The excitement of the Summer Movie Season is long gone. We'll have a slew of big films during the Thanksgiving through Christmas Holiday Season, but what do we do until then? Here are ten films that sound intriguing to tide you over until Thanksgiving. Bear in mind, they haven't been screened yet. But they certainly sound interesting.
The Magnificent Seven The big budget Western is a remake of the hit film from 1960, which was an Americanized take on Akira Kurasawa's 1956 classic Seven Samurai. Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt star along with Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Matt Bomer and Peter Sarsgaard. The trailers focus squarely on Washington and Pratt. Hopefully the film will devote more time to the other characters. I'm a longtime admirer of both Washington and Pratt, but Denzel works best with others and I'd hate to see Chris' star status endangered by overexposure. Sep. 23
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children What an odd name for a facility. One would think that using the word “peculiar” in the name of the home would be bad for the children's self esteem, wouldn't one? Super quirky filmmaker Tim Burton is back, adapting Ransom Riggs' popular 2011 novel about a unique British island with women that can turn into birds, kids that can control fire and other freaky stuff, including a child with two mouths. Eva Green, Asa Butterfield and Samuel L. Jackson star. Sep. 30
The Birth of a Nation The name of actor-director Nate Parker's story of Nat Turner and the 1831 American slave uprising is the same as D.W, Griffith''s 1915 silent film that celebrated the Ku Klux Klan. How great that Parker is using the notorious title for use with a film about the fight for freedom. Parker plays Turner, natch, with Aja Naomi King costarring as his wife, Cherry. The budget for the film was low, but its ambitions are high. Oct. 7
The Girl on the Train Mystery-thriller starring Emily Blunt as a divorced commuter who fantasizes about a young couple that live down the street from her ex. When she spies something shocking she becomes entangled in a mystery that gets complex quickly. Haley Bennett and Justin Theroux also star. Oct. 7
Christopher Guest (Best in Show) stars and directs a mockumentary about a contest involving costumed mascots. Guest reprises his “Waiting for Guffman” role as Corky St. Clair, a finicky creative type who gets miffed easily. Jane Lynch, Ed Begley Jr., Zach Woods, and Sarah Baker join in the guaranteed to be quirky feature. The film premieres on Netflix Oct. 13.
Ben Affleck plays Chris Wolff, an autistic accountant who gets into all kinds of trouble. The film is listed as an action-thriller, but it sounds like it has a “Beautiful Mind” quality as well. Anna Kendricks plays the whistle-blowing CPA Wolff confides in. J.K. Simmons costars. Affleck went straight from Batman v Superman to this. Sounds like quite a leap. Oct. 14
Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton and Rachel McAdams star in Marvel's highly-anticipated comic book adaptation about a New York surgeon, desperate to repair his horribly damaged hands, who seeks help from a mystic in Nepal. The straight-laced Stephen Strange is soon introduced to the multiverse and lots of trippy visuals. The trailers look good – hope the story is strong and that the art department doesn't rely too much on the Dark City and Inception for their shifting realities. Nov. 4
Amy Adams stars as a linguist working with the government to crack the language of a group of freshly-landed space aliens and determine their intentions on Earth. If it turns out they have a book titled To Serve Man we are screwed! Jeremy Renner costars in the film. Nov. 11
USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage
Many Hoosiers are awaiting this film with a mixture of hope and dread. At long last, we will finally get a look at Hollywood's account of what happened in World War II when the USS Indianapolis, known as one of the fastest ships in the US Navy, gets torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship goes down in only 12 minutes, leaving the 1,200 men waiting to be rescued from the shark-infested waters. Nicolas Cage, Tom Sizemore and Thomas Jane star in director Mario Van Peebles film, which is scheduled to open in limited release on November 11. Hopefully the city with the USS Indianapolis memorial will be among the first to see it. Hopefully the film will do the survivors and their families proud.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling wrote it. Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, and Katherine Waterston star in it. And it opens the week before Thanksgiving. I think I need say no more. Nov. 18