, there will be plenty of awesome gadgets, along with cool cast mates Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo, and Ricky Gervais.



PG for mild off color humor.

On DVD/Blu-ray 8/2. Ok for kids 6+.

4 out of 5 Reels.

Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg) is a domesticated macaw from small-town Minnesota who ends up in Rio de Janeiro in order to keep his species going. The bird he’s supposed to connect with is the fiercely independent Jewel (Anne Hathaway), but of course, it’s not love at first sight. Still, the birds find a way to work together and take down a few poachers in the process. Little kids will like the cute characters and colorful settings, and grownups will like the snappy music, cultural references, strong female characters, and environmental message about saving endangered species. Win-win.


PG for sci-fi action and peril. On DVD/Blu-ray 8/9. Ok for kids 7+.

2.5 out of 5 Reels.

Young Milo (voiced by Seth Green) is a typical kid, acting up and getting miffed about having to take out the trash. But when his mom (Joan Cusack) is kidnapped by Martians, Milo realizes he has to hop aboard that space ship and rescue his mom. Thus begins one kid’s intergalactic adventure and friendship with Gribble (Dan Fogler), a chubby human with a cobbled-together space station on the Red Planet. When I reviewed the theatrical version  I said to wait for the DVD. It’s that time now, and I think it IS worthy of a rental if your kids like space-action movies with cool special effects.


Not rated. On DVD 8/9. Ok for kids 3+.

4 out of 5 Reels.

This DVD from the popular Wiggles features the sweet sound of ukuleles and palm trees in the distance. Also, America’s favorite weatherman, Al Roker from NBC’s ‘Today Show,’ is featured on the song ‘Thank You, Mr. Weatherman!’ There’s a reason why The New York Times calls The Wiggles, “the band that rocks the cradle” and why their performances in New York City, London and their hometown of Sydney, Australia are always sold out. It’s good, clean fun for little ones.


Rated G. On DVD 9/23. Ok for kids 5+.

4 out of 5 Reels.

This “midquel” was released in 2006, but hits the shelves now in a Special Edition with plenty of bonus features. It actually takes places in the middle of the original film’s story, beginning soon after the death of Bambi’s mom. Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to re-live that trauma, as there are only gentle references to her passing. Bambi (voiced by Alexander Gould, ‘Finding Nemo’) is left to the care of his father, the Great Prince (Patrick Stewart) who faces the difficult task of raising a son while silently mourning his own loss. But weighty matters give way to springtime in the forest and charming scenes of the forest friends’ lessons in bravery. A strong soundtrack includes tunes by Martina McBride, Michelle Lewis, Alison Krauss, and Anthony Callea.


One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.

Two Reels – Coulda been a contender

Three Reels – Something to talk about.

Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!

Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is a family entertainment writer specializing in movies, TV and celebrities. Syndicate her family movie and TV reviews in your publication; visit her at; follow her on; become a friend on; email

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