Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions - The Year In Film 2014: Episode VIII

With only four months left in the year, the month of September can often serve as the un-official start of Oscar Season. But at the same time, it can be a place of exile for films not fun enough for the summer and not good enough for a late-year Oscar push. Here are the notable films for September 2014.
It all begins with…

THE LONGEST WEEK – Jason Bateman continues his second career as an indie-film draw in this love-triangle story. Co-stars Billy Crudup (WATCHMEN), and Olivia Wilde (TRON: LEGACY).
FRONTERA – Ed Harris (APOLLO 13) leads this contemporary Western set on the current borders of Arizona and Mexico, where a murder leads to an illegal immigration investigation. Co-stars Michael Pena, Eva Longoria, Amy Madigan, and Aden Young.

NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY – Documentary on Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis (see what they did there?), who in 1970 threw a no-hitter while high on LSD.
NO GOOD DEED – Idris Elba (THOR, PACIFIC RIM), stars as a charming stranger with deadly intentions.

DOLPHIN TALE 2 – That damn dolphin from the 2011 hit film gets in a pickle again. Stars Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Kris Kristofferson, and Sawyer Nelson. Directed by Charles Martin Smith.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY – Director Ned Benson weaves a tale of tragic love. Stars Jessica Chastain (ZERO DARK THIRTY), James McAvoy, William Hurt, Bill Hader, and Viola Davis.

THE DROP – Tom Hardy (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES) stars in this crime drama directed by the Oscar nominated director of BULLHEAD, Michael R. Roskam. Co-stars Noomi Rapace (PROMETHEUS), and James Gandolfini.
20,000 DAYS ON EARTH – Drama and reality combine in a fictional look at 24 hours in the life of musician Nick Cave.

THE MAZE RUNNER – In a clear attempt to cash-in on THE HUNGER GAMES success, this adaptation of the best-selling novel involves kids running around a maze trying to survive.
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU – Jason Bateman appears in his second dramatic comedy of the month, this time joined by Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, and Kathryn Hahn. Directed by Shawn Levy (NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM).

A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES – Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling mystery novels, Liam Neeson stars as an ex-cop working as a private investigator.
TUSK – Kevin Smith’s second movie since he announced his retirement involves a podcaster who falls into the clutches of a sadistic killer. Stars Justin Long, Genesis Rodriguez, Michael Parks, and Haley Joel Osment (THE SIXTH SENSE).

SPACE STATION 76 – A dramatic comedy which riffs on the cheesy science fiction TV shows of the 1970’s. Stars Patrick Wilson (WATCHMEN), and Liv Tyler.
THE EQUALIZER – Denzel Washington stars in this loose adaptation of the 1980’s TV show. Co-stars Marton Csokas (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), Melissa Leo (THE FIGHTER), and Chloe Grace Moretz (KICK ASS). Directed by Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY).

THE BOXTROLLS – From the studio that brought us the successful animated films CORALINE and PARANORMAN, comes this tale of little mischievous trolls who have raised an orphan boy. Stars the voice-talents of Ben Kingsley, Toni Colette, Elle Fanning, Jared Harris, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost.
THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY – Viggo Mortensen (THE LORD OF THE RINGS), and Kristen Dunst (SPIDER-MAN) star in this 1962-set murder mystery thriller. Co-stars Oscar Isaac (INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS).

JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE – OutKast’s Andre Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this biopic.  


Next month, Episode IX looks at the month of October.

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