Fall movie guide
Our movie guy is afraid to get out of bed
Fall is here, which means you are supposed to go buy a new iPhone after selling your old iPhone and then feel really stupid for spending $1,500 on that new iPhone, but then you feel better because the ability to turn yourself into a singing fox emoji makes it all worthwhile in the end.
It’s time to give you a random sampling of the movies looking to gain access to your face in the next few months. So, just to be clear: I haven’t seen any of these movies yet. This piece is just me making observations and predictions about cinematic things to come based upon movie news, preview trailers and, most importantly, my sadly obsessive, always active cinematic gut.
A gut that continues to grow thanks to cinema popcorn and those malted milk ball things. I’ve cut back on soda, though. I’ve been opting for the diet lemonade. It tastes like lemon piss expelled through the devil’s urethra, but it gets the job done. Fewer calories!
Also, this is more of a fall/holiday movie preview than just a fall preview. It has some winter dates in it. If you feel mislead and believe this was supposed to be just a fall movie preview, it is your right to boycott and read no further. I totally understand.
A Star Is Born (Oct. 5): I wuv Lady Gaga, and I think Bradley Cooper is fine when he’s not in a Hangover sequel, so this one is intriguing. Sure, it’s the umpteenth take on an old story, but something tells me—and that something, admittedly, involves ragingly positive advanced press—that newly minted director Cooper might strike gold here.
Venom (Oct. 5): In preparation for this new take on the Spidey villain—one that, oddly enough, doesn’t involve Spider-Man—I re-watched Spider-Man 3. Oh man, it was bad when it came out, and it’s aged 10 times worse. (That amnesiac Franco subplot!) Let’s hope Tom Hardy does a better job than Topher Grace with the title character. However, it is PG-13. That just seems wrong for Venom.
July 22 (Oct. 10): I love what Netflix is doing, creating a safe place for great directors to do whatever they want without massive studio meddling. Now it’s Paul Greengrass’ turn. The man who made the stunning 9/11 film United 93 explores the impact of another terrorist attack, a 2012 incident in Norway that took the lives of 77 people.
Beautiful Boy (Oct. 12): Looks to me like Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet are going to come right at you with all-stops-out performances as a father and son dealing with a harrowing addiction.
Bad Times at the El Royale (Oct. 12): What happened to Drew Goddard, the guy who directed that mega-cool 2012 horror movie The Cabin In the Woods? Here he is again (finally!) with a thriller whose action takes place in a hotel loosely based on Lake Tahoe’s Cal Neva resort. A local connection!
First Man (Oct. 12): Ryan Gosling goes to the moon as Neil Armstrong in the latest from director Damien Chazelle (La La Land). A little bit of a history change for this one: Instead of planting an American flag on the moon, Armstrong takes a knee during the national anthem. He then runs over to a drum kit and performs a jazz solo that makes J.K. Simmons cum in his pants and cease throwing chairs at him. Did I mention Chazelle also directed Whiplash? Well … he did. That last thing there was a Whiplash joke. You didn’t see Whiplash? Well then, that Whiplash joke must’ve sucked for you.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Oct. 19): Jenny McCarthy’s cousin Melissa stars as a woman who forged letters from famous people. A straight-up dramatic offering for McCarthy and getting good buzz.
Halloween (Oct. 19): Forty years after Michael Myers first stalked the streets of Haddonfield, John Carpenter’s horror classic gets a genuine sequel courtesy of director David Gordon Green and screenwriter Danny McBride. This one jettisons all of the other sequels and plays it like Michael didn’t vanish into the night after getting shot six times but, instead, went to chill in an insane asylum for four decades. I imagine this has left him a bit stir crazy and wanting to smash and stab stuff.
I love that they are just calling it Halloween. No numbers after the title, no “Reborn” or “Redux” or “40” after a colon. Just Halloween. And John Carpenter producing and doing the music—how can this miss?
Wildlife (Oct. 19): Actor Paul Dano makes his directorial debut with a screenplay he cowrote with Zoe Kazan. Carrie Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal star.
Suspiria (Oct. 26): Confession time. I could never get into the films of Dario Argento (or Mario Bava for that matter). The blood looked too thick and weird, and the movies gave me stomach aches. I know I’ve seen the original Suspiria, but I’ve blocked it from memory. I will watch again in preparation for this remake starring Dakota Johnson (actually … probably not). The score is by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, so this makes me hopeful.
Johnny English Strikes Again (Oct. 26): Rowan Atkinson’s shtick is about as funny to me as a sequel to something that wasn’t funny in the first place … which is what this is.
Bohemian Rhapsody (Nov. 2): This biopic of Freddie Mercury stars Rami Malek as the legend and recreates, among other things, Queen’s Live Aid performance. I’m old enough to have watched this live on TV. Yes, their set was instantly legendary. We were all talking about it the next day knowing we had witnessed something historical, although my vote went to U2 for best performance. Led Zeppelin sucked ass on that fateful day.
As for this movie, man, Malek’s fake teeth are a bit exaggerated.
The Other Side of the Wind (Nov. 2): This one is directed by Orson Welles, stars John Huston and has never been seen before. An insane Netflix offering.
The Front Runner (Nov. 7): Hugh Jackman plays Gary Hart, a man whose presidential bid was derailed due to incidents involving explicit nudity, yachts and a Monkey Business T-shirt.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Nov. 9): The original, Swedish The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring Noomi Rapace was very good. The sequels got progressively bad, and the Americanized version from David Fincher starring Rooney Mara was a waste of valuable resources. Now comes this, with Claire Foy stepping into the character—a character who is now some sort of super vigilante, like Batgirl. Whatever.
Holmes and Watson (Nov. 9): If I had my way, there would be at least seven movies a year costarring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly. Alas, we get just one this year, their first bona fide teaming in the decade since Step Brothers. I’m sure you can guess the subject of this one by the title. Apparently, it took them this long to re-team due to a longstanding grudge after Ferrell rubbed his ballsack on Reilly’s drum set.
Trivia note: Reilly is also starring in Stan & Ollie, playing Oliver Hardy. No U.S. release date yet, but early buzz points to it getting a 2018 release date to qualify for Oscars.
Outlaw King (Nov. 9): If you have a longstanding desire to see Chris Pine’s dick, well, here’s your chance!
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (Nov. 9): It’s been almost 20 years since Jim Carrey played the Grinch in that live-action effort from Ron Howard that has not aged well. It’s been 52 years since the original cartoon, which rocked. So here comes another version, CGI of course, with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the furry green guy. I’m actually more interested in how they depict Max the dog.
Overlord (Nov. 9): J.J. Abrams produced this Nazi monster movie. No, it isn’t a Cloverfield film.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Nov. 16): Originally slated as a Netflix series, the latest from Joel and Ethan Coen is actually a Netflix movie with six parts, all telling an authentic tale about the American West. While it will have a limited theatrical release in some cities, most of us will be watching this on our TVs.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Nov. 16): This second installment in the Harry Potter spinoff probably contains wizards and witches and whatnot. It also has Johnny Depp as the villain, and JOHNNY DEPP IS A DIRTY WHORE!
Instant Family (Nov. 16): Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne take in some foster kids and hijinks ensue. Color me crazy, but I actually think this could be funny.
At Eternity’s Gate (Nov. 16): Willem DaFoe as Vincent Van Gogh? Yes, please.
Creed II (Nov. 21): My least favorite Rocky movie is Rocky IV. (Yes, I hate it more than Rocky V.) That’s the one that had Rocky fighting Russian Drago and hiking a huge mountain peak with nothing but a beard on his face and no gear. This one pits Apollo Creed’s son (Michael B. Jordan returns) against Drago’s son with, of course, Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) in the corner talking about life, and when you get hit, you gotta get up, and all of that stuff.
If this a movie about a guy fighting a big guy and features lots of slow-mo knockout shots, I’m excited. If it’s another “America vs. Russia” retread, and Creed winds up wrapped in the American flag at the end, I’ll be pissed. If there’s even two seconds of Jordan trudging up a mountain with a tree on his back, I’m disenfranchising from this franchise.
Robin Hood (Nov. 21): Oh, look, everybody, it’s another Robin Hood movie.
Green Book (Nov. 21): Peter Farrelly, one half of the team that gave you There’s Something About Mary, gets a little serious with this Viggo Mortensen/Mahershala Ali biopic. The title refers to a book that helped African-Americans find safe food and lodging when traveling through the South, a book that needed to be published for three decades. A big winner at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It-Ralph 2 (Nov. 21): I like the scenes in the preview trailers featuring all the Disney princesses better than anything in the first movie.
The Favourite (Nov. 23): Olivia Colman stars as Queen Anne alongside Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. The Oscar races for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress are going to be true battle royale this year.
If Beale Street Could Talk (Nov. 30): Kiki Layne stars in the latest from Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.
Roma (Dec. 7): Director Alfonso Cuaron’s latest is sucking up awards at film festivals around the globe. I just watched the preview. It looks ridiculously beautiful. And, believe it or not, it’s another Netflix project.
Mary Queen of Scots (Dec. 7): Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie star in this period piece drama that will have a nervous breakdown if it doesn’t get a Best Costumes Oscar nomination.
Vox Lux (Dec. 7): Natalie Portman stars as a popstar that reminds a bit of Lady Gaga, so it would be interesting if she wound up in awards consideration alongside Lady Gaga for sort of playing Lady Gaga. Music by Sia … so that’s a plus.
Ben is Back (Dec. 7): In this hardcore horror film, Julia Roberts plays Holly Burns, a self-aware zombie who targets her own son, Ben (Lucas Hedges), for dinner because of bullshit he pulled when she was alive. Her intent: to eat the flesh of her own son and see if it might act as an antidote and return her to normalcy, albeit with a slightly huge sense of guilt for eating her son. Little does Holly know that Ben is a zombie too, with similar intentions, eyeing mommy as his next feast. Jeff Bridges stars as the guy who knew. He … fucking … knew.
Nah, this just looks like some sort of family drama where Ben screws up and Holly must save the family’s good name or some bullshit like that. I like my plot better! (Jeff Bridges isn’t actually in this.)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Dec. 14): This looks kind of neat, but its synopsis is as confusing as all hell, so I’m not going to try and explain it. Just know that it is animated, features the voice of Nicolas Cage and contains no scene where Tobey Maguire disco dances outside of a clothing store while James Franco suffers from amnesia.
Mortal Engines (Dec. 14): When will Peter Jackson direct again? Who the hell knows. He’s been resting since directing The Hobbit movies. (It’s exhausting when you take three giant shits in a row.) But he is producing on this one. It’s about cities eating other cities after the apocalypse.
Mary Poppins Returns (Dec. 19): Emily Blunt takes over the title role 54 years after Julie Andrews starred in the original. I had zero expectations for this until I saw the latest trailer. Now, it’s one of my most anticipated movies. Blunt looks like she’s going to make this a memorable one and, oh, my god, it has Dick Van Dyke—94-year-old Dick Van Dyke—dancing in it.
Deadpool 2 (Pg-13 Version) (Dec. 21): Originally, the James Cameron-produced Alita: Battle-Angel was supposed to play here but—this just in—that film has been postponed until next year in favor of a new, PG-13 Deadpool 2 edit. So, Fox will homogenize a hard R-rated film in much the way films used to be edited for broadcast television, and then try to do a big screen cash grab. I remember when they did this with Saturday Night Fever back in the ’70s. The censored version sucked. Greedy bastards.
Vice (Dec. 21): Christian Bale plays Dick “Worst Hunting Partner Ever” Cheney in this sure to be incendiary biopic from Adam McKay.
Aquaman (Dec. 21): Ah, the DC universe trudges on after its Justice League misfire with this cool, muscular, tattooed update of the titular water-faring hero, a crazy, quirky new take for a modern era—a modern era where somebody in charge of the DC film universe seems to think we crave trash cinema that costs 300 trillion dollars.
Bumblebee (Dec. 21): I know nothing good has ever come out of the Michael Bay Transformers universe, but this offshoot has a different director. It also has Hailee Steinfeld (I love her!) as the female lead, Justin Theroux (I love him!) voicing a character named Dropkick, and the dude who directed Coraline. (Not sure if I love him; not ready to commit on that one just yet.) This could actually be fun.
Welcome to Marwen (Dec. 21): This CGI-heavy movie looks really weird to me, with its half-human dolls and mopey-looking Steve Carell. Robert Zemeckis directs, and the preview creeps me out a bit. It’s not a horror movie, so creeping me out isn’t a good thing.
On the Basis of Sex (Dec. 25): This has been a big cinema year for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She had an acclaimed documentary earlier (RBG) and with this, Felicity Jones will play her in a biopic. Next up: Her own variety show with the one and only Neil Patrick Harris!
Destroyer (Dec. 25): This movie stars Nicole Kidman, but all I can think of right now is “PARANOIA NEED DESTROYER!!! PARANOIA, THEY DESTROY YA’!!!” And I just noticed this comes out on Christmas Day, which makes me think about that other Kinks song where the kids mug Santa Claus. OK, I’m starting to get a little distracted. I’m done. Have a nice fall and winter and then spring and summer, and then have another nice next fall a year from now. Bye!