The PopMatters Fall Film Preview - November 2014

by Bill Gibron

6 November 2014

November 2014 offers up standard award seasons fare, a couple of cool indies, and five horror films that, according to the calendar, are a bit past their celebration sell-by date.
 

November 2014 offers up standard award seasons fare, a couple of cool indies, and five horror films that, according to the calendar, are a bit past their celebration sell-by date.

 

cover art

Interstellar

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn
7 November
Interstellar


Ever since Bruce Wayne jetted off to Italy—with Selena Kyle in tow—to leave Gotham and a certain masked vigilante behind, film fans have wondered what Christopher Nolan would do next? Would it be another superhero movie? Would he drop the pomp and go for something small? Well, the answer is “No,” and “No” as the British auteur walks in the footsteps of Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick for this far reaching space epic. Earth is dying an ex-astronaut Matthew McConaughey is recruited to man a mission through a wormhole to investigate possible replacements. As with all things Nolan, it’s big, it’s bombastic, and it’s breathtaking.

 

cover art

Big Hero 6

Director: Don Hall, Chris Williams
Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans, Jr., Génesis Rodríguez, T. J. Miller, Daniel Henney, Maya Rudolph
7 November
Big Hero 6


Disney and Marvel continue to make magic, this time using another fringe title from the comic book kings (and you know how well their Guardians of the Galaxy experiment went, right?) to teach children the value of heart, intelligence, and a big inflatable robot. Indeed, this clever bit of animated imagination sees a young genius resort to revenge when tragedy strikes his family. All he has in reserve, however, is a collection of college age nerds and his brother’s balloon being. Apply a bit of that patented House of Mouse wonder and - Voila! - another cartoon classic is born.

 

cover art

The Theory of Everything

Director: James Marsh
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, David Thewlis
7 November
The Theory of Everything


Long before he was a physics savant, long before a debilitating disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS) left him reduced to a life in a wheelchair, Stephen Hawking was an exceedingly bright student studying at Cambridge. He also fell in love with a co-ed named Jane Wilde, and together they laid the foundation for one of the most important scientific careers of all time. It’s also a love story, though a bit on the fairytale side if you actually consider the facts. Still, Eddie Redmayne is Oscar-worthy as Hawking, and the film is earning big buzz as the annual awards season push begins.

 

cover art

Jessabelle

Director: Kevin Greutert
Cast: Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter, David Andrews, Amber Stevens, Brian Hallisay, Ana de la Reguera
7 November
Jessabelle


Yes, Halloween was last week… Anyways, this film boasts Saw editor turned Part VI and VII director Kevin Greutert going James Wan on some silly Southern gothic. What do we mean by the comparison? Well, when you consider that both men are constantly mentioned when it comes to the now dead subgenre known as torture porn, and the latter is a legitimate filmmaker who reinvented the haunted house film with Insidious and The Conjuring, this little PG-13 nod from someone who made their name as part of the gorno franchise makes a bit of sense. Even for confirmed a fright fan like yours truly, however, this is a bit much.

 

cover art

Merry Friggin’ Christmas

Director: Tristram Shapeero
Cast: Joel McHale, Lauren Graham, Clark Duke, Oliver Platt, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Tim Heidecker, Candice Bergen, Robin Williams
7 November
Merry Friggin’ Christmas


While he has at least two more movies in the can (A Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and Absolutely Anything), many are calling this one of Robin Williams’ last leading roles. Unfortunately, this also appears to be an unfunny holiday “comedy” where the laughs are generated from jaded juvenile behavior and not actual human emotions. The late comedian was always praised for his performances even in the most mindless, paycheck cashing affair. This looks a lot like such a fiscal decision. Too bad, then, it may end up becoming a symbol of Williams’ onscreen career.

 

cover art

Open Windows

Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Cast: Elijah Wood, Sasha Grey, Neil Maskell
7 November
Open Windows


You gotta hand it to Elijah Wood. After walking through Middle Earth as part of the billion dollar Lord of the Rings franchise, the certified star has moved away from the mainstream for more unusual fare. He’s also indulged his love of horror, first with the excellent Maniac remake and then with a solid suspense effort entitled Grand Piano. Now comes a post-modern riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, the story of a young man who wins a date with his favorite celebrity (Sasha Grey) only to see her renege on the deal. Offered a chance at 24/7 internet access to her life, he agrees. Then things turn dark—really dark.

//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media

//Blogs

TIFF 2017: 'The Shape of Water'

// Notes from the Road

"The Shape of Water comes off as uninformed political correctness, which is more detrimental to its cause than it is progressive.

READ the article