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The 2018 Film Release Calendar: November

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).

November today.

November

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.

I don’t know why they’re rushing these X-Men movies into production. Then again, the more I think about it, it’s not like this franchise has ever been great. The first one I like a lot. X-2 is also very good. 3 was a disaster. So bad they had to wait and semi-reboot. First Class was fun and pretty solid. Days of Future Past I like, if only because it brought the original cast back. Apocalypse — not great. And now, two years later, we get this? Sounds like they’re trying to get the cast while they’re still contractually obligated to do these movies.

If you remember, we did Dark Phoenix in the Bret Ratner movie. Didn’t work out so well. Simon Kinberg, who wrote a bunch of these movies (he wrote the Bret Ratner one, and Days of Future Past and Apocalypse) is directing this. Singer is out (but he’s out of everything, pretty much, now).

McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence and Hoult are all contractually obligated to be back, so I’m sure their performances are gonna be inspired, just like they were in the last one. Sophie Turner, Evan Peters, Kodi Smith-McPhee and Tye Sheridan are back. It’s a big party. Jessica Chastain is there now too.

It’s X-Men, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. But this franchise has lost its luster. I just don’t care about the younger versions of the characters.

As much as I hate to say it — 3 stars. I’m sure I can get 3,5 out of this, but I wanted my rating to reflect just how much I don’t care that this is coming out or about anything that they’re doing. This franchise needs some time away or new hands. And now that Marvel bought Fox, I might even say that it might be a good thing. (Since Spider-Man immediately got better in their hands.)

Mulan

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan’.

Another Disney Live-Action. They’re all been enjoyable and well made, if not particularly great. They are fun the first time and then you never really wanna see them again because you know the originals are way better.

Niki Caro directs, and she is the right person to do this story. Well… an Asian woman was probably the best to tell the story, but barring that, she’s a solid choice. She makes solid, family movies and is a really good director.

3.5 stars. I’m sure it’ll be just like the others. 3 or 3.5 stars. Look great, lotta great costumes and things, and

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

So it’s a Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland version of The Nutcracker.

Sure.

Watched the teaser. Looks great, story looks bad.

I have enough experience with movies like this to not guess 3.5 stars. I’m almost always wrong. So we guess 3 stars and let the movie be better if it is.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

After seven years, they’re finally making a sequel to this. No David Fincher, naturally. Sony realized they could make this for $35 million instead of $100 million if they just went with another director. But no Fincher means no Rooney Mara, so now we have Fede Alvarez (who did the Evil Dead remake and Don’t Breathe) and Claire Foy. I like Claire Foy. I think she’s a great choice. They got the guy who played Borg in Bog/McEnroe to be Blomkvist, and Sylvia Hoeks from Blade Runner and Lakeith Stanfield are also in it.

This is shaping up to be solid. 3.5 stars. Can’t assume more than that, because no Fincher only means so much (and those books aren’t that great), but this should be solid.

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary Stuart’s attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

Written by Beau Willimon, who created House of Cards and wrote Ides of March, which means this is gonna be all about political intrigue. Oh, and it stars Saoirse Ronan as Mary and Margot Robbie as Queen Elizabeth. Also has David Tennant, Guy Pearce, the kid from Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Gemma Chan, whose name I see a lot lately but have no idea who she is.

4 stars. I’m hoping we get another Lion in Winter type movie. I could really use another one of those. I hope this is great.

The Grinch

A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

Why are they doing this?

Why?

Benedict Cumberbatch is the Grinch. But I don’t care. This is a bad idea.

3 stars. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt, but I really am not looking forward to this.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

The powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was been captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world

I loved the first movie. It was no Harry Potter, but it was in that universe, and that’s all I needed. Looking back, it was a fun movie, but not as good as I liked it. Still, I’m excited to see where this one goes.

The same cast is back, but now with Jude Law as Dumbledore, and Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. Also Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange. So cool.

I’m down for whatever they wanna do. 4 stars. I’m sure that’s the real baseline for this franchise, but maybe I’ll just love them and they’ll all be 4.5 stars. Who knows? I’ll say 4 and see just how deep my love of this universe goes.

Widows

Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.

Steve McQueen’s follow-up to 12 Years a Slave. He co-wrote the script with Gillian Flynn. Stars… Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya, Jon Bernthal, Elizabeth Debicki, Carrie Coon, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, Garret Dillahunt, Jackie Weaver, Robert Duvall, Viola Davis, Lukas Haas, Kevin J. O’Connor and André Holland. Which is an insane cast. Though when you have a movie like 12 Years a Slave, people wanna work with you.

McQueen’s movies thus far have been at least 4 stars, so I’m going big. 4.5 stars. This should, from the outset, contend for a top ten spot. At worst this should be tier two. So let’s give it the respect it deserves and hope it’s incredible.

Creed 2

Adonis Creed tries to seek revenge when he goes toe to toe with the man who killed his father.

I thought for a second that this was a really dumb idea for a Creed sequel, but you know what? It’s a good idea. Because the thing with Creed, as we saw in the first one… he’s trying to live up to his father’s shadow, and there’s some lingering stuff there. So I can see how he can end up fighting Drago’s kid.

Stallone is back to writing this. Co-writing, I guess. There’s a black writer on this too. I can be cynical and guess why, or I can say that it’s more Stallone writing a first draft and him coming on to polish it. We’ll see. Stallone was gonna direct but then stepped out (or was told ‘no you’re not’). Director is someone you’ve never heard of.

Dolph Lundgren is back, which is cool. And I’m guessing Rocky goes into remission here. Since I don’t think Stallone would want to straight up kill off his character just yet. I think he might if we get a trilogy of Creed movies, but not here.

Should be good. Not as good as the first Creed, but no Rocky movie has ever been bad. Just Rocky V, which is just bad next to the other ones. And that one’s just pretty good.

3.5 stars I think has to be the guess. I should go 4, but I’m really not sure what I’m getting. So I’ll go 3.5 stars, knowing 4 is probably the ceiling.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

6 years after the events of “Wreck-It Ralph”, Ralph and Vanellope, now friends, discover a wi-fi router in their arcade, leading them into a new adventure.

I like the idea of this movie in theory, but this just reminds me that Disney animation is doing nothing but sequels for the next couple years and it pisses me off, because they were one of the bastions of originality.

The first Wreck-It Ralph was amazing. Truly amazing. I’m sure this will be fine, but also… sequel. I don’t care that much about it. We did all we needed to do the first time.

3.5 stars. Again, gotta go lower because I can’t trust this to be really good. I hope I like it.

The Women of Marwen

A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process.

Robert Zemeckis. Who automatically gets a 4 stars rating no matter what. Don’t care what it’s about, he gets 4.

Stars Diane Kruger, Steve Carell, Eliza Gonzalez, Gwendoline Chrsitie, Leslie Mann and Janelle Monae. Cool.

It’s Zemeckis. I know it’ll be solid. He’s one of the more consistent filmmakers out there (when he’s not making those weird, uncanny valley movies).

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