Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Film School Rejects article: 5 Modern Gems Released During the Dumping Ground That is the Last Half of August

It’s that time of year. School is mere weeks away from starting up again, the biggest blockbusters have had their bows, and the studio releases are transitioning to the distribution equivalent of tossing an old couch on the curb to make room for the new one. May, June and July (and let’s be honest, now April) bring the big crowd pleasers. The last two weeks of summer herald the arrival of the “Everything Must Go” Sales before fall sends us into Oscar bait prestige pictures.

 Don’t believe me? The slate for the next two weeks includes Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, a sequel that’s arriving at least five years too late; Are You Here, the directorial debut of Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner that garnered early reviews in the exact opposite tone of his acclaimed show; Jessabelle, a release from the Blumhouse factory that’s not getting a plum horror spot, so you know it’s good; and The November Man, an entry in the very neglected genre of CIA agents dragged back into the game because “this time it’s personal!”

It’s generally an accepted fact that if a movie is set for the dog days of August, the studio has less confidence in it than Taylor Swift’s latest beau does of being the one guy she dates who doesn’t end up inspiring a song.

 But every now and then, conventions are made to be broken.

Read the rest of my article over at Film School Rejects to find out which five films I consider to be the modern classics released during this dumping period.


  1. Note to self: Add more films to the must-watch list. Amazing how these things sneak up and bite you when you aren't looking!

  2. Great list of films that were released in an August of years gone by. But I don't consider it a 'dumping ground'. Could I add a few more?

    Blade (August 1009)

    and now...hang on to your hats...here's a list---
    The Full Monty, GI Jane, Copland and Mimic all mid August of 1997.

    Usual Suspects (1995)

    The Fly. Manhunter, and Stand By Me (1986) True, Manhunter wasn't a hit, but it got more attention as time went by.

    Those are just off the top of my head.

    1. The 1986 films might be old enough that they predate the practice, but as for the other films, some of them were definitely seen as quiet executions for films no one had much expectation for.

      Take it from someone who combed through the last 15 years of August releases - the "August dump" is absolutely real.