HOLLYWOOD—Summer is over, and the Fall movie season is now upon us. However, for the year 2023 things are a bit interesting for what many of us in the film industry consider Oscar-fare. With the dual writer and actors strike, the media circuit on cinema might be very tame if the strike is not resolved by the time awards season swings around in late December 2023.
The first big flick of September is the action-thriller “The Equalizer 3” starring Denzel Washington. The film is being touted as the final installment in the trilogy that sees government assassin Robert McCall (Washington) taking on new threats while ‘retiring’ in Italy. The flick reunites Washington with his “Man on Fire” co-star Dakota Fanning. The movie arrives on September 1.
Fall means Halloween, and the first horror flick to taunt audiences is the sequel, “The Nun II” that sees the return of the demon Valek, terrifying Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga). All I can say is that I’ve seen the trailer, and it looks terrifying, so I hope the flick delivers when it arrives on September 8. If you’re looking for laughs, there is the comedy “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” which reunites Nia Vardalos and John Corbett as they travel to Greece for a family reunion.
If action is your cup of tea, be prepared to be flooded with a host of action-stars with “The Expendables 4.” Which sees Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and a host of others as the team reunites to battle a new threat. The flick arrives on September 22. For the family, “Spy Kids: Armageddon” arrives on Netflix on September 22 with fresh faces tackling a new threat. Another flick for the family involves “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie” that arrives near the end of September.
The month of October kicks off with horror, as “Saw X,” the tenth entry in the franchise sees the return of John Cramer (Tobin Bell) aka Jigsaw as he unleashes more vicious traps for the unkind. The movie actually releases on September 29, but it really lingers into the first few days of October. This is an interesting flick as the events of the movie unfold between “Saw” and “Saw II” so take with that what you will.
October 6 sees the release of “The Marsh’s Daughter” which follows Daisy Ridley in the title role fighting against her father who kept her and her mother captive in the wilderness for years. The film could have potential Oscar flair. Another drama hitting theaters is “Foe” revolving around the dissolution of a marriage between Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal’s characters. For an action comedy, John Cena and Alison Brie star in the flick “Freelance.”
For the romantic lovers out there, “What Happens Later” sees actress Meg Ryan return to the big screen alongside David Duchovny as exes who get trapped during a snowstorm. I think you know how the flick will end. The movie arrives on October 13. Perhaps the most anticipated movie of the month and the year might be the direct sequel to the 1973 classic, “The Exorcist.” Yes, that supernatural thriller that haunted people is returning as Ellen Burstyn reprises her role as Chris MacNeil, who helps two families whose daughters become possessed by an evil that is unknown. Be prepared to be scared when it hits theaters on Friday, October 13. Hmm.
The hotly anticipated film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” sees Martin Scorsese return to directorial duties with an all-star cast involving John Lithgow, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brendan Fraser about the oil-wealthy Osage Nation during the 1920s. Expect plenty of drama, stellar acting and a surefire Oscar contender people. Rounding out the month, on October 27 are the films “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” “Sight” and “Pain Hustlers.”
As we near the holiday season, the month of November kicks off with the release of the film “The Marvels” which is the first big superhero flick arriving in theaters this fall. It sees the return of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) reuniting with Samuel L. Jackson as they battle a new threat to Earth. The flick arrives on November 10. If you want a prequel, the highly anticipated, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has an all-star cast consisting of Viola Davis, Rachel Zegler, Jason Schwartzman and Peter Dinklage. That film arrives in theaters on November 17. There is also the family friendly sequel, “Trolls Band Together” which sees Justin Timberlake, Zooey Deschanel and Camila Cabello voicing some of the iconic animated characters.
As we near Thanksgiving, you’d think all would be family friendly, well nope. Eli Roth releases the horror flick “Thanksgiving” you might remember the flick was teased as a fake trailer back in 2007 during Quentin Taratino’s double feature “Planet Zombie” and “Deathproof.” Well, a serial killer targets a small town on the festive holiday. The film stars Milo Manheim, Patrick Dempsey and Addison Rae. Very interesting flick, it hits theaters on November 17.
November 22 sees the release of two animated flicks for the family with “Leo” starring Adam Sandler and “Wish” starring Ariana DeBose and Chris Pine. Two big Oscar-contenders arrive on the same day as Joaquin Phoenix tackles the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. He co-stars with Vanessa Kirby in the flick. Bradley Cooper is receiving serious Oscar-contention as he tackles the role of legendary composer and conductor Leonard Benstein. The film is directed by Cooper, but produced by film titans Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.
As winter approaches, the month of December kicks off with “Magazine Dreams” starring Jonathan Majors as a bodybuilder with a troubling past. Majors was considered the front-runner for Best Actor after the flick premiered during festival season earlier in the year, but his current legal situation might put a damper on those hopes. The drama arrives Friday, December 8. Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Bacon, Mahershala Ali and a host of others star in “Leave the World Behind” as families forced to fight to survive as a looming threat of the end of the world lingers.
Timothee Chalamet tackles the iconic role of Willy Wonka as new flick “Wonka” arrives on December 15. The long-delayed sequel, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” starring Jason Momoa arrives on December 20. The film has been so in the mix for years, I truly don’t know if the audience who showed up for the first flick will return for this sequel. Zac Efron tackles the role of wrestler Kevin Von Erich for the drama, “The Iron Claw” which hits theaters on December 22.
As Christmas arrives, be prepared for a remake with a musical twist on Steven Spielberg’s 1985 classic “The Color Purple.” The musical stars Fantasia Barino, Taraji P. Henson, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins and Halle Bailey. Buzz on this one is quite huge, and it will draw in families. Two other dramas hitting the theater on the same day include “Ferrari” which tells the story of Enzo Ferrari and the drama “The Boys in the Boat” which chronicles a rowing team at the University of Washington in the 1930s.
Lots of drama for the family, plenty of family fare, horror is potent, but I am seeing a lack of comedy. So those looking for laughs there will be some likely for home viewing, but not much at the theater.