Ty Landis previews fall crop of movies

‘Blue is the Warmest Colour." Image courtesy of Sundance Works.

‘Blue is the Warmest Colour.” Image courtesy of Sundance Works.

By TY LANDIS | SPECIAL TO THE METRO MONTHLY

Summer winding down is often synonymous with going back to school and saying good bye to the weather and the sunlight. But for film buffs, fall is the premiere season to go out to the movies. The championed auteurs begin to unveil their films, as well as the large and independent studios jockeying for end of the year Oscar gold. The public conscience is littered with storylines regarding these films, as it’s the premiere season to be a moviegoer. September essentially kicks off the fall festival season, paving the way for a certain buzz that may or may not carry on throughout the year. Gone are the superhero films (except “Thor”) and the kiddie fare – this fall especially looks to have the goods, so here’s a preview of what’s to come.

Fall movie preview

September

Rush (Sept 20 – Rated R) – Director Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”) and actor Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) team up to tell the true story of Austrian Formula 1 champion driver Niki Lauda and the crucial 1976  crash that almost claimed his life.

Don Jon (Sept 27 – Rated R) – Joseph Gordon-Levitt directs and stars in this film about a selfish New Jersey lothario and his twisted sex life. The film also stars Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore.

Enough Said (Sept 20 – Rated PG-13) – Nicole Holofcenter (“Please Give) directs James Gandolfini in one of his final roles before his tragic death in June. The film follows Eve (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who learns that the man she’s interested in is her new friend’s ex-husband.

Riddick (Sept 6 – Rated R) – Vin Diesel returns as the titular character in the second sequel following 2000’s “Pitch Black.” Diesel’s anti-hero is once again marooned on a wasteland planet, fighting against creatures and bounty hunters lurking in the dark. “Riddick” looks to be fun,” even for a sequel that not many asked for.

Insidious: Chapter 2 (Sept 13 – Rated PG-13) – Director James Wan has quickly become a household name after directing 2010’s “Insidiousand this year’s “The Conjuring.” “Insidious: Chapter 2 looks to expand upon the universe of the original film, as the haunted Lambert family seeks to uncover the spirits connected to them. The film stars Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Ty Simpkins.

The Family (Sept 13 – Rated R) – Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer look for some sort of late career revival in “The Family,” an action-comedy that follows a notorious Mafia clan who are relocated to France under the witness protection program; soon enough, their past catches up with them. Luc Besson (“The Fifth Element”) directs.

October

Gravity (Oct 4 – Rated PG-13) – Without question one of this year’s hottest titles, “Gravity” stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as a medical engineer and astronaut struggling to survive together after an accident leaves them adrift in space. Great cast, great concept, and directed by the genius Alfonso Cuaron (“Children of Men”).

Captain Phillips (Oct 11 – Not Yet Rated) – In what looks to be the best thing Tom Hanks has been attached to in the past 10 years, “Captain Phillips” places its star in the titular role as the captain of a true life cargo ship which fell under attack by Somali pirates in 2009. Paul Greengrass (“United 93”) directs the thriller which could be a major player in the Oscar race.

12 Years a Slave (Oct 18 – Rated R) – Director Steve McQueen’s (“Shame”)follows Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who finds himself abducted and sold into slavery. The film sports a fabulous cast consisting of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and Paul Giamatti. This should play as a major awards contender and a critical darling.

Blue is the Warmest Color (Oct 25 – Rated NC-17) – After winning the top prize at this year’s Cannes film festival, “Blue is the Warmest Color” (directed by Abdellatif Kechiche) still has a lot of hype to live up to. It may not help that the film runs three hours and tracks the romantic relationship between two young French-women. I myself can’t wait to see it.

Carrie (Oct 18 – Not Yet Rated) – Remakes are always tricky, especially when you’re following Brian De Palma’s classic original that made a star out of Sissy Spacek. This time, Kimberly Peirce (“Stop-Loss”) and actor Chloe Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass”) look to update the story of a tormented high schooler who goes crazy at prom.

The Fifth Estate (Oct 18 – Not Yet Rated) – For those who don’t know much about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, “The Fifth Estate” should shed some light on the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into a the 21’st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) as Assange, and is directed by Bill Condon (“Chicago”).

November

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov 22 – Not Yet Rated) – “The Hunger Games” finally gave audiences a female heroine worth rooting for. In this sequel adapted from the popular novels, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) returns to the Capitol for another fight to the death. Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote”) adds pedigree to an already accomplished cast. Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”) steps into the director’s chair this time around in place of Gary Ross.

Ender’s Game (Nov 1 – Rated PG-13) – Gavin Hood (“Rendition”) directs Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”), Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley in this sci-fi adventure which follows a gifted child who trains at an advanced space military school in order to prepare for a future invasion.

Last Vegas (Nov 1 – Rated PG-13) – Screen legends Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline plays four sixty-something friends who take off to Vegas for a bachelor party for their last remaining single friend.

Thor: The Dark World (Nov 8 – Not Yet Rated) – I was lukewarm on Marvel’s “Thor” back in 2011, but hopefully this sequel will win me over. Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman return in their original roles as Hemsworth’s Thor sets out on quest to protect Portman’s Jane. Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, while Christopher Eccleston surfaces as a new villain named Malekith the Accursed.

The Wolf of Wall Street (Nov 15 – Not Yet Rated) – If the film’s electric trailer is any indication, Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” looks to be one of the can’t miss films of 2013. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the true life Jordan Belfort, a wealthy stockbroker turned criminal in the early-‘90s. The film features an excellent supporting cast comprised of Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, and Kyle Chandler. This looks to be a deeply American story about wealth that seems all too appropriate for Scorsese to have his hands on. I can’t wait.

Her (Nov 20 – Not Yet Rated) – If you love Joaquin Pheonix as much as I do, then “Her” should be at the top of your radar in regards to fall films to look out for. Directed by Spike Jonze (“Where the Wild Things Are”), “Her” follows a lonely writer who develops an odd relationship with his brand new operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) that’s designed to meet his every need.

December

August: Osage County (Dec 25 – Not Yet Rated) – Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by Tracy Letts, John Wells’ “August: Osage County” follows a group of strong-willed woman and their interactions with the dysfunctional mother (Meryl Streep) that raised them. It’s both a comedy and a drama, and if I’m accurately reading this one, this is exactly the type of kitchen-sink drama that Oscar voters will swoon for.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec 13 – Not Yet Rated) – The second installment in Peter Jackson’s fantasy trilogy again follows the 13 dwarves seen in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and their perilous quest to get their gold back from the Dragon, Smaug. Orlando Bloom (“The Lord of the Rings trilogy”) and Evangeline Lilly (TV’s “Lost”) join the cast this time around, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch who voices the dangerous dragon.

Out of the Furnace (Dec 6 – Not Yet Rated) – A slew of reliable actors and a promising young director (Scott Cooper) team up for Out of the Furnace, a thriller about a mysterious disappearance in the steel town of Braddock, Pa. The film stars Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Woody Harrelson.

Inside Llewyn Davis (Dec 6 – Rated R) – The Coen brothers represent two of the most consistent filmmakers currently working in American cinema. They’ve crafted great film after great film (“The Big Lebowski,” “Fargo”, “No Country for Old Men”), and show no signs of slowing down. Their latest premiered at Cannes to favorable praise and will look to expand on that acclaim during the fall festival circuit. The film follows a week in the life of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a Bob Dylan esque singer navigating through the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961.

The Monuments Men (Dec 18 – Not Yet Rated) – George Clooney directs and stars alongside Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and John Goodman, portraying a crew of art historians and curators uniting to recover prized works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them.

Jack Ryan (Dec 25 – Not Yet Rated) – In a role previously made famous by Harrison Ford, “Star Trek’s” Chris Fine has some big shoes to fill as novelist Tom Clancy’s CIA ace. This reboot/origin story follows Ryan as a young analyst who uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack. Also starring are Kevin Costner and Keira Knightley.

American Hustle (Dec 13 – Not Yet Rated) – Director David O. Russell became relevant again after last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook” won over audiences and critics nationwide. His latest is a fictionalized take on a real-life 1970’s federal investigation into political corruption knows as Abscam. The colorful and charming cast includes Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, and Jennifer Lawrence, who won a Best Actress Oscar for her turn in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Labor Day (Dec 25 – Not Yet Rated) – The title may be a bit misleading, as Jason Reitman’s (“Juno”) fifth film follows a mysterious man played by Josh Brolin, who takes shelter with a mentally fragile, reclusive single mother (Kate Winslet) and her teenage son. This looks to be Reitman’s first full-on drama, and it has me anxious to see how the director builds on his past successes.

TY LANDIS

TY LANDIS

About Ty Landis – Ty Landis is a freelance film critic/journalist from Youngstown, Ohio. Prior to his latest writing endeavors, Ty was the founder and editor-in-chief of ReelTimePodcast.org, a website devoted to current criticism of film and television. He is now a current contributor to In Review Online, Movie Mezzanine, and Sound on Sight. Ty also hosts and produces the film oriented podcast Almost Arthouse which is available via iTunes, as well as maintaining his own WordPress blog (www.serenecinema.com), where you can find links to all of his work.

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