October has already started and with it the first day of new releases, so “preview” is at least a slightly insufficient word. But whatever, I haven’t seen any of these yet, and it’s likelier than not you haven’t see any of these yet, so it counts. Anyway, I’ve been looking forward to this fall season for a while: two years worth of prestige movies all crammed into one! So those hoping for my usual cynicism and pessimism will be slightly disappointed.
But only slightly – there’s still some garbage to wade through, and the smelliest of the garbage is front-loaded, in the form of one of the least-essential sequels that I have ever run across in my entire life: The Addams Family 2, rather bizarrely assuming that there exists a single human alive whose feelings about the tedious grind of the animated 2019 The Addams Family were so positive that they wanted more of it. And because I am the damn idiot who sees all the animated films, I am sure to run slam into this one sooner rather than later.
It’s a weekend exclusively full of sequels and other franchise extensions, in fact, which is mostly just about the world we live in. I’m honestly not all that much more excited for The Many Saints of Newark, the prequel to the beloved 2000s television series The Sopranos, which to my recollection left no particularly burning questions unanswered. Why did Tony Soprano, raised in a family of mafiosi and a culture surrounded by gangsters, grow up to become a leader of the American Mafia? Who can guess.
Despite my brain screaming at me, I am, honestly, a bit more excited for the weekend’s huge comic book release, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, for two reason: first, the best parts of the 2018 Venom were the dumb parts, and this appears to be embracing that fact. Second, my understanding is that once you take out the end credits, the movie’s runing time is 82 minutes, and that is a remarkable, superior running time for any contemporary popcorn movie, least of all a comic book adaptation.
Anyway, the very exciting news is down in the limited releases, where this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Titane, is charging out into the world. Even without the Palme, I loved director Julia Ducournau’s 2016 debut Raw enough to have been all atwitter for her follow-up, so the fact that it won the biggest prize in moviedom is just frosting.
No promises on the size of the release and therefore when I’ll ever be able to review it, but the unexpected fourth movie in the God’s Not Dead series, We the People, is coming, and my masochistic streak couldn’t be happier.
It feels like it’s taken literally years for No Time to Die to reach theaters, but here we are, at long last: the fifth and final film of the Daniel Craig era of James Bond, six years after Spectre (for comparison: Pierce Brosnan’s entire four-film tenure in the role covered seven years, total – and Sean Connery’s first five films, before he took time off from the role, only took five years). I confess that I am not super excited. The Craig years’ focus on inter-film continuity has bummed me out a little, and apparently this goes in on that, hard; also, 163 minutes is a fucking stupid length of time for a James Bond picture. And yet, a James Bond picture it nevertheless is, and so I will be there with baited breath at the first available moment.
Halfway through the month, and here’s our first proper horror movie: Halloween Kills, the sequel to Halloween – that’s Halloween the sequel to Halloween, not Halloween the remake of Halloween. Who knows if it will be good or not – this isn’t a franchise with an admirable track record on sequels – but word is that the body count is high and the death scenes are bloody, and that’s pretty much what you hope for.
And then, good golly would you look at that, a movie that isn’t a sequel or prequel or anything to do with any pre-existing property: The Last Duel, 2021’s first of two Ridley Scott films. This is the one that’s a costume drama that actually looks like it has an interesting conflict, about the, um, last duel officially sanctioned by the French government.
I have little faith that Dune will be good. It’s not the kind of novel that has any business being made into a movie, and this one seems to be making some peculiar choices (not least in the casting) to try and force that to happen. But I almost don’t care if Dune is good: it damn sure looks like it’s going to be a massive spectacle, the most massive we’ve had by some margin since the Before Times. And that’s something that I find awfully easy to be excited for, especially since whatever else is true of director Denis Villeneuve, he makes handsome movies.
I have even less faith that Ron’s Gone Wrong, a simply dreadful-looking animated comedy that’s one of the last dregs of pre-Disney 20th Century Fox to find its way into the world, and I am not prepared to say anything kind about it at all.
In limited release: Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch, a film I’m so eager for that I’ve called it one of my most-anticipated releases of two separate quarters, and that’s pretty much all I have to say about that.
A horror twofer for Halloween, or at least two genre-adjacent films: Last Night in Soho, in which Edgar Wright makes a psychological thriller version of Midnight in Paris, and sure, I guess. I don’t know that I trust Wright to do horror, but Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie showing up in the same film is exciting. I’m honestly much more excited for Antlers, on the grounds that Scott Cooper making a monster movie in rural America kind of feels like a much stronger fit, and also that it’s about a wendigo, and I’ve been waiting for a wendigo film for ages.
In limited release, the horror of being a young adult, ill-equipped to deal with the world. Or you know, just an art film: The Souvenir, Part II, Joanna Hogg’s sequel to her 2019 pseudoautobiographical coming-of-age anti-romance The Souvenir. A film that I didn’t love like I wanted to, but it was fine enough, and Hogg is an interesting enough director, that I will contentedly come back for more.