FALL MOVIE PREVIEW

30 films worth seek­ing out be­tween now and mid-Novem­ber, in­clud­ing Thor, Blade Run­ner 2049

Toronto Sun - - FRONT PAGE - MARK DANIELL

“It’s the best movie I’ve ever made, I think.” — De­nis Vil­leneuve is proud of his work on Blade Run­ner 2049.

De­spite stand­outs like Won­der Woman, Dunkirk, Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing, Guardians of the Gal­axy Vol. 2 and The Big Sick, Hol­ly­wood wasn’t un­cork­ing the cham­pagne as its sum­mer movie slate came to an end.

The sum­mer’s $3.8 bil­lion in box-of­fice dough was ac­tu­ally a de­cline of al­most 15% from last year. And even more alarm­ing was news that this past sea­son’s num­ber is its low­est since 2006.

But as we slip into the warmer clothes, and the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val puts a wrap on an­other star-stud­ded year, it’s time to look ahead to a fall film slate that’s packed with Os­car fare and su­per­heroes alike.

With Ge­orge Clooney’s Subur­bicon, Jes­sica Chas­tain’s Molly’s Game and Jennifer Lawrence’s mother! earn­ing raves at TIFF, and Taika Waititi’s Thor: Rag­narok and Zack Sny­der’s Jus­tice League poised to take fa­mil­iar char­ac­ters in new di­rec­tions, we make our picks for the flicks you should keep an eye out for at a theatre near you from now un­til mid-Novem­ber.

Sept. 22 The LEGO Movie Nin­jago:

Young Mas­ter Builder Lloyd, aka the Green Ninja (Dave Franco), along with his ninja war­rior pals and their wise-crack­ing men­tor Mas­ter Wu (Jackie Chan), must de­feat an evil war­lord — who also hap­pens to be Lloyd’s dad. Don’t worry, the kids and grand­kids can fill you in on the rest.

Kings­man: The Golden Cir­cle:

Debonair spy Eg­gsy Un­win (Taron Eger­ton) gets to go state­side to once again save the world in this se­quel to Matthew Vaughn’s 2014 hit based on the Mark Mil­lar comic. De­spite Colin Firth’s death in the first movie, his char­ac­ter Harry re­turns. Chan­ning Ta­tum, Jeff Bridges, Halle Berry and El­ton John also star.

Bat­tle of the Sexes:

Af­ter find­ing Os­car gold at TIFF with last year’s crowd-pleas­ing La La Land, Emma Stone stars as ten­nis champ Bil­lie Jean King in a biopic that ex­am­ines her his­toric 1973 match against Bobby Riggs (played by Steve Carell). Riggs, decades re­moved from any sort of ten­nis rel­e­vance, came up with the $100,000 win­ner-takeall match. King was game, want­ing to prove a woman could be just as good as a man in ten­nis.

Stronger:

Jake Gyl­len­haal chases an Os­car in this biopic of 2013’s Bos­ton Marathon bomb­ing sur­vivor Jeff Bau­man. Ta­tiana Maslany co-stars with David Gor­don Green di­rect­ing.

Sept. 29 Amer­i­can Made:

Tom Cruise re­unites with his Edge of To­mor­row di­rec­tor Doug Li­man for a story that de­tails the real-life ex­ploits of a pi­lot who was re­cruited by the CIA and finds him­self mixed up with Cen­tral Amer­i­can drug car­tels. Cruise’s per­for­mance is al­ready be­ing hailed as one of his best in years.

Flat­lin­ers:

Twenty seven years af­ter the orig­i­nal, five med­i­cal stu­dents em­bark on a dan­ger­ous ex­per­i­ment to con­duct neardeath med­i­cal ex­per­i­ments. Kiefer Suther­land

(who starred in the orig­i­nal) re­turns as Dr. Nel­son Wright. The cast also in­cludes Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Do­brev. 1

Oct. 6 Blade Run­ner 2049:

Thirty years have passed since the events of the first film. Now a new blade run­ner, LAPD Of­fi­cer K (Ryan Gosling), un­cov­ers a long-buried se­cret that sends him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Har­ri­son Ford), a for­mer blade run­ner who has been in hid­ing for three decades. The top-se­cret film is a pas­sion project for di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve, but it doesn’t mean he wasn’t ner­vous try­ing to breathe new life into Ri­d­ley Scott’s sci-fi clas­sic. “Once I made peace with the idea (that) what I was about to try was in­sanely dif­fi­cult and my chances of suc­cess were very nar­row, I be­came free,” he told the New York Times in a re­cent in­ter­view. “It’s the best movie I’ve ever made, I think.” Jared Leto and Robin Wright co-star.

The Moun­tain Be­tween Us:

Af­ter their plane crashes in the wilderness, two strangers (played by Idris Elba and Kate Winslet) must band to­gether to sur­vive.

Oct. 13 Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House:

Liam Nee­son plays Mark Felt, the FBI No. 2 who was the “Deep Throat” whistle­blower in the 1970s Water­gate scan­dal. The Florida Project:

One of the buzzi­est films to screen at TIFF, in­die wun­derkind Sean Baker’s (Tan­ger­ine) lat­est shines a spotlight on kids and adults liv­ing on the fringes of Or­lando. With Willem Dafoe.

Pro­fes­sor Marston & the Won­der Women:

Luke Evans plays psy­chol­o­gist Wil­liam Moul­ton Marston — the man who in­vented Won­der Woman — with the film ex­am­in­ing the re­la­tion­ship be­tween him­self, his wife El­iz­a­beth (Re­becca Hall), and their shared ro­man­tic part­ner Olive Byrne (Bella Heath­cote). “It’s fun­da­men­tally a love story be­tween the three of them,” di­rec­tor An­gela Robin­son told EW.

Oct. 20 Geostorm:

Gerard But­ler has saved the pres­i­dent, now he’s go­ing to save the world. Af­ter an un­prece­dented se­ries of nat­u­ral dis­as­ters, the world’s lead­ers cre­ate an in­tri­cate net­work of satel­lites to con­trol the global cli­mate. But when some­thing goes awry, But­ler’s sci­en­tist char­ac­ter is tasked with solv­ing the satel­lite pro­gram’s mal­func­tion.

The Snow­man:

Michael Fass­ben­der is in pur­suit of an elu­sive killer in this adap­ta­tion of book No. 7 in Jo Nesbo’s best­selling crime se­ries in­volv­ing Nor­we­gian po­lice de­tec­tive Harry Hole. “I’m nor­mally a slow reader, but I flew through eight of them,” Fass­ben­der told EW in a re­cent in­ter­view.

Only the Brave:

Billed as the true story of the Gran­ite Moun­tain Hot­shots — a fire­fight­ing team that bat­tled the 2013 Yar­nell Hill Fire in Ari­zona. The cast in­cludes Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges.

Breathe:

Andy Serkis, known to most movie fans as Gol­lum in the Lord of the Rings se­ries, di­rects Andrew Garfield in this biopic based on Robin Cavendish, who was stricken with po­lio at the age of 28 and went on to become an ad­vo­cate for the dis­abled.

Subur­bicon:

Ge­orge Clooney teams with the Coen broth­ers — “the boys” as he called them dur­ing a con­ver­sa­tion at TIFF — for a dark com­edy about an exec (played by Matt Da­mon) who em­barks on a get-rich-quick scheme with deadly con­se­quences. “Peo­ple are an­gry,” Clooney said of the film — his sixth as a di­rec­tor — that mixes in so­cial com­men­tary with a sub­plot about a black fam­ily mov­ing into the idyl­lic town. “It’s cer­tainly an­gry and it got an­grier as we were shoot­ing.”

Jig­saw: Oct. 27

The eighth film in the Saw fran­chise comes seven years af­ter the sup­posed “Fi­nal Chap­ter.” In this re­boot, po­lice in­ves­ti­gate af­ter a new se­ries of mur­ders seems to mimic the crimes of the orig­i­nal se­ries’ Jig­saw killer.

Thank You for Your Ser­vice:

Re­turn­ing U.S. sol­diers strug­gle to in­te­grate back into fam­ily life af­ter a tour of Iraq. With Miles Teller and Amy Schumer.

Nov. 3 Thor: Rag­narok:

Thor goes on a ga­lac­tic road trip

1. Thor: Rag­narok; 2. Blade Run­ner 2049; 3. Kings­man: The Golden Cir­cle; 4. Coco; 5. A Bad Moms Christ­mas; 6. Molly’s Game; 7. The Jus­tice League.

with his buddy the Hulk (Mark Ruf­falo) in this third — and fi­nal — solo story in­volv­ing the God of Thun­der. “Things change dras­ti­cally in Rag­narok and then build di­rectly into Avengers: In­fin­ity War,” Marvel stu­dio boss Kevin Feige teased in an in­ter­view with the Sun.

A Bad Moms Christ­mas:

“No more per­fect gifts. No more per­fect dec­o­ra­tions. No more per­fect any­thing!” Three women band to­gether as they rebel against what’s ex­pected of them over the hol­i­days in this se­quel to Bad Moms.

The Killing of a Sa­cred Deer:

Ni­cole Kid­man told us she liked to shock peo­ple. “The Killing of a

Sa­cred Deer,” she said dur­ing a sit­down. “I’ll just let that sit there for a mo­ment. That’s the ti­tle, get ready.” Colin Far­rell co-stars as Kid­man’s hus­band, who forms a bond with a sin­is­ter teenager. Some­thing tells us the deer is toast.

Ro­man Is­rael, Esq.:

Den­zel Washington has Os­car on his mind in this le­gal thriller that is de­scribed as be­ing in the same vein as Paul New­man’s The Ver­dict.

Dan Gil­roy (Nightcrawler) di­rects, with Colin Far­rell co-star­ring.

Nov. 10 Mur­der on the Ori­ent Ex­press:

Di­rec­tor Ken­neth Branagh — and a cast that in­cludes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeif­fer, Daisy Ri­d­ley, Judi Dench and Pene­lope Cruz, among oth­ers — prom­ises to in­fuse the lat­est big screen ver­sion of the famed Agatha Christie novel with some­thing new: ter­ror. “I think we’re mak­ing a scarier film than peo­ple might imag­ine,” Branagh, who plays sleuth Her­cule Poirot, told

EW. “Be­cause the book is also a dark psy­cho­log­i­cal re­venge drama.”

Daddy’s Home 2:

Mel Gib­son and John Lith­gow crash the party as feud­ing fathers, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Fer­rell), try to put on a spec­tac­u­lar Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion.

Three Bill­boards Out­side Ebbing, Mis­souri:

A woman (Frances McDor­mand) sparks con­tro­versy when she tar­gets her town’s revered sher­iff (Woody Har­rel­son) in a se­ries of painted signs to call at­ten­tion to the lack of progress in solv­ing her daugh­ter’s mur­der.

Nov. 17 Jus­tice League:

DC is hop­ing light­ning will strike twice af­ter its Won­der Woman won over movie fans and crit­ics alike ear­lier this year. Fu­eled by his re­stored faith in hu­man­ity and in­spired by Su­per­man’s self­less act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Af­fleck) en­lists the help of Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Aqua­man (Ja­son Mo­moa), Cy­borg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) to face an even greater en­emy — Step­pen­wolf. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how much in­flu­ence co-di­rec­tor Joss Whe­don (who took over from Zack Sny­der) has on the fin­ished film.

Won­der:

Based on the best­selling novel, Won­der tells the in­spir­ing story of Au­gust Pull­man, who, af­flicted by fa­cial dif­fer­ences, be­comes an un­likely hero to his Grade Five class­mates. Ju­lia Roberts and Owen Wil­son also star.

Nov. 22 Death Wish:

Bruce Willis re­vamps the Charles Bron­son re­venge clas­sic with horror mae­stro Eli Roth at the helm.

Molly’s Game:

Jes­sica Chas­tain stars as an Olympic-class skier who ran one of the world’s most ex­clu­sive high-stakes poker games for years be­fore be­ing ar­rested by FBI agents. The Aaron Sorkindi­rected film earned raves at TIFF.

Coco:

You know it’s a good year when you get two Dis­ney-Pixar films in a 12-month span. Fol­low­ing the sur­pris­ingly mov­ing Cars 3, the lat­est en­try from the an­i­ma­tion pow­er­house fol­lows Miguel (An­thony Gon­za­lez) as he dreams of be­com­ing an ac­com­plished mu­si­cian, de­spite his fam­ily’s dis­ap­proval.

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