We at Steven James continue our monthly series on movie releases in the US. We focus this series on the nationwide releases because there are so many movies released in limited runs or in specialty houses that we can’t devote enough time or space to do them all justice. But we will definitely provide you the links so you can find everything being released around the country, whether they are limited or coast-to-coast offerings. I guess it’s fitting that as we move into October – the month that brings in beautiful colors and also celebrates Americans’ love of the somewhat spooky, scary, and supernatural, the movie business finally has some good news after a down summer. Thanks to a frightening flicker based on the master of the genre’s work, the box office receipts had a recent surge. Stephen King’s “IT” has been the blockbuster smash the industry has been hoping for, demonstrating that although movie-going has slipped with all the entertainment options available to people these days, a compelling movie will still draw the crowds to the Popcorn Palaces across the country.
On to the nationwide releases this month. On Friday, October 6th, there are three of them. “My Little Pony: The Movie” is an animated tale for those who love the Hasbro toyline and the animated TV series. If this happens to be you and you are over the age of, say, 12, we suggest you find a kid to bring to the movie with you or lose all your street cred! Next, there is an adaptation of the Charles Martin novel The Mountain Between Us. It tells a gripping story of two strangers played by the great actors Idris Elba and Kate Winslet who are stranded after a plane crash. The pair must make a harrowing trek across hundreds of miles of harsh wilderness. The third offering this week is one that Hollywood is keeping its fingers crossed for: “Blade Runner 2049.” Ryan Gosling is the new LAPD ‘blade runner’ who must track down one who has been missing for thirty years – Harrison Ford – from the original 1982 film (actually 35 years ago!) The original “Blade Runner” has reached rarefied air in the ranks of the sci-fi genre, and the producers have to be hoping the new installment draws in a good percentage of the original’s admirers.
Three more nationwide releases hit the screens on October 13 – Friday the 13th! Of course there has to be a horror movie in the mix, and it’s “Happy Death Day” with Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine. A college student flashes back in time to relive the day she was murdered so she can discover the killer’s identity. From the scary we go to an interesting offering called “The Foreigner.” The great Jackie Chan plays the central figure who seeks revenge for his daughter against Irish terrorists. Pierce Bronson co-stars. But the release we are especially excited about this week is the true story “Marshall” about the pioneering civil rights activist, lawyer, and eventual Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The immensely talented actor Chadwick Boseman stars in the movie that highlights an early case Marshall defended in his career. We are proud that Steven James’s very own Bart Durkin, one of our cinematographers and editors, worked on the film that was shot primarily in Buffalo. Check out our website soon for an interview with Bart about the experience he had working on this major release.
October 20th will see the biggest number of coast-to-coast releases with five. There’s a comedic sequel in “Boo! Two: A Madea Halloween.” Of course it’s a Tyler Perry production playing his hilarious character, Madea. Next up is a sci-fi action adventure pic called “Geostorm” where storm-making technology has been weaponized. Then third release is a murder mystery called “The Snow Man” where an elite criminologist played by Michael Fassbender teams with a brilliant new recruit (Rebecca Ferguson) to track an elusive serial killer who has started his terror again after years of inactivity. The fourth offering this week is a romantic drama, “Same Kind Of Different As Me,” focusing on Greg Kinner as an international art dealer, his estranged wife played by Renee Zellweger, and his friendship with a homeless man portrayed by Djimon Hounsou. The final movie coming out this week is “Only The Brave,” based on the true story of the courageous efforts of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting team. The film stars Josh Brolin and promises to be inspirational.
The last Friday of October, the 27th, will bring four more national releases to movie houses. “Thank You For Your Service” is being directed by the screenwriter of “American Sniper,” Jason Hall, who adapted both of the David Finkel books for the silver screen. Since it is Halloween weekend, there has to be another horror release and it’s “Jigsaw,” a return of the Saw franchise for its eighth installment. “Suburbicon” depicts the dark underside of a town in 1959 America. It’s written by the Coen Brothers, it stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore, and it’s being directed by one of the Coen brothers’ long-time collaborators: George Clooney. Keep an eye on this one come Oscar time! The last major release of the month is a thriller called “All I See Is You” starring Blake Lively as a woman who is blind. She and her husband (Jason Clarke) live in Thailand. When she regains her eyesight through the miracles of modern medicine, the life they had been leading is drastically altered – and not all for the better.
As promised, find the entire slate of October releases here. There’s a lot to choose from in this month! Find your favorite art house film or one coming out in a more limited release! October is a great time for many things, and going to the movies is definitely one of them!