Maybe I’m imagining it, but it sure seems like 2016 has brought about quite a few poor months at the movie theater. It’s a common theme for me to write about a month of mediocre titles with one or two diamonds in the rough. Well it looks like October is slightly better than that forecast. It’s not the gold standard, but everyone should at least be able to find something to go see when passing time on the weekends. Plus, there’s a Madea Halloween movie. What more could you ask for? Here’s our October movie preview.
October 7th– The Birth of a Nation, The Girl on the Train, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life
Birth of a Nation is one of the most buzzed about movies of the year and it seems like Oscar voters will take notice. The film’s writer/director Nate Parker also stars in the story of a slave taught to read to become a preacher. But after traveling the country and witnessing slavery around the United States he becomes the leader of a rebellion. The film is based on the true story of Nat Turner’s slave rebellion.
Emily Blunt stars in The Girl on the Train as Rachel Watson. Based on the best-selling novel, Rachel is a divorced alcoholic who daydreams about the storybook romance of another couple she knows, the Hipwells, while commuting on the train. But then Mrs. Hipwell goes missing and Rachel thinks she saw something peculiar. Mystery! Suspense!
Those awkward preteen years are on display in Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life. Based on the James Patterson stories, the film has a new student awakened to the realities of life in middle school. Mainly we’re talking about bullies of both the student and teacher varieties.
October 14th– The Accountant, Kevin Hart: What Now?, Max Steel
Ben Affleck puts his bat-cape away for the time being in The Accountant. He plays a math genius that has a cover as a small town accountant. But in actuality he’s a forensic accountant for criminal organizations. There also appears to be lots of guns involved… and Anna Kendrick.
Because he isn’t in enough movies already, Kevin Hart’s latest is a comedy concert film with some scripted elements. It’s called Kevin Hart: What Now?. I joke about how many movies he puts out there, but Hart is so popular it makes sense. I was even laughing at a small clip posted on social media. So just like that, I’m sold.
Remember the Max Steel cartoon from 2000-2002 or the action figure series the show was based on? Well they’re making a movie version of it. It’s an odd-couple superhero story with a teenager named Max and an alien named Steel. They have to work together to save the world from a mysterious enemy.
October 21st– Boo! A Madea Halloween, I’m Not Ashamed, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Ouija: Origin of Evil
As far as I can tell, Tyler Perry has now made 10 Madea films. But who can keep track at this point? The tenth is called Boo! A Madea Halloween. Madea attempts to keep an eye on her great-niece and some teenagers while dealing with ghosts and zombies and such. Sounds cheesy, but do you expect anything different from a Madea movie?
The scary events of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting are on display in I’m Not Ashamed. The film focuses on Rachel Scott, a victim who defended her faith in her final moments.
It’s been four years since Tom Cruise first starred as the popular literary ass-kicker, Jack Reacher, in the appropriately titled movie, Jack Reacher. He now returns to the role in Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Reacher is accused of a 16-year-old murder. But as he looks for answers while being hunted by his own country, he finds there’s a bigger conspiracy at play. My favorite part of the trailer is when he punches through a car window to punch a bad guy in the face. Classic Reacher.
Keeping Up with the Joneses is an action comedy where the suburban couple of Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher discover that their new neighbors, Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot, aren’t just cool and fashionable. It turns out they are secret agents. On the surface this has great casting. We’ll see how they all work together in the movie.
My favorite piece of trivia about the 2014 horror film Ouija and its upcoming prequel, Ouija: Origin of Evil is that one of the production companies involved is Hasbro Studios. That’s right. There is a production company making movies based on their toys. It’s the studio that brought us Transformers, GI Joe and Battleship. Origin of Evil has a family in the 1960s face an evil spirit after encountering the Ouija board.
October 28th– Inferno
Did you forget about Ron Howard’s Robert Langdon movies starring Tom Hanks? I sure did. The hype around Inferno isn’t anywhere near the 2006 smash hit The Da Vinci Code. But it still has an intriguing mystery. Langdon wakes up with no memory of the last few days. He’s then forced to solve another intense mystery. This one is based around Dante’s Inferno.
So there you have it. The Girl on the Train has me hooked on the mystery after just a few trailers. So that’s got to be my pick for this month. Beyond that, Inferno could be a good/creepy October movie.