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Five for Friday: Fall movie preview

Previewing five major fall movie releases
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Unfortunately, summer is drawing to a conclusion. Before long, we will be raking leaves. As we move on from the summer blockbuster season, a slate of fall films are set to hit theatres. Several of these releases will likely crop up during awards season. This week, we are previewing fall movies, with a particular focus on five major Hollywood releases. 

It Chapter Two (Sept. 6)

It wouldn’t be fall at the box office without a horror film or two, so why not turn to the master of horror, Steven King? 

Set 27 years after the 2017 film, this sequel has the kids from the first film reunite as adults because their hometown is once again terrorized by Pennywise the Dancing Clown. 

The first one proved to be a huge hit so this will likely deliver a big opening weekend. Critics who have seen early screenings can't seem to agree whether it is as good as the first or not, but you can be sure it will be scary.

The film stars Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, and Bill Skarsgard.

WARNING: trailer contains frightening imagery.

Joker (Oct. 4)

Even in the fall season we can’t avoid comic book adaptations. Of course, this one is a bit different — expect something that is a bit more Scorsese than your traditional comic book flick.

After a rocky start, DC is slowly getting back on track in the hopes of competing against Marvel’s cinematic universe juggernaut that has earned billions of dollars worldwide. Confusingly, however, this film has no connection to the other DC films that have been released in recent years. It is not yet known how the upcoming Batman film starring Robert Pattinson will tie in to either the so-called DCEU that was established in releases like Justice League or Wonder Woman, or to this Joker film, if it all. Following along, yet? 

Joaquin Phoenix stars as the title character, taking on a role that has previously been portrayed by Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, and Jared Leto. Ledger did win a posthumous Oscar for his turn as the Clown Prince of Crime in 2008’s The Dark Knight, so an Oscar nomination for Phoenix would not be unprecedented. Also starring Robert De Niro and Marc Maron.

Sources say the treatment of the source material may not sit well with long-time comic fans. That sounds crazy enough that it might just work. 

Charlie’s Angels (Nov. 8)

The classic 70s TV series is getting rebooted yet again. 

You may remember the two previous adaptations released in 2000 and 2003 that starred Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz. You may even remember the blink-and-you’ll-hit-miss-it TV adaptation that aired (briefly) in 2011. For some reason, this is a property that just won’t go away. 

This time around, the Angels will be played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska. The film is directed by Elizabeth Banks, who as a producer and star somehow turned Pitch Perfect, a comedy about college a cappella groups, into three successful films. The film also stars Banks, Djimon Hounsou, Patrick Stewart, and Sam Claflin.

This one won’t likely win any major awards, but it has the potential to either be a box office smash — or a bomb.

Frozen II (Nov. 22)

Just as you were finally starting to get “Let It Go” out of your head, Disney returns with a long-awaited sequel to the biggest film of 2013.

The trailer has been purposefully scant on details, which is probably fine since it will be a mega hit anyway. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look particularly interesting at this point. So far, the most interesting thing about the film is the online movement to get #GetElsaAGirlfriend

According to plot summaries online, our favourite characters will travel to another land and will learn the origin of Elsa’s ice powers. (Hollywood sure does love a good origin story — how many times do we need to see Bruce Wayne’s parents die?)

It will be charming, it will entertain kids, and it will generate billions in merchandising. Don’t worry if you miss this one though — Disney will probably make a live action version is about 10 or 15 years.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (Nov. 22)

Last year saw the release of the Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You be My Neighbor?, which was well received. Apparently, the world needs more Mr. Rogers-themed content though, so now the beloved children’s entertainer is getting the biopic treatment starring Tom Hanks. The story is based on an article on Rogers that appears in Esquire magazine.

Practically everyone loved Fred Rogers and the same can be said for Hanks, so it seems like a match made in heaven. The trailer has already received significant buzz.

Biopics are often Oscar bait, so don’t be surprised if this one gets a nomination or two later this year. Regardless, it will be fun to get a look at the man behind one of the greatest children’s entertainers of all time.

Other Major Releases

These other films include a comeback attempt from Eddie Murphy, along with literary adaptations, sequels, and even a silver screen treatment of Downton Abbey.

  • Dolemite is My Name (premiering Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival, to be released via Netflix). Starring Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Mike Epps, and Craig Robinson.
  • The Goldfinch (Sept. 13). Starring Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman. Based on the novel of the same name by John Crowley.
  • Ad Astra (Sept. 20). Starring Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, and Liv Tyler.
  • Rambo: Last Blood (Sept. 20). Starring Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, and Sergio Peris-Mencheta. 
  • Downton Abbey (Sept. 20). Starring Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, et al.
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Oct. 11). Starring Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. 
  • The Addams Family (Oct. 11). Starring the voices of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Allison Janney. Animated.
  • Gemini Man (Oct. 11). Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Clive Owen.
  • The Lighthouse (Oct. 18). Starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson. 
  • Zombieland: Double Tap (Oct. 18). Starring Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate (Nov. 1). Starring Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Furlong.
  • Doctor Sleep (Nov. 8). Starring Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson. Based on the novel by Stephen King.
  • Last Christmas (Nov. 8). Starring Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, and Emma Thompson.
  • Ford v Ferrari (Nov. 15). Starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
  • The Good Liar (Nov. 15). Starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren.
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