August is a slow month. Summer is coming close to an end, the summer movie season has gone and past, and now we sit and wait as movies the studios don’t know what to do with are being released, patiently waiting for the awards season to start. So with not much to talk about in terms of reviews right now, and the urge I have to write up at least one post in the past few weeks, here are 10 movies I am looking forward to for the rest of the year.
This list is in no particular order, I won’t be ranking these movies by how excited I am for each one. This is simply a list of ten movies coming out in this last stretch of 2019 that I am looking forward to and why. And hopefully, I can provide some insight into why you should be looking forward to seeing these movies as well. A few honorable mentions Knives Out, Zombieland: Double Tap, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, Ad Astra, The Goldfinch, Little Women, and Cats (Yes, it looks creepy as hell, but I can’t help but be morbidly curious).
It Chapter Two
The first It captured something that I think sets it apart from just being a fun horror movie to a great movie. It had us caring for the losers club. Each kid had a personality that was given the care to actually develop them as people and not just cannon fodder as most horror movies use their character for. Their dynamic as friends felt real and lived in, it reminded me of when I was younger with my friends. Bill Skarsgard is terrifying and comedic in his portrayal of Pennywise, The Dancing Clown. He is genuinely terrifying and yet so electrifying and entertaining to watch. It Chapter Two looks to continue with a character-centric film with the amazing cast as the older loser club. James McAvoy has been crushing it lately in just about everything he does. I’m so excited to see what Bill Hader can do with a role like this. I think he was a great choice and I’m hoping he’ll be able to tap into something we haven’t seen from him before, and by the looks of the trailer, I think we might get that. It Chapter Two looks genuinely scary, and a fun time at the movies.
When I heard DC comics and Warner Bros. were making a solo Joker movie without Batman that was going to be directed by the director of The Hangover, I didn’t know what to expect. And honestly, after everything I’ve seen and heard by now, I still don’t know what to expect. The casting of Jaoquin Phoenix is perfect. He seems to be really into the role, taking it very seriously. I’m hoping to hear some Oscar buzz from his performance. I love the direction their going with this character. A character study in the same vein as Taxi Driver, a dark and bleak look at a man’s descent into madness. The only thing that has me worried is Todd Phillips as the director. He seems to be full out, on board for this project, but his body of work to this point has shown me that he hasn’t been able to craft a film at the caliber that everyone is hoping Joker to be. I’m rooting for the guy. Right now I’m his number one fan cheering him on, hoping to be surprised by what he can accomplish. I guess for now, we will have to wait and see.
If you’re wondering to yourself right now, “what the heck is Jojo Rabbit”, I wouldn’t blame you. If you have only seen Thor: Ragnarok from Taika Waititi’s body of work as a director, you are doing yourself a disservice. Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a fun and endearing adventure full of hilarious moments and What We Do in the Shadows is one of my favourite comedies of all time. So what is Jojo Rabbit? Well, it’s Taika Waititi’s take on an anti-hate satire where Taika himself is playing Adolf Hitler. Read some interviews with Taika Waititi on this movie, you’ll have a good laugh. This looks like an inventive comedy that is bold with the statements it’s looking to make. With a great cast and interesting visual style, Jojo Rabbit I’m hoping it’ll be one of my favourites this year. Taika Waititi has yet to disappoint.
What do you get with two secluded characters in one location filmed on 35mm black and white film and filmed in a 1.19:1 aspect ratio starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as lighthouse keepers in a horror film? You get a pretty intriguing experiment from director Robert Eggers. I am so fascinated by this film. It looks weird and creepy and kind of nuts. I know absolutely nothing about this film other then it’s about two lighthouse keepers trapped on a remote and mysterious island. I love the era it takes place in and the accents both actors are doing. This movie looks so strange and different than what we are used to and I’m here for it. I love when filmmakers get experimental and take fascinating risks with incredible actors. Both Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are brilliant actors. If you have only seen Robert Pattinson in Twilight I would understand your confusion about my previous statement. If all you have seen is Twilight and you can’t understand why this guy was cast to be the new Batman, you need to go do yourself a favour and go watch The Rover and Good Time. Any doubts about Pattinson’s acting ability will be put at ease after viewing those films. The Lighthouse will not be a movie for everyone, but it looks to be right up my alley.
I have a lot of horror movies I’m looking forward to apparently. This movie has quite a few things going for it. One, The Shining is not just a great movie, it’s a bloody masterpiece and the greatest horror movie all time. I’ve seen the movie probably upwards to 15 times now and every time I watch it I find something new to discover about it. Two, this movie is being adapted from great source material written by Stephen King and from the 1980 movie, the aforementioned The Shining. Three, Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson are great actors to be leading your movie. And four, Mike Flanagan has been crushing every single project he has put out. From the tension-filled Hush to his revitalization of a dead franchise with Ouija: Origin of Evil to his masterful horror series The Haunting of Hill House and even a Stephen King adaptation that many thought would be impossible to film, Gerald’s Game. Mike Flanagan has proven time after time that he is a master when it comes to making competent and character-based horror films. This is the perfect guy to adapt the daunting task of filming a sequel to The Shining. I don’t think I would’ve been on board for this project if it were any other name attached to it. In Mike Flanagan, I trust.
Ford v Ferrari
This is a movie I’m excited for solely based on the people involved. I don’t really care for the story, but if it’s being told by James Mangold, I’m listening. This movie is coming out in prime Oscar-baiting time which tells me they are very confident in this movie and in how good it is. James Mangold coming hot off of Logan is directing, and starring two of the best actors out there in Matt Damon and Christian Bale. What isn’t there to be excited about?
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
America’s sweetheart is playing America’s sweetheart. Not only do I think Fred Rogers is one of the greatest humans to ever walk the planet, right up there with Gandhi, he’s one of my heroes and inspirations. The documentary that came out last year about him, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was so inspiring and insightful. It brought me to tears. I have so much respect for Mister Rogers and his noble cause of teaching children. I am so delighted that Tom Hanks, one of the kindest and sweetest actors is portraying such a loving soul. I can not wait to see what Hanks can bring out of this role. One aspect of the film that not a lot of people are talking about, but is what I believe to be one of the best selling factors (among the many) this movie has. This movie is being helmed by director Marielle Heller, director of Can You Ever Forgive Me? Can You Ever Forgive Me? surprised the crap out of me. I didn’t want to see that movie last year and went to go see it solely based off of the high reviews it was getting and it wound up being one of my favourite movies of 2018. Heller’s attention to the characters in that movie made it one of the most personal movies I had seen that year. Her style and attention to her characters is a perfect match to tell the story of Fred Rogers.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
I mean c’mon, it’s Star Wars, of course I’m looking forward to it. It’s the final conclusion to an albeit mixed sequel trilogy. Now I was a fan of The Last Jedi, but upon multiple repeat viewings, it has dropped in quality for me. The things I loved about the movie I still love, but the things I thought were okay or passable are now definite weak and low points of the movie and the things I disliked about it, I’ve come to really hate. I’m not so hot on The Force Awakens either, I don’t love that movie really, I even struggle to say I like it sometimes. So why am I excited for another Star Wars movie, well because it’s another Star Wars movie. My favourite experiences I’ve ever had in the theatre were when watching these Star Wars movies on opening night. There was so much enthusiasm and excitement in the air you can practically taste it. And I’m genuinely excited to see how J.J. Abrams will conclude the Skywalker story. So of course, I’m excited to see this movie because, without Star Wars, I won’t be writing this post at all.
I’m a sucker, like any man, for a good war film. For me, the only time I cry in movies is not when the couple breaks up or someone dies, what I find to be so moving that it moves me to tears is when a character selflessly give themselves for another human. Whether it be a selfless sacrifice where a character gives their lives for someone else or commits to a life of service to help others, very much like Mister Rogers and the love he had when it came to children. This theme of selflessness is what any good emotional war movie is built on. 1917 is being held by Sam Mendes who has directed a few of my favourite movies all time, like Skyfall or American Beauty, but what I am even more excited for is Roger Deakins is behind the camera. I can not wait to see his visuals in a war setting and what he and Sam Mendes can come up with. Last time they worked together we got Skyfall, one of the most gorgeous films ever. This has a great cast and is sure to be a hit come award season.
I know nothing about this film other than a few stills on set, a description of the movie, and the people involved and that’s enough for Uncut Gems to make my most anticipated list. The Safdie Brothers came storming onto the indie scene with the A24 release of Good Time. A thrilling tale of a despicable character on the run from the cops after a botched bank robbery. An intense look at one man’s night as he tries to run away, Robert Pattinson is captivating in this movie. Again if you don’t think this guy can act, you need to watch Good Time. Pattinson was Oscar-worthy in that movie, and that’s why I’m so excited to see what they will do with their lead in Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler. Adam Sandler is a talented actor who unfortunately wastes that talent. Yes, he does dumb comedies, some great and some just plain awful, but he has a few hidden gems in his arsenal. Reign Over Me, well being a little too melodramatic, is a great performance by Sandler as a man struggling to come to terms with the loss of his family in 9/11. Punch-Drunk Love is a movie that hits me on a whole different emotional level that few movies can and a lot of that comes from Sandler and his pairing with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Go watch that movie if you haven’t, it’s a top 20 favourite film of mine. Sandler has it in him to put out an Oscar-worthy performance and I hope the Safdie Brothers are the ones to bring it out of him.