Monthly Movie Preview: September 2015

August was just about as disappointing as it comes with movies, but that shouldn’t deter you from enjoying the theater this month.

September 4 – Dirty Weekend

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Alice Eve

I love Matthew Broderick. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is my favorite movie of all time, and much of that is thanks to him. But this movie looks god awful. Broderick and his business partner (Alice Eve) take a business trip where he looks into a sexual (possibly homosexual?) encounter he had there before. The plot isn’t really that clear, and what is the big deal if he is homosexual, or had a homosexual encounter? Also, the beginning of the trailer shows Broderick telling Eve they should get to know each other better. Then it cuts to them in a sex shop with a very large dildo in the foreground of the shot. That escalated quickly. – Adrian

September 4 – Dragon Blade

Starring: Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody, John Cusack

You know what’s less believable than Jackie Chan as an action star? A movie co-starring Adrien Brody and John Cusack as viable action stars. Give me a break. Jackie Chan, who has aged surprisingly well considering, is still a year over 60, and doesn’t have enough charisma left in the tank to carry a movie – especially one with a crappy concept weighed down by two ill-fitted actors well past their prime. Lucky for us, the entire movie summary is on Wikipedia. Give us the Chan-Jaa showdown we want before arthritis sets in. – Sherif

September 4 – The Transporter: Refueled

Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Gabriella Wright, Loan Chabanol

While Jason Statham seems to have moved on to bigger and better things (like 8 Fast 8 Furious, y’all!), the all-but-forgotten Transporter franchise gets a beefed up new entry. It’s gotten quite a bit of crappy reviews, saying that it only wades in the same waters that the previous films did – but let’s keep in mind that this comes fresh off the heels of two seasons of the television show, which has seen favorable reviews. While this may be the bastard stepchild of action series, I’m sure there are enough fans to keep this from being a box office bleh. – Sherif

September 11 – 90 Minutes in Heaven

Starring: Hayden Christensen, Kate Bosworth

Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth both finally look like adults, but this movie looks a little too saccharin for my tastes. Christensen plays Don Piper, a pastor and a man who (in real-life) was killed in a car wreck in Texas. An on-looker prayed over Piper’s body, and Piper came back to life after 90 minutes. I know this story is a best-selling book and is recounted by many as a modern-day miracle, I felt myself cringe when Piper (Christensen) is wheeled into the church and he tells them, “You prayed. I’m here.” It almost sounds as if he is Jesus, and that just rubs me the wrong way. – Adrian

September 11 – A Brilliant Young Mind

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan

Of all the independent movies coming out this month, this is one I am really excited for. Asa Butterfield (he’s everywhere now!) plays a young man who has autism and also happens to be a brilliant mathematician. This is a coming-0f-age film, but the challenges the young man will have to face in light of his (dis)ability will make the plot more interesting. I couldn’t help but smile throughout this one. – Adrian

September 11 – The Challenger

Starring: Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP), Kent Moran, S. Epatha Merkenson

America loves boxing movies. Heck, so do I! The Challenger was made several years ago, but is finally making the independent circuit and doing really well at it, too. In Michael Clarke Duncan’s final role, he plays the coach to Kent Moran’s Jaden, a young man who boxes to prevent he and his mother from being homeless. I expect this to be motivational and really sad. – Adrian

September 11 – The Perfect Guy

Starring: Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut, Charles Dutton

Finally, the movie that will get my wife to stop fantasizing about Michael Ealy. Why can’t this be starring Channing Tatum instead? Ealy plays good guy turned nightmare stalker in this thriller, where he stars alongside Sanaa Lathan (where are my Love & Basketball fans at??) and Morris Chestnut. It starts out innocently enough, but escalates into full-on crazy pretty quickly after she starts swaying a return to her ex (Chestnut). So, it’s basically like every other lover-turned-stalker movie, but this time with black people. – Sherif

September 11 – The Visit

Starring: The signature feeling of being letdown by M Night Shyamalan, Kathryn Hahn, Deanna Dunagan, Ed Oxenbould

Oh, great… another M. Night Shyamalan movie. This movie will go down in history as the second most disappointing thing to ever happen on 9/11. Hansel and Gretel meets Paranormal Activity, The Visit follows two kids who are dropped off at the grandparents’ house. Granny, it turns out, i possessed by an evil force. Everything would have been fine had they just stayed in their goddamned room after 9:30. Who knows? Maybe the surprise ending this time is that it isn’t a crappy movie. What a twist! – Sherif

September 16 – Pawn Sacrifice

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber

I don’t care how many times you loop the .gif of Tobey Maguire dancing in Spiderman 3, I still think he’s a phenomenal actor. He could definitely kick Tom Holland’s ass. Anyway, so Spider-Man – I mean Tobey Maguire – and Sabretooth, err… Liev Schreiber duke it out chess-style in this movie. Maguire plays a reemerging Bobby Fischer, on the verge of mental breakdown as the pressure to be Soviet champ Boris Spassky during the Cold War mounts.I guarantee it’s the most exciting game of chess you’ll experience outside of a Wu-Tang album or Harry Potter book. – Sherif

September 18 – Black Mass

Starring: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Dakota Johnson

I have never seen Johnny Depp look so cold. The above preview, which is not the same they are showing on TV, gave me straight up chills. Straight up. Depp plays Whitey Bulger, the notorious crime boss who is now serving two consecutive life sentences in federal prison. Bulger is linked to 11 murders, drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, and racketeering. He was also Number 2 on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, right under Osama bin Laden. So, not a very nice person. This is the movie I am most excited for this September; it is Depp’s most DiCaprio-like role yet. – Adrian

September 18 – Captive

Starring: Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Michael K Williams (Omar), Mimi Rogers,

Known around the house as Stockholm’s Syndrome: The Movie, Captive takes the exact same concept as Labor Day, and rips the romance out of it through the butthole. Then sprinkles on some Olivia Pope-level drama to it and calls it a day. How does David Oyelowo go from playing Martin Luther King Jr. to a kidnapper in one movie? Shout out to Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire). Lastly, how does Kate Mara, who has been in just the crappiest movies, get more gigs than her sister Rooney? Don’t waste your time with this one (Sorry, Omar). – Sherif

September 18 – Cooties

Starring: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Jorge Garcia, Nasim Pedrad

Horror-comedy has emerged as one of the strongest genre of film lately. With movies like Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and Cabin in the Woods, a wider demographic is reached. There might be a scare or two along the way, but it’s all in fun and games! Cooties, while not on the level of the previous two, looks to be along the same lines of fun and danger. It’s quite a departure from Elijah Wood’s normal roles, but he looks just as silly as the rest of the typically-silly crew. My only worry is that it will be mostly made up of “screaming comedy,” where people just yell really loud observations and pass it off as funny. – Sherif

September 18 – About Ray

Starring: Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning, Susan Sarandon, Tate Donovan

“About Ray” does look like a potentially good film but given that there aren’t any transgender people actually working on it, it will never be the film transgender men deserve. Will it open up a dialogue about transgender people and the difficulty of transition? I hope so. However, Fanning simply cannot portray something this raw and complex when she has not experienced it herself. They should have cast a transgender actor. -Charlotte

September 18 – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodeland, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Giancarlo Esposito, and Aiden Gillen

Kids run. They die. We eat popcorn. For the second time. Cue giant spiders, Gus Fring, and Carcetti. Enjoy. – Adrian

September 25 – 99 Homes

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon

I got 99 problems and Michael Shannon is pretty much all of them… Seriously though, Shannon playing an asshole? No way! As if the housing market wasn’t bad enough, Nash (Garfield) get evicted by Shannon, who plays a corrupt real estate broker (totally different from his role as a corrupt alien warlord in Man of Steel, or a corrupt police officer in Boardwalk Empire – this guy just has a face that says “dirtbag”). To save his home, he has to do the same thing to other families. It’s the white collar drug game, and maybe a little too on the nose for what’d been happening in the market a decade ago. – Sherif

September 25 – Everest

Starring: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley

The first thing you should notice is that it’s getting a PG-13 rating because of intense peril. What does that mean? How does the rating board judge that? In short a bunch of guys climb the tallest mountain in the world because what the hell else are we going to do with our time? Not climb mountains? Unlikely. Based on a true story of that one time the thing I just said happened, except when they get to the top of the mountain, they get hit by a big snowstorm. Being that it’s based on a true story, I’m betting the guy who wrote the story makes it out. If you like mountains, snow, guys who get out of stuff, and panicked women speaking brusquely into phones, this will be your jam. – Montgomery

September 25 – Hotel Transylvania 2

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Sandberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Mel Brooks, Molly Shannon

I would not have predicted that enough people watched the first Hotel to warrant a second, but then again, Adam Sandler’s that way. Not having seen the first one, I can remember none of its marketing apart from the intense disappointment I felt to learn that Genndy Tartakovsky was providing all the art. In case that name doesn’t ring bells, he’s the master behind Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack. The story in this sequel seems like it will be the same uninspired barf that encrusts children’s movie (oh, do they learn that family’s all that matters?) multiplied by the crusty barf named Adam Sandler, but the art… what happened? How is it that I’m watching something produced by Adam Sandler and feeling impressed with the animation? I bet it’d be fun to watch with that Mannheim Steamroller Halloween CD playing, and then just make up your own story. – Montgomery

September 25 – Hell and Back

Starring: Mila Kunis, Danny McBride, Bob Odenkirk, TJ Miller, Nick Swardson, Michael Peña, JB Smoove

This is, hands-down, the best cast of any movie out this month. Director Tom Gianas (Sarah Silverman Show)’s stop motion film is about three friends (Augie, Curt, and Remy) who jokingly make a blood oath, then break it. Joke over. Curt gets dragged to hell and the other two must save their friends from Hell. It looks silly, and I’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to pay to see it in theaters, but I do want to see it eventually. – Sherif

September 25 – Sicario

Starring: Emily Blunt, Benecio del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal

I see this playing out a lot like Training Day, but with the cartel and FBI instead of the LAPD. Emily Blunt plays Kate, a well-meaning FBI agent who is sent to the US-Mexico border to take down a drug lord. Josh Brolin is one of the leads on the mission, but is obviously shady as shit. John Bernthal (Shane from The Walking Dead) is also in there, which is pretty much a guaranteed sell for any movie. The action will be there. The story will be there. Can Emily Blunt pull off a believable badass field agent? – Sherif

September 25 – The Anomaly

Starring: Ian Somerhalder, Noel Clarke, Alexis Knapp

The preview for The Anomaly looks like a sci-fi version of the intro to CSI. But Ian Somerhalder is in it, so I’m sold (total objectification). – Adrian

September 25 – The Intern

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Robert de Niro, Nate Wolff, Adam DeVine

It might not share the same plot as The Internship, but I expect it to have just as many good feels! Robert de Niro, once one of Hollywood’s best tough guys, is a straight-up teddy bear in this film. He fills the role of “Senior intern” for Jules (Hathaway), a successful business mogul. Along the way, he teaches the young employees, Jules, and himself about life and stuff. There’s a lot of potential for this to be a generation gap-filler in terms of comedy and togetherness… If only real old people were anything like this. – Sherif

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