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The 2017 Film Release Calendar: September

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.

The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.

I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.

September

Renegades

A team of Navy SEALs discover an underwater treasure in a Bosnian lake.

This used to be called “The Lake.” Luc Besson co-wrote it. The director made Into the Storm and Final Destination 5. J.K. Simmons is in it.

I had no real expectations for this, but then I saw a trailer. And the tone was more fun than I was expecting. This is a straight up heist movie.

And you know what? Fuck it. 3.5 stars. I’ll be wrong. Luc Besson has the ability to get stray 3.5s despite generally writing 3 star movies, plus the tone and general premise make me think I could like this more than most. 3 wouldn’t surprise me, but let’s take a shot for more.

It

In a small town in Maine, seven children known as The Losers Club come face to face with life problems, bullies and a monster that takes the shape of a clown called Pennywise.

Don’t care?

Never saw the original, not excited at the prospect of a straight horror movie, which you know it’s gonna be, since they fired Cary Fukunaga, who is the one who was gonna make this elevated horror, I’m sure. And now the director of Mama is doing it.

So you can probably take the question mark off that first statement.

3 stars.

I just can’t see why I would give a shit about any of this.

The Soultrean

A story of survival set 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.

Albert Hughes directs. He makes solid films.

Ice Age… sure.

3 stars. No idea what I’m getting.

Granite Mountain

A drama based on the elite crew of men who battled a wildfire in Prescott, Arizona in June 2013 that claimed the lives of 19 of their members.

Joseph Kosinski, after Tron Legacy and Oblivion, two films that looked good that weren’t the best written.

Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, Josh Brolin, James Badge Dale, Andie MacDowell.

Looking like another Deepwater. But I like the cast a lot.

3.5 stars. Hoping for 4. Hoping for more than 4. Let’s see. The Deepwater/disaster thing hurts it. Since it’s kinda hard to think something like this could ever go higher than 4 for me.

The Lego Ninjago Movie

Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school.

Don’t care.

I’m sure it’ll be fine, but overloading me with Lego movies is not gonna help me liking the concept any more than I already don’t.

3 stars.

Victoria and Abdul

Queen Victoria strikes up an an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Stephen Frears directs. Judi Dench is Victoria. Who she’s played before. And was nominated for playing. Olivia Williams. Michael Gambon. Eddie Izzard. They’re also in it.

3.5 stars. Hoping for 4, doubt it goes higher than 4. 3.5 seems most likely. Stephen Frears makes worthwhile films.

American Made

A pilot lands work for the CIA and as a drug runner in the south during the 1980s.

Doug Liman directing Tom Cruise. Sounds good to me.

This was originally slated for January, and I think everyone then realized, “Why the hell is that happening?” Either it was because they were trying to back into an Oscar push or because they had no idea what this was? No idea. September feels more appropriate for it. Though I doubt this is an Oscar contender. But you never know.

Cruise basically pushes out any sort of solid cast. I feel like his fees are so high and the return rate isn’t as good as it used to be outside of the Mission: Impossible movies that they have to cast lesser actresses opposite him just to stay on budget. Cobie Smulders in Reacher and now Jayma Mays and Sarah Wright. The only other real recognizable people in this movie are Domhnall Gleeson and Jesse Plemons. You know that’s cause Cruise is getting all the money. But I digress.

Sounds good, looks good, and I like Cruise doing something that feels at least partially out of type for him. I hope it’s great.

4 stars. 3.5 should be the guess, but this is based on a real thing and the dude got murdered, so I’m thinking this could be legitimate movie stuff and not Tom Cruise trying to be a superhero. But again, I should be going 3.5 here, for the record.

Flatliners

Medical students experiment on “near death” experiences that involve past tragedies until the dark consequences begin to jeopardize their lives.

Still haven’t even seen the original. I’m sure I will this year.

Even if I did see the original, I would think this is a movie I’m not interested in and is wholly unnecessary.

Directed by the original Dragon Tattoo director, who did exactly two movies since then, maybe one of which anybody saw.

Stars Nina Dobrev, Diego Luna, Ellen Page, Kiersey Clemons, and they brought back Kiefer Sutherland to play his same character, because of fucking course they did and of course he needed the money enough to do it.

2.5 stars.

Not even gonna give it the benefit of the 3. I don’t give a fuck and the cast looks like it’s the people they got because everyone else turned it down.

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