September! A summer that laid waste to the stocks of cinema chains is over! Seems that folks weren’t too happy about the endless sequels and reboots so they stayed home and watched Netflix. Will this month’s releases drag the masses back to the multiplex? I really doubt it, but there are some winners in there! Let’s break it down.
- KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE – Sept. 22, IMAX. Aw yiss. The first film was a breath of fresh air, a fun, original romp in a new universe that was part James Bond, part KICK-ASS. The followup looks just as good, with an insanely deep cast going from Channing Tatum to Jeff Bridges to Julianne Moore to Elton Fucking John. I mean, COME ON. This is a must-see.
- mother! – Sept. 15. Darren Aronofsky (BLACK SWAN, REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) is one of the best filmmakers working today, so any new release of his is a big deal. This secretive project stars Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem in a twisted thriller that no one really knows much about, so try to go in cold if you can.
- IT – Sept. 8. With the stink of the soul-crushing failure of THE DARK TOWER, King’s work hits the big screen once again, but all the advance word is super-positive. It’ll hit all your horror needs. And it just focuses on the kids, so no giant spider at the end (thank god).
- CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND – Sept 1. This classic is getting a theatrical run to celebrate its, um, 40TH ANNIVERSARY? Jesus. Anyway, it’s a new 4K remaster so it should look spectacular on the big screen.
- AMERICAN MADE – Sept. 29, IMAX. Tom Cruise and Doug Liman re-team after their incredibly successful EDGE OF TOMORROW. This time they’re telling the true story of a guy hired by the CIA to run drug shipments from Columbia. The trailer’s insane, so this should make for a hell of a night out at the movies.
- AMERICAN ASSASSIN – Sept. 15. Hey look, a similarly titled film! This stars THE MAZE RUNNER’s Dylan O’Brien as a young man bent on revenge after his fiancé is killed by terrorists. Michael Keaton takes him under his wing, only to come up against his former protégé (Taylor Kitsch) who’s gone rogue and stuff. Looks like a throwback to 90’s Tom Clancy films, but in the nicest way.
- FLATLINERS – Sept. 29. It looks like a remake, but it’s a pseudo-sequel to the Kiefer Sutherland classic. Director Niels Arden Oplev directed the original GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO film so he should be able to bring something interesting to the proceedings, and the trailer looks pretty good. We could all use a little more Ellen Page in our lives too.
- THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE – Sept. 22, Real3D, IMAX. Look, I loved THE LEGO MOVIE and LEGO BATMAN, but this might be going too far. It’s based on Lego’s original franchise NINJAGO, which isn’t exactly well known to the general public. They’ve loaded up with star talent to provide the voices, but it all looks a bit much, mixing teen drama with ninjas and giant robots and a whooooole lot of Asian appropriation. I guess it’s meant to be “random” so maybe I’m just too old for this. Your ten year old, on the other hand, will demand that it be hooked directly into his veins.
- TULIP FEVER – Sept. 1. This Weinstein-produced historical nugget, directed by Justin Chadwick (THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM) was in the can a few years ago but they didn’t know what to do with it, so here it is. Starring Oscar winner Alicia Vikander (THE DANISH GIRL), Christoph Waltz, and Dane DeHaan (VALERIAN), reviews have been pretty harsh. It’s a tale of betrayal set during, well, tulip fever, when tulip bulbs became a traded currency, but DeHaan is just a little too unpleasant looking to be considered a romantic leading man. If you need your historical romance buttons pushed, well, click click click.
- MARVEL’S INHUMANS – Sept. 1, IMAX Exclusive. Good news! Something is only available in IMAX! Bad news! It’s terrible! They shot the first two episodes of ABC’s new series in native IMAX but forgot to make the content worthy of the format. The first trailer was terrible, and the final reviews have not been kind. So feel free to give it a miss.
- FRIEND REQUEST – Sept. 22. So a few years ago there was UNFRIENDED, and this almost seems like a remake, but I guess it’s just a ripoff. A clingly girl gets unfriended and kills herself in witchy ways to haunt her ex-bestie. If you like jump scares, they’ve got you covered.
- HOME AGAIN – Sept. 8. Reese Witherspoon is back in a wacky romantic comedy! She’s a mom who’s banging a younger guy! Take THAT, convention! Legendary rom-com producers/writers Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer (known collectively as the Shmeyers, I shit you not) had a kid, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, who is now a writer/director as well! Gee Hollywood, nepotism much? Anyway, it looks almost exactly like something her parents would have made. Reese is separated from the father of her kids, she hooks up with a much younger guy for a one-night stand but ends up falling for him, and then the dad (Michael Sheen, for the record) wants back in the picture. Sure, hey, girl power. It just looks cookie cutter as all hell.
- TIL DEATH DO US PART – Sept. 29. This month’s urban thriller tells the tale of a woman with the perfect husband, who it turns out doesn’t want a kid getting in the way of his relationship. When he gets violent she jackrabbits into a new life, and unsurprisingly he tracks her down. It’s basically Lifetime Movie Template 7-B.
- 9/11 – Sept. 8. Yeah, you read that right. Based on a play about a group of people trapped in a WTC elevator, this stunning film achievement stars, hang on, let me take a drink before reading this, Charlie Sheen and Whoopi Goldberg. Okay, I’ve got the new keyboard and monitor set up, sorry about the delay. From the writer/director of NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CATTLE CALL and MY X-GIRLFRIEND’S WEDDING RECEPTION (which featured a cameo from Bernie Sanders) comes this… tale of… the triumph of… awards bait? Emotional manipulation? Bad ideas? The power of sixteen producers? Disaster porn? At least one of the producers is known for Christian films, so there’s a good chance that there will be a “message” prominently displayed here. Regardless, this should be a massive, massive critical and commercial failure.
So there’s lots to chew on for the month. October has at least one all-timer coming, but we’ll leave that for later. Until then, check out the podcast! You know there’s a podcast, right?