The 10 Cinema Releases I’m Most Excited About Between Now and the End of the Year

The months September to December always bring a fantastic selection of films; silly season is out of the way and the studios start sending out their Oscar hopefuls. Which isn’t to say there won’t be some blockbusters, Christmas now being as lucrative a time for the big films as the Summer. There is of course one particular sci-fi epic coming out in December, you might have seen something about it.

Here then are the ten releases I’m really looking forward to, not necessarily the ones I think will be the best movies but the ones that I’m most excited about:


Legend

Released 11th September


First off, in a week or so, we have this new crime drama about the Kray twins from Brian Hegeland, the screen writer of L.A Confidential. Films that potentially glorify criminality can be problematic for obvious reasons, especially if they are based on true events, but this looks like it might be a stylish and gripping movie. Not least among its attractions is a double performance from Tom Hardy as the eponymous brothers. Judging by the trailer it isn’t going to be a performance of subtle differences but impressive nonetheless. Better than we got from Gary and Martin Kemp anyway.


The Martian

Released 30th September


Director Ridley Scott has always been a little inconsistent. He is the man responsible for Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise and Gladiator but Kingdom of Heaven, G.I Jane and White Squall are hardly classics. He’s not having a great run at the moment either with the mediocre Robin Hood, the totally nonsensical Prometheus and the star studded bomb The Counsellor. I’m optimistic for The Martian though.

Matt Damon plays an astronaut stranded on a distant planet so it is basically a back story for his character in Interstellar. It looks like a simple and stripped down sci-fi though so it should suit Scott’s sensibilities and allow him to play to his strengths. He can be a superb visionary if he hasn’t got a complex story to trip him up.


Macbeth

Released 2nd October


Shakespeare’s most epic stories can translate magnificently to the screen and there is no doubt that the playwright would be making movies if he were alive today. This one has already been filmed by Orson Wells and Roman Polanski, among others, and now Australian director Justin Kurzel is giving us his version. He’s not the draw though, it’s the idea of Michael Fassbender as the Scottish king and Marion Cotillard as his pushy wife. Wait though, there’s more; Paddy Considine is playing Banquo. I’m sold, you should be too.


Suffragette 

Released 12th October


This one also has a great cast with Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Meryl Streep as the pioneers on the front line of feminism, with the latter playing Emmeline Pankhurst herself. No more will Glynis Johns in Mary Poppins be cinema’s most prominent representation of the suffragette movement.

It is incredible what these women put themselves through for something that seems such a basic right today yet is still not allowed in all places in the world. Of course the after effects of the inequality they were fighting against remains an issue even now.

This is an important story and I’m glad it is the subject of a high profile movie. All girls over the age of ten should see this movie so that they can see what their ancestors did little more than a century ago, and the same is doubly true of all boys over the age of ten.


Crimson Peak

Released 16th October


In 2006 Guillermo del Toro gave the world Pan’s Labyrinth; a movie so beautiful, so imaginative, so powerful, so heartbreaking and so utterly fantastical yet brutally real that we’ve been holding our breath ever since to see what other genius he is capable of. Hellboy II only had flashes of brilliance and Pacific Rim had no brilliance whatsoever so we are still waiting.

With Crimson Peak del Toro might just give us what we want. It is a gothic ghost story surrounding Mia Wasikowska’s Edith who marries a mysterious man and moves in with him and his sister played by Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. The house though has a past, and a memory.

Come on Guillermo, let this be the one!


SPECTRE

Released 26th October

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A new James Bond film is always cause for excitement, or at least it was until Die Another Day. Still the series is well and truly back on track now with Daniel Craig returning for his fourth movie and Skyfall director Sam Mendes for his second.

Now that the legal battle behind the authorship of the Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion is over (writer Kevin McClory ended up with the film rights following his work on Thunderball) the Bond film makers can bring 007’s arch enemies back to the screen. Craig’s Bond has already battled a criminal organisation in the shape of Quantum but it’ll be interesting to see what’s in store now the big boys are back. Of course SPECTRE’s biggest boy is Blofeld but there has been no confirmation that he is in the film. Certainly Mike Myers hasn’t been spotted on set.

It’ll be interesting to see if, like Mission Impossible’s similarly corny 60s named Impossible Missions Force, the full meaning of the acronym never gets mentioned in the movie.


Carol

Released 27th November


A 50s set melodrama in which Cate Blanchett’s wealthy American housewife and Rooney Mara’s young shop assistant fall for one another. The film, adapted from a Patricia Highsmith novel, generated a huge amount of praise when it showed at Cannes where the panel awarding the Queer Palm said it was “more than a movie, it’s a moment in history. The first time a love story between two women was treated with the respect and significance of any other mainstream cinematic romance”. They clearly didn’t see Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Colour in 2013 but it sounds like a great movie nonetheless.


The Good Dinosaur

Released 27th November


Pixar have given us a film a year every year since 2006 but last year nothing. It is all balancing out though as this year we are getting two, within four months no less here in the UK. Apparently the reason for the movies bunching up was quality checking which after Cars 2 and Monsters University is no bad thing and then of course they gave us the sublime Inside Out. Pixar have earned our awed respect once again so their new film makes this list.


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Released 18th December


Christmas comes slightly early this year with the December release of a new Star Wars film. When this was first announced a long time ago I was totally nonplussed. We’d been here before and it hadn’t worked out for us.

Over time though I’ve changed my mind and now I am really excited. Really excited! I do think it’s going to be good (George Lucas is dead to me, long live J.J Abrams) and I do think it is going to break every single box office record but none of that matters right now because I am absolutely loving the anticipation. What comes after will be what it will be.


The Peanuts Movie

Released 21st December


Okay, so Spielberg’s new film Bridge of Spies hasn’t quite made this list, but still The Peanuts Movie has. I just love the way they’ve made it look; sophisticated computer animation with the same flat movement lines that added such charm to the original comic strip. In fact they seem to have kept the spirit of the original cartoon throughout. If they get this one right it could be both an effective updating and a nostalgic treat; it could be this year’s Paddington. It’s got Snoopy too and Snoopy is cooler than the Fonz.

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