Questionable Harvest: September 2016 Movie Preview

M: Five Fridays, and a whole bunch of wide releases makes for a lot of movies to talk to you all about this month!

C: Some of them even look pretty exciting.

E: Life turns serious in September: back to school, back to so called grown-up movies.  Popcorn is out, drama is in!

M: More that they’re leaving the popcorn for the start of the new TV season… which we’ll get to in a week or two.

E: I find myself in the weird position of asking first what’s wrong with these movies, and second how the November and December releases can possibly be any better.

C: I don’t know why you’d say that.

M: Because she’s E. And because Hollywood tends to suck at spacing out good releases.

E: Because this isn’t my first September, sis. Glance over our September previews from 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 and you’ll see almost no movies that you’ll remember; a few minor hits, a few critically acclaimed flicks, a few Halloween themed flicks, and one best picture nominee.  This year’s slate looks far more promising than that, which honestly weirds me out a little. Are we seeing a change in release patterns, or are these movies less promising than they appear?

C: Every year a few good films come out in September. It’s usually the ones that aren’t big enough for summer or the holidays, but aren’t arty enough to be Oscar favorites.

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Get Ready for the Dog Days: August 2016 Movie Preview

M: Um, yeah. Last month, for the first time in years, we missed a monthly movie preview. Our bad.

E: Which is a shame, because we’re left with the spottiest month of the summer to review.

C: But in happier news, I’m back! After knocking a few items off my to-do list (got a PhD, got married), I finally have time to devote to the really important things, like lamenting the absurdity of a Ben Hur remake with my siblings.

E: Or the poor quality of this year’s August releases.  But even that paucity is sweeter with you.

C: Aww. Anyway, it’s really just a normal August, with one potential blockbuster, one or two looks-good-but-could-wait-for-video quality films, and the rest pretty humdrum fare. By which I mean, a great time to see what’s still in the theaters from July. Like Ghostbusters, which is delightful!

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Just The Blockbusters: June 2016 Movie Preiview

M: So while May is the official start of summer movie season, June is the true start of the season when the studios know that their customers ages 22 and under are out of school and are looking for air-conditioned fun. With that we’ll get the most anticipated animated movie in years, and some other seemingly fun fare.

E: June might just be the most blockbuster heavy month of the year. The studios have brought out what they thinks are the big guns, boys and girls.

M: I think July will give it a run for it’s money, but yeah, June’s got the big guns. As for the Siblings, well, the June movies start on Friday, but C is getting married on Saturday! Needless to say, she won’t be joining in, and neither E nor I have a lot of time to devote to this.

E: We have rather a lot going on, thank you.

M: Therefor, we’re only running through the big releases. Our apologies, and we should be back on track a month from now (when there’s at least one zany looking smaller release that I’m interested in discussing).

E: We hate to skimp, but if a skinny preview is all we can deliver, I’d like to think it’s better than nothing.

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Civil War Apocalypse: May 2016 Movie Preview

M: So, it’s rainy and cold (high 40’s, low 50’s), and promises to be about the same for the next five days. It snowed a couple weeks ago. This means, clearly, that it’s summer movie season! Well, at least, that’s what it means in New England, where spring generally fluctuates between “extended winter” and “hotter than hell”.

E: I’m pretty sure this is how we started the May preview last year, too. Doesn’t feel like spring here, let alone summer, but that’s what Hollywood considers it.

M: Well, that’s depressing. I’m sure I blamed Al Gore then, so I’ll lay off him this year.

E: Yes, I’m sure you did. I’m amazed at your forbearance.

M: Weather aside, with May come summer blockbusters, and this May is no exception. Now, we only have a couple, and there’s an overall lack of depth to the month’s offerings, but we’ve got at least the two comic-book tent poles to get us through.

E: And a couple of high profile adaptations which seem likely to generate big box office, as well as a low profile literary adaptation that I’m absolutely salivating over.

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An Unusual Slate: April 2016 Movie Preview

M: So, let’s see what April has to offer in the way of “major” releases… a Christian movie sequel (a bit of a first), another horrible looking Melissa McCarthy vehicle (cone on Hollywood, she’s funny, let’s get her some good material), a terrifyingly awesome looking new version of an old Disney classic, the Barber Shop crew taking on drive-by shootings, a sequel/prequel (I can’t even tell) to a Snow White movie that wasn’t particularly successful or well reviewed, and another rom-com-interconnected-story-centered-around-a-holiday crapfest. Summer movies can’t get here soon enough.

E: May movies (often the cream of the warm weather crop) can’t get here soon enough. That lot sounds pretty lame.

M: I don’t get it. What’s different between the beginning of May and April? Not even colleges are out of school until late May, and those early May blockbusters don’t usually last into mid-to-late June when lower grades get out. Spread the wealth, already!

E: Yes please!

M: And it turns out, the undercard, the limited releases, contains a pretty enticing looking slate of films. So strange.

E: So C is finishing writing her dissertation this week, and will not be joining us. Better luck to us all preparing for May, when she’ll merely be defending it! Or not so much. Not to mention June, when we’re all preparing for her wedding…

M: Yeah, if you thought the March “preview” was late…. but we digress. On to April’s unusual slate!

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December 2015 Movie Preview: Star Wars… Nothing but Star Wars

M: Okay, if you don’t understand the title, you need to do one of two things. First, if you don’t understand it because you don’t know that the first new Star Wars movie in the post-George Lucas era, directed by J.J. Abrams, is coming out this month, then you need to climb out from whatever rock you’ve been under for the last year or two. Second, if it’s because you don’t get the reference, you need to watch this old Bill Murry SNL sketch.

C: I actually did not get that reference, and now feel shame.

E: The key point is, it’s all about Star Wars. And Oscar movies. Star Wars and awards bait.  You know what?  It’s a lot of movies, period.

M: Well, not the SNL sketch, our December movie post. The sketch is only about Star Wars. However, since as E said, we won’t actually be talking “nothing but Star Wars,” a quick note. There are about a billion movies of note being released the first weekend this month.

C: Actually, it’s 10.

M: …fine, 10. There are 10 movies of note being released the first weekend this month. Most of them, really all but the Christmas comedy-horror flick Krampus, are limited, small releases, but still, that’s a lot even for the small releases. The month evens out a bit after that, but ramps up again in time for the Christmas school break.

E: Well, those Oscar movies have to play somewhere in December or they don’t qualify!  Not that all of these are exactly Oscar-bait.

C: That is a crazy lot, anyway. So brace yourselves!

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November 2015 Movie Preview

E: It’s November, which means it’s time for an intense burst of smart grown-up movies: blockbusters, certainly, but with more depth than many of the summer popcorn flicks. And Oscar contenders through the roof.  Just this first weekend bursts at the seams with amazing films. You could probably sit in the theater all weekend watching new, mostly fantastic looking releases.

M: More importantly, it means we’re only one month away from the opening of The Force Awakens! Not that I’m excited or anything.

C: Oh, not at all.

M: That said, E’s right, the release schedule is really heating up, there is some really good stuff to look out for in November.

C: Like, for instance, the killer cast of Suffragette and the total anguish of the final Hunger Games.

November 6th – Spectre, The Peanuts Movie, The Outskirts, SuffragetteSpotlight, TrumboRoom, What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi LegacyBrooklyn, Miss You Already

November 13th – By The Sea, The 33, Love The Coopers, My All American, Heist, Shelter

November 20th – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, The Night Before, The Secret In Their Eyes, Carol, #Horror

November 25th – The Good Dinosaur, Creed, Victor Frankenstein, The Danish Girl, Janis: Little Girl Blue

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