Movies you won’t want to miss…

Just because the summer has been and gone, it doesn’t mean our cinema-going expectations should go into hibernation. We’ve been rummaging around in the box office ‘coming soon’ file cabinet and can assure you, there’s still a slew of solid gold, silver screen action headed to your nearest multiplex over the coming months.

Don’t Worry Darling

Expected: September 23

This movie directed by Olivia Wilde, has already enjoyed quite a bit of press in the build up to its release. There was some unsavoury, let’s say ‘LaBeef’ around role switch outs, intimate scenes, rogue mouth lubricant and character inspiration. But why shouldn’t a good drama be surrounded with, ahem, a bit of good drama? Set in 1950s America, it stars, current hot Hollywood Brit picks Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in the lead roles, a couple that move to what seems like an idyllic new community. Turns out, in news that will shock only those behind the fourth wall, it isn’t so #livingourbestlife afterall — and that the town’s founder, Frank (played by Chris Pine) might have sinister motives behind his Sim City utopia-tinkering.

Black Adam

Expected: October 20

It was only ever going to be a matter of time before Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, pulled on the spandex and entered into one comic franchise or another. He’s gone with DC, which is an interesting choice (although it seems no longer an eternally binding one) given their inconsistent record, but he’s always been the sort to side with a scrappy underdog. Johnson, plays the titular anti-hero, a superbeing released into the modern world after five thousand years of imprisonment. That kind of stretch in solitary does things to a man, and rather than going the ‘full tub of Ben and Jerry’s’ route to grief resolution, he takes it out on those in close proximity. Despite this classic bully behaviour, a Justice collective spot potential in Adam, ‘maybe we can change him’ they scribble into their diary. And change him they must, because an enemy even more powerful than Black Adam can smell exactly what they are cooking.

The Banshees of Inisherin

Expected: October 21

Films from the playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Martin McDonagh don’t come around that often (unsurprising given the length of his job title), but when they do — they usually end up being regarded as cult classics. He’s the man behind In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — deliciously black comedies and masterclasses in farce and social parody. So there’s always a noisy buzz of excitement ahead of his upcoming projects, and even from the little we know about The Banshees of Inisherin, it feels like we’re going to be getting another theatrical McDonagh classic. It stars long-time collaborators Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson and covers the fallout of a rift between two best friends.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Expected: November 11

The world is a far poorer place for the loss of Chadwick Boseman. A fact honoured by the decision of the Marvel boardroom that Boseman’s character in the original Black Panther movie, T’Challa would not be recast. But ending the dynasty that Chadwick helped create right there also seemed unfair. And so we face a Black Panther sequel without T’Challa, another hero must don the feline scratch mitts and guard the many secrets of Wakanda. The internet is rife with speculation of who that is (mainly going off the colour of trim on the new suit), and we’re not going to share any spoilers here (though they are just search click away) — let’s just say Disney’s Multiverse cheat code hack has essentially made anything possible. Little is known about the plot, other than King T’Challa’s passing has left a contested power vacuum, with enemies queueing up to take advantage of the distraction. We can only hope they do our Chadwick proud, *slaps chest* Wakanda Forever.

The Menu

Expected: November 21

Angry chef movies have been enjoying a bit of comeback recently, and that suits us just fine. Professional kitchens are a hotbed of dueling egos, sociopathic screaming fits and, with the increasingly farcical fashions in food, an air ripe for parody *snorts in disgust at the suggestion of pesto flavoured popcorn*. The Menu stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicholas Hoult and Ralph Fiennes. It’s being described as black horror comedy, and the story follows Taylor-Joy and Hoult as a couple that head to a super exclusive restaurant, helmed by Feinnes — for a very special sort of molecular gastronomy tasting menu. Treading the line between degustation and just plain disgusting, not all of the chef’s courses are going to make the Instagram feed.

The Whale

Expected: December 9

The Brenaissance has begun. Once a blockbuster regular, Brendan Fraser has been all but absent from our screens for a considerable chunk of time. The story behind the disappearance is a tragic one, but the arc at least now looks destined for a happy ending. He plays the lead in Darren Aronofsky’s (Black Swan, The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream) The Whale, a film that received a six minute standing ovation after its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Fraser was moved to tears, same Brendan, same. The early reactions on his performance as Charlie, a morbidly obese English teacher desperately trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter, seem to suggest the Brenaissance might well be boosted further by an Oscar nomination.

Avatar: The Way of the Water

Expected: December 15

Look maybe it’s coming out, maybe it isn’t — we don’t particularly care but we know a lot of you are hooked on this Smurf-Pocahontas sci-fi mash up, so we’re pulling on our big boy pants and pretending to be enthusiastic about it. This long-awaited sequel sees a lot of the surviving cast members returning (most notably Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña), along with the addition of new talent such as Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Michelle Yeoh and Vin Diesel. Family, blue family. Events are set a decade on from the first movie, and follow the trials and tribulations of the Sully family, and water presumably. Should we expect a thinly veiled critique Nestlé’s fevered commercialisation of a basic human necessity (satirising games of empire is in the series DNA)? Maybe. Or maybe James Cameron just really loves water.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Expected: December 23

“Well, I do declare,” says the detective, with an enthusiastic southern drawl “we may have another murder on our hands”. The original Knives Out, a Christie-esque ‘whodunnit?’ starring Daniel Craig as the sole investigator of a fiendish murder, was one of the surprise hits of 2019. Ok, with the pandemic it was a quiet year for the film industry — but it really was a banger. Playing a tongue-in-cheek edition of Cluedo along with Craig, in a house where everyone has a motive and had plenty of opportunity, was just an unashamed joy and one that’s been largely missing from cinemas for a long while. This sequel sees Craig reprise his role as Detective Benoit Blanc, as he’s brought in to solve, yep, another grizzly murder, this time on the private island of a tech billionaire. The rest of the ensemble cast includes Edward Norton (as the billionaire), Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista and Ethan Hawke. And we don’t know but if we had to guess — it was the butler, in the library, with the glass onion.

Images: Provided