Movies Coming Soon: October 2017

Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) in Thor: Ragnarok
Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) and Tom Hiddleston (Loki) in Thor: Ragnarok

Old (terrible, horrible, no good, very bad) habits die hard, and that is why I haven’t updated in a while. So many shocking things have happened in the film industry, some more than others in this past month alone, and I have a ton of thoughts about them that I hope I’ll eventually post.

For now, I’ll go with this month’s “Movies Coming Soon”. This post is so late that some of the movies have came and gone, but I didn’t want to skip a month, so it’ll partially be a review post too. I have only watched two movies so far this month, so that won’t be hard.

Movies I will watch:

Geostorm (Oct 12)

Gerard Butler is a guy who built a global system to control the weather after climate change starts wreaking havoc on the world. However, this system starts malfunctioning and causing strange weather catastrophes to happen around the world, and Gerard Butler has to go into space to figure out if the system is at fault or if someone is deliberately sabotaging it for their nefarious means. (Guess which it is.)

I’ll be the first to admit that this movie looks silly and crappy. But there’s some perverse fascination in watching the world get destroyed in an utterly ridiculous manner. That’s why (fictional) disaster films make big bucks. (The real ones hit too close to home, unless they’re Titanic.)

And yes, it was utterly predictable and cheesy as hell. But I enjoyed myself anyway, because it was exactly what I expected. I guessed the villain correctly, because it couldn’t have been anyone else, though his motives for wreaking worldwide destruction really make no sense.

This is a movie that has been delayed several times. It was initially supposed to open in January 2016 I believe, but for unknown reasons they kept pushing it back. Maybe the studio thought it needed improvement? I’m not sure what parts, if any, were improved upon though.

Thor: Ragnarok (Oct 26)

I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Thor, so there’s no question that I’m going to watch the movie on opening day, if not earlier if possible. Every Marvel movie has a different aesthetic, so from the trailer, I surmise that Thor: Ragnarok will be as colourful as and sound like an ’80s video game. Critical consensus is that it’s the best Thor movie out of all three, and since I appear to be one of the rare few who loved the first movie and found the second hilarious despite its flaws, this movie had better be amazing beyond all belief.

Fun fact: Cate Blanchett and Karl Urban were both in the Lord of the Rings movies! Something I completely forgot until very recently. :-O In addition, Eomer (Karl Urban) and Gimli had a mini-beef over Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) when they first met, because Eomer thought she was a sorceress while Gimli was in love with her and wanted to fight him for insulting her. Near the end of Return of the King, at the celebration feasts with everyone of importance in Middle-Earth in attendance, Eomer checked in again with Gimli and said he would be inclined to agree with Gimli if he hadn’t seen Arwen. And Gimli decided to forgive him because “[y]ou have chosen the Evening; but my love is given to the Morning.” (Arwen being the Evenstar and Galadriel the Lady of Light.) It wasn’t in the movies, but it was in the books.

So that’s the long explanation of how Karl Urban and Cate Blanchett are connected in LOTR, and now in the Marvel Universe too.

Movies I may or may not watch (mostly not):

Blade Runner 2049 (Oct 5)

Honestly, I am not too sure what either the original Blade Runner or this sequel is about, except that Blade Runner was a cult classic and Harrison Ford was a police officer catching replicants for some reason and he uncovers a conspiracy.

The sequel looks visually stunning, and has great reviews, though sadly it didn’t do as well as the filmmakers hoped and the movie probably deserved. (Kind of like Mad Max: Fury Road — which it was being compared to in the run-up to its release — which should have earned hundreds of millions more than it did because it was SO GOOD.) But I obviously have not watched the original, and I think I should rectify that first. By which time, the sequel would be out of cinemas. Oh well. :S

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (Oct 5)

Like the title says, the movie is about Mark Felt, the former Associate Director of the FBI who helped the journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal and forced Nixon’s resignation.

The reviews for the film aren’t good, which is a pity, because the story is interesting and relevant in these days. There are also a lot of character actors I like in the film. I’ll consider for some day in the future, but my enormous to-watch list makes it unlikely.

Only the Brave (Oct 18)

Only the Brave is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of firefighters fighting forest fires, of whom 19 were killed in the Yarnell, Arizona fire in 2013. It was the largest group of firefighters killed in a single event since the September 11 attacks.

I really do not like testosterone-filled movies with men acting overtly macho, talking about boobs and sex, outshouting everyone else to assert dominance etc. to prove how masculine they are. I can’t say I liked the first hour of this movie very much as a result. But even the most stonehearted of people will feel a pang of grief when you see these men hunker down under their fireproof blankets praying to weather the storm of fire coming towards them, knowing that they didn’t survive.

I read a bit about the story when it happened, but I wasn’t entirely clear what happened (or how people fight forest fires at all). The movie made things slightly clearer, though not 100 percent. I’ll need to rewatch it with English subtitles because there’s so much jargon (and twangy accents) involved. That is, if I can bear to. I’m really not fond of tragedies (except Titanic, which is in a class of its own).

American Assassin (Oct 18)

A guy (Dylan O’Brien) whose newly-proposed-to fiancee is killed in a terrorist incident and becomes hell-bent on revenge is recruited by the CIA as a black ops operative, with Michael Keaton as his mentor. They have to stop Taylor Kitsch who wants to start WWIII in the Middle East.

The reviews aren’t good, which is also a pity, because I like Dylan O’Brien. But the movie is another one filled with too much testosterone and revenge for my liking. I think we have more than enough of that in the real world nowadays.

Definitely not watching:

Home Again (Oct 12)

A single mum (Reese Witherspoon) allows three young guys to move in with her for some reason I’m not too sure about. Some, if not all of them, try to woo her? At the same time, her separated husband comes back into her life and tries to woo her again. Lucky woman.

I’m not a huge fan of Reese Witherspoon to begin with, and the three young guys cast in this movie do not appeal to me at all. (Her ex-husband, Michael Sheen, does though.) I cannot relate to this storyline of a 40-year-old single mum being wooed by multiple guys, not even a tiny bit, and I have no interest in whether she gets together with none or all of them, so I won’t be watching this.

Flatliners (Oct 18)

I already wrote my thoughts about Flatliners back when it was supposed to open in end September.

It’s a remake of a 1990 horror film which starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts and Kevin Bacon, about a group of students obsessed with what happens after death, and give themselves near-death experiences to experience the afterlife for short bursts of time. Bad things happen of course. Why wouldn’t they when you play with death and the afterlife?

Now it stars Ellen Page, Diego Luna and Nina Dobrev. But it is still a horror movie, so I’m still not watching it. In any case, the first one sounds like a cult classic, so I’m not sure why the studio felt a remake was necessary. I don’t think it was a wise choice, but we’ll see.

Critics have been super harsh with this film, and audiences haven’t loved it either, which proves me right when I said I didn’t think it was a wise choice. It really looked like an unnecessary remake.

Happy Death Day (Oct 18)

A girl keeps dying over and over again until she learns her lesson on how to be a better person (and until she catches her killer of course). Basically, it’s Groundhog Day but the day is reset everytime she dies. (Also reminds me of the ‘Mystery Spot’ episode in Supernatural S3 where Dean keeps dying over and over again and the day keeps resetting until Sam finds out that it’s the Trickster who’s causing it to happen to make Sam come to terms with his brother’s impending death. That was a — mostly — hilarious episode.)

It’s too morbid for me.

Goodbye Christopher Robin (Oct 26)

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a movie about the relationship between A. A. Milne and his young son Christopher Robin, who inspired his beloved books on Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood.

I read somewhere that the real Christopher Robin grew up to hate his namesake character in the Winnie the Pooh books, and I just read that he had an estranged relationship with his parents too, and that A. A. Milne did not particularly care for children and was resentful that his life’s work was eclipsed by the success of Winnie the Pooh. If I had been interested in the film, which I was not, I would have lost interest in it by now since the film paints father and son as a loving duo when reality proved otherwise. I can stomach some diversions from truth in biopics, but not entire stories based on lies.