Honestly, this one is a mess. For Sherlock Holmes completists, you may need to see it. For fans of Will Farrell (Bewitched) and John C. Reilly (Days of Thunder), you may need to see it. For anyone other than die hard fans, this one is hard pass. Try Without A Clue starring Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley instead!
Writer/Director Adam McKay (Step Brothers) offers a quasi-biopic/in-your-face-mockumentary look at the life and legacy of former Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice. Starring Christian Bale (Reign of Fire), Amy Adams (Sunshine Cleaning), Steve Carell (Melinda and Melinda), and Sam Rockwell (The Search for One-Eye Jimmy), this film definitely wears its heart on its sleeve.
Sony finally figures out what to do with their Spider-Man property rights with the stunning animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Incredible visuals, great music, an impressive cast, and a wholly original concept introducing a clown car’s worth of interesting characters make this one of the best films of the year.
Director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) delivers a new, strange, disaffected, oddly-comic drama with The Favourite. Featuring impressive performances by Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), and Emma Stone (Aloha), this film will likely be an awards magnet, although not one to take your family and friends to. Designed for a VERY specific audience, you’ll either hate or love The Favourite.
Viggo Mortenson (Young Guns II) and Mahershala Ali (Predators) showcase their range and their considerable buddy chemistry in the slightly more than by-the-numbers Green Book. This is a movie you can encourage your parents to go see - they will really enjoy it.
Director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking) brings Hugh Jackman (Van Helsing) to the screen as Gary Hart, former candidate for the U.S. Presidency and media punching bag. Backed with an impressive cast and lacking the typical Reitman soundtrack, this movie exists - for some reason.
Michael B. Jordan (Fantastic Four) and Tess Thompson (When a Stranger Calls) join Sylvester Stallone (Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot) in a sequel to their Rocky spinoff with Creed 2. The emotional baggage is high and the melodrama thick as Dolph Lundgren (Masters of the Universe) returns as Ivan Drago, the Russian beast from Rocky IV.
Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse) voices everyone’s favorite awful Christmas hater, The Grinch. Supported by Keenan Thompson (The Smurfs 2) and Angela Lansbury (Magnum, P.I.), this re-imagining of the holiday classic packs on an additional 65 minutes or so. Bring your kids.
Director Bryan Singer (Jack the Giant Slayer) delivers (some of? most of? either way, he got fired before finishing the film) the world a quasi-biopic of Freddie Mercury and his band Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody. Rami Malek (Battleship) stars as Mercury and dials up both the glam rockstar posturing and the loneliness. The music is fun and there are flashes of a more exciting picture here. Audiences are loving it, so your parents will probably dig it.
Writer/Director Woody Allen (Casino Royale) earned his first Oscar love for 1977’s Annie Hall starring him and Diane Keaton (The Godfather Part III). It also went on to define a “Woody Allen movie” for the next forty or so years. This film is responsible for romantic comedies, New York stories starring curmudgeons like Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a brief fashion trend in the late 1970s which Diane Keaton continues to rock these days.
Michael Myers is back forty years after he last terrorized Laurie Strode in Halloween (unless you include a few of the eight sequels now ignored by this latest installment in the Halloween saga) looking for opportunities to brutally attack people, lurk quietly in the back of the frame, and to rock a mask and coveralls. This new, John Carpenter-approved sequel delivers on the promise of the original and features a bookend performance by Jamie Lee Curtis who made her screen debut in Halloween forty years ago.
Director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) delivers a non-musical (!) biopic of Neil Armstrong in First Man. Played by Ryan Gosling (Murder by Numbers), Armstrong is, apparently, half-robot, half space hunk. Claire Foy (Season of the Witch) offers a portrayal of Janet Armstrong as Neil’s closed-off, half-robot wife. They are perfect for one another, although you may not know it from seeing this movie. The technical details and production values are stellar.
Director/Star Bradley Cooper (All About Steve) joins superstar Lady Gaga (American Horror Story: Hotel) in the fourth film version of A Star is Born. The film surprised the guys, as both of them liked it more than they expected. Check out the episode here.
Director/Academy Awards Magnet Frank Capra (It Happened One Night) picked up his second Best Picture and third (!) Best Director Oscar at the 11th Academy Awards back in 1939 for 1938’s You Can’t Take It With You. Starring a young Jimmy Stewart (Vertigo) and an impressive cast of misfits and anarchists this screwball comedy is full of energy for about two thirds of its running time. Check out the episode and hear what the guys thought of this classic film.
Writer/Director Paul Schrader (Dog Eat Dog) takes a break from helping Nicolas Cage repay his back taxes to bring a small, quiet film about a disillusioned pastor battling with his health, his faith, his work, and his belief in his fellow man. First Reformed stars Ethan Hawke (White Fang) who brings the monotone voiceover in a performance earning him a lot of attention.
Writer/Director/Star John Krasinski (Leatherheads) brings us a world filled with bare feet, organic produce, and quality family time in A Quiet Place. Also monsters that will eat you if you make a peep or belch accidentally. This also stars Krasinski’s real-life wife Super Star Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen).
It’s the movie release dead zone of September which means we are looking for films you may have missed earlier in the year or that you can find on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, or other streaming services (or your public library). Natalie Portman (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium) stars in Annihilation, the new film from Alex Garland (28 Days Later). It’s trippy, wild, visually impressive, and was adored by critics upon its release earlier this year. Audiences? Not so much. We had to check it out to see why there was such a division between the popular and critical reception. Check it out.
Writer/Director Bo Burnham (The Big Sick) delivers a fresh, raw, and unflinching look at the pressures and anxieties facing today’s 8th graders in Eighth Grade. The film is funny, sad, powerful, and provocative. It’s worth seeing - without your kids in the room. Be very glad that you grew up and moved beyond 8th grade.
Director Danny Boyle (127 Hours) took home the Academy Award for Best Director when helming the Best Picture from 2008 - Slumdog Millionaire. The film won 8 Oscars and is the highest domestic box office grossing Best Picture winner since 2003's Lord of The Rings: Return of the King. The film was praised by nearly every film critic alive in 2008 but is probably best known for being the film which won Best Picture instead of The Dark Knight. Check it out.
Director Peter Berg (Deepwater Horizon) teams up for a fourth time with his favorite leading man - Mark Wahlberg (Planet of the Apes) - for action thriller Mile 22. Their hopes of launching a franchise here are, if there is any decency left in the world, hopelessly dashed. In this episode, the guys dialogue with the manager of Flix Brewhouse to discuss the current state of the movie theater experience and to learn which beer to pair with Mile 22. Check it out.