Leaving summer behind is never easy, but it comes with a few fair trades. Trading in cookouts for tailgates, sand in your shoes for decorative gourds on your porch, and leaving behind the lemon zest of summer for the pumpkin spice of fall.
Normally the transition of summer movie season to fall movie season is about as smooth as sandpaper. Summer movies are fun to watch. They are designed to be little more than entertaining– loud, funny, action packed, and fun to talk about whether the movie is good or not. Traditionally speaking, compared to the previous season’s harvest, fall movies are boring. We’re not quite at holiday season, we’re not swimming through award nominees, and no super heroes have saved us from anything.
By that measure, Q4 2015 (October through December) is the changing of the guard. The Fall Movie Standard is about to get challenged FOR REAL. Here is a peak at what is on the horizon for the rest of 2015.
FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK: Sicario
Blending together elements of Silence of the Lambs, Traffic, and The Bridge, Sicario should be the standard setter for serious movies this season. Emily Blunt stars in a role that should further solidify her as a go-to actor regardless of genre. Flanked by Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, Sicario is an intense thriller weaving jarring looks at morality and violence in the war on drugs along the US-Mexican border.
RUNNER UP: The Martian
Stranded on a Mars after an accident during an excursion to the Red Planet, astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) must find a way to survive until his crew can find a way back to rescue him. The Martian looks like an experience.
- Steve Jobs
- The Last Witch Hunter
- Our Brand Is Crisis
FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK: Spectre
Rumor has it that Spectre may be the final installment of the Daniel Craig led James Bond movies, and if that’s the case I would expect this to be a big send off.
The handling of the James Bond character and surrounding mythology is one of the more interesting and unique executions in cinema history. While the most recent crop of Bond movies have served as a way to reboot the series, the producers have taken their time with reintroducing all of the classic things we love about Agent 007. In Spectre, we’re introduced to perhaps his greatest foil– the evil, shadowy SPECTRE organization.
The previous Bond entry, Skyfall was one of the highest grossing movies of all time. Whether it’s the focus on gritty realism mixed with Bond gadgetry and espionage, the renewed interest in a classic blockbuster character in the age of Acting-in-Action movies, or Danny Craig’s piercing blue eyes, James Bond is on a roll. I can’t imagine Spectre being a let down.
RUNNER UP: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II
This signifies the end of an era for two reasons:
- The most money making franchise in the Young Adult Fiction Adaptation genre is saying farewell
- Jennifer Lawrence is now the hottest free agent in Hollywood
After the next installments of both The Hunger Games and X-Men, Jennifer Lawrence is no longer hitched to any franchises, and that’s a good thing. Her work in the Hunger Games was much more than ‘reluctant hero,’ as is the case with so much young adult fiction.
Her portrayal of Katniss reminded more of Walter White than Luke Skywalker, in that when put into an impossible life or death circumstance, she evolved into something evil to battle evil regardless of consequence, rather than becoming the hero she was always meant to be with nearly zero consequence at all. The story concludes this November and the world will be watching.
- The Night Before
- The Good Dinosaur
FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I mean… c’mon. Star Wars is back.
There is no question I love Marvel Comics. I am part of the luckiest generation of movie going fans because when I was a kid in the 80’s and 90’s, all I could do was dream that someday my favorite comic books would on TV and at the movies. Well I got that in spades. Trailers, comic book tie-ins, TV shows, etc. There’s a lot to digest and plot points are nearly impossible to avoid.
The genius of the Star Wars sequels is that while it’s giving genre and casual fans alike exactly what they’ve been asking for, the Star Wars reboot is giving it to them slowly and over time. Very little is known about Episode VII and that is exactly how we want it. Forced to go in virtually blind to just enjoy a movie that will bring you back to where you were the first time you read the words, “In a Galaxy Far, Far, Away.”
I can’t wait for this and at the same time I’m so glad that I have to.
RUNNER UP: Star Wars gets first and second place. Everyone else is tied for third.
- In The Heart of the Sea
- Point Break
Photo Source: BoxOffice.com