There's a Stork difference between them...
by Scott Saffran
Staff Film Aficionado
Our resident Guy-Who-Watches-Lots-Of-Movies Scott takes a look at the movies coming out this month, and what's worth your money.
5 to See
1 - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
The Beatles. Ron Howard. THE GODDAMN BEATLES. I’ll do my best not to devolve into obsessive laudation of the Fab Four, but nothing can be promised. Ron Howard has compiled this ever-enticing documentary covering the 1962-1966 touring years, and reportedly features rare and unseen footage. As few and far between as they come, this is an officially licensed work produced with the cooperation of both living members and the spouses of the deceased as well as Apple Records. Highlights look to be remastered versions of their legendary performances at Shea Stadium and the Hollywood Bowl. Though documentaries are certainly not my forte, it is near impossible to give Eight Days a Week anything but ringing recommendation.
2 - Sully
Larry Crowne aside, I cannot recall a time Tom Hanks has let me down. Now, this might be cheating as the film did hit September 9 and has a complete collection of reviews, but I’m sure you’ll let it slide. Based on the astoundingly true story of the pilot who landed a commercial aircraft in the Hudson River, my initial reaction to production of this film was something similar to “How is there remotely enough narrative to fill a feature-length film?” Well, apparently there is. And apparently it’s quite good. Moral of this story; Tom Hanks cannot fail given the role of a mustachioed navigator faced with disaster.
3 - The Magnificent Seven
A remake of a remake sounds a defeating as the prospect of a Man of Steel sequel, but with Antoine Fuqua at the helm and a who’s who of actually entertaining action stars filling out the cast, I think this might turn out far better than, say, Ben Hur. Despite cramming in enough gun play to fill the full run time of The Ten Commandments, a simplistic story should benefit in spades and could set this all-star blockbuster action-adventure-Western to come out far ahead of a befuddled disaster like Batman v. Superman. It won’t touch its predecessor, but The Magnificent Seven will likely win the hearts of many and the box office for this month.
4 - Snowden
Steeped in sensation, Oliver Stone’s biographical thriller comes off as laughably pseudo-serious for the first few moments of its initial trailer. Then, about halfway through, Nicholas Cage snaps into frame, and it all fits into place. Something better tailored for a Tales from the Crypt x House of Cards crossover, Snowden, if anything else comes across as wildly entertaining. Certainly neither award winner nor blockbuster, Edward Snowden’s legacy should be perfectly at home in this weird-and-wild caper.
5 - Queen of Katwe
Next in the almost-infinite parade of inspirational “Based on a True Story” Disney flicks, Queen of Katwe should succeed where many have stumbled; the trailer on its own managed to rip out my heart, stare right in my soul, and demand my tears. Though it will certainly be painfully predictable and intensely saccharine, it won’t be bad, as assured by stars David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. The only crime tied to this picture’s name is Disney’s anemic advertising campaign; it’s a shame this will pass through theaters with minimal fanfare.
5 to Skip
1 - Storks
Pronouncing itself as the brainchild of the studio behind smash-hit The Lego Movie at every chance made available, Storks looks to be more of a toddler-pleasing limp through its hour and forty minutes run time. Storks boasts an A-list cast featuring Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer, Jen Anniston, and Key and Peele, but will undoubtedly squander this impressive star power with a poor script and incoherent story. Stay away at all costs.
2 - Masterminds
As inviting a cast as Kristen Wiig, Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones may be, recent romps with this supposed cream of the comic crop have been far more sour than sweet. Though director Jared Hess is partly responsible for the legend that is Napoleon Dynamite, this overly-saturated turn is distinctly lacking in that indie flair which drove earlier successes. Initial trailers promise far too much toilet and nether regions humor than could ever be reasonably expected and the result will surely be another disappointment to trickle out of 2016.
3 - Bridget Jones’s Baby
I’ve never seen Bridget Jones’s Diary; I’ve never cared to see Bridget Jones’s Diary. If you liked the previous film, I’m certain you’ll enjoy this. For those who tend to steer clear of paper-thin romcoms, continue to do so. While I to scratch my head, pondering why this was so hotly demanded fifteen years after the first, it’ll pull in a respectable payday and then unceremoniously fade into the fog of obscurity.
4 - Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
While I am unfamiliar with the book on which this film is based, the names Eva Green and Tim Burton never fail to pique my interest. Initial inspection promised a fantasy version of the X-Men (which seems conceived exclusively to be directed by Mr. Burton), but the ensuing theatrical trailers squashed any hope that had been previously born within me. A cavalcade of chaos tying together various gifted youngsters, time travel, Nazis, what appears to be the Slenderman, and Samuel L. Motherfuckin’ Jackson, even the trailer is far too muddled to be decipherable. Though a surprise hit may lay beneath the layers of the ludicrous, the outset spells a fate not unlike Alice Through the Looking Glass.
5 - Blair Witch
Though early reviews seem a bit inspired, this “surprise” sequel to the found footage cult favorite won’t do anything to reinvigorate either the horror genre or the oh-so tired found footage trope. Blair Witch fans will likely squeal with the prospect of the franchise finding some life, and horror-holics will surely find some fun, but for the general filmgoer this is an evening better spent at home with the original Blair Witch Project popped in the Blu-Ray player.