September 2015 Movie Preview
As Summer 2015 limped to the finish line, my mind was often drifting towards what exciting films we could all look forward to towards the end of the year as the Autumn and Winter movies came into view. We’re approaching Oscar-Season, the more down-beat and interesting films that didn’t want to be crushed under the weight of the high-profile summer blockbusters are coming out and that’s not a bad thing at all. So, as we make our way to the finish-line for 2015, let’s take a look at some of the bigger or more interesting September films!
September 4th 2015
American Ultra –
Due to the circumstances around it’s release in the U.S. ‘American Ultra‘ has been known as “that movie that bombed” or “that movie where the writer threw a big hissy fit on Twitter”. Either way, ‘American Ultra‘ is here and is the first movie to get a theatrical release from screenwriter Max Landis since 2012’s ‘Chronicle‘ which was absolutely amazing, so I’m looking forward to seeing what Landis does next. After the huge success of ‘Chronicle‘, Landis has lots of other scripts coming out this year including the upcoming ‘Victor Frankenstein‘, ‘Mr. Right‘ and ‘Me Him Her‘ so hopefully those films will be more financially successful for him.
As for ‘American Ultra‘, we have the writer of the second best 2012 movie teaming up with Nima Nourizadeh, who directed the second worst movie of 2012; ‘Project X‘. So…both may cancel each other out to create something mediocre, right? The movie looks decent, though Jesse Eisenberg seems hugely miscast and the reviews have been middling, though some critic friends that I personally trust say that they had a good time. Maybe that’s all it needs to do and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Making a big splash at the Sundance Film Festival this year and even being a modest box-office success in America back in June, ‘Dope‘ is finally making its way to the U.K, though in a limited release. The coming-of-age adult comedy is produced by Forest Whitaker and is a star-vehicle for American hip-hop star Shameik Moore. ‘Dope‘ follows a group of nerds who are in way over their heads after they accidentally get ahold of a bag full of drugs and a loaded gun.
The trailers look funny, reviews have been great and Forest Whitaker has had a solid track-record as a Producer over the past few years, producing films such as ‘Fruitvale Station‘. This looks good and if you’re into this type of off-beat comedy then you may gleam a lot of enjoyment from Dope. Oh, and you may enjoy the movie ‘Dope‘ as well.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl –
Just like the aforementioned ‘Dope‘, ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘ was another big hit at Sundance, with this movie receiving a standing ovation at the festival as well as the “Grand Jury Prize” and the “Audience Award”. It focuses on an awkward teenager, Greg, who is forced by his parents to befriend a fellow student who has been diagnosed with leukemia. The two, despite being a mismatched couple, start to become friends and Grey and his friend Earl decide to make a movie dedicated to her.
*sigh* I’ve gotta be honest, despite this movie winning big at Sundance, this looks pretty bad. It looks overly sentimental, hugely predictable and quirky for the sake of being quirky. It looks so fake and phony, whether it’s the “fist-bump” scene from the trailer, everything Nick Offerman does in the trailer and even the cutsey, quirky title just doesn’t ring true or a form of legitimate artistic expression. I’m open to being proven wrong. I always am. But I’m not hyped for this in the least.
No Escape –
Boy, just watching the trailers for ‘No Escape‘ make me feel uncomfortable. Not just because it’s a no-holds-bar survival story about a family who move to Southeast Asia getting caught up in a political uprising and need to escape. But because ‘No Escape‘ looks a lot like ‘World War Z‘.
Except replace the zombies with “The Yellow Peril”.
Holy shit, ‘No Escape‘ looks phenomenally racist and xenophobic…
Even the positive reviews of the movie felt uncomfortable that every non-Caucasian in the movie was depicted as ruthless, or just red-shirts so there could be stakes in the film that didn’t involve killing white people.
So it’s time to do THIS dance again…
Ricki and the Flash –
I’m kinda amazed that screenwriter Diablo Cody isn’t writing 13 screenplays a year. She burst onto the scene in 2007 with ‘Juno‘ and even won an Academy Award for “Best Original Screenplay”. However, unlike Max Landis who was immediately picked up for lots of other projects, Cody’s workload since then has been relatively sparse. Though I guess that’s what happens when you follow ‘Juno‘ with the ABYSMAL ‘Jennifer’s Body‘.
Urgh. What a terrible movie.
Anywho, ‘Ricki and the Flash‘ looks like an entertaining family-themed comedy starring Meryl Streep as an ageing rock star who comes home to attend her daughter’s wedding. The trailers look decent though the mixed reviews have taken the wind out of the film’s sails as the film had a modest level of hype due to its unique casting of Streep (who learned how to play guitar for the role). Find the trailer below and you should know if this is the type of movie for you.
The Transporter Refueled –
The “Transporter” franchise started in 2002 with Jason Statham in the lead role and the incredibly underrated Louis Leterrier in the director’s chair and spawned a sequel in 2005 with many people considering it even better than the original. But in 2008 the franchise hit rock-bottom with ‘Taken 2‘ and ‘Taken 3‘ director Olivier Megaton taking over as director. The franchise ended and Jason Statham moved on with no intention to return.
But Hollywood finds a way.
Now we have the editor of ‘Transporter 3‘ and ‘Taken 2‘ Camille Delamarre directing and “Game of Thrones” actor Ed Skrein as the new Transporter. With a new creative team on board, I may watch this to review it as I’ve actually never seen the previous three so this could work as a jumping-on-point, though reviews have been incredibly negative with some critics pegging it as one of the worst films of the year. The trailers aren’t impressive and maybe this is a franchise that should have quit while it was ahead a decade ago.
September 9th 2015
Oh yeah, NOW we’re talking. Brought to us by Brian Helgeland, ‘Legend‘ focuses on the reign of the criminal Kray twins, who ruled London during the 1950s and 1960s, with the hook of the movie being that both Ronald and Reggie Kray are both played by Tom Hardy. We’ve seen supporting twin characters played by the same actor before, but this could be the most ambitious attempt yet at multi-casting when it comes to the two lead-roles of a movie. It’s an awesome true story and with the cast comprising of the aforementioned Hardy as well as Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston and Taron Egerton (his first movie since ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘), this could be a truly exceptional film.
While Brian Helgeland has had great success as a screenwriter with ‘L.A. Confidential‘, ‘Mystic River‘ and ‘Man on Fire‘, he also wrote and directed one of the most underrated biopics in recent memory ‘42‘, which starred Chadwick Boseman (the upcoming Black Panther) as Jackie Robinson. Check it out, it’s an awesome film. But it proves that this guy can create great films with his biopic scripts. ‘Legend‘ is one of the biggest U.K. films of the year and I can’t wait to see it very soon.
September 10th 2015
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials –
Ever since “The Twilight Saga” ended in 2012, we’ve been riding a new wave of young-adult book adaptations and while “The Hunger Games” is riding high right now, we also got “The Divergent Series” and also “The Maze Runner”. “The Maze Runner”s unique selling point is that it’s more male-orientated that its contemporaries and it has the audacity to drastically change its setting and premise from book-to-book. After becoming a modest success last year, ‘The Maze Runner‘, based on the 2009 James Dashner book of the same name, has now spawned a sequel; ‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials‘.
The group of teenage boys in the post-apocalypse escaped the maze last time (spoiler) and now find themselves taken in by the mysterious M.C.K.D. organisation, but their journey of discovering what has happened to this world takes them through a desert called “The Scorch”. I’ll be honest, I’ve not seen the first movie, but I’ll be checking it out before I see this one. So…yeah, the trailers looked alright, and I like how this franchise seems to be more mature than the stagnant “The Hunger Games”, so yeah, this could be good.
September 18th 2015
Based on the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster, ‘Everest‘ follows a large team of mountain climbers who attempt to conquer the world’s highest mountain where eight people lost their lives. Obviously, this was a tragedy and not to be mocked, but I do find the premise novel in that climbing the 8,848 metre mountain was achievable for the team…
…it was getting back down that was the problem. Many people seem to forget that when you reach the top, you’re only halfway there.
‘Everest‘ is a drastic change of pace for director Baltasar Kormákur, whose last film was the 2013 action movie ‘2 Guns‘, but this film has an astonishing ensemble cast – Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Jake Gyllenhaal. Over the past few years, we’ve had incredibly technical movies that have received great awards recognition such as ‘Avatar‘, ‘Life of Pi‘, ‘Gravity‘ and ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)‘ and I have a feeling that ‘Everest‘ will be this year’s equivalent. The trailers look tense, a 3-D IMAX viewing seems ESSENTIAL and I can’t wait to see this on a big screen as opposed to watching the awesome trailers on my laptop.
September 25th 2015 –
Miss You Already –
Some good-looking end-of-September counter-programming, ‘Miss You Already‘ follows two best friends, Milly and Jess, played by Toni Collette and Drew Barrymoore respectively, whose relationship is tested when Milly is diagnosed with Cancer.
While initially it doesn’t seem that dissimilar to ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl‘, I’m actually looking forward to this film because it feels a lot more sincere and genuine. Oh, you can guarantee that it’s going to try really hard to make you cry, but just from the trailer you can tell that Collette and Barrymoore have legitimate chemistry and the script seems very witty and entertaining. Some nice counter-programming towards the end of the month.
September 30th 2015
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F –
Despite the anime coming to an end in 1996, the “Dragon Ball Z” franchise from Akira Toriyama based off his manga series, has continued to thrive with an incredibly passionate fan-base. After the middling success of the follow-up anime series “Dragon Ball GT”, the franchise was presumably laid to rest before being revived in 2013 with the feature-length theatrical release ‘Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods‘. Shattering Japanese Box-Office records and reviving the franchise properly (there’s a new series entitled “Dragon Ball Super”, awaiting English translation), we’re now getting new regular Dragon Ball Z movies with the new one ‘Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F‘ bringing back the franchises’ most iconic villain; Frieza.
I grew up LOVING the “Dragon Ball Z” series and I even liked a bit of GT and am currently making my way through the original “Dragon Ball” anime, and I enjoyed the last movie a lot so I’m anticipating this one. It’s getting a limited release in the UK and unfortunately it is playing nowhere within an 60 mile radius of where I live. So I guess I’ll be waiting until DVD for this one. But seriously, how awesome is this movie’s tagline? – “Revenge takes its final form”.
You can find a list of all the UK movie theatres that will be screening ‘Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F‘ on the official UK Dragon Ball Z Website.
The Martian –
Based on the 2011 critically acclaimed book of the same name written by Andy Weir, ‘The Martian‘ stars Matt Damon as an astronaut who is left behind on Mars after a failed mission and is presumed dead by NASA. He has to someone get in contact with his crew in orbit, while also ensuring he has enough food and water to last him until his potential rescue. Drew Goddard wrote the screenplay and was originally attached to direct but his name couldn’t gather enough traction and the project didn’t happen.
Until Ridley Scott of the recent terrible films ‘Robin Hood‘, ‘Prometheus‘, ‘The Counselor‘ and ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings‘ was brought on board and the film moved forward.
Yeah, that’s a terrible recent filmography and I’d hate to see such a brilliant concept and an awesome cast (Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan and Chiwetel Ejiofor) be wasted but the trailers look awesome and despite Ridley Scott having a recent string of terrible films, at least he can compose gorgeous looking shots. I’m preying this movie gets Scott out of his bad-streak. But we’ll find out by the end of September.
So, September is incredibly front-loaded but full of potentially awesome movies, both big and small. But as for my most anticipated of the month, we have;
- ‘Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F‘
- ‘The Martian‘
But those are just the films I’M looking forward to. What about you? And are there any films that I missed out? If so, be sure to comment below and let me know!
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Posted: 6th Sep 15