The summer is over.
That’s what Hollywood is telling us. Now that Suicide Squad is out, that concludes the big summer blockbusters. Now we get the dregs, the movies no one knew how to market or the ones Hollywood has no confidence in.
Of course, Meryl Streep movies don’t apply: She’s the Queen of the Dog Days of Summer. Her movies have a baked-in audience.
But we’ll get to her in a second. Anthropoid stars an actor who makes really good decisions with his career, Cillian Murphy, and one who doesn’t as much, Jamie Dornan, in a true story of a group of Czech soldiers who planned an assassination attempt on a high-ranking Nazi back in WWII. The trailer feels a little like Valkyrie, but I’m intrigued.
Florence Foster Jenkins is another true story/period drama about an American woman who had a career as a singer despite her not being able to hold a tune. That’s Streep in the role, with Hugh Grant as her protective husband and manager. People have been saying how brave she is taking a part where she has to intentionally sing badly—because we all know she has a terrific voice. I’m not on board with that remark. It’s a comedic part, and comedy actors make fools of themselves all the time on the big screen. It’s part of the gig. And what about the courage of Pierce Brosnan, Streep’s co-star in Mamma Mia? I think it’s more courageous to be a poor singer and try to sing well than be a great singer and convince singing badly.
Indignation is a small, intense drama, an adaptation of a Philip Roth novel by first-time feature filmmaker James Schamus, Ang Lee’s longtime writing partner. It feels like a fall movie arrived early, which is a compliment. Here’s my full review.
There’s a new picture in town for the Hindi-speaking audience, called Mohenjo Daro. It’s a sword-and-sandals romantic epic with some very pretty people and some very goofy CGI, but it looks like a lot of fun.
Disney continues to rifle through its back catalogue of animated films—though the 1977 Pete’s Dragon was a mix of animated and live-action—to reboot for a new audience of kids and nostalgic parents. This year’s Pete’s Dragon has a compelling trailer, with Robert Redford in a supporting role, and the CGI dragon looks believable enough,
And, lastly, here’s one of the summer’s weirdest looking films, Sausage Party. It’s an R-rated animation from Seth Rogen, who says he was inspired by Pixar. Since we’ve seen the hidden lives of toys, rats, bugs, cars, and even the emotions, why not food? (This sounds like a concept that’s totally the product of a night of serious imbibing.) But the reviews have been very positive. Go figure.