September was a rough month at the theaters. 2018 had the lowest September Box Office total since 2004.
Before we get to Oscar-bound movies like “A Star Is Born,” “First Man” and many others, let’s take a look at some of the movies you missed this past month.
“The Predator” was somehow entertaining even though it was a disaster of a movie. Even without considering the controversy surrounding the movie before the release, the film — directed by Shane Black — was an absolute mess. Black’s solid directing in “Iron Man 3,” makes this film even more disappointing.
In “The Predator,” government agents and rogue military soldiers fight one another and alien creatures after being triggered by a 10-year-old boy. The plot of this movie feels like it was written by a 10-year-old. It becomes enjoyable to watch all the plot holes they jump through to paste this movie together.
Here’s a quick spoiler: one of the alien predators kills about 50 or so humans while on Earth. We then find out that the same alien actually came to Earth to help save the human race, even though it killed so many humans.
The only actually good part of the movie is Sterling K. Brown. Every alien movie has the one government agent that’s an asshole, and Brown takes full advantage of his opportunity.
A Simple Favor
“A Simple Favor” is powered by well-done performances from an all-star cast, yet is still ultimately bland because of the inability to create a new twist in the genre. The movie stars Anna Kendrick as Stephanie, a widowed mom who searches for her best friend, Emily after she disappears. Blake Lively, portraying Emily and Henry Golding —who plays her husband, Sean — are both great, but let’s take a second to talk about Kendrick’s career.
Kendrick’s breakout performance in “Up in the Air” nine years ago earned her an Oscar nomination. Besides “Pitch Perfect,” how many movies since her Oscar nomination can you name that she has starred in?
(No, “Pitch Perfect” 2 and 3 do not count)
Exactly. Kendrick is one of the most famous actresses working today and has a strong Twitter following, but can’t make famous movies. In “A Simple Favor,” Kendrick is great as Stephanie, the upbeat and nerdy mom. Comparing her view of motherhood to Emily’s is the most interesting part of the movie. But when Stephanie becomes an expert detective, the movie starts becoming generic.
The film is by no means bad, but it doesn’t bring any new surprises for common moviegoers. The best mystery movies have constant uncertainty. Instead of that grey area, there is a clear good and evil force in “A Simple Favor.” The twists have been done before, resulting in a solid, but not great movie.
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“Peppermint” gets a badass performance out of Jennifer Garner, but she doesn’t have enough time to shine to hide the poor, lazy script. Garner stars as Riley North, a woman seeking revenge on an entire gang after her daughter and husband are killed.
Director Pierre Morel — known for directing “Taken” — spends way too much time on North’s backstory. We knew going in Garner was going to be a good mother and have a very cute family, we don’t need to spend a half an hour on it.
After her family is killed, North spends five years training to become a master assassin. Who taught her all of this? Why five years? Who cares. It’s a shame, training scenes are the best! No matter, the gang that North ends up fighting is the most generic in cinematic history.
If “A Simple Favor’s” plot was bland, then “Peppermint” was tasteless.
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“The Wife” is a solid movie, carried by an extraordinary performance from Glenn Close. Close plays Joan Castleman, whose husband is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. As they prepare for the ceremony, we start to learn about their backstory and see Joan reexamine her life decisions.
Close is almost guaranteed an Oscar nomination for this performance. We see her character both elated and disgusted with her husband, highlighted by two separate scenes where the camera is set on Close’s face. They are the two most effective moments in the movie, as we see Close show her character’s emotion without moving a muscle. You may have not heard much about this movie in September, but you certainly will in February.