You know what’s annoying? As a hard-working American, it really gets me miffed when I enter a store and they’re already throwing up holiday stuff when we haven’t even cleared Halloween yet. That just grinds the hell out of my gears. Now with that being stated, I’d like to talk about a few movies coming out in the first part of this holiday season.
So many of the films leave us with all kinds of questions …
One time in history class, you heard about a young woman named Harriet Tubman, a former slave turned abolitionist. There have been many books and pieces devoted to her odyssey. This Fri. Nov. 1, we will see a film version starring Cynthia Erivo as the historical heroine. In a recent interview with New York Times, director Kasi Lemmons stated, “Those books defanged her, declawed her, to make her more palatable … because there’s something quite terrifying about the image of a black woman with a rifle.” Will the film give us a more well-rounded depiction of the legendary woman? Will the film top Lemmons’ underseen and underrated debut Eve’s Bayou?
Terminator: Dark Fate
Thirty-five years ago, James Cameron, with a little unsung help from an old Outer Limits episode, wrote and directed a film about a young woman, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), being stalked by an unstoppable killing machine hellbent on wasting her. That unstoppable killing machine, a cyborg sent from the future to be precise, was played by one Arnold Schwarzenegger. You know him, the guy from Hercules In New York. His mission was to kill the woman and her unborn son, John — the leader of the Resistance. Without giving away too much in the way of spoilers, the cyborg was not very good at his job. You could say he sucked at it considering that we’re now on the sixth film in resulting series of films that started with James Cameron’s equally good if not better sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Then the sequels came. What resulted were a slew of middling sequels and, when you think too much about it, a pretty confounding timeline. This Friday Terminator: Dark Fate picks up where Cameron’s sequel left off with Hamilton and Schwarzenegger returning while Tim Miller, the director of Deadpool, oversees all the destruction with Cameron serving as producer. Will the timeline be restored to coherency? Will Cameron make enough money off this sequel to help fund all of those Avatar sequels he’s been planning?
On Nov. 8, this long awaited sequel to Stephen King’s The Shining hits theaters. Way, way back in the very late ’70s during the harsh winter months, a Jack Torrance went nutty and tried to kill his family while being the caretaker of a big isolated hotel in Colorado.
This time around, his older, newly sober son, Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor), comes to the aid of a young girl, Abra (Kyliegh Curran) overwhelmed with her own case of the shining ultimately finding him revisiting the Overlook Hotel as they fight off the True Knot, a cult of psychic vampires. Will it stay 100 percent true to King’s book? Will it have the staying power that Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation has? Will Ewan McGregor say, “Heeeeerrrre’s Danny?”
As we move into the middle of November, we will see a familiar story with a 2019 sheen pop-up. You see, once upon a time in a TV show, there were three women who went to the police academy. And they were each assigned very hazardous duties — but a guy named Charlie Bosley took them away from all that and then they worked for him. Together they made the late ’70s a little more fun. Then about 20 years later three other women did a similar thing in two movie adaptations. Now, 16 years later, three other woman (Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska) are working for Bosley’s private detective agency (Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounsou, Patrick Stewart). With Banks serving as the film’s director, it may be fun. Will it have a theme as memorable as the one from the ’70s series? How will the movie compare to the other iterations of this well-established property?
Later in the month, the man who pretty much inspired Todd Phillips’ take on The Joker will, hopefully, return to local big screens with a new gangster epic starring three of the biggest faces of the genre: Al Pacino, Robert Deniro, and Joe Pesci. The story — based on Charles Brandt’s book, I Heard You Paint Houses, revolves around a truck driver named Frank Sheeran (De Niro) who becomes a hitman and works alongside noted mobster Russell Bufalino. He also may or may not have something to do with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). This one leaves the viewer with many questions: Will we, though highly unlikely, learn what exactly happened to Jimmy Hoffa? Will the de-aging effects take us out of the movie? Will we hear a Rolling Stones song on the film’s soundtrack? Will people go out of their way to see a film by one of America’s greatest filmmakers on the big screen or just sit at home and watch the 209-minute film on Netflix?
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