The Fall/Winter Movie Preview

The “Summer Blockbuster” season has passed, Fall is here, and the holiday movie season has officially begun. The Fall and Winter season has become prime movie territory; you’ve got artsy Oscar-bait character studies rubbing shoulders with large studio blockbusters and big-budget franchises. Let’s hit the snack stand and settle in, here’s what you need to get tickets for this season.

The Martian (out now)
Matt Damon, the leading man for the “everyman”, plays yet another “guy stranded on a distant, uninhabited planet” (is it just us or have we been rescuing Matt Damon from a lot of places?). Despite this repetitive situation, surprisingly Hollywood sometimes still manages to make cool movies that exist outside the tentpole franchises. After a series of uneven movies Ridley Scott has made science cool again, without veering into the ripped-from-a-Hallmark-card “love is stronger than gravity” mumbo-jumbo that polarized so many viewers in Interstellar. Expect strong acting, a great cast, and suprising amout of thoughtful humor.

Crimson Peak (October 16)
This classic gothic ghost story from the mind that brought you Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro, will be out in time for a Halloween viewing. Goosebumps and the new Paranormal Activity will be out for Halloween as well, each offering a different type of scare, but Crimson Peak looks to offer the best thrill for your buck. Don’t believe me? Okay, then listen to the master of the macabre himself, Stephen King, who said the film was “gorgeous and just fucking terrifying.” He also claimed it “electrified” him in the same way that Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead did back in the early eighties. That’s some high praise of horrors.

Steve Jobs (October 23)
What makes Fassbender a truly great actor is his ability to take on any role, no matter how disparate, and play it convincingly. He’s battled X-Men as Magneto, wooed Jane Eyre as Edward Rochester, feuded with Sigmund Freud as Carl Jung, and spent a whole movie in a Jack-in-the-Box-style foam head. The guy can do anything. So this Fall, he takes on the genius behind the genius bar, Steve Jobs. With direction by Danny Boyle, a script by Aaron Sorkin, and additional acting by Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, and Jeff Daniels, this film is sure to live up to the Jobs legacy of greatness. Well, at least more than that awful attempt at a biopic with Ashton Kutcher from two years ago.

Spectre (November 6th)
The James Bond films have been revitalized with 2012’s masterful Skyfall, and Spectre sees the return of that film’s director, Sam Mendes, and the most Bourne-ish of Bonds, Daniel Craig. But the most exciting return of all in Spectre is the film’s namesake organization. A mainstay in the early Bond movies, the evil crime syndicate has been absent from the film franchise since the early eighties. With Christoph Waltz as the villain heading up the criminal empire and Léa Seydoux and Monica Bellucci as a couple of badass Bond girls, we have a feeling 007 will end up both shaken and stirred.

The Night Before (November 25th)
Everyone loves hitting it hard with all your hometown friends on Christmas Eve right? As it turns out, Seth Rogan and friends (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie), do too. Rogen has once again teamed with producer/writing partner Evan Goldberg (Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express) for what’s no-doubt going to be an intensely hilarious, Hangover-style smokers delight.

Creed (November 25th)
The Rocky franchise has beaten the life out of its standard storyline as much, if not more so, than they’ve beaten their star Rocky Balboa to a bloody pulp. Director Ryan Coogler’s new take on the old story seems refreshing though. In Creed, the seventh Rocky movie, and the first to not have Rocky’s name in the title, the boxing legend takes on as an apprentice, the son of his former rival, Apollo Creed. Michael B. Jordan plays the young Creed trying to earn the use of his father’s name. Training montages ensue.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18th)
The Force awakens, and so do the high hopes of Star Wars fans everywhere. J. J. Abrams revitalized the Star Trek franchise, so here’s hoping he can do the same with the epic worlds of George Lucas. Reassembling the original cast is a big boon to Abrams and who, young or old, isn’t clamouring to see Harrison Ford back at the helm of the Millennium Falcon? Count us in.

The Hateful Eight (December 25th)
For many (us included) just “Tarantino’s new movie” would be enough, full stop. Per the usual Tarantino formula this years-in-the-making stylized Western promises to be vintage Tarantino. The premise, cribbed from numerous episodes of popular old tv westerns like Bonanza and High Chaparral, is to get a bunch of tough-looking scoundrels stuck in one place, make the weather outside impenetrable, allow for enough weapons inside, and see where their desires and their destructive tendencies take them. With a director willing to rewrite history and kill Adolf Hitler, there’s no telling what will happen when these hateful eight find themselves in close quarters with one another. We can’t wait.

The Revenant (December 25th)
Part two of the Christmas Day Battle of Violent, Snowy Westerns...Fresh off of last year’s Best Picture Oscar win with Birdman, Alejandro G. Iñárritu is set to wow us again. This time instead of using Michael Keaton in his whitey-tighties to do so, he’ll be using a bearded, bear-mauled Leonardo DiCaprio. Robbed and left for dead by his companions, DiCaprio as fur trapper Hugh Glass sets out for revenge in the revisionist Western, The Revenant. It sounds like a Quentin Tarantino premise (coincidence?), and from the looks of the trailers of their respective films, it’s entirely possible that Iñárritu may give Tarantino a run for his money with their dueling December 25th debuts. If the amazing trailer is any indication, one thing is for sure, Inarritu’s signature intensity and miraculous camera work will set this film apart from everything else out there.

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