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The 2018 Film Release Calendar: October

It’s January, which means it’s preview time up here at B+ Movie Blog.

I don’t really peruse other places, but if I were to guess, I would say I’m the only person that goes this deep on their preview coverage for a year. I go month to month based on what’s scheduled to come out, preview like 200 extra movies that you probably have never even heard about as of now, and then bring back all the stuff from last year and previous years that I’ve been tracking that hasn’t come out yet. I’m not the kind of person who just goes, “Oh my god, Avengers! Wrinkle in Time! (Insert other movies the studios are paying us to talk up to fit the narrative to get us more clicks)!” If you ever see a slideshow from me, then you know I’ve given up.

The reason I do this is purely for me, though I imagine anyone stumbling on this will get something out of it to. What I try to do is preview everything so I’m aware of it when it comes out, and, to make it interesting for myself, try to guess what I’m gonna think of it when I do see it. That way, I can see what films surprised me or disappointed me from every angle (before, during and after).

Today is October.

October

Bad Times at the El Royale

The film is set in the 1960s in a dilapidated hotel in the Lake Tahoe region in California.

Drew Goddard writes and directs. Stars Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Russell Crowe, Jeff Bridges.

It’s a thriller, so at least it’s not a horror. This could be fun, or it could become horror and I could not care.

I’ll say 3.5 stars for the cast, but I truly don’t know what I’m getting.

A Star Is Born

A movie star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.

We know the story. It’s been made four times now for film, and countless times in TV and ripoffs.

First was What Price, Hollywood? Second was the 1937 version with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Third was Judy Garland and James Mason. Fourth was Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. This is gonna be more in line with that one. Singers.

Bradley Cooper directs, which I think could be interesting. He gets a story he doesn’t need to concern himself with, because you know, in its essence, works. He stars too, which will be interesting. It’s a meaty role. Hard to get Oscars with this story now, but he can get good notices from this. And Lady Gaga stars in the title role. I remember a few years ago it was gonna be Eastwood directing and Beyoncé starring. Then it was Cooper and Beyoncé, and now we have this. I think this is the way better scenario, because I truly think Gaga (credited under her real name, Stefani Germanotta) can deliver a great performance here.

Sam Elliott also is in this, Andrew Dice Clay, Eddie Griffin… Dave Chappelle. Go figure.

3.5 stars on the film, just because this can go wrong. I will get 3 stars out of this (and probably even 3.5 out of this) automatically. I love this story, and it’s gonna be hard for me not to have rose-colored glasses on for this.

I wanna get 4 stars out of this. Hard to see them getting back to top 10/top 20 territory, but you never know. Here’s just hoping for a solid continuation of the story and not a completely empty film with no redeeming qualities. But I don’t think Cooper would direct this if he didn’t think he could pull it off. So I have faith.

Venom

They were talking for years of making this, and I always thought, “Yeah, sure.” Ruben Fleischer came on to direct, and he had a good start with Zombieland and it’s been all downhill from there. He hasn’t directed since Zombieland. Then they announced that Tom Hardy would star, and I thought, “Yeah fucking right.” And now here we are.

How the fuck did they get Tom Hardy to be Venom? Michelle Williams is now in this too. Woody Harrelson is in this. Jenny Slate. Riz Ahmed. Did Hardy attract all these people?

Also apparently they’re gonna tie this into the Tom Holland Spider-Man universe. Which means Tom Hardy could legitimately be a part of the Marvel universe at some point. Which is fucking crazy. What is happening to movies?

3.5 stars. You went big. Now deliver. Let’s see what happens.

First Man

A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.

Damien Chazelle directs Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong.

I… am starting to get the feeling that Chazelle is gonna have a misstep with this one. Whether legitimate or not. I feel like this won’t be the Oscar buzzsaw it looks like from the outset. But that’s just me. We’ll see how it goes.

Gotta say 4 stars here, as a blanket. And that’s before I get to this:

The rest of the cast includes Claire Foy, Jon Bernthal, Pablo Schreiber, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Shea Whigham, Corey Stoll, Brian D’Arcy James, Patrick Fugit and Lukas Haas. He got a crazy cast. Which is because everyone wants to work with him.

Chazelle didn’t write this himself, which interests me. He wrote the last two, but those are based on things more personal to him. So he got Josh Singer, who wrote Spotlight, to adapt this, who is known for great research. Which means he can tweak it and put his visual stamp on it.

I… he might be able to keep this run going. Which will be exciting. I’m gonna stick with 4 and hope I get 4.5 out of this. I hope this is great.

Goosebumps 2: Horrorland

Hasn’t shot yet, but they still can pretty quickly and get it in, so we’ll talk about it.

Sequel to the first one. First one was fun and a solid 3 stars. This one feels like a decent 3 stars. Can’t see it not being perfectly fine.

Halloween

Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

David Gordon Green directs and co-writes with Danny McBride. Jamie Lee Curtis is back as Laurie Strode. Apparently they’re disregarding where the franchise went since the first one and are continuing from there. Plus, John Carpenter is doing the music, which is cool.

I’m excited for this, but I’m not sure I can go more than 3 stars. I need to see this one work out. So 3 stars, and I hope I can get 3.5 stars out of this.

Mowgli

A human child raised by wolves, must face off against a menacing tiger named Shere Khan, as well as his own origins.

Andy Serkis directs. He technically shot this before Breathe, but the effects of the mo-cap took forever. Plus the Disney Jungle Book came out, so they had to separate themselves from that.

Christian Bale is Bagheera, Cate Blanchett is Kaa, Benedict Cumberbatch is Shere Khan, Serkis is Baloo, Matthew Rhys is a human character, Jack Reynor is a wolf, Naomie Harris is Nisha, the wolf mother, Freida Pinto is in it, Peter Mullan plays the wolf father, I think, Eddie Marsan is in it, Tom Hollander is in it, and the kid who plays Mowgli was in Bad Words as the Indian kid who befriends Jason Bateman.

This should be good. I trust Serkis to make the mo-cap look great.

3.5 stars. Hard to make this story particularly interesting, since we’ve seen it a bunch, but I think this can definitely be solid.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

When bestselling celebrity biographer, Lee Israel, is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend, Jack.

Directed by Marielle Heller, who did The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which was quite good, and written by Nicole Holofcener. Melissa McCarthy stars as the woman, which isn’t bad. This feels like a more dramatic type role.

3 stars, just because I don’t know what I’m getting, but I might be able to get 3.5 stars out of this in the right scenario.

Overlord

The story of two American soldiers behind enemy lines on D Day.

Directed by Julius Avery, who did Son of a Gun, which was fair. Written by Billy Ray.

Sounds really interesting.

3.5 stars.

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