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September Movie Preview: Slow Start, Strong Finish

When looking at a list of upcoming movie releases, you’re never quite sure of the quality you’ll be getting when they finally make it to the theater. For example, Guardians of the Galaxy has taken the world by such storm there has been an upswing in people naming their babies “Groot.” I, of course, have no evidence to back that up. But now we move on to September, which tends to be a poor month at the box office every year. There are a few September movies with the potential for moderate success, but it’s quite clear the summer and its blockbusters are gone.

A Dolphin, A Walrus and a Boxtroll

September 5th- The Identical

The Identical tells the story of two twins separated at birth. One of them becomes a rock and roll star, the other struggles with balancing his love of music and his father’s want for him to become a preacher. He eventually gains some notoriety imitating the brother he doesn’t know he has. Now the lead, Blake Rayne looks and sounds just like Elvis and the rock star’s name is Drexel Hemsley. So is this movie a cool ode to Elvis or a cheesy knock-off? We’ll have to wait and see. Ashley Judd and Ray Liotta also star.

September 12th- Dolphin Tale 2, No Good Deed

Here’s your unwanted fact for the day. Dolphin Tale, a 2011 movie about the saving of an injured dolphin, made $95 million worldwide. Now because of that baffling number, we are getting a sequel. Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman and the main cast are back to save some more animals. And get this, Ashley Judd is also in this. That’s two weeks in a row with questionable movies.

No Good Deed stars Idris Elba as a creepy criminal, who breaks into a woman’s house and terrorizes her. I understand horror movies and thrillers, but I just don’t get the appeal to this movie. Don’t offer to help someone who comes to your door when their car breaks down. They could be Idris Elba.

September 19th- The Maze Runner, This is Where I Leave You, Tusk, A Walk Among the Tombstones

The Maze Runner is the film adaptation of the popular 2009 sci-fi novel of the same name. A boy, played by Dylan O’Brien, wakes up with no memory inside a mysterious maze with a group of boys. The trailers give off a Hunger Games vibe with a Saw-like puppetmaster element. Plus our buddies Jojen (Thomas Brode-Sangster) from “Game of Thrones” and Eustace (Will Poulter) from ‘The Chronicles of Narnia” are in it. So that should be fun.

A cast of comedy heavyweights team-up in This is Where I leave You. When a man dies, his adult children come home to stay with their mother for a week long mourning period. Jason Bateman and Tina Fey lead the cast of familiar faces. But with the family dramedy elements, it looks like there will be more heartfelt chuckles than belly laughs. It still looks quite good though.

So… There is a movie coming out called Tusk, which was written and directed by Kevin Smith. And it is weird. Justin Long plays a man tortured by a crazy guy who attempts to turn him into a walrus. This is a movie that exists. Moving on.

Also creepy, but much less crazy, A Walk Among the Tombstones is Liam Neeson’s latest bad ass, butt kicking role. He plays a private investigator and former cop hired to find the man who kidnapped and killed a drug dealer’s wife. The trailer leaves things quite mysteriously, so there are sure to be some crazy twists and turns. But this title looks darker than Neeson’s usual fare. So maybe leave the kids at home.

September 26th- The Boxtrolls, The Equalizer

Instead take those same kids to The Boxtrolls. An orphan raised by the titular monsters attempts to save them from an exterminator and a town of people who aren’t the biggest fans. The film is from Laika, the animation company that created Coraline and ParaNorman. Boxtrolls looks to be in the same mold. Hopefully it’s a bit more cheerful than those other two.

The Equalizer rounds out the month with Denzel Washington playing the lead in a title that was originally seen on television. The character lives a double life working two jobs by day and fighting injustice by night. But after an encounter with some gangsters, it turns out he’s made enemies of the Russian mob. Oops!

So September movies start off very poorly and pick up in the second half with some good looking titles. For me, I’m anticipating The Maze Runner to deliver on its intriguing trailers. Then there’s The Boxtrolls to lead us into the Halloween season with some monster themed animation. So sit back and enjoy the popcorn.