August is upon us, and that means fans of adult movies might, maybe, kind-of, sort-of get something besides a reboot of a sequel of an adaptation from a superhero remake.
There’s still plenty of stuff for the Comic-Con crowd–because, well, when is there not these days? But if you’re experiencing sci-fi/fantasy burnout (other than “John Wick 3,” there’s not a single non-science fiction/fantasy or animated film in the top 15 biggest hits of 2019), then hopefully the Fall movie season has something for you…
Below are the 10 movies I’m LEAST looking forward to, the 10 movies I’m MOST looking forward to, and 5 that I’m just not sure about (in order of least to most hesitant).
The Movies I’m LEAST Looking Forward to
10. “Terminator: Dark Fate”…This may very well be the “Terminator” sequel fans have been waiting, the only problem is…are there still Terminator fans who really want another sequel? Mackenzie Davis is a star in the making, but the rest of this all feels 25 years too late.
9. “The Woman in the Window”…I’m hoping against hope that I’m wrong, but the novel this is based on was the 100th “Gone Girl” rip-off, and movie adaptations of those tired books (“The Girl on the Train”) haven’t fared so hot. The fact that the producers of this would defend it by saying “it’s not yet another ‘Gone Girl’ domestic thriller knock-off…it’s a ‘Rear Window’ rip-off!” isn’t encouraging.
8. “Abominable”…Can this top last year’s “Smallfoot?” Can it even get close to “Smallfoot?” The trailer doesn’t look like it’s even trying, and you may wonder if you’ve seen enough “cuddly yeti” movies already.
7. “Gemini Man”…I know many, many, many people disagree, but Will Smith movies are rarely good, and this looks like “I, Robot” and “Bright” in that it won’t deliver on the ingenuity of its premise. Points for a more original concept at least.
6. “Rambo: Last Blood”… The title seems to acknowledge that this can’t go on forever, but why make this movie at all? Sometimes, you’ve got to know when to say when…
5. “Charlie’s Angels”…Ditto…
4. “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil”…It’s like there’s an echo in here… [Plus, aren’t people kind-of rooting for Disney to have a “flop” just so they don’t forget what it tastes like? If this thing fails, it might remind them people would like an original idea once or twice every few years.]
3. “Angel has Fallen”…”You know what we need? A third one of those Gerard Butler/’Olympus Has Fallen’ movies”–No one
2. “Jumanji 2: The Next Level”…Look at comments for “6, 5, 4, 3” and repeat.
[Tie] 1. “It Chapter Two” and “Black Christmas”…”It” will probably be a pretty good movie, but since that clown scares the living hell out of me, there’s no way I’ll be able to tell you. And “Black” is the latest example of why Hollywood should stop trying to make “scary Christmas movies” a thing. Nobody wants it…nobody
5 Movies I’m Not Sure About
5. “Downton Abbey”…I’ve never seen a single episode of the TV show. Maybe I’ll go watch the movie just for shits and giggles, and will probably be bored out of my mind.
4. “Midway”…You might wonder why a WWII epic is viewed so suspiciously. The words “directed by Roland Emmerich” are why, and that probably explains why the cast is a little less than A-list too.
3. [Tie] “Doctor Sleep” and “Zombieland 2”…I may be a fan of the original films, but I’m not sure anyone was asking for sequels to “Zombieland” and (especially) “The Shining.” I’m especially worried “Doctor Sleep” may feel unnecessary since its original film is a four-decades old classic.
2. “Hustlers”…”Hey guys, we got a stripper movie where all of the actresses don’t appear naked and–Hey wait! Where are you going?!”
[Tie] 1. “Star Wars 9: The Rise of Skywalker” and “Cats”…”Skywalker” makes me nervous because it features the return of director J.J. Abrams, who made the terrible (but profitable) “The Force Awakens” which felt like a cover-band version of the original “Star Wars” movies. And “Cats” will almost certainly suck, but it could also be so bad that it’s fantastic.
The 10 Movies I’m Most Looking Forward to
Runner-Up: “Frozen 2”…Even if this movie is awful it will have no effect on my seeing it multiple times. I’m telling you right now, this thing could get a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and parents are still going to be watching it at least 5 times.
Best movie to stream: “The Irishman”…Scorsese’s looooong in the making passion project is finally coming to Netflix. Here’s hoping it’s worth the wait, but it’ll at least be an interesting use of the reverse-aging technology that’ll also be in “Gemini Man.”
10. “Knives Out”…Who doesn’t love a star-studded murder mystery? And writer/director Rian Johnson knows how to turn old genres on their heads (“Brick,” “Looper”). Even his deeply polarizing “The Last Jedi” may not have been successful, but it at least didn’t feel like J.J. Abrams’s lame tribute-band take.
9. “The Kitchen”…Although I’m sure it’s portrayal of black woman/white man couples will infuriate me (here, Tiffany Haddish and James Badge Dale) as badly as it did in the similar “Widows,” at least the rest of the movie looks solid.
8. “1917”…Little is known about this WWI movie except it has a great director (Sam Mendes) and even-better cast (Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberpatch, Mark Strong, Richard Madden, etc.). Between this and “Midway,” this looks like the safer bet for war movies.
7. “Just Mercy” and “Clemency”…Alfre Woodard has never won an Academy Award and Michael B. Jordan has never even been nominated. Will these two interesting looking civil rights dramas change that for them?
6. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” …The idea of Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers is such a slam-dunk that it might accidentally wind up being a little dull in practice, but I’m willing to give this film the benefit.
5. “Uncut Gems”…Benny and Josh Safdie got the best performance I’ve ever seen out of Robert Pattison (“Good Time”), and I’m excited to see what they can do with Adam Sandler, who will be freed from the Netflix direct-to-streaming dungeon for the first time in years.
4. “The Current War”…A movie about the real-life battle to “own” electricity and the lightbulb with Benedict Cumberpatch as a ruthless Thomas Edison, Michael Shannon as Westinghouse, and Nicolas Hoult as Nikolas Tesla? I’m there.
3. “Joker”…Todd Philips is nobody’s idea of a great director, but the trailer looks terrific. It really answers the question “If Scorsese directed a comic-book movie, what would it look like?”
2. “Ford v. Ferrari”…Matt Damon and the always-reliable Christian Bale headline this look at what Ford underwent trying to design a car that could beat out Ferrari in the grand prix. Anything with Bale has become a must-see, and the racing scenes will be fantastic. The type of “American ingenuity” movie that lovers of “First Man” will surely be looking for this Fall.
[Tie] “Ad Astra” and “Motherless Brooklyn”…I know, these are two very strange “top picks” for the most anticipated movies of Oscar-season, but I can explain them both.
“Motherless Brooklyn” is based on a novel that I love, and I’ve been desperate for Edward Norton to make a comeback. The last time Norton had anything approaching a prominent role was 2014’s “Birdman,” and the last time he was the lead in any movie has been a decade ago. [He’s now been gone from starring in movies so long, people may have forgotten who he is.] With a supporting cast that includes Gugu Raw and Willem Dafoe, this will hopefully be his ticket back to the top or at least middle.
And every Fall, we usually get one great, cerebral space film that plays more like an Oscar-drama (“Gravity,” “The Martian,” and my personal favorite of “Interstellar”), and this year’s lonely contender is “Ad Astra.” Other than my high hopes, there’s not much reason to think this will be a great movie, but my fingers are fully crossed.