In October I went to the movies! I saw The Magnificent Seven, which was a nice wrap-up for the summer, and now it's November already and the season of Oscar hopefuls is starting! Lots of movies this month, and lots that look really good! Which ones have your attention?
Nov 3rd; PG-13
Benedict Cumberbatch takes his turn as Marvel hero as the Marvel universe officially expands into the realm of magic. I'm expecting good things. This movie doesn't have the kind of hype that surrounds some Marvel films like sequels and team-ups, but I always look forward to the introduction films and what they'll bring to the table that's new. And Doctor Strange more than most seems to be coming from its own place and is (as of yet) unconnected with the rest of Marvel. The trailers look good and promise plenty of weirdness, and Cumberbatch appears to be in fine form as the new hero. He's joined by Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen and Rachel McAdams, and positive reviews are already flooding in. I have no doubt this movie will be good; it's just a matter of how good at this point. I hope it'll be spectacular, but even if it isn't, it should certainly be a worthy addition all the same -- and a definite must-see!
Nov 3rd; PG-13
My favorite director returns again with a second film for 2016! Well, I just said it, so it must be true; Jeff Nichols is my favorite director. So far he's been batting a thousand, with four beautifully brilliant and strikingly different films under his belt, and everything seems to indicate that Loving will be right at home along with them. It stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga as the historic interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who fought the system over their marriage in the 60's. Nichols' staple, Michael Shannon is there also, and Nick Kroll and Marton Csokas. Normally, I have diminished interest in based-on-true-story films, especially if they're straight dramas, so I can see this being my least favorite from Nichols, but even if that's the case, it's still just as likely to be as beautifully and excellently made.
Nov 10th; PG-13
Did I just watch a trailer for a political alien movie? At the very least Arrival seems to be exploring the realistic technical aspects of a hypothetical alien contact. Maybe like in the way The Martian did for surviving on a different planet. How would the government react? Who would be brought in to handle things? What kind of obstacles would need to be overcome and how would it be done? And then of course you throw in the question of whether the alien's intentions are good or bad, and you have a pretty neat idea for a movie! And based on the early reviews, they've pulled it off. Amy Adams stars -- who I'm currently feeling "meh" towards, but I know she capable of good things -- along with Jeremy Renner (always a plus) and Forest Whitaker. I'm always down for sci-fi, but I really want this one to be as great as it wants and appears to be.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Nov 17th; PG-13
Okay, I'm not much of a Harry Potter fan. Never read them; watched the films through and enjoyed them. Just so you know where I'm coming from here. This new spin-off does look like fun; set in the same universe, but apparently very separate from Harry's adventures. Eddie Redmayne is being all quirky and odd and is using magic a lot in the trailer which is great, and I like the tone of the trailer too. Mature, like the later Potter films, but also very focused on being fun. I heard it's the beginning of a new Potter-World series, and I just hope it doesn't turn into eight more movies. The idea of investing in a whole new string of films isn't appealing to me at my level of interest, but if this movie delivers and can stand on it's own, I'd be happy to watch it!
Manchester by the Sea
Nov 17th (limited); R
I don't have much to say about this one. It's rating will keep me out of the theaters for it even if I were that interested anyway. But I just really love all that all the critically acclaimed film are coming out now, and the critics are gushing over this one. So I thought the trailer was worth sharing.
Nov 17th (limited); R
Now this is the kind of character I'd really love to see Amy Adams play. Dark, and possibly sinister. And man, this film has a cast! There's also Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher (Amy's look-alike!), Armie Hammer, and Laura Linney! The movie will probably have to be cut before I'll watch it, but it looks like my kind of film. Moody, mysterious and noir-ish. It's based on a book, so I'll have to look into that too.
Bleed For This
Nov 17th; R
Miles Teller bulks up to star in this based-on-a-true-story sports drama as a boxer who works through a devastating injury from a car crash to be able to fight again. Aaron Eckhart costars as his trainer. Sports movies aren't typically my things, but fighting sports do have an edge over other kinds. I would probably be very interested in this if it weren't for the rating, and how it comes through in the trailer -- that is, unnecessarily. These are the earmarks of a movie that is only decent, because not enough effort and devotion was put into making it great.
The Take (Bastille Day)
Nov 17th (limited); R
Idris Elba. Richard Madden. British action movie. Enough said, I think! This doesn't look like a huge caliber action film or anything, but it's the sort of movie that I'd want to watch no matter how bad it is and then live with the regret if I must. Another iffy rating, but I'll be keeping an eye out.
Rules Don't Apply
Nov 22nd; PG-13
I liked Alden Ehrenreich in Hail, Caesar! so much that I might be interested in this movie even if he wasn't the new Han Solo, but honestly this movie's plot looks like garbage. As another pilot of the Millennium Falcon would say. Here he co-stars with Lily Collins while she plays a aspiring actress in 1950's Hollywood. Romance and drama ensues.
Nov 24th (limited); NR
Probably won't be able to make it to the level of Slumdog Millionaire, which it will probably be compared to considering the drama and Dev Patel in the lead, but it sure is an interesting original idea for a story! An Indian boy lost as a kid is adopted by an Australian couple, and 25 years later, he sets out on the nearly impossible task of finding his home and family again.