GRAVITY - October 4th
Watch the trailer for Gravity here.
Between this and the surprise mega-hit of "The Heat," is this the year Sandra Bullock finally becomes a tolerable screen presence? Don't know, but director Alfonso Cuaron is a serious player and the "Open Water in space" premise is white-knuckle nerve-wracking stuff just on its face. Bullock and George Clooney are astronauts left adrift in orbit after a satellite is hit by space debris. Most common thing I hear from audiences whenever this trailer plays? "Nnnnnnnope!"
MACHETE KILLS - October 4th
Watch the trailer for Machete Kills here.
Yes, I know it's Prestige Movie Time; but that doesn't stop Hollywood from releasing guiltier pleasures so it certainly won't stop me from looking forward to them. The original Machete's surprisingly effective righteousness as an Immigration Rights rallying-cry is what pushed it just far enough above the standard Robert Rodriguez genre-wallow to be interesting, no telling if this one can (or is even aiming to) repeat the trick. Incidentally, yes - I believe this may be the first time Charlie Sheen has been credited by his given name in a movie.
OLDBOY - October 25th
Mercurial American auteur Spike Lee hasn't released a genuinely good non-documentary feature since Inside Man, but he's a singular and undeniable talent and even his most spectacular misfires (and he has a lot of misfires) are always fascinating to watch. Honestly, without his presence as director there'd probably be no other reason to look forward to this remake of Chan Wook-Park's celebrated 2003 manga-adaptation about a man who seeks revenge on the unknown persons who held him captive without any discernible motive for 20 years. Well, okay... Samuel L. Jackson having the lead role doesn't hurt, either. Might be good, might be a disaster, day-one must-see either way.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD - November 1st
Watch the trailer for Thor: The Dark World here.
The question of whether anyone still cared about Iron Man as a solo franchise post-"Avengers" having now been asked and answered - to the tune of over $1,210,000,000 and counting, it is now The God of Thunder's turn to re-introduce himself. And presumably explain to Jane Foster why he didn't bother to so much as call when he was back in town for the weekend last Summer.
It's officially directed by "Game of Thrones" workhorse Alan Taylor, but gossip abounds of reshoots and tinkering by others. The film has also been plagued by rumors of a messy production and a restless cast. But the trailers have looked promising, and I'm still interested to see more of the Marvel Universe's cosmic side and rumors that the story will explore Asgard's version of the afterlife have intriguing implications for what "death" actually means in this and other Avengers-adjacent universes and... oh, who am I kidding? Yay! Loki's back!
ENDER'S GAME - November 1st
Watch the Ender's Game trailer here.
One of the most influential works in youth science fiction finally comes to the big screen. I feel like the time for this may have passed, and too many of the original novel's better points have been pillaged by other movies, but it looks promising enough. Either way, watching the producers walk on eggshells as they try and get this into theaters as "Harry Potter Joins Starfleet" while hoping against hope that Orson Scott Card doesn't find himself in front of a camera or microphone between now and opening weekend will be entertaining on its own.
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET - November 15th
Watch the The Wolf of Wall Street trailer here.
Leonardo DiCaprio reunites with Martin Scorsese on his tireless quest to make everyone else feel even more inferior by securing a Best Actor trophy while still resembling history's most world-weary 15 year-old. This year's offering: A fact-based ode to capitalist villainy, with Leo as a crooked stockbroker riding out the sleazier side of the pre-2008 bubble economy. Whatever. Scorsese. Sold.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE - November 22nd
Watch the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer here.
It has to be better than the first one. It has to be better than the first one. It has to be better than the first one.