Gloriously weird: Fall Movie Season has arrived

Fall Movie Season is here! Too late for summer blockbusters and too early for Oscar-bait, Fall Movie Season is a weird box office time much like Spring Movie Season, where studios often schedule their lower-earning fare or stuff that they feel won’t do well.

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It’s also the time of year where studios place the films they don’t know how to market, which can lead to some interesting finds if you choose to go to the theater in September or October.

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September/October Movie Season is traditionally derided as the calendar slot where OK movies suffer and bad movies go to die, but every now and then, there’s a gem. “A Simple Favor” was released in Fall Movie Season of last year, and it was gloriously weird and a lot of fun. So was “Venom,” and while I’d never call that movie good, at least it was entertaining.

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This year’s slate features would-be Oscar bait, straight-up weird ripoffs, a few foreign films, the requisite Disney franchise and a few smaller films that look like they could become cultural icons. Read on to find out more.


“The Goldfinch” — Sept. 13

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book about a boy who survives a bombing that killed his mother at a Dutch art museum, this looks like it wanted to kick off Oscar Movie Season. Look at that cast: Ansel Elgort. Sarah Paulson. Luke Wilson. Nicole Kidman. Jeffrey Wright. Finn Wolfhard. But word from the Toronto International Film Festival says that the movie is baaaaad. I haven’t yet read the book this is based on, but now I want to.

“Hustlers” — Sept. 13

Based on a New York Magazine article about real strippers who stole from real Wall Street brokers and featuring an all-star cast, “Hustlers” looks like the winner of Fall Movie Season 2019: A fun, funny heist movie that has something to say about the real world. Word on the TIFF street is that it’s amazing.

Monos — Sept. 13

This film looks gorgeous, but gives absolutely nothing away in terms of plot, so here’s a description form Neon Studios:

MONOS, Alejandro Landes’ awe-inspiring third feature, is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels — bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom — who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson).

With a rapturous score by Mica Levi (only her third, after UNDER THE SKIN and JACKIE), director Alejandro Landes examines the chaos and absurdity of war from the unique perspective of adolescence, recalling LORD OF THE FLIES and BEAU TRAVAIL in a way that feels wholly original.

Sign me up.

“Depraved” — Sept. 13

“Frankenstein” for a new age.

“Downton Abbey” — Sept. 20

The aristocrats are back! In 1927! (I got nothing else to add. I have, perhaps unfairly and definitely pettily, maligned this show and avoided watching it because it was recommended to me years ago by an ex who imagined herself richer and more bougie than she was. I’m sure the show was great!)

“Rambo: Last Blood” — Sept. 20

And here in the Year of Our Lord 2019, we have been given the first movie trailer to be set to Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” Why? Who knows, other than to ride the back of a phenomenon. This trailer doesn’t really look like much, but I’m expecting insane levels of problematic violence from this movie.

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2008’s “Rambo” is maybe the most violent and gruesome film I’ve ever watched, and I’m not expecting Sly to slow down just because John Rambo may possibly die.

“Ad Astra” — Sept. 20

Give me a space movie in the fall every year, please. Advance reviews have said this is amazing.

“21 Bridges” — Sept. 27

Chadwick Boseman doing his best Denzel Washington in a crime movie directed by the Russo Brothers? Yeah, I’ll probably see this one.

“Judy” — Sept. 27

Renée Zellweger IS Judy Garland. Renée Zellweger SINGS “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” This trailer HAS beautiful cinematography. This IS a biopic set for release in September, too late for summer blockbuster season and too early for Oscar season. That’s ALL this trailer is indicating.


“Joker” — Oct. 4

Ah, finally, a movie to validate “misunderstood” men who have been marginalized by “society.” Just what the world needs. But, hey, it won the Golden Lion at TIFF (that festival’s greatest honor). I have zero desire to see this.

“Pain and Glory” — Oct. 4

Pedro Almodóvar returns to direct Antonio Banderas as a film director at the end of his career. This has potential Oscar buzz.

“The Current War” — Oct. 4

“It’s not currents…it’s currency!” Tom Holland with sideburns! Michael Shannon! I love everyone involved in this (and will watch pretty much anything Shannon is in) but I liked this better when it was called “The Prestige.”

“Gemini Man” — Oct. 11

I liked it better when it was called “Looper.” But I’m always interested in what director Ang Lee does— I even liked his take on the Hulk.

“The Addams Family” — Oct. 11

I was excited for this until I saw the trailer. Now I’m not so sure.

“Parasite” — Oct. 11

Korean auteur Bong Joon Ho is back with another look at class and castes.

“Jexi” — Oct. 11

This looks like the “Her” spinoff nobody asked for.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” — Oct. 18

I never saw the first one, but I am intrigued by how this looks to be basically Angelina Jolie and Michelle Phieffer battling to see who can chew the most scenery.

“Zombieland 2: Double Tap” — Oct. 18

Here comes a “Zombieland” sequel, 10 years after the first one. I enjoyed the original a lot, but I saw no need for another one. That is, until I saw Luke Wilson and Thomas Middleditch at the end of this trailer and laughed in spite of myself. If MoviePass was still a viable option, I’d use my card on this in a heartbeat.

“Jojo Rabbit” — Oct. 18

Ever since it was announced that Taika Waititi (“What We Do in the Shadows,” “Hunt For the Wilderpeople,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) would be doing a satirical film about a boy whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi), I was on board with whatever craziness this film would be. This trailer only makes me more excited. TIFF buzz is that this thing is great, too.

“The Lighthouse” — Oct. 18

A perfect example of a trailer not revealing anything more than absolutely necessary. I have no clue what this is about, but I loved “The Witch,” so I will definitely see this one.

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