October: Fall movie season and the ramp up of award season, right? Not so fast, Mr. Highbrow. October is also the time where our movies don't just roll over for the next stop on the awards circuit, but also the pinnacle of fear and escape: Halloween. Much like Halloween night itself, our expectations change and we taken a different personality and do so with our movie picks throughout the month too. This list is a set of favorites where we shift from a simple standard of excellence, but a vibe, eerie and downright creepy good time that adds up to a different type of excellence.
Get mom to settle in and talk dad into letting you stay up late and watch another one. We promise, it's only for as long as October lasts . . . then it's time to shift over into the world of November, December holiday movies, so enjoy the frights while you can.
Where to even begin when it comes to looking at movie releases this year? For anyone who says they know, they can't and will only have educated guesses to share? Even as I write this, Connected moved to a TBD status (which was going to be part of the list).
So, where to go from here? As with everything this year, the only way to go is forward and with a plate full of hope and a heaping side of grit and determination. Obviously, this fall will be different and who knows what the Oscars end up looking like as the Academy may only have a handful of options, with strong streaming ties to them too and that probably raises the red flags to them. What I see - remember that hope thing folks - is an opportunity for smaller movies to seep into the public consciousness through unconventional distributions, marketing approaches and a starved audience. Movies like Kajillionaire or The Forty Year-Old Version are not likely to create Tenet-level anticipation, but is the time right for something that sneaks up on us and asks us to pause and reflect? Maybe, just maybe, there's a little indie that could or a streaming flick to bring us together just a little bit and remind us of our grit and determination not only this year, but in each of us. Fingers crossed, here are some flicks we get as the leaves change colors.
Mad. Scared. Shaken. Unequivocally unraveled and driven toward purpose. Our series, A Voice to Reckon With, originally focused on the singular vision of a director, but in 2020 it has evolved into more than just one person's ideas and thoughts on the screen. Like so many other things, A Voice to Reckon With means so much more than a couple of years ago, or even months for that matter. So, with the biggest voices of hope, this week's picks are mix of new and old, but all still old and relevant issues for us to examine and act upon.
What to Eat?
Go support those immigrant-owned restaurants. Ask some questions about their journey. Go to the diner that's been around for 45 years and ask about theirs. Engage. Listen.
Even in 2020, this year still has to reckon with the same beats and melancholy of losing another season. Maybe even more so this year, the end of barbecues, pool time, fire flies, baseball - all different this year but call backs to normal times - hits even harder.
Our End of Summer Mix is the jumping off point for looking back to the summers gone by, this one too, even as light on the releases as it is, and that vibe of watching summer fade into fall, one last look at the resort and finally coming in as the last street light comes on and the night gets earlier and earlier. I know that feeling and movies can help. Let the community know what other movies to add to our list and which ones you go back to.
What's to Eat?
One last cookout meal with potato salad, roasted veggies, burger if you choose and an ice cold cocktail as the sun sets.
EARLY ACCESS REVIEW of tenet
One cannot talk Tenet without acknowledging the place it sits in 2020 theater going - or lack thereof - and the weight absorbed on its shoulders with open arms by Christopher Nolan. The movie itself is big, action-laden and conceptually big.
I feel as though I could spend my time reviewing Tenet - and prepping for the inevitable pushback - by describing other complex movies I love and how high Inception ranks on my favorites of all-time. Yep. You all see where I'm going. Multiple times throughout watching Tenet, I had absolutely no idea what was going on, yet, here I will try to summarize the plot and describe the feeling that I continue to fight today - I just don't know what the movie was really about. The John David Washington character is trying to prevent the Kenneth Branagh character from destroying the world, whole protecting Elizabeth Debicki along the way and up pops Robert Pattinson, as well as a boss that has somehow brought time inversion and bullets along for this ride. Simply put, I'm probably too dull and devoid of intelligence to truly get what was going on and this makes not for a challenging film, but a unique experience that I've rarely encountered. Nolan's opening scene and terrific, mind-bending action sequences are as good as you will see around. However, this action is woven into exposition that doesn't connect, often with DJW's character often explaining or coming to the realization of what just happened seconds before, as if they decided to keep these in to help us figure it out. All in all, the movie is solid enough because it is Nolan orchestrating these wonderful action sequences. However, I kept thinking, would we all give another movie the same pass we probably are here because it is Nolan. As I said, someone smarter than me can figure this out. Tenet may have been worth waiting for but the final product itself feels less than stellar with some fun action along the way.
What to Eat?
Hell. Give me a drink.