Saturday, September 1, 2018

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In September (2018)

According to: Cat

20 - Little Italy (9/21)

Tag Line: Three generations. Two families. One forbidden love.
Production Company: Firsttake Entertainment
Director: Donald Petrie
Writers: Steve Galluccio, Vinay Virmani
Actors: Emma Roberts, Hayden Christensen, Alyssa Milano, Adam Ferrara, Gary Basaraba, Linda Kash, Andrew Phung, Cristina Rosato
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Rated:  R
Length: 102 Min

IMDb BlurbA young couple must navigate a blossoming romance, amidst a war between their families' competing pizza restaurants.

I have to say, this movie looks absolutely adorable. It seems like it’s going along the lines of a modern-day Romeo and Juliet. I sincerely hope that this love story has a happier ending. It might very well be a typical ‘love finding you when you least expect it’ and ‘the person that’s been right under your nose since forever’ type story; but I liked the element that the choice between passions of career and romance adds. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the female lead finding a way to keep both in her life. I think I’ll be really disappointed if the story takes the dated cop-out option to have her give up her dreams for love.

Needless to say, while I enjoyed the trailer and the prospect of a fresh spin on a classic trope, I’m still on the fence enough that the film didn’t make it higher on the list. Even so, I will stick to my optimistic guns and hold out hope for the best. Hey, if nothing else, this looks to be a pretty good date movie.

19 – The King of Thieves (9/14)

Tag Line: One high security vault. Millions up for grabs. One hell of a retirement fund.
Production Company: Working Title Films
Director: James Marsh
Writers: Joe Penhall, Mark Seal
Actors: Michael Caine, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay, Charlie Cox, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Francesca Annis, Paul Whitehouse
Genre: Crime, Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 108 Min

IMDb BlurbA crew of retired crooks pull off a major heist in London's jewelry district.

What’s not to like when it comes to a combination of Academy Award winners and British comedy? It sounds like a one-two knockout to me! What makes this even more interesting is the fact that this movie is based on a true story. Now, I can’t tell you how much creative license has been taken for the sake of the film; but I can assure you that the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in London was burgled in 2015 by at least 4 elderly men. There was worldwide media coverage, and the heist has been hailed as the biggest in British ‘legal history.’

In its essence, the movie is a crime drama; but if the trailer is any indication, the story isn’t told with any sort of stodgy perspective. Humor seems to be laced throughout. I would imagine that if you liked films such as Snatch (2000) or Going in Style (2017), you’ll probably really get a kick out of this one.

18 - Assassination Nation (9/21)

Tag Line: You asked for it, America.
Production Companies: BRON Studios, Foxtail Entertainment, Phantom Four, Creative Wealth Media Finance
Director: Sam Levinson
Writer: Sam Levinson
Actors: Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, Abra , Bill Skarsgård, Bella Thorne, Joel McHale, Danny Ramirez
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 110 Min

IMDb BlurbThis is a thousand percent a true story about how the quiet, all-American town of Salem absolutely lost its mind.

This movie looks like it’s a bit bonkers. It seems to be something along the lines of mass hysteria madness in a social media age – resulting in something along the lines of The Purge (2013)…but perhaps less legal. It certainly seems to be a bit of satire along the same vein, at least. From what I gleaned from the trailer, it’s giving an interesting perspective about the illusion of privacy when it comes to the internet and social media. Though, rather than an internet vigilante such as the WikiLeaks guy or Snowden, we have something more small-scale and focused on town-level scandal. The name of the town is also interesting. Could this be some modern exploration of what a modern-day Salem Witch Trials would be like?

I’m intrigued as to how it all plays out.

17 - Hold the Dark (9/28)

Tag Line: None
Production Companies: Addictive Pictures, Film Science, VisionChaos Productions, Netflix
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writers: Macon Blair, William Giraldi
Actors: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, James Badge Dale, Riley Keough, Julian Black Antelope, James Bloor, Jonathan Whitesell, Macon Blair
Genre: Thriller
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 125 Min

IMDb BlurbAfter the deaths of three children suspected to be by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.

I’m going to be real with you. Part of why I want to watch this movie is that it’s the beginning of September, and freaking hot outside here in Louisiana. I want to dive into a snowbank and just hollow out a little place for me to live until Fall decides to figure out how to turn down the thermostat.  I can live vicariously through the frozen landscapes on the screen and hope that the power of my imagination can help me forget for a while that you could probably fry an egg on the sidewalk outside. I digress…

The trailer sucked me in to the mystery of the situation. A story about a child going missing is always fraught with The Feels, as all my mom-senses start flailing – but this went beyond that. I want to know what this sinister thing is that everything seems to be alluding to. I want to know what the connection is to the wolves. I want to know whether or not the father has something to do with what’s going on – because I was picking up some really creepy intense vibes from Alexander Skarsgård’s (Melancholia, The East, The Giver) character. He has the whole mysterious broody thing down to an art. It’s part of what he’s well known for, after all.

I’m excited that this one is a Netflix Original so I don’t have to wait to see it when it’s released.

16 - The Nun (9/7)

Tag Line: Pray For Forgiveness
Production Companies: Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema, The Safran Company
Director: Corin Hardy
Writers: Gary Dauberman, James Wan
Actors: Demián Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Charlotte Hope, Ingrid Bisu, Bonnie Aarons
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 96 Min

IMDb BlurbA priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.

I spent quite a lot of time, growing up, in the presence of nuns. When you’re raised in a Catholic household and attend parochial school from kindergarten through eighth grade, that sort of thing tends to happen. For me, nuns were only scary in the days when corporal punishment was still the norm. I have to say, I didn’t experience anything other than dour looks and disappointment when I strayed from proper behavior (I tend to talk a lot, ok?) – but I’ve heard plenty of ‘war stories’ from others not so lucky. There was an infamous paddle in my first principal’s office. We only ever had nice chats. I’m digressing again.

Even so, when you see a nun, even putting aside the religious aspect of their existence, they tend to evoke warmth, kindness, and similar feelings. The Nun from this movie? Is Holy Hell too on-the-nose? The character that The Conjuring’s (2013) universe has created is absolutely terrifying. I am not sure if I will be able to watch this one in the theaters, to be honest. I’ll likely need to wait for it to hit a streaming service so I can pause and get up if I need to. Just the image alone is haunting. The photographic glimpse of the character in Annabelle: Creation (2017) was enough to give me the heebie-jeebies about the dark for a bit. Seriously. Yikes. Imagine what a whole movie devoted to this character would be like.

I think the studios were smart to push this one back from a mid-summer release to sometime closer to Halloween. We’re at a time of year that we want to start getting in that spooky mood.

15 - Black 47 (9/28)

Tag Line: In Ireland's Darkest Hour Vengeance Shines a Light
Production Companies: Fastnet Films, Irish Film Board, Primeridian Entertainment, Samsa Film, Umedia
Director: Lance Daly
Writer: Lance Daly, P.J. Dillon, Eugene O'Brien, Pierce Ryan
Actors: Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene, Jim Broadbent
Genre: Action, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 100 Min

IMDb BlurbSet in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. Despite experiencing the horrors of war, he is shocked by the famine's destruction of his homeland and the brutalization of his people and his family.

Was it any surprise that this movie made my list this month? It’s an Irish story, after all. Even so, it looks to be a good one.

If you haven’t heard of the Irish Potato Famine, the nutshell explanation is that it was a very dark and deadly time for Ireland. Many people died of starvation due to a blight that took out the majority of the country’s staple crops. It was a time period that sparked a good bit of Irish immigration to the United States with the promise of the bounty of the land, even if a good bit of it was still a bit untamed.

This movie’s title refers to 1847 during that black and bleak time period in Irish history, when the famine was at its peak.

I’ve seen this movie described as an Irish Braveheart (1995). I am not entirely sure that the two are comparable on the level of apples and oranges, but the prospect of a film even coming close to being as significant for Ireland just makes me a little giddy. 

14 - The Children Act (9/14)

Tag Line: We all make choices. Hers make history.
Production Companies: Toledo Pictures, FilmNation Entertainment, BBC Films
Director: Richard Eyre
Writer: Ian McEwan
Actors: Emma Thompson, Fionn Whitehead, Stanley Tucci, Ben Chaplin, Anthony Calf, Jason Watkins, Dominic Carter, Eileen Walsh
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 105 Min

IMDb BlurbAs her marriage crumbles, a judge must decide a case involving a teenage boy who is refusing a blood transfusion on religious principle.

Here we have another movie that’s going to stomp all over our feelings. This is also one of several films on this list that is based on a novel. I’d say that this one has an excellent chance of standing up to its source material, however, as the original author is also the writer for the screen adaptation.

That aside, the story promises to hurtle through an emotional gauntlet while treading through some difficult and profound situations.

We recently reviewed a movie which involved a similar circumstance – the beliefs of a family and the medical impact upon a child. Where Mute (2018) focused on the aftermath of a parent’s faith-based decision to deny a voice-saving operation in the wake of a neck injury; this movie treads into faith-based decisions preventing potentially lifesaving treatments to a child’s illness. 

I am already feeling squirmy from the internal debate where parents’ rights, children’s rights, faith-based health practices, and a child’s well-being in life or death situations converge. If the trailer is a good indication, you might make sure you have some tissues handy when watching this one. It promises to be rather intense.

13 - All About Nina (9/28)

Tag Line: Get your act together.
Production Companies: Animal Kingdom, The Orchard, Diablo Entertainment
Director: Eva Vives
Writer: Eva Vives
Actors: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Common , Grace Shen, Beau Bridges, Kate del Castillo, Chace Crawford, Clea Duvall, Camryn Manheim
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 97 Min

Moviefone Blurb: Nina Geld's passion and talent have made her a rising star in the comedy scene, but she's an emotional mess offstage. When a new professional opportunity coincides with a romantic one, she is forced to confront her own deeply troubled past.

I adored the trailer for this movie. It reminded me a bit of the style found in the Amazon Prime original series The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel (2017-). Of course, the stories are vastly different – but it’s still, at its heart about a female stand-up comedienne.

We get glimpses into the story of what is going on in the titular character’s life, as well as segments of stand-up comedy. I enjoyed how life wove its way into the comedic art-form in the aforementioned series, and hope that this movie can deliver a similar bit of magic. The way the trailer was constructed seems to allude to a similar framework.

Everyone needs a good laugh now and again – so if you’ve been stressed lately (or have just watched another of the more intense movies coming out this month), give this one a go; and hopefully you’ll leave the theater with less of the weight of the world on your shoulders.

12 - Next Gen (9/7)

Tag Line: Friendship is the ultimate upgrade.
Production Companies: Baozou Manhua, Netflix, Tangent Animation
Directors: Kevin R. Adams, Joe Ksander
Writers: Kevin R. Adams, Joe Ksander, Wang Nima, Ryan W. Smith
Actors: John Krasinski, David Cross, Michael Peña, Charlyne Yi, Jason Sudeikis, Constance Wu
Genre: Adventure, Sci-fi, Animated
Rated: NR
Length: 104 Min

IMDb BlurbA friendship with a top-secret robot turns a lonely girl's life into a thrilling adventure as they take on bullies, evil bots, and a scheming madman.

Here, we have another movie that I am super excited is releasing on Netflix.

My first thought here was – so we have another Baymax just without the other heroes that go along with him? I tried my best to stave off my own eye-roll and kept watching with hope I was wrong. I wasn’t entirely – but the films look to be enough different that it caught my attention. (I’ve found myself being slightly more critical than usual when I’m super tired, and lately I’ve been flat out exhausted; so I tried to take that into consideration as well.)

I found myself identifying with the young main character.  The futuristic landscape began to draw me in.

As a species, humans have been lightning-quick to scoop up technology that performs more and more tasks for us. This can be for the good or ill, really. In WALL-E (2008), we see a world where humans have let technology do almost EVERYTHING for us – and, thus, have evolved into larger shadows of our former selves. In Aasimov’s I, Robot (2004), and in the Terminator (1984) saga; we see how humanity’s quest for the elusive true A.I. can backfire. The aforementioned Big Hero 6 (2014), of course, explores humanity misusing robots… the list goes on. This film seems to be more like putting the big lovable robot movie in a blender with the gadgets from G-Force (2009) -- but with enough extra spin that it feels less recycled than other movies have.

The story of friendship and the need for engaging interaction in a world of the electronic screen’s siren song is important enough, honestly, that I think I could likely support it in any format.

Bonus? It looks fun. There are an awful lot of mature-rated movies coming out this month. This one is a score for the kids.

11 - Night School (9/28)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Universal Pictures, HartBeat Productions, Will Packer Productions, Perfect World Pictures
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Writer: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg
Actors: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, Romany Malco, Ben Schwartz, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Yvonne Orji
Genre: Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 111 Min

IMDb BlurbA group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.

Landing squarely in the center of the pack, is the new Kevin Hart (About Last Night, The Secret Life of Pets, The Upside) movie. I’ve been waffling on this one’s placement, to be honest. I’ve been tempted to bump it down a little and, in equal measure, raise it a few notches.

Don’t get me wrong – I love Kevin Hart. He’s one of the bonuses that this film has going in its favor. One of the first trailers I watched for the movie didn’t exactly do it justice. I started out with so many questions along the lines of why someone thought Hart was a good candidate to play a high school student. The same question could be applied to everyone that was in his GED class, really. I was so confused.

Since then, I found the trailer you see here; and it cleared everything right up for me. I was so relieved.

This movie looks hilarious, as most Hart films do. A little bit of it seems slightly far-fetched over-the-top, but it’s a good one to go see if you just want to unwind and have a lot of good laughs. 

10 - Bel Canto (9/14)

Tag Line: Based on the International Best Seller
Production Companies: Depth of Field, Priority Pictures, A-Line Pictures
Director: Paul Weitz
Writers: Paul Weitz, Anthony Weintraub, Ann Patchett
Actors: Julianne Moore, Ken Watanabe, Tenoch Huerta, Sebastian Koch, Christopher Lambert, Elsa Zylberstein, Thorbjørn Harr, Olek Krupa, Eddie Martinez, Melissa Navia, Nico Bustamante
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 102 Min

IMDb BlurbA world-renown opera singer becomes trapped in a hostage situation when she's invited to perform for a wealthy industrialist in South America.

So you’re telling me that the voice of a red-headed opera singer quite possibly could end a hostage crisis and save lives?

Sold. Sign me up for this movie.

I don’t think Julianne Moore (Seventh Son, Freeheld, Wonderstruck) gets as much credit as she deserves, sometimes, due to her more quirky film choices. I say to the ‘haters’ that everyone needs some quirk in their life. In any case, I think the Oscar-winner was a good choice for this role. My burning question was whether or not she can really sing. I have the answer! While she has been required to lend her singing voice for roles in the past, she found it embarrassing and decidedly hasn’t had the kind of training required for the operatic performances in this film. Alas.

The singer dubbed over Moore’s screen presence is the renowned soprano, Renée Fleming (Rise of the Guardians, Now You See Me 2, The Shape of Water). She’s a regular performer at New York's Metropolitan Opera; and her voice has graced numerous well known Hollywood films.  I digress…

Another huge draw to this movie for me is Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Letters from Iwo Jima, The Sea of Trees) as the male lead, opposite Moore. I love his voice and the way his accent colors it – I could listen to him talk forever. However, it’s not his vocals but his skill in his craft that draws me in to each performance. I think this is an outstanding pairing of protagonists to helm this project.

As a side note, it’s eerie and had to be a little unsettling at some point for Watanabe to play in this role. He had been in Peru close to the time of the real incident that inspired the book which this movie is based on. He left just before the events in 1996 Lima took place at the Japanese embassy.

9 - Sierra Burgess is a Loser (9/7)

Tag Line: Just be you.
Production Companies: Black Label Media, Netflix
Director: Ian Samuels
Writer: Lindsey Beer
Actors: Shannon Purser, Kristine Froseth, RJ Cyler, Noah Centineo, Chrissy Metz, Lea Thompson, Alan Ruck
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 90 Min

IMDb BlurbA case of mistaken identity results in unexpected romance when the most popular girl in high school and the biggest loser must come together to win over their crushes.

Netflix is firing on all cylinders this month. You guessed it – this list entry is another original by the streaming giant. I’m fairly giddy about this one – not simply because there are so many valuable lessons that can be learned from the story, or who is in it, but rather what the story is.

What do I mean? This is a gender-reversed retelling of Edmond Rostand’s 1897 play, ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’.

What is that? Well, it’s none other than one of the earliest tales of catfishing within a pop culture media piece. Not going to say anymore so you can discover it for yourself.

The ‘who is in it’ is also a big seller for me, though. I just adore Shannon Purser (Wish Upon, Final Space, Rise), and am glad that her star is continuing its rise. This tale seems in line with parts I’ve seen her previously in such as Barb in Stranger Things (2016-) and Ethel in Riverdale (2017-); so I know she’ll knock this out of the park.

8 - Hell Fest (9/28)

Tag Line: Fun going in, Hell getting out.
Production Companies:  Lionsgate, CBS Films, Les Films Séville, Entertainment One, Valhalla Entertainment, Tucker Tooley Entertainment
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Writers: Seth M. Sherwood, Blair Butler, William Penick, Christopher Sey, Akela Cooper
Actors: Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Christian James, Roby Attal, Matthew Mercurio, Tony Todd
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: NR
Length: 89 Min

IMDb BlurbA masked serial killer turns a horror themed amusement park into his own personal playground, terrorizing a group of friends while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show.

I’m going to admit that this is probably one of my guilty pleasures to add to this month’s list. I’m not looking for Oscars here, promise. I am expecting a few genre-staple recipes and probably a twist for this horror flick. I can’t help it. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays for both the frights and fun of the pageantry. I’ve been looking at all the stores’ decoration displays with barely contained grabby-hands.

This should be a great film to get you in the mood for the season to come. (Come on Fall and Fall weather – stop dragging your heels, already!)

The premise of getting murdered at an extreme horror-theme amusement park that’s the stuff of urban legend isn’t the most original – but it looks like it will shape up to be entertaining.

7 - Peppermint (9/7)

Tag Line: The system failed. She won't.
Production Companies:  Lakeshore Entertainment, STX Entertainment
Director: Pierre Morel
Writer: Chad St. John
Actors: Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh, Jeff Hephner, Cailey Fleming, Eddie Shin
Genre: Action, Thriller, Drama
Rated: R
Length: Unavailable

IMDb BlurbPeppermint is a revenge story centering on a young mother who finds herself with nothing to lose, and is now going to take from her enemies the very life they stole from her.

 Jennifer Garner’s (Arthur, Dallas Buyer's Club, Nine Lives) relationship with action roles since her acclaimed series, Alias (2001-2006), ended has been a bit spotty. Honestly, most people would recognize her more today as the lady that asks us what we have in our billfolds from TV commercials.

I’m glad to see her getting back to the genre, and hope that her performance is significantly better received than the pair of superhero movies she donned red leather for back in 2003 and 2005.

This looks like it will be a solid offering in the vigilante revenge sub-genre. I am rooting for it, even though it is going up against some tough competition at the box office for its release.

6 - I Think We're Alone Now (9/21)

Tag Line: In The End... Chaos Will Find You
Production Company: Automatik Entertainment, Estuary Films, Exhibit, Opposite Field Pictures, Slater Hall Pictures
Director: Reed Morano
Writer: Mike Makowsky
Actors: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Paul Giamatti
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Rated: R
Length: 93 Min

IMDb Blurb: The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse -- until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship.

If I’d just survived the end of the world and found that the only other person anywhere, that I’m aware of, was Peter Dinklage (Death at a Funeral, Pixels, Game of Thrones); I think we might just have a damn fine time. I have so much respect for his work – and how his roles range from super serious and thoughtful to tongue-in-cheek playing with the perceptions the world has of him.

He really excels at the role of the curmudgeon reluctant to show that there’s heart beneath the prickly attitude. I think this may be what we see a bit of here. Honestly, I am not quite sure what we’re going to get here when you pair him with Elle Fanning (Maleficent, Trumbo, The Beguiled).

Her work also spans the range of avant-garde such as The Neon Demon (2016), and quirky like How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017) to the much more serious pieces. Her character is expected to disrupt the established routine for Dinklage – but just how much chaos will she bring? I can’t wait to find out!

5 - Patient Zero (9/14)

Tag Line: None
Production Companies: Screen Gems, Vincent Newman Entertainment
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Writer: Mike Le
Actors: Matt Smith, Natalie Dormer, John Bradley, Clive Standen, Agyness Deyn, Stanley Tucci
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 86 Min

IMDb BlurbAfter an unprecedented global pandemic turns the majority of humankind into violent "Infected," a man gifted with the ability to speak the Infected's new language leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

I have to say that it’s really trippy to see Matt Smith (Doctor Who, Lost River, The Crown) on the screen without a long coat and a sonic screwdriver. Be that as it may, I’ve enjoyed seeing the range of his other projects. Funny enough, he’s not the only one that has me grinning due to seeing them on the big screen (especially together). This month’s list has been a bit of a Six Degrees of Game of Thrones (2011-). Natalie Dormer (Rush, The Forest, In Darkness) and John Bradley (Anna Karenina, Traders, American Satan) never shared a scene during their time on the hit HBO series, though they will here!

We’re always up for watching a new zombie movie, though. Interest piques when the story takes a new spin on the genre. I like the concept that it starts with a mutated rabies pandemic. I mean, seriously – rabies is the well-known virus that most animals are susceptible to and that turns docile and sweet-hearted creatures into frothing aggressive monsters in the worst case scenarios. Ok, this looks promising at first blush.

Now add in different wild cards between the abilities of Smith’s character and the incomparable Stanley Tucci’s (Burlesque, Muppets Most Wanted, Feud) infected, and that seems to be the formula for something very interesting.

I have to admit that I cheated a little and looked at a few reviews on Amazon, since the movie is already available for rental there. There’s a broad spectrum of reactions there so far. I’m not sure where most everyone will fall with it once the viewing statistics start to rise; but I hold out hope.

4 - Smallfoot (9/28)

Tag Line: Not every legend is a tall tale.
Production Companies:  Warner Animation Group, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Pictures, Zaftig Films
Directors: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig
Writers: Karey Kirkpatrick, Clare Sera, John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Sergio Pablos, Eyal Podell, Jonathon E. Stewart
Actors: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya , Common , LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 96 Min

IMDb BlurbA Yeti is convinced that the elusive creatures known as "humans" really do exist.

I have laughed at every preview I’ve seen of this movie and both my daughter and I are awaiting its release with anticipation. One of her very besties is having a birthday party at the movies this year, and this is going to be the show.

The cast is phenomenal and the role-reversal premise is both adorable and innovative.

The yetis believe we don’t exist just as much as we are firm in our insistent that they are the stuff of tall tales, mass hysteria, and crypto-zoologist’s fantasies.  Well this show’s them! But seriously, it looks like I might have trouble avoiding spit-takes if I’m not careful. Can’t wait!

3 - A Simple Favor (9/13)

Tag Line: Can you keep a secret?
Production Companies: Lionsgate, Entertainment One, Les Films Séville, Feigco Entertainment, BRON Creative
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: Jessica Sharzer, Darcey Bell
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andy Rannells, Jean Smart, Rupert Friend, Joshua Satine, Glenda Braganza, Aparna Nancherla
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: 117 Min

Moviefone BlurbA small-town vlogger tries to uncover the truth behind her best friend's sudden and mysterious disappearance.

I have been entirely sucked in by the trailers for this movie. When you pair Anna Kendrick (Digging for Fire, The Hollars, The Accountant) and Blake Lively (Savages, The Age of Adeline, The Shallows) with a mystery with shades of dark comedy, it has to be a winner. There are rules. (I don’t care if I just made that up.)

Even so, I am dying to get to the bottom of this best-friend-gone-missing mystery. I’m practically on pins and needles in anticipation for whether I will fall prey to a red herring, get caught up by a twist, or successfully solve the puzzle.  It was a really tough call choosing the ordering for my top movies this month.

2 - The Predator (9/14)

Tag Line: The Hunt has Evolved
Production Companies: Twentieth Century Fox, 20th Century Fox, Davis Entertainment, Silver Pictures, Lawrence Gordon Productions, TSG Entertainment, Canada Film Capital, Dark Castle Entertainment
Director: Shane Black
Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black, Jim Thomas, John Thomas
Actors: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 107 Min

IMDb BlurbWhen a young boy accidentally triggers the universe's most lethal hunters' return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.

Predator (1987) was one of the stand-out crossovers of creature-feature and action movies from the late 1980’s. It was super scary at the time, considering how realistic it all was with the special effects mixing primarily practical effects with other techniques. Of course, I was far younger when I saw it (clandestinely) than its R Rating would have recommended. 

I thought the sequels were okay but they just didn’t have the zing that the first movie of the series did. I think I would have been quite disappointed if they tried to reboot the franchise. I’m highly excited that this is another sequel that promises to stay true to its roots – both in rating, storytelling, and effects. Yes, there will be a tall guy in a costume rather than a CGI monster. 

Shane Black (The Long Kiss Goodnight, Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) was tapped to bring this new installment to life, and the prior-mentioned factors were stipulations before he would agree to give it the big-budget treatment. I’m pretty confident that this one shouldn’t disappoint. After all, he really knows what was at the heart of the original story – he was in it. Shane black played Hawkins in original.

I’m glad that he’s taking the no-holds-barred approach to the film because of his steadfast belief that the audience shouldn’t be forced to flinch away from what is going on due to a film’s rating.

1 - The House With a Clock in its Walls (9/21)

Tag Line: This house knows what makes you tick.
Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Kripke Enterprises, Mythology Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment
Director: Eli Roth
Writers: Eric Kripke, John Bellairs
Actors: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic, Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Vanessa Anne Williams
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery
Rated: PG
Length: 105 Min

IMDb BlurbA young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.

Needless to say, with this movie landing at the #1 spot on my countdown, you might be able to tell that I’m even more excited about this one than the others we’ve covered so far. This is for several reasons.

Let’s just start with the obvious. I mean, seriously.  Cate Blanchett (Knight of Cups, Song to Song, Ocean's Eight) and Jack Black (Kung Fu Panda, Goosebumps, The Polka King) paired with a tale of magic and mystery. What doesn’t scream fan-freaking-tastic about that?!

Moving a little deeper, we have director Eli Roth (Hostel, The Green Inferno, Death Wish) doing a bit of groundbreaking within his own career with a series of firsts tied up within the neat package of this film. Not only is this his first adaptation of a book, it is also his first family movie, first gothic movie, and first film not to be Rated R. That’s a lot of firsts.

If that didn’t already put the cherry on top, Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies, The BFG, Ready Player One) is involved via Amblin, as well.

Now a little factoid that not many would know is that the illustrator of the book this film is based on was renowned gothic artist, Edward Gorey (1925-2000). I can’t help but get a little giddy where he’s involved in any remote capacity. My college roommate had a poster of Gorey’s Ghashlycrumb Tinies on her wall in our dorm room. Now THAT is a set of morbid ABC’s that I can get behind. We won’t even mention the truly ghastly cinematic ‘other ones.’  It’s really neither here nor there where it comes to this movie – but it’s my random interesting fact of the day!

I really hope this one does well.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina

The Children Act .20
Warning Shot .19
The Nun .18
Hold the Dark .17
Smallfoot .16
Hell Fest .15
Black 47 .14
Sierra Burgess is a Loser .13
Bel Canto .12
Mandy .11
Night School .10
The Predator .9
Love Gilda .8
Assassination Nation .7
King of Thieves .6
The House with a Clock in its Walls .5
Peppermint 4
Patient Zero .3
A Simple Favor .2
I Think We're Alone Now .1

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