So with a final flurry of sunshine over the weekend, summer breathed its last breath – unless like me you live in Scotland in which case you got pissed on from a great height as fvcking usual. The beginning of October marks not only the end of long afternoons, sunglasses and ice cream cones, but a cinematic transition from the big bucks Hollywood blockbusters to a greater variety of lower budget and often more thought provoking material.
There are a few good ‘uns to look out for over the next couple of months, until Christmas roles around and it’s back to the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Tom Cruise to yank the hard earned cash from our hands as we curse our lack of self-control. But what stands out in the coming months? Luckily you have me on hand to preview the best of the autumn releases and pick out what I’ll be watching over the next couple of months, I’ll then go and watch them and apologize for being so utterly, utterly wrong.
First up on October 12th we have the release of Danfung Dennis’ documentary Hell and Back Again, which sees the fearless first time director and photojournalist extraordinaire travel to Afghanistan and…back again, to follow the progress of a young American soldier wounded in battle. I’ve actually seen this film already as it was shown as part of the Edinburgh Film Festival and although it is emotional and at times uncomfortable viewing, the film is a hard-hitting, incredibly well made and thought provoking work of documentary cinema. Anyone with even the slightest interest in the Gulf conflict (which I assume is pretty much everyone?) should see this film not only for the first hand and incredibly vivid experience of front-line combat but for its subtle and unobtrusive examination of the human consequences of war for all parties involved. Here’s the trailer if you want to have a closer look:
A couple of days later on October 14th comes Real Steel, a futuristic action/sports movie starring Hugh Jackman as a man who trains robots to box, which will apparently be everyone’s favourite sport in the year 20-bloody-never. With expensive CGI and a strong cast including the aforementioned Wolverine and the impossibly lovely Evangeline Lilly, Real Steel would perhaps have been more comfortable in the summer schedule. Nevertheless it hits our screens in October and to be honest it looks like it could go either way. When I first heard the premise for this one I thought it sounded really shit and while the clips I’ve seen so far haven’t exactly allayed my fears it does look more promising than I would have expected. Hugh Jackman is always likeable and the CGI looks impressive, if its executed in the spirit of fun and backs it up with action, this could be a surprise hit for director Shawn Levy. Here’s a little preview of Real Steel.
A couple of months ago we brought you the first look at Steven Soderbergh’s super-virus thriller Contagion, and the film will finally hit cinemas on October 21st. Contagion premiered at the Venice Film Festival to a decidedly lukewarm response, but has gone on to receive some very positive reviews to balance out the bad. With its stellar cast including Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne and Kate Winslet it’s hard to imagine Contagion will be a flop, and with post-apocalyptic zombie movies now ten-a-penny it may well be refreshing to see a straight up deadly virus film. You know, the kind that kills you but at least has the decency to let you stay dead. The clip is already available on Sickchirpse, but for the sake of continuity, here it is again.
On the same day Contagion is released so is the even more exciting prospect of Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin. Adapted from Lionel Shriver’s stunning novel of the same, the film stars Tilda Swinton as the distraught mother of a teenager who has gone on a high school killing spree, who narrates her version of Kevin’s upbringing in a series of letters to her now estranged husband. With a performance already hailed as a career best from Swinton (which means it’s a fvcking good performance) as well as a breakthrough star in Ezra Miller who plays the title character, I expect this film not only to steal the show this Autumn, but to remain relevant until the awards season rolls round early next year. Here’s a little peek at what’s in store:
So there you have it, a little guide to the films that will be keeping you indoors this autumn. I’ll be sure to see and review all of the films mentioned above on the site so please keep me posted with your opinion on any of the films I’ve mentioned, or if you feel I’ve missed anything important out please correct me, even I’m not right all the time!