As the rains becomes somehow even more violent and frequent, I guess that about wraps it up for summer, and I for one am damn relieved. The streets will no longer be paved with exceptionally-messy children, the air not choked with the sound of braying, holidaying galoots during respectable hours of the day, the sky will finally be a consistent dull grey as opposed to all this brilliant beautiful blue… wait, what? In any case, my point is that things are winding down and such a change in gears is evident in September’s upcoming movie pantheon. And thank CHRIST we don’t have to go through another Adam Sandler farcical foray into family friendly film any time soon- hm, what’s that? Hotel Transylvania 2’s coming out in October? * deep breath * NOOOOOOOOOO-
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – 4th September
Greg is in his senior year at high school, which would be bad enough situation if it wasn’t for his forced undertaking of the emotional well-being of Rachel, a girl in his year who’s been diagnosed with leukaemia. Instead of maudlin attempts at making her feel better, Greg invites Rachel into his world of silly home-made spoof movies which he does with best friend and “co-worker” Earl. This film cleaned up at Sundance this year, and if you’re one for hilariously awful film puns, smart dialogue and an appropriately insightful look at dealing with cancer without going all The Fault in Our Stars-y, then check it out. Plus Brian Eno’s on the soundtrack to the trailer. Sold.
Dope – 4th September
Man, high schoolers just cannot get a break this month can they? Malcom is a self-confessed geek from Inglewood, California, who, alongside his two best/only friends, makes up a small scrappy punk band. After chance finds them winding up at a local drug dealer’s party, the trio see themselves stuck with a large amount of product and a deadline to sell it. The plan? Get to infamous music festival Coachella, offload the drugs, ace the SATs, get into Harvard, sail away with it all scott-free. What could possibly go wrong? It’s not like there could be any hijinks involved, could there?
Legend – 9th September
Not to be confused with that OTHER Legend‘ this 2015 title has significantly less unicorns (a shame), incredibly reduced amounts of Tim Curry (a travesty) and absolutely no Tom Cruise (eh, could take it or leave it). What it does have, though, is two times as much Tom Hardy as any other film you care to name, as he stars as both of the notorious Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie. The story of the Kray twins is the stuff that the biopic was built for: crime, decadence, corruption, sharp suits and a period setting, and to have the likes of Tom Hardy, Christopher Eccleston, Emily Browning and Paul Bettany behind it can only spell good things.
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – 10th September
You know, I really didn’t mind last year’s The Maze Runner. As far as the flood of “teens in some kind of dystopia” films we’ve been getting of late go, the concept of a ‘Cube’-like maze full of biomechanical scorpion-bastards out to super-murder a confused community of dozens of teenage boys and one girl was a good ‘un. But now they’re out of the maze and in a blighted desert wasteland dotted with burnt-out skyscrapers, nomadic people and deranged not-zombies-but-totally-zombies. Can they find a cure for the zombie-but-not virus? Can they survive The Scorch? Who can they trust? My money’s not on Aiden Gillen. Ned Stark trusted Littlefinger and look where he headed. * bad-dum tish * I’m here all week.
The Visit – 11th September
You’d think that after warnings us with Signs, worrying us with The Village, infuriating us with Lady in the Water, baffling us with The Happening, becoming a cinematic pariah with The Last Airbender and poisoning the water at a puppy orphanage with After Earth that nobody in their right mind would touch M. Night Shyamalan with a stick. Even if there was something gross on the end of it. Well he’s back with his first found-footage film The Visit, wherein two young children stay over at their grandparents’ place, happening to meet them for the first time. As is the case though, things aren’t quite right with Grannyboots and Grandpop, who seem to be more than a bit strange at night. At this point, seeing an M. Night Shyamalan film is more of an experiment than anything else. See it if you dare, and I don’t mean it in the way the film wants me to.
Irrational Man – 11th September
Woody Allen checklist: Jazz soundtrack? Check. High levels of wit among all named and unnamed characters? Check. Disgruntled, self-hating, male protagonist with a literary history? Check. Distinct gulf between the ages of the central male and female characters? Leeeet’s just skip over that one and get on with the rest of it. Irrational Man seems like a safe kind of film for Allen, aside from the casting of Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone, nothing really looks like he’s pushing the boat out too far. Could this be a good thing? I dunno, I really bloody liked Blue Jasmine and that was about as Woody Allen as a slo-mo explosion at a gym full of robots. Except it was the Cate Blanchett show. Either way, here’s some more Woody Allen.
Aloha – 18th September
September: the month of kids in trouble and Emma Stone. Admittedly kids are always in trouble, and the last time we actually saw Emma Stone in cinema proper was back in the am-I-smarter-than-thou? Birdman. It’s just typical, you wait for one Emma Stone movie and two come along at once. So what’s this one about? Well it’s the timely return of Cameron Crowe (flip, everyone’s back this month, aren’t they?) with the story of Bradley “Forever Rocket Raccoon” Cooper as a military contractor sent back to Hawaii to make amends not only for his business but also to reconnect with the lives he left behind. Also if he can walk away from his past with Emma Stone in tow then lucky ol’ him.
Everest – 18th September
Inspired by real events, behold a film that can be lazily summarized as ‘famous people climb a mountain’. Am I that lazy? Only compared to those who actually climb mountains/hills/flights of stairs. To be fair this film has a surprising amount of good names attached to it (such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, John Hawkes, Sam Worthington and Emily Watson) and it would be interesting to see how cinema can now capture the terror of scaling something like Everest. The only gripe, though, is would something like this be considered ‘too soon’ after the shocking events in Nepal earlier this year? I guess if it truly was, then we’d never even get the chance to see it. Go for yourself and be the judge.
McFarland, USA – 25th September
A Disney-produced film based on a true story about a middle-aged white man’s dream of sport in a community that isn’t too sure of his motives. Sound familiar? That’s as much of the premise of Milion Dollar Arm as I can recall right now, but it also happens to be the gist of Macfarland, USA, but instead of Indian baseball players its long-distance running with snippy Mexican teens. While we’re at the trading post I might as well make it clear we’re also swapping Jon Hamm for Kevin Costner, but that’s not always a bad thing. Costner’s got presence, and I haven’t heard the story behind Macfarland, USA, so this could be a little film to look out for.
The Martian – 30th September
If Duncan Jones’ impeccable Moon was the call, then Ridley Scott’s The Martian is the reply. Both feature men left in isolation on foreign planetoids, both explore the limits of what the mind is capable of in such dire odds, except one’s on Mars, one’s on the moon and there just aren’t enough Kevin Spacey robots to go around. The Martian looks to be Ol’ Ridders’ small personal film after the sweeping, swooping detrimental excesses of Prometheus and Exodus and despite being packed with famous names (Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels and Chiwetel Ejiofor) could be quite the intimate way to see out the month.