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Top Customer Reviews
Weaving an unmistakable atmosphere of gloom over the story of an arrogant dot-commer attempting to keep his dying company afloat several months after most other such companies have collapsed, director Austin Chick elevates August into quite a little modern tragedy; it was panned by critics but between the electric performance by David Bowie in the film's final act, a wonderfully sour Rip Torn, and the aforementioned direction by Chick there is a great deal to like in this already-forgotten picture
The casting choices also peaked my interest with David Bowie, Rip Torn, Chirqui and Naomie Harris. Josh Hartnett plays the CEO of an Internet company going through significant financial troubles. He plays the front of the future being extremely bright and everything being OK, even though his company should have been folding yesterday. Especially once the mandated recovery deadline of September 14th passes, the world should be his oyster. With them actually mentioning an important date for their company, I thought the film might go that far chronologically, but they do not.
The story starts right out in the high gear Hartnett's character plays most of the film, but it quickly dissipates into boring subplots, tons of unanswered questions, and eventually really bad acting. Even Torn's performance was staged (on purpose I guess since he is way better than this). The one saving grace comes towards the end with David Bowie's three minutes on screen; he was very believable as the hostile takeover kind of guy. But he vanishes and the film comes to an ambiguous ending that never even alludes to the upcoming destruction. It just fades to black and you realize you just wasted 90 minutes. They do interject one CGI shot of the twin towers, but nothing else ties together to the title relevance.
Hartnett is adequate, but his upcoming role in I Come With the Rain looks significantly more challenging and productive. Chirqui's role was for two scenes, and Torn for just a few minutes. Overall, this can't be given a higher rating as honestly, nothing really happens.
But that is exactly what Tom Sterling is supposed to be, or rather how he presents to the world. This character has layers, but it's hard to see them precisely because Tom doesn't WANT anyone to see them. So in order to grasp the character, you really have to pay attention, because hidden in that egomaniacal, bullying bravado is exactly what one would expect - a scared, lonely guy whom no one likes because he's the kind of guy who can get this job done, and who actually likes a guy like that? (I found the moments when he reaches out to his brother and is inevitably rebuffed to be especially painful.) He's an adolescent who never grew up, an arrested teenager who still thinks he can charm reality into rolling over for him, a puppy dog excellent at barking up a storm but hurt because nobody will pet him. He's a slick, annoying bully, but he's also a wounded, defensive child lashing out at the world by forcing it to give him what he wants. It's just that one day, the world decides it ain't gonna give him any more.
And that's when things get interesting. That's when the complexity kicks in, the layers start to be revealed.Read more ›
As written by Howard A. Rodman and directed by Austin Chick, "August" is essentially a cautionary tale set against the get-rich-quick hysteria that came to dominate in the early days of the internet, when virtually anybody with a half-baked idea and a smidgen of techno-savviness could become a high-stakes player on Wall Street. That many of these people were making their fortunes out of little more than the cyber equivalent of chewing gum and bailing wire - while producing nothing of any real substance or value in the long run - is what eventually led to disaster for so many of them and for the economy as a whole.
"August" does a reasonably effective job capturing the moral emptiness and emotional shallowness of the characters and the world they inhabit, but, when all is said and done, the movie lacks the dramatic heft and focus needed to turn it into a profound and major work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good story and good acting. It was just a little too quiet and boring half the time. Josh Hartnett was staring off into the distance thinking about stuff too much. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Stephen Samperi
Taking place right before the tech crash of 2001, it's a great story with lots of beautiful perspectives. Josh and David Bowie do great performances. Read morePublished 6 months ago by justin h
It wasn't my favorite Josh Hartnett film but as long as he was in it, I liked it. Added it to my collection.Published on September 25, 2013 by Amazon Customer
Couldn't find this at any renters so got it cheap here. Now I know why. Fairly boring and really didn't like Josh Hartnett's character at all.Published on February 23, 2013 by Steven Clark
I'll admit that I bought this because it was super cheap and because I'm a big Adam Scott fan.
The problem with the movie is that none of the characters are likable and... Read more
The epic irony of course is that the fictitious company depicted in the film, Land Shark, (years ahead of its time, impressive but unrecognized or perhaps unneeded function,... Read morePublished on November 28, 2012 by CMW11239843