The 2015 Film Release Calendar: October

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for that year. Typically, I end up around 80%, since there are always a few that I don’t track, for whatever reason. The point of why I do this has been lost, and now I do it because that’s just what I do. It’s fun, and I enjoy it.

Mainly the idea is to see how accurately I can guess my reaction to movies up to a year in advance. And it gives me a gauge to see which films ended up surprising me for better and for worse.

Originally, I just went through the release calendar and listed about 30 other movies that didn’t have dates. Last year, I had about 200 without dates that I tracked. Now, we’re looking at around 250, on top of the articles currently set for specific months.

How I do this is, I start by going over the films currently scheduled for January through June, then take a ten day break in between to go over the Oscar nominations and Golden Globes, and then finish with July through December. After that, I go over the films currently without release dates, and finish with the holdovers from last year that I’m continuing to track. We have it down to a science here.

October

Victor Frankenstein

Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.

Sounded moderately interesting when I first heard about it. The October release date is somewhat promising, since I think it was originally gonna be a February or March release.

Paul McGuigan is directing. He directed Lucky Number Slevin, which I really enjoyed. And Push, which was decent enough. Then he did a few episodes of Sherlock, but hasn’t directed a movie in 5 years.

Max Landis wrote the screenplay, which makes me nervous. He’s apparently now one of the hottest writers in Hollywood, but the only thing he wrote that’s come out is Chronicle, which I think we all know I strongly did not like. But I’ll call him a blank right now, since I haven’t seen enough of his work to know. (Though based on what I’ve seen from him in interviews, it’s not looking good. He doesn’t come off particularly well there.)

Daniel Radcliffe is playing Igor, and James McAvoy is Victor Frankenstein. Jessica Brown Findlay is in it too.

There’s just one thing I want to see before I make my guess…

Oh, good. I was worried it was gonna be Universal, fucking up their monsters and doing that bullshit Dracula Untold thing again. But it’s not. It’s Fox. So I have no real need to be down on this.

3 stars. I’m interested enough in the Frankenstein story, and the cast is good enough and the director is good enough to think I’ll be engaged enough to not be indifferent. Maybe I’m wrong. Who’s to say? But I feel this has enough of a pedigree to expect okay things.

London Has Fallen

In London for the Prime Minister’s funeral, Mike Banning discovers a plot to assassinate all the attending world leaders.

This franchise is kind of like Die Hard, but instead of sarcastic remarks, it’s Gerard Butler stabbing people in the face.

I have no idea who the director of this movie is. I thought the Charlie Countryman guy was doing this, but apparently he dropped out due to creative differences (which, on a movie like this… I side with the director and not the studio. Similar to Edgar Wright and Ant-Man).

So yeah, that’s the deal. Gerard Butler is gonna stab more people in the face.

Let’s stick with 3 stars. At worst it’s gonna be 2.5. It’s not high art, but these things at least result in me being at the very least indifferent and at the most engaged enough to go, “Okay.” So let’s figure they can hold my attention for one more.

The Walk

Robert Zemeckis is making a fictional version of Man on Wire.

You know Robert Zemeckis, the man who didn’t meet a greatest hits album he didn’t love.

This takes place in 1974, so let’s see what songs he’ll find a way to get on the soundtrack —

“The Way We Were”… possibly.

“Come and Get Your Love” and “Hooked on a Feeling”… probably not after Guardians

“Bennie and the Jets” — oh, for sure, right?

“TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)”… that sounds like him.

“The Loco-Motion”, “Jungle Bookie,” “Rock On,” “Band on the Run”… Band on the Run sounds like a Zemeckis choice. “Nothing from Nothing.”

I’m actually just going down the Billboard chart. Because apparently that’s what he does.

Either way, I’m excited for this. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Philippe Petit, Charlotte Le Bon is his girlfriend. Ben Kingsley is in this, James Badge Dale.

I think this is gonna be good. Zemeckis is typically at his best when he’s not making movies entirely on a computer. Cast Away and Flight were great. Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol… not so much. Not that they were bad. They were just… weird.

Otherwise, he makes good movies.

4 stars.

How can you doubt Zemeckis?

At least we know the soundtrack is gonna be really good (and completely on-the-nose).

The Finest Hours

They moved The Jungle Book out of this spot and put this here instead.

The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.

Well at least this makes sense to be here.

Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Eric Bana and Casey Affleck are starring. So they’re going for the Lone Survivor/Captain Phillips kind of vibe here.

The director is the guy who did Lars and the Real Girl… and then Fright Night and Million Dollar Arm. So we’re looking at a minimum 3 star movie.

Here’s how this works — if it’s like Million Dollar Arm and is full of cliches and tries to be overly uplifting, it’s only gonna go 3. If it takes advantage of the story and the scenario — it’ll be 3.5 stars.

I have no real way of knowing which way it’s gonna go, so I’ll give the release date the benefit of the doubt and say 3.5 stars. But this could easily disappoint.

Kidnap

A mother stops at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

Is this what Halle Berry does now? Make shitty, forgettable thrillers?

Though maybe that’s what she always did. I remember these types of movies from her going back almost 15 years.

I got nothing for this. It sounds bad, I’m sure it is bad.

2 stars.

2.5 is the ceiling for this one. Let’s assume it’s just not good at all. She has a history in this genre.

Vacation

Yup. It’s the Vacation reboot starring Ed Helms.

They corralled (which means, they agreed to pay very handsomely) Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo to reprise their roles. Basically meaning they’re not rebooting it so much as introducing “the next generation.”

The cast doesn’t matter, since it’s all about the idea and the execution. I’m pretty sure we were all immediately nervous about this from the minute they announced it.

(Oh, by the way, the guys who wrote and are directing this also did the Horrible Bosses movies. So I think we’re aware of where this one’s looking to go down come December.)

2.5 stars.

This has to win me over. It does not get a pass. Because this reeked of Unforgivable the minute I heard it. I want it to prove to me that it’s not.

Crimson Peak

In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.

Guillermo del Toro’s next movie.

Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hiddelston, Mia Wasikowska.

Really good cast.

It’s a gothic horror movie. I have no idea what that means, or how good it’s gonna be.

So let’s say 4 stars. I’d be surprised if it actually went down to 3. I feel like 3.5 would be appropriate, and 4.5 would really surprise me for the better. So let’s go 4 stars. I’m moderately excited for this. I hope it’s less horror and more… Pan’s Labyrinth.

St. James Place

An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.

This was called St. James Place, apparently it won’t actually be called that. But I hate calling things “Untitled such and such Project.” It’s so boring. It kills me that even now, four months from release, Cameron Crowe’s movie still doesn’t have a title.

Anyway, this is Steven Spielberg’s next movie. His first since Lincoln. He seems to take like three year gaps between movies than pumps out two at the same time. He’s got another one shooting right after this.

But anyway, it’s Spielberg. So that means you assume quality.

Tom Hanks is starring, along with Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, and Eve Hewson.

At this point, you assume 4 stars out of Spielberg.

Though, I’m gonna be totally honest with you… 4.5 stars. Because it’s Spielberg, it’s Hanks, and it’s Cold War spy stuff. I love that shit. And I’m taking a shot.

Jem and the Holograms

The young owner of a music company uses revolutionary tech to disguise herself as a rockstar.

For some reason, when I heard about this, I got really excited. I don’t know why. It just sounded like it was gonna be good.

The director is the guy who did G.I. Joe: Retaliation (and also Step Up 2 The Streets and Step Up 3D). He’s also doing Now You See Me 2. So there’s that.

Anyway, I’m excited for this.

3.5 stars.

I hope it’s really good.

The Last Witch Hunter

The last remaining witch hunter battles against an uprising of witches in modern day New York.

Yeah… so this exists.

Vin Diesel. Elijah Wood. And Michael Caine.

I mean… you have to go 2.5 stars here. 3 stars is the max. But this looks ridiculous. And not good ridiculous.

Scouts vs. Zombies

Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.

I heard this is actually pretty funny.

3 stars.

Can’t assume higher, but I hope it goes higher.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is November.

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