The summer is wrapping up and as the seasons change, so do the movies. This is a time when action movies are released that studios typically aren't sure are going to work. However, this month there will be a wide range of movies to offer moviegoers. It gets off to an anemic start, before the last two weeks of September provide an entire month's worth of entertainment. So let's dig into some of the best and worst of what the month has to offer.
A Walk in the Woods
Stars: Nick Nolte, Robert Redford, Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal
In this new comedy adventure, celebrated travel writer, Bill Bryson (Academy Award winner Robert Redford), instead of retiring to enjoy his loving and beautiful wife (Academy Award winner Emma Thompson), and large and happy family, challenges himself to hike the Appalachian Trail - 2,200 miles of America’s most unspoiled, spectacular and rugged countryside from Georgia to Maine. The peace and tranquility he hopes to find, though, is anything but, once he agrees to being accompanied by the only person he can find willing to join him on the trek - his long lost and former friend Katz (Academy Award nominee Nick Nolte), a down-on-his-luck serial philanderer who, after a lifetime of relying on his charm and wits to keep one step ahead of the law – sees the trip as a way to sneak out of paying some debts and sneak into one last adventure before its too late. The trouble is, the two have a completely different definition of the word, “adventure.” Now they're about to find out that when you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins.
A Walk in the Woods looks like the most aptly titled movie of the year. This looks like one of those movies where the older generation of actors takes a comedic look at their own lives and personas, towards the end of their career. This has worked in the past with movies such as Grumpy Old Men, and hopefully this has that same potential. Besides, who wouldn't want to spend two hours with two of the better actors of their generation? Redford dismantled S.H.I.E.L.D last year as Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and that is Nick Nolte. 'Nuff said... The supporting cast is also filled with legends and current scene-stealers, such as Emma Thompson, Nick Offerman, Mary Steenburgen, and Kristen Schaal. This might be fun.
Stars: Jackie Chan, Adrien Brody, John Cusack
A massive success this year in its native China, "Dragon Blade" brings action spectacle on a grand scale to US audiences. Featuring an international cast led by Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody, the film features the fight for the Silk Road when East and West collide. When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius (Adrien Brody) arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An (Jackie Chan) and his group of trained warriors teams up with an elite legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius (John Cusack) to maintain the delicate balance of power in the region. To protect his country and his new friends, Huo An gathers the warriors of thirty-six ethnic nations together to fight Tiberius in an incredible epic battle. The film is directed by Daniel Lee ("Black Mask") and produced by Jackie Chan and Susanna Tsang.
Honestly, this looks like too many ingredients have been thrown into the pot. It is an embarrassment of awkward riches by combining Cusack, Brody, and Jackie Chan's fighting style, into one cohesive period piece. Hopefully this turns out to be as epic as it is being touted to be. It doesn't seem as if the movie is getting a wide theatrical release, but it should be readily available for download. Plus, we don't know how many more action roles Chan has in him, so it should be worth checking out the legendary action star one more time.
The Transporter Refueled
Stars: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson
Frank Martin (played by newcomer Ed Skrein), a former special-ops mercenary, is now living a less perilous life - or so he thinks - transporting classified packages for questionable people. When Frank’s father (Ray Stevenson) pays him a visit in the south of France, their father-son bonding weekend takes a turn for the worse when Frank is engaged by a cunning femme-fatale, Anna (Loan Chabanol), and her three seductive sidekicks to orchestrate the bank heist of the century. Frank must use his covert expertise and knowledge of fast cars, fast driving and fast women to outrun a sinister Russian kingpin, and worse than that, he is thrust into a dangerous game of chess with a team of gorgeous women out for revenge.
Okay, this movie doesn't have a lot going for it. Heck, I thought this was a television show before researching it for the Media Round Up. To be honest, even if Jason Statham had come back for this installment, it still wouldn't be terribly exciting. However, there is a silver lining reason to convince yourself to watch it: It stars Ed Skrein, who will be seen going toe-to-toe with Deadpool next February as Ajax. So if you want to do your own research for that movie, check out The Transporter Refueled. On second thought, don't, what's the rush? It isn't that long of a wait until February...
Stars: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Corey Stoll, Rory Cochrane, Peter Sarsgaard
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.
This is Depp's chance to recapture the attention of all those that have mocked his billion dollar routine as Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp was once known as a chameleon in acting circles and he looks ready to get back some respect in Black Mass. There is a genuine buzz for his role as real-life mob boss Whitey Bulger, who ruled the streets of Boston with an iron fist decades ago. This movie has a lot going for it and is one of the highlights of the month.
Stars: Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Sam Worthington, Emily Watson
Inspired by the incredible events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain, "Everest" documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest of elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.
Every time one of these movies comes out, the same question is asked by someone in the theater, "Why would you climb that mountain in the first place?" In this case it doesn't matter, because this already happened in real-life. This dramatic reenactment of the tragic Everest expedition looks like an experience meant for the big-screen. Plus, the cast is all-world anchored by Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal. This is one of two movies this month that should be seen in IMAX.
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Aidan Gillen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario
In the sequel to the 2014 adaptation, Thomas (O'Brien) and his fellow Gladers face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles. Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all.
The Maze Runner was a surprise last fall. The movie handled some cliched elements of YA fiction creatively, while providing some strong performances from a talented young cast. The biggest issue with the movie was the ending, which was abrupt and left you with unanswered questions. It seems that The Scorch Trials will be Judgement Day for The Maze Runner series, where we decide if we give a crap about the franchise. They have added some strong veteran acting talent to the supporting cast, so hopefully we can get a complete story this time around.
Sicario (wide release 9/25)
Stars: Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Jon Bernthal, Victor Garber
In Mexico, "Sicario" means hitman.
In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs.
Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past (Benicio Del Toro), the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive.
There are a lot of reasons to see this movie. The director, Denis Villeneuve, is taking on a little sequel called Blade Runner 2 starring Harrison Ford after this, so clearly the footage got executives excited. While Emily Blunt appeared on the action film radar, simply by chopping wood like a badass in Looper and secured herself a permanent spot in PoG memory banks, with her movie-stealing performance in Edge of Tomorrow. If you are a pulling for Blunt as Captain Marvel, you should pull out your lucky charms opening weekend of Sicario. Del Toro is preparing to take over the universe, literally, as he has roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and is rumored to be the villain in Star Wars: Episode 8. Add the fact that this movie also stars Marvel's Thanos and the Punisher, in Josh Brolin and Jon Bernthal, and this looks like an intense thriller to geek out to.
Attack on Titan
A live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. "Attack on Titan" takes place in a world where the remnants of humanity live inside a series of connected cities, isolated by enormous walls. These walls exists to keep the Titans out, gigantic humanoid creatures who devour humans seemingly without reason. These Titans have reduced the world's population to staggeringly low numbers. The 3 main protagonists of Isayama's manga are Eren Jaeger, his adoptive sister Mikasa Ackerman, and their friend Armin Arlert. Their lives are changed forever when a 'Colossal Titan' breaches the wall protecting their town, leading to the death of Eren's mother. Vowing revenge and to reclaim the world from the Titans, Eren, Mikasa and Armin join the Survey Corps, an elite group of soldiers who fight Titans outside the walls.
This probably isn't the adaptation made by a major U.S. studio that most were hoping for, but this undeniably looks like the source material. For those who aren't fans of anime, this will hopefully be a good entry point to the series that has a lot of original ideas. This should be a perfect weekend download.
What movies are you looking forward to this month?
Source: Point of Geeks