Whether we like it or not, the summer months are drawing to a close and it’s time to prepare for the fall. While pool days and ice pops might be in short supply, good movies are as bountiful as ever. A plethora of exciting, intriguing and highly anticipated titles will be flooding our cineplexes and streaming services as the weather cools down.
The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Amazon Prime Sept. 2
This is technically not a movie. But it is the first new film adaptation of Tolkien’s Middle Earth stories since The Hobbit trilogy concluded, and as such will be steeped in hype and expectations. Amazon has been working on this series for ages now, and soon everyone will be able to judge for themselves if the time and money have been worth it. For those yearning for another journey back to this fantastic world, this is a must watch.
Clerks III, in theaters Sept. 13
Kevin Smith broke into Hollywood with the comedy classic Clerks back in 1994, and followed it up with a sequel in 2009. Now, another 13 years later, Smith is back again with Clerks III, and he’s brought everybody. Jason Mewes, Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson and Rosario Dawson all return in a story that sees Dante (O’Halloran) attempt to make a movie about his Quick Stop career after suffering a heart attack.
Moonage Daydream, in theaters Sept. 16
David Bowie’s legacy as a musical and cultural icon comes to the big screen in this documentary that is being hailed as one of the greatest films about an artist ever made. The documentary doesn’t attempt to explain or recount Bowie’s life. Instead, it allows the audience to experience the artist through sound and exquisite visuals, Bowie’s narration, never-before-seen footage and performances. Moonage Daydream is the first film about Bowie to be approved by his estate following his death in 2016.
Blonde, Netflix Sept. 28
Ana de Armas gave a standout performance in 2019’s Knives Out, and now she’s poised to take on a truly massive role. Director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) crafted a stylized, nonlinear examination of Norma Jean Mortensen and her larger-than-life persona Marilyn Monroe. It is a highly fictionalized version of Monroe’s life, based on the novel by Joyce Carol Oates. The film will be the first NC-17 film produced by Netflix.
Halloween Ends, in theaters Oct. 14
Halloween 2018 was filmed right here in Charleston, and both it and 2021’s Halloween Kills featured a lot of talent from the Lowcountry. Local audiences will get another chance to play “I Spy” this October when the Rough House/Blumhouse trilogy ends. Jamie Lee Curtis returns, obviously, along with all the surviving members of last year’s middle entry. And no doubt some more Charleston actors will pop up in roles here or there. A time jump ahead is setting up a final showdown between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers, at least until the next reboot.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, in theaters Nov. 11
Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected death in 2020 left an indelible mark on the entertainment world. As the trailer for the next Black Panther film shows, it also left a hole in the fictional nation of Wakanda. The long-awaited sequel from director Ryan Coogler will tackle what Wakanda does following the death of its King T’Challa, and how the nation will fare in a battle with a new threat from the ocean. Lupita Nyongo, Letitia Wright, Angela Basset, Winston Duke and Martin Freeman all return, joined by Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will also bring an end to Marvel’s Phase 4 of films and series.
Avatar: The Way of Water, in theaters Dec. 16
It’s been 13 years since Avatar hit theaters, wowed us with its 3D visuals and somewhat bored us with its generic plot. James Cameron is back with another visit to Pandora and more adventures with the Na’vi. Cameron is known as a director who doesn’t release a new film unless he has a technological advancement to introduce, and The Way of Water is no exception. Equipment and techniques were designed in order to film performance motion captured while underwater, a feat never accomplished before. Whether the return to Pandora is worth it from a story perspective, the future of filmmaking will be granted new possibilities.
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