It’s (Almost) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

August might be a dead time of year for movies, but my favorite time of year is coming soon. Oh, it’s coming, my friends. And I can’t wait. Awards season starts picking up steam in a month. September through December is when all of the good stuff is released. In the last five years, there have been 39 Best Picture nominees for the Oscar. 27 of those were released between September and December (one other, There Will be Blood, was released in January). This year is no different. The rest of this year (and the early part of 2013) is packed with great film choices. 

Django Unchained
There is nobody better qualified than Quentin Tarantino to make an exploitation homage about a slave exacting revenge on slave-owners in the antebellum south. The trailer might be the Quentin Tarantinoiest 3 minutes of film you’ll ever see. It hits theaters on Christmas day.

The Master
I’ve been going bonkers waiting for The Master much in the same way the rest of the world went bananas waiting for The Dark Knight Rises. It’s been on P.T. Anderson’s radar for that long, and I’ve wanted to see it for years. It releases on September 14th. I’ll be there.

Killing Them Softly
The last time Andrew Dominik and Brad Pitt paired up, it was to make The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2007. They’re together again, this time for a crime film about an enforcer hunting down a couple of thieves who knocked over the wrong poker game. The cast is a who’s who of mafia movie (and TV) veterans, featuring Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Vincent Curatola, and Max Casella. It arrives in theaters October 19th.

Lincoln
I first heard that Steven Spielberg was working on a Lincoln biopic in 2004, when faux stock in the film was available on the Hollywood Stock Exchange. It’s been on my radar ever since then. Daniel Day Lewis is the perfect choice to play Abraham Lincoln, and Spielberg has done well with historical films. There’s no reason to expect Lincoln to be any different. There’s still no trailer, but the first image of Daniel Day Lewis dressed in full garb was released the other day. The film is slated for a limited release on November 9th, and a wide release one week later.

Argo
The concept behind Argo is fascinating. Ben Affleck directs the film, based on the true story of a rescue mission to save six U.S. diplomats from Tehran, Iran during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. The rescue mission: convince Iran that the six diplomats were actually a film crew scouting locations for a (fake) sci-fi film named Argo.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Alright, Lord of the Rings nerds. On December 14th, it’ll be time to dust off your hobbit capes and prosthetic elf ears or whatever and rush to the theater, because Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien continues with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. 

Lawless
The fall movie season kicks off with Lawless, on August 29th. It focuses on a depression-era bootlegging gang in Virginia, and some trailers for the film carry a bit of a Boardwalk Empire vibe, if you could transport the show to the south. Mostly, it’ll be nice to understand what Tom Hardy is saying again now that the Bane mask is gone.

Gangster Squad
American crime gets a third look during the upcoming months, as Los Angeles police struggle against the east coast mafia in the 1940s. The film recently acquired a lot of press for all the wrong reasons. Certain portions of the film were edited out in light of the recent violence in Aurora, Colorado. It’s my least anticipated of the three gangster films coming out this fall, but it has too good of a cast to pass up. It has a January 2013 release date.


25 Comments

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25 responses to “It’s (Almost) the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

  1. Damn, there’s some cool movies coming out. I’m most excited for The Master and Killing Them Softly.

  2. Lincoln=Oscars alert. This is the kind of material that will surely get nominated… Lots of great movies coming at the end of the year!

    • You’re absolutely right- Lincoln has Oscar nomination written all over it. If nothing else, DDL will probably be getting a best actor nomination.

  3. Oh crap…now you made me super, duper excited. 🙂 Some of these films are what I’m looking forward to, too: http://randomfilmbuff.com/2012/08/04/d-8/

    Lincoln, The Master, Django Unchained, and maybe Killing Them Softly are my most anticipated.

  4. I wonder if they will let me bring my 2 year old to Django…

  5. aleksa

    “Django” pretty much had me at the Johnny Cash song. I think the one that interested me the most was “Argo”.

  6. I’m looking forward to all of these, but my most anticipated are the first two you listed. At least we get The Master next month.

    • The trailers for it are so bizarre. That PT Anderson takes so long between films sort of gives them a reassurance that they’ll be good, because you know he’s not just throwing crap out there to make a buck. He’s completely invested in making what he considers the best possible product.

  7. impsndcnma

    All of these films are on my radar. Most excited for The Master and Argo right now

    • Isn’t it wild how Ben Affleck went from “that acting pariah who starred in Gigli and Pearl Harbor” to “exciting young director” in a matter of years?

      • impsndcnma

        All it took was ‘Gone Baby Gone’. That was an amazing debut direction effort. Certainly, ‘The Town’ only added on to his stature. We’ll see how he fairs when directing a film that takes place outside of Boston.

        • It’d be funny if they took the Argo story, and kept everything the same, but made it about an FBI guy trying to rescue six city councilmen from Southie thugs.

  8. Alex Withrow

    Yesss, award season is definitely the best time of the year. Love the flicks we have coming our way. Thanks for setting up this post!

    • I think Hollywood purposely releases a bunch of crap in August to make the awards movies crowd that much more excited, much in the way that someone coming out of the desert will be much more appreciative of a glass of water.

  9. Awesome post, John, I have a few here that I’m anticipating as well: The Master, Lawless, Argo and most especially The Hobbit! I do think that a lot of great movies happen AFTER Summer blockbuster, so yay!

    • The Hobbit is going to be lots of fun. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing it with Dude and Dude’s wife (previous commenters). Or watching their 2 year old so they can go see it.

  10. “The Master” looks so good, as does “Killing Them Softly,” but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m most excited about “Hobbit” and “Django.”

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