What a miserable bit of fuckery, that one of the best summers, quality-wise, in years, has officially just been declared the most financially disastrous in a generation or more. And now we get a particularly dire-looking wasteland of a September to deal with. Let’s plow through it quickly.
An irradiated wasteland: nothing remotely interesting coming up among the limited releases, and only one wide release, The Identical, a story about Elvis’s long-lost twin brother, targeting Christian audiences. Moving along.
I don’t know why there was enough of an audience for Dolphin Tale 2 to exist, but it’s apparently not mine to know. It’s a lot easier to see why No Good Deed got made – “woman in peril” thrillers are an evergreen genre – but no less depressing. Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson are extraordinary performers, and thinking that the best they can do is to appear in grubby little shockers is… well, let’s save the rant about racial imbalance in 21st Century America for the actual review.
On the limited release front, I am excited for two movies for entirely different reasons: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, edited together from two interweaving he said/she said stories (to be separately released in October), starring James McAvoy and the great Jessica Chastain, which should be fascinating structurally even if it’s bad. Though I’m anyway leaning towards watching the constituent parts before the combined version, which means I won’t be bothering till, like, November. Other movie: Atlas Shrugged, Part III: Who Is John Galt, because why wouldn’t I be?
Quite a few movies, all of them more or less disposable, because that’s where we are: A Walk Among the Tombstones, yet another “dour, haunted Liam Neeson kills thugs” thriller; The Maze Runner, yet another “sci-fi tinged dystopian action thriller YA adaptation”; This Is Where I Leave You, with the reliably horrible director Shawn Levy working his anti-magic on a disturbingly solid cast including Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Jane Fonda; and Tusk, which finds Kevin Smith trying his hand at body horror. Fun times!
And so the month hauls itself over the final hump with literally the only wide release I expect to find even moderately decent: The Boxtrolls, the latest from the stop-motion animation artisans at Laika. It’s been receiving all-over-the-place reviews on the heels of its Venice premiere, but we already know from the trailers that it’s going to look terrific, and that’s enough.
Otherwise, there’s the latest “Denzel Washington is a taciturn angry brute” action film, The Equalizer, which happens to be directed by Antoine Fuqua, who helped birth the genre with Training Day, 13 years ago. So that’s maybe going to be a good thing?
Christ, this month.