AJFF Recommends: What to Watch in August


From the big screen to the small, we have some ideas about what to watch this month. Among our recommendations is a Nazi thriller, a remake of a classic, Seth Rogan's raunchy new animated film, and two films screened at AJFF, including one from this past year. 

In Theatres

The 1959 version of this film starring Charleton Heston won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture; but this is actually the fourth time the film has been remade since its conception from the 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace. When asked about remaking the classic tale about a betrayed Jewish prince, director Timur Bekmambetov had this to say, "The Ben-Hur story reminds me of Romeo and JulietHamlet, and any story written by Chekhov. It is timeless, so every new generation wants to go back to it in order to adapt it for the new world."

Sausage Party
You'll have to see it to believe it but Variety is not the only fan of this film that they're calling the "R-Rated Inside Out". This animated film about one sausage's mission to discover the truth about his existence has a star studded Jewish cast including Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, and Nick Kroll. 

50 Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan takes on a new role in this historical thriller that follows the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the World War II mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich in December of 1941.


Big Daddy
If you need an Adam Sandler fix, then it's time to re-watch this 1999 comedy starring Adam Sandler, Jon Stewart pre-Daily Show, and the rest of Sandler's ensemble in another version of Adam Sandler needing to grow up and find love, here under the guise of trying to be a father. You might also note that happily, as McDonald's now serves breakfast all-day, the McDonald's freak-out scene is no longer relevant though no less humorous now as a reminder of the way things used to be. 

No Country For Old Men
Jewish filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, directed, wrote, and edited this 2007 Western thriller about a drug deal gone wrong near the Rio Grande based on the 2005 novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four of them. 

DVD & Blu-Ray

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong 
A favorite of the 2016 AJFF, the film is a charming fish-out-of-water romance, starring real life couple Bryan Greenberg and Jamie Chung, with stunning visuals and sparkling banter. Writer and director Emily Ting also discussed the film at the festival

Little White Lie
You might remember this one from the 2015 AJFF about a Harvard Law School graduate who unravels a life-long facade of family secrets and betrayal in order to come to terms with her true origins through candid interviews with loved ones, and the memories within home movies and photos. The film explores in very personal terms larger questions of race, redemption and self-discovery.