August was a slow month at the movies, and with the minimal slate of films being released in September, it doesn’t seem like there’s much more for improvement. The most exciting news in the world of film this month will likely be out of the fall film festival circuit, in Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York – but there’s still a handful of films to look forward to. Some of which will be fresh from their world premieres at Telluride (Judy), Venice (Ad Astra) and Toronto (Abominable, Hustlers). We’ve also got the return of some fan favorites (Rambo: First Blood, It Chapter 2) and some long awaited adaptations to the big screen (Downton Abbey, The Goldfinch). This may not be the flashiest month for film releases this year, but there’s still a handful. Welcome to our September 2019 movie preview, where we let you know about the noteworthy releases of the month and follow them up with 5 top picks. Hope to see you at the movies!
It Chapter 2 – September 6th (Theatrical)
Twenty-seven years after their first encounter with the terrifying Pennywise, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. (IMDb)
Directed by Andy Muschietti and written by Gary Dauberman.
Starring Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgard, Finn Wolfhard, Jaeden Martell, Jack Dylan Grazer, Xavier Dolan, Nicholas Hamilton and Jess Weixler.
Freaks – September 13th (Theatrical)
A bold girl discovers a bizarre, threatening, and mysterious new world beyond her front door after she escapes her father’s protective and paranoid control. (IMDb)
Written and directed by Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein.
Starring Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern and Amanda Crew.
Iris: A Space Opera By Justice – September 13th (Theatrical)
A 60 minute film of Justice’s 2017-2018 live show, recorded in an empty and invisible space without an audience, focusing exclusively on the impressive production and music. The show has been seen by millions of people around the world. It revolves around a floating structure comprised of 13 independent moving frames, each one featuring 4 rotating panels of LEDs, mirrors and traditional warm lights which offer infinite combinations. The structure is in constant evolution over the duration of the show and proposes several new visual landscapes on every track performed. The footage is captured with the precision and patience of a rigorous documentary about the cosmos. (IMDb)
Directed by Andre Chemetoff.
The Game Changers – September 13th (Theatrical)
A UFC fighter’s world is turned upside down when he discovers an elite group of world-renowned athletes and scientists who prove that everything he had been taught about protein was a lie. (IMDb)
Written by Louie Psihoyos.
Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
For SAMA – September 13th (Theatrical)
FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. (IMDb)
Directed by Waad Al-Khateab and Edward Watts.
Featuring Waad, Hamza and Sama Al-Khateab.
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool – September 13th (Theatrical)
Miles Davis: Horn player, bandleader, innovator. Miles was a singular force of nature, the very embodiment of cool. The central theme of Miles Davis’ life, and of this film is Davis’ restless determination to break boundaries and live life on his own terms. This documentary feature explores archival photos and home movies shot by Miles and his colleagues, his manuscripts and Miles’ original paintings, to explore the man behind the music. Featuring interviews with some of the most well-known musicians on the planet, the film explores why Miles continues to be a relevant voice in today’s world.(IMDb)
Directed by Stanley Nelson.
Featuring Herbie Hancock, Carlos Santana, Flea, Quincy Jones and archival footage of Miles Davis.
Downton Abbey – September 20th (Theatrical)
The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century. (IMDb)
Directed by Michael Engler. Written by Julian Fellowes.
Starring Matthew Goode, Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern.
Rambo: Last Blood – September 20th (Theatrical)
Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission. (IMDb)
Directed by Adrian Grunberg. Written by Sylvester Stallone and Matthew Cirulnuk.
Starring Sylvester Stallone.
Abominable – September 27th (Theatrical)
A magical Yeti must return to his family. (IMDb)
Directed by Jill Culton & Tom Wilderman. Written by Culton.
Starring Chloe Bennet, Sarah Paulson and Eddie Izzard.
Dan’s Top Five Picks of the Month
5. Judy – September 27th (Theatrical)
Legendary performer Judy Garland arrives in London in the winter of 1968 to perform a series of sold-out concerts. (IMDb)
Directed by Rupert Goold and written by Tom Edge.
Starring Renee Zellweger, Jessie Buckley and Finn Wittrock.
Why You Should See It: September seems to be a lighter month in terms of new releases, and thus, not much jumps out. In fact, the trailer for this one isn’t the greatest, and I can’t say I’m genuinely excited for it. But, considering the favorable reviews out of Telluride and it’s hopefully continued success towards fall festival season, if this contains an early best actress contender – that’s good enough of a reason to look out for it on it’s own.
4. The Goldfinch – September 13th (Theatrical)
A boy in New York is taken in by a wealthy Upper East Side family after his mother is killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (IMDb)
Directed by John Crowley Written by Peter Straughan.
Starring Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson, Denis O’Hare and Oakes Fegley.
Why You Should See It: Donna Tartt’s 700 page epic gets adapted into a film that will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend (where we will be covering it!) Fall awards season starts early with this film that is adapted by Brooklyn’s John Crowley, featuring an all star cast and cinematography by Roger Deakins. Especially considering how well received the book is, this film looks like it could be a worthy adaptation and one that could have strong legs all the way until the Oscars.
3. Ad Astra – September 20th (Theatrical)
An astronaut travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. He uncovers secrets which challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos. (IMDb)
Directed by James Gray. Written by Gray and Ethan Gross.
Starring Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, Ruth Negga, John Ortiz and LisaGay Hamilton.
Why You Should See It: After delays that have gone for almost a year, it’s easy to be concerned about the state of Ad Astra, James Gray’s follow up to his sweeping 1950’s adventure The Lost City of Z. But with rave reviews out of Venice calling this a surefire Oscar contender, it’s difficult resisting not being able to get back on board for this one. The special effects look great and the performances and direction are said to be quite strong. This is one to check out in IMAX for sure!
2. Between Two Ferns: The Movie – September 20th (Netflix)
After Will Ferrell discovered his public access show “Between Two Ferns” and uploaded it to Funny Or Die, Zach became a laughing stock. Now Zach is taking a road trip to complete a series of celebrity interviews and restore his reputation. (IMDb)
Directed by Scott Aukerman. Written by Aukerman and Zach Galifianakis.
Starring Galifianakis, Lauren Lapkus and Robert R. Shafer.
Why You Should See It: It’s been a while since we’ve seen much from Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns, which has brought us some of our favorite comedic bits and viral videos over the past handful of years. The fact that the people at Funny or Die have decided to have Galifiankis’ grand comeback to the public access satire with a feature film is quite intriguing, and it’s quite exciting that Netflix is nevermind releasing it this month, but letting it happen at all.
1. Hustlers – September 13th (Theatrical)
Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. (IMDb)
Written and directed by Lorene Scafaria.
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Lizzo, Madeline Brewer and Lili Reinhart.
Why You Should See It: I’ve seen this film, but considering reviews are still under an embargo, I can’t say much. What I can say is prepare for this to be the best film of the month, and maybe one of the best of the year. Stay tuned for our review.