2014’s summer movie season is officially over and it can be safely said that it was a disappointing one. Hollywood’s offerings overall were not as bombastic as yesteryear, save for some gems in the bookend months of May and August. Audiences didn’t swarm to the great number of lackluster films, and the numbers showed that. When adjusted for inflation, which by God it should be all the time, box office totals were the lowest in 22 years.
The good news is that fall and winter are on their way, which most critics very well know is when quality films arrive in theaters. Films worthy of the Oscar season, which is just around the corner.
So don’t fret! Great movies are a’coming, of all genres and for all audiences. Here is just a sample to get you excited for spending cold days at the multiplex.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
First appearing at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, The Dissapearance of Eleanor Rigby has garnered nothing but excellent reviews by those who have seen it. Starring Jessica Chastain (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty) and James McAvoy (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Wanted) – two actors who prove more versatile and engaging with each film they are in – Eleanor Rigby tells the story of a young couple trying to find the spark which brought them together so long ago.
What makes Eleanor Rigby unique is the pioneering way in which it was made. Writer/Director Ned Benson actually made two films, one titled Him and the other Her, both around an hour and a half long. Each film tells the story of Conor and Eleanor from each of their perspectives, and from the sound of it, it works magnificently.
For wide release, Benson made a third film titled Them which combines portions of the two films to get the full story. But if you’re near a theater which will release both individual installments of Him and Her on October 10, you would do well to check them out.
Releases September 12th
The latest offering from acclaimed director David Fincher, Gone Girl is an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name. Told using the same macabre tone and noir style that Fincher so excellently employed in The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl will be a surefire hit with the critics, as well as a contender at the Oscars.
The resurgence of Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town) continues as he is perfectly cast as Nick Dunne, the “did he or didn’t he” husband of Amy Dunne, who goes missing under suspicious circumstances. Rosamund Pike and Tyle Perry co-star, as well as Neil Patrick Harris in a rare dark role.
For those unfamiliar with the novel but have seen Fincher’s previous films, you know the quality of his works. For those not familiar with Fincher’s style but have read the novel, know that he is the perfect director to take on the dark and dreary world of Gone Girl.
For those unfamiliar with both the excellent novel and Fincher…consider this a welcome introduction to both.
Releases October 3rd
What’s NOT to be excited about with this movie?
For starters, the tantalizingly brilliant and criminally underrated Christopher Nolan – who brought us Memento, Inception, and The Dark Knight Trilogy – has yet to make a bad, or even mediocre film. Interstellar continues the renaissance of Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, Mud) who has been arguably the best actor to have appeared on both the big screen and TV screen in the past year. Plus the rest of the cast is a rock n’ roll ensemble with Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine to name a few.
As with Nolan’s previous films, most details about Interstellar are under wraps. The gist of the plot is that McConaughey’s character leads a group into the far reaches of space using wormholes to save their own, dying Earth.
Which brings us to the biggest reason to be stoked about Interstellar. It’s about OUTER SPACE! Which, as Gravity showed us, can be as lethal as it is beautiful. And you can bet that Nolan is going to make the experience as engaging and dazzling as technology will allow.
Releases November 7th
Big Hero 6
For the first time since 2005, Pixar skipped out on releasing a movie this year.
Betcha didn’t even notice, huh?
And we all know that a year without a Pixar film is going to be extremely weak in the animation department. Indeed it has been thus far in 2014, save for The Lego Movie early in the year as well as How To Train Your Dragon 2.
But fear not, because Big Hero 6 is on the way! Made by Disney and based on the Marvel property, the film introduces Hiro and his robot Baymax as they uncover a criminal plot and save the world. This will be an interesting one to catch as it is the first Disney animated film to feature Marvel characters since the famous/infamous acquisition in 2009.
If the trailer is any indication, it will be a blast.
Releases November 7th
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
I don’t really need to explain, do I?
It’s Peter Jackson’s (maybe) final farewell to Tolkien’s fantasy universe of Middle-earth.
It’s the sequel to an installment which improved in every facet on the first.
Even more importantly, it’s the return of Benedict Cumberbatch’s Smaug, as well as our last chance to cheer on Martin Freeman’s (Sherlock) hero hobbit, Bilbo, and Sir Ian McKellen’s impeccable Gandalf.
Do yourself a favor: don’t miss this movie.
Releases December 17th