September! Too early for prestige, too late for blockbusters! And man, does this month’s schedule reflect that. It’s a rough month by any metric. But there might be some bright lights in the darkness, so let’s get crackin’.
- MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN – Sept. 30, RealD 3D. Tim Burton’s latest could be a return to form. It looks like his own take on NEW MUTANTS but with even younger kids. It’s based on a successful novel and the screenwriter worked on X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and KINGSMAN, so it’s got the bona-fides. Hopefully all the pieces fall into place.
- BLAIR WITCH – Sept. 16. Produced in secret, no one knew THE WOODS was actually BLAIR WITCH until they showed it in San Diego. Based on the reviews, it’s a worthy successor that delivers on every level, and without the shaky cam!
- DEEPWATER HORIZON – Sept. 30, IMAX. Peter Berg’s work varies greatly, from the brilliance of THE KINGDOM to, uh, BATTLESHIP. This is a look at the events on the oil rig that exploded and ruined most of the Gulf of Mexico, but the story’s fixed only on the initial events on the rig and the rescue of the workers. Normally I’d be more dismissive but it’s got a great cast with Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich and Kurt Russell, plus it’s in IMAX2D (though it wasn’t shot in IMAX) so this might be worth seeing on the big screen.
- THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN – Sept 23, IMAX. Antoine Fuqua and his best buddy Denzel Washington are back together, along with six other dudes, remakin’ a remake of a classic. Co-written by the co-creator of TRUE DETECTIVE (yay!) and the writer of THE EQUALIZER (boo!) this one’s up in the air, but it looks pretty good, and hey, is that Chris Pratt?
- STORKS – Sept. 23. Nicholas Stoller (NEIGHBORS) hasn’t made a cartoon before, but this looks pretty by-the-numbers. Storks no longer deliver babies (they basically work for Amazon now) but one baby is still left in the system, and for some reason it’s going to ruin everything. But dammit, this looks cute as hell.
- MORGAN – Sept. 2. From the son of Ridley Scott! Morgan’s a genetically engineered, um, person, who does bad things. She’s played by Anya Taylor-Joy from THE WITCH, and she’s up against Kate Mara and Paul Giamatti. It’s being compared unfavourably to EX MACHINA, but some reviews are pretty positive, so results may vary.
- THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS – Sept. 2 – Fassbender! Vikander! Weisz! Dead babies! Live babies! Acting! Sun-drenched locations! Let the tears be jerked! It’s easy to be glib about films like this, but it’s a three-hanky weeper, no question. If you’re in the mood for an ugly cry, this will fit the bill.
- SNOWDEN – Sept. 16. Oliver Stone gives us a biopic on the world’s most famous wanted man and while this seems like a grand slam, for some reason Joseph Gordon Levitt decided to use some insane accent for his portrayal, and I can’t get past it.
- THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM – Sept. 9. No, that’s not a typo. An inexplicably blonde Kate Beckinsale plays the mom in this pretty standard tale of a family moving into a big old house that holds secrets and the mom might already be insane dealie. The review headlines just write themselves.
- MASTERMINDS – Sept. 30. You’d think a film with Kristen Wiig and Zach Galifianakis would be a guaranteed hit, but this one hit the shelf when the production company went bankrupt. Adding three other SNL vets (Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, and Jason Sudekis) should have locked in the quality but there’s something off about the whole thing. Director Jared Hess made NAPOLEON DYNAMITE and NACHO LIBRE, so I could be totally wrong about it. But I doubt it.
- BRIDGET JONES’ BABY – Sept. 16. First off, making a third movie twelve years after the largely unsuccessful sequel is just bad business. Second, all anyone wants to talk about with Renee Zellweger is her face, which she swears is untouched by surgeons. Third, a story about a woman in her forties having a kid isn’t exactly comedy material, but adding the fact that she doesn’t know for sure who the dad turns it into a laff-a-minute romp? This is going to be a massive failure on pretty much all fronts.
- THE WILD LIFE – Sept. 9, 3D. Hey kids, it’s the story of Robinson Crusoe! But with funny animals! They didn’t have the balls to name it after the main character, of course, so it’s just Generic Funny Animal Movie Made By Europeans! I’m sure they’re hoping it’s the next DESPICABLE ME, but it’s probably going to drown.
- WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS – Sept. 9. Has there ever been a happy film about a surrogate? One where she doesn’t try to kill the wife and take her place? This is an urban take on the old tale, normally the purview of TV movies, though this is directed by a TV director, so don’t expect much. I literally laughed out loud when I saw the trailer in the theatre, it’s utterly ludicrous, but it might make for some good camp down the road.
- SULLY – Sept. 9, IMAX. I have no idea why parts of this movie were shot in IMAX. No idea. The plane’s landing, I assume. And Clint Eastwood isn’t exactly a technofile. Anyway, the whole thing is like a real-life version of FLIGHT. Sure, it’s got Tom Hanks, but it just doesn’t seem like it was a story that had to be told. A person on Film Twitter heard it was “iconically bad” and I guess we’ll know for sure after tonight, when it premieres in Venice. Lord knows Clint’s been shitting up his legacy lately with AMERICAN SNIPER and JERSEY BOYS. Yeah yeah, I’m aware AS was a success, but his direction wasn’t what made it successful.
So yeah, pretty rough month overall. Not a lot to look forward to, but hey, ‘tis the season. Does October look any better? Let’s just say one of the releases is “Untitled Lionsgate Horror Film” so it doesn’t bode well. Be here in a month regardless!