Fall Movie Preview – Nov. 17th Releases

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The Eagle’s Weekly Movie Preview

They’ll be nearly 130 films opening between now and the end of the year. These weekly previews don’t cover all of them – instead, I’ll cut the fat and just talk about the flick that stand the best chance of NOT stinking up the multiplex with the best chance of not stinking up the multiplex. Of course, I’m almost sure that that nothing will make more money – and be more fun to watch – than Stars Wars: The Last Jedi. But until that one comes out, here’s what’s worth your weekly movie money!

As a weekly movie-goer, I’ve decided to cut the list up into sections, and post a week-by-week preview of what’s out, what’s hot and what’s…well…not so hot.

I’ll admit that I didn’t see anything NEW this past weekend (Oct. 13th).  Instead, I went to the Classic Film (both the Cinemark Hollywood and the UA Regal show great older movies these days) and it’s always great to see a favorite on The Big Screen. ‘Casablanca’ is coming soon and you can bet I’ll be in my usual seat (middle of the middle) to see Bogie and Bacall!

Out This Weekend (Nov. 17th):

Mudbound‘ (Nov. 17th)

(Netflix) This tale of racial disparity, set in the Mississippi Delta before during, and after World War II, will go right to your Feeler Bone.  Take a pocketful of tissues. The story focuses on the interaction between a white couple, the McAllans (Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke), and a family of black sharecroppers led by Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan. Director Dee Rees is a true artist behind the camera, especially the way she handles the PTSD that afflicts soldiers on both sides of the race line. This is the kind of movie that is the REASON we go see movies!  And I suppose, since it’s Netflix, it will be competing for an Emmy instead of an Oscar.  That’s a shame, because this is the sort of film that Oscar loves! American filmmaking at its best.

Justice League‘ (Nov. 17th)

Wonder Woman is even more amazing when you know that Gal Gadot was VERY pregnant while filming her parts for “Justice League” – they used a ‘Green Belly’ and CGI’d her obvious pregnancy out.  Look for much less Internal Angst from Batman, plus expanded roles for Flash (Ezra Miller) and Aquaman (Jason Momoa). Director Zack Snyder gets it.  We didn’t really care for The Caped Crusader as a goth, dark figure…so he’s eased up on that.  I’m looking forward to this one!




In Theaters Now:

Lady Bird‘ (Nov. 10th)

Could it be that the Breakthrough Director of 2017 is…NOT a dude? You betcha!  Her name is Greta Gerwig. Greta is out with this post-card beautiful story of a Sacramento high school senior named Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson who wants to go to college in New York. Even thought Gerwig is from Northern California, she gets the details right, from sharply funny dialogue and not-a-false–note direction to knockout performances from Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts as Lady Bird’s parents, as well as Lucas Hedges and Timothée Chalamet as the complicated boys in her life. Gerwig is writer & director here. It’s a dream of a debut.

Murder on the Orient Express‘ (Nov. 10th)

I hate to say “Don’t Bother” or “Just go back in watch the 1974 Sidney Lumet version“…but that -IS- what I’m gonna say here. That 70s version starred Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Anthony Perkins, Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman (who won an Oscar for it). Now, in the 2017 version, Kenneth Branagh is the director and wears the Poirot mustache. The over-sized, ridiculous mustache is as over-blown as the movie. Branagh tries to put his own spin on the classic whodunit. Among those looking guilty as hell on this express ride to homicide: Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe and Dame Judi Dench. Choose your poison. Stay home and watch the original and save your money for “Justice League” next week!


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri‘ (Nov. 10th)

If you’re like me, and you believe Frances McDormand can do anything, here’s more proof. Irish playwright-turned-filmmaker Martin McDonagh wrote the lead role expressly for the Oscar-winning actress, who plays Mildred Hayes, the  mother of a murdered teen daughter who takes action against the lazy police in her hometown. How, you ask? By using three billboards to advertise the local law-enforcement officers’ incompetence. Think “Investigation Discovery” meets Death Wish”. Expect fireworks!


Thor: Ragnarok‘ (Nov. 3rd)

 This is the one I want to see with The Fam this weekend.  But it’s not my turn to pick… soooo.  Are you tired of the long blond hair and that damn hammer? You’ll be pleased to know that star Chris Hemsworth has cut both from his repertoire in the third stand-alone Thor feature. This time, the mission is to put the fun back into the franchise with the Asgardian’s fellow Avenger The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) back in the mix, along with bad guy/occasional ally/Thor’s brother Loki. Their mission? Stop the new villain, Hela the Goddess of Death, from destroying the galaxy. With two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett in the role, they’re going to have their hands full!  Maybe I’ll sneak off and see this by myself this coming week.

Last Flag Flying‘ (Nov. 3rd)

It may be a week or 2 before we get this one in Amarillo. It stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne, and word is that they ALL hit acting peaks in “Last Flag Flying”.  Texas Director Richard Linklater looks at three military buddies still trying to heal psychic wounds three decades after they served together in Nam. The trio are forced to reunite after years apart, however, when Carell’s son dies while fighting in Iraq. It’s the mission of these middle-aged men to bring the boy home for burial. The Boyhood director’s latest is a triumph that also features stellar newcomer J. Quinton Johnson (Everybody Wants Some!!) as a young marine.

Roman Israel, Esq.‘ (Nov. 3rd)

Just when you think #OscarsSoWhite is be making a disturbing comeback after last year’s Academy diversity push, along comes Denzel Washington to the rescue. In the title role of Roman J. Israel, Esq, written and directed by Dan Gilroy, Washington plays a liberal lawyer at odds with the ethical failings of his firm. Considering how Gilroy brought out bizarrely brilliant new things in Jake Gyllenhaal in 2014’s Nightcrawler, you can expect to see Washington springing surprises.

Blade Runner 2049‘ (Oct. 6th)

There are FIVE versions of the original!  And now…Denis Villeneuve directs this sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic that sci-fi fanatics never, ever tire of spending hours on fan-boards chatting endlessly about. Is Harrison Ford’s former blade runner Rick Deckard a human or a replicant? We may find out for sure as Ryan Gosling joins the cast as LAPD Officer K, a new blade runner who meets up with the former cop in a future LA where, Villeneuve says, “the climate has gone berserk – the ocean, the rain, the snow is all toxic.” Is that significant? Is the world at risk? As Deckard says in the trailer: “Too many questions.” It’s a beautiful movie to look at. Just huge scenes of expansive background and great music.  Make sure you’re well-caffeinated!  And it’s almost 3 hrs long.  But there are no wasted minutes!  If you love the first one, well…you’ll love this one too.


(Johnny Black for “1009TheEagle.com”)