September is finally here. Finally. We can stop paying $14 to watch good actors sell themselves out and million-dollar budgets spin down the drain. What’s more, if the early offerings from Lee Daniels and Woody Allen are any indication, the fall should be brimming with Oscar-worthy films. The releases for September beg to differ. It’s not that there’s nothing worth seeing, it’s just that there’s nothing worth nominating--well, almost nothing. Here’s what’s coming in September:
The studios must be oddly intimidated by the One Direction movie because this is the only nationwide opening this weekend. Vin Diesel returns to the big screen (his shift manager at DQ must have let him leave early) to reprise his role as the title character. Battling an alien invasion on a foreign planet, Riddick must activate a rescue beacon to secure his escape. Picture After Earth without the star power, budget or special effects, then start scrolling through On Demand.
Insidious: Chapter 2
As one would expect on a Friday the 13th weekend, a horror film is the big release. Fans of the genre already are buying tickets for this hotly anticipated sequel to what was a surprisingly good first installment. Beautiful wife, beautiful husband, beautiful house, beautiful neighborhood, haunted children. So what else is new?
I honestly don’t know what to make of this. The cast (Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones) would seem to indicate a top-notch comedy. The premise, on the other hand, begs to differ. The mobster-in-witness-protection comedy has been tried and tried (and tried), with limited success. Maybe moving the mobsters to France will make for better comedy--or maybe the French will find it funny. I have to give this cast and director Luc Besson the benefit of the doubt.
Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard star as fathers of two young girls who are abducted from their sleepy neighborhood. When the police fail to obtain the whereabouts of his daughter from the prime suspect, Jackman’s character takes matters into his own hands. This has all the makings of a first-rate thriller.
Again, we revisit a familiar theme: race-car driving. Here, Chris Hemsworth stars as a playboy Formula One driver. He is unbeatable and living like a rock star until a daunting French rival emerges. Ron Howard is directing so I’m sure it’s going to be gripping. I will therefore stifle my Talladega Nights comparisons. Shake ‘n Bake.
What’s that you say? A big-studio release that may actually have Oscar buzz? Shocking. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a smooth talking ladies man tainted by a pornography addiction. When he meets the naïve Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), he becomes determined to forge a new romantic path.