Friday, September 2, 2022

Not Okay (2022)

Streaming Service: Hulu
Movie Name/Year: Not Okay (2022)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Length: 1h 40min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Makeready, Searchlight Pictures, Disney+, Hulu
Director: Quinn Shephard
Writer: Quinn Shephard
Actors: Zoey Deutch, Mia Isaac, Dylan O’Brien, Nadia Alexander, Tia Dionne Hodge, Negin Farsad, Embeth Davidtz, Brennan Brown, Karan Soni, Dash Perry
Blurb from IMDb: An ambitious young woman finds followers and fame when she poses as the survivor of a deadly attack, but she soon learns that online notoriety comes with a terrible price.

Selina’s Point of View:
I had my reservations about Not Okay from the moment I saw the trailer. The main character was painted as a rich white girl that wanted pity for her privilege. I was immediately turned off to her.
Turns out, she was not misrepresented.
At the very beginning of the film, she talks about how she regrets not being there for 9/11. From there on out, she was unredeemable to me. In fact, my immediate thought was that she sounded like Lena Dunham. I was a little amused that the movie then picked up on that and told her that was not someone to aspire to.
I respected that.

Going into it, I believed I knew exactly where Not Okay was heading and how it would end. After all, movies tend to end in a way where the awful characters that pull stunts like the one in this film learn their lesson but get rewarded anyway. I hate that because it doesn’t seem to deter the offending action.
I was very surprised when that was not what happened.
The ending of Not Okay made sense. It made a lot more sense than the endings of these films ever seem to. It was done so correctly, that it elevated the rest of the film.
I wish I could say that it made me happy I watched, but it just felt like a couple of good moments in a sea of cringe.
There was exactly 1 likeable character in the entire flick. Everyone else was so utterly annoying and up their own ass, that was impossible to care. The fact that the ending was good, doesn’t excuse the fact that I sat through an hour and a half of nonsense first.
Some people may be able to watch everything in context, but it just didn’t work for me.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 74%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 59%
Metascore – 62%
Metacritic User Score – 5.9
IMDB Score –6.0/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 2.5/5
Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In September (2022)

 by Cat

20 - Drifting Home (9/16)

Production/Distribution: Studio Colorido Co., Twin Engine, Netflix
Director: Hiroyasu Ishida
Writers: Hiroyasu Ishida, Hayashi Mori
Actors: Asami Seto, Ayumu Murase, Bin Shimada, Daiki Yamashita, Inori Minase, Kana Hanazawa, Mutsumi Tamura, Nana Mizuki, Yumiko Kobayashi
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Animation
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 59minutes
IMDb Blurb: Follows two childhood friends who drift into a mysterious sea with an entire housing complex.
I’m pretty excited about the slate of movies releasing during the month of September. There are so many interesting films coming out that I had a really hard time whittling down to what would appear in my list this time – and what order the titles would appear in. Some productions that got big reactions from me during our trailer stream earlier in August didn’t even make the cut…by the narrowest of margins.
Jumping right in, I wanted to start with this Netflix anime offering. There was one other anime-style movie set with a September release as well. Though, it will be getting a limited theater release before hitting digital and Blu-ray. I opted to list Drifting Home, as it will have more of a wide availability immediately.
The selection for Drifting Home also came down to my interest in the stories themselves. This seems like a concept I haven’t quite seen before; whereas the other film felt like a slight trek into a horror-genre version of another existing movie. I wanted to lean into the new experience this time, rather than re-treading familiar territory.
Drifting Home created all sorts of burning questions for me that compel me to watch. How did the world – or at least the region the movie is set within - get flooded this way? I am hoping there’s some explanation of how buildings can turn into boats, but I’m down for suspending a little disbelief there if the rest of the story is on point.
While co-writer and director Hiroyasu Ishida (Rain Town, Sonny Boy & Dewdrop Girl, Penguin Highway) is relatively new to directing full-length features, his debut movie released in 2019 is sitting at an impressive 100% critics score and 76% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. That gives me hope.
Of course, along with the intriguing story teased in the trailer for Drifting Home and the beautiful animation, there’s a phenomenal cast on board. I took a little dive into the filmographies of the cast members and found that every one of them has some extensive anime voice acting experience. For example, Daiki Yamashita (Sailor Moon Crystal, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising) voices the lead role of Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia (2016-). Every cast member has participated in multiple well-known modern anime staples, and some have voiced roles in a few of the OG titles.
Netflix generally doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its animation selections, so I’m excited to see what this one offers.
19 - Brahmastra Part One: Shiva (9/9)

Production/Distribution: Dharma Productions, Double Negative (DNEG), Fox STAR Studios, Prime Focus, Star Studios, Starlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Amazon Prime Video
Director: Ayan Mukherjee
Writers: Hussain Dalal, Ayan Mukherjee
Actors: Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Mouni Roy, Nagarjuna Akkineni, Ranbir Kapoor
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: Unrated
Length: 2 hours
IMDb Blurb: This is the story of Shiva who sets out in search of love and self-discovery. During his journey, he has to face many evil forces that threaten our existence.
Selina and I were fairly blown away by the trailer for Brahmastra Part One: Shiva. We both love a good Bollywood story now and again – they just tend to be prohibitively long to sit through more often than not. This particular movie, however, is sitting pretty right at the 2-hour mark and feels entirely feasible for our fleeting attention spans.
Aside from not sporting an overly long runtime, Brahmastra Part One: Shiva looks absolutely stunning from a cinematic perspective. The colors were vivid, the story was fairly clear even though we didn’t have subtitles on the original trailer we watched, and the effects were out of this world.
One would sincerely hope that the alleged most expensive Bollywood movie ever made – to the tune of roughly $2 billion (converted) – would have all the bells and whistles that kind of budget allows, and all of it executed to perfection. Let me tell you, I have a feeling that this movie is as close to that outcome as one generally gets – if the trailer was an accurate representation.
This is also the first installment of what should be a trilogy, so if Brahmastra Part One: Shiva delivers, fans will have at least 2 more films to eagerly anticipate in the future. Hopefully, the next 2 won’t suffer the same delays in production and release that this first movie has. (It’s been in the works since its announcement in 2014 – earning the moniker of longest-delayed Indian movie.)
Brahmastra Part One: Shiva continues to rack up a list of “firsts,” as it is also reported to be the beginning of India’s first cinematic universe, dubbed the “Astraverse.”
At this time, it is unclear when Brahmastra Part One: Shiva will become available for streaming after its theater run; however, with Disney as its distributor, you can probably expect it to eventually appear on Disney+.
18 - End of the Road (9/8)

Production/Distribution: 42, Edmonds Entertainment, Flavor Unit Entertainment, Serendipity Productions, Twisted Pictures, Netflix
Director: Millicent Shelton
Writers: Christopher J. Moore, David Loughery
Actors: Beau Bridges, Queen Latifah, Chris Bridges (Ludacris), Aaron Valentine, Amie MacKenzie, Efrain Villa, Frances Lee McCain, Jesse Luken, Keith Jardine, Micah McNeil, Mychala Lee, Phuong Kubacki, Shaun Dixon, Tabatha Shaun, Travis Hammer
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 1h 29minutes
IMDb Blurb: In this high-octane action thriller, a cross-country road trip becomes a highway to hell for Brenda and her family. Alone in the New Mexico desert, they have to fight for their lives when they become the targets of a mysterious killer.
Netflix seems to be really going out of its way to drop a mountain of content into September. End of the Road is among the films that had a last-minute released trailer, so we weren’t able to discuss this one on our stream.
Immediately, End of the Road caught my attention with its cast. Queen Latifah (Maya and the Three, The Equalizer, Hustle) and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges (Show Dogs, The Fate of the Furious, John Henry) are both as fun to watch in their cinematic roles as they are while performing music. They have a great range and generally add something special to the projects that they’re involved in. When you add a film veteran such as Beau Bridges (The Mountain Between Us, Galveston, Homeland) into the mix as well, there’s a framework for the potential of a really entertaining experience.
I do feel I need to address the fact that ‘things going awry during a road trip through the desert’ isn’t the most original concept. It’s been done so many times before. End of the Road, however, seems to at least add a new element or so to the equation. We’ve got a family down on their luck, just trying to get a new start in Houston – and they make some unfortunate decisions along the way out of desperation.
We’re in a period where it’s not quite the end of summer and not quite the beginning of fall. The pumpkin spice is beginning to flow and all the spooky decorations are emerging in stores. There are a lot of horror and thriller-type offerings coming out in advance of the scary season. For those in the mood for some good old-fashioned summer action-thrillers, here’s a good example of general entertainment value to scratch that itch.
End of the Road is also Millicent Shelton’s (Black-ish, 9-1-1, Titans) full-length feature directorial debut. She’s directed for the small screen for some time now and contributed to some heavyweight programs, at that; so I’m eager to see how she approaches this story.
When it comes down to it, if you have a Netflix subscription, it wouldn’t hurt to give End of the Road a shot. If it isn’t a fit, there are plenty more new titles being added in September.
17 - Gigi & Nate (9/2)

Production/Distribution: Free Turn, Tempo Productions Limited, Roadside Attractions, Hulu
Director: Nick Hamm
Writer: David Hudgins
Actors: Charlie Rowe, Diane Ladd, Hannah Alligood, James Belushi, Josephine Langford, Marcia Gay Harden, Mishel Prada, Tara Summers, Welker White, Zoe Margaret Colletti
Genre: Drama, Family
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 54minutes
IMDb Blurb: A young man's life is turned upside down after he is left a quadriplegic. Moving forward seems near impossible until he meets his unlikely service animal, Gigi - a curious and intelligent capuchin monkey.
Gigi and Nate is one of those movies that you just know is going to be full of ALL THE FEELS. The little capuchin monkey is absolutely adorable and the story just intrinsically has a lot of heart.
Have your box of tissues handy – this one might be more than a pocket pack can handle.
It’s a tragedy when someone makes one of those ‘young and dumb’ mistakes that we all have as we grow up – and it results in an injury that turns the world upside down for the rest of their life. Though, this seems to be one of the more positive outcomes of that sort of situation. The trailer seemed to indicate that the young paralyzed man, played by Charlie Rowe (Red Band Society, Salvation, Rocketman), does speaking engagements to raise awareness for either people with disabilities or cautionary tales for teens.
Speaking of the cast, it will be great to see Jim Belushi (The Defenders, Twin Peaks, Wonder Wheel) on the big screen in a family movie. I really enjoy Marcia Gay Harden (Code Black, Moxie, The Morning Show) in mom-type roles. Josephine Langford (Wish Upon, After, Moxie) has a busy month with both Gigi and Nate, and her other movie After Ever Happy (2022) releasing in September.
Let’s be real though, the monkey is the center of attention in this movie. I love a good animal companion story. They always put me on a rollercoaster and stomp on my heart a few times before they give me a hug, but I can’t resist. I’d own a small zoo if I had the resources to do so, so I’m all in on movies like this (provided that the animals involved are treated correctly – and there’s no evidence otherwise here).
I feel it’s also a bonus that this particular narrative is based on a true story. I have a feeling I’m going to be doing some more googling on this in the near future to find out more. I digress… When you can connect a cinematic experience to real events and people, that tends to make it more powerful.
Gigi and Nate is releasing directly to theaters. On-Demand information was not readily available at the time of this article; however, this movie will be available on Hulu when it is eligible for streaming due to a recent deal between the provider and Roadside Attractions.
16 - Blonde (9/28)

Production/Distribution: Plan B Entertainment, Netflix
Director: Andrew Dominik
Writers: Andrew Dominik, Joyce Carol Oates
Actors: Adrien Brody, Ana de Armas, Bobby Cannavale, Caspar Phillipson, Garret Dillahunt, Julianne Nicholson, Lucy DeVito, Rebecca Wisocky, Sara Paxton, Scoot McNairy, Toby Huss, Xavier Samuel
Genre: Biography, Drama, Mystery
Rated: NC-17
Length: 2h 46minutes
IMDb Blurb: A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Don’t Bother to Knock, Some Like It Hot) was one of the most iconic figures of the golden age of cinema. She was the queen of the silver screen and is still talked about to this day as an indelible feature of pop culture. There was such intrigue about her untimely death, as well. At least 14 movies have been made about her life between the 1960s and present-day – this production included.
Blonde will be the 2nd adaptation of the titular book by Joyce Carol Oates (Small Avalanches, The Gathering Squall, Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang). Before viewing Blonde, we should take into account that this is a fictional work. Oates has made a point to specifically point that out so that the tale would not be taken as an actual biography. While actual events from Monroe’s life are depicted in the movie, we should take the overall story with a grain of salt.
Blonde has been quite the passion project for writer and director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly, Mindhunter), as he’s been developing the film since 2008. He’s also reportedly gone on record mentioning that this film was the one he wanted most to make. I’m highly curious to see what approach he took to this story and how it’s presented in the production, as it’s said that there is very little dialogue in Blonde. Dominik has called it “an avalanche of images and events.”
Even without a lot of dialogue, there is still a stellar cast on board. That brings us to the first of the 2 big items that stand out like the proverbial elephant in the room. Ana de Armas (The Night Clerk, Deep Water, No Time to Die) is taking on the role of Marilyn here. The trailer does offer us a snippet of dialogue between herself and Bobby Cannavale (Jolt, Nine Perfect Strangers, Sing 2). While Armas has worked very hard to get Monroe’s soft breathy voice right, there’s still an unmistakable trace of Armas’ Cuban accent underneath. While that has been putting some screening audiences off, I frankly don’t care and can only encourage moviegoers to overlook that one tidbit of the performance because I think Armas is nailing the essence of the character otherwise.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is, indeed, an NC-17 movie. (It is, in fact, the first NC-17 of the decade and the first to be released to a streaming service.) The director was surprised, as he thought he’d delivered just a strong R rating, but this is where we’re at. Definitely don’t bring the kids along for this one. Some of the reasoning for this rating may come from potential abuse situations depicted on screen, as well. Monroe’s story wasn’t always the glitz and glamour of the screen – and the trailer made it clear that this story is digging into the darker and grittier side of it.
Blonde is a bit on the long side, however, since it is releasing on Netflix that makes it easy to pause for an intermission if necessary.
Everything else aside, from what I gathered from the trailer, Blonde looks gorgeous as a film and I can’t help but be fascinated by the Marilyn Monroe story. That makes this a must-watch for me.
15 - A Jazzman's Blues (9/23)

Production/Distribution: Tyler Perry Studios, Netflix
Director: Tyler Perry
Writer: Tyler Perry
Actors: Amirah Vann, Bailey MB, Brad Benedict, Brent Antonello, E. Roger Mitchell, Lana Young, Lauren Buglioli, Milauna Jemai, Ryan Eggold, Solea Pfeiffer
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 2h 7minutes
IMDb Blurb: Follows an investigation into an unsolved murder unveiling a story full of forbidden love, deceit and a secret.
I wasn’t kidding when I said Netflix is cranking out volume this month. This next entry on September’s list is also dropping on Netflix. When we watched the trailers on stream, we were worried that a Tyler Perry (Acrimony, Ruthless, Bruh) production didn’t have marketing or a trailer out yet. Thankfully, it was just the usual delay associated with Netflix releases. Sometimes the trailers hit just a handful of weeks out from the release date.
While heavy drama generally isn’t my preferred genre of choice at the moment, I was moved by the trailer for A Jazzman's Blues. I do enjoy a good story about star-crossed lovers now and again. This particular one is set in the Deep South 1940s. There was so much Spanish moss in the trailer that I almost felt my hair to make sure some hadn’t fallen and gotten tangled in it.
I enjoyed the concept of the main character, “Bayou,” channeling his emotions into music. Jazz isn’t quite always my musical genre of choice, either – but if it’s not too discordant, I can generally roll with it. I’m interested in both how things turn out for the people and the music involved.
14 - Raven's Hollow (9/22)

Production/Distribution: 828 Media Capital, Cinevilla Studio, Creativity Capital, Raven's Hollow, Planeta Inform Film Distribution, Shudder
Director: Christopher Hatton
Writers: Christopher Hatton, Chuck Reeves
Actors: Callum McGowan, Callum Woodhouse, David Hayman, Kate Dickie, Kyle Rowe, Mathis Landwehr, Melanie Zanetti, Michael Guest, Oberon K.A. Adjepong, William Moseley
Genre: Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 38minutes
IMDb Blurb: West Point cadet Edgar Allan Poe and four other cadets on a training exercise in upstate New York are drawn by a gruesome discovery into a forgotten community.
Edgar Allan Poe is one of my favorite authors. His work is quite literally classic. When the trailer revealed that this story would follow the author of The Raven to a place called Raven’s Hollow and supernatural shenanigans would ensue, I was sold instantly. Whether or not this film has any basis in Poe’s background, I really don’t mind either way.
With October just right around the corner, I’m down for starting to filter in more dark and spooky stories already. (I know, we’re talking September still – but it’s never too early to plan for Halloween!)
I’m not entirely familiar with the director for this production, but I do recognize a few of the cast members – primarily, William Moseley (Friend Request, The Royals, Saving Paradise), who is playing none other than Poe, himself. He’s certainly come a long way from the Chronicles of Narnia (2005-2010) movies.
Raven’s Hollow is set to release directly to Shudder.
13 - Smile (9/30)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Players, Temple Hill Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Pictures Germany, Paramount Pictures International, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Parker Finn
Writer: Parker Finn
Actors: Caitlin Stasey, Gillian Zinser, Jessie Usher, Judy Reyes, Kal Penn, Kevin Keppy, Kyle Gallner, Rob Morgan, Scot Teller, Sosie Bacon
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Length: 1h 55minutes
IMDb Blurb: After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can't explain. Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
Smile has been creeping me out since I saw the brief teaser trailer that was before Top Gun: Maverick (2022) in the theater. It was certainly effective because I wanted to know more about the movie – and what was up with the crazy smile-thing going on.
Well, now I know a bit more and I’m no less unsettled by the answers. I am, however, looking forward to watching this movie and seeing the whole story unfold.
While putting information together for this article, I learned that not only is this the full-length feature debut for writer and director Parker Finn (The Hidebehind, Laura Hasn't Slept), but this film is actually an expanded adaptation of his own original short. I think it’s cool when up-and-coming talent gets to take their work to the next level. The original treatment of the story won several film festival awards and was nominated for others.
Caitlin Stasey (All Cheerleaders Die, Reign, Kindred Spirits) is set to reprise her role from the short, Laura, who is the patient seeking help from her therapist - as shown in the trailer for Smile. It’s sad that I already know the outcome for her character, but I will still enjoy seeing her in this movie all the same.
Sosie Bacon (Scream: The TV Series, 13 Reasons Why, Traces) is playing the role of the traumatized therapist who seemingly inherits the smile monster from Laura. She seems to be a really great fit for the role, from what I can tell. There are a few other recognizable actors among the cast as well, such as Kal Penn (The Girl in the Photographs, Designated Survivor, Mira: Royal Detective), Jessie T. Usher (Survivor's Remorse, Shaft, The Boys), and Kyle Gallner (American Sniper, The Cleansing Hour, Ghosts of War).
The way the monster that no one else can see is passed from one person to another and inexorably follows its prey called to mind putting It Follows (2014) and The Ring (2002) in a blender. I can’t wait to see how this all plays out.
Smile is releasing directly to theaters initially. While On-Demand information was unclear at the time of this article, look for this title on Paramount+ when it becomes eligible for streaming.
12 - Vesper (9/30)

Production/Distribution: Rumble Fish Productions, Natrix Natrix, 10.80 Films, Ev.L Prod, Chantier Films, Condor, Filmfinity, Koch Films, Leone Film Group, Movie Cloud, Plaion Pictures, Pris Audiovisuais, Shaw Organisation, Shaw Renters, Signature Entertainment, T&B Media Global, The Klockworx, IFC Films
Directors: Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper         
Writers: Kristina Buozyte, Brian Clark, Bruno Samper
Actors: Eddie Marsan, Edmund Dehn, Melanie Gaydos, Raffiella Chapman, Richard Brake, Rosy McEwen
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 52minutes
IMDb Blurb: After the collapse of Earth's ecosystem, Vesper, a 13-year-old girl struggling to survive with her paralyzed father, meets a woman with a secret who will force her to use her wits, strengths and bio-hacking abilities to fight for the possibility of having a future.
I’m a sucker for a futuristic post-apocalyptic dystopian sci-fi flick, and Vesper precisely fits that description. Naturally, I’m very excited to give it a whirl, so to speak. I find the little drone companion fascinating and I am dying to find out the story of what has happened to Earth (if they’re even still ON Earth), and the origins of the crazy alien plants.
While I might not exactly be the biggest fan of some of their early work, writer and director duo Kristina Buozyte (Park '79, Vanishing Waves, ABCs of Death 2: K is for Knell) and Bruno Samper (Kolekcioniere, Vanishing Waves, ABCs of Death 2: K is for Knell) have shown real dedication to getting this production off the ground, as they’ve been working on it for apparently around 6 years. I’m looking forward to seeing the payoff.
The trailer for Vesper already has me invested in the story and the setting is captivatingly interesting. I want to know more about the large structures that look like they have roots or pipes going down into the ground in a similar fashion. For all of the ‘alien landscape’ of the setting, the production reportedly didn’t use any green screens during filming. They didn’t avoid CGI entirely, however, as it was necessary for some of the special effects of such things as the plants and drone. I really admire a team that strives for realism within the fantasy in this digital age. Tangible physical set pieces and effects are still great foundation blocks to build with. The more immersive everything is, the easier it is to suspend disbelief, after all.
Vesper is releasing directly to theaters and digital On Demand initially. It is unclear at this time where and when it will become available for streaming. IFC Films, however, tend to often land on Shudder, so keep your eyes peeled there in 45 days or so from the premiere date.
11 - Barbarian (9/9)

Production/Distribution: BoulderLight Pictures, Hammerstone Studios, Almost Never Films Inc., Regency Enterprises, Vertigo Entertainment, 20th Century Studios
Director: Zach Cregger
Writer: Zach Cregger
Actors: Bill Skarsgård, Devina Vassileva, Georgina Campbell, J.R. Esposito, Jaymes Butler, Justin Long, Kalina Stancheva, Kate Bosworth, Kurt Braunohler, Matthew Patrick Davis, Richard Brake, Sara Paxton, Sophie Sörensen, Trevor Van Uden, Zach Cregger
Genre: Thriller, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 1h 42minutes
IMDb Blurb: A woman staying at an Airbnb discovers that the house she has rented is not what it seems.
The trailer for Barbarian gave me chills. The story weaves a picture of the worst-case scenario for an AirBNB double-booking imaginable – or something close to it. The Reddit horror stories of people finding secret rooms or hidden annexes within their homes with other people hiding and/or living in them also come to mind. Barbarian brings us a nightmare amalgamation of both.
Another factor that has me really excited about Barbarian is the cast. I will watch just about anything that Bill Skarsgård (It, Deadpool 2, The Devil All the Time) is in. I have so many questions regarding his character in this movie, also. Does he know about what’s going on beneath the house? Is he in on it? If so, is it of his own volition or is he being forced somehow?
But wait, there’s more! Barbarian also has Georgina Campbell (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Black Mirror, Krypton), Justin Long (Ghost Team, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Lady of the Manor), Richard Brake (Game of Thrones, The Rhythm Section, Bingo Hell), and Kate Bosworth (Before I Wake, The Immaculate Room, Along for the Ride) among the cast. I’m dying to know how everyone fits into the story. We only really see Skarsgard and Campbell clearly in the trailer and just a brief flash of Long. What the hell is up with those videotapes and this mystery ‘process’ that they mention? So many questions.
Barbarian is set to release to theaters and likely On Demand. Streaming information for this film is not yet available at the time of this article.

10 - Jeepers Creepers: Reborn (9/18)

Production/Distribution: Black Hangar Studios, Orwo Studios, 101 Films, Screen Media Films, Shaw Organisation, Splendid Film, VVS Films
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Writer: Sean-Michael Argo
Actors: Sydney Craven, Imran Adams, Jarreau Benjamin, Matt Barkley, Peter Brooke, Ocean Navarro,Gary Graham, Gabriel Freilich, Georgia Goodman, Terry Bird, Helen Lauren, Alexander Halsall, Jodie Mcmullen, Joseph Tanner Paul
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 28minutes
IMDb Blurb: Forced to travel with her boyfriend, Laine, she begins to experience premonitions associated with the urban myth of The Creeper. Laine believes that something supernatural has been summoned - and that she is at the center of it all.
I have a lot of nostalgic feels for the original Jeepers Creepers (2001) and its 2003 sequel. I was devastated to learn about the whole fiasco regarding the Creeper’s creator, Victor Salva (Powder, Jeepers Creepers, Jeepers Creepers 2). I’m not going to get into that here, but his involvement with the franchise tarnished it for the film industry and fans alike. My guilty pleasure enjoyment of these creature features makes it easier for my ADHD brain to forget on occasion – much as I forgot while we were doing our trailer stream. Out of sight, out of mind, after all. I digress…
The point I’m making is that there is no need to worry about that sort of issue for this new sequel. Salva is not involved in any way with the project whatsoever.
Now that we’ve addressed the elephant in the room, let’s move on to the good stuff – Jeepers Creepers: Reborn.
The trailer really gave me hope that this new film will reinvigorate this franchise. I adore the concept of incorporating the horror faire and the escape room elements. Fans of the Creeper shouldn’t worry, though. Just because the creator of the franchise isn’t involved anymore, it doesn’t mean that everything will change. We won’t hear the titular song in this one because of copyright and royalty agreement issues – but they have offered us something new that fits the theme of this new movie. I’m crossing my fingers that it works well. We will see items and set pieces that call back to the prior films, as well as the 2018 comic series, though, as well as scars on the Creeper reflecting prior battles.
For those that have lost interest in the original movies due to the scandal surrounding their creator, you might be able to get away with watching this sequel and getting the bare-bones explanation of the Creeper to understand what’s going on. Unfortunately, there would be a lot to miss out on in the way of the aforementioned Easter Egg references as a tradeoff.
Jeepers Creepers: Reborn is releasing to theaters and Digital On Demand services, however streaming information is unknown at the time of this article.
9 - Lou (9/22)

Production/Distribution: Bad Robot, Netflix
Director: Anna Foerster
Writers: Maggie Cohn, Jack Stanley
Actors: Allison Janney, Greyston Holt, Jaycie Dotin, Jurnee Smollett, Logan Marshall-Green, Marci T. House, Matt Craven, Ridely Asha Bateman, Roman Mitichyan, Toby Levins
Genre: Action, Drama, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 1h 47minutes
IMDb Blurb: A storm rages. A young girl is kidnapped. Her mother teams up with the mysterious woman next door to pursue the kidnapper, a journey that tests their limits and exposes shocking secrets from their pasts.
Lou is another Netflix offering for September that I’m fairly chomping at the bit to see. I love the fact that the ex-military or special-ops type character is a badass woman in this film. That role stereotype usually involves some buff male action star or former stunt guy. I’m near giddy that Lou turns that on its head.
In addition to that, the cast looks phenomenal. Allison Janney (Troop Zero, Bombshell, Mom) was a great choice to play the titular character. I would absolutely believe that this lady has been through some shit in her life. I love her deadpan delivery and have really enjoyed her comedy work in the past. I think it serves her well in Lou, shading some of the more tense moments with a hint of levity. (I had a giggle during the trailer when her answer to a question was “girl scouts.”)
Jurnee Smollett (Birds of Prey, Lovecraft Country, Spiderhead) is also amazing. I’ve enjoyed her in every role I’ve seen her in. She fits the mom role well. I was invested in every moment these ladies were on the screen and their adventures look harrowing and exciting as they embark on the rescue mission.
Aside from the fabulous femme fatales involved with the production, there are a few among the male cast worth noting. We have reason to expect good things from Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus, Sand Castle, Upgrade), Greyston Holt (See No Evil 2, Bitten, Riverdale), and Matt Craven (White House Down, Awakening the Zodiac, Sharp Objects).
I’m really curious to learn more about Lou’s background and why events have unfolded the way they have. If you’re still looking for that action movie rush in September, Lou is a good candidate to satisfy that craving.
8 - My Best Friend's Exorcism (9/30)

Production/Distribution: Endeavor Content, Gotham Group, Amazon Prime Video
Director: Damon Thomas
Writers: Grady Hendrix, Jenna Lamia
Actors: Amiah Miller, Ashley LeConte Campbell, Cathy Ang, Chris Lowell, Clayton Royal Johnson, Cynthia Evans, Elsie Fisher, Erin Ownbey, Michael Wayne Foster, Nathan Anderson, Rachel Ogechi Kanu
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 1h 36minutes
IMDb Blurb: The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act...different. She's moody. She's irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she's nearby. Abby's investigation leads her to some startling discoveries-and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
The trailer for My Best Friend's Exorcism wasn’t available at the time of our stream, so there was no one around to hear me cackle with glee as I watched it. I’ll be honest, the 80s vibes and the Tiffany “I Think We’re Alone Now” playing in the background had me sold on this film within the first few seconds.
I rarely ever pass up a chance to get my 80s nostalgia on. My Best Friend’s Exorcism is definitely no exception. This movie looks gloriously campy and hilarious – while offering a few good horror moments as well.
This is one of those times I really don’t mind that I didn’t really recognize most of the cast beyond a fleeting thought of “have I seen them in something before?” I didn’t even feel the burning need to look that answer up. I just know I want to see this movie ASAP. Let me tell you, I’m over the moon that this is an Amazon Prime original feature, so it’s going to be releasing directly to the streaming service. I am now counting down the days. Ok, well maybe not that far, but I am really excited.
If you love 80s horror, you’re probably going to get a lot out of My Best Friend’s Exorcism.
7 - Don't Worry Darling (9/23)

Production/Distribution: New Line Cinema, New Line Productions, Vertigo Entertainment, Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures Mexico, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore
Director: Olivia Wilde
Writers: Katie Silberman, Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke
Actors: Chris Pine, Dita Von Teese, Douglas Smith, Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, Harry Styles, Kate Berlant, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, Olivia Wilde, Sydney Chandler, Timothy Simons
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 2h 2minutes
IMDb Blurb: A 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets.
OK so here’s the thing. I have wanted to see Don’t Worry Darling since the first time I saw the trailer. I’m intrigued as to what’s really going on beneath the shiny surface of this “utopian” community.
I feel I need to take a moment to address yet another elephant in the room. (Pink elephants maybe?) The director of Don’t Worry Darling has become embroiled in a scandal. It generally only reflects on them as an individual and not on the actual movie, so I’m simply going to omit discussing that particular person and the details of the brouhaha at hand. It’s also a matter of that individual’s honesty and integrity and not a criminal matter. So. That being said, let’s move along.
I adore Florence Pugh (Fighting With My Family, Midsommar, Black Widow) and think that Don’t Worry Darling makes a brilliant pairing of her with Harry Styles (iCarly, Dunkirk, Eternals) for these roles. Their screen chemistry, as far as the trailers have shown, is off the charts. Chris Pine (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Contractor, All the Old Knives) is also an excellent choice for the ‘boss’ who is likely hiding something sinister regarding the community.
I got a real The Stepford Wives (2004) vibe from some of the scenes teased in the trailer as well.
Regardless, I am really looking forward to watching Don’t Worry Darling as soon as I can. This movie will be releasing directly to theaters and digital On Demand. Look for it on HBOMax after the 45 day window elapses.
6 - The Woman King (9/16)

Production/Distribution: Entertainment One, Jack Blue Productions, JuVee Productions, TriStar Productions, Welle Entertainment, Sony Pictures Releasing Argentina, Sony Pictures Releasing International, Sony Pictures Releasing, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Writer: Maria Bello, Dana Stevens
Actors: Adrienne Warren, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, Jayme Lawson, John Boyega, Jordan Bolger, Lashana Lynch, Masali Baduza, Shaina West, Sheila Atim, Thuso Mbedu, Viola Davis
Genre: Action, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 6minutes
IMDb Blurb: A historical epic inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The trailer for The Woman King was absolutely breathtaking. The cinematography for this film looked amazing, the costuming was on point, and the action sequences were fire.
There’s an unbelievable cast involved with this true story of fierce African warriors. Viola Davis (Lila & Eve, Fences, The First Lady), John Boyega (Pacific Rim: Uprising, Star Wars: Forces of Destiny, Breaking), Lashana Lynch (Brotherhood, Captain Marvel, No Time to Die), and Hero Fiennes Tiffin (After, The Silencing, First Love) are just some of the stand-out names contributing to this production.
I also believe that this tale is in good hands with director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, The Old Guard). She has successfully given us stories about badass women already in the past – The Woman King is stepping it up to the next level.
The Woman King will be releasing exclusively to theaters initially. Information about On Demand rental was not available at the time of this article. This film should reportedly become available for streaming in mid-October, but it is not clear at this time which service will carry the title.
5 - Do Revenge (9/16)

Production/Distribution: Likely Story, Netflix
Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Writers: Celeste Ballard, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Actors: Austin Abrams, Camila Mendes, Cassady McClincy, Eliza Bennett, Maia Reficco, Maya Hawke, Paris Berelc, Rish Shah, Sophie Turner, Talia Ryder
Genre: Comedy
Rated: TV-MA
Length: 1h 58minutes
IMDb Blurb: Drea and Eleanor agree to go after one another's bullies.
The trailer for Do Revenge had me in stitches. This was partially from the comedic content within the teaser and the rest because of how self-aware this production is of its own grammatically incorrect name. If you were tuned into our trailer stream, you might have caught a little extra bit of hilarity from that moment. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.
Aside from that, I love that Do Revenge feels like a fresh concept. It’s a teen movie, but I don’t think I’ve seen one with this particular spin before. Besides, haven’t we all fantasized a little bit about getting revenge on bullies that have tormented us? At least here we can experience the catharsis vicariously through the screen. I’m curious to see just how far these girls are willing to take this particular gambit.
In addition to that, the cast looks phenomenal as well. Maya Hawke (Italian Studies, Fear Street: Part One - 1994, Stranger Things) and Camila Mendes (Coyote Lake, Dangerous Lies, Riverdale) fit these lead roles so well. There are more stand-out names among the rest of the cast, too. Among those are: Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones, Survive, The Staircase), Rish Shah (Emmerdale Farm, To All the Boys: Always and Forever, Ms. Marvel), Paris Berelc (Confessional, Alexa & Katie, 1Up), and Cassady McClincy (Love Simon, Castle Rock, The Walking Dead). I’ve enjoyed all of them in their past work and am looking forward to seeing which characters they inhabit within this comedy.
Do Revenge will be releasing directly to Netflix.
4 - See How They Run (9/30)

Production/Distribution: Searchlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Germany
Director: Tom George
Writer: Mark Chappell
Actors: Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, Harris Dickinson, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Reece Shearsmith, Ruth Wilson, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Shirley Henderson, Sian Clifford
Genre: Mystery, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 38minutes
IMDb Blurb: In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered.
See How They Run has me happy on so many levels. I used to watch Agatha Christie movies with my mom when I was little, as well as shows like Murder, She Wrote (1984-1996) and Columbo (1971-2003). These gumshoe mysteries with a side of comedy feel like snuggling into a warm blanket. I got a taste of a more serious mystery earlier in the year with Death on the Nile (2022), and now we’re due for something to tickle the funny bone as we get down to who-done-it.
The trailer had me in stitches. Sam Rockwell (Trolls 2: World Tour, The One and Only Ivan, The Bad Guys) as the lead detective having to reign in the over-eager Saoirse Ronan’s (Brooklyn, Mary Queen of Scots, The French Dispatch) constable character is exactly the dynamic that I didn’t realize I needed in my life right now.
The rest of the cast is ridiculously stacked with talent, as well. Adrien Brody (Bullet Head, Peaky Blinders, Clean), Ruth Wilson (How to Talk to Girls at Parties, True Things, His Dark Materials), and David Oyelowo (The Cloverfield Paradox, Don't Let Go, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway) are just a few notable participants in this caper.
The second that Ronan’s character said the body was “staged,” I was sold. If there’s any way I can catch See How They Run in the theater, I’m going to try to do so.
See How They Run will be releasing to theaters as well as digital On Demand. Streaming details were unavailable at the time of this article.
3 - The Munsters (9/27)

Production/Distribution: Capital Arts Entertainment, Hero Squared, Spookshow International, Universal 1440 Entertainment, Netflix, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE)
Director: Rob Zombie
Writer: Rob Zombie
Actors: Butch Patrick, Cassandra Peterson, Catherine Schell, Daniel Roebuck, Dee Wallace, Jeffrey Daniel Phillips, Jorge Garcia, Pat Priest, Richard Brake, Sheri Moon Zombie, Sylvester McCoy
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 50minutes
IMDb Blurb: Reboot of "The Munsters", that followed a family of monsters who moves from Transylvania to an American suburb.
As we hit the top 3 movies releasing in September, I have to quell my internal urge to give my reasoning as merely “duh.”
While these movies don’t require any further up-selling to reach my must-see list, I suppose a little further explanation as to why would be in order.
The Munsters promises to be a colorful romp of spooky fun paying homage to the classic show originating in the 1960s. In fact, Pat Priest (My Favorite Martian, Perry Mason, Here Come the Munsters), who played Marilyn Munster in The Munsters (1964-1966), will have a cameo in this new version – though, not as her original character.
Honestly, the minute someone told me Rob Zombie (The Devil's Rejects, Halloween, 31) was going to be directing a Munsters movie, I was on board. This is going to be the very first movie of Zombie’s to not receive an R rating. This is history, folks. I honestly don’t think this film could be in better hands than his.
To further cement this film into the spooktacular, Elvira herself, Cassandra Peterson (Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island, Shoplifters of the World, Dota: Dragon's Blood), has a role in The Munsters as well.
Normally, at this point I’d say ‘shut up and take my money,’ but The Munsters will be releasing directly to Netflix, and I’m already a subscriber.
2 - Hocus Pocus 2 (9/30)

Production/Distribution: David Kirschner Productions, Walt Disney Pictures, Disney+
Director: Anne Fletcher
Writer: Jen D'Angelo
Actors: Belissa Escobedo, Bette Midler, Dan Finnerty, Doug Jones, Froy Gutierrez, Hannah Waddingham, Kathy Najimy, Lilia Buckingham, Sam Richardson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Tony Hale, Whitney Peak
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 44minutes
IMDb Blurb: Three young women accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking havoc on the world.
Hold on to your broomsticks and dock your Roombas. The moment that fans of the original Hocus Pocus (1993) movie have been waiting for is finally here – well…at least at the end of September, it will be. We’re finally getting our sequel!
It just makes me want to go… amok amok amok!
Seriously, though, it is exciting news that Disney is bringing back the Sanderson sisters for another round of magical mischievous madcap. Better yet, the original cast of Bette Midler (Parental Guidance, The Addams Family, The Glorias), Kathy Najimy (Younger, Single All the Way, Duncanville),  and Sarah Jessica Parker (All Roads Lead to Rome, Here and Now, And Just Like That...) are returning to reprise their roles.
If you haven’t seen the first movie yet, you have time between now and the end of the month to catch up! Hocus Pocus 2 will be releasing directly to Disney+.
1 - Clerks III (9/13)

Production/Distribution: View Askew Productions, BondIt Media Capital, Destro Films, SModcast Pictures, Eagle Pictures, Fathom Events, Lionsgate UK, Lionsgate, Metropolitan Filmexport
Director: Kevin Smith
Writer: Kevin Smith
Actors: Austin Zajur, Ben Affleck, Brian O'Halloran, Fred Armisen, Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson, Justin Long, Kevin Smith, Lisa Hampton, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Rosario Dawson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Scott Schiaffo, Trevor Fehrman
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 1h 55minutes
IMDb Blurb: Dante, Elias, and Jay and Silent Bob are enlisted by Randal after a heart attack to make a movie about the convenience store that started it all.
If you’re a fan of Kevin Smith’s (Hollyweed, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Killroy Was Here)
 movies – this is a must-see. That’s really the crux of anything I could say about this production. I am ticking down the moments until I can enjoy this one with my husband and 19-year-old.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina
Bros .20
The Munsters .19
Blonde .18
Lou  .17
Do Revenge .16
The Silent Twins .15
The Railway Children Return .14
Gigi & Nate .13
Barbarian .12
The Alternate .11
Brahmastra Part One: Shiva .10
Vesper .9
Don't Worry Darling .8
Heathers: The Musical .7
My Best Friend's Exorcism .6
Hocus Pocus 2 .5
Drifting Home .4
See How They Run .3
The Woman King .2
Clerks III .1
 What makes a movie eligible for Trust the Dice’s Top 20?