What to Watch This Fall: From Space Travel with McConaughey to Mind Games with Cumberbatch!
Fall is here, and so is the great season of Fall films, full of your usual set of thrillers, biopics, comedies, and others. From a space epic from Christopher Nolan to more bloody war with Brad Pitt, this Fall is choke-full of excitement. To start off the season right, here's my list of some of the most-anticipated films of October and November:
Interstellar- From the great minds behind some of my favorite films, Inception and the Dark Knight trilogy, comes Interstellar, a space film to reinvent all space films. From director Christopher Nolan, and featuring the haunting yet beautiful sounds of composer Hans Zimmer, the team reunites to bring the audience a heartfelt tale of a widowed father's journey to discover what is truly meant for humankind, beyond the mere reaches of Earth. Leading an oddball cast of amazing actors, including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Micheal Caine, growing star both on TV and in film Matthew McConaughey is set to deliver another mind-blowing performance, as he goes from playing in the Mud and leaving the Dallas Buyer's Club behind to reaching for the stars in this epic space adventure. If you're expecting another film like last year's Gravity, you're surely mistaken as Interstellar promises a more personal tale, that succeeds in both astonishing you with its visuals, and also yearning for awards with some powerful performances with just enough heart. If you want another epic space adventure, much like the classics of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, check out the newest film from the director who made Batman cool again, and made dreams look like a damn good thrill-ride!
Gone Girl- As I already stated, clearly, in my review for the film, this one's a winner. From the director of past greats from The Social Network to Fight Club, Gone Girl knocks it out of the park, with powerful performances all around, and a dark tale that'll make you shiver with fear. Telling the story of a man's wife's sudden disappearance, the suspense quickly escalates from there, spinning the plot on its heels with every twisted turn. With grade-A performances from leaders Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, the film should definitely be considered, as the award season nears. Based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl is the thriller to see this Fall, as it uncovers the inner horrors of marriage, and reveals just how wicked a person can truly be.
Fury- 2014 can't happen without at least one war film. A considerable fan of the genre, I was greatly intrigued by David Ayer's tank-set flick about World War II when I first saw the trailer. Now, seeing just how gripping and violent this film may be, there's not a chance of me missing this one in theaters. With yet another oddball cast of mostly rugged, yet quite scrawny men, including Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, and Micheal Peña, Fury sets its sights on delivering powerful performances, while also serving up some good ol' explosive tank fun. Led by seasoned actor Brad Pitt, who I last saw taking on some lackluster zombies in World War Z, Fury reignites his journey back to war, as he leads this power-house of horrifyingly-realistic battles with fiery determination. With Gravity composer Steven Price creating a brutal sound to accompany the film's action, and the writer of Training Day and End of Watch delivering another thrilling script, Fury already looks like a great war film to cringe over.
Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1- The Mockingjay lives...and it plans to kick major ass this November. Returning as the fearless Katniss Everdeen, Jennifer Lawrence ups her game, as she plans to end this overly hyped young-adult quadrilogy with a bang. Being a fan of the first two films, and trying direly to read the last two books, of course I have once again joined in on the hype for this one, loving the great post-apocalyptic thrills of teens killing teens. Now, however, the game has changed. Not only are the famous Hunger Games no more, but Katniss (aka the Mockingjay) is being targeted, resulting in her joining forces with the lost district of 13 in order to finally bring down the corrupt President Snow. While I may not have finished the book, I remain ever-so-excited to see this final showdown unfold on-screen. With most of the cast returning for one last fight, and new members such as the beautiful Natalie Dormer and Julianne Moore joining as well, Mockingjay- Part 1 retains its teen fanbase as it strives towards another box-office rule this Thanksgiving. In truth, all I'm waiting to see is one final memorable performance from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who remains one of my favorite actors.
The Judge- Flying away from his continuous fame as Tony Stark aka the Iron Avenger himself, Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. takes up the gavel and enters the courtroom of dysfunctional families in The Judge. Alongside another legendary actor, Robert Duvall, the two play a powerful father-son duo as Downey Jr.'s Hank Palmer returns home to help his accused father, the town's judge, out of a false murder claim. Already being praised for their performances, Downey Jr. and Duvall may be the perfect duo to see this Fall, in this cut-throat court drama that appears both insightful and gripping. Always a fan of Downey Jr., whether he's playing an arrogant billionaire with a suit of armor or a skilled detective in Scotland Yard, this film seems like a perfect mix of his acting talents, alongside the brutally-skeptical yet hilarious Robert Duvall's.
The Imitation Game- From Khan to Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch has always astonished me with every role he does. Delivering powerful performances in films like 12 Years A Slave and War Horse, Cumberbatch has definitely made it to the top of my list of favorite actors. Now, leading an amazing cast in the Alan Turing biopic, Benedict plays another profound role as British mathematician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who aids the Allies in decoding the Nazi's Enigma Code. A fan of historical biopics, especially ones with a thrilling nature to them, I was immediately interested by this film, for its great cast (including Keira Knightley, Mark Strong, and Matthew Goode) and its great tale of a mind-bending code that yearns to be solved. Playing a renowned code-breaker criticized for his homosexuality, Cumberbatch strives for an Oscar nod, as he moves one step closer to becoming one of film's most acclaimed actors.
Nightcrawler- While it may not be the blue, devil-tailed teleporter from the X-Men like people hoped, it may be something a whole lot better. Nightcrawler, telling of a man's driven determination to make himself known in the dark world of Los Angeles freelance crime journalism, is definitely one of the darkest, most odd-looking films this year. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, another actor I have come to enjoy a lot in film, this dark thriller promises a pulse-pounding ride through the depths of Los Angeles. With a unique plot surrounding freelance crime journalism, this film aspires to be not another big-shot Hollywood flick, but rather a small but mighty independent film that will make the critics beg for more. From new director Dan Gilroy comes this year's next big indie thriller that is sure to shock its audience.
Big Hero 6- Set in the fictional (and quite hilarious) San Fransokyo, Big Hero 6 tells the tale of a young robotics prodigy, alongside his robot ally Baymax, who must form a team of inexperienced crime-fighters when he discovers a plot to destroy his world. Based on the Marvel Comics team, Big Hero 6 marks the first animated release by Walt Disney Studios featuring Marvel Comics characters, after they acquired the studio in 2009. Loving both animated films and superhero films (mostly Marvel), this film is the perfect mix of smooth animation and fun superhero action. Being based on Marvel characters, and featuring an oddball team of misfits, I can only compare this to this year's blockbuster power-house Guardians of the Galaxy. Having a fun plot of foiling a criminal mastermind, and featuring a diverse cast of characters, I hope Big Hero 6 manages to hold as much fun and excitement as Guardians did, with enough comedy to go around.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)- From director Alejandro Iñárritu comes another odd film of the Fall, starring an array of cast members from the relevant to the irrelevant. Birdman aka The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, spins the tale of washed-up actor Riggan Thomson (played by washed-up actor Micheal Keaton), who must find his way in life after he ends his long career playing a feathered superhero. Battling his massive ego, along with struggling to return to the Broadway stage, Thomson must sacrifice his sanity, his family, and his career to find out what he wants to do with his life. Having a star-studded cast, including Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts, Birdman is led with passion by Micheal Keaton, who channels his inner past as a washed-up actor (along with his past as the masked vigilante of Batman), to deliver a striking performance that may become Oscar-worthy.
John Wick- A former hit-man comes out of retirement to take his revenge on ruthless gangsters who took his entire life away...If that doesn't sound like a fun thriller, then I don't know what is. Now add a bland plot with a moody Keanu Reeves with slicked-back hair, and you've got a generic action flick with a generic main character. While Reeves may be considered one of film's top bad-asses, as he showed us in the Matrix trilogy and films like Speed, Keanu has unfortunately become one of those actors who has faded from fame in big blockbuster films. Last seen in last Christmas' 47 Ronin, Reeves failed to gain positive reviews for the film, even though the film did make a hefty amount in the box-office. With this year's John Wick, Keanu returns with a vengence...but is it enough? While it may not be my most-anticipated films of the season, it may end up being an entertaining action thriller to enjoy with some popcorn.
Well, thus completes another one of my lengthy lists of films I'm dying to see this season. What films do you guys want to see this Fall? Did I leave any big ones out of my list? Feel free to make your own list in the comments below, and stay tuned these next couple months for more movie reviews, film discussions, and first-look trailers!