Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Movie Preview: October 2013

Now that the slowest movie month of the year is behind us, it's time for things to start picking up again. October is typically another quiet month, but it's usually better than September and is somewhat of a transitory month between the awful month of September and the great month of November. Also, right now is the time of year where all the movies come out that are trying to be Oscar bait. Most of the candidates haven't been released yet, but October has several big candidates, so we are cruising right through Oscar season. Let's now take a look at what we have this month.

October 4th - 6th -

Right off the bat in October, we get one of the most anticipated movies of the year with Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity. The movie stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney and is about them drifting around helplessly in space after an accident occurs on their trip. It's been on the radar of the Oscars for a long time now is almost a guarantee to get tons of nominations after the reviews are through the roof. It's been heavily advertised as a visual masterpiece that is a must see in 3D. Should easily be the biggest movie of the month.

Challenging Gravity will be Justin Timberlake's new movie Runner Runner. It's been a good year for Justin Timberlake as his newest album The 20/20 Experience was released and along with that his first two singles on that album were in the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Now he is back in Hollywood again, which shows that he is very talented and one of the top entertainers of our day. It would be foolish of me to not mention that Ben Affleck is also in this movie and on paper that sounds like a great combination, but currently it's not connecting with audiences and the poor reviews suggest this R-rated thriller may not be the movie that JT writes home about.

Expanding nationwide this week after playing in limited release last weekend is Metallica Through the Never. This movie is mostly a 3D IMAX experience targeted towards fans of the band Metallica and perhaps a good portion of them have already seen it. Most of the movie is a concert movie, but it does have some action and story to go along with it. So if you are a Metallica fan and haven't seen this, you might consider finding on of the 600 theaters that is showing in.

October 11th - 13th -

The second weekend of October brings another highly anticipated Oscar Contender in Captain Phillips. Starring Tom Hanks and directed by Paul Greengrass (Boune trilogy), Captain Phillips tells the true story of the hijacking of the US ship Maersk Alabama by Somalia pirates back in 2009. It's a big year for Tom Hanks as word on the street is that this could get him an Oscar win for Best Actor. Not only that, but this is the first of two movies by Hanks this year that could get him Oscar nominations at least as the other one is Saving Mr. Banks. The Academy loves historical dramas, so that is a good sign for both of Hanks's movies.

Challenging Captain Phillips is the cheaply made action movie Machete Kills. The first Machete movie came out in 2010 and didn't make much of a dent in the box office. However, being that it only cost $10 million to make, it's $26 million domestic gross and $44 million worldwide was more than enough to warrant a sequel that costs about the same. In addition to being a cheap action movie, it's a very over-the-top action film and those who enjoyed the first one will probably be happy for a second one, although not many others will show up. The cast of the movie is worth noting. In addition to Danny Trejo as the title character of Machete, the movie includes Mel Gibson, Amber Heard, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen, Lady Gaga, Antonio Banderas, Cuba Gooding Jr, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Opening in limited release this weekend is another try at a classic story that has been told hundreds of times in different forms and that is Romeo and Juliet. This version stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit remake) as Juliet and Douglas Booth as Romeo. I don't need to tell you anything about the story, but it seems as if they are attempting to go back to the classic Shakespeare version with this as dialogue in it goes along with dialogue used in the original play. Whether that works or not remains to be seen.

October 18th - 20th -

The third weekend of the month brings in the lone Halloween movie of the month in Carrie. Carrie is a remake of the classic horror movie of the same title back in 1976. It is also a Stephen King novel. Being that this is Halloween season and this is the only Halloween movie, Carrie will probably be a popular choice among horror movie fans continuing the great success of horror movies in 2013. Four other horror movies, Mama; Evil Dead; The Conjuring; and Insidious Chapter 2, all earned over $50 million in their respective runs and Carrie should do the same.

Both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone are huge names when it comes to action movies, but both had huge flops early this year. However, both of them try again this year with Escape Plan. Perhaps having both of them combine their talents in this will help this movie get more notice. Also the premise is interesting enough. Stallone's character is an expert as escaping prison and has designed his own escape-proof prison. As it goes, he gets setup and thrown into his own prison and needs to make an attempt to escape.

The final wide release of the week is The Fifth Estate. The Fifth Estate stars Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch in what seems one of his 500 movies this year. Which I personally am not complaining at. He's an amazing actor. Specifically this tells the super intriguing story of Julian Assange, the founder of wikileaks, and all of the drama that he and his colleagues got into.

Opening up in limited release this weekend is 12 Years a Slave. This movie has Oscar bait written all over it. First off it's a historical drama and the Academy loves those. It's the true story of a black man who was born a free man, but got sold kidnapped and sold into slavery. The cast is a huge one, but the notable cast members include Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. Not that I am making Oscar predictions yet, but this movie could end up as your best picture winner from this year.

Another potential Oscar contender that opens up in limited release this weekend is All is Lost. This is another survival movie about a man stranded on a boat out on in the middle of the ocean. Kinda sounds like Life of Pi to me, initially. The biggest draw to this movie is the fact that it stars the one and only Robert Redford. And actually he is listed as the only cast member. And from what I hear, there isn't much dialogue. Doesn't sound too convincing at first outside the fact that it's Redford, but there is a lot of positive buzz coming its way, so we'll see.

October 25th - 27th - 

Rounding out the month of October will be two wide releases. The first of this is Jacka-- Presents: Bad Grandpa. No, I don't swear on my posts. I'll edit the movie titles. If you haven't heard of Jacka--, what it started as was a TV series with a group of idiots doing really stupid things. It's an odd phenomenon, but people like watching other people doing stupid things, so this got really popular and now they've done three movies that all were decently popular. The Jacka-- fan base should swarm out to see this one just like they have the previous three. This time around, we have title character Johnny Knoxville dressed up as an 86-year-old grandpa touring the country with his 8-year-old grandson.

The final wide release of the month is The Counselor. The Counselor is an R-rated thriller about a lawyer who gets in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. Like the previously mentioned 12 Years a Slave, the movie also stars Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender and along with those two are Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz. Not a whole ton of Oscar-buzz around this one, but it could help this October end with a bang.

The final movie I will talk about is a movie that I will never see and I hope no one reading this will never see, but nevertheless it has happened and is coming out. This movie is Blue is the Warmest Color. It is opening in limited release and will stay that way because it is NC-17 and not many theaters around the country let those in. The movie is about a lesbian couple and so you can imagine why the rating. I bring it up because it has made a huge impact in the film festivals. It won the most prestigious award in the Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated in several others. So if you hear stories about the movie come up in various places, you have now been educated as to what they are talking about. After reading all of that, if you have a huge desire to go search this movie out, then I guess I can't stop you, but I'll probably try.

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