Cont. from The Roar Magazine: Joe C’s Must-Sees



The summer blockbuster season is finally over, and this year has been slow for movies. With the exception of a few pleasant surprises like “Hereditary” and “Blackkklansman”, and the usual money makers like “Deadpool 2” and “Mission Impossible”, this summer had an unusually high number of movies that just fell flat, critically and commercially. But, as we turn the corner from summer to fall, we usher in awards season. In the next three months, film studios will release their respective bids for the Oscars and some other blockbusters to keep the profit machine churning. Here’s a schedule of the best movies coming out this fall.

The Old Man and the Gun (Sep. 28)

Tagline: This story is mostly true

September is early for an Oscar contender to come out, but “The Old man and the Gun” is a strange case. It’s like the studio made it to win an Oscar, but then thought it wasn’t that good, but then test audiences loved it, so now they’re kind of splitting the difference. The “mostly” true story of a 70-year-old man who escaped from San Quentin prison and then executed a string of incredible bank heists, this movie has Best Screenplay written all over it. Living legend Robert Redford and Academy Award winner Casey Affleck lend their talents to the starring roles as well. Early reviews have been great for “The Old Man and the Gun” and you can expect a few Oscar nominations to come out of this.

Venom (Oct. 5)

Tagline: The world has enough superheroes

The first major blockbuster of the fall comes in the form of “Venom” based on the iconic Marvel anti-hero. The movie headlines Tom Hardy as a reporter who develops superpowers when he is infected by an alien parasite. It’s hard to tell whether this will be good. It looks like it has good action and special effects, but it also had tremendous production problems and juggled eight different screenwriters, which is usually a sign of a weak plot and a bad story. Don’t discount “Venom” just yet though, movies with these same problems have ended up being successful. It is the only superhero movie coming out this fall, so if you need your fill, this is your only option. Sony can come up with as many excuses as they want, but the truth is this –  the only reason this movie exists is to retain the rights so they can try to reboot Spider-Man again.

A Star is Born (Oct. 5)

Tagline: None

“A Star is Born” is a high risk, high reward movie. Risks include: remaking a movie from 1976 of the same name, not having a definitive genre, and bringing in Lady Gaga as the main star. Rewards include: making an instant classic that has a good chance of winning at least five Oscars, centering around a musician who helps a young singer find fame while age and alcoholism send his own career spiraling. Bradley Cooper also directs and stars alongside Lady Gaga. Reviews have been off the charts for this movie, and it is a shoe-in for a Best Picture nomination. As of right now, I’d say this is one of two movies in serious contention for Best Picture.

First Man (Oct. 5)

Tagline: Experience the impossible journey to the moon

 I said “A Star is Born” is one of two shoe-ins for Best Picture; this is the other. The true story of the life of astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary mission that led him to be the first man to walk on the moon, “First Man” is the most Oscar-y movie to come out this year. It has an all-star cast of Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, and Jason Clarke. It has one of the best working directors today in Damian Chazelle, who did “Whiplash” and “La La Land”. Its cinematographer and special effects team have both won Oscars in previous years. It has a fantastic screenplay that balances story with symbolism. This movie is like catnip for the academy. If this movie doesn’t get nominated for Best Picture, then pigs will fly.

Bad Times at the El Royale (Oct. 12)

Tagline: All roads lead here

The writer of “The Martian” gets his first directing gig in this murder mystery, which he also wrote. The bizarre story of seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, all converge at a rundown motel on the same fateful night. This movie looks to have incredible writing, and it carries Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Jeff Bridges, in the most stacked cast of the fall. This seems like one of those movies that isn’t quite good enough to win Best Picture but is so loved by audiences and so artfully made that it will still get nods from the academy. Out of everything on this list “Bad Times at the El Royale” is what I’m looking forward to the most.

Halloween (Oct. 19)

Tagline: Face Your Fate

It’s been 40 years since Laurie Strode escaped a vicious attack from serial killer Michael Myers, but he returns to hunt her in this reboot/sequel to the original horror classic. The original John Carpenter movie of 1978 was a genre defining film and cemented the existence of slasher movies in theaters, and it has stood the test of time as one of the best horror movies of the ‘70s. So, I issue a warning to Hollywood: rebooting classic movies from the ‘70s and ‘80s might make money, but they don’t usually make for better movie franchises. They often end up being worse than the original and cast a dark shadow over the whole series. They tried with “Robocop” and that was horrendous. They’ve made enough “Die Hards” and “Aliens” to officially ruin the originals. They tried to reboot “Halloween” in 2007 and audiences still haven’t forgiven them. That being said, reviews have been decent, but ultimately this movie will likely fall short to the significance of the original classic.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Nov. 2)

Tagline: Fearless lives forever

In the heart of awards season, “Bohemian Rhapsody” makes an Oscar run, chronicling the years leading up to Queen’s legendary appearance at the Live Aid concert in 1985. The big talk is of Rami Malik’s portrayal of lead singer and rock legend, Freddie Mercury. This movie looks to have good writing and directing on its side as well. Early reviews have been quite good, and this should straddle the line between Oscar movie and box office movie.

Overlord (Nov. 9)

Tagline: None

At first glance “Overlord” seems like the typical war movie to get into Oscar talks. Dig deeper, and you’ll realize it is not, at any stage, an Oscar movie. The second big blockbuster of the fall, follows a group of World War Two airman who drop behind enemy lines as part of the D-Day operation. It sounds normal, but it goes off the rails when instead of fighting Nazi’s… they fight zombies. Seriously, this movie is about if the allies were attacking zombies on D-Day. This movie will make a ton of money from horror and war movie fans. It’s pretty much “Band of Brothers” combined with “Dawn of the Dead”. Both great on their own, but together, maybe not so much.

Roma (Dec. 14)

Tagline: None

It wouldn’t be the Oscars if they didn’t nominate a movie you had probably never heard of. For 2018 “Roma” is that movie. It chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family living in Mexico City in the 1970s. To this movie’s credit, it has Alfonso Cuaron, director of “Gravity” and “Children of Men”, as the writer and director. This movie is his love note to his home country, and for such a great filmmaker who garners so much respect, it would be criminal not to give this movie some much deserved love.