October! The dead rise from their graves and, um, go see movies or something. I’m not really sure how that works. Usually we get some early Oscar bait, and yes, there’s a few nibbles here, along with some lowest-common-denominator hits, so let’s take a look.
- BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE – Oct. 12. Drew Goddard’s CABIN IN THE WOODS was an all-timer, but he’s spent the last decade getting attached to doomed projects, so it’s great to see him in the driver’s seat again with this crazy, twisty thriller packed to the gills with stars and chills. A priestly Jeff Bridges, a smarmy Jon Hamm, a creepy Dakota Fanning, topped off with a culty Chris Hemsworth, this will be a great theatrical experience.
- FIRST MAN – IMAX, Oct. 12. Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling set hearts flying with LA LA LAND, and here they’re going to the friggin’ moon. It’s a gritty look at Neil Armstrong’s incredible voyage, and the climactic flight is presented in IMAX, so be sure to pop for the big screen version.
- HALLOWEEN – Oct. 19. They’ve already had a few pretend sequels to the original classic, but this one ignores all of them while keeping Jamie Lee Curtis on board for a grittier, smarter take brought to you by the unlikely duo of David Gordon Green and Danny McBride, who made EASTBOUND AND DOWN and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. Absolutely delivers the goods.
- SUSPIRIA – Oct. 26. The original Dario Argento version is a horror classic, and this reimagining is from an unlikely source, Luca Guadanino, who made last year’s hit CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. This version is its own beast, though it’s still centered around a brilliant dance company. Creepy as all hell.
- A STAR IS BORN – Oct. 5. Bradley Cooper does double duty as director and star in this latest retelling of the classic tale. Lady Gaga is fantastic, but it’s a bit of a stretch to see her as “ugly”.
- THE OLD MAN & THE GUN – Oct. 12 limited, 19 wide. Robert Redford’s swan song, playing an old bank robber breaking out of prison and immediately going back to his old ways. A great final role for one of America’s greatest talents, and he’s backed by Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, and even Tom friggin’ Waits.
- THE HATE U GIVE – Oct. 12. An important story ripped from today’s headlines, where a young black girl whose parents sent her to a prep school instead of the local high school gets caught up in the Black Lives Matter movement after her friend is murdered in front of her by a white cop. Reviews have been very positive.
- HUNTER KILLER – Oct. 26. Gerard Butler is back baby! This one’s all over the place, but in the end it’s up to Butler and his band of brothers to stop World War Friggin’ Three. It’s basically a mix of HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER and ZERO DARK THIRTY, with Butler on the sub taking on rogue Russian subs while a team of Navy Seals try to save the Russian president from a military coup. It could be bananas, but it’ll likely just be a mess. But maybe, just maybe, an entertaining mess.
- VENOM – IMAX, RealD3D – Oct. 5. Well, it’s out there, and it’s making bank but the reviews are bad. If you can embrace the more insane elements and look at it as a love story between a man and a symbiote, it’s pretty entertaining. But don’t see a movie this dark in 3D.
- GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN – RealD3D, Oct. 12. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably enjoy this one, even without Jack Black on screen. It’s all about the kids this time, and the infinite CGI monsters.
- JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN – Oct. 28. Rowan Atkinson is back yet again in what should be a home run, but is said to be “mirthless” which is, ouch. A real shame. Crazy that it’s even being released on this side of the pond.
- INDIVISIBLE – Oct. 28. Look, these days you just know the bottom of the list is going to be a Christian film, and this month is no exception. If they could actually make a good film, I’d happily put them higher, but they’re just preaching to the choir, making easily digestible pap. This one’s from the “support our troops” subsection, telling the “extraordinary true story” of an army chaplain trying to keep his fellow soldiers together while also saving his own marriage. Obviously divorce is a huge problem in the military, but I doubt the answer is as easy as “moar jeebus”.
So go see BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE so we can get more Drew Goddard films, dammit. Next month is a weird one, but we’ll talk about that soon.