October proved to be a big surprise for the world of film, with Gravity and Captain Phillips taking the critics and audiences by storm, but now it’s time to settle into November, where we’ve been promised big spectacles and a few under-the-radar surprises.
I don’t have high hopes for November, but I do believe that it holds a few kept secrets that will help close out the year on a pretty good note.
But before we get into that, here’s my list of films from September and October:
Jason Statham Action Picture #530. I mean Homefront.
Homefront sadly looks like just another Statham action film, but that also means that it’s a fucking Jason Statham action film! Confused yet? See, Statham usually makes two kinds of action films. One kind is silly and fun and endlessly entertaining, while the others are usually overly serious and slow and features very little action. I like Statham as an action actor, I really do, but sometimes his films blend together and become one giant collage of moving images.
Homefront looks slightly different, because Statham is channeling both the bad ass and the conflicted hero, plus there’s James Franco throwing on his Spring Breakers Alien face for a couple hours. Plus, this one was co-penned by genre legend Sylvester Stallone, so there could be some good stuff beneath the surface.
I’m not expecting Homefront to blow my head off, but I am hoping that it’s one of Statham’s better films.
Check out the trailer below:
Chan-wook Park‘s Oldboy is a damn fine movie. One of the best revenge movies ever made. So of course America had to remake the hell out of it, but this time they went with a rather interesting choice for a director: Spike Lee.
That’s right, the Oldboy remake is a Spike Lee Joint, which adds on massive amounts of curiosity. Lee is a very unique filmmaker and watching him take on a studio remake is going to be worth the ticket alone, plus Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen.
I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this remake, but I do know that I want to see it, because Lee always leaves a trademark stamp on all of his films and this is one remake that definitely could use a fresh take to warrant its existence.
3. About Time
Love Actually and Pirate Radio director Richard Curtis is back with yet another romantic drama. I’ve actually already seen About Time and can place it pretty high on my list of films to see in November, because Curtis’ ability to capture love and life on such an intimate and yet funny level is remarkable. Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson deliver fine work, but the true beauty of the film lies in Curtis’ direction/writing and Bill Nighy‘s turn as the main character’s dad.
About Time wisely employs the time travel element to tell a grand story of life and happiness and the meaning of it all and it’ll make you come out appreciating everything just a little more.
You can read more of my ranting and raving about the film in my official review, which is embargoed until release day.
2. Thor: The Dark World
Finally, a Marvel movie that I’m 100% ready for. Thor was a breath of fresh air in the world of Iron Man and Hulk. Thor brought us that fantasy element that we needed to leap into The Avengers and now he’s back and better than ever. Thor: The Dark World brings back Natalie Portman into the fold and promises us a new villain, plus a returning Loki.
I’m incredibly excited for The Dark World, because Iron Man 3 was a waste and The Avengers didn’t do much of anything for me. Hopefully The Dark World and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier prove to be solid entries in the Phase Two planning over at Marvel.
1. 12 Years a Slave
This one is kind of a cheat entry, but Steve McQueen‘s latest critically praised film, 12 Years a Slave, doesn’t open wide (and in MN) until November, so I’m putting it high on my list. McQueen has been known to make films that challenge the mind and body and really put the viewer in a state of being that’s not easy to shake out of.
Hunger pushed some boundaries, while Shame downright destroyed many with its approach and tone. 12 Years a Slave looks just as moving and just as powerful and it’s apparently one of the strongest films of the year and one of the most painfully authentic when it comes to slavery and the real-life horror behind it.
I’m afraid to see it, but I know that I need to, because Steve McQueen is one of those raw and uncompromising filmmakers that’s voice absolutely needs to be heard.