It is about that time of year where the award contenders are starting to trickle out. It's also that time of year when fantasy movies have made their biggest splash over the last 10 years. That is also known as the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings effect. They set a new standard by skipping the summer movie explosion and owning their own season. The Force Awakens took that tradition and showed the rest of the world how to make an epic release last December.
Couple that with the fact that September through December is when the Oscar contenders get released and it's the most interesting time of the year for movies. To be fair though, the way Hollywood has given us a constant stream of terrible movies where they assembled the scripts by firing words at a wall out of a t-shirt cannon. So if we get anything decent for the rest of the year, then I'll take that as a win. It's been so bad, that we are 9 months through the year and Deadpool is still be best movie of the year and the studio didn't even want to make it. The lesson, as always, is people running studios don't know what movie audiences actually want. There are some movies that are coming that I'm excited about though, so let's run through them so you are prepared for the rest of the year.
For my money, there are very few people who I would bet on out of all of the up-and-comers, but Jeff Nichols is absolutely one of them. He is my favorite of this new generation and this is his 5th film, all of which are wildly unique. Mud was a very Indie film that got everyone talking about how good McConaughey was and that he might actually be a serious and a seriously good actor. You know you are good when a movie you wrote and directed single-handedly spawned the McConaaissance. This movie is tackling serious subject matter and has terrific casting, so I'm excited to see what he does with it.
Another reason he is my favorite, is that he, much like myself, is a HUGE Michael Shannon fan. Shannon has been in all of his movies to date and Michael Shannon also coined the term "cunt punt" and him yelling that while reading this email makes me laugh harder than just about anything else. Jeff Nichols has taste and you can jump on board now before he's the biggest director in Hollywood. Yes, you too can become a Jeff Nichols hipster before it is too late.
La La Land
Speaking of young fantastic directors, have you met Damien Chazelle? He is the writer/director of last years Oscar nominee, Whiplash. He is also the writer of 10 Cloverfield Lane and looks like a 14 year old bible salesman. I bring that up because you've seen how dark Whiplash is right? This guy would be doing interesting work in this genre if he was 65, so the fact that he is only 31 is even more of a shock. This movie is old school Hollywood and I am an unabashed lover of musicals. Aside from the look and feel of this movie and the fact that he is directing it, this movie has one huge thing going for it. The Gosling!
The Gos has been in some good movies and has been the best part of most of them, but this is where he is going to show that he is Ryan "I'm an mother effing movie star" Gosling. He gets to sing and dance and do other Ryan Gosling things which will make this movie Oscar nomination worthy. You don't think The Gosling can sing and dance?? Did you forget that The Gosling is an OG Mouseketeer? I present to you video proof of The Gosling singing a very age inappropriate rendition of Cry for You by Jodeci. The Gos has been training for this his entire life.
Birth of a Dragon
We established above that I am a fan of musicals, but I am also a huge fan of old school martial arts films. I can have a Bruce Lee marathon on a moments notice and I even like the terrible movie about his life they tried to pull off with Caine 607. Note: if you got that joke, then we could be friends in real life. That makes me excited to see this movie and I hope that it starts a trend of fictionalized movies about real life people (I'm looking at you Queen estate keeping the Freddie Mercury movie from being made!). Bruce Lee is a fascinating person and I look forward to seeing a young and cocky version of him in this movie. The only downside is that you will feel terrible about yourself when you are eating popcorn while Bruce Lee does Bruce Lee things with Bruce Lee abs.
I'm going to be very honest with you here. I don't care about this movie. Sure, I'll watch it and I'm sure it'll be decent, but I can already tell you what is going to happen. Alien's are going to show up, the entire world will be in jeopardy, and it'll be up to Lois Lane to save us all using word skills. The only reason I'm including this here is that after Interstellar and The Martian and Gravity, this is the newest trend in Hollywood and this movie is getting nominated for things. Lots of things.
Also, whenever the aliens do show up, they will be chill for a bit, but then they will attack in window of time that will be anywhere from 15 - 23 hours. I'm telling you right now, that if aliens ever show up, I'm out of here. Aliens are never just stopping by to say hello on their way through the galaxy, they are ALWAYS here to start some intergalactic shit with the planet. Also, Jeremy Renner wearing glasses to science the aliens is the new Mark Wahlberg is a scientist that finds a transformer.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Almost got it.....
Yes, here it is. Here is all of my money, you can have all of it. Thank you for another Star Wars movie between Star Wars movies. I'll see you in December.
League of Gods
I don't know if this is martial arts or fantasy or a movie studio experimenting with drugs, but it's Jet Li along with someone riding a giant panther and a baby that fights and dances. You had me at hello crazy baby fighting movie. You had me at hello.
#RIPBrangelina. Long live Stecky!
Stephen Balding is the founder of Cinema Soapbox. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org