With futuristic sc-fi, British comedy horror and an LGBT coming-of-age story, October is set to be an eclectic month of cinema.
Blade Runner 2049
Thirty five years after the iconic original, Blade Runner is back! The acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve directs the much anticipated sequel to the sci-fi classic which sees Harrison Ford reprise his role as Rick Deckard.
I was lucky enough to watch horror-comedy Double Date back in June at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and it is great fun!
Timothy Spall, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones and Kristin Scott Thomas star in this one-location black and white British comedy. That cast alone is enough to make this worth your time.
Call me by your Name
This LGBT coming-of-age drama has been making waves on the festival circuit since it premiered at Sundance. Based on André Aciman’s novel of the same name, the movie stars Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Director Reginald Hudin tells the true story of Marshall Thurgood, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, zoning in one of his first cases. The movie will open this year’s Chicago International Film Festival. Keep an eye out for festival coverage set to be published towards the end of the month.
It’s commonplace for viewers to adopt a passive approach at the cinema, but a filmmaker that continually challenges audiences and encourages debate is Darren Aronofsky, known for bringing his dark directorial visions to the big screen. With his latest psychological thriller mother!, he has crafted what has become one of the most talked-about movies of the year. The story follows a couple played by Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem who appear to enjoy marital bliss in an idyllic rural house that they are renovating. Their peace is shattered when a doctor (Ed Harris) and his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) come to stay unexpectedly and bring mayhem which rudely interrupts the couple’s sense of tranquility.
Stephen King terrified readers with his iconic horror novel back in 1986, which was adapted into a cult television movie. Now the red carpet has been rolled out as it receives a fresh adaptation with director Andy Muschietti pulling the strings. The story has been brought forward to the late 1980s where the kids of Derry, Maine are confronted by their worst fears. Following the strange disappearance of Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) at the hands of evil clown Pennywise (Bill Skårsgard), his big brother Billy (Jaeden Lieberher) rallies his friends together to hunt down the demon that has cursed their hometown.
Taylor Sheridan has already made quite an impact on cinema in recent years, penning the scripts for Sicario and Hell or High Water with acclaimed filmmakers at the helm. Now he has returned to the director’s chair for mystery drama Wind River which he has referred to as the last chapter in a loose trilogy about the modern American frontier. The story follows game tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) who works at the Indian Reservation which gives the film its name. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered, FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is called to the scene of the crime. The pair join forces and as the investigation unravels, Cory is forced to wrestle his own personal demons.
Steven Soderbergh announced his retirement from filmmaking back in 2003 to focus on oil painting but after already going back on his word to direct for television, now he makes his fully fledged feature comeback with comedy crime caper Logan Lucky. The madcap plot follows downtrodden construction worker Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum) who, with the help of his one-handed brother Clyde (Adam Driver), hatches a plan to rob his former employers when he gets laid off. To assist with their cunning scheme to steal cash from a NASCAR speedway track on the day it’s biggest rally, they recruit incarcerated safecracker Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his idiotic brothers. What could possibly go wrong?
As we creep slowly and surely into awards territory, I pick out the films you can’t afford to miss this month at the movies…
It’s fair to say that last month’s Stephen King cinema adaptation The Dark Tower didn’t do very well, met with a flurry of less than positive reviews on its release. However, the hype around the remake of King horror classic It has been rife and the early reaction has been promising to say the least. Director Andy Muschietti is set to offer up a modern retelling of the piece with Bill Skarsgård taking on the lead role of Pennywise.
Darren Aronofsky is arguably one of the most daring filmmakers working today, known for his surreal, experimental style and challenging subject matter. With his first feature since 2014’s Noah adaptation, he presents mystery drama Mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem.
Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe carved out quite a rivalry at the height of men’s tennis in the late 70s through to the early 80s and their story is getting the cinema treatment at the hands of Janus Metz who will direct. Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason will portray McEnroe and Borg respectively.
Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner are well connected already from their crime fighting adventures in the Marvel universe, and now they reunite for Wind River, the latest crime drama by acclaimed filmmaker Taylor Sheridan. Off the back of writing the screenplays for Sicario and Hell or High Water, this could round off a hat-trick of hits.
If you follow this blog at all, you might be aware that I am very fond of both Ben Mendelsohn and Rooney Mara and have been an avid fan of their work for a while. Una, directed by Benedict Andrews, sees the pair collaborate for the first time in a dark tale based on David Harrower’s novel Blackbird. This is a must-see.
In Steven Soderbergh’s crime comedy caper Logan Lucky, Adam Driver delivers what could be his career-best performance to date as hapless one-armed barman Clyde Logan. His brilliant role has inspired a reflection on cinema bartenders who know their craft from their crap.
Passengers wasn’t a great film, but it did have a great bartender in Arthur, played by Michael Sheen. The android smooth operator serves up drinks to star-crossed lovers Jim and Aurora on luxury spaceship Avalon and injects welcomed humour into the script, albeit not always intentionally.
When the Gecko brothers played by George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino turn up at the Titty Twister rock bar, they are greeted by an intimidating leather-clad barman called Razor Charlie. Portrayed by Danny Trejo in a brief but memorable sequence, it soon transpires that all is not what it seems with the drinking-den clientele.
Sick Boy (T2)
Twenty years after the iconic original, Jonny Lee Miller reprised his excellent role as the entrepreneurial chancer Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson. Now running the soulless Port Sunshine establishment, he sarcastically remarks that ‘the great wave of gentrification hasn’t hit us yet’.
When heavy drinking Henry Chinaski is a regular at the other side of your bar, it’s fair to say that you will have your work cut out. In steps Eddie played by Frank Stallone (Sly’s younger brother). When he’s not battling and bickering with Henry indoors as shown in the image above, they are out in the lot having a street fight.
Bob (The Drop)
Tom Hardy certainly isn’t known for having a subtle approach to acting, but goes against the grain with a nuanced performance is Boston-set crime drama The Drop. Running a bar used by local criminals as a drop-off point for ill-gotten goods, he gives a powerhouse turn that should go down as one of his best.