November! American Thanksgiving! Blockbusters! Awards bait! Well, usually. Honestly, this is a pretty rough month. Most of the big films have been getting very disappointing reviews, so consider this a warning to what’s ahead. Still, stiff upper lip, what what!
- WIDOWS – Nov. 16. Steve McQueen’s last film was the Best Picture winner 12 YEARS A SLAVE, and his followup isn’t aiming for another Oscar. Instead it’s a thriller about a group of, well, widows of a heist crew who were killed on a big score. When the gangster they worked for comes looking for a payout, the ladies decide to follow through on their husband’s plan. It’s an incredible cast, with Viola Davis, Liam Neeson, Michelle Rodriguez, Carrie Coon, Colin Farrell, and a whole lot more. And it’s co-written by McQueen and GONE GIRL’s Gillian Flynn. Should be a hell of a film.
- ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE – Nov. 30. A Scottish holiday zombie musical! I’m pretty burned out on the zombie thing but this has been going over like gangbusters at festival screenings. Hopefully it’ll get a proper release and everyone can enjoy the madness.
- RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET – Nov. 21. Odd that they’ve dropped the WRECK-IT from the title, but I don’t think they’ll have any marketing issues being a Disney extravaganza. Expect more of the pop culture references of the original, turned up to a million. It’ll still be a hoot.
- OVERLORD – Nov. 9. From JJ Abrams’ BAD ROBOT comes a film people assumed was another CLOVERFIELD but it totally isn’t. Two American soldiers in WWII discover a Nazi bunker full of demonic atrocities. Or maybe just zombies. It’s closer to pure horror than anything, and the genre reviews have been very strong, so it should be worth checking out. It’s in IMAX for a week but it’s not really enhanced, so don’t spend the extra money.
- CREED 2 – Nov. 21. The first was a big hit, and the sequel is really a sequel to ROCKY IV, bringing back Ivan Drago, who killed Creed’s dad in the ring. Turns out the apple didn’t fall from the tree, and his son is a goddamn monster. Can Creed take him down and get revenge for his old man? Will he do right by his family? Without Ryan Coogler behind the camera, will there still be magic here?
- ROBIN HOOD – Nov. 21. No one asked for this. After KING ARTHUR tanked hard, I can’t imagine the producers felt good about another modern take on a classic story, but I guess they’re pot committed. KINGSMAN’s Taron Egerton is Robin and Jamie Foxx is Little John, with ROGUE ONE’s Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff. They’ve been trying to convince folks that the arrow work is legit and not CG, but I doubt anyone will believe them. With a first time director and writer behind the scenes there’s no pedigree here, so it’s not likely to get much attention.
- FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD – Nov. 16, IMAX. The first film was nice but lacking, and based on the reviews the sequel doesn’t do much to course correct. They’re just coasting on the success of That Which Came Before, adding Jude Law as Hot Dumbledore. Having Johnny Depp as your bad guy in 2018 just seems like a bad idea.
- THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB: A NEW DRAGON TATTOO STORY – Nov. 9. That’s the official title. God forbid you should forget it’s a sequel with none of the first movie’s cast or crew. Reviews are that it’s shockingly bland and a waste of Clare Foy. I’d like to see Lisbeth just kicking ass like she does in the opening, but instead she’s on the run from superhackers led by her adopted sister.
- BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Nov. 2. Freddy deserved better than this. Sure, Rami Malek is amazing, but Bryan Singer’s bullshit ruined what could have been a solid biopic, and his replacement didn’t have a chance to fix what was already broken. See WALK HARD instead, then fire up the Live Aid performance on Youtube.
- BEAUTIFUL BOY – Nov. 9. Your official Oscar Bait for the month, starring CALL ME BY YOUR NAME’s Timothee Chalamet as a drug addicted youngster trying to get clean with the help of his parents, Steve Carrell and Amy Ryan in the heartbreaking OFFICE sequel you never wanted. It’s based on a bestselling memoir, but these days who wants to spend two hours in a theatre bawling? Reviews are pretty soft anyway.
- INSTANT FAMILY – Nov. 16. I thought this was a sequel to DADDY’S HOME based on the poster, but it’s a fairly goofy family comedy about a young couple who reluctantly adopt three foster kids. Aaaaand I just discovered that it’s the same writer/director as DADDY’S HOME. What is it with directors falling in love with Mark Wahlberg?
- DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH – Nov. 9. Did you like the Jim Carrey version? Do you like Minions? Here, take this. It’s for you.
- THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS – Nov. 2. Disney takes more public domain material and gives it the ALICE IN WONDERLAND treatment, and the result is a wet fart. Nobody cares. A waste of $130 million bucks.
- THE FRONT RUNNER – Nov. 9. The story of Gary Hart’s failed presidential run. Director Jason Reitman seems to lay the blame at the feet of the press for calling Hart on his bullshit in this badly thought-out drama. There are some brutal reviews focusing on the rewriting of history, creating a new reporter who befriends Gary but is forced by his evil publisher to take him down. Just not worth your time.
- THE POSESSION OF HANNAH GRACE – Nov. 30. A lone cop (PRETTY LITTLE LIARS’ Shay Mitchell) working late at night in the morgue is haunted by the victim of a failed exorcism. I dunno. If you’re into jump scares, I guess it’ll give you what you need.
- TYLER PERRY’S NOBODY’S FOOL, A TYLER PERRY FILM EXCEPT WE’RE NOT ACTUALLY PUTTING THAT IN THE TITLE THIS TIME FOR SOME REASON – Nov. 2. Tiffany Haddish is out of jail and helping her sister be less lame, starting with outing her catfishing boyfriend. I don’t know. It seems to be the most Tiffany Haddish film ever made, so your enjoyment will be linked directly to your appreciation of her. Also, Whoopi Goldberg plays her stoner mom. Not sure why Tyler took his name off, maybe he’s just trying to let the ladies be the star for once. Good for him.
So yeah, lots of disappointments this month. December’s gonna be a bloodbath, we’ll see you in a few.