With the release of “It: Chapter Two” (which, oddly, did not screen for local critics) this week, the fall film season has officially begun.
While the first half of the year was chock full of comic book movies, we won’t see much of that as we enter into awards season territory.
Here are some movies I’m anticipating:
“Ad Astra” (Sept. 20, in theaters only) — Brad Pitt goes to space to find his missing father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who may have created some type of world-altering technology. Commercials and trailers have kept the premise beyond that pretty close to the chest, which I appreciate. It has vibes of 2016’s “Arrival.” We could use another one of those.
“Lucy In The Sky” (Oct. 4, in theaters only) — A few weeks after Brad Pitt goes to space, Natalie Portman will do the same. This one stands to be quite different, as it focuses on an astronaut’s downward spiral after coming back from a mission. Not only does this have a stellar cast, with Jon Hamm, Zazie Beetz and Dan Stevens playing supporting roles, but it’s also the directorial debut of Noah Hawley, the wildly imaginative and trippy creator of TV’s “Fargo” and “Legion.” This stands to be one of the weirder movies of the year.
“Dolemite Is My Name” (Oct. 4, Netflix) — Late 2019 is looking to be the umpteenth career comeback for Eddie Murphy. In this all-star ensemble comedy, he looks to be back in goofy form as the real-life Rudy Ray Moore, creator of the ’70s blaxploitation icon Dolemite. Judging by the trailer, Murphy hasn’t looked this loose and energized since his Oscar run in “Dreamgirls” more than a decade ago.
“Jojo Rabbit” (Oct. 18, in theaters only) — Speaking of creative masters, Taika Waititi, the writer-director of “Thor: Ragnarok” and “What We Do In The Shadows,” returns with an insane premise for a comedy: A German child during World War II confronts his blind nationalism with the help of an idiot imaginary friend who turns out to be Adolf Hitler. With Disney backing, the filmmakers have leaned hard into this being an “anti-hate satire.” Knowing Waititi’s ability to thread difficult comedic needles, it will be interesting to see how he pulls this off.
“The Irishman” (Nov. 1, Netflix) — Martin Scorsese directs an Irish gangster movie with Robert De Niro, Al and Joe Pesci — nothing more needs to be said for me to watch it.
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (Dec. 20, in theaters only) — I’ll defend “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” until they put me in the ground. With J.J. Abrams back at the helm, I’m curious to see how he picks up from there and brings an end to this portion of the franchise.
“Little Women” (Dec. 25, in theaters only) — There are numerous iterations of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story. With Greta Gerwig helming this wonderfully talented cast, which includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Florence Pugh, it could redefine the story for a new generation, much like the 1994 version with Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst did.
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live