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September 29 2018

The Movies of 2018 – 4th Quarter

Welcome to the last part of an analysis of every major film release of 2018.

Following up on last year’s project, I’m back with a look at the films of 2018. And as usual, I will be breaking it down by quarters and then an overall review. I prefer the new method of doing these quarterly, so here is how this year will break down:

There are some clear, “What in the world were they thinking?” projects coming out this year, and there are some that I think will surprise all of us.

Hopefully you enjoy this as it is a huge undertaking each year, but one I enjoy doing.

Please note that titles and release dates can change at any time, none of these are written in stone.

October

A Star is Born

Release Date: October 5, 2018

A Star is Born” stars four-time Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (“American Sniper,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) and multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga, in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper helms the drama, marking his directorial debut.

In this new take on the tragic love story, he plays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers—and falls in love with—struggling artist Ally (Gaga). She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer… until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.

Analysis: I forget how many times this movie has been made now, but this version is getting rave reviews. It’s probably going to do well and clean up at the awards.

Venom

Release Date: October 5, 2018

One of Marvel’s most enigmatic, complex and badass characters comes to the big screen, starring Academy Award® nominated actor Tom Hardy as the lethal protector Venom.

Analysis: Sorry, I’m just not sold. Expect a solid opening weekend and then a sharp drop off.

Bad Times At The El Royale

Release Date: October 12, 2018

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption… before everything goes to hell. Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo lead an all-star cast in BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE.

Analysis: This is one of those movies that is either a) is actually cool or b) is trying to be cool, but won’t get there. I’m hoping it’s the former.

First Man

Release Date: October 12, 2018

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight. A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Analysis: Damien Chazelle gets some great performances, but I think his overall style is just not what people think. For instance… I would rather run through broken glass than watch La La Land again…

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Release Date: October 12, 2018

Two boys face an onslaught from witches, monsters, ghouls and a talking dummy after they discover a mysterious book by author R.L. Stine.

Analysis: The first movie was cute. This will do okay.

Halloween

Release Date: October 19, 2018

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Analysis: I still have concerns, but I’m hearing really good things about it so far.

Serenity

Release Date: October 19, 2018

From the creative mind of Oscar nominee Steven Knight comes a daringly original, sexy, stylized thriller. Baker Dill (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey) is a fishing boat captain leading tours off a tranquil, tropical enclave called Plymouth Island. His quiet life is shattered, however, when his ex-wife Karen (Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway) tracks him down with a desperate plea for help. She begs Dill to save her – and their young son – from her new, violent husband (Jason Clarke) by taking him out to sea on a fishing excursion, only to throw him to the sharks and leave him for dead. Karen’s appearance thrusts Dill back into a life he’d tried to forget, and as he struggles between right and wrong, his world is plunged into a new reality that may not be all that it seems.

Analysis: Great cast, and something I want to see for sure, but don’t expect much out of it at the theater.

Hunter Killer

Release Date: October 26, 2018

Deep under the Arctic Ocean, American submarine Captain Joe Glass (Gerard Butler, Olympus Has Fallen, 300) is on the hunt for a U.S. sub in distress when he discovers a secret Russian coup is in the offing, threatening to dismantle the world order. With crew and country on the line, Captain Glass must now assemble an elite group of Navy SEALs to rescue the kidnapped Russian president and sneak through enemy waters to stop WWIII.

Analysis: Gerard Butler. I’m out.

Indivisibler

Release Date: October 26, 2018

INDIVISIBLE is based on the extraordinary true story of Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife Heather. With a strong, faith-filled marriage, the Turners are ready to follow their calling: serving God, family, and country.

Fresh from seminary and basic training, Chaplain Turner and his family arrive at Fort Stewart. Yet before the Turners can even unpack their new house, Darren is deployed to Iraq. Heather is left taking care of their three young children alone … as well as serving the families of the other deployed soldiers.

Despite a desire to stay connected with their loved ones, the harsh realities of war take a daily toll over the course of the Battalion’s extended deployment. Meanwhile back home, babies are born, kids keep growing, and nerves are frayed with every late-night knock on the door.

With deeply etched battle scars, the soldiers’ long-awaited homecoming is much different than any of their families anticipated. Carrying burdens the other can’t comprehend, the Turners must decide if they’re willing to face one more battle: the fight to save their marriage.

Analysis: Won’t be huge, but it will do well.

Johnny English Strikes Again

Release Date: October 26, 2018

The game has changed. Unfortunately, he definitely hasn’t. #JohnnyEnglish Strikes Again is in theaters October 26th!

Analysis: Won’t do much in the U.S., but Rowan Atkinson is huge overseas.

November

Bohemian Rhapsody

Release Date: November 2, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.

Analysis: I love Queen, but a deeply troubled production and I’m just not that interested in seeing it. Others do, however, so we’ll see what happens.

Nobody’s Fool

Release Date: November 2, 2018

Nobody messes with these sisters. Tiffany Haddish and Tika Sumpter star in #NobodysFool, coming to theatres this fall.

Analysis: Probably will do okay.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Release Date: November 2, 2018

All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.

Analysis: The trailer alone tires me out from the input.

The Grinch

Release Date: November 9, 2018

The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s generous holiday spirit. Funny, heartwarming and visually stunning, it’s a universal story about the spirit of Christmas and the indomitable power of optimism.

Analysis: I want to say we don’t need another telling of this story, but Illumination makes good movies. And it was directed by Scott Mosier who is showing a talent for smart animated fare.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web

Release Date: November 9, 2018

A new Dragon Tattoo story comes to the screen starring Claire Foy (“The Crown”) as Lisbeth Salander, the fierce, outcast vigilante defender from the acclaimed Millennium book series created by Stieg Larsson, in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. A first-time adaptation of the recent global bestseller, the film is directed by Fede Alvarez, the director of 2016’s breakout thriller Don’t Breathe; the screenplay adaptation is by Jay Basu & Fede Alvarez and Steven Knight.

Analysis: The first movie didn’t do well here, and this one is based on the fourth book which wasn’t even by the original author. Not sure how this will do.

Overlord

Release Date: November 9, 2018

No official synopsis yet.

Analysis: I’m intrigued. Have always loved the idea of horror in a weird setting.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Release Date: November 16, 2018

At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.

In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.

Analysis: It’ll be huge. I didn’t thrill to the first one, but others did.

Instant Family

Release Date: November 16, 2018

When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15 year old girl (Isabela Moner), they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must hilariously try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hopes of becoming a family. INSTANT FAMILY is inspired by the real events from the life of writer/director Sean Anders and also stars Octavia Spencer, Tig Notaro and Margo Martindale.

Analysis: Mark Wahlberg. I’m out.

Stuck

Release Date: November 16, 2018

No official synopsis could be located

Analysis: Looks like it’s been sitting on the shelf for a while. We’ll see where it goes.

Widows

Release Date: November 16, 2018

From Academy Award®-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion and corruption. “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. “Widows” also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.

Analysis: The title left me wondering, but having seen the trailer and read the synopsis, I’m interested.

Creed 2

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

Analysis: Loved the first one. Very much into this follow-up.

Green Book

Release Date: November 21, 2018

When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger—as well as unexpected humanity and humor—they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.

Analysis: Looks interesting. I’m in.

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Release Date: November 21, 2018

“Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet—which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet—the netizens—to help navigate their way, including a webite entrepreneur named Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site “BuzzzTube.” Directed by Rich Moore (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph”) and Phil Johnston (co-writer “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Cedar Rapids,” co-writer “Zootopia,”), and produced by Clark Spencer (“Zootopia,” “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Bolt”), “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-Ralph 2” hits theaters on Nov. 21, 2018.

Analysis: The first film was cute, but I never once felt like I needed to go back into this world.

Robin Hood

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown in a thrilling action-adventure packed with gritty battlefield exploits, mind-blowing fight choreography, and a timeless romance.

Analysis: We really don’t need another Robin Hood movie. I promise we’re good.

Second Act

Release Date: November 21, 2018

Jennifer Lopez stars as Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.

Analysis: I’m not a Lopez fan. Hard pass for me.

The Silencey

Release Date: December 7, 2018

Nothing out there

Analysis: I couldn’t find anything on this one yet, but judging by the other films Global Road releases, don’t expect much.

Mortal Engines

Release Date: December 14, 2018

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

Analysis: This looks so paint-by-numbers to me it’s nauseating.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Release Date: December 14, 2018

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the creative minds behind The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, bring their unique talents to a fresh vision of a different Spider-Man Universe, with a groundbreaking visual style that’s the first of its kind. Spider-Man™: Into the Spider-Verse introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

Analysis: Are we ready for an animated Spider-Man movie? It’ll do okay, but I don’t expect huge numbers here.

Mary Poppins Returns

Release Date: December 19, 2018

In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.

Analysis: I hope it’s good. The original is so magical.

Aquaman

Release Date: December 21, 2018

From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.

The film also stars Amber Heard (“Justice League,” “Magic Mike XXL”) as Mera, a fierce warrior and Aquaman’s ally throughout his journey; Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe (“Platoon,” “Spider-Man 2”) as Vulko, council to the Atlantean throne; Patrick Wilson (“The Conjuring” films, “Watchmen”) as Orm/Ocean Master, the present King of Atlantis; Dolph Lundgren (“The Expendables” films) as Nereus, King of the Atlantean tribe Xebel; Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Netflix’s “The Get Down”) as the vengeful Black Manta; and Oscar winner Nicole Kidman (“The Hours,” “Lion”) as Arthur’s mom, Atlanna; as well as Ludi Lin (“Power Rangers”) as Captain Murk, Atlantean Commando; and Temuera Morrison (“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” “Green Lantern”) as Arthur’s dad, Tom Curry.

Analysis: As one of the few good things about Justice League, I hope this one is good.

Bumblebee

Release Date: December 21, 2018

Every adventure has a beginning. Watch the official teaser trailer for Bumblebee, starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena. Directed by Travis Knight. #BumblebeeMovie hits theatres this Christmas.

Analysis: It already looks better than any of the Michael Bay films.

Holmes & Watson

Release Date: December 21, 2018

The Step Brothers are reunited – this time playing the world’s greatest consulting detective and his loyal biographer – as Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly star as Holmes & Watson.

Analysis: Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. You take a guess.

Welcome to Marwen

Release Date: December 21, 2018

When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Carell) and wipes away all memories, no one expected recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one.

In a bold, wondrous and timely film from this revolutionary pioneer of contemporary cinema, Welcome to Marwen shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.

Analysis: Wow. I’m very into this. Looks awesome.

On the Basis of Sex

Release Date: December 25, 2018

Her story made history. Felicity Jones is Ruth Bader Ginsburg in #OnTheBasisOfSex – in theaters this Christmas. Watch the trailer now!

Analysis: Odd to release this on Christmas, but sure.



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