Flashforward: September’s Most Anticipated Films

As we near the end of the summer blockbuster season, August offered a surprisingly strong list of box-office hits. Guardians of the Galaxy rightfully stole much of the show and provided one of the most well-rounded action movies of the summer. Check out reviews on Reviewed by Mark Leonard and Oh! That Film Blog for two great reviews of one of the most entertaining movies of the year. While Guardians lived up to the hype, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (reviewed here by Pop Junk) was a disappointment for fans of 2005’s Sin City (reviewed here on Flashback/Backslide) who waited years for a sequel. In the wake of these two box office giants Frank and Child of God made quiet ripples with more artsy and festival-appropriate approaches. The two films that I least anticipated in August, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Expendables 3 won over a fair share of fans while I locked myself away at home and vented my film angst in private. Reel Freak and Thy Critic Man wrote much more fair and objective reviews than I ever could. August’s biggest event may not have been in movies at all but on television as the 66th Emmy Awards congratulated an increasingly spectacular front of shows. If you missed any of the action at the Emmy’s head over to Polar Bears Watch TV to read a live blog of the event. One of August’s best reviews was That Moment In‘s review of 2009’s Moon which was as hilarious as it is in-depth.

But now it’s time to leave August behind and flashforward to September to look at this month’s upcoming films.

1. Tusk

Release Date: September 19, 2014

Director: Kevin Smith

Starring: Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Michael Parks, Genesis Rodriguez  

Kevin Smith’s first film since Red State (2011) looks like a more polished and deliberate version of Human Centipede (for better or worse). Smith’s imagination and distinct personality promise to produce an appropriately self-aware film that mixes horror and absurdity to great effect. On SilentBobSpeaks.com, Smith wrote: “I wanted to right what I felt was the only wrong of Red State by scripting something with no religious or sexual politics that could grow up to be a weird little movie and not an indie film call-to-arms or a frustrated self-distribution manifesto. I just wanted to showcase Michael Parks in a fucked up story, where he could recite some Lewis Carroll and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to some poor motherfucker sewn into a realistic walrus costume.” Smith’s goals appear to be in the right place as movies like Tusk tend to work best when they understand their purpose and don’t force plot points or action sequences to fulfill ulterior motives.

2. A Walk Among the Tombstones

Release Date: September 19, 2014

Director: Scott Frank

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dan Stevens, Boyd Holbrook, Ruth Wilson, Sebastian Roche

It’s going to take a lot more than Taken 2Battleship and Wrath of the Titans to keep me away from Liam Neeson. While I still think of him as a drama star first and an action star second, he continues to churn out solid performances in often shaky action flicks. In his newest film he plays a tough-guy hired gun seemingly similar to his Bryan Mills from Taken. Even if A Walk Among Tombstones turns out to be complete garbage, I’ll still remember him for his drama work and will stay on board for his next movie.

3. This is Where I Leave You

Release Date: September 19, 2014

Director: Shawn Levy

Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll

With an Old School-esque beginning, a few Dan in Real Life family moments and a great cast, hopefully This is Where I Leave won’t end up in the same forgettable category as They Came Together (which didn’t gather momentum in a busy spring season even with a great cast) or the recent efforts of Jason Bateman (Bad Words) or Tina Fey (Admission). 

4. The Maze Runner

Release Date: September 19, 2014 

Director: Wes Ball

Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Patricia Clarkson

Even with The Hunger Games and Divergent catching most of the press, there’s still room in the Young Adult Post-Apocalyptic movie adaptation genre for few more movies before genre fatigue fully hits. The Maze Runner tells the story of a group of boys trapped in a dangerous maze with no memory of how they got to the maze. So at first glance the overall setup is similar to Cube (1997).

LEAST ANTICIPATED

1. The Equalizer

Release Date: September 26, 2014

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Starring: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo

As suspicious as I am of new Denzel Washington movies, I can’t deny his greatness when he’s on point. And I’ll see anything with Chloë Grace Moretz. But as intense as the action scenes in the trailer appear, there are too many things about this movie that make me nervous: The line in the trailer “This goes all the way to the top” is cosmically overused and the inclusion of the Russian mafia which is the Hollywood stock villain writers seem to use when they don’t care in include much exposition. Plus I can’t think of anything that screams “bad action movie cliche” more than Denzel Washington calmly walking away from an explosion.

2014 Overall List:

Most Anticipated Film of 2014: X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Least Anticipated Film of 2014: Winter’s Tale.

 

Thanks for reading!

Flashback/Backslide

 


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13 thoughts on “Flashforward: September’s Most Anticipated Films

    • Thanks! Hopefully some of these movies turn out well. I think A Walk Among THE Tombstones (thanks for pointing out my mistake!) has maybe the best shot of being decent given Neeson and that it has the most sound storyline and the inconsistency of comedies and YA Fiction adaptations.

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  1. I’m really hoping to catch Tusk at Tiff this Saturday. However, getting tickets for it is going to be a major issue (I missed my earlier chances). My girlfriend seen The Equalizer and she said that it was really good. She does PR for Sony films so they brought her into a private screening last week.

    Thanks for the shout-out:)

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        • from what i can see it looks vaguely like the tv show, but with more action/explosions and whatnot. The show, in essence, was about a former spy who helps people in trouble as a way to redeem himself for his sins. It was generally talky, occasionally shouty, and its action was of the fisticuffs variety, and it relied on the gimmick of young punk hoodlums being surprised that an old man could kick their ass.

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    • I’m excited about Tusk not just because it sounds ridiculous (in a good way) but because I’m excited to see Kevin Smith back in action again and it seems like this has been his love child for a while. I was really torn about where to put The Equalizer. The trailers had a lot of great sequences (including the first half of the trailer above) that make the movie look like it incorporates aspects of Drive and some other movies with a regular-guy-assassin’s (kind of like the beginning of ‘A History of Violence’). But the cliches overcame me by the end of the trailer. But I’m hoping that the trailer is to blame for making the film look overly cliche-heavy and the dialogue in the film does actually look pretty good. I’m the first to admit that there are plenty of movies on the “Least Anticipated” list that I actually want to see and some on the “Most Anticipated” that will probably be terrible but could be phenomenal if everything goes the right way (ie the concept behind ‘I, Frankenstein’ could have made for a fantastic movie. But the execution was awful).

      I’m a big fan of your site and reviews so including your review was a no-brainer. Is your logo new? I may just have forgotten what it looks like but I like it a lot.

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      • Thank you! The logo is brand new! My site is going through some renovations.

        I got to agree about “The Equalizer”. Not in a very big rush to see it but I do hope that I find enjoyment in it! It does seem to be quite predictable if judged by the trailers.

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  2. ‘Tusk’ looks great. ‘This Is Where I Leave You’ has a great cast and for me, a slight ‘The Family Stone’ meets ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ feel, and I expect it will do well if it’s released before the heavyweight Oscar contenders

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  3. Oh gosh, I have to say, I don’t think that Maze Runner, This is Where I Leave You, or A Walk Among the Tombstones will be any good at all! I’ll have to wait and read your report on those three; I’m not willing to take the risk myself!

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