Hello readers of J&J Productions blog! Welcome to another installment of Coming Soon where I will recap the movies that came out in October (which turned out to be an incredibly strong month) as well as previewing the new movies coming out in an absolutely BLOCKBUSTER month of November. October was definitely a strong month, at least for the movies I chose to see, with the final average score being 8.5, which was a whopping 10.9% more than the average. I'd call that a good month!
Here's a look at what audiences received in October:
Annabelle: I didn't see this film and it sounds like it was a good decision. I predicted that it would be a cash grab with no where near the attention to quality detail as The Conjuring received and it seems that was the case. Audiences and critics alike just seemed to not find it all that scary or essential for viewing.
Gone Girl: A fantastic achievement and one of Fincher's best in a few years (at least in my opinion). I was a big fan of the book and I loved this movie even more mainly due to some stellar performances, a well orchestrated adaptation of the original material, and a haunting original score, among other things. (Rath's Review Score: 9/10)
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Despite my hatred for the long name and decision to skip it in theaters, reviews and audiences indicate that it was a decent family film that was fun for its short duration and tried to get across a good message. Probably best for readers looking to take a family trip to the theaters.
The Judge: Yet another one that I skipped, mainly because its reviews were poor to mediocre and it's nearly two and a half hours long. Aint nobody got time for that! One common complaint that I've heard about it is that it constantly hits you over the head with its screenplay, assuming the audience that it is catering to isn't all that intelligent. Probably a movie best to save for a rental from the comfort of your own home.
The Book of Life: You guessed it! I skipped this one too. It's been a stellar year for animation so far and many critics cited The Book of Life kudos for its style, plethora of colors, and humor. Although the consensus seemed to indicate that it wasn't the best animated film of the year, but then again, it's been an unusually strong year for that art.
Dracula Untold: I didn't have any desire to see it, nor did I. I'd probably seen almost half of it from the constant barrage of trailers that have been released and even those didn't interest me. The film itself seemed to be generic, with a distinct lack of horror. Many related it back to a superhero's origin story. Like many of Universal's monster universe (with the exception sometimes being the Underworld series), this seemed like glorified trash.
Fury: Finally a movie I saw! And I'm glad I did because it was far more impressive than I was anticipating. The cast gives strong performances all around and Ayer's direction is intense and really captures some true horrors of war. A powerful, but very cliched, World War II movie. (RRS: 8.5/10)
Birdman: Probably the most overrated film of the month unfortunately. It had some great humor, performances, and camera work, but was a bit to weird and slightly pretentious for me to really love it. (RRS: 7.5/10)
Whiplash: An incredible film about the pain of dedicating yourself to becoming great at something. Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons play off each other fantastically and the drum sequences are intense and impressive. Pretty amazing all around (RRS: 9/10)
Ouija: A crappy PG-13 horror film that seems to be making decent money simply because its near Halloween. The scares don't seem to be there and the premise is something that has been retreaded countless times. Or at least that's what unfortunate critics who actually saw it are saying...
John Wick: A mightily impressive action film with some VERY well shot action scenes and a true return to form for Keanu Reeves. Best way to describe its action? "Flow-motion". Patent pending. (RRS: 8.5/10)
Nightcrawler: Nightcrawler comes out on the 31st of October, so unfortunately my review is not complete by the time this posts. But feel free to check back with Rath's Reviews soon and see my thoughts. I'm guessing I will enjoy the film as early reviews are strong and indicate that it's a dark thriller with a fantastic performance.
Most Surprising: Fury/John Wick (tie)
Most Disappointing: Birdman
Worst Film: Birdman by way of default (although it's still pretty good)
Best Film: Gone Girl/Whiplash (another tie!)
There you have it! There were a few stinkers in October, but I avoided all of them. Now get ready for a preview of what could be a record box office for November. Remember to click the titles for the film's trailer. interstellar
Why It's Worth Seeing: The last time that Christopher Nolan directed an original film we got Inception. Do I really need to give any more reason than that?
What Could Go Wrong: The length is the only thing that worries me (slightly longer than The Dark Knight Rises) but I trust Nolan to know what he is doing. It's not often that we get a "sure thing" at the theater but I think Interstellar is probably your best bet.
Why It's Worth Seeing: To start, the trailers have been hilarious. Additional reasons would include that it's made by the same animation studio that gave us Wreck-it Ralph (classic) and Frozen (near-classic), and it's a Marvel movie, although not part of the larger MCU.
What Could Go Wrong: At this point in the year, we have had several amazing animated movies (The LEGO Movie and How to Train Your Dragon 2, among others) and we have all seen countless "origin stories" for comic book heroes. Big Hero 6 is both of these things so it will need to be special in order to stand out.
Why It's Worth Seeing: The original Dumb and Dumber is considered a classic by many, including myself, and it stands the test of time as it's still uproariously hilarious today. This sequel looks to continue the adventures of Harry and Lloyd with the original cast and crew back (something the atrocious prequel lacked). The early previews have been a blast and I'm betting that this is nothing short of a good time at the theaters.
What Could Go Wrong: Has it been too long? Will audiences still care? Will the jokes still be there or will they feel forced? Will they recycle too many jokes? (It's that last one that I'm most concerned about). These are all questions where a negative answer could result in a very disappointing film for fans that have waited a long time. Fingers crossed that doesn't happen.
Why It's Worth Seeing: It's been getting fantastic buzz, mainly for the incredible performances by Carell (yes that's Steve Carell in the photo!) and Tatum, and that trailer is certainly a doozy. Well directed, well acted, and a good story? Sounds like a winner to me.
What Could Go Wrong: If you had asked me before that trailer I would have said it could be just like any other sports film and it has the possibility to be generic. But there is a layer past just the wrestling here as it gives a vibe like a Fincher film...a Gone Girl for the wrestling scene, if you will. I don't foresee too much going wrong for this one to be honest.
Why It's Worth Seeing: Catching Fire catapulted itself to near the top of the YA-novel-to-movie quality list and for good reason. It was well directed, the adaptation of the material was solid, and it had better performances than this genre is used to. Mockingjay Part 1 looks to be more of the same, and that's a good thing.
What Could Go Wrong: My main concern is with the splitting of the third book. A lot happens in it, yes. But I'm not sure if it's enough to justify two films rather than a longer single one. My concern also lies with where they will decide to split the third book and what additions they will make to the material. These types of caverns can always sink a film like this in the fans' eyes.
Why It's Worth Seeing: I for one loved the first Horrible Bosses. I found the premise to be unique and the movie itself was actually quite funny. Horrible Bosses 2 doesn't seem like an exact copy cat and the original cast is mostly back with some key new additions (Chris Pine and Christoph Waltz for example). The initial trailer is pretty funny as well.
What Could Go Wrong: It could tread too common of ground or recycle too many jokes. Additionally, since it has been so long since the last one, the writing and chemistry just may not be there anymore, which was the main strength of the original. Lastly, the supporting cast needs to be as awesome as they were in the first film, which is easier said than done.
Why It's Worth Seeing: That trailer is pretty darn funny if I do say so myself. I'm not familiar with the Madagascar animated series, but I do know that the Penguins are one of the funnier aspects of it so, much like the Minions will have next year, Dreamworks decided to give them their own film. If the entire movie is as consistent as the trailer, it could be hilarious.
What Could Go Wrong: Honestly, it just comes down to the stellar other competition that the film is going up against. How does a animated film stand out in 2014? It either has to be REALLY funny, REALLY cool, REALLY well done, or all three to garnish attention. I'm not sure that the second-rate characters from Madagascar are enough to accomplish that.
Must See (in order): Interstellar, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - Part 1, Foxcatcher, Dumb and Dumber To, Big Hero 6, Horrible Bosses 2
On My Radar: Penguins of Madagascar
Predicted Duds: None! :-)
As you can see, it's going to be an AWESOME, but BUSY month of November. Enjoy it folks. It's not often that we get a month this incredible in the theaters. Thanks everyone and I hope that you enjoyed the overview! As always, I'd be really appreciative if you came and followed me through Blogger at RATH'S REVIEWS and like me on Facebook HERE! I follow-for-follow 100%. Thanks again!
Hey everyone James the Movie Reviewer here. Please do not forget to check back tomorrow for my Top 10 Horror movies on Halloween.