High Expectations for Hollywood

Courtesy of MGM

Preview this fall’s major releases in the world of film.

In the wake of yet another subpar summer movie season, the fall season is set to begin with much higher expectations. The awards season race is on, with both the Golden Globes and Oscars in sight with four months yet to go until they begin. However, there are also many other films of various genres set to release in between the awards contenders to serve as refreshers from the onslaught of “Oscar bait.” Without further ado, it’s time to look ahead at the biggest movies releasing this fall, both mainstream and potential awards contenders.
Releasing on the last Friday of September is “Looper,” a high concept sci-fi film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hitman, known as a “looper,” that eliminates his targets who are brought from the future for him to dispose. Unfortunately, his world crashes in front of him when he’s forced to kill the future version of himself (Bruce Willis). While the film already looked great enough from its previews, the film’s early critical acclaim from its premiere at Toronto International Film Festival has vastly raised its potential be a big success with audiences too.
Releasing in October is a slew of big new releases, most notably “Frankenweenie” and “Taken 2.” In “Frankenweenie,” director Tim Burton adapts his 1984 short film of the same name in stop-motion animation form, while “Taken 2” is a successor to the 2009 sleeper hit “Taken,” a film that popularized actor Liam Neeson’s fame.
In terms of possible awards contenders releasing during October, “Argo” and “Seven Psychopaths” are the two primary highlights of that category. “Argo” marks Ben Affleck’s third feature as director with an all-star cast to back up the film’s story, which is based on the true story of a group of CIA agents that disguised themselves as a Canadian film crew to rescue six U.S. diplomats trapped in hiding the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. “Seven Psychopaths,” on the other hand, is the second feature film from Martin McDonagh, the writer-director of the highly entertaining, twisted dark crime comedy “In Bruges.”
The month of November though is where the balance between mainstream and Oscar bait films become more equally distributed. Highlighting the mainstream category is “Skyfall,” the 23rd James Bond movie that marks Daniel Craig’s third portrayal as the internationally popular British spy.
In the Oscar category is “Silver Linings Playbook,” a dramedy starring Bradley Cooper and “The Hunger Games” phenomenon Jennifer Lawrence, both of whom have already earned significant praise from critics at TIFF for their performances, especially Lawrence, who’s being touted as a possible Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
In case any of you are wondering why I didn’t mention the final “Twilight” film for the November part, let me fill you in with this quick bit: I’ll be avoiding that film like it’s an STD.
Finally rounding out December is Quentin Tarantino’s newest film “Django Unchained,” and Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
With “Django,” Tarantino is mashing together elements of the blaxploitation and spaghetti western genres to a great enough effect from the trailers released so far, and Leonardo Dicaprio looks like he’s heading down the path to yet another Oscar nomination, too.
As of right now, I have a significantly less amount of interest in Peter Jackson’s first part of the planned “Hobbit” trilogy because I haven’t watched any of the “Lord of the Rings” films since seeing “Return of the King” on the opening weekend of its release. However, I must admit that casting Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins was a great choice considering my fandom for him as Dr. John Watson in the series “Sherlock.”
The fall movie season looks very promising in terms of its releases slated for the next couple of months. There are many more films that I didn’t discuss that I also think show great promise, but I feel like that’s enough to show how this season is going to vastly surpass this last summer package of films.