The month of September is hardly the one to wait for in the entire year if you are a Hollywood buff. Right after the end of the grand summer season, September is the time when things go cold, studios take a breather, limited releases are way too many, and the joy of watching an entertaining movie is forgotten at least for a little while. This September seems to be no different, and it’s going to feel all the more drab now after a very energetic month of August that has just gone by. There are still nine wide releases in the USA over the four weeks of September, and while we skeptically pick out five that may surprise us, we are really betting on one or two of these to deliver more than what meets the eye.
5) The Boxtrolls: It’s an animated film, the only one of that category in this coming month, and probably the only reason we think it might have some entertainment value. The Boxtrolls is not produced by any of the big animation studios, though it does have a few known actors providing the voices such as Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Toni Collette and Simon Pegg. The story of a young orphaned boy who is trying to save his friends from an exterminator, it might just very well have an element of adventure to it. Or not.
4) This is Where I Leave You: A comedy starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey definitely has potential. Add Jane Fonda to the mix, and you might be guilty of expecting a bit too much. This movie is about four grown siblings who are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, after their father passes away. Director Shawn Levy has worked with light-hearted comedy before, though hopefully this one would be better than his last year’s The Internship.
3) The Maze Runner: You can usually bet on sci-fi thrillers. And that is what we have to do with The Maze Runner. The initial promos have given the impression that this one has what it takes to give an adrenaline rush. Though no matter how the story pans out, the film should score on the visual side, considering director Wes Ball’s extensive experience in the art department and visual effects department in the past. If it does manage to piece together a cohesive and intriguing story, then there could be little to complain about.
2) A Walk Among the Tombstones: Liam Neeson is going after the bad guys, once again. This has been seen so many times, but in a month where there is little to choose from, Liam Neeson still comes across as a safe bet to take. In this movie, Neeson is a private investigator hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped his wife. Expect a bit of mystery, some thrills, quite a lot of action, and more of those mesmerizing Neeson vocals. Now why do they keep on challenging this big guy!?
1) The Equalizer: Denzel Washington is going after the bad guys, once again. The Equalizer might have a cliched Washington role but sometimes too much of the same thing ain’t really that bad. In the film, Washington is a former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life but has to come out to rescue a young girl from Russian gangsters. In a tepid month, we wouldn’t mind seeing Washington take out the gangsters with his neat one-liners and swift moves, nor would we mind witnessing the intensity of his eyes boring down the souls of the villains. Joining him is the talented Chloë Grace Moretz which adds more quality to the movie. Another person to bet on here is the director Antoine Furqua of Training Day fame, though his last action movie was 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen which wouldn’t have been anywhere near path-breaking but did enough to interest the audiences resulting in a sequel.
So we now rest our hopes with Denzel Washington and others, and pray that something itsy-bitsy good at least surfaces in September.