Fall Movie Preview


Cool down with these autumn flicks

It looks as though Labor Day weekend is a little slim on new releases. The thriller Don’t Let Go is opening nationally, but it isn’t being screened for the press. That means it’s as good a time as any to look into the future and find out more about some of what’s arriving over the fall and holiday seasons.

September begins with a major release in the form of It Chapter 2. This Stephen King adaptation about a group of childhood friends facing off against a supernatural clown will finish the story off for good and is likely to be a big box office success. The following week features The Goldfinch with Nicole Kidman and Ansel Egort. It is a fictional tale involving a young man dealing with the death of his mother who passes away suddenly in a bombing. On a lighter note, Hustlers follows a group of exotic dancers who turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. Amazingly, the latter tale is actually based on a true story.

Science-fiction enthusiasts will take an interest in the Brad Pitt flick Ad Astra, about an astronaut attempting to save the world by solving a mystery at the far end of the universe. Sylvester Stallone returns to one of his most iconic roles in Rambo: Last Blood, and BBC fans will be thrilled with Downton Abbey, a cinematic feature that continues the story of the Crawley family after the events of the TV finale. There’s also the indie comedy Brittany Runs a Marathon, which should be slowly opening around the country in September. And the month closes with Abominable, an animated flick for the family about a mythic creature coming out of the wilderness.

October begins with a comic book adaptation in the form of Joker, a new take on the classic DC villain. Advance word on the picture has been positive, with a few pundits suggesting star Joaquin Phoenix could be an Oscar contender in the title role. Lucy in the Sky is another outer-space themed entry that stars Natalie Portman as an astronaut who returns to Earth and soon begins to lose touch with reality. Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) tries his hand at sci-fi/action with Gemini Man, which features a young and old Will Smith squaring off against each other. Jexi stars comedian Adam Devine as a man obsessed with his cell phone and those who enjoy The Addams Family will receive a new animated film for the whole family that is based on the famous characters.

There’s also been a lot of buzz about JoJo Rabbit, the latest comedy from Taika Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople). It’s a period piece set in WWII Germany about a young boy who is a part of the Hitler Youth. He imagines himself palling around with the country’s ruler until he discovers that his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home. Late October also sees the release of Zombieland: Double Tap which reunites all of the characters from the 2009 hit to face the undead once more. Disney fans will also see a familiar villain return to the big screen in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, once again starring Angelina Jolie.

Foreign-language film fans may be interested in Pain and Glory, a Spanish title from Oscar-winner Pedro Almodovar (Talk to Her, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) that stars Antonio Banderas as a film director coming to terms with his past. The month wraps up with the Naomie Harris cop drama Black and Blue. The story follows a police rookie who accidentally captures a murder on her body cam that was committed by fellow officers.

As November arrives, things get really busy, with blockbusters saddled alongside some award hopefuls. Pictures being released early in the month include the sequel, Terminator: Dark Fate, featuring original stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton in supporting roles. There’s also the period crime piece Motherless Brooklyn with Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton (who also directed the film) and the biographical drama, Harriet. Other titles arriving include the WWII spectacle Midway and the biopic Ford v Ferrari with Christian Bale and Matt Damon as the famous car manufacturers. There’s also a Charlie’s Angels reboot, and the all-star, tongue-in-cheek murder/mystery Knives Out (the trailer looks quite entertaining). Those who remember The Shining will get Doctor Sleep, a sequel with Ewan McGregor as a grown-up Danny Torrance. Of course, families will no doubt be thrilled to see Disney deliver the long-awaited Frozen II to cinemas as the season gets chillier.

There are many more films on the way and those mentioned above are only a selection of what to expect as the year progresses. They won’t all be perfect, but here’s hoping that some of these movies hit the mark and provide great entertainment and/or thought-provoking material for those venturing out to the cinema.

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By Glenn Kay
For the Sun