Friday, November 15, 2013

September/October 2013 Movie Guide

Alright, you got me. September and October are long gone, but here are the movies that you should still get around to seeing since you probably haven't and Thanksgiving break is the perfect time to play catchup (if you're in America, that is).

Released September 18, 2013
Directed by: Nicole Holofcener
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Michaela Watkins, Phillip Brock, Tavi Gevinson, Tracey Fairaway
95% on Rotten Tomatoes

This is the late, great Gandolfini's last role and it's being hailed as one of the best movies of the year thus far. It's one of those romantic comedies about the messiness and entanglements that always come with relationships and with Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the center, it's no surprise that it's supposedly such a great telling of this kind of story. She's been on fire... well, always and she's just one of those people who makes you love watching whatever she's in. I have a feeling that this movie is no different, and judging by its warm reception from critics and audiences, I'm on the right track!

Released September 20, 2013
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano, Dylan Minnette, Zoe Borde
81% on Rotten Tomatoes

Films that drive their characters to the brink as a testament to the nature and resolve of humanity - when done well - are often painful to watch, but also thought provoking. This promises to be just such a film. Hugh Jackman plays a man not unlike one of his most recent roles, Jean Valjean in his desperation and devotion to his family. However, I don't think he'll be bursting into song with this role or whipping out his claws to get revenge. His struggles will be a little more traditionally realistic, but no less gripping.

Released September 27, 2013
Directed by: Cody Cameron & Kris Pearn
Starring: Bill Hader, Anna Faris, Will Forte, James Caan, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, Neil Patrick Harris, Terry Crews, Kristen Schaal
70% on Rotten Tomatoes

Alright, I'll be straight with you - I never saw the first movie, despite it being one of my favorite bedtime stories (my all-time favorite is George Shrinks, no contest). How they made a sequel, I'm not sure, but I'm due for a cute animated movie so bring it on.

Released September 27, 2013
Directed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gorden-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, Rob Brown, Jeremy Luke
82% on Rotten Tomatoes

This is a movie dissecting the way that media influences and distorts our perceptions and expectations, especially with relationships. With one character addicted to porn and his interest equally addicted to romantic comedies, things are bound to be a bit bumpy. In a society that's so ruled by the way that we consume media and objectify those around us, it's interesting to put it in such a satirical light that allows us to really look at what we do to each other.

Released September 27, 2013
Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Mangan, Christian McKay
88% on Rotten Tomatoes

Chris Hemsworth leaves Thor behind for this action packed film about a race car driver. I know zilch about racing... on foot or wheel, but this is probably less about the racing than the drama behind the racing, which is how I like my obscure sports movies (Match Point anyone?). Hopefully this also gives Chris Hemsworth an opportunity to do more than grunt, be impossibly strong, and talk about his duty to save anything and everything that needs saving.

Released on October 4, 2013
Directed by: Alfonso Cauron
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
97% on Rotten Tomatoes

Sandra Bullock in space (with a brief appearance from George Clooney).. alone? That's what I've gotten from the previews and it entirely freaks me out, but in an amazing way! I've never been so scared by a trailer, because the thought of just being stranded in space floating and not having anything to grab onto while essentially just waiting for death to claim you is just plain horrifying. It's a concept that scares me about a million times more than your average horror movie fare (and just one of the many reasons that I am thrilled to never go into space like that) and I have no idea how it works in the movie, but apparently it kills, seeing as how many people are predicting an Oscar nomination for Sandy.

Released on October 11, 2013
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Michael Chernus, Catherine Keener, David Warshofsky, Corey Johnson, Chris Mulkey
94% on Rotten Tomatoes

Tom Hanks (okay, just trust me, clicking this link will make you infinitely happy) in a true story with a killer newbie supporting cast. Many are already talking Oscars for this film and since it seems kind of like a combination of Cast Away, The Perfect Storm, and Pirates of the Caribbean (god help me if someone actually goes to the movie theater expecting this), I'm down. The most important part of this is that the antagonists are played with humanity and are not simply one note villains. The best antagonists are the ones that we sympathize with the most. Plus, autumn is the perfect time of year to be reminded of the resilience of the human spirit: with the holidays right around the corner, we'll need some strength to fight through all of those crowds at the mall.

Released on October 16, 2013
Directed by: John Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Ben Foster, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen, Erin Darke
75% on Rotten Tomatoes

Daniel Radcliffe in any Dead Poets Society enthusiasts' dream movie. A murder in 1944 draws together Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs and more and an interesting journey (one can only hope) ensues. It's always fun to catch up with the Potter gang (have you seen the trailer for Noah by the way?) since we've been with them from the beginning and I'm increasingly intrigued by Dane DeHaan as he's building up quite an impressive filmography. Plus, Tobias Funke.

Released on October 18, 2013
Directed by: Steve McQueen
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch,  Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Lupita Nyong'o, Alfre Woodard, Dwight Henry, Bryan Batt, Kelsey Scott, Brad Pitt
97% on Rotten Tomatoes

Apparently, this movie is IT. The big one. The great, painful, masterpiece of the year. It is the story of a free man forced into slavery and the shock, horror, and pain that are thrust upon him as his life is turned upside down. Just brace yourself before seeing this because it will likely be brutal and difficult to watch, but so important nonetheless.

Released on October 25, 2013 (limited)
Directed by: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford
94% on Rotten Tomatoes

Good old Robert Redford (aka Bob Woodward) stars in this movie that, despite its lack of much dialogue, is possibly more gripping and beautiful than most of its competitors. It is a classic man vs. nature story and is handled masterfully by Redford and Chandor. It's a master class in the cinematic art form.

Which of these have you seen already? Has the first half of autumn been worth it or are you ready to ring in the Oscar contenders with November and December? You're probably just caught up in impending Catching Fire excitement - but don't worry, I am too!

No comments:

Post a Comment