October 2014 Movie Preview

E: Long a mixed bag of horror flicks and more serious fare, October bursts out of the gates with a major box office and Oscar contender.

M: And, to hold form, a creepy horror flick.

E: This October teems with movies I feel like I ought to see and movies I really, really don’t want to see.  Unfortunately, some releases fit into both categories.

M: And we’ve added a new feature this month. Click the title of the movie to link to the trailer for it.

October 1st

Men, Women and Children

E: Jason Reitman, director of Juno and Up in the Air, brings us this Altman-esque take on the ruination that is the internet and social media.  We’re so connected, we don’t see people in real life, y’all!  Or something.

M: Seems like something that someone like Reitman could make a good story about. He usually gets good casts, who does he have this time?

E: We see Adam Sandler as a porn/escort addict, Ansel Elgort as a mooney loner as well as Rosemary DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judi Greer and Dean Norris.  Oh, and Emma Thompson narrates.  From a frame story in space.

M: Seriously, I followed almost none of what you said there.

E: Reitman promises it will make sense.  Really.  Unless it bombs horrifically, Men, Women & Children should expand beyond this limited release; I guess we’ll see if mainstream audience gets behind the quirky storytelling.

M: Well, with the likes of Reitman, Altman, and Wes Anderson (I feel like his name should end in “-man.” Can we just start calling him Wes Anderman?), there is an appetite for it. Provided it’s a good story, of course.

E: Actually, what worries me most is that slagging social media is low-hanging fruit.

M: So true. I’m actually getting kind of sick of it. Before social media people found other ways to ignore human interaction… like newspapers and booze.

E: I’d be more interested in hearing a more mixed report; some lonely people find friends in their niche interests, and stop feeling alone!  And maybe this is it.  Who knows?  He doesn’t always deliver, but Reitman at least has a consistently interesting point of view.

October 3rd

Gone Girl

E: La la la, don’t spoil me on Gillian Flynn’s best seller — I’m only a couple of hundred pages in!

M: All I know is the bit I’ve gleaned from the trailers… which make it look really well done.

E: Yes it does.  And yeah, I know it was the hottest book in America two years ago, but we’re just reading it for my book club now.

M: Haven’t read a page, doubt I will get to it. Hottest book trends usually only impact me if my teenage daughter is reading it.

E: Heh.  Fair enough.  I will say, the casting seems pretty spang on.  Protagonist Nick Dunne — who may or may not have kidnapped and murdered wife Rosamund Pike — describes himself as an Irish kid from a working class family who has the face of an smug, entitled trust fund baby.

M: I mean, we know he can pull off smug, entitled and trust fund, but you’re thinking that Ben Affleck can still pull off “working-class?” I think I’m in wait-and-see mode on that one.

E: But that’s the point.

Annabelle

M: Remember when I mentioned above that the Gone Girl trailers make it look really well done? Well, this is the opposite. Seriously, though, even if you’re not aware that you’re in a horror movie, how do you look at that doll and not want to get as far away from it as humanly possible?

E: Maybe if you’re a horror movie enthusiast?  Or love being scared in person by preposterously creepy old dolls? Frankly, I think the doll would have been scarier if they hadn’t made it so obviously creepy, if that makes sense.

M: I don’t know. I look at the woman in the commercial being so excited when she gets it, and can’t help but question her sanity. Then I see the scene where the doll locks her out of the room where her baby’s sitting on the floor, then drops into her view as she tries to peek under the door… and assume that one of the younger Wayans brothers is standing next to her.

Left Behind

E: Is that really Nick Cage making a rapture movie?

M: Remaking, in this case, but yeah. Kirk Cameron, whose career was somewhat derailed by his being a Christian, made the first adaptation of these movies, based on the hugely popular book series.

E: Wait, it’s not just the same title, it’s the same source material?  HUH.

M: Yes, both are based on the novel by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. Overall, the top of the cast is strong, with One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray and the resurgent Lea Thompson. Apparently, when I questioned her “star” cred in the Dancing With The Moderately Recognizable portion of our Fall Preview, I was way off. My bad.

E: Does this movie constitute star cred?  I’m not so sure.  She was in that ping pong movie from a  few months back, though, so clearly she’s working.

M: That was what I had questioned, not if she still had star cred, but if she was even still working, which clearly she is. On the down side, it also stars former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, who I cannot attribute to anything but Idol and her failed movie Sparkle.

E: Jordin Sparks is definitely not what looks bad about this movie.

M: Back on the plus side, it’s being directed by long-time stunt man/coordinator and second unit director Vic Armstrong, who’s been the second-in-command for movies from Thor and The Amazing Spider-Man, all the way back to Kenneth Branagh’s wonderful Henry V, and did stunts for things as far back as the 60’s, including some Bond movies and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He’s also been Harrison Ford’s stunt double, most notably in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and a bunch of his movie since. I always like to see someone who’s paid their dues forever get a shot. I hope it pays off for him.

E: The Rapture’s been hot in Hollywood lately (Rapture-Paloosa, The Leftovers, This is the End) so maybe it will.

M: I have to say, the production value is high. It looks well done. I’ll definitely Netflix it at the least.

The Good Lie

E: In advance of her major book-to-film Oscar bid of 2014 (which, oddly enough, was our last book club selection), Reese Witherspoon stars in this inspirational true story of a woman helping Sudanese refugees who ends up caring a lot more about their plight than she expected.

M: From what I understand, she’s not exactly the star of this, and that outside the poster the movie’s promotion isn’t treating her like it, which is both rare and good. She plays a social worker in Kansas who helps the child refugees, only after they get to Kansas, which is somewhere in the middle of the film. From what I’m reading about it, it’s a telling of the children’s story that doesn’t shy away from the horrors that they went through before getting to the inspirational part once they arrive in the plains state.

E: Oh, really?  The trailer takes place almost exclusively in Kansas, and features a plot about her jobs for three grown men who’re refugees, not children.  And, also, trying to get the men’s friend (or one of their sisters, perhaps?) out of Africa.

M: Okay, I think it starts with them as kids, and they are grown by the time they get to the U.S. Regardless, it looks both inspirational and fun.

The Liberator

E: Even though it’s in Spanish and may not have wide appeal, I had to include this costume drama because on the poster, the lead actor (Edgar Ramirez) totally looks like someone put an Elvis impersonator in George Washington’s clothes.

M: Oh, it totally does!

E: Well, and of course you could make a fascinating movie out of South American freedom fighter Simón Bolivar’s life.  He does have a country named after him, so chances are good he lead a pretty interesting life.

M: According to the film’s promo material, he fought over 100 battles, spanned more ground than Alexander the Great, and didn’t conquer, but liberated (hence the title) the people he fought for from Spanish rule. Spreading, as the trailer says, Washingtonian/Jeffersonian democracy for all men. Definitely compelling. What’s odd is that this film played the Toronto Film Festival in September… of 2013.

E: Well, it’s probably not super easy to get distribution for South American films here in the U.S.  When was the last one you remember seeing in a theater?

M: That’s a better question for you, miss “I’d go see a Vietnamese movie with Flemish subtitles.”

E: No, that’s why it’s a bad question for me, because I’m the person who seeks out foreign films.  (My answer is Central Station, in case you’re wondering. From 1998.)

M: If the last one YOU can remember is from 16 years ago, then you just proved my point. And probably your own. This should be the next one, though.

October 10th

The Judge

E: Robert Duvall.  Robert Downey, Jr.  ACTING!

M: I am a little concerned by the October release date, but this looks like something that could end up being fantastic. As you pointed out, the co-leads are stellar, with Duval playing the titular judge, and Downey, Jr. as his son, but the cast doesn’t stop there. The fantastic Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton round out the headlines, but the cast also includes David Krumholtz, Sarah Lancaster, Leighton Meester, Dax Shepard and the outstandingly named Balthazar Getty.

E: Yeah, that’s pretty amazing. Even Getty had a recurring role on Alias.

M: Yes, back when I used to confuse him with Liev Schriber. Anyway, the story — about a small town idealistic judge who is accused of murder being defended by his hotshot lawyer son — is a massive departure for director David Dobkin, whose previous films include Wedding Crashers, Fred Claus and The Change-Up. The trailer and commercials look excellent visually, not what I would expect from a director making the shift from lowbrow comedy to emotional family drama, which gives me hope. The more I see for this the more I want to see it, and the more I want it to be not just good, but great.

E: I agree. So far the reviews are not brilliant, which is worrisome.

M: Yeah, the critics are hovering around 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Especially where this sets up like a critical darling, that’s concerning.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

E: In order to adapt the Judith Viorst classic into a movie, writers had to spin things out a little.

M: I remember you and I taking turns reading this to C when she was little. At least in my memory, I don’t think I ever pictured it as feature film source material. That said, it looks fun, and has a great cast.

C: Including Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner as the parents of the titular Alexander.

Dracula Untold

E: The best I can say for this movie is that it’s October.

M: Oh come on, we can do better than that. The special effects look excellent, especially when he turns into a flock of bats. Plus it stars Luke Evans, the latest in a long, long line of men that Hollywood is desperately trying to turn into a leading man.

E: I did think it was an early ad for the upcoming Hobbit movie, so perhaps there’s some merit in your argument.  There are more battles than I’d have expected, and no fangs.

Addicted

M: I’m pretty sure this movie has been made before… over and over and over. One of the versions of it was Unfaithful, but there have been so many more. In fact, I think Tyler Perry made a version of it within the last year.  Why do people keep telling this story? More importantly, why do we keep watching it?

E: Well, we don’t.

M: Okay, so that was meant as more of a societal “we,” but yeah.

C: Someone must, though, because they keep making ’em.

The Canal

E: A well reviewed horror movie?  What?

M: Come on, be fair, that definitely happens from time to time. Especially when it’s designed to be more of a thriller than straight up horror, as this is. It’s a who-done-it, but the choices are our main character, accused of killing his wife who he found having an affair, or… the ghost that he suspects lives in their house and was involved in a 1902 murder in the same building.

E: Oh, I’m sure he won’t have any trouble convincing the police that the ghost did it!

M: Seems like an easy task, no? Hellboy‘s Rupert Evans stars, we’ll see if he’s up to that task. I’ll say this, it does look far better than a lot of the usual October horror fare.

C: Hellboy‘s Rupert Evans? You mean Emma‘s and North & South‘s Rupert Evans! (For the costume drama geeks in the house, he’s Frank Churchill in the Romola Garai Emma and Frederick Hale in N&S.)

The Overnighters

E: I’m not sure there’s a more alarming film to come out this month than this riveting, award-winning documentary about a pastor who lets migrant workers hunker down on church property, and the chaotic chain of events that ensues.  It’s so dramatic and emotional that it’s a bit reminiscent of the Naudet brothers who happened to be making a film about New York City firefighters on 9/11; there’s just no way that the filmmakers could have anticipated what comes next.

M: That was just freaky. Amazing, to have that all captured as it was, but freaky.

E: Watching the previews, I’m overwhelmed by two emotions.  One is that I ought to see the movie.  The other is that I really don’t want to.

M: Which is, I’m guessing, exactly what they were going for.

E: See, I don’t know, M.  I’m pretty sure they want people to see the movie.

M: If that was their primary goal, they wouldn’t be making a documentary on the plight of workers and job seekers on the brink of homelessness, starvation, and/or bankruptcy.

C: That seems a little misguided to me. All filmmakers must hope people will want to see their movie, just not always for the same reason (not always because they want to have a fun time).

M: Okay, well I think they wanted to make something that’s difficult to watch, that people will watch because they feel like they should, not because they want to. Or that they’ll watch because it’s important, which it is. Or because 10% of the proceeds are going to house the homeless, or those on the brink of it. I don’t think that keeping the audience comfortable was part of the design.

E: Fair enough, I suppose.  They’d don’t want us to be comfortable — but they do want us to go.

Whiplash

M: Speaking of something that might be difficult to watch.

E: Oscar contender number two (possibly getting a slow release?) brings us Miles Teller as a jazz drum prodigy and his demanding conservatory teacher (J.K. Simmons).  Teller might seem an unlikely actor to be gathering so much acclaim, but he’s on the list to watch right along with the similarly unlikely Steve Carrell (no, not in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day).

M: For those of us not keeping track… in what, then?

E: It’s called Foxcatcher, and we’ll get into it more in our November preview.

M: Okay then.

C: Simmons also strikes me as a surprising person to be in an Oscar flick, since in my mind he’s forever J. Jonah Jameson.

E: They’re saying Simmons gives the performance of his career.  Critics have been salivating over this one since it hit the festival circuit at Sundance this year.

M: Which it won, by the way. And Teller is having a break out year, between this and Divergent.

E: Note that he didn’t mention Two Night Stand. Or That Awkward Moment.

M: Correct. Those (mercifully) slipped my mind.

E: Also, I think Teller’s break out technically started last year with The Spectacular Now.

M: Semantics.

E: Have you seen the trailer for this, though?  Honestly, I don’t think there’s going to be a horror movie this month more terrifying than this.

C: I feel like it’s less common to see a story about an abusive coach/mentor where the young prodigy is nevertheless an adult. Makes it unsettling in a different way, almost a sort of Stanford Prison Experiment vibe.

M: Yes, this’ll be terrifying in a far more realistic way than the horror ones, that’s for sure. Also, Paul Reiser plays Teller’s father, in what is looking like a comeback year from him, after not doing too much from ’02 to last year.

St. Vincent

E: Even if this didn’t look entertaining…

M: …which it totally does…

E: …we’d have to include it because it was filmed on Massachusetts’ North Shore where we all grew up.

M: I didn’t know that, actually, and couldn’t spot anywhere that looked familiar in the trailer.

E: It’s definitely not the postcard version of home (more like the seediest, grungiest possible locations), but I think the race track is Suffolk Downs.

M: Which was a staple of the siblings’ childhood, as our dad worked there for a few stretches. Back to the film itself, I liked the trailer a lot. Crotchety old man, played like he was born for the role by Bill Murray, helps babysit newly divorced Melissa McCarthy’s 10-ish year old son. I doubt it’s Oscar bait, but I bet it will be heart-warming and funny.

C: In a vaguely familiar, “I’ve seen this idea with different actors” way.

E: Right.  It’s a new Denis the Menace.

M: Except that the grown up is the menace, and the kid is straight-laced. With some really good lines.

E: So, About A Boy, then, with Murray instead of the much prettier Hugh Grant.

October 17th

Fury

E: Brad Pitt.  In a tank.  With helmet head.

M: I so don’t know what to make of this. Pitt rarely makes bad movies, and he has some good talent here with him in Jason Isaacs and Michael Pena. However, he also has Logan “Percy Jackson” Lerman, and one of my least favorite humans, Shia LeBeouf. Writer/director David Ayers record is mixed, with positives like U-571 and Training Day, but also with things like the recent failed Arnold vehicle, Sabotage. The trailer looks riveting, the set up (a tank crew, led by Pitt, with new gunner Lerman who’s afraid to fire, is the last line of defense between the Germans and a slaughter) is tailor made for a good story, and like I said, Pitt usually delivers. But the title is a pile of crap, and LeBeouf’s presence usually means the film will be, too.

E: I was about to say that LeBeouf presence in an ensemble doesn’t damn the film, much as I dislike him, but I can’t think of a single good movie he’s been in.

M: I went back over his IMDb page. Understanding that I haven’t seen Disturbia (a modernization of one of my favorite Hitchcock films, Rear Window, that was well reviewed), you have to go back at least 10 years, to something like Holes, to find something he didn’t either personally ruin or mush. And back then he wasn’t the smug #%&^#  he’s become since Transformers.

The Best of Me

E: What I can’t understand is why they couldn’t cast pairs of younger and older actors who looked even the smallest amount alike to star in this story of teenage lovers who reconnect as adults.

M: What I can’t understand is why they still make movies out of Nicholas Sparks novels.

E: Because they make money, I’m guessing.

C: Because every single one is hugely popular with a certain demographic! Come on.

M: This is the problem with October, we get things that were made solely to make money, not to be any good. I mean, has anything from Sparks even resembled a hit since The Notebook?

E: They don’t have to make that much money.  No one’s casting huge stars, and there are no special effects; it probably costs relatively little to make, so it has to make back less money to be a success.  I don’t know if you heard, but India just sent a satellite into orbit around Mars for the amount of money it took to make Gravity.

M: I did hear about that, kinda crazy. Who knew India even had a space program.

C: Speaking of Gravity, though, has Michelle Monaghan had plastic surgery to look more like Sandra Bullock or something? ‘Cause there are flashes in this trailer where she looks weirdly like her.

The Book of Life

E: Day of the Dead kids flick!  Okay.

M: The voice cast is loaded (Zoe Saldana, Ron Pearlman, Hector Elizondo, Channing Tatum, Diego Luna, Cheech, Ice Cube, Christina Applegate, Danny Trejo) and the animation looks very vibrant and fun. The set up (two men in a villiage, one the faux hero, one the lovable underdog, compete for the hand of the princess/maiden/whatever) is tired, and Tatum’s faux hero, let’s call him Mexican Gaston, looks to be every bit the stereotype.

C: That’s a shame. What a waste of an interesting setting.

M: Yes, and Luna’s underdog looks to fall into the stereotypical “undying love for the woman who doesn’t deserve him” that Stardust mocks so brilliantly. That all said, it looks like it could be a lot of fun.

The Tale of Princess Kaguya

E:  This is apparently the weekend to give your kids a real multicultural experience.   Gorgeous Studio Ghibli flick that looks like a traditional Japanese pen and ink drawing come to life.

M: The animation style is very different than the other films they tout, like the gorgeous Spirited Away. Like you said, though, it evokes images of traditional drawings that make it beautiful in its simplicity.

E: It seems to start out as a Thumbelina tale and becomes a sweeping epic.  English vocals added by Mary Steenbergen, James Caan and Chloe Grace Moretz.

M: Despite her starting as, shall we say, thumb-size, I didn’t take it to be Thumbelina-esque, since she quickly appears to grow to look like a “normal” child. I took that to be more of a strange representation of her being a tiny bamboo baby princess. And yes, readers, I understand how weird that sounds, but if you watch the trailer you’ll understand.

E: This could be a real contender for the animated feature Oscar, but even without that inducement looks well worth seeing.

Birdman

E: Director Alejandro Inarritu brings us another of this year’s best picture contenders.

M: Michael Keaton stars as an actor who, decades ago, portrayed a popular cape-and-cowl-wearing comic book super hero and is now struggling to find relevance and meaning in his work. I wonder why they cast Keaton, or why he agreed to take the role?

C: That seems just the tiniest bit on-the-nose…

E: Love the costume, though!  And the rest of the cast is not too shabby — Naomi Watts, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Zack Galifinakis.

M: Seriously, though, this looks like a bizarre, at times mind-bending film where the line between what’s real and what’s in Keaton’s imagination is as tenuous as his grip on reality and sanity. There are explosions and black helicopters, and there’s Keaton ransacking dressing rooms and running through Times Square in his skivvies, signing autographs along the way.

E: There are definite Black Swan comparisons — and that’s a movie a lot of people loved. So, we’ll see.

M: At least from the trailer it doesn’t look as dark, twisted and Aronofsky-ish as Black Swan, which is good in my book. I’m interested.

E:  I’m certainly curious.

Dear White People

M: A racial comedy set on a well-to-do college campus, that looks like it’s trying to send up every possible side of the issue. Starring Veronica Mars‘ Tessa Thompson as campus radio host who stirs the pot with her “Dear White People” reverse racist program, and is described by one of the other characters as Spike Lee and Oprah Winfrey’s angry child.

C: “Reverse racist,” by the way, being a term the radio show is labeled with within the film, which Thompson’s character fiercely contests.

E: I think the trailer is hilarious.  Smart, brilliantly edited, biting — genuinely laugh out loud funny.  It’s the funniest trailer I’ve seen in a long time.

M: I don’t know if I’d go that far, but there were some really funny moments in it for sure.

Felony

E: Animal Kingdom‘s Joel Edgerton stars in this dark drama about a tired, tipsy cop driving home from a celebration of his recent heroism when he  runs into  a young boy on a bike.  As the boy lies in the hospital in a coma, fellow cops Tom Wilkinson and Jai Courtney conspire to keep Edgerton out of jail.  Edgerton wants to tell, Courtney might want to turn him in, but Wilkinson holds the line.  As a parent it probably freaks me out too much to see, but if that’s not the kind of thing that holds you back, this looks very well made and engrossing.

M: Like you, the parental part pushes me away.

E: Also costarring The Good Wife‘s Melissa George as Edgerton’s wife.

M: I prefer to refer to her as the woman who help Alias jump the shark. That aside, I can easily see both Wilkerson and Courtney playing corrupt, morally ambiguous characters. That’s a good sign for this.

E: Chilling moment from the trailer:  Wilkinson, thumping his temple and telling Edgerton “Prison is for pricks who don’t have their punishment up here.  Not you.  Not me.”

M: See, exactly.

October 24th

John Wick

M: The set up for this is, and I quote “When Russian mobsters kill his beloved dog, retired hit man John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns to the game he played best — and brings bloody vengeance with him.” CANNOT. STOP. LAUGHING.

E: But M!  The dog is so cute!  And she was his last gift from his dying wife!

M: For the benefit of our readers, especially first time readers, we really need to develop a sarcasm font.

C: Like most moviegoers, I’m turned off by dog deaths. Too sad! Also, does anyone remember Grosse Pointe Blank? In that movie, the hitman is running from Russian mobsters whose dog he accidentally killed.

E: Grosse Point Blank had humor paired with its over the top action, which gives it big points over this. By the way, it looks like the mobsters were simply covetous of Wick’s bad ass 7o’s car; the dog dies as a off-shoot of Wick being taunted and tortured for not selling it when first asked.

M: Oh, well that’s clearly worth a descent back into a life of crime and a bloody rampage.

E: The movie seems to play a little with the fact that audiences can see all manner of horror rain down on human beings, and will never get as upset as we do when someone hurts an animal.

M: Pretty sure Michael Vick will agree with that premise.

E: The gritty supporting cast include Game of Thrones‘ Alfie Allen as the car coveting mobster, John Leguizamo, Ian McShane, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Bridget Regan, Lance Reddick and Jason Isaacs.

M: That is an insanely good cast. Which raises the question…..  why did they all sign on? Go back to that first sentence. That is one of the most stupid ideas for a film I’ve ever heard.

Ouija

M: If ever there were an October movie title, this was it.

E: More so than Dracula, you think?

M: Yeah, because that’s such a widely known, widely accepted tale that a Dracula movie could come out at any time of year. When else could Ouija come out?

E: Fair enough.

White Bird in a Blizzard

E: Over-thinky looking drama in which Shailene Woodley’s mom (Eva Green) goes missing, thereby both interrupting her amorous frolicking, but also re-directing it towards inappropriate older men.

C: Ughhhhhh.

M: Is that supposed to sound appealing in any way? Because from that, and from the trailer, you couldn’t pay me enough to watch this.

E: It’s a got a fairly impressive cast, considering, but the trailer at least is weighed down with would be portentous narration.

M: I don’t think the narration is what’s weighing it down, I think it’s the movie the narration is trying to sell that’s the anchor here. Ugh.

23 Blast

E: You wouldn’t believe this if it weren’t based on a true story: high school football star Travis ( Mark Hapka)  looses his eyesight, but not his hope, because of his best friend, his mobility coach, a special girl, and the coach who decides he could go from being a running back to a center.  A center doesn’t really have to see, right?

M: Well, it does help, but definitely less necessary. He would still need to see where the ball is, at the very least, when lining up. Does he completely lose his sight, or is he “legally blind?” Because limited site (like being able to see shapes, but not make out details) would make it okay.

E: Costarring Dylan Baker as Travis’s Dad, Baker’s wife Becky Ann Baker as the mobility coach, Stephen Lang as the football coach, and Timothy Busfield as a teacher.

M: To go all Obi Wan Kenobi on you… Timothy Busfield. Now there’s a name I’ve not heard in some time.

Force Majeure

E: Dark comedy about a Swedish family trapped in the Swiss Alps by an avalanche.

M: With Flemish subtitles?

October 31st

Before I Go To Sleep

E: This is the second movie to come in the last year or starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman that’s barely made a blip on the radar screen.  Where are these two Oscar winners going wrong?

M: Yeah, Kidman has a bit of the Michael Caine “I’ll take any role I’m offered” streak in her, and is in some bad things. But Firth is usually a pretty good indicator of quality.

E: The last one was a WW2 melodrama; this is a thriller about a woman who suffered short term memory loss after a traumatic event. Every day, she wakes up next to a husband (Firth) she doesn’t recognize, in a room papered with pictures of their life.  Every day, she sneaks off to see a doctor (Mark Strong) who’s helping her try and remember what happened.  Did her husband attack her?  Is the doctor in love with her?  What happened to the baby she’s beginning to remember?

M: So, Memento meets 50 First Dates, and not in a happy way.

Horns

E: Daniel Radcliffe, with horns.

M: Trombones? Trumpets? What are we talking here?

E: Sorry.  Will ‘splain. No, there is too much, will sum up.

M: Well played.

E: Thank you. Radcliffe’s in love with Juno Temple, who’s suddenly found murdered.  He’s suspected, but cleared. After loudly telling the press he hopes the devil takes her killer, Radcliffe grows devil horns out of his forehead.  But that’s not all!  The horns somehow compel those around him to tell the truth, which results in the entire town going crazy.

M: So, a different spin on Pinocchio, with more adult themes. I *might* like the idea.

E:  It’s actually surprisingly intriguing.  A way more interesting film than the atrocious looking rom-com he came out with this summer.

M: Well, that’s not a very high bar now is it?

E: Nope. Also?  His American accent is excellent.

Nightcrawler

E: An indigent but ambitious Jake Gyllenhaal tries to make a successful business out of guerrilla style crime and accident scene footage, but of course ends up with a little more than he bargained for when he decides to investigate one of the crimes he’s filmed rather than sharing the footage with the police.

M: Or the news channel he’s been feeding things to, for that matter. Looks gritty, dark, cynical, jaded, and a whole bunch of other pejorative terms. It also could be pretty good. Gyllenhaal is a fantastic actor, and the rest of the cast (including Rene Russo and Bill Paxton) are not folks that are usually in bad things.

E: Looks too creepy for me.

Saw

M: Speaking of too creepy.

E: Getting a re-release because it’s Halloween.

M: Still not going to see it, or any of it’s 75 sequels.

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One comment on “October 2014 Movie Preview

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