Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 FALL MOVIE PREVIEW

After a dismal and very disappointing summer season, Hollywood is hoping that the fall movies will help bring people back to the theaters. Looking over the upcoming slate of features, I think they may have a good shot. I have put together a list of some of the interesting films that I'm anticipating.

All dates are subject to change:

"THE SKELETON TWINS"

Release date: September 12, 2014

"The Skeleton Twins" offers a mini-"Saturday Night Live" reunion as Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader star however, this dark comedy is very far from any zany skit they might have performed together. They play long-estranged siblings who come together after each experiences a tragic event and try to figure out what went wrong with their lives. Although the actors deliver the laughs which they're well-known for, Wiig and Hader are also given an opportunity to display their little-seen dramatic chops.



"THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY"

Release date: September 26, 2014

Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"), "The Two Faces of January" is a mystery-thriller set in the 1960's involving Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst as a wealthy American couple traveling to Greece. They unwittingly get involved with a con-man (Oscar Issac) who may or may not be trying to help them after the couple is entangled in a murder.



"DEAR WHITE PEOPLE"

Release date: October 17, 2014

Winner of a special jury prize for Breakthrough Talent for writer/director, Justin Simien at this year's Sundance Film Festival, "Dear White People" looks at outraged African-American students over white classmates throwing a party with an "African-American" theme at an Ivy League college. This potentially controversial satire deals with the issue of race thoughtfully and with good humor.



"ST. VINCENT"

Release date: October 24, 2014

Bill Murray heads the impressive cast of "St. Vincent", a dramedy about a drunken war vet who becomes the unlikely baby-sitter to the young son (newcomer Jaeden Lieberher) of a desperate single mother (Melissa McCarthy). This is the feature debut for writer/director, Theodore Melfi and also stars Terrence Howard, Chris O'Dowd and Naomi Watts.



"NIGHTCRAWLER"

Release date: October 31, 2014

Losing about twenty pounds for the role, Jake Gyllenhaal plays a creepy L.A. videographer providing a local television station with crime footage in "Nightcrawler". The longer this reporter is out on the street, the more he gets too involved in his work. This is the first feature directed by screenwriter, Dan Gilroy and also stars Bill Paxton and Rene Russo (Gilroy's wife).



"INTERSTELLAR"

Release date: November 7, 2014

Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight" trilogy and "Inception" is back with an intriguing science-fiction film. The trailer for "Interstellar" doesn't reveal too much plot (thank goodness!) but it seems the world is threatened by a dangerous force out in space. Some astronauts (which include Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway) are sent out to try and save mankind. With Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck and Ellen Burstyn.



"THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING"

Release date: November 7, 2014

Stephen Hawking is a world renowned British theoretical physicist who suffers from ALS and "The Theory of Everything" explores his early life as a student at Cambridge in the 1960's. Eddie Redmayne ("Les Misérables") plays Hawking and Felicity Jones ("The Invisible Woman") is his first love, Jane who becomes his wife and supports him as the illness progresses. Oscar-winner, James Marsh (2008 Best Documentary, "Man On Wire") directs.



"THE IMITATION GAME"

Release date: November 21, 2014

"The Imitation Game" reveals the little-known story of Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), a British mathematician who helped defeat the Nazis by breaking their Enigma code. However, instead of becoming a celebrated figure, Turing lived his final years humiliated and imprisoned due to his secret private life. Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode co-star.



"INTO THE WOODS"

Release date: December 25, 2014

The film "Into The Woods" is based on the acclaimed Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim but you would never know it from the recent trailer. Not one note is sung but this fairy-tale based project is definitely still a musical and directed by Rob Marshall who did wonders for the stage-to-screen adaption, "Chicago". A starry cast has been assembled (with half I didn't know could sing) including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp.



"UNBROKEN"

Release date: December 25, 2014

"Unbroken", the second film directed by Angelina Jolie, tells the amazing story of Louis Zamperini, an American who went from competing in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin to fighting against Hitler as a solider in WWII to surviving a plane crash and drifting in the Pacific for almost two months before becoming a POW and held by the Japanese for two years. Jack O'Connell portrays Zamperini who passed away at the age of ninety-seven in July.