The 2013 Film Release Calendar: October

The Film Release Calendar is something I do each year to preview the upcoming year’s slate of films. It started as both a way for me to start paying attention to what was coming out (since I was really slacking around the time I started the blog) and to be able to see how well I know myself and how much I know exactly what I’m gonna think about a movie before I even see it.

What I do is, I go through the list of films scheduled to come out in a given year (using my go-to article, Wikipedia’s year in film article), month by month. I write down what they’re about, who’s in them, and generally what my thoughts are on what I see. And then I guess what I think I’m gonna rate it when I see it. Because at this point — I’ve seen so many movies — I know what a movie is gonna be. I’m running about a 70% correct percentage on guessing stuff in January. Plus, that aside, it also gives me a chance to see what movies, come the end of the year, surpassed (or fell way below) my expectations (or everyone’s). So it’s not all just a chance for me to talk about how awesome I am (since, believe me… I’m gonna do that anyway).

Today, we’re looking at all the films that are currently scheduled to come out in October:

October

I doubt this is a real poster, but it looks good, so we’ll go with that.

Gravity

I was crazy excited for this last year. It’s Alfonso Cuaron’s first movie since Children of Men. To me, Children of Men is a masterpiece and one of the best films of the past decade. So this automatically becomes one of the most anticipated films for me.

They had it penciled in for a late season awards push last year, but bumped it to this year. Which — at least they did it before the year started, unlike Great Gatsby. So I won’t fault them for that. Plus, they’re putting it right in that same time (for the most part) for this year.

It’s Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and from what I can tell, it’s about the two of them as astronauts who are doing something in space, and some debris crashes into their ship/station and separates them and they’re left floating in space.

Apparently the first twenty minutes or so is a single unbroken tracking shot (I love that Alfonso Cuaron and Joe Wright work in the tracking shots now. It’s pretty great.), and it seems like Clooney’s character is gone by the end of those twenty minutes and the film is all about Bullock. At least, that’s the way it seems to me, since originally they said it was just a one-woman show with Bullock and that Clooney (it was originally Robert Downey Jr.) had a bit part. I thought it was her husband back home or something. But now that they’re both definitely up there in space (from what I can tell), it seems like Clooney’s gonna be gone by the end of that opening sequence.

Either way — crazy excited for this. Should I stick with last year’s 5 stars? Something tells me to go 4.5 stars here, since that all but covers the 5 stars anyway. The October release date is a little strange, but on the other hand, it does fit here, so it’s not like that matters all that much. Either way — crazy excited for this movie and I expect it to be a minimum of 4 stars.

The Delivery Man

Well this is interesting, if only on a conceptual level.

Ken Scott wrote and directed this movie called Starbuck in 2011. It was a tiny Canadian movie made made for about $6 million (which is actually decently sized, all things considered) and didn’t get much press here at all. (I didn’t even know it existed before this article.) Apparently someone liked it, since they had him remake his own movie two years later.

So basically this guy is making the same movie twice in a row, this time with a Hollywood budget.

The premise of the film — and I’m going by the original, since how they change it is gonna be interesting — is that a dude (whose basically a slacker in life) finds out his girlfriend is pregnant and also finds out that the sperm he donated way back when was used to inseminate 142 different women, and now all the kids have filed a class action lawsuit against him.

This version seems more like — he finds out he fathered all these kids, and they want to meet him, and it’s that angle. The class action lawsuit bit doesn’t make much sense for them to do, but who knows.

Either way — Vince Vaughn is the lead and Cobie Smulders is his girlfriend. I — I just can’t trust Vince Vaughn to make a good movie. This has the makings of Hollywood taking an indie movie they liked and making it mainstream, thereby turning it into a shitty comedy.

I just can’t trust this to be good. 2.5 stars, and that’s me giving it the benefit of the doubt. If this ends up being 3 stars, it will surprise me a little bit. (Not a lot, of course, since I’m considering that a ceiling, one which can be met, but probably won’t be met.) I just — can’t see this being that good, based on Hollywood’s track record in these matters.

Paranoia

I saw Gary Oldman and worried this was gonna be another shitty horror movie, since apparently that’s all they offer him nowadays. But it’s not. Which makes me excited.

An entry-level employee at a powerful corporation finds himself occupying a corner office, but at a dangerous price: he must spy on his boss’s old mentor to secure for him a multi-billion dollar advantage.

Liam Hemsworth is the kid, I’m guessing Gary Oldman is the boss and Harrison Ford is the former mentor. Amber Heard is in it as the eye candy, and Embeth Davidtz is in it, Richard Dreyfuss — I like the cast.

And it’s based on one of those paperback novels that always make solid thrillers. And then the release date — I like October better than April (even though they’re mostly interchangeable).

All right, here’s what we’re gonna do — I’m expecting 3 stars is more likely (it has the Law Abiding Citizen release date), but given the state of the cast, and my enjoyment of these types of projects, I’m gonna go 3.5 stars. I’ll take a shot here. I’ll temper my expectations until I see it, but I think this has a legitimate shot to be 3.5 stars. Let’s hope they hit it. Because you know how much I love talking up movies like this as hidden gems.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

So this is happening. I wasn’t excited for this three years ago, but I’m kind of excited for it now. I think because now I don’t have that “shitty sequel” worry. Now it’s more like, “sequel, probably not as good as the first one, but like half-star worse and not filled with soul-crushing disappointment.”

Rodriguez has a lot of the cast back. Mickey Rourke is back as Marv. Jessica Alba is back as Nancy. Rosario Dawson, Clive Own, Jaime King and Michael Madsen are back. Dennis Haysbert takes over for Michael Clarke Duncan, and apparently Jamie Chung is now playing the Devon Aoki role (which is kinda weird). Joseph Gordon-Levitt joined on, Chris Meloni, Josh Brolin, Ray Liotta, Jeremy Piven, Juno Temple, Alexa Vega — Rodriguez knows how to get a cast. And based on how he shoots this, we know we’re getting a great looking movie, with a lot of famous faces, with the style mostly covering for any narrative deficiencies.

I’ll take those odds. 3.5 stars. (I’m sure it’ll be 3, but whatever. It’s October, and this is the time of year I crave better movies, so I almost will them to be more than I expect them to be.)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 3D

This is also happening. You’ve been properly warned.

Captain Phillips

I first heard this announced and was like, “Tom Hanks is playing the boat captain who was hijacked by Somali pirates? Ehh…”

I still had to get over that immediate reaction. But — Paul Greengrass is directing, and you have to assume a certain level of quality here. I think my initial reaction was that around the same time, they announced Hanks was gonna play the dude who landed the plane in the Hudson, and it was like, “Jesus, with the cash grabs.” But this one actually sounds like it could be good. Having seen The Impossible (which, if you told me the basics of that story a year earlier, I’d have been like, “Fuck that shit”), I’m willing to say that this might be pretty damn good.

I don’t know what to rate it, though. A month ago (hell, twenty minutes ago), I’d have said 3 stars and that was it. 3 stars for a movie like this is the blanket, “I think I’m gonna hate this,” like I did with Zero Dark Thirty last year. But now I’m just not as emotional about stuff, and I feel like this has as much potential to be 4 stars as much as it does 3 stars. Which really only leaves one option, doesn’t it?

5 stars.

Wouldn’t that have been fucked up, if I left it like that? 3.5 stars.

Haunts

An introverted teen sparks with his new neighbor, and together the couple begins to explore the haunted house that is family has unknowingly just purchased.

Why does this horror movie sound appealing to me? Maybe because of the romance aspect. The hope that this ends up being more Let the Right One In and not (pick your shitty horror movie).

Yeah — that’s really only to get me to see it if anything. 2.5 stars, will expect nothing, if I see it, and I’ll be wrong if it ends up being good.

Oldboy

I don’t know what to make of this.

On the one hand, the original is incredible. And how could this be good. On the other — Spike Lee. Josh Brolin. Elizabeth Olsen. Samuel L. Jackson. Sharlto Copley. Michael Imperioli. This actually sounds like it could be good.

Spike Lee’s best movies since Do the Right Thing have been 25th Hour and Inside Man. I like when his style and directorial prowess is on a film more than his politics. Because once he gets on that path, it just kills the film. So that’s what leads me to believe this will be a solid movie.

Plus — might as well go down with the ship if it’s not.

4 stars. I should definitely go 3.5 here, but fuck it. Down with the ship! 4 stars. I’m fucking going for it.

Carrie

It’s a remake of Carrie.

I can’t imagine it’ll be any better. This to me seems kind of like the American remake of Let the Right One In. They’re gonna make it more horror-y and thriller-y than the original film, which is more a fairy tale than anything. And I like that version. I like when movies based on Stephen King books are less Stephen King-y. So this version, I can’t imagine I’ll like it. They pushed it from April to October, which — pretty interchangeable, and also this fits more here.

So… 2.5 stars. 3 seems like a ceiling on this, if it’s watchable and somewhat enjoyable. I still can’t imagine me liking this. But the story is engaging, so 3 stars is entirely within the realm of possibility.

Malavita

The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.

Starring Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, Dominic Chianese, a shitload of Italian actors who were probably all on The Sopranos, and — directed by Luc Besson.

I’m fucking in3.5 stars and I hope for more. I trust Luc Besson to give me that extra half-star.

The Seventh Son

A 18th century adventure story centered on young Thomas, who is apprenticed to the local Spook to learn to fight evil spirits. His first great challenge comes when the powerful Mother Malkin escapes her confinement while the Spook is away.

Starring the guy who played Prince Caspian, Julianne Moore as that Malkin lady and Jeff Bridges as — basically Jeff Bridges. One figures. It’s supposed to be this big action-adventure fantasy thing, in the vein of Stardust, I’d have to guess, based on that release date.

Uhh… 3 stars? I want to say 2.5, but we’ll be positive. I seem to be going over this month anyway, so let’s just make it uniform.

Paranormal Activity 5

Of course this is happening.

P.S. I’m done with this franchise.

2 stars, but I won’t see it.

The World’s End

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival.

I’m not wasting time here — Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, the end of the “blood and ice cream” trilogy that includes Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

4 stars. Let it be less. They’ve earned this. Can’t wait to see it, gonna try to go in as cold as possible.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is November. More Oscar shit. (Yay.)

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