2015 was going strong, but started to hit a low point in late summer. However, September had many promising films and now October looks to have a superb lineup. Here’s what I’m thinking you may want to check out this October.
October 2015: The Year of the Movie
Director: Ridley Scott (Alien/Gladiator)
Writer: Drew Goddard (Daredevil Netflix Series/Cloverfield/ Cabin in the Woods)
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels
A movie inspired by the highly praised novel The Martian by Andy Weir. After a mighty storm on Mars, the crew evacuates, one member, Mark Watney is presumed dead. However, Watney survives and now he must use every bit of wit and ingenuity he has to survive and find a way to message Earth and come home.
This movie looks pretty darn incredible. It features a great cast leading with Damon, Chastain, and Wiig, but also features Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, Michael Pena. With writer Drew Goddard teaming up with the work of Weir and Ridley Scott directing. This has all the makings of an early Oscar contender. There is a reason it is the only notable movie opening this week. Nobody wants to try and contend with it on its opening weekend. Expect great acting, great directing, and a very good script. I’m actually quite excited for this one.
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama
Director: Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future/ Forrest Gump)
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley
I’m not very interested in the story of Phillipe Petit’s attempt to cross the World Trade Center Towers in 1974. However, it is directed by Robert Zemeckis who has several very good movies under his belt. It also features two very talented actors in Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kingsley. For a story that may lack some appeal, I think they have done well to build the drama within the movie. Combine that with what I’m sure will be great acting. This movie could be a big hit and I’m sure a few people within like Gordon-Levitt may get nominations for all sorts of things (he is a truly talented person).
Genre:Action, Comedy, Crime
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Zach Galifianakis
This film has a good cast of comedian talent, but a lot of untested writers and directors that I have little to no confidence in. I can’t guarantee success on this newest venture. However, there is always that chance that the film will be a smashing success. The trailers didn’t look terrible (They made me chuckle in fact). Where have all the great comedies gone? This year has seen very few good comedies, but here is hoping it will be among them.
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Hugh Jackman
This is a live-action version of Peter Pan. It has been pushed back several times despite the fact that it looks pretty wild. I am hoping the reasons for the push backs were schedule conflicts. While fantasy is very hit or miss with me, I am curious to see how this film plays out. Plus, it has Hugh Jackman and that is always a step in the right direction. (Well, most times.) I’m hearing mixed buzz about it. I always try to stay positive until I can no longer do so. Let’s hope this movie finds an audience and provides many with the thrills they seek.
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain
A female writer becomes conflicted after a family tragedy. She finds herself in love with two men. All the while she is enveloped by her home. A home which breathes, bleeds … and remembers (great line, but not mine.)
This movie seems like a psychedelic ride of a horror film. Though I feel the movie will feel more like a dream than any run of the mill horror film. That may work towards its advantage. I’m excited for this film because I think Tom Hiddleston is a better actor than many give him credit for. Yes, he plays a great Loki, but he is capable of so much more as evidence by his work in Midnight in Paris (2011), High-Rise (2015), and I Saw the Light (2015) Also, Jessica Chastain, there is a lot of talk for how incredible she is. I’ve not seen her in too much yet, but she continues to rise in popularity and is starting land some awesome roles. Keep it up Chastain!
Bridge of Spies
Genre: Drama, Historical
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tom Hanks, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan
Spielberg has become the director who will spend years at a time creating a masterwork. All the while having his influence in other ideas. Bridge of Spies appears to be a terrific historical drama set in the Cold War era about a simple American lawyer who must rescue a downed pilot in the Soviet Empire. Should things go wrong, it could lead to World War Three and the likely destruction of the human race. I think this will be another masterwork by Spielberg, but also a much-needed return to form for Tom Hanks. Though I mean his work in Captain Phillips (2013) and Saving Mr. Banks (2013) were both really good jobs.
The Last Witchhunter
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Starring: Vin Diesel, Michael Caine, Elijah Wood,
Vin Diesel was already in the mega-hit Furious Seven in 2015, but now he tries to broaden his role if only slightly in this action movie. He is the last hope for humanity against these most dangerous and infamous of group of witches. I think this is a film that works in late October, it has that creepy factor in it mixed with action. I would expect moderate success to follow, especially if the film plays well with critics.
Jem and the Holograms
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Starring: Molly Ringwald
I’ve yet to hear anything good about this film from the loyal fans. When the target audience is displeased, that often suggests trouble lies ahead. Maybe the movie is better than the trailers suggest and will win people back. Here’s hoping.
Genre: Biopic, Drama
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
How many Steve Jobs films do we really need? I get that people find him inspirational and eccentric. However, I think there are far more important figures to make a movie about such as George Washington (in the works now), Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglas and I could go on and on. There is no question that he had an impact on the world, but I feel that this is more a two hour Apple promotion video rather than a movie. Maybe, I’m wrong, it does dive into his personal flaws. I’m curious to see how this film turns out although I’m not all that interested to go see it. Expect Michael Fassbender to be the best thing about this film.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse
Genre: Horror Comedy
Starring: Tye Sheriden (Mud), Patrick Schwarzenegger,
I truly think that Tye Sheriden is a rising star in Hollywood. He was in Mud (2012) and Joe (2013), both of witch he did exceptional work as a young actor. He was nominated for several acting awards and even won the Marcello Mastroianni Award which is given at the Venice International Film Festival to emerging young actors and actresses. Sheriden also won the Phoenix Film Critics Society Award, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, Independent Spirit Award, Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards for his role in Mud.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse seems to be in the spirit of Zombieland, a horror comedy which I absolutely love. Can it live up to that? I have my doubts, but I believe it will beworth watching.