It’s the first day of August, so as far as Hollywood is concerned, summer’s over. The blockbusters of yore (Iron ManIndiana JonesPrince Caspian, etc.) have all been shuffled into theaters, had their huge opening weekends, and been shuffled out so that they can be released on DVD as soon as possible. Now we’re left with the dregs: the blockbusters that would have been. But there’s still fun to be had. This week we get a super-cheap horror flick, an over-the-top adventure, and a couple of character-driven oddities. Could I complain? Sure. But will I? Not at all (unless it’s funny)…

The Midnight Meat Train
This one tops my list for one reason only: it’s going straight to second-run theaters. Will it be great? Probably not, but for a buck or two, you could do a lot worse. This indedpendent horror flick based on Clive Barker’s 1984 short story tells the tale of a photographer trying to track down a serial killer known as the “Subway Butcher” in L.A. Plus, your mom won’t approve of the title. You can’t go wrong here.

Recommended if you liked Cape Fear, Perfect Blue, or Seven

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
After Stephen Sommers brought us The Mummy and The Mummy Returns,I was kind of hoping that Joel Schumacher would take over the franchise and bring us The Mummy Forever. (Ha! A little Batman humor for all you fanboys out there. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.) Instead, we get Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious) and a new mummy — this time Chinese instead of Egyptian. Which makes me wonder: shouldn’t the title be AMummy? Or does “The Mummy” refer to whatever the producers want it to? Sort of like “The Thin Man”? Hmmm. Anyway, this looks like a fun action/adventure flick. Just check your brain at the door.

Recommended if you can’t wait ten years for The Mummy Begins (oh man, I crack myself up).

Swing Vote
Girl registers her politically apathetic father to vote. Father goes and votes, due to her constant prodding. Due to a computer error, his vote is not counted. Turns out that the entire election depends on his state, and the state is deadlocked. In other words, the country is all holding their breath to see whom one man — the one who doesn’t care about politics — will say he voted for. Am I holding my breath along with them? Meh. (Please note: film features both Nathan Lane and Kelsey Grammer, and therefore might be slightly awesome.)

Recommended if you know absolutely nothing about how the American electoral process works

Brideshead Revisited
This is kind of embarrassing, but I majored in English, and this is supposedly one of the greatest English novels ever written, but I’ve barely even heard of it. I know it’s previously been fodder for BBC’s series of boring-beyond-belief literary adaptations, but that’s about it. According to Wikipedia, the book deals with “what is theologically termed ‘the operation of Grace’, that is to say, the unmerited and unilateral act of love by which God continually calls souls to Himself.” Aside from that, I think it’s about people falling in love and dying. Well, now you all know how ignorant I am. Can we still be friends?

Recommended if you liked Pride and Prejudice, A Very Long Engagement, or anything that’s six hours long and has been on BBC

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