Labor Day has come and gone and it’s time to switch into the final few months of the 2014 movie year. Before I scrolled through the list of films that were closing out this year, news had come out that the summer box office was down 15% year-over-year. In fact, summer 2014;s highest grossing movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, grossed nearly $120 million LESS than 2013’s highest domestic grosser, Iron Man 3 ($409 million). Not so subtle side note that both are Marvel Studios movies.
Anyway, that brings us to September and onward… well, ok, October and onward. There’s honestly nothing screening in theaters this month that looks even remotely interesting. I mean, The Identical? Dolphin Tale 2? The Equalizer? Get outta here!
So with September a wash, here are the films I’m looking forward to over the next three months:
David Fincher directs this adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel about a man whose wife’s disappearance becomes the focus of an intense media circus and eventually leads to him being the main suspect. Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris and Batman (Ben Affleck) star in this two and half hour mystery-thriller. I like Fincher’s style, I like mystery-thrillers and I liked the book. I’m ready to compare the book and movie next month. Gone Girl is in theaters October 3.
Michael Keaton playing an iconic superhero (not Batman, a lot of Batman in this post so far). I’m in just on that setup alone. But Alejandro Gonzaelz Inarritu’s comedy about a washed-up actor who leads a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his former glory has earned solid reviews out of its premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The cast includes Zach Galifianakis, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Ed Norton and the film gets a limited U.S. release on October 17.
Big Hero 6
A Disney/Marvel movie in November not titled Thor? Ok, so Big Hero 6 doesn’t fit anywhere into the current on-going Marvel Cinematic Universe with its various Infinity Gems and wise-cracking superheroes, but it does feature a voice cast that includes Jamie Chung (I’m interested), Genesis Rodriguez (I’m sold), Maya Rudolph, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk and Damon Wayans Jr. Although it looks a bit cartoon-y, this is the closest we’re getting in terms of an animated Marvel movie… for now. Suit up and save the day on November 7.
The best way to anticipate this movie is to make a pro/con list. So, reasons to watch this movie: 1. It’s written and directed by Christopher Nolan, 2. It stars Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain, 3. There is a wormhole. Reasons to not watch this movie: 1. It co-stars Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace. Pro wins. Besides, it could be worse. It could co-star Shia LaBeouf. *ahem* Fury. The film blasts off November 7.
Dumb and Dumber To
Is it going to be as good as the original? Probably not, but that doesn’t take away from the nostalgic factor of watching Harry and Lloyd encounter a series of whimsical hijinks. The story is essentially a re-hash of the first film (which I watched religiously and repeatedly throughout my teen years) but paraphrasing Ralph Waldo Emerson, it’s the journey, not the destination. Get dum on Novembur 14.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
Don’t get me wrong, I love Jennifer Lawrence and I think she’s a fantastic actress, but I’ve been underwhelmed by the whole Hunger Games franchise to date. Granted, Catching Fire was leaps and bounds better than the first movie, but the mere gall to split the final book into two films turns me off from this film… and yet, I’m curious to see where they split the book in half. The rebellion begins November 21.
The Penguins of Madagascar
I’ll admit it, I watch the Nickelodeon series on a weekly basis, so it’s a no-brainer that I’m incredibly geeked up for this spin-off from the Madagascar franchise. We haven’t seen anything from this film yet, but I’m going in to this expecting the same usual silly, slapstick fun I’ve seen from the previous Madagascar movies and the TV series. Private, secure movie tickets for this November 26 release.
Horrible Bosses 2
When this sequel was first announced, I wasn’t terribly surprised. The first film did strong business at the box office and it featured an overall likeable cast. That being said, I wasn’t terribly sold on it until the first full length trailer was released last week. It looks like another fun ride and the addition of Chris Pine should provide an interesting spark even though Jennifer Aniston is likely to steal this movie again. The bosses die on November 26.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
It’s finally over. Only Sir Peter Robert Jackson could take a 300 page book and turn it into a nine hour trilogy that doubles as a SFX portfolio and a “Visit New Zealand” commercial. But alas it’s over. Unless he decides to adapt other Tolkein books like The Adventures of Tom Bombadil or The Father Christmas Letters. Saddle up for a final ride December 17.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Ben Stiller didn’t have much luck branching out last December with his Secret Life of Walter Mitty remake. Thankfully, he’s back to the usual comedic franchise fluff with this third film in the Museum series. The three-quel is written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, aka the guys who wrote Writing Movies for Fun and Profit: How We Made a Billion Dollars at the Box Office and You Can, Too! This film also marks one of three final movies for the late Robin Williams. I’m going to hold back the tears when I see Teddy Roosevelt appear on screen. The adventure begins December 19.
Nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like a biopic about the life of an Olympic runner who is taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II. Yaaay! All kidding aside, this movie has strong awards potential, the book was a phenomenal read and the script was adapted by the Coen Brothers. I mean, honestly, how many more reasons do you need to ditch the Christmas cheer and go watch this movie? OK, Angelina Jolie directs, Domhnall Gleeson (About Time) co-stars and, since a chunk of the story takes place in Japan, Ken Watanbe co-stars. Of course. Grab your lifeboat buddy and set adrift December 25.
What are you looking forward to seeing to close out the year?