by Kevin Muller
The underwhelming summer movie season has come to pass. For us movie fans, Fall is just as an exciting time for us as summer, maybe more. This is the time where all the films are striving for the big one…Mr. Oscar. Some of them will come off as pretentious dribble or fall short of greatness while others will move us and make us happy we love cinema so much.
I can summarize this review in one word= Scorsese. His movies are events since the man knows what the hell he is doing. The confirmed running time of this bad boy is over 3 hours and half hours and I am ready to withstand it since this is an apparent passion project for him that he’s been trying to get off the ground for over a decade. Though the film doesn’t have an official fall release date, I am still excited as hell to see this thing.
- Live By Night
It is crazy to imagine that Ben Affleck has comeback in such a big way after nearly destroying his career 13 years ago with that horrible movie “Gigli.” I will never forget the hesitation then the feeling of being blown away by his first directorial film “Gone Baby Gone.” If you haven’t seen it, go check it out right away. I still think it is his best movie in an impressive canon of films he has done since then. “Gone Baby Gone” was originally a novel written by Dennis Lehane that had such strong ties to Boston and that is one of the reasons Affleck succeeded with it so well. He bleeds pride for his hometown. Now, Affleck will once again adapt one of Lehane’s novel that has Boston born Joe Coughlin becoming a bootlegger and then a notorious gangster. It is epic, the cast is stack, and it is a period piece, which are always fun to watch. The film has a release date of 2017 but will release in probably two theaters in NYC at the end of 2016. I may have to make a trip to see what Mr. Affleck has up his sleeve for us this time. If it is anything like his last films, we are in for a treat
- The Founder
On the subject of comebacks, it is such a joy to see Michael Keaton back on his game. The man is one of the most underrated actors working today. If you scroll through his resume you will see a mix of comedy and drama, which he all does so well. Ever since he came back strong in 2014 with “Birdman” and in 2015 with “Spotlight” it seems Hollywood is giving him a rightful second shot. Here, Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the founder of a small enterprise named, McDonalds. The film shows Kroc slowly take away the humble business from the McDonald Brothers and make it into the giant it is today. From the trailer Kroc is definitely being painted in a realistic light. He is charismatic as hell but is still a snake. It is a role that Keaton can hit out of a park and maybe score another Oscar nomination.
- Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk
As with number ten, my excitement is boiling because of… Ang Lee. The man who gave us the beautiful “Life of Pi” is back again after a four year hiatus. This time he is tackling the story of a soldier who is gets the honor walking on the field during a Thanksgiving NFL football game. Behind the glitz and glamour we see the story that led him there and his inner turmoil. Outside of the emotional part of the story, Lee is utilizing cameras that will make this story a visual treat. It is a gamble since four years ago people did not respond positively when “The Hobbit” was filmed at a faster frame rate, which makes everything appear more real, and this will either kill the purposed format or make is soar. If anyone can make it work, Lee can.
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Tim Burton is on thin ice with a lot of people who know that he’s capable more than that utter crap he has been churning out for over ten years. When he first came on the scene, his weirdness was odd but compelling. His films looked and felt like nothing that was around at the time. Over time his style became a joke and after several films of the same old, and annoying Depp characters, it maybe time for the man to delve back into what made him special. The subject matter, which seems like a Gothic X-men, is right up his alley of making outsiders the heroes, but also the material is full of horror. This time he has a new cast and, from what it seems, a new leading lady in Eva Grene. She possesses both the physical and intellectual ability to fit right into Burton’s universe. Hopefully, she is a muse for a new stage of his career.
Tom Hanks teams with Clint Eastwood, one hell of a pairing, to give us the story of the brave airplane pilot that decided to land his damaged commercial airline in the Hudson. Of course, with a decision like that comes an investigation that seems ridiculous, considering how many lives he saved. Eastwood loves his American heroes and Hanks is the perfect actor to play the average man who quickly became a hero. The fate of this movie will be decided on Hanks and how much he can make the man a complicated character. Eastwood is a simple storyteller and the material may need Hanks to spice it up a bit. Either way, these two power houses will surely give us their all.
- Doctor Strange
As we move into newer characters in the Marvel universe, the more we see how important it is that this happens. These movies were starting to get stale with the same jokes and overall feel of them. “Ant-Man” showed us that there is still something new to be seen here and this movie seems to continue the trend. This movie seems to be a trip in opening up the entire cinematic world to a new angle. The cast is completely perfect with Benedict Cumberbatch filling in the title role. My hope is that this movie, like “Ant-Man”, strays from the comfort food that Marvel has become.
- The Accountant
Yes, it is another Ben Affleck film on here! We need more movies like this that are smart and original. Basically, Affleck plays a man who, despite his high functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, is a genius CPA during the day and something else during the night. He also covertly does the books for many criminal organizations while being able to take care of himself without anyone knowing who he really is behind his public persona. Affleck seems to have nailed the mannerisms of someone with that disability and the story seems to be both mysterious and smart. This is a movie that we rarely see in the sea of super hero and PG-13 films, an adult thriller that is for adults.
- Birth of a Nation
Since January, when the Sundance Film Festival was blown away by this film, and in April, when that amazing teaser trailer dropped, I have been waiting for this one. Yes, it is another slave film, but no one complains when we have more than one super hero movie a year. Star, writer, and director Nate Parker, is playing with a very controversial subject with making a film about Nat Turner, the slave and preacher, who started a revolution, and eventual violent uprising, against those, innocent or guilty, who kept him and his people down. Too many movies today play it too safe, especially ones that are biographical. This looks to be raw and a depiction of hell that one man fights back against. This won both the audience and critic awards at Sundance so it isn’t a film that only critics will enjoy. With the country in the shape it is, as far as race relations, this movie maybe a hit just on that merit. Either way, Parker seems to have crafted something both haunting and electrifying.
- La La Land
Two years ago, a film called “Whiplash” came out of nowhere and blew both audiences and critics away. The simple story of a young student wanting to become a Jazz drummer only to have his dreams tested by his insane teacher was the work of an expert director, but it was his first movie! Damien Chazelle’s second feature hopes to continue his winning streak and so far it looks great. Chazelle has created an original musical with original songs. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who have worked together twice before, seem to be the perfect pair to sing the tunes that Chazelle has created. The film looks like a classic throwback and has its own beautiful distinct style. Go look at the beautiful cinematography in the trailer for yourself. Some may think that audiences are turned off by musicals but when they are done right, they can be epics. The film will screen next week at one of the many festivals going on in the next few months.