The fall movie season starts out with a bang and a scare with the action packed Jennifer Garner vehicle, “Peppermint” and “The Nun”. The thrills continue with “Predator” and the sure to be salacious “A Simple Favor”. Other films I am looking forward to this week include Michael Moore‘s latest “Fahrenheit 11/9” , the heartfelt “Life Itself,” Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish in “Night School” and early Halloween release “Hellfest.”
Peppermint is kickass! It’s great to see Jennifer Garner back in action form. It’s “Death Wish” female style and Garner is excellent. Directed by “Taken” helmer Pierre Morel, it’s a must-see for action fans. My one issue with the film was the not-so subtle message of white woman vs. murderous Hispanic drug dealing gangs, which is a dangerous one in these Trump times.
It is important to be conscious of this blatant stereotyping.
R |1 hr 42 min
Plot Summary: When her husband and daughter are gunned down in a drive-by, the heroine wakes up from a coma and spends years traveling around the world to learn how to become a lethal killing machine. On the 5th anniversary of her family’s death, she targets everyone she holds responsible, the gang that committed the act, the crooked lawyers and judge that got them off and the corrupt cops that enabled the murderous incidents.
Cast: Jennifer Garner, John Ortiz, John Gallagher Jr., Juan Pablo Raba, Annie Ilonzeh
Director: Pierre Morel
Production companies: Huayi Brothers Pictures, Lakeshore Entertainment, STXFilms
Distributor: STX Entertainment
Before “The Conjuring”, before “Annabelle”, there was the evilest Nun ever. I haven’t messed with this yet as there sort of films sometimes bother my psyche for awhile.
R |1 hr 36 min
Plot Summary: When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in ‘The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Demian Bichir, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Charlotte Hope, Michael Smiley, Ingrid Bisu, Sandra Teles, August Maturo, Jack Falk, Lynnette Gaza
Director: Corin Hardy
Production companies: Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema, The Safran Company
Distributor: Warner Bros.
The feel-good movie of multiple festivals, “Science Fair” appeals to the wannabe science genius in all of us.
PG |1 hr 30 min
Plot Summary: Filmmakers follow nine high school students from around the globe as they compete at an international science fair. Facing off against 1,700 of the smartest teens from 78 countries, only one will be named Best in Fair.
Director: Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster
I was mad for the original ’80s film – who can believe it’s been 30 years – so looking forward to what can be done with better effects.
R |1 hr 45 min
Plot Summary: From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race.
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Alfie Allen, Augusto Aguilera
Director: Shane Black
Production Co: Twentieth Century Fox and Davis Entertainment
A Simple Favor
With an all-star cast, this looks like salacious good fun, I can’t wait to see it. Shame there hasn’t been a better press campaign on this – no real ads, screenings, etc. I will always be an Anna Kendrick fan having met her at a party for her major screen debut “Up In the Air.”
R |1 hr 57 min
Plot Summary: A small-town vlogger tries to uncover the truth behind her best friend’s sudden and mysterious disappearance.
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Henry Golding, Andy Rannells, Jean Smart, Rupert Friend, Joshua Satine, Glenda Braganza
Director: Paul Feig
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Production Co: Lionsgate, Entertainment One, Les Films Séville, Feigco Entertainment
Distributors: Lionsgate Films
White Boy Rick
Some of my favorite films are true crime capers like “Good Fellas” and “Casino.” So I am looking forward to this true life tale of a teen boy thrust into a life of crime.
R |1 hr 51 min
Plot Summary: Rick Wershe is a single father who’s struggling to raise two teenagers during the height of the crack epidemic in 1980s Detroit. Wershe sells guns illegally to make ends meet but soon attracts attention from the FBI. Federal agents convince his son, Rick Jr., to become an undercover drug informant in exchange for keeping his father out of prison. When young Rick gets in too deep, he finds himself seduced by the lure of easy money and becomes a drug dealer himself.
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Richie Merritt, Bel Powley, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brian Tyree Henry, Rory Cochrane, RJ Cyler, Jonathan Majors
Director: Yann Demange
Genres: Crime Drama, Thriller, Biography
Production Co: Protozoa Pictures, Studio 8, LBI Productions
Distributors: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Columbia Pictures
Unbroken Path To Redemption
The first movie directed by Angelina Jolie was a wonderful story of Faith through adversity. I am very excited to see the continuing incredible story of Louis Zamperini. I DO wish they had cast the same actor for continuity sake.
PG-13 |1 hr 38 min
Plot Summary: Haunted by nightmares of his horrific experiences, World War II hero Louis Zamperini meets Cynthia Applewhite, a young woman who becomes his wife. Zamperini’s personal demons soon threaten to destroy his marriage — until he hears the stirring words of the Rev. Billy Graham in 1949. Embracing his newfound Christian faith, Louis starts to turn his life around by learning to forgive his former oppressors and spreading the message of peace and love.
Cast: Samuel Hunt, Merritt Patterson, Bobby Campo, David Sakurai, Vincenzo Amato, Maddalena Ischiale, Gianna Simone, Ali Eagle
Director: Harold Cronk
Genres: Biography , Historical drama
Production Co: Capital Arts Entertainment, Matt Baer Films, Pure Flix Entertainment
Distributors: Pure Flix Entertainment
The House With A Clock In Its Walls
It will be interesting to see what goremeister Eli Roth does with a PG children’s movie!
PG |1 hr 45 min
Plot Summary: Ten-year-old Lewis goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house that contains a mysterious ticktock noise. When Lewis accidentally awakens the dead, the town’s sleepy facade magically springs to life with a secret world of witches and warlocks.
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic, Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Vanessa Anne Williams
Director: Eli Roth
Genres: Adventure , Fantasy , Mystery
Production Co: Universal Pictures, Kripke Enterprises, Mythology Entertainment
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Nappily Ever After
After a spurt of black films, things seem to be going backwards again in Hollywood. Thus, I am very excited about this tale of a black woman discovering her true self. The power our hair has over us as black women is rarely discussed and this story line is sure to resonate with sistas everywhere. Hell, they had me at the trailer.
Not Yet Rated
Plot Summary: A soulful barber helps a woman piece her life back together after an accident at her hair salon makes her realize she is not living life to the fullest.
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Ricky Whittle, Ernie Hudson, Camille Guaty, Lyriq Bent, Lynn Whitfield, Catherine Dyer, Racquel Bianca John
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Genres: Comedy drama , Romance
Production Co: Marc Platt Productions, Netflix
The Sisters Brothers
The stellar cast of Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, John C Reilly and Carol Kane make this an early fall must-see.
R |2 hr 0 min
Plot Summary: In the Old West, an Oregon criminal known as the Commodore sends gunslinging brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters to find and kill chemist Hermann Warm and retrieve his moneymaking formula. Complications soon arise when John Morris, a detective who is supposed to help the siblings, joins forces with Hermann for a business venture.
Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rebecca Root, Allison Tolman, Rutger Hauer, Carol Kane
Director: Jacques Audiard
Production Co: France 2 Cinéma, Why Not Productions, KNM, Mobra Films, Les Films du Fleuve, Page 114, France 3 Cinéma, Annapurna Pictures, Apaches Entertainment
This is the most important film of the month. A wonderful heartwarming script and a great cast, “Life Itself” will likely be a contender at Oscar time.
R |1 hr 57 min
Plot Summary: As a young New York couple go from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Laia Costa, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Sergio Peris-Mencheta
Director: Dan Fogelman
Genres: Drama , Romance
Production Co: FilmNation, Temple Hill Entertainment
Distributors: Amazon Studios
What is fall without a great period piece? This one knocks it out of the park with great performances from Kiera Knightley and Dominic West.
R |1 hr 51 min
Plot Summary: After moving to Paris, author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette agrees to ghostwrite a semi-autobiographical novel for her husband. Its success soon inspires her to fight for creative ownership and overcome the societal constraints of the early 20th century.
Cast: Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Denise Gough, Fiona Shaw, Eleanor Tomlinson, Robert Pugh, Ray Panthaki, Julian Wadham
Director: Wash Westmoreland
Genres: Historical drama , Biography
Production Co: BFI Film Fund, Bold Films, Number 9 Films, Killer Films
I adore Michael Moore and thank him for always being a vital voice in exposing the evil underbelly that exists in America. Our current democracy is so precarious that I can’t wait to see what he brings to the discussion.
R |2 hr 10 min
Plot Summary: Filmmaker Michael Moore predicted that Donald Trump would become the 45th president of the United States. Traveling across the country, Moore interviews American citizens to get a sense of the social, economic and political impact of Trump’s victory. Moore also takes an in-depth look at the media, the Electoral College, the government agenda and his hometown of Flint, Mich.
Cast: Donald J. Trump, Michael Moore
Director: Michael Moore
Distributors: Briarcliff Entertainment
I loved Gilda as a child and her early untimely death was both a shock and a sadness. Seeing her own words read by today’s top comedians is an awesome tribute.
Not Yet Rated |1 hr 26 min
Plot Summary: Diaries, audiotapes, videotapes and testimonies from friends and colleagues offer insight into the life and career of Gilda Radner — the beloved comic and actress who became an icon on “Saturday Night Live.”
Cast: Chevy Chase, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Melissa McCarthy, Lorne Michaels, Paul Shaffer
Director: Lisa Dapolito
Production Co: Motto Pictures
On the 150th anniversary of the book, this modern re-telling of the beloved classic will introduce a new generation to the March sisters.
Plot Summary: Four sisters come of age in a modern retelling of the classic novel “Little Women.”
Cast: Sarah Davenport, Allie Jennings, Lucas Grabeel, Ian Bohen, Lea Thompson, Elise Jones, Stuart Edge, Melanie Stone
Director: Clare Niederpruem
Production Co: Pure Flix Entertainment, Paulist Productions
Distributors: Pure Flix Entertainment
I will see anything that Kevin Hart does. Add Tiffany Haddish to the mix and this is sure to be a laugh riot.
PG-13 |1 hr 51 min
Plot Summary: A man’s life takes an unexpected turn when he accidentally blows up his place of employment. Forced to attend night school to get his GED, he must now deal with a group of misfit students and a feisty teacher who doesn’t think he’s too bright.
Cast: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Taran Killam, Romany Malco, Ben Schwartz, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Yvonne Orji
Director: Malcolm D. Lee
Production Co: Universal Pictures, HartBeat Productions, Will Packer Productions
Distributors: Universal Pictures
Fun for the whole family, I can’t wait to see this animated film voiced by my man, Channing Tatum. With Common, LeBron James and Zendaya also lending their voices, it’s a must-see.
PG |1 hr 36 min
Plot Summary: A Yeti named Migo stirs up his community when he discovers something that he didn’t know existed — a human.
Cast: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya , Common , LeBron James, Gina Rodriguez, Danny DeVito, Yara Shahidi
Director: Karey Kirkpatrick
Genres: Children , Adventure , Comedy , Animated
Production Co: Warner Animation Group, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Pictures, Zaftig Films
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures
I love horror of every kind even the cheesy stuff.
R |1 hr 29 min
Plot Summary: On Halloween night, three young women and their respective boyfriends head to Hell Fest – a ghoulish traveling carnival that features a labyrinth of rides, games and mazes. They soon face a bloody night of terror when a masked serial killer turns the horror theme park into his own personal playground.
Cast: Amy Forsyth, Reign Edwards, Bex Taylor-Klaus, Christian James, Roby Attal, Matthew Mercurio, Tony Todd
Director: Gregory Plotkin
Genres: Thriller, Horror
Production Co: Lionsgate, CBS Films, Les Films Séville, Entertainment One, Valhalla Entertainment
Distributors: CBS Films, Lionsgate Films