Fall Movie GuideSep 13, 2017
It’s time once again for that in-between season when the movie studios take time to either rejoice over the success of their summer blockbusters. Or maybe in the case of the Summer of 2017, it will be a period of reflection over some truly dismal cinema offerings. In any event, there’s a sort of lull between August and November as everyone catches their collective breath before launching into the holiday movie offerings.
That doesn’t mean that September and October won’t offer some great reasons to head to your local multiplex (even if that grand multiplex has been stolen by some soulless theater chain known as “They Who Must Not Be Mentioned.”). In the past five years the two-month “interlude” has given us “The Martian” (2015), “Whiplash” (2014), “John Wick” (2014), “Gravity” (2013), and “12 Years a Slave” (2013).
With that in mind here’s a look at my most anticipated films for September and October of 2017:
It (September 8)
Let’s be honest. 2017 has not been kind to Stephen King. Sony just finished butchering the horror writer’s epic, “The Dark Tower”, much to the dismay of King fans around the world. The truth is that for every time Hollywood has gotten King right (The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, Carrie) they’ve delivered at least one dismal screen version of his work (Pet Semetary, Silver Bullet, Dreamcatcher, The Tommyknockers). “It” was actually produced as a TV miniseries back in 1990 featuring Tim Curry (Dr. Frankenfurter from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”) as the creepy clown. The previews for this version of King’s terrifying story of children battling an evil presence lurking in the sewers beneath their small town look promising.
American Assassin (September 15)
This looks like yet another Hollywood attempt to create an action series along the lines of Tomy Clancey’s Jack Ryan books (Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games). American Assassin focuses on the exploits of Mitch Rapp, the central figure in a series of novels by Vince Flynn. Rapp loses his girlfriend in a terrorist attack and joins the CIA as a black ops agent. CBS Films is the studio behind this franchise attempt and is taking the “young Mitch Rapp” approach, casting Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner, Deepwater Horizon) as the title character. Older moviegoers will instantly cringe at the idea of a “young adult” screen version of Flynn’s character, but the addition of Michael Keaton (Spiderman:Homecoming, Birdman) to the cast as Rapp’s mentor gives some hope that this could be a good beginning to a fresh new movie series.
Blade Runner 2049 (October 6)
It’s been 35 years since Ridley Scott introduced us to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the “blade runner” tasked with tracking down AWOL replicants, the genetically-engineered androids that served humanity. Set in Los Angeles in 2019, the moody neo-noir sci-fi thriller got mixed reviews from critics, but fans loved the story and the unforgettable Vangelis score. The ending of the movie left a lot of questions unanswered, and fans have clamored for more for over 3 decades. Ford is returning in his role as Deckard, joined by Ryan Gosling as they look into a long-buried secret that could plunge the world into chaos. Scott is producing, handing over directing duties to Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival). Previews look gloriously shot. Here’s hoping the story and action live up to the visuals.
The Foreigner (October 13)
If you’ve ever stuck around for the outtakes of Jackie Chan movies, you know the actor has broken countless bones and suffered dozens of other injuries. The man has always done his own stunts in dozens of action-adventure films and paid the price, so when you see his aging and weary face in the previews for “The Foreigner” he’s completely believable. This time around he’s Quan, a humble businessman looking for justice after a terrorist bombing kills his daughter. Turns out…Quan has a buried past that features a unique set of skills, skills acquired over a long career, skills that make him a nightmare for people like Pierce Brosnan’s politician with possible hidden connections to the bombers. Martin Campbell (Edge of Darkness, Green Lantern) directs.
The Snowman (October 20)
The previews for this crime thriller look absolutely chilling, mostly because the movie was shot in Norway during the winter. Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs, Alien: Covenant, X-Men: Apocalypse) stars as Detective Harry Hole, the lead detective of an elite crime squad that is investigating a mysterious disappearance. That missing woman could be a sign that an elusive serial killer is on the prowl again after decades of inactivity. The story is based on the 7th novel in the Harry Hole book series by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø. I know…like me you’re wondering why it has taken Hollywood so long to recognize the glaring need for Norwegian detective thrillers. The cast also features Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Chloe Sevigny (Portlandia, Zodiac).