Wednesday, November 5, 2014

At the Movies – November 2014 – Part 3: Most Anticipated Films

Must-See of the Month:

Interstellar – Adventure/Sci-Fi – Nov 7 (Nov 5, projected on 70mm IMAX film only)
Plot Summary: The Earth is dying. Humanity’s only hope lies beyond our universe. A group of explorers/astronauts set out on a mission of discovery through a newly found wormhole, allowing them to surpass the limitations of human space travel. They must find Earth’s salvation and make it back in time to save those they left behind. Key Filmmakers Involved: Writer-director-producer Christopher Nolan, writer Jonathan Nolan, producer Emma Thomas, theoretical physicist and executive producer Kip Thorne, cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, editor Lee Smith, composer Hans Zimmer, and production designer Nathan Crowley. Actors Involved: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Wes Bentley, Casey Affleck, Mackenzie Foy, Topher Grace, Ellen Burstyn, John Lithgow, and David Oyelowo. Quality Potential: Very High. Christopher Nolan is our greatest current blockbuster filmmaker. His films (like: The Prestige, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception) are incredible. Interstellar might be his best yet. He is again working with his frequent collaborators, only Hoyte Van Hoytema is new to the team, replacing Wally Pfister who is off directing features now. He has also again put together a brilliant cast. Interstellar will likely be 2014’s best film and a strong Oscar contender. Nolan’s use of IMAX’s 70mm film stock gives the film such a grand visual scale. It is stunning. Theoretical physicist Kip Thorne also working on the film’s story and serving as the science advisor gives everything an extra level of credibility (something somewhat lacking in Alfonso Cuaron’s wonderful space thriller Gravity). I think Interstellar has the potential to be 2014’s best film. Go see it November 5th-6th projected on IMAX film and then go again when it opens wide on the 7th projected digitally. Trailer: Here.

Worth Checking Out:

Foxcatcher – Biographical Drama/Thriller – Nov 14
Plot Summary: Mark Schultz and his older brother Dave were both Olympic wrestlers. Millionaire John du Pont took a special interest in Mark, sponsoring his training and coaching him; however, his relationship with the Schultz brothers would lead to dark places. This is based on the true story. Key Filmmakers Involved: Director-producer Bennett Miller, producer Megan Ellison, cinematographer Greig Fraser, and production designer Jess Gonchor. Actors Involved: Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Sienna Miller, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Michael Hall, and Vanessa Redgrave. Quality Potential: High. Brilliant director Bennett Miller makes his third feature film with Foxcatcher (his first two are Capote and Moneyball). He is known for garnering wonderful performances, and Foxcatcher seems no different. Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo are all getting lots of Oscar buzz for their work in the film (especially Carell). It looks like it will be a fantastic character drama, built on very strong performances. Trailer: Here.

The Imitation Game – Biographical Drama/War Thriller – Nov 21
Plot Summary: English mathematician and logician Alan Turing proved to be one of the most important minds of the last century. He and his team broke the Nazi Enigma code, allowing the allies to finally decrypt their communication messages – paramount to the allies turning the tide and winning the war. Yet, Turing was also persecuted for his sexual orientation and chemically castrated. He committed suicide. He was a hero, destroyed by an intolerant government. His story is just as important today as ever. We still face intolerance, ignorance and worse. This is based on the true story of Turing’s life. Key Filmmakers Involved: Director Morten Tyldum, composer Alexandre Desplat, cinematographer Oscar Faura, and production designer Maria Djurkovic. Actors Involved: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Charles Dance, Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, and Allen Leech. Quality Potential: High. Director Morten Tyldum’s name might sound familiar to some; he directed the excellent crime thriller Headhunters, a breakout Norwegian export to the States. He has a wonderful cast and crew around him for The Imitation Game. It has performed very well on the festival circuit, winning the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley are also getting a ton of Oscar buzz for their performances. The Imitation Game will likely be among this year’s nominees for Best Picture at the 2015 Academy Awards. Trailer: Here.

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