Thursday, November 3, 2016

Holidays (2016)

Number Rolled: 16
Movie Name/Year: Holidays (2016)
Tagline: Surviving them is hell.
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Length: 106 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: ArtCastle, Destroy All Entertainment, Distant Corners Entertainment Group Inc., Lodger Films, Revek Entertainment, XYZ Films
Producer: Various (37)
Director: Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Ellen Reid, Gary Shore, Kevin Smith, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, Dennis Widmyer
Writer: Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy, Gary Shore, Kevin Smith, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, Dennis Widmyer
Actors: Seth Green, Lorenza Izzo, Harley Quinn Smith, Ruth Bradley, Clare Grant, Michael Gross, Mark Steger, Jocelin Donahue, Aleksa Palladino, Ava Acres, Harley Morenstein, Madeleine Coghlan, Shawn Parsons, Scott Stewart, Rick Peters, Andrew Bowen, Savannah Kennick, Ashley Greene, Jennifer Lafleur, Megan Duffy, Sonja Kinski, Willow Hale, Michael Sun Lee, Petra Wright, Kate Rachesky, Sophie Traub, April Eckfeld

Blurb from Netflix: Eight gleefully grim short tales set on Halloween, Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and other holidays comprise this chilling horror anthology.

Selina’s Point of View:
Here’s the thing. I’m not quite sure how to rate this movie. The first half of it was crap. It was reminiscent of the pointless nature of the ABCs of Death (2012) which, well, we all know I HATED. However, the second half of the film was awesome.

Weird… but awesome none-the-less.

I totally forgot that Kevin Smith (Tusk, Clerks, Yoga Hosers) directed a portion of this anthology film. It was a pleasant surprise. I knew exactly which of the segments was his about five seconds into it, however. He has a very specific writing style. His segment definitely went for the gross shock factor and I enjoyed it more than I want admit.

Smith did the Halloween segment. As much as I would like to say his segment was the best simply because I love his stuff, it wasn’t. I think that it was actually almost the worst of the best (which was still MUCH better than the best of the worst).

I’m not sure how I’d line up the other three segments I enjoyed, but they absolutely intrigued me.

Father’s Day, written and directed by Anthony Scott Burns (Manifold, Our House, Lost Boy), was classic horror. Although many of the stories had some kind of dark humor involved, this wasn’t one of them. Still, it definitely brought out the best of the horror genre and I thought the acting was very believable. Whenever an actor can pull off that single teardrop thing, I’m impressed.

The Christmas segment, written and directed by Scott Stewart (Dominion, Dark Skies, Legion), was also great. I was amused that Seth Green’s (Krampus, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Mars Needs Moms) real-life wife, Clare Grant (Mega Shark vs. Kolossus, $5 Cover, Black Snake Moan), played his on-screen wife in it. I know her mostly from the Geek and Gamer Girls parody video and The Guild. The couple’s chemistry is undeniable, even in the case of this creepy story.

The New Year’s Eve segment, written by Kevin Kolsch (Starry Eyes, Absence, Identical Dead Sisters) and Denis Widmyer (Starry Eyes, Absence, Throwaway) – and directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer (Some Kind of Hate, Jerk All-Stars, Sequence Break), was the last of the four parts of this film that I really rather enjoyed. It was on the predictable side, but the dark comedy involved was just so… American Psycho (2000).

I think I’m going to give this film the benefit of rounding up with my rating.

My reasoning is that films like this, whether good or bad, help introduce people to new writers and directors. Not necessarily those that are new to the business, but new to the audience. I didn’t enjoy the Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, or Mother’s Day segments, but other people might. If they do, they could find out that they really love the work of the writers or directors involved and unlock a whole other type of entertainment for themselves.

For me, personally, I’ll be looking out for more projects from Anthony Scott Burns and Scott Stewart. I might not like everything they’ve done, but that’s still a whole list of shit to look out for.

I’ll usually recommend people watch and read anthologies. This isn’t an exception.

Cat’s Point of View:
Horror anthologies are such a grab bag. This one was no different. I’m still somewhat on the fence, really, with my overall impression.

Holidays featured as the #15 spot on my Top 20 Movies to Look Out For in April 2016 list. I had such high hopes for this film project; considering Kevin Smith (Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Red State, Cop Out) was attached. Everything that man has a hand in is usually a sure bet. Even when it’s ‘bad’ – it’s meant to be and it’s so over-the-top that it’s brilliant. I don’t think that was the case here. This movie had to be the exception to that rule.

As this anthology concluded, I didn’t feel quite as icky as when watching prior review offerings dealing with the alphabet or video tapes. Unfortunately, it was overall rather lackluster. I think they could have done so much more with these 8 shorts films. That being said, not all of them were awful. I guess I just didn’t get the ‘payoff’ I was expecting here.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The holidays that received the spotlight here were all mainstream. There weren’t any random ones that wouldn’t be recognized easily. Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all get to go out for a spin here. I was wondering where Thanksgiving ran off to, really.

Parents – this collection of films definitely wasn’t for kids.

I’m just going to toss it out right off the bat that I hated the Easter segment. Not only did it make me feel uncomfortable, it was just… ew. Maybe that was the point – but I don’t care. My favorite of the shorts was Father’s Day. It left so many questions and yet gave an eerie story that felt complete. I craved more of the story in a good way.

Runners-up based on satisfaction with their tales would be Christmas and New Year’s Eve. They didn’t have any loose ends and conveyed their story clearly. Christmas featured the real-life married couple of Seth Green (Phineas and Ferb, The Identical, Family Guy) and Clare Grant (Daylight Fades, The Insomniac, Team Unicorn). I was really hoping that Green would have been in Smith’s segment. Alas, this was not to be. Their performances were solid, as usual, though.

I’d have to say that I’m still a bit on the fence with Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.  The former was just a bit on the predictable side, even if it wasn’t horrible. The latter was rather strange. I get where the St. Patrick’s Day bit was going – even if they tried to put a spin on a 19th Century Norwegian Folktale for a story based in Ireland. I guess with the amount of Norse invaders the Emerald Isle got back in the day, it’s fitting enough. There’s just such a treasure trove of scary and spooky Irish folklore that could have been explored. Oh well.

Mother’s Day left me feeling a bit ‘meh.’ It was unsatisfying and the ending felt rushed.

We finally come to Halloween. On the heels of that very holiday, it seemed fitting that this movie should pop up. The fact that Smith had this one should have made it the most epic of them all. Suddenly, in my mind, I’m hearing that buzzer sound you get with a wrong answer on a gameshow.

I think Smith dropped the ball.

He addresses a real issue in the world today. It’s a topic that probably should get more awareness. I don’t know that this was the appropriate vehicle for it. While there’s some karma involved with the tale – it wasn’t enough to balance out that this wasn’t the kind of ‘horror’ expected. I was just disappointed. It just didn’t tie in to the holiday it was supposed to represent well enough.

I probably will never watch this anthology again, and would generally only recommend it as a means to being able to share my sentiments of: ‘what the fuck?’

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 52%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 23%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 1.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2/5

The Random Rating: R

Movie Trailer:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In November (2016)

According to: Selina

Honorable Mention – Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (11/25)

Tag Line: Live more. Laugh more. Eat more. Talk more. Gilmore.
Production Company: Paragon Studios, Warner Bros. Television
Director: Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman-Palladino
Writer: Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman-Palladino
Actors: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Matt Czuchry, Jared Padalecki, Milo Ventimiglia, Keiko Agena, Aris Alvarado, Kelly Bishop, Frank Gallegos, Sean Gunn, Scott Patterson, Yanic Truesdale, Liz Torres, Michael Winters, Mara Casey, Tom Connolly, Emily Kuroda, Melissa McCarthy, Liza Weil
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: Unrated

Obviously, this isn’t really eligible for the Top 20 because it’s not a movie. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is actually a 4 episode mini-series. However, we’re making an exception and giving it an honorable mention because, let’s face it, the majority of us are gonna binge-watch it like a movie anyway, aren’t we?

I know I will.

I absolutely adore the Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) series. I didn’t watch it when it was on, but I found it on Netflix and wound up watching the entire series in something like two or three weeks. I was absolutely enthralled by it. I didn’t really appreciate the last season, or the ending, so I practically flipped when I heard Netflix was working to give Gilmore fans the ending we truly deserve.

I have been following the news of this miniseries since.

Personally, I’m team Jess. Naturally, that meant I was ecstatic when I saw that Milo Ventimiglia (This is Us, That’s My Boy, Wolverine) would be returning. Of course, seeing Jared Padalecki (Supernatural, Friday the 13th, House of Wax) reprise his role as Dean is also gonna be a treat. Logan… well… I never liked him, but Matt Czuchry (The Good Wife, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Eight Legged Freak) is gonna be back too. I have a feeling that if Rory winds up with anyone, it’ll be Logan…. but I’ll be hoping for Jess anyway.

Hey, who knows? Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) went in an unexpected direction in the end. Maybe this will too.

Whatever happens, I cannot wait to see Lauren Graham (Joshy, Parenthood, Bad Santa), Alexis Bledel (Jenny’s Wedding, Girl Walks into a Bar, Sin City), Scott Patterson (Boys of Abu Ghraib, The Event, Little Big League), and Kelly Bishop (Bunheads, Friends with Kids, Dirty Dancing) play off each other again. It won’t be quite the same without the late Edward Herrmann (The Good Wife, Heaven’s Door, Wonder Woman)… but the trailer shows that they seem to honor him well in the storyline.

I’m so excited, I can’t even properly convey it in writing.

Just under a month to wait!

20 – Street Level (11/8)

Tag Line: Two kinds of people in the street... the ones walking on it, and the ones living in it. Who are you?
Production Company: Chavez Bros. Productions, Junkie Films
Director: David Labrava
Writer: David Labrava
Actors: Marilyn Manson, Kristen Renton, Ella North, David Labrava, Charisma Carpenter, Drea de Matteo, Reynaldo Gallegos, Emilio Rivera, Mark Boone Junior, Freddy Corbin, Bar Paly, Rebekah Kennedy, Danny Trejo, Chuck Zito, Robert Patrick, David A. Jansen, Leonel Claude
Genre: Action
Rated: R

I’ll admit, the trailer for this film isn’t the best. However, take a gander at the cast for a moment. Just look over it for a few minutes. Does anything stand out to you? No? You might need to hit up IMDB to really get it…

The majority of the actors in this film are from Sons of Anarchy (2008-2014).

Although the plot doesn’t look too bad, the whole reason I’ve got interest in this film at all, is because of the cast. I was a big fan of Sons of Anarchy, and I miss watching the actors kick some ass every week. I mean, my favorite Sons of Anarchy actor isn’t involved in this – that actor is Theo Rossi (Luke Cage, When the Bough Breaks, Kill Theory) – but still.

Movies like this tend to be better than people expect them to be. Mainly because it’s usually about a bunch of friends coming together and just having fun with a random project. Whenever professionals have fun with what they’re doing, especially in the entertainment world, it comes out in what they do and turns something that could have been mediocre into something spectacularly rewarding to watch.

At the worst, this movie will offer some nostalgic action to a group of fans that miss one of their favorite shows. To me, that means it’s worth a watch.

19 – Legend of the Hidden Temple: The Movie (11/26)

Tag Line: The legend is real.
Production Company: Pacific Bay Entertainment
Director: Joe Menendez
Writer: Stephen Brown, Zach Hyatt, Alex J. Reid, David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone, Jonny Umansky
Actors: Isabela Moner, Daniel Cudmore, Dee Bradley Baker, Michael Benyaer, James Black, Jet Jurgensmeyer, Catia Ojeda, Kirk Fogg, Oscar Torre, Jaret Martino, Colin Critchley, Darcy Hinds, David Michie, Ioan Sebastian Tirlui
Genre: Adventure, Family
Rated: Unrated

I’m a little disappointed in the trailer for this film.

I grew up watching the Legend of the Hidden Temple (1993-1995) television show. For those of you too young to know what the fuck I’m talking about… hold on, let me face palm.

Ok, for those of you that don’t know, the show was an adventure-based game show for kids and it was AWESOME.

I heard this film was coming out a while ago. At that time I thought that it would be the kind of film that comes out in theaters and become a big deal. Like Goosebumps (2015). I was surprised to find out it was going to be a TV movie.

That was unfortunate.

Even with all the not-so-pleasant surprises, I still want to see it.

Side note, I’m kind of impressed that they got the original host, Kirk Fogg (Distortion, Yeah Vous!, Alien Space Avenger), and the original announcer, Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad, Miles from Tomorrowland, Ultimate Spider-Man), to appear.

18 – My Dead Boyfriend (11/3)

Tag Line: Live it up.
Production Company: Orion Pictures, Momentum Pictures
Director: Anthony Edwards
Writer: Billy Morrissette, Arthur Nersesian
Actors: Heather Graham, Katherine Moenning, John Corbett, Scott Michael Foster, Gina Gershon, Viola Harris, Tina Huang, Martha Millan
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

I don’t have an overwhelming interest in any of the cast in this film. I mean, Heather Graham (Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Horns, About Cherry) is a decent actress and all, I just don’t have any intense need to follow her movies.

The reason this film makes the list is because I was fascinated by the plot. The idea that someone could be close to someone else, even dating them, and yet not really know them until death? It’s incredibly morbid, but in an interesting way.

The trailer didn’t quite make it look as interesting as it could be… but I’m hoping the movie will make up for it.

17 – Trespass Against Us (11/24)

Tag Line: Blood is a brutal bond.
Production Company: Potboiler Productions, Film4, Albert Granville, DMC Film, Head Gear Films, Metrol Technology
Director: Adam Smith
Writer: Alastair Siddons
Actors: Michael Fassbender, Brendan Gleeson, Lyndsey Marshal, Georgie Smith, Rory Kinnear, Killian Scott, Sean Harris, Kingsley Ben-Adir
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: R

Michael Fassbender (Assassin’s Creed, Steve Jobs, 12 Years a Slave) and Brendan Gleeson (In the Heart of the Sea, Stonehearst Asylum, Edge of Tomorrow) as absolutely flawless as actors. I’m so incredibly excited to see them in ANYTHING together.

I’ll be honest, I have only a mild interest in the plot. It doesn’t look HORRIBLE, but it would never be anywhere near my first choice for a film to watch. I’m seriously only interested enough to put it on the list because I imagine that Fassbender and Gleeson together will be fucking MAGICAL.

16 – Trash Fire (11/3)

Tag Line: A film by Richard Bates, Jr.
Production Company: Circle of Confusion, Snowfort Pictures
Director: Richard Bates Jr.
Writer: Richard Bates Jr.
Actors: Adrian Grenier, Angela Trimbur, Fionnula Flanagan, Ezra Buzzington, Matthew Gray Gubler, Alexa Hamilton, Sally Kirkland, Karl Schott, AnnaLynne McCord, Sibyl Gregory, Clayton Jackson
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Romance
Rated: R

This trailer was part amusing, part terrifying. I really enjoy that kind of genre mix.

The idea of a girlfriend or boyfriend being hated by their significant other’s family is not a new concept. Every year there’s at least one movie that touches on it. What makes this film different is that thread of horror running through it. It’s difficult to tell how it’ll wind up.

Oh, it’s clear someone is going to die, but who? The girlfriend? The guy? The sister? The grandma? It could be anyone – or everyone for that matter.

I like not knowing what’s coming. And that’s becoming a rare occurrence.

15 – Army of One (11/3)

Tag Line: One man’s wildly true quest to capture Osama Bin Laden.
Production Company: Conde Nast Entertainment, Endgame Entertainment, Kasbah-Film Tanger
Director: Larry Charles
Writer: Rajiv Joseph, Scott Rothman
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Denis O’Hare, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rainn Wilson, Russell Brand, Fiona Vroom, Will Sasso, Paul Scheer, Hilary Jardine, Amer Chadha-Patel
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

I have been waiting for so long to see Nicolas Cage (The Trust, Outcast, Left Behind) take on a part like this. I don’t know about that whole ‘based on a true story’ shit, but either way, this film looks hilarious.

14 – The Take – aka Bastille Day (11/18)

Tag Line: With law comes disorder.
Production Company: StudioCanal, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Anonymous Content, Anton Capital Entertainment, Canal+, Cine+, TF1 Films Production, Vendome Pictures
Director: James Watkins
Writer: Andrew Baldwin, James Watkins
Actors: Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Charlotte Le Bon, Kelly Reilly, Anatol Yusef, Jose Garcia, Stephane Caillard, James Cox
Genre: Action, Drama
Rated: R

I’m excited to see Richard Madden (Cinderella, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, A Promise) in something other than… well… Game of Thrones. If I have seen him in other stuff, I don’t remember it. Add to his existence the kick-ass action plot and the phenomenal Idris Elba (Luther, Finding Dory, Zootopia), and there’s a hell of a lot of awesome in this film.

To the best of my knowledge this film is only called The Take in the United States. Everywhere else it goes by Bastille Day.

13 – Shut In (11/11)

Tag Line: Don’t believe everything you see.
Production Company: Transfilm, EuropaCorp, Lava Bear Films, Transfilm International
Director: Farren Blackburn
Writer: Christina Hodson
Actors: Naomi Watts, Charlie Heaton, Jacob Tremblay, Oliver Platt, David Cubitt, Crystal Balint, Clementine Poidatz, Tim Post, Alex Braunstein, Ellen David
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

This is a very typical kid-gone-bad paranormal plot. So it seems, anyway. The big difference is the existence of the catatonic son of the main character. I feel like there’s going to be a decent twist because of that – one that makes this film really worth watching.

12 – Life on the Line (11/18)

Tag Line: Courage. Risk. Sacrifice.
Production Company: Marro Films, Elite Film Production
Director: David Hackl
Writer: Primo Brown, Peter I. Horton, Marvin Peart, Dylan Scott
Actors: John Travolta, Kate Bosworth, Devon Sawa, Gil Bellows, Julie Benz, Ryan Robbins, Ty Olsson, Sharon Stone, Reese Alexander, Emilie Ullerup, Stuart Stone, Matt Bellefleur, Lydia Styslinger, Christian Michael Cooper
Genre: Action, Drama
Rated: R

I really kind of hate that John Travolta (I Am Wrath, The Forger, Killing Season) looks less like himself than ever, but he’s still a great actor. One of my favorite actors, however, is Devon Sawa (Punk’s Dead: SLC Punk 2, Nikita, The Philly Kid). I was SO excited to see him in this film alongside a Hollywood great. He’s got the acting chops needed to keep up.

The film itself looks a little like an Unstoppable (2010) kind of film. I really enjoyed that movie and I think, based on the plot and the cast of this one, I’ll wind up enjoying Life on the Line as well.

11 – True Memoirs of an International Assassin (11/11)

Tag Line: The man. The myth. The memoirs.
Production Company: PalmStar Media, Global Film Group
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Jeff Morris
Actors: Kevin James, Andy Garcia, Kim Coates, Kelen Coleman, Maurice Compte, Zulay Henao, Yul Vazquez, Emilie Ullerup, P.J. Byrne, Lauren Shaw, Jeff Chase
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: Unrated

Aside from the fact that I find Kevin James (Kevin Can Wait, Zookeeper, Grown Ups) hilarious, the plot of this film looks awesome.

If I had to try to convince people that I was actually one of the characters I write, I’d be super-duper fucked.

Also, Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy, Goon, Ferocious) is blowing the hell up. He’s in like… three or four movies coming out this month. When the fuck does he sleep?

10 – Loving (11/4)

Tag Line: All love is created equal.
Production Company: Raindog Films, Big Beach Films
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Actors: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton, Terri Abney, Alano Miller, Chris Greene, Sharon Blackwood, Christopher Mann, Winter-Lee Holland, Nick Kroll, D.L. Hopkins, Michael Shannon
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: PG-13

Yes, this movie looks good. Yes, the actors look incredibly invested in their parts. Yes, the writing seems to elevate the storyline. All of that is why Loving was added to this list, but that’s not why it’s so high on it.

This film is as high as it is because it’s important.

Racial tensions are incredibly high right now.

We’re not in the fucking 1950s, why are we suddenly at each other’s throats over skin color again? It’s a grand old bag of dicks that doesn’t need to exist. This film serves to remind people of what was and what we don’t want life to become again.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my hatefully bitter moments, but none of those moments will ever be over someone’s race, religion, sexuality, gender, or beliefs. Well. Maybe beliefs. I have an issue with the cult of scientology. But hey, if you like it, good for you. Enjoy yourself. Keep it away from me.

You don’t have to love everybody. That’s unrealistic. Just don’t hate people for stupid fucking reasons.

9 – Allied (11/23)

Tag Line: Nothing is as it seems.
Production Company: GK Films, Huahua Media, ImageMovers, Paramount Pictures
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Steven Knight
Actors: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris, Daniel Betts, Simon McBurney, Marion Bailey, Lizzy Caplan, Anton Lesser, Matthew Goode, Josh Dylan, August Diehl, Charlotte Hope, Sally Messham
Genre: Action, Drama, Romance
Rated: Unrated

I’ll be the first to admit this film doesn’t look all that creative. It looks like a more serious version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2007) set in the era of World War II. That being said, I cannot help being intrigued by the story.

I come from a Jewish family. Although I don’t practice the religion, that doesn’t change my heritage. As a result, I grew up learning about the holocaust. I’m not a history buff in even the most liberal sense of the term, but I’ve read almost everything I can about World War II and the atrocities committed. Why? Because forgetting them dooms us to repeat our mistakes in the future.

I doubt the historical value of this film is all too realistic… but still.

If you’re here looking for comment on the personal lives of the actors in this film, go elsewhere. We’re not a tabloid site and never will be. Thanks.

8 – The Edge of Seventeen (11/18)

Tag Line: You’re only young once… is it over yet?
Production Company: Gracie Films, STX Entertainment
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig
Actors: Heilee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner, Kyra Sedgwick, Woody Harrelson, Hayden Szeto, Alexander Calvert, Eric Keenleyside, Nesta Cooper, Daniel Bacon, Lina Renna, Ava Grace Cooper, Christian Michael Cooper
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R


That was the word that came to mind when I watched this trailer and saw the name of the film. The emo embarrassment of not having the impulse control we need to not fuck up our lives, was a very familiar feeling for me as a teenager. I did stupid shit constantly – only some of the time on purpose – and I was super emo about it. My best friend has known me for about two decades. He could tell you just how bad I got at times better than anyone, except maybe my mom.

For those reasons alone I’d want to see this film. But then you add a sassy Woody Harrelson (True Detective, Now You See Me, The Hunger Games) to the mix and the desire to maybe even see it in theaters is added.

A little Woody makes everything better.

7 – Hacksaw Ridge (11/4)

Tag Line: When the order came to retreat, one man sayed.
Production Company: Cross Creek Pictures, IM Global, Icon Productions, AI-Film, Pandemonium, Permut Presentations, Windy Hill Pictures, Vendian Entertainment, Demarest Media, Kilburn Media, Argent Pictures, Bliss Media, Cosmos Filmed Entertainment, Kylin Pictures
Director: Mel Gibson
Writer: Andrew Knight, Robert Schenkkan
Actors: Teresa Palmer, Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, Luke Bracey, Rachel Griffiths, Matt Nable, Nathaniel Buzolic, Milo Gibson, Richard Roxburgh, Ryan Corr, Goran D. Kleut, Firass Dirani, James Mackay, Luke Pegler, Ben O’Toole, Nico Cortez, Robert Morgan, Michael Sheasby
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Rated: R

I don’t know exactly how much of this is a true story and how much of it has been embellished for entertainment purposes, but I don’t really care. The plot is fascinating and the cast is awesome. I don’t even care that the nutty Mel Gibson (Apocalypto, The Passion of the Christ, The Man Without a Face) is directing it. The idea of fighting a war with no weapons is really interesting.

Weird… but interesting none-the-less.

6 – Arrival (11/11)

Tag Line: Why are they here?
Production Company: 21 Laps Entertainment, FilmNation Entertainment, Lava Bear Films
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang
Actors: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mark O’Brien, Tzi Ma, Abigail Pniowsky, Jadyn Malone, Julia Scarlett Dan, Larry Day
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13

Before I start, I know there’s been some outrage over an error in the poster that put part of the Shanghai skyline into the Hong Kong skyline. Geography is sooo not my thing, but I THINK I managed to find the corrected poster. If not, understand that the slight was not intentional.

That being said, this film looks like an amazing alien-based film with a great cast. Above issue aside, I can’t wait to see it.

5 – Officer Downe (11/18)

Tag Line: Protecting. Serving. Ass kicking.
Production Company: Blackmrkt, Living Out Loud Films, Man of Action, Traverse Media
Director: Shawn Crahan
Writer: Joe Casey
Actors: Sam Witwer, Alison Lohman, Lauren Luna Velez, Kim Coates, Lindsa Pulsipher, Bruno Gunn, Meadow Williams, Reno Wilson, Mark Neveldine, Tyler Ross, Tracy Vilar
Genre: Action
Rated: R

A film directed by a Slipknot drummer, starring Kim Coates, with a Robocop-ish plot that’s based on a comic book? I’m so in.

4 – Moana (11/23)

Tag Line: The ocean is calling.
Production Company: Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer: Jared Bush, Ron Clements, John Musker, Pamela Ribon, Taika Waititi
Actors: Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherzinger, Auli’I Cravalho, Temuera Morrison, Rachel House, Phillipa Soo
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG

I love Disney films. I love Dwayne Johnson (Ballers, Central Intelligence, San Andreas) and Alan Tudyk (Zootopia, Con Man, Trumbo). I love god/goddess mythology. I know very little about Hawaiian mythology. There’s absolutely no reason why I wouldn’t want to see this film.

3 – Trolls (11/4)

Tag Line: Find your happy place.
Production Company: DreamWorks Animation
Director: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell
Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Erica Rivinoja, Thomas Dam
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russel Brand, Gwen Stefani, John Cleese, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, Ron Funches, Aino Jawo, Caroline Hjelt
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG

I’m going to save you the fangirling moment about the cast. Maybe. Kind of.

Ok, no, I have to say something.

I have already said in the past that I would follow Anna Kendrick (The Accountant, Get a Job, Into the Woods) to any film she ever does. I meant it. Zooey Deschanel (New Girl, Rock the Kasbah, 500 Days of Summer) is also absolutely adorable and is perfect for this kind of cutesy film. Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Get a Job, Kick-Ass, This is the End) tends to be type-cast but that’s because he’s just so great at that particular type. John Cleese (Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Planes, The Big Year)… well… I’m a Monty Python (1969-2014) fan so, ‘nuff said. And, you know what? All you people who know James Corden (The Wrong Mans, The Lady in the Van, Into the Woods) only as the host of The Late Late Show (2015-), well, he’ll always be Craig Owens, the dad of Stormageddon – Dark Lord of All to me.

You take that intensely amazing cast and put it together with the nostalgia and innocence invested in Trolls and there’s no way to not have a hit.

2 – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (11/18)

Tag Line: J.K. Rowling invites you to a new era of the wizarding world.
Production Company: Heyday Films, Warner Bros.
Director: David Yates
Writer: J.K. Rowling
Actors: Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Zoe Kravitz, Ron Perlman, Katherine Waterston, Gemma Chan, Jon Voight, Dan Fogler, Samantha Morton, Carmen Ejogo, Alison Sudol
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

I’m a HUGE Harry Potter (2001-2011) fan – both the movies (except for the third one) and the books. I was thrilled to hear this film was coming out and I cannot wait to see it. I’m also incredibly happy to see that the ONLY writer credited for this film, is the great J.K. Rowling (A Very Potter Musical, The Battle of Hogwarts, The Casual Vacancy) herself. On top of that, David Yates (State of Play, The Tichborne Claimant, The Way We Live Now) will be directing. He did the last four Harry Potter films, and I really enjoyed all of those.

The cast is more than just decent and going back into the wizarding world – even though it’ll be in the United States instead of England – is something I just can’t wait to do.

1 – Doctor Strange (11/4)

Tag Line: Open your mind. Change your reality.
Production Company: Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill, Steve Ditko
Actors: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Stan Lee
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

I always thought Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would wind up in the number one slot of my Top 20 when it finally came out. And, it would have… except I’ve been waiting on Doctor Strange more than I could ever wait for another Harry Potter film.

I don’t care about the cast (though it looks good enough). I’m so much more interested in the plot and the actual character that is Doctor Strange. I already have tickets to the midnight showing opening day. Reserved seats and everything.

I’m so fucking there.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

My Dead Boyfriend .20
Lion .19
A Street Cat Named Bob .18
Operator .17
Rules Don’t Apply .16
Almost Christmas .15
Legends of the Hidden Temple: The Movie .14
Hacksaw Ridge .13
Manchester By the Sea .12
Allied .11
The Edge of Seventeen .10
Shut In .9
Life on the Line .8
Arrival .7
Officer Downe .6
The Take – aka Bastille Day .5
Trolls .4
Moana .3
Doctor Strange .2
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them .1