Friday, October 4, 2019

Chills & Thrills: Head Count (2018)

Movie Name/Year: Head Count (2018)
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Godmother Industries, Imagination Worldwide, Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Elle Callahan
Writer: Elle Callahan, Michael Nader
Actors: Isaac Jay, Ashleigh Morghan, Bevin Bru, Billy Meade, Hunter Peterson, Chelcie May, Tory Freeth, Michael Herman, Amaka Obiechie, Sam Marra, Cooper Rowe, Riley Scott

Blurb from IMDb: A group of college students on a weekend getaway accidentally summon a supernatural entity intent on using them for its deadly ritual.

Selina’s Point of View:
Head Count wasn’t at all what I expected. I see a blurb like the one this has and instantly I’m thinking it’ll be the kind of film that Cabin in the Woods (2011) caricatures. I think it’s going to be jump-scare heavy, with minimal depth, and some serious stereotyping with recipe action.

Instead, I got a film that was much more on the psychological side of horror. I actually felt chills in some of the scenes.

This movie is not a ‘turn your brain off’ kind of entertainment. If you come at it from that angle, it’s going to lose a LOT. You really need to pay attention as you watch. In fact, the closer you pay attention, the more scares you’re going to feel.

There are some scenes where you can feel there’s something off; it’s not in a bad way, but within the world of the film. You can sense the danger but there’s no clear reason why. If you’re fucking with your phone or talking – you’re going to miss a lot of subtle details.

I will admit there were a few additions to Head Count that didn’t strike me as necessary. A couple of scenes and effects that didn’t really work. However, those aspects were SO small compared to how successful the story was, that I feel fine ignoring them.

Head Count is a perfect film for Halloween viewing, especially if you’re planning on watching alone or with a very small number of friends who will shut up while it’s on. Grab some popcorn and turn off the lights. The thrills are worth it.

Cat’s Point of View:
Nature treated me to a thunderstorm as I was watching Head Count, adding to the eerie ambiance and set the mood for a good horror movie.

While I did my best to put the disappointment from earlier this week behind me, I wasn’t holding my breath for something I really hadn’t heard of before. I try not to judge films based on that – the horror genre is notorious for films coming out of nowhere or even releasing straight-to-video that are actually pretty good.

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised.

If I were trying to guess based on the posters (books by the cover, I know), I was expecting that we’d be watching some sort of slasher flick. Not so.

I love that this film was a mash-up of a ‘be careful of what you say lest you summon something icky’ and internet urban legend creepiness. It made for quite the head-trip as the story progressed.

A handful of the scenes had some drawn-out awkwardness. Some might read it as strained performances by the cast of relative unknowns. I have to disagree there, however. I think it was brilliant to go with a fresh cast here where no one had preconceived expectations for them. The story set up the awkwardness all on its own and it was used as part of the tension-building as events unfolded.

I really appreciated a lot of the subtlety behind the story here. From characters to symbolism – there are so many nuanced bits that would be easy to miss if you’re not paying attention. Of course, some of the subtle elements are more straight-forward than others – such as our main character’s background. Others play on horror tropes without being overtly blatant about it. Even the title has so many layers to it once you figure out what’s going on.

While I am generally singing this movie’s praises, it wasn’t without its faults. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish what the characters were seeing in the darkness. It could have just been me – but I was having a harder time with the darker shots than I thought should be necessary. Even so, that didn’t really take me out of the movie. It ramped up the suspense for me even more because I knew less than the characters did about what was lurking around.

I adore a good creature-feature and am a fan of mind-benders so this gave a really solid dip into both worlds. Since Head Count’s horror is mostly psychological and less on the gore side, this is a great ‘starter’ horror for anyone wanting to explore a bit in the genre. I wouldn’t have any problems giving this film a recommendation.  Just be sure to pay attention and don’t blink!

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 63%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 48%
Metascore – 48/100
Metacritic User Score – 6/10
IMDB Score – 5.2/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Chills & Thrills: House of the Witch (2017)

Movie Name/Year: House of the Witch (2017)
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: TV-14
Production/Distribution: Distilled Media, MarVista Entertainment, Syfy
Director: Alex Merkin
Writer: Neil Elman
Actors: Emily Bader, Darren Mann, Arden Belle, Michelle Randolph, Coy Stewart, Jesse Pepe, Nolan Bateman, Jules Hartley, Paloma Paulin

Blurb from IMDb: A group of high-school kids set out to play a Halloween prank at an abandoned house, but once they enter they become victims of a demonic witch who has set her wrath upon them.

Cat’s Point of View:
We’ve reached October movie season at last! It’s the one month of the year I can satisfy my horror-movie curiosity. With as easily as I startle, partially due to to my ADHD, you’d think I’d shy away from this genre more. Apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment.

I digress…

To celebrate the season, House of the Witch kicks off our month of Chills & Thrills. That being said, can we call a mulligan and have our next review be the ‘first’ instead of this one?

I’d like to chalk up my disenchantment with this movie to general fatigue, but I honestly don’t think I would feel much better about it under ideal conditions. There were several issues that plagued this film that I just couldn’t get past to enjoy it more.

When I watched, I hadn’t realized that this was originally aired on the SyFy Channel. I had a suspicion that it was a made-for-TV movie based on the pattern of the scene fades that one would expect to frame a commercial break. The fact that it was originally released for television, or the telltale scene transitions didn’t hurt the movie on their own. Knowing what channel it was originally released on sheds a lot more light on it, however. SyFy original movies tend to be a gamble. Some of them really pay off – this one, unfortunately, wasn’t one of those.

This movie lacked humor and took itself far too seriously. I get it that a lot of the horror genre is supposed to be taken ‘straight-up’ without the interjection of lighter moments. This film, however, could have benefited from some tongue-in-cheek fun.

Sometimes there was just too much going on at once on the screen, and the shaky-cam made it really hard to follow without the desire to reach for some Dramamine. The fact that the film was so dark in places that I felt like I needed to adjust the brightness of my screen also didn’t help. This wasn’t through the whole movie, but it was enough to be annoying.

To give credit where it’s due, though, I have to say that the effects were done really well. The practical effects had good balance of quality with the clearly CGI elements. I just wish more story development to go along with it. There was an element to the ending that would have had more impact if there had been a little more build-up through the story.

All told, I don’t think I’d put this anywhere near the top of any must-watch list.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 25%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.2/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 2/5
Movie Trailer:

Monday, September 30, 2019

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In October (2019)

According to: Selina

20 – The Great Alaskan Race (10/25)

Production/Distribution: Rebel Road Entertainment, P12 Films
Director: Brian Presley
Writer: Brian Presley
Actors: Brian Presley, Treat Williams, Brad Leland, Henry Thomas, Bruce Davison, Will Wallace, Brea Bee, James Russo
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG
Length: 87 minutes

IMDb Blurb: In 1925's historic great race of mercy, a group of brave mushers travel 700 miles to save the small children of Nome, Alaska from a deadly epidemic.

Yes, this story has been told before; most notably in the animated film: Balto (1995).

Predictably, the Universal film wasn’t the most historically accurate. Balto concentrated on being entertaining, and recognizable, for kids. Let’s not even consider the sequels, which might as well have had no basis in reality at all.

I didn’t hate Balto. There is a place in the general cinematic landscape for kid movies that scratch the surface of reality, without going too far in depth. It’s important for kids to understand that the ‘impossible’ can be achieved by relatable characters. Even if they are dogs and not humans.

That’s where The Great Alaskan Race seems to differ. Despite its PG rating, it seems to be geared more toward adults. With the lack of talking K-9s and the addition well utilized live-action settings, it also seems to be holding a bit more toward the actuality of the situation. It doesn’t just concentrate on one dog or one musher. It shows the team-effort that it was. It even seems to acknowledge that it was the dog, Togo, that crossed the most treacherous stretch of the relay.

It looks amazing, amping up the drama and action while telling the story of how some essential vaccines reached a community in need in the 1920s.

I’m a fan of just about anything that reminds the community that vaccines are important. Especially in this day and age. Even without that, though, the trailer looks pretty damn great.

On another note, there are a LOT of amazing films coming out this month. So much, in fact, that a Top 20 wasn’t enough to cover them all. It’s important to remember that just because a movie doesn’t make this list, doesn’t mean I think it isn’t worth watching. That is truer this month than most. I had to cut films for the October list that I never would have had to cut on other months. Keep that in mind as you read on.

19 – The Addams Family (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Cinesite Animation, BRON Studios, BermanBraun, Bron Creative, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Nitrogen Studios Canada, United Artists Releasing, Andes Films, B&H Film Distribution, CJ CGV Viet Nam, Cineforum, Eagle Pictures, Forum Film Bulgaria, Forum Film Slovakia, Forum Films, Forum Hungary, SF Film, SF Norge A/S, Svensk Filmindustri (SF), Toho-Towa, Tulip Entertainment, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI), Universal Pictures
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Writer: Matt Lieberman, Charles Addams, Pamela Pettler
Actors: Finn Wolfhard, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz, Pom Klementieff, Catherine O’Hara, Oscar Isaac, Allison Janney, Aimee Garcia, Mikey Madison, Nick Kroll, Maggie Wheeler, Bette Midler, Martin Short, Elsie Fisher, Snoop Dogg, Harland Williams, Jenifer Lewis, Tituss Burgess, Conrad Vernon, Chelsea Frei, Deven Green, Scott Underwood, Cole Prawer
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 105 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An animated version of Charles Addams' series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family.

Undoubtedly this movie should be higher on my list, but it’s the curmudgeon in me that put it this low.

There’s nothing wrong with the trailer. It’s hilarious. The casting is fantastic, and the story seems like fun. For me, personally? Nothing will ever hold a candle to the original or the first remake. I had such dreams of seeing a story continued with Christina Ricci’s (Black Snake Moan, Mothers and Daughters, Around the Block) Wednesday becoming the matriarch of the family.

Yes, I know, that was never a thing. But a girl can dream.

I’m not a huge fan of the way the characters are designed in this one. Gomez, in particular. I can learn to like the others. There’s just something about Gomez’s animation that’s a huge turn off to me, but that’s the only real issue I have.

18 – Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (10/26)

Production/Distribution: Ain’t Heart Nothin’ Yet Corp., Goodmovies Entertainment
Director: Midge Costin
Writer: Bobette Buster
Actors: Erik Aadahl, Ioan Allen, Richard L. Anderson, Karen Baker Landers, Bobbi Banks, Richard Beggs, Anna Behlmer, Mark Berger, Ben Burtt, Ryan Coogler, Sofia Coppola, Dane A. Davis, Peter J. Devlin, Teri E. Dorman, Teresa Eckton, Jessica Gallavan, Ludwig Göransson, Cecelia Hall, Greg Hedgepath, Lora Hirschberg, Tomlinson Holman, Richard Hymns, Pat Jackson, Richard King, Ai-Ling Lee, Ang Lee, George Lucas, David Lynch, David MacMillan, Mark A. Mangini, Alyson Dee Moore, Walter Murch, Christopher Nolan, Robert Redford, John Roesch, Gary Rydstrom, Steven Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, Randy Thorn, Douglas Vaughan, Peter Weird, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Hans Zimmer
Genre: Documentary
Rated: Unrated
Length: 94 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An exploration of the history, artistry, and emotional power of cinema sound, as revealed by legendary sound designers and visionary directors, via interviews, clips from movies, and a look at their actual process of creation and discovery.

When documentaries make my list, it’s usually because it’s a bad month and there isn’t much I want to see. I just don’t tend to gravitate toward the genre. I like true stories, but a lot of documentaries feature monotone narrators or problematic research. Sometimes they’re just on subjects I don’t care all that much about or feature experts I have no interest in. Whatever the reason, they just don’t tend to resonate with me.

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound is making my list on a month when I have had to cut another movie off to make room. With good reason.

A lot of the experts are people from the movie business that we all know and love. We don’t have to ask what their qualifications are, we know them. Some of us know them by heart.

I don’t know much about how narration will go throughout the entire hour and a half, but I can guarantee there will some excited and emotion-producing sounds in general.

Then there’s simply my interest in the subject. Clearly, I love films. Even the worst of them, I can usually find some reason to want to see it, if only to learn what not to do. Here is an entire film full of people I admire telling me what to look for in a movie’s sound. Showing me how the sausage gets made, as the expression goes.

I don’t know how to not be interested in this.

I may never make my own movie – I don’t think my interests go that route (I’d rather write one). Still, knowing more about cinematic sound will help me appreciate the work that goes into films even more. 

17 – Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (10/18)

Production/Distribution: Roth Films, Walt Disney Pictures, Forum Hungary, Press Play Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Japan, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Joachim Rønning
Writer: Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster, Linda Woolverton
Actors: Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, David Gyasi, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, Ed Skrein, Imelda Staunton, Harris Dickinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Riley, Lesley Manville, Judith Shekoni, Robert Lindsay, Miyavi
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 118 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Maleficent and her goddaughter Aurora begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies, and dark new forces at play.

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the first Maleficent (2014). Because of that, I don’t feel comfortable putting the sequel up any higher than this. I’m well aware of the mixed reviews for the first one, but that doesn’t affect my personal opinion. If anything, the fact that the audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is drastically higher than the critics score tells me I’d most likely enjoy it immensely.

The trailer for this sequel looks amazing. It seems to indicate that the movie tells a different story while staying true to the feel of its predecessor. That’s what a sequel should be. Of course, trailers can easily be misleading.

I recommend keeping expectations in check while still being open minded. Although it’s possible for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil to suffer from sequelitis, it could also be decent. Take it on its own merit.

16 – The Current War (10/4)

Production/Distribution: Bazelevs Production, Film Rites,, Fourth Floor Productions, Lantern Entertainment, The Weinstein Company, The Weinstein Company, GEM Entertainment, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Diamond Films, 01 Distribution, 101 Studios, Entertainment Film Distributors, Forum Film Poland, Golden Village Pictures, Viva International Pictures, Concorde Filmverleih, Film & TV House, Noori Pictures, Spyglass Media Group
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Writer: Michael Mitnick
Actors: Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Hoult, Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, Damien Molony, Craig Conway, Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Simon Kunz, Celyn Jones, Woody Norman, Amy Marston, Emma Davies, Colin Stinton, John Schwab, Ekow Quartey, Simon Lowe, Conor MacNeill, Tim Steed, Sophia Ally, Nancy Crane, Liza Ross, Abigail Sakari, Oliver Powell, Ben Mars, Jeremy Oliver, Kevin Millington, Katy Poulter
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: 107 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.

The story of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla/George Westinghouse is a fascinating one.

In my schools, growing up, we only learned about Edison. Tesla wasn’t even a foot note. It wasn’t until much later that I learned how much more in depth the story of electricity went. It’s a shame, because the story is a really interesting one that might have actually caught my interest as a student.

This film looks like it’ll up the drama a bit, but otherwise stay pretty true to life. The idea that this may be an introduction for many students to what really happened is a little sad, but it’s not a bad introduction.

The cast is outstanding. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange, Star Trek Into Darkness), Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, Warm Bodies, X-Men: Days of Future Past), and Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water, Take Shelter, Revolutionary Road) are playing Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse respectively. All of them are engaging and talented actors that are bound to embody their parts expertly. They’re supported by people like Tom Holland (Avengers: Infinity War, The Impossible, The Lost City of Z) and Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Alien: Covenant). If there’s anything wrong with this movie, it definitely won’t be because of a casting issue.

Really, the only reason it’s this low on my list is because it looks like every other biographical film that’s been coming out for the past five years. Straight down to the same coloring and camera angles. It’s starting to look so familiar that it’s getting old. I don’t have a problem with biographical projects… but I would love to see something different done with them.

15 – Wonder Woman: Bloodlines (10/5)

Production/Distribution: Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Director: Justin Copeland, Sam Liu
Writer: William Moulton Marston, Mairghread Scott
Actors: Marie Avgeropoulos, Rosario Dawson, Mozhan Marnò, Jeffrey Donovan, Constance Zimmer, Michael Dorn, Cree Summer, Nia Vardalos, Adrienne C. Moore, Ray Chase, Courtenay Taylor, Kimberly Brooks
Genre: Animation, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 83 minutes

IMDb Blurb: (Since the blurb has clearly not been updated since before 2017, I won’t be including it.)

Normally, you’d never see a DC animated film this low on my list, but there are a couple of factors at play here.

The most obvious thing to consider is that there are some amazing films coming out this month that are hard to compare to. When you add the fact that this movie is reusing part of an origin that’s already currently in use, I just couldn’t defend putting this film higher.

That’s my big problem. Sure, Spiderman uses the same origin over and over again, but not while there’s another series already out using that story.

Take, for instance, the live-action Spidey films and Into the Spider-verse. The only similarity between them is that Spidey is bit by a radioactive spider – and the live-action films don’t even do that part on screen.

In this case, both Wonder Woman (2017) and Wonder Woman: Bloodlines start the exact same way – if the trailer is to be believed. Diana starts on Themyscira. Steve crash lands there. She gets him healthy enough to travel, then goes with him against the Amazon’s wishes.

I mean… there’s only 2 years between the live-action film (a film that is going to have a sequel so it’s not even on the remake/reboot clock yet) and this animated version. I think that was a SERIOUS misstep. If they wanted to use the same origin, they didn’t have to do it on screen.

It’s possible that this film was written before the live-action version came out, but even if it was… there’s been enough time to change or remove the origin.

Luckily, the rest of the story seems different enough.

Really, the reason it’s even this high on my list is because of DC’s insane track record with animated films. They really don’t do much wrong in this form. I’m hoping that the repeated origin is either played up a little too much in the trailer, or they cut it from the film entirely.

14 – Girl on the Third Floor (10/25)

Production/Distribution: Queensbury Pictures, Dark Sky Films, Umbrella Entertainment
Director: Travis Stevens
Writer: Travis Stevens, Paul Johnstone, Ben Parker
Actors: C.M. Punk, Trieste Kelly Dunn, Sarah Brooks, Elissa Dowling, Karen Woditsch, Travis Delgado, Marshall Bean, Anish Jethmalani, Bishop Stevens, Tonya Kay
Genre: Horror
Rated: Unrated
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Don Koch tries to renovate a rundown mansion with a sordid history for his growing family, only to learn that the house has other plans

I gave Girl on the Third Floor a little bit more benefit of the doubt than I normally would. As great as the movie selection is for October this year, there’s only a few great Halloween flicks to look forward to. I had to take that into account.

This is my dark horse pick of the month.

There are a few factors that make it tough to judge this film.

C.M. Punk (Rabid, Maron, Clash Time) is a well-known WWE wrestler. Now, WWE wrestlers can be amazing actors. Look at people like Dave Bautista (Stuber, Guardians of the Galaxy, Blade Runner 2049) and Dwayne Johnson (Ballers, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Moana). It’s not unheard of to see wrestlers blow up in Hollywood. Of course, for every one of those there’s a Paul Levesque (Blade: Trinity, The Chaperone, Clash Time) or Mark Calaway (Suburban Commando, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Clash Time). Being a good wrestler does not necessarily mean they will be a good actor. I’m glad to see C.M. Punk shooting his shot, though, and I hope he succeeds. 

A lot of the trailer indicates that tropes are utilized quite a bit in Girl on the Third Floor. That’s pretty typical for horror movies these days, especially for newer production companies. Queensbury Pictures is so new that they only have two movies listed on IMDb and one of them has only been announced. That means there isn’t anything to really help build expectation.

Even with all that, the trailer looks great. It’s engaging and does a good job of showing the audience what kind of frights to expect. There are flashes of brilliant cinematography woven in to a more familiar plot.

I feel comfortable choosing Girl on the Third Floor for the Top 20. I believe there’ll be more to it than the trailer portrays.

13 – Greener Grass (10/18)

Production/Distribution: Gulp Splash Productions, Vanishing Angle, Russian World Vision, IFC Midnight
Director: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe
Writer: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe
Actors: D’Arcy Carden, Dot-Marie Jones, Mary Holland, Julian Hilliard, Jim Cummings, Beck Bennett, Jocelyn DeBoer, Neil Casey, Lauren Adams, Janicza Bravo, John Milhiser, Santina Muha, Dawn Luebbe, Asher Miles Fallica, Will Hines, Ammie Masterson, Sutton Johnston, Inessa Frantowski, Jaxon Rose Moore, Boden Johnston, Haven Nutt, Paul Ryden, Mitch Magee, Mike Scollins, Beth Appel
Genre: Comedy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 95 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Suburban soccer moms find themselves constantly competing against each other in their personal lives as their kids settle their differences on the field.

This film has a WTF factor that reminds me a bit of Rubber (2010).

I have no idea what to make of Greener Grass, but it’s so wild and out there that I simply HAVE to know what it’s all about. I’m not overly familiar with anyone involved in this movie, but every single person in the trailer was incredibly intriguing. Whether it’s them as actors or them as their characters, I can’t tell you.

From the moment I saw this trailer, it’s been stuck in my mind. I’ve rarely seen anything even remotely like it. If it’s done well, this film could be a name-maker.

12 – Black and Blue (10/25)

Production/Distribution: Hidden Empire Film Group, Royal Viking Entertainment, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Deon Taylor
Writer: Peter A. Dowling
Actors: Frank Grillo, Reid Scott, Naomie Harris, Mike Colter, Tyrese Gibson, Beau Knapp, Nafessa Williams, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Michael Papajohn, James Moses Black, Nelson Bonilla, Deneen Tyler, Tim Bell, Frankie Smith, John Charles II
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 108 minutes

IMDb Blurb: 'Black and Blue' is an action thriller about a rookie cop (Naomie Harris) who inadvertently captures the murder of a young drug dealer on her body cam. After realizing that the murder was committed by corrupt cops, she teams up with the one person from her community who is willing to help her (Tyrese Gibson) as she tries to escape both the criminals out for revenge and the police who are desperate to destroy the incriminating footage.

This is an interesting take on the racial tensions involving police officers.

Black and Blue offers a very real look at how black officers are viewed. That truth is then combined with an exciting action plot.

The trailer alone had me on the edge of my seat. Assuming that not all the twists and thrilling moments are spoiled in the coming attraction, the movie is likely to hold just about anyone’s attention.

Where the cast is concerned, there doesn’t seem to be any weak points. We all know how I feel about Mike Colter (Luke Cage, Skin, Breakthrough), and he’s joined by Tyrese Gibson (Fast Five, Death Race, Four Brothers), Frank Grillo (Into the Ashes, Point Blank, Reprisal) and James Moses Black (All Styles, 24: Legacy, 68 Kill).

Now, I’ll admit, I’m not very familiar with Naomie Harris (Moonlight, Skyfall, Rampage). I’ve been interested in a lot of her films, but I haven’t gotten the chance to see any. I have no excuse; she’s been in some serious bangers. In this trailer, though, there is one line she performs that instantly makes me take notice. Where she says: “we’re still alive, aren’t we,” her voice cracks just a little and you can hear the mental and physical exertion the character is going through. She shows so much personality in that ONE line, that it’s insane. Even if the rest of the trailer was lame, I’d be here for Harris.

11 – Mary (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Tucker Tooley Entertainment, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, BF Distribution, Pioner, RLJE Films, WW Entertainment, Noori Pictures
Director: Michael Goi
Writer: Anthony Jaswinski
Actors: Gary Oldman, Jennifer Esposito, Emily Mortimer, Owen Teague, Michael Landes, Stefanie Scott, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Natalie Jean, Chloe Perrin, Griffin Hood, Teance Blackburn, John Leaptrott, Kenneth Herrington, Nicole Ciccarelli, Violet Ladner, Caiden Vaughn
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Length: 84 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A family looking to start a charter-boat business buys a ship that holds terrifying secrets once out on isolated waters.

I will admit that the trailer is a little trope-filled, but I stand behind my inclusion of Mary this high on my list.

There are some jump scares and some basic haunting moments, but I also see something very special here. Ignoring the cast, which is incredible on its own, the story isn’t as typical as the trailer makes it seem.

First of all, horror movies involving the sea usually revolve – obviously – around the sea. A great deal of the time it’s about sharks, but it can also be about being lost or stranded without a boat/oxygen tank/life vest. Second of all, it usually involves scientists, a pair of siblings, or your usual cadre of ridiculous teen stereotypes.

I didn’t see any of that here. In fact, the trailer seems to indicate that the sea is used as a setting – or supporting factor at best. It’s being used to heighten the claustrophobia of the situation; that necessary ‘nowhere to go’ feeling. And the story is about a family – something you might be more likely to see in a haunted house story rather than on a boat.

Those seem like small differences, and they very well could be, but I’ve also seen movies take small differences and make them feel huge.

As much as I want to say Gary Oldman (The Space Between Us, Lawless, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) will be the one to decide, it won’t be. How Mary utilizes its plot differences will be all on the shoulders of writer, Anthony Jaswinski (Vanishing on 7th Street, Kristy, Satanic). I know very little of his work, but I love giving the unknown a chance.

10 – Lucky Day (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Davis-Films, Avary, Don Carmody Productions, Metropolitan Filmexport, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Roger Avary
Writer: Roger Avary
Actors: Luke Bracey, Nina Dobrev, Crispin Glover, Ella Ryan Quinn, Clé Bennett, Clifton Collins Jr., David Hewlett, Nadia Farès, Tomer Sisley, Mark Dacascos, Roberto Campanella, Gabrielle Graham, Josie Ho, Darrin Baker, Scott Faulconbridge, Wole Daramola, Maverick
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 99 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Red, a safe cracker who has just been released from prison, is trying to hold his family together as his past catches up with him in the form of Luc, a psychopathic contract killer who's seeking revenge for the death of his brother.

There’s a minor issue with this one. The green band trailer looks amazing, but the red band? Not so much. In the red band, it looks kind of typical – almost disappointing. But the green band has a whole different feel. It really shows off the mind of the creator.

Normally, that discrepancy would cause me to put Lucky Day much lower on my list. It certainly wouldn’t be in the top 10. The reason I still hold so much faith and interest in it is because of Roger Avary (Silent Hill, Beowulf, Killing Zoe).

We’re not dealing with a film written by some newbie – or even just a decent established writer/director. We’re dealing with a flick written and directed by a legend. SO many of Roger Avary’s films turn out to be fast favorites of mine that he could put out the worst trailer in history and I’d still be nodding along like “yes, yes. I must see it.” That’s just fact.

He had a hand in Reservoir Dogs (1992). He wrote with Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, From Dusk Till Dawn) for Pulp Fiction (1994). He was responsible for The Rules of Attraction (2002).

I believe the green band trailer is likely a more honest representation of what we can expect out of Lucky Day. I refuse to bet against Roger Avary.

9 – The Laundromat (10/18)

Production/Distribution: Anonymous Content, Grey Matter Productions, Netflix, Topic Studios
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Jake Bernstein, Scott Z. Burns
Actors: Gary Oldman, Meryl Streep, Sharon Stone, Melissa Rauch, David Schwimmer, Antonio Banderas, Shoshana Bush, James Cromwell, Robert Patrick, Matthias Schoenaerts, Will Forte, Jeffrey Wright, Chris Parnell, Rosalind Chao, Nonso Anozie, Amy Louise Pemberton, Jay Paulson, Cristela Alonzo, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Larry Clarke, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Veronica Osorio, Larry Wilmore, Kunjue Li, Jessica Allain, Daniyar, Juliet Donenfeld, Jane Morris, Frank Gallegos, Jaime Aymerich, Miriam A. Hyman, Brock Brenner, Adrian Dev, Guido Foehrweisser, Ming Lo, Alexander Stasko, Josef Urban, Lucy Morningstar, Carlos Mena, Jeff Michalski, Myron Parker Wright, Jeffrey Scott Basham, Miracle Washington, Iris Svis, Brenda Zamora, Jonah Gould
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 96 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A widow investigates an insurance fraud, chasing leads to a pair of Panama City law partners exploiting the world's financial system.

The more Gary Oldman on my list for a month, the better you know that month is. The guy is just a legend. I’m not even sure he’s human – he’s a chameleon. He always loses himself so much in a part that it’s hard to recognize him at times.

When you pair him with the absolute TITANS of the industry that are in this film… it almost doesn’t matter what the trailer looks like.

Aside from Oldman you have Meryl Streep (The Post, Into the Woods, The Iron Lady), Sharon Stone (The Disaster Artist, Mothers and Daughters, Bobby), Antonio Banderas (Life Itself, Acts of Vengeance, Automata), and so many more. It’s even directed by Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky, Ocean’s Thirteen, Erin Brockovich).

Of course, the trailer does look amazing as well. The whole thing looks like a masterpiece.

There are parts of Hollywood that still don’t take Netflix as real competition – but those parts are not paying attention. They are getting real talent and respected creators to work with them.

We’re well in the midst of an entertainment revolution, and my money is on the streaming companies.

8 – Gemini Man (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Skydance Media, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Fosun Group Forever Pictures, Alibaba Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Central Partnership, Sabay MVP, Towa Pictures, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Ang Lee
Writer: David Benioff, Billy Ray, Darren Lemke
Actors: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Will Smith, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge, Theodora Miranne, Ralph Brown, Linda Emond, Andrea Sooch, Ilia Volok, Tim Connolly, E.J. Bonilla, Alexandra Szucs, Justin James Boykin, Jeff J.J. Authors, Badonics Titusz, Lilla Banak, Diego Adonye
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 117 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself.

I’ve known about Gemini Man for a long time. I really thought it would be higher on my list when it came out. But, here we are.

I adore Will Smith (Concussion, Winter’s Tale, Hancock). I’ve been a fan since his Fresh Prince of Belair (1990-1996) days. I think the majority of people my age would agree. He was a decent actor back then and now he’s just amazing. He makes very few missteps in my mind. 

Gemini Man does remind me enough of Looper (2012) that I couldn’t defend putting it any higher. That said, the trailer still looks worth it. There are enough differences shown that it’s possible any similarities to the aforementioned film won’t matter once you watch the whole thing.

The graphics look interesting. Every time I’m not watching, I remember the younger Will looking weird – but when I am, I’m caught off guard by how great it looks. I think it’s because I remember how he looked when he was younger and there’s just a few aspects off.

Honestly, it wouldn’t matter. I’d see this just because I follow Smith’s career. It’s been a joy to watch him go from his earlier comedy-only stuff to his hardcore drama and blockbusters. I hardly believe I’ll stop following him anytime soon.

Also, can we stop calling Will Smith “over-the-hill”? It makes me feel old. Kthx.

7 – Jexi (10/11)

Production/Distribution: CBS Films, Entertainment One, Lionsgate, Film & TV House, GEM Entertainment, WW Entertainment, Ascot Elite Entertainment Group, Eagle Films
Director: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Writer: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Actors: Rose Byrne, Alexandra Shipp, Adam Devine, Michael Peña, Justin Hartley, Charlyne Yi, Wanda Sykes, Ron Funches, Kelly Richardson, Baily Hopkins, Laurie Burke, Tiffany Chen, AnnaCorey, Bianca Von Krieg, Joseph Zinsman, Aaron Wilton, Gavin Root, Dawayne Jordan
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 84 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A comedy about what can happen when you love your phone more than anything else in your life.

Although there will undoubtedly be a lot of cringe in this film, it had my attention from the first watch-through of the trailer.

The subject of phones comes up a lot when it’s a discussion between generations. There are the beliefs that phones are taking over our lives, that they’re bettering our lives, that they’re fine in moderation, that people are being too uptight about their use… the points of view are endless. This movie touches on that in a hilarious way.

Will there be an end moral? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s a single-genre comedy, so it could go either way. I don’t think it matters, though.

It’s a relatable and interesting little story with some very funny cast members supporting it and the writers of The Hangover (2009). Regardless of how ridiculous the script might get, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.

6 – Dolemite is my Name (10/25)

Production/Distribution: Davis Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Craig Brewer
Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Actors: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson, Chris Rock, Snoop Dogg, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Mike Epps, Tituss Burgess, T.I., Chelsea Gilson, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Ivo Nandi, Luenell, Tommie Earl Jenkins, Phil Abrams, Aaron Craven, Kazy Tauginas, Gerald Downey, Aleksandar Filimonovic, Li Eubanks, Knajula Edwards, Jernard Burks, Toni Duclottni, Baker Chase Powell, Denise Milfort, Akono Dixon, Milan Carter, Joshua Weinstein, A.J. Tannen, Saudia Rashed, Leonel Claude, Michael Peter Bolus, Allen Rueckert, Bernadine Durham, Megan McEwen
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 118 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Eddie Murphy portrays real-life legend Rudy Ray Moore, a comedy and rap pioneer who proved naysayers wrong when his hilarious, obscene, kung-fu fighting alter ego, Dolemite, became a 1970s Blaxploitation phenomenon.

Kids these days just don’t know. They don’t know about Eddie Murphy (Shrek, The Golden Child, Doctor Dolittle). His days as a king of comedy. Sure, kids today could pick his voice out of a line-up without seeing its donkey manifestation – but still. From the late 80s to the early 2000s, Murphy was EVERYWHERE. My personal favorite is probably Coming to America (1988).

Anyway, we haven’t seen him in a film since 2016 – and before that his last credit was in 2013. I’m very excited to see him in this now. Not only just because he’s Eddie Murphy, but because the movie itself looks epic.

It’s a comedy, sure, but also a biography. A true story about a person that I think Murphy is perfect to portray. Remember earlier how I mentioned that a lot of biographies have the same feel to it, making them feel tired and overdone? Here’s your answer. Dolemite is my Name is FAR from tired. It’s an ode to an era and includes talented actors that deserve serious recognition.

Alongside Murphy there’s Wesley Snipes (Chi-Raq, Blade, The Expendables 3), Keegan-Michael Key (The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Keanu), Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, This is the End, The Office), Chris Rock (2 Days in New York, Everybody Hates Chris, Dogma), Snoop Dogg (Future World, What Are the Chances?, Pitch Perfect 2), Mike Epps (Acts of Violence, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, The Hangover Part III), Tituss Burgess (Set It Up, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, I Hate Kids), and T.I. (The Trap, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Krystal) – all of them huge names in their selected fields. Some of them are straight-up household names.

This film is going to be nearly two hours of badass dramedy performed by the best of the best. I’m so looking forward to it. We’ll be reviewing it pretty early on when it’s released, likely in the first week of November, look out for it.

5 – Jojo Rabbit (10/18)

Production/Distribution: Czech Anglo Productions, Piki Films, Defender Films, Fox Searchlight Pictures, 20th Century Fox Argentina, 20th Century Fox Brazil, 20th Century Fox, Forum Hungary, Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Christine Leunens, Taika Waititi
Actors: Roman Griffin Davis, Thomasin McKenzie, Taika Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates, Luke Brandon Field, Sam Haygarth
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War
Rated: PG-13
Length: 108 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A young boy in Hitler's army finds out his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their home.

This film has one of the most unique plots I’ve seen in a long time.

In the past, I’ve gone into why I’m so interested in stories from the holocaust. In short, it’s a cultural necessity to not forget the past. Not just as humanity, but because I come from a Jewish family. I devour all the media I can find on the subject. And that includes stuff like Jojo Rabbit.

Now, most creative works based on the holocaust are very serious. It makes sense because that entire period of history is nothing to laugh at. That said, sometimes it’s easier to swallow the truth when it’s told with a different tone. Even if it’s one that doesn’t quite fit the gravity of the true story.

With the re-emergence of neo Nazi groups, it’s important to educate our children on the dangers of hate, but also the idiocy of it. Jojo Rabbit concentrates less on the graphic awfulness of the holocaust so that it can be more accessible to younger teens. At that point, Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok, What We Do in the Shadows, Boy) is then able to really bring across how absolutely ridiculous and idiotic it is to hate someone based on their race, religion, or culture. If he had directed a bloodier, more graphic, film – with a more serious tone – It would have just been another story unfit for younger ears.

Hatred begins young. We’re taught hate as we grow, and Jojo Rabbit acknowledges that, even when the entire world says that a certain brand of hate is ok – children are fluid enough to learn differently. We will get to see a young boy go from a Hitler fanatic to someone who grows to understand what’s wrong with that ideology.

I get the controversy from critics. We live in a time where hatred is resurfacing at an alarming rate. It’s difficult, sometimes, to look at a piece of media and wonder who it will inspire to do what. That’s art, though. It’s always up for interpretation and there’s no telling who will take what out of it.

As an artist, Waititi set out to create an anti-hate satire. By the look of the trailer, I’d say he succeeded. At the very least, he’s opened a discussion about it by cultivating the controversy among critics – which isn’t a bad thing either.

I’m looking forward to this one. I’m in the middle of moving, but if I get a chance to hit the theaters at all, this is one I’ll want to give my money to.

4 – Zombieland: Double Tap (10/18)

Production/Distribution: Columbia Pictures, Pariah, Columbia Pictures Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Pictures Filmverleih, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Dave Callaham, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Actors: Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch, Bill Murray, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Thomas Middleditch, Dan Aykroyd, Jesse Eisenberg, Luke Wilson, Avan Jogia
Genre: Action, Horror, Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Columbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.

It’s been 10 years! I have been looking forward to the sequel for Zombieland (2009) since the damn movie came out.

I know. Sequel-culture isn’t the best thing to support, but this isn’t even the last one you’ll see on this list. Sometimes, I just can’t help but want to delve further into a world that I’ve already fallen in love with. There IS a place for sequels.

In this case, I’m dying to know what happened to Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock after the events of the last film. After all, the zombie apocalypse didn’t just END. Life went on. Did they find survivors? Did they find a safe town? There are questions that a sequel can absolutely explore without stretching a story that didn’t need to be stretched.

I’m here for this one. I honestly can’t believe it’s as low as number 4 on my list.

3 – Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (10/15)

Production/Distribution: SModcast Pictures, Destro Films, Hideout Pictures, Intercut Capital, Mewesings, Miramax, Skit Bags Entertainment, View Askew Productions, Saban Films, Mongrel Media, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE)
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Melissa Benoist, James Van Der Beek, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson, Shannon Elizabeth, Kevin Smith, Joe Manganiello, Justin Long, Joey Lauren Adams, Molly Shannon, Jason Lee, Jason Mewes, Harley Quinn Smith, Fred Armisen, David Dastmalchian, Kate Micucci, Diedrich Bader, Craig Robinson, Jason Biggs, Frankie Shaw, Tommy Chong, Method Man, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Joseph D. Reitman, Brian Quinn, Aparna Brielle, Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Chase, Chris Jericho, Sue-Lynn Ansari, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Ralph Garman, Donnell Rawlings, Jake Richardson, Redman, Billy Slaughter, Alice Wen, Christopher Robin Smith, Treshelle Edmond
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Jay and Silent Bob return to Hollywood to stop a reboot of 'Bluntman and Chronic' movie from getting made.

The fact that this is not number 1 for me is mind boggling. Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma) is ALWAYS number 1 for me. Almost without fail. Alas, this month he’s only number 1 in my heart.

My favorite thing about this movie is that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot is not actually a reboot. It’s the sequel to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001). Smith just took George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones, Nightflyers, The Twilight Zone) level time to write it.

This film looks like it has all of the usual goofy, raunchy, Kevin Smith humor in it that we have come to know and love. It’s self-aware, it’s dumb, it’s ridiculous and insane. It’s everything you want from a View Askewniverse flick. Don’t go into it expecting anything deep and thoughtful (except for whichever one moment Silent Bob opts to speak) and you’ll be fine.

If anything, this will be a great movie to just sit down and turn your mind off for. Even if you’re not generally a fan of Kevin Smith, you HAVE to admit with the constant, unrelenting stressors being thrown at us every single day – it could be nice to get to watch something that just seeks to make you laugh with no strings.

I cannot wait.

2 – Farming (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Groundswell Productions, Logical Pictures, Metalwork Pictures, Montebello Productions, The Sundance Institute, GEM Entertainment, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Momentum Pictures, Icon Film Distribution Australia, Icon Film Distribution
Director: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Writer: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Cosmo Jarvis, Damson Idris, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jaime Winstone, Theo Barklem-Biggs, John Dagleish, Ann Mitchell, Lee Ross, James Eeles, Genevieve Nnaji, Paul O’Kelly, Zach Avery, Skye Lourie, David Olawale Ayinde, Tom Canton, Brooklyn Appiah, Scarlett Brookes, Kirstie Brough, Ryan Enever,  Leke Adebayo, Bradley Bissett
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 101 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Based on the writer/director's childhood, FARMING tells story of a young Nigerian boy, 'farmed out' by his parents to a white British family in the hope of a better future. Instead, he becomes the feared leader of a white skinhead gang.

This one caught me way off guard. It doesn’t even have a U.S. release date, so this one is based on the U.K. release. I hadn’t heard ANYTHING about it until I started collecting resources for this article. I’d call it a dark horse, but there are factors that definitely show that Farming is more than just a film with potential.

This is the writer/director, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s (Suicide Squad, Trumbo, Lost), first full-length feature film. He’s known more as an actor. Still, he’s got some seriously seasoned back-up with Gugu Mbatha-Raw (A Wrinkle in Time, Concussion, Touch) and Kate Beckinsale (Stonehearst Asylum, Total Recall, Underworld).

The plot is terrifying. So much so that it’s almost hard to keep in mind that the entire thing is based on a true story. You want it to be a work of fiction. You want to believe the world could never be that sadistic to an entire group of people. Watching a film like this, I imagine, would be the same for a person of color as it would be for a member of the Jewish community to watch something showing the worst of the holocaust. It is uncomfortable and awful – but the trailer shows sophisticated acting and direction that is impossible to look away from.

In this film, Akinnuoye-Agbaje gets to tell his truth. A heart-wrenching story of hatred and what it can do to a person. I’m hoping we will also get to see that moment in his life where he began his healing – where he understood himself better, out of the context of the life he was stolen into.

Movies like this, with a plot so devastating that it could easily cause nightmares, are so important. I was born in the 80s in New York. I never saw any of this. My grandparents on my father’s side were serious racists and my mom refused to expose me to it, so I never met them. I think she did the right thing. That meant I wasn’t exposed to it until I was old enough to know that hate like that is wrong. Of course, that also means I didn’t know how far racism could go. I never knew anything about people being ‘farmed out’. I knew what my school taught me, and they barely scratched the surface.

Films, and other works of art, that tell this kind of lesser-known story of history from the viewpoint of a person you can feel empathy for… they mean so much. They teach so much. They give us more information that we can use to relate to people who are different than us.

This will clearly not be a movie that will offer viewers any comedy to help ease the blow of the truth. It will be horrifying, and it will make our hearts hurt. It should.

When I can get my hands on this, I will be watching it.

1 – Joker (10/4)

Production/Distribution: BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Joint Effort, Village Roadshow Pictures, Warner Bros., Karo Premiere, Roadshow Films, Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Todd Phillips
Writer: Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Jolie Chan, Marc Maron, Frances Conroy, Shea Whigham, Mary Kate Malat, Bryan Callen, Brett Cullen, Douglas Hodge, Bill Camp, Dante Pereira-Olson, Glenn Fleshler, Josh Pais, Michael Benz, Mandela Bellamy, Leigh Gill, James Ciccone, Sondra James, Ben Warheit, Brendan Patrick Connor, Keith Buterbaugh, Alissa Bourne
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 121 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society.

To be honest, I think this one is tied with Farming for my first place. The only reason I decided to put Joker first is because I’ve been looking forward to it longer. Since long before the preview came out. When Joaquin Phoenix (Her, I’m Still Here, Walk the Line) was initially tapped to play the titular character – I was skeptical, but ready.

Sure, Phoenix is an amazing actor, but I think everyone rose an eyebrow when he was chosen. We’d just come to terms with Jared Leto’s (Dallas Buyers Club, Requiem for a Dream, The Thin Red Line) take on the character and we were already getting a new one.

Then the trailer came out.

I don’t think any of us are confused anymore. I think Leto’s Joker is going to be lost to the wind now. This movie looks insane – no pun intended.

I know there’s some controversy over it because people are worried it glorifies violence and may inspire people to do dumb shit… but I really don’t see the argument here. Science has proven – consistently – that movies and video games do not cause violence in people. It’s an outlet. When people HAVE outlets, they don’t need to erupt into dumb-shit-territory because they’re not bottling it up. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact. It’s in the studies. Plural.

Wage a verbal war needlessly if you must, but I’m looking forward to Joker.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Nighthawks .20
The King .19
Semper Fi .18
Lucky Day .17
Low Tide .16
The Great Alaskan Race .15
Dolemite is my Name.14
Black and Blue .13
Girl on the Third Floor .12
High Strung Free Dance .11
Lucy in the Sky .10
Countdown .9
Mary .8
The Dead Center .7
The Addams Family .6
The Current War .5
Gemini Man .4
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil .3
Jay and Silent Bob Reboot .2
Zombieland: Double Tap .1