The fall movie schedule is one that studio executives tend to ignore. After the summer blockbusters and before the holiday/awards season, fall movies are in a film purgatory. The staff at AiPT! discuss the movies they are most looking forward to seeing.
Which movie are you looking most forward to this fall?David Brooke: I haven’t been this excited for fall movies in a long time. The two that really stick out are Halloween because it’s directed by Danny McBride who is taking this very seriously and Suspiria because it is a remake of a classic horror film I’ve always loved. Suspiria in particular stands out because the director Luca Guadagnino let the world know Quentin Tarantino was so enthusiastic about the film after seeing it he was crying and hugging him.
Michael Rosch: The fall crop isn’t looking too promising this year. But I guess the film I’m most curious about is First Man because it’s Damien Chazelle reteaming with his La La Land star Ryan Gosling, and the Apollo 11 mission is ripe for a great movie treatment. And I couldn’t care less about whether or not the film depicts the planting of the U.S. flag on the moon. Scratch that. I actually prefer it doesn’t because one of the last things I want to see in a story about one of humanity’s greatest feats is it cheapened by small-minded nationalism. Carl Sagan described the image of the Earth taken from the Voyager 1 as the “Pale Blue Dot.” In his most poetic and beautiful monologue, he highlighted the futility of human tribalism when viewed from the perspective of such vast distances away where the entire planet appears as a mere speck “in a vast, cosmic arena.” Reducing Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind” to a shallow political statement about how awesome the U.S. is would undermine the very message Armstrong conveyed in his famous quote.
Nathaniel Muir: I am going with Suspiria. I love the original and the trailers for the remake look great. Close second is Bohemian Rhapsody.
Which movie do you want to see but are embarrassed to admit it?Dave: I want to see A Star is Born, but I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen a single iteration of the film. It’s the fourth remake of a story that dates back to 1932, but it looks so damn good. I also have faith Bradley Cooper, who is starring and directing, won’t screw this up since it’s the most responsibility he’s had making a film ever.
Michael: I’ll second Dave’s pick. I too am embarrassed to have never seen any of the prior versions of A Star Is Born, though I have the 1954 Judy Garland version that aired on TCM last year recorded on my DVR and will definitely finally watch it before seeing the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga version. Besides it being a retelling of a beloved classic, there’s a lot to be curious about between Cooper’s directorial debut and Lady Gaga’s debut as a leading lady in a movie.
Nathaniel: Mid90s looks pretty corny. Written and directed by Johan Hill, it seems like a pretty generic story about some teenaged boy who skates and gets into trouble. I’m not a child of the nineties, so nostalgia is not a factor. The trailer is decent, but I am still unsure of the film. No idea why I want to see this movie so badly, but I cannot wait.
Since fall releases are wedged between summer blockbusters and holiday season they tend to get forgotten. Which film do you think has the best chance to stand out once the year is over?Dave: Suspiria. I think it’s going to be a horror film that’s less horror and more captivating. It’ll surprise everyone.
Michael: If First Man turns out to actually be very good — and Chazelle’s last two movies were — it could become an early frontrunner in the Oscar race. It’s got plenty of potential to check off many of the Oscar bait boxes we’ve come to know. It’s an uplifting true story of a man who beat impossible odds to do something extraordinary. There’s a high probability it’ll end with a celebratory speech to an applauding in-movie audience. And Oscar loves to reward actors for playing real world figures. If Gosling pulls off even a halfway decent performance, he’ll at least be nominated for Best Lead Actor.
Nathaniel: I agree about First Man. I was surprised it was coming out so early in the year. It seems like the perfect holiday movie. At the other end of the spectrum, Venom will leave a lasting impression, but not any it will be proud of.
Which movie has you intrigued but you are still on the fence about?Dave: Venom because it looks way too 90s, yet it appears to be getting the Symbiote right. I’ll probably see it, but I’m very cautious.
Michael: I’m going with Bohemian Rhapsody. I don’t know anything about Queen’s rise to fame and the film’s obviously had a very troubled production between the departures of Sasha Baron Cohen and director Bryan Singer. And the biggest reason to be on the fence is it’s another end of year “Based on a True Story” biopics that feels like a safe Oscar movie and not a film likely to do anything too new or interesting. Then again, maybe it will be this year’s I, Tonya and rise above the traditional November/December biopic.
Nathaniel: Bad Times at the El Royale is either going to be really fun or really dumb. I don’t see any middle ground for it and that’s what prevents this from being a must see for me.
Two movies that people seem to want to see despite being worried about their quality are Venom and The Predator. Which do you think will be better?Dave: The Predator without a doubt mostly because original Predator screenwriter Shane Black is directing and writing this one. He’s a very talented writer, we know this from movies like The Nice Guys, and I’m very curious to see how he helms a horror/action picture.
Michael: I’ve never really understood the appeal of the Predator franchise in the first place beyond ironically watching kitchy 80’s muscle men shooting a lot of automatic weapons. Then again, maybe I’ve never really given it a chance. I don’t think I’ve watched a complete Predator movie ever. But I’m as totally indifferent to another one as I am to another Halloween movie. So, even though Venom looks like it could be an epic trainwreck, I’d happily watch a spectacular failure than a film I have no feelings about one way or the other, so I’m choosing Venom.
Nathaniel: Tough call. Venom looks like silly fun, but Shane Black has a proven track record. Then again, there have been some pretty bad Predator movies. It might be for all the wrong reasons, but I know I am going to enjoy Venom. In all likelihood, The Predator will end up being good, but I am betting on Venom to be the more enjoyable experience.