Friday, September 30, 2022

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

 According to: Selina

20 – Luckiest Girl Alive (10/7)

Production/Distribution: Made Up Stories, Orchard Farm Productions, Picturestart, Netflix
Director: Mike Barker
Writer: Jessica Knoll
Actors: Mila Kunis, Connie Britton, Justine Lupe, Jennifer Beals, Scoot McNairy, Finn Wittrock, Chiara Aurelia, Gage Munroe, Thomas Barbusca, Isaac Kragten, Dalmar Abuzeid, Kylee Evans, Alexandra Beaton, Leah Pinsent
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 53min
IMDb Blurb: A woman in New York, who seems to have things under control, is faced with a trauma that makes her life unravel.
I’m not in love with the narration in the Luckiest Girl Alive trailer. I’m hoping it’s just a part of the coming attractions and not throughout the film, but I have a feeling I’ll be let down.
Even with that red flag, I’m really interested in the mystery aspect of Luckiest Girl Alive. There are also some creative cinematic shots shown throughout the trailer that makes me think that, at the worst, it would still be a gorgeous watch.
19 – Guardians of Time (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Ace Entertainment Films, African Entertainment Distributors, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Director: Stephen Shimek
Writer: Katy Baldwin, Jerome Reygner-Kalfon, Sebastien Semon
Actors: Natalie Daniels, Katie Burgess, Ava Torres, Drew Pollock, Harper Heath, Katherine Bellantone, Skip Schwink, Nicolas Greco, Samantha Ryan, Carley Colemon, David Fletcher-Hall, Nia Salaam
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rated: PG
Length: Unknown
IMDb Blurb: One day, in the family manor, four cousins discover a passage leading to a mysterious world. Trapped in this unearthed land, the Kingdom of Keoherus, they must confront the Guardian of Time, face dark forces and beasts to hopefully get back home.
Although the trailer for Guardians of Time looks amazing, I can’t ignore that it’s a bit more of a long shot than most of the films this month.
The production company, Ace Entertainment Films, is not known for the greatest projects. The only one that I remember liking – under protest at that – was Swiss Army Man (2016). To this day, that is still one of the strangest flicks I’ve ever seen. Third behind Fried Barry (2020) and Rubber (2010).
Director Stephen Shimek (Dudes & Dragons, The Adventures of RoboRex, The Maze), along with the writers and most of the cast, are more familiar with projects of the corny B-movie variety than anything else.
Never-the-less, nothing about the trailer screams B-movie. The effects look good. I don’t hate the acting. Even the bits of the script that we get a peek at feel steady. On paper there are a lot of red flags, but not in the coming attractions.
I think Guardians of Time has the potential to be decent. It might be worth taking a chance on.
18 – Spirit Halloween: The Movie (10/11)

Production/Distribution: Hideout Pictures, Particular Crowd, Strike Back Studios
Director: David Poag
Writer: Billie Bates
Actors: Rachael Leigh Cook, Christopher Lloyd
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 27min
IMDb Blurb: When a Halloween store opens in a deserted strip-mall, three friends, thinking they've outgrown trick or treating, decide to spend the night locked inside. But their night of spook-filled fun soon turns to outlandish survival.
There are so many amazing flicks coming out this month that it was genuinely hard to choose. Any other month, this movie likely wouldn’t have made my list. That said, it’s Halloween time, damn it, and I want my spookies.
Spirit Halloween is my favorite store. I wait with bated breath until it opens and I’m there on day one. It’s just such a fun place to be with Halloween around the corner. When I saw there was a movie coming out based on it, I was ready.
I’m just lucky Spirit Halloween: The Movie looks like a cute young teen movie, because it would have found its way onto my list regardless.
It gives off Goosebumps (1995-1998) vibes. Specifically, the Goosebumps TV-series from the 90s. It looks campy and cute, with a creepy aspect. I loved that kind of thing as a teenager. I feel like it’ll give me some nostalgia, despite not actually being a remake of anything.
Just as a side note, the actors involved give me hope. Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie and the Pussycats, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All I Wanna Do) is severely underrated, especially in the campy sub-genre, and I’d follow Christopher Lloyd (Nobody, Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) anywhere.
For a near-Halloween release, Spirit Halloween: the Movie is perfect.
17 – Significant Other (10/7)

Production/Distribution: Paramount Players, Quay Street Productions, ITVX, Paramount+
Director: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Writer: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
Actors: Maika Monroe, Jake Lacy, Teal Sherer, Loudon McCleery
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: Unknown
IMDb Blurb: Follows a young couple who take a remote backpacking trip through the Pacific Northwest and face sinister events leading them to realize that everything about the place is not as it seems.
This agoraphobic horror has an unease about it that immediately puts me on the defensive. At no point are there any less than about 10 questions I’m throwing at the screen while watching the trailer.
Significant Other is a chilling watch, even just for the 2-minutes the coming attractions are running.
I’m excited for a new film from writers/directors Dan Berk (Villains, Body, Revenge for Jolly!) and Robert Olsen (Body, Indigo Children, Long Nights Short Mornings). I remember back when they had Don’t Kill It (2016) up for crowdfunding. I was blown away by that flick, both before and after it was made. I’m looking forward to seeing this new project.
16 – Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (10/5)

Production/Distribution: Blumhouse Productions, Ryan Murphy Productions, Netflix
Director: John Lee Hancock
Writer: John Lee Hancock, Stephen King
Actors: Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jaeden Martell, Donald Sutherland, Joe Tippett, Cyrus Arnold, Iván Amaro Bullón, Thomas Francis Murphy, Colin O’Brien, Caitlin Shorey
Genre: Horror
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 44min
IMDb Blurb: When Mr. Harrigan dies, the teen who befriended and did odd jobs for him, puts his smart phone in his pocket before burial and when the lonely youth leaves his dead friend a message, he is shocked to get a return text.
I get some The Black Phone (2021) vibes from Mr. Harrigan’s Phone. It’s more than just the part the phone plays in the tale, too.
Really, it shouldn’t surprise me since The Black Phone was based on a book by Joe Hill (Locke & Key, Creepshow, Horns) and Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is attributed to a book by Hill’s father, Stephen King (Firestarter, It, The Stand). Either way, I loved The Black Phone so much that I will jump head-first into absolutely anything that even mildly reminds me of it.
In this case, it’s adapted and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Alamo, The Blind Side, Snow White and the Huntsman), who’s exceptional in his own right.
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone is going to be a creepy ride, and I can’t wait to get on.
15 – Ticket to Paradise (10/21)

Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures, Working Title Films, Smokehouse Pictures, Red Om Films, Cinemundo, Tulip Entertainment, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Ol Parker
Writer: Ol Parker, Daniel Pipski
Actors: George Clooney, Sean Lynch, Julia Roberts, Arielle Carver-O’Neill, Ling Cooper Tang, Billie Lourd, Kaitlyn Dever, Charles Allen, Maxime Bouttier, Francis McMahon, Geneviève Lemon, Romy Poulier
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 44min
IMDb Blurb: A divorced couple that teams up and travels to Bali to stop their daughter from making the same mistake they think they made 25 years ago.
For a rom-com to make my list during the spooky season is impressive.
There’s something about Ticket to Paradise, though. It doesn’t seem all that straight-forward on the plot. I can’t tell just from the trailer the exact timeline of what’s going to happen. Most rom-com’s are predictable enough that I can.
Add to that the fact that George Clooney (Fail Safe, Argo, Gravity) swore he would never do another rom-com and here he is? What about this script changed his mind? I have to know.
14 – Halloween Ends (10/14)
Production/Distribution: Blumhouse Productions, Miramax, Rough House Pictures, Trancas International Films, Universal Pictures, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures Argentina, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Peacock
Director: David Gordon Green
Writer: Chris Bernier, David Gordon Green, Paul Brad Logan, Danny McBride, John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Richards, Will Patton, Andi Matichak, Nick Castle, Stephanie McIntyre, Rohan Campbell, James Jude Courtney, Candice Rose
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 51min
IMDb Blurb: The saga of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode comes to a spine-chilling climax in this final installment of the franchise.
When they went back to the Halloween franchise, no one expected the film to be good. Some of us held out hope, since Jamie Lee Curtis (Knives Out, A Fish Called Wanda, Everything Everywhere All At Once) was reprising her role, but even we were skeptical. When Halloween (2018) finally came out, we were all pleasantly surprised by how good it was. They went a direction most slasher series’ don’t and gave us something unexpected and fun.
Then they went back on their bullshit with Halloween Kills (2021).
Now, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect.
I had more faith in Halloween Ends before I found out that they’ve already secured more sequels. This was supposed to be the end of the story. Of course, we all knew it probably wouldn’t be – but they could have let us linger on the possible doubt for a bit.
I’m trying hard to hold hope.
13 – Werewolf by Night (10/7)

Production/Distribution: Marvel Studios, Disney+
Director: Michael Giacchino
Writer: Peter Cameron, Heather Quinn
Actors: Gael García Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris, Leondardo Nam, Eugenie Bondurant, Kirk R. Thatcher, Al Hamacher
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: TV-14
Length: 52min
IMDb Blurb: Follows a lycanthrope superhero who fights evil using the abilities given to him by a curse brought on by his bloodline.
I was caught completely off-guard by this release. I was not expecting something from Marvel this month.
It’s not really a part of the MCU, just a Halloween special, though. Marvel’s first Halloween special, in its current form. I’m not mad at it. I love me some werewolves and I’ve been dying for a good shifter flick that isn’t meant to be anything more than fur-deep. This will undoubtedly be that.
Werewolf by Night is going to be the perfect flick to turn on to get you into a spooky mood.
12 – The Curse of Bridge Hollow (10/14)

Production/Distribution: Ugly Baby Productions, Netflix
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writer: Todd Berger, Robert Rugan, John R. Morey
Actors: Lauren Lapkus, Priah Ferguson, Marlon Wayans, Nia Vardalos, Rob Riggle, Dave Sheridan, Kelly Rowland
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 29min
IMDb Blurb: A teenage girl, who accidentally releases an ancient and mischievous spirit on Halloween which causes decorations to come alive and wreak havoc, must team up with the last person she'd want to in order to save their town - her father.
The Curse of Bridge Hollow looks hilarious.
Marlon Wayans (Requiem for a Dream, A Haunted House, On the Rocks) is a funny guy and putting him in a situation to really play to his comedic timing is a great idea. Especially when it’s not a parody. (I enjoy parodies, but not the kind that he’s usually in.)
His banter with Priah Ferguson (Stranger Things, The Oath, Bluff City Law) seems to be the star of The Curse of Bridge Hollow. I love flicks that focus on that brand of dialogue. And, even at her young age, Ferguson’s already a master of it. There are several other amazing actors involved in this, but I think it’s the story that really draws me.
It’s cute. Not necessarily super-original, but far from overdone. I think it’s the kind of film to watch with the kids to get ready for Halloween.
11 – Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (10/7)

Production/Distribution: Eagle Pictures, Hutch Parker Entertainment, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), Speck & Gordon, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing Argentina, Sony Pictures Releasing International, United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Writer: Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Scoot McNairy, Brett Gelman, Winslow Fegley, Shawn Mendes, Rudie Bolton
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 46min
IMDb Blurb: Feature film based on the children's book about a crocodile that lives in New York City.
With some strong Sing (2016) meets Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007) vibes, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile stands out as absolutely adorable. There was not a single moment during the trailer where I wasn’t smiling. It’s clearly for younger kids, but I think adults will be fine watching it.
The soundtrack is bound to be on point. The acting is going to be more than decent, as well. Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat, Hustlers, Crazy Rich Asians) is a phenomenal choice for leading lady and Javier Bardem (Skyfall, Being the Ricardos, Dune) is such a part of his role that he’s practically unrecognizable.
There’s a lot of good in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. The creative team could have decided to half-ass it and make it just for the kids, but they gave adults something to look forward to as well.

10 – Armageddon Time (10/28)

Production/Distribution: Focus Features, Keep Your Head, MadRiver Pictures, RT Features, Spacemaker Productions, Universal Pictures International (UPI), Universal Pictures
Director: James Gray
Writer: James Gray
Actors: Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Banks Repeta, Jaylin Webb, Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Sell, Andrew Pol, Tovah Feldshuh, Marcia Haufrecht, Teddy Coluca, Richard Bekins, Dane West, John Diehl, Jessica Chastain
Genre: Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 55min
IMDb Blurb: A deeply personal coming-of-age story about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American Dream.
I’m here for the way Anthony Hopkins (The Virtuoso, The Son, Elyse) has been leaning into the grandpa roles he’s been handed lately. Whether he’s suffering from amnesia or speaking a bit of Yiddish to his on-screen grandkids, he’s just the GOAT. Nobody can deny that.
In this case, I also feel like the story is an interesting one; going back in time to see how a Jewish child grows up in Queens. Although my family wasn’t all that religious, culturally we’re Jewish – and I grew up in the 80s in Brooklyn. There’s a lot in Armageddon Time that feels natural to me.
Armageddon Time is going to be a heavy film. I’m guessing there will be a lot of tears along the way. Bring tissues.
9 – Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon (10/6)

Production/Distribution: 141 Entertainment, Grisbi Productions, Le, Saban Films, Weltkino Filmverleih, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, The Searchers
Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour
Actors: Kate Hudson, Jeon Jong-seo, Craig Robinson, Ed Skrein, Evan Whitten, Lauren Bowles, Serene Lee, Cory Roberts, Kyler Porche, Michael Carollo, Anthony Reynolds, Jennifer Vo, Antonio Jackson, Donna Duplantier
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 46min
IMDb Blurb: A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum and tries to make it on her own in New Orleans.
Something about this movie speaks to me. There are movies lower in this list that have better trailers, but Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon has a lot of green flags going on.
The trailer is dark, engaging, and in depth without giving away so much that I don’t need anymore answers. In fact, I come away from it needing to understand what’s going on. The main character has some unique and interesting abilities that make me wonder whether she’s meant to be good or bad. The characters around her react naturally and seem more like real people than in most films I watch.
On paper, it also looks good.
Ana Lily Amirpour (The Bad Batch, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Homemade) may not be super well-known, but her filmography as a writer/director speaks for itself. Her positive reviews vastly outweigh her negatives. There’s also a cast that’s worth watching. Kate Hudson (Marshall, Deepwater Horizon, Rock the Kasbah) is fantastic at what she does, and so is Ed Skrein (Deadpool, If Beale Street Could Talk, Kill Your Friends). Craig Robinson (This is the End, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Hot Tub Time Machine) is an outstanding comedic actor, and I’m dying to know what kind of flick could get him to jump over to something as drastically different as a thriller.
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon has a lot going for it. I think there’s a possibility it could be one of the best of the month.
8 – The School for Good and Evil (10/19)

Production/Distribution: Feigco Entertainment, Jane Startz Productions, Netflix, Roth Films, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, Universal Pictures
Director: Paul Feig
Writer: David Magee, Soman Chainani
Actors: Rachel Bloom, Cate Blanchett, Charlize Theron, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, Laurence Fishburne, Kerry Washington, Sofia Wylie, Sophia Anne Caruso
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 27min
IMDb Blurb: Best friends Sophie and Agatha find themselves on opposing sides of an epic battle when they're swept away into an enchanted school where aspiring heroes and villains are trained to protect the balance between Good and Evil.
I absolutely love the story idea for The School of Good and Evil.
So much of the media that touches on the idea of good and evil is about the world. But this one is more concerned with the battle that occurs within, and I really love when fairytales go that way. The stories of my youth were very black and white. The evil witch. The fair princess. The prince charming. Copy and paste with a different setting, or catalyst, every time.
The real world isn’t black and white. Those of us growing up with traumas that cause us to question ourselves need stories like these. Where there’s an external battle, sure, but there’s also one that’s very much internal.
The trailer looks amazing, and the cast could not be better.
I have high hopes for The School for Good and Evil.
7 – Black Adam (10/21)

Production/Distribution: DC Entertainment, Flynn Picture Company, New Line Cinema, Seven Bucks Productions, Warner Bros., Warner Bros. Pictures Germany, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Singapore
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, Otto Binder, C.C. Beck
Actors: Viola Davis, Dwayne Johnson, Sarah Shahi, Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Odelya Halevi, Quintessa Swindell
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 4min
IMDb Blurb: Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods-and imprisoned just as quickly-Black Adam (Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
We all know I’m a lover of good superhero stories. I particularly enjoy anti-heros, which is the way the titular character of Black Adam is portrayed in the trailers. That said, I understand the limitations of the DCU.
The MCU has cracked the code. They know what the fans want, and they deliver. That said, for a long time, DC has been trying to emulate Marvel instead of becoming its own thing.
DC comics are almost always darker than Marvel comics. It’s just a fact. Marvel may have its somber story arcs here and there but opts to go for a more humorous tone. The reason why Marvel’s films work better is because the creators have leaned into the humor that their comic fans expect. Now that DC is starting to honor their comic fans with the right tone, they are finding that their films do better.
Clearly, the darker path is the right one for them.
With dark comedies like Birds of Prey (2020) and The Suicide Squad (2021), and darker dramas like The Batman (2022) and Joker (2019), DC seems to have gone back to its roots.
I’m hoping they stick with that. If Black Adam keeps up the aura of the comics, then it’s going to be bad ass.
Also, Dwayne Johnson (Moana, Red Notice, Jumanji: The Next Level). I don’t care how corny he can get; I will never fail to watch one of his films. The guy just oozes charisma like no one else.
6 – V/H/S/99 (10/20)

Production/Distribution: Shudder
Director: Various
Writer: Various
Actors: Various
Genre: Horror, Anthology
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 39min
IMDb Blurb: Witness a hellish vision of 1999, as social isolation, analog technology and disturbing home videos fuse into a nightmare of found footage savagery.
I’ll be the first to admit that the V/H/S series has not been 100% reliable. V/H/S (2012) and V/H/S/2 (2013) were both pretty good. The first one was still finding its footing, but the second one gave us something special. I remember watching it for the first time and being really impressed. Especially since I have a huge aversion to shaky cam. For a shaky cam film to get my stamp of approval, it needs to be exceptional. Even Cat gave it a good review, and she literally gets sick watching found footage.
Then came V/H/S Viral (2014).
I was so excited for it, only to be let down by the biggest case of sequelitis. The whole thing was a hot mess, and I gave it the lowest of scores. It didn’t flow well, the acting was shoddy, the scripts were badly written, I could go on. I didn’t find much, if anything, positive about it. Our resident optimist didn’t see much good either.
When we finally got V/H/S/94 (2021), I wasn’t ready to accept that it could get better. Normally, once a series goes downhill, it does not reach high again. There are exceptions, but they are few. The trailer looked good, but I was still skeptical.
The damn thing blew my mind.
Now we’re getting V/H/S/99, which is created in the same vein as 94 was. We’ve got all new writers and directors, which is to be expected, but Shudder picked up the distribution rights again. The trailer also looks hot.
I think this series is on an up-swing. They figured out what went wrong with V/H/S Viral and they fixed it. This is going to be one to watch.
5 – Hellraiser (10/7)

Production/Distribution: 20th Century Studios, 247Hub, Phantom Four Films, Spyglass Media Group, Hulu
Director: David Bruckner
Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski, David S. Goyer, Clive Barker
Actors: Jamie Clayton, Odessa A’zion, Goran Vidnjic, Selina Lo, Hiam Abbass, Brandon Flynn, Drew Starkey, Jason Liles, Aoife Hinds
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: Unknown
IMDb Blurb: A take on Clive Barker's 1987 horror classic where a young woman struggling with addiction comes into possession of an ancient puzzle box, unaware that its purpose is to summon the Cenobites.
I loved the original Hellraiser (1987). I thought it was a great horror idea, and it was terrifying. That said, I didn’t see it until I was well into my 20s, and movie magic had evolved much further than it had in the 80s. I have often wondered what it would look like with a greater production quality.
I tried to watch some of the later flicks in the series, but they were… rough.
This incarnation of Hellraiser has been in the works for a little over a decade. It was originally supposed to come out around 2011, but Hellraiser: Revelations (2011) came out instead as the production companies fought to control the rights to the story.
I guess they stopped fighting for it after they drove the series in the ground.
In new hands, I have a lot more faith for what Hellraiser could be. The trailer looked outstanding. I cannot wait.
4 – Wendell & Wild (10/28)

Production/Distribution: Artists First, Gotham Group, Monkeypaw Productions, Netflix Animation, Netflix, SIF 309 Film Music
Director: Henry Selick
Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman, Jordan Peele, Henry Selick
Actors: Lyric Ross, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Angela Bassett, James Hong, Sam Zelaya, Tamara Smart, Seema Virdi, Ramona Young, Ving Rhames, Michele Mariana
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 45min
IMDb Blurb: Two scheming demon brothers, Wendell and Wild, must face their arch-nemesis, the demon-dusting nun Sister Helly, and her two acolytes, the goth teens Kat and Raul. However, Raul cannot see them so Kat helps Wendell and Wild to help him.
Jordan Peele (Candyman, Us, Nope) is a brilliant creator. Henry Selick (Coraline, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Little Nightmares) is, also, absolutely amazing. Putting them together leads me to believe we’re about to get something exceptionally close to flawless.
An animated, stop-motion, film with a deep Halloween feel – lead by two of the greatest film-centric minds of our time – starring some incredible actors? How could anyone pass up Wendell and Wild. It’s almost guaranteed to have a little something for everyone.
I cannot wait to see this one.
3 – Call Jane (10/28)

Production/Distribution: bTv, FirstGen Content, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Hulu, Ingenious Media, LB Entertainment, M2 Films, Mars, Noori Pictures, Our Turn Productions, Paradiso, RB Entertainment Production, Redline Entertainment, Roadside Attractions, SND Films, Spentzos Films, Synthetic Cinema International, Unburdened Entertainment, Vertigo Releasing
Director: Phyllis Nagy
Writer: Hayley Schore, Roshan Sethi
Actors: Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Wunmi Mosaku, Kate Mara, Cory Michael Smith, Grace Edwards, Evangeline Young, Kristina Harrison, Rebecca Henderson
Genre: Drama, History
Rated: R
Length: 2h 1min
IMDb Blurb: A married woman with an unwanted pregnancy lives in a time in America where she can't get a legal abortion and works with a group of suburban women to find help.
Back in June, a documentary called The Janes (2022) came out. I don’t normally include documentaries on my Top 20 list, but that one made it because of it’s import.
I tend to prefer fiction, or biographies, to documentaries. Not because I don’t think there’s anything important in them, but because I learn differently than most people and documentaries simply do not engage me. That’s also why I appreciate when something like this comes out.
I still think the subject matter is important, but here we’re served the same information with a spoonful of sugar. That sugar being the production value and embellished script. It’s not going to be the whole truth, there’ll be exaggeration I’m sure, but it’s an introduction to the subject that is easier to concentrate on, and easier to swallow.
Call Jane still focuses on why abortion is important, and who really gets hurt by outlawing it. A lot of what people go through that leads to them making the decision to abort, is overlooked by pro-birthers. Projects like this call that out.
In this case, there’s also a great cast backing up the facts.
I think it’s important to not miss this one.
2 – The Banshees of Inisherin (10/21)

Production/Distribution: Blueprint Pictures, Film 4, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Metropolitan Films International, Searchlight Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Argentina
Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Actors: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon, Barry Keoghan, Pat Shortt, Gary Lydon, Sheila Flitton, David Pearse, Jon Kenny, Bríd Ní Neachtain
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 1h 49min
IMDb Blurb: Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.
In Bruges (2008) might well be one of my top 10 films ever. The reason it’s so good is because of the glorious love/hate chemistry between Colin Farrell (It’s Not Dark Yet, Crazy Heart, The Batman) and Brendan Gleeson (Song of the Sea, The Tragedy of Macbeth, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs). There were other actors in that film, but I struggle to remember any of them. Even Ralph Fiennes (The Hurt Locker, Schindler’s List, The Grand Budapest Hotel) almost seems to disappear into the background. He’s not an easy person to overshadow.
Now, we have this new movie coming out that is capitalizing on the same two main characters and their interactions. Any other month, even a month featuring a main MCU film, The Banshees of Inisherin would be my ultimate #1.
Even better, The Banshees of Inisherin is brought to life by the same writer/director as In Bruges. Martin McDonagh (The Guard, Seven Psychopaths, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) knows exactly how to get the most out of this concept.
There’s no way this movie isn’t brilliant. Even if nothing else goes right, just seeing Farrell and Gleeson together again would make it all worth it.
1 – Till (10/14)

Production/Distribution: Frederick Zollo Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Orion Pictures, Whoop/One Ho Productions/Lil' Whoop Productions, United Artists Releasing (2022), Endeavor Content (2022), United International Pictures (UIP), Universal Pictures International (UPI)
Director: Chinonye Chukwu
Writer: Keith Beauchamp, Chinonye Chukwu, Michael Reilly
Actors: Danielle Deadwyler, Jalyn Hall, Jamie Renell, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Patrick Thomas, John Douglas Thompson, Gem Marc Collins, Diallo Thompson, Tyrik Johnson, Enoch King, Haley Bennett, Carol J. Mckenith, Elizabeth Youman, Keisha Tillis, Sean Michael Weber, Eric Whitten, Njema Williams, Destin Freeman
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 2h 10min
IMDb Blurb: Till is a profoundly emotional and cinematic film about the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s relentless pursuit of justice for her 14 year old son, Emmett Till, who, in 1955, was lynched while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. In Mamie’s poignant journey of grief turned to action, we see the universal power of a mother’s ability to change the world.
There was no way I could put anything at #1 other than Till.
Till seems to be a well-made film, with some incredible people involved, but it’s the story that matters. Especially because the person responsible for the death of the 14-year-old this film is named after had no consequences for her action.
We need to remember the worst moments in our history, or we’re doomed to relive them.
Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat
Till .20
Armageddon Time .19
Ticket to Paradise .18
Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon .17
Rosaline .16
Wendell & Wild .15
Ike Boys .14
Luckiest Girl Alive .13
The Curse of Bridge Hollow .12
Trick or Treat Scooby Doo! .11
V/H/S/99 .10
Triangle of Sadness .9
The Banshees of Inisherin .8
Spirit Halloween: The Movie .7
Mr. Harrigan’s Phone .6
Hellraiser .5
Halloween Ends .4
The School for Good and Evil .3
Werewolf by Night .2
Black Adam .1
          What makes a movie eligible for Trust the Dice’s Top 20?

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Blonde (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Blonde (2022)
Genre: Biography, Drama, Mystery
Length: 2h 46min
Rating: NC-17
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
IMDb Blurb: A fictionalized chronicle of the inner life of Marilyn Monroe.

Cat’s Point of View:
I had a lot to say with Blonde’s listing as my #16 pick on September’s Top 20 list. Now that I’ve watched the movie, I’ll try to address most of those points here, with my review.
First and foremost, I’ll be blunt and shoot straight with you right out of the gate – Blonde was an uncomfortable watch. I do believe that was the point of the story, however. This narrative explored how young Norma Jean was taken advantage of because of her aspirations, appearance, and broken past. It was a gritty and unflinching depiction of the dichotomy between the woman Norma Jean and the Hollywood creation of Marilyn Monroe; as well as the darker side of the movie industry – especially before the women’s rights movement came along.

Blonde is not for the faint of heart or anyone sensitive to the topics of sexual assault, nudity, drug use, or abortion. I’d say just about all of the aforementioned topics are rather ‘hot-button’ in nature, and it became abundantly clear as to why the MPAA went with the NC-17 rating as I watched. While this adaptation’s screenwriter and director, Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly, Mindhunter), felt that he’d delivered a strong R rating, and some elements have made it to the screen in the past without such a drastic label, when you put everything together, Blonde is a film best experienced by mature audiences only.
Marilyn Monroe (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Don’t Bother to Knock, Some Like It Hot) was absolutely iconic. It shouldn’t be surprising that the golden girl of the silver screen had darkness in her life, though we should also take Blonde with a grain of salt and not accept all of it as gospel. While the story does incorporate actual timeline moments from Monroe’s life, this is the 2nd on-screen adaptation of a novel – a work of fiction. This was not a biography or documentary by any means.

If anything, Blonde felt more like an art-house take on the life of Marilyn Monroe. It was gorgeous and the dominant use of black and white gave it some stark contrast. It wasn’t all in monochrome, however. Blonde was also overly long. You could have edited out at least an hour and it probably would have had a greater impact. It was really a chore to maintain focus at some points because my ADHD was screaming at me. Dominik has called the production “an avalanche of images and events” rather than your typical movie experience. That was an apt description, as I feel like I’ve been buried by the weight of it now that the credits have rolled.
The cast was phenomenal. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some Oscar nods from this production. There was a lot of hoopla before Blonde was released about lead Ana de Armas’ (The Night Clerk, Deep Water, No Time to Die) accent. I didn’t care about that at the time I was writing my Top 20 article, and I don’t care any more about that now that I’ve watched the film. I barely noticed the odd coloring of accent here and there. I think Armas nailed Monroe’s light and whispy voice with near perfection. Her performance was so powerful that anything so tiny really was insignificant in comparison.

When all was said and done, Blonde simply wasn’t my cup of tea. My curiosity about Marilyn Monroe’s life pushed my desire to watch this movie. Now that I have, I’m left with the squirmy discomfort of it. This is definitely not a popcorn flick to watch for a relaxing night. Blonde wasn’t something I could just turn my brain off to enjoy. For that reason, I can’t see myself inflicting the brutality of this story on myself again in the future.
I wouldn’t say that I’d steer anyone away from Blonde, however, I’d caution anyone thinking of watching it to take these points into consideration before pressing play.  Blonde became available for streaming on Netflix today, September 28, 2022.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 50%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 46%
Metascore – 49%
Metacritic User Score – 4.4/110
IMDB Score – 6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Movie Trailer:

Monday, September 26, 2022

Sissy (2022)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Sissy (2022)
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Length: 1h 42min
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: Arcadia, DEMS Entertainment, Dog Park Pictures, XYZ Films, Shudder
Director: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes
Writers: Hannah Barlow, Kane Senes
Actors: Aisha Dee, Yerin Ha, Lucy Barrett, Daniel Monks, Hannah Barlow, Emily De Margheriti, Victoria Hopkins, Alea O'Shea,Darcie Irwin-Simpson, Ryan Panizza, Adam McMahon, Shaun Martindale, Neil Parikh, Amelia Lule, Kaley Roach, Jared Jekyll, Courtney Roach, April Blasdall, Camille Cumpston, Shannon Lawson, Louise Barlow, Will Prenzler, Melissa Brownlow, Toni Kolan
IMDb Blurb: Teen best friends Cecilia and Emma, after a decade run into each other. Cecilia is invited on Emma's bachelorette weekend where she gets stuck in a remote cabin with her high school bully with a taste for revenge.

Cat’s Point of View:
Oh, how I love an Australian accent. When paired with the promise of an interesting blend of horror-comedy and revenge, I was intrigued and excited to see what Sissy had to offer.
What I got was a bit unexpected. Not everything was as the trailer led me to believe. Of course, that’s sometimes a good thing. I appreciated Sissy more the way it actually played out than if the movie had gone in the direction I thought the trailer was leading me.

That being said, while I did like Sissy, something in the back of my mind got squirmy and gave me an uncomfortable feeling throughout a large portion of the film. I didn’t really expect to have such a visceral reaction to the bullying depicted in the production. When paired with the sense of social isolation, however, it apparently took me back to a place in my past I don’t enjoy reliving. Unfortunately, that put a bit of a damper on things as my reaction colored my experience of the story.
While an interesting cautionary tale regarding how perspective and perception play in to social media content and the rush that such attention brings, something was lacking in a way I just couldn’t put my finger on. It could be that I didn’t feel that there was enough of the comedy that seemed to be promised with the genre description. Had there been more of a synergy such as with Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010), perhaps, the whole experience might’ve landed differently with me.

Even though Sissy wasn’t entirely my cup of tea, the cast did a great job of bringing the story to life. Aisha Dee (Channel Zero, The Nowhere Inn, The Bold Type) was practically in every scene and she had me rooting for her character – even when I probably shouldn’t have.
Considering my own emotional baggage involved with the experience, don’t take my word as the final opinion if you’re considering watching Sissy now that we’re on the cusp of the spooky season when slashers reign.
Sissy releases as a Shudder Original on Thursday, September 29th.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 98%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.7/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer: