Welcome to September, the month that’s usually the dullest and dreariest on the movie calendar. This year, however, each week features at least one wide release with potential. Accompanying this weekend’s generic horror movie is a worthy drama that’s vying for Oscar attention.
Coming just one week after the successful debut of ‘Don’t Breathe’ is another freaky horror flick attempting to dethrone it. Considering the buzz around ‘Don’t Breathe’, I don’t think ‘Morgan‘ stands a chance, but I’d love to be proven wrong. Fox’s marketing campaign has been wishy-washy with its approach. The initial trailers introduced us to a lab-created girl with dangerous powers, but now the studio is painting the movie to be something else. The latest spot I saw reminded me of ‘Ex Machina‘, only with the intelligence replaced by gore. A cast of B- and C-list actors (aside from Paul Giamatti) play corporate suits deciding whether or not to put down their artificially intelligent cyborg. Reviews are mostly negative, so enter at your own risk.
Getting a head start on the Oscar season, Buena Vista storms theaters with a gorgeous drama, ‘The Light Between Oceans‘. From writer/director Derek Cianfrance, the novel adaptation stars real-life couple Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander. Fassbender plays a broken World War I vet who takes an isolated job as the caretaker of a lighthouse on a tiny island. Vikander plays his wife, the beacon of hope in his life that brings him out of his PTSD funk. After two awful miscarriages, the characters reverse roles. When a rowboat washes ashore with a crying baby and a dead man, the couple face a moral dilemma of how to react. Should they report the incident and allow the child to be raised in an orphanage, or bury the man and raise the child as their own? Either way, the consequences aren’t easy to accept. Co-starring Rachel Weisz, the film’s performances are top-notch. Although the subject matter is brutal, the unforeseeable ending makes it entirely worthwhile.
Rob Zombie has a new horror picture that opened in limited release one day ahead of the others. ‘31‘ tells the story of a handful of carnies who end up captured by an insane clown posse and forced to play disturbing games for their survival. Knowing Zombie’s style, it’s probably safe to assume that the first 90 minutes of the film are fueled with terrible dialogue and zero action, only to bow with a hyper-violent climax. Malcolm McDowell and a bunch on unknowns star.
Speaking of washed-up directors, Kevin Smith also has a new movie in limited release. If you watch the trailer for ‘Yoga Hosers‘ and can manage to extract any sort of coherent plot, please spell it out in the Comments section below. Aside from the dead brain cells, all that I’m left with is a disgust that something that looks this awful could possibly get funding. Smith’s daughter stars alongside Johnny Depp’s daughter. After ‘Jersey Girl’, Smith claimed he’d never make another PG-13 movie again, but we all do stupid things for our kids, right?
‘Hands of Stone‘ was supposed to expand to 2,000 screens this past Wednesday, but it appears that the movie only hit 1,500 screens after a very weak debut.