Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to September

september

Now that the summer movie season is finally over, it’s time to turn our attention to fall, and more importantly, awards season. Though you don’t normally see many Oscar hopefuls being released in September, over the past few years, studios have begun rolling out potential contenders earlier and earlier in order to get a leg up on the competition, and there are a few films this month that definitely fit the bill. Of course, if you’re still pining for some mindless entertainment left over from the doldrums of August, there’s plenty of that too.

“The Transporter Refueled”

Who: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Gabriella Wright and Radivoje Bukvic
What: In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin must rescue his kidnapped father after he unwittingly helps rob a Russian kingpin.
When: September 4th
Why: Apparently, the dearth of original ideas in Hollywood has gotten so bad that movie franchises from the early 2000s are now being rebooted, and if that sounds totally ridiculous, it’s because it is. The last two “Transporter” films may not have been very good, but rebooting the series with a different actor is hardly the answer. If the studio wanted more “Transporter” movies, they should have just done another sequel with Jason Statham instead, because this new version with Ed Skrein (who famously quit his recurring gig on “Game of Thrones” to make the film) looks even more terrible than Statham’s final appearance in the title role.

“The Visit”

Who: Kathryn Hahn, Ed Oxenbould, Olivia DeJonge and Peter McRobbie
What: A single mother sends her two children to visit their grandparents for the week, only to discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing.
When: September 11th
Why: M. Night Shyamalan’s career has been circling the drain for the better part of a decade now, so it’s not surprising to see him reduced to making found-footage horror movies in order to pay the bills. There’s nothing even remotely scary in the trailer to suggest that “The Visit” will be anything other than a disappointment, which is a shame, because Shyamalan used to have a real talent for creating suspense. His last few films were a complete joke, however, and while it would be nice to see him stop the rot with a low-budget genre movie that plays to his strengths as a director, “The Visit” simply doesn’t look the part.

“Black Mass”

Who: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton and Dakota Johnson
What: The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous criminal in the history of South Boston.
When: September 18th
Why: After his slightly disappointing sophomore effort, director Scott Cooper attempts to get his career back on track with this biopic featuring one of the year’s most impressive casts. But while there’s no denying that the crime drama is loaded with talent, all eyes are on Johnny Depp, who’s in desperate need of a hit after a series of critical and commercial failures. Curiously enough, his last decent film was playing another famous gangster in Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies,” and judging from the numerous trailers for “Black Mass” (which highlight the actor’s chilling transformation into Bulger), the movie promises to be a comeback of sorts for Depp, as well as the first real Oscar contender of 2015.

“Everest”

Who: Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Robin Wright
What: A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm.
When: September 18th
Why: Speaking of great casts, Baltasar Kormákur’s adventure-thriller also boasts an embarrassment of riches in the acting department, creating an ensemble piece in the truest sense. Though it’s difficult to tell whether “Everest,” which is based on the 1997 memoir “Into Thin Air” by survivor Jon Krakauer, is more of a disaster movie than your typical Oscar bait, it seems like a perfect blending of the two genres – one where the performances are as important as the visual effects, and vice versa. Kormákur’s past work doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence that he’s the right man for the job, but when you get this many great actors to trust in your vision, you must be doing something right.

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