CocktailsandMovies.com Fall & Year End 2017 Movie Preview

by Tim Barley, Mike Reyes, and Duwayne Tso

The fate of the 2017 box office rests on the next three months of movies

cocktailsandmovies.com Fall 2017 box office preview

Cocktailers, the days are growing shorter, and the movies are growing deeper. What was traditionally the time for audiences to flood to the box office (Summer) was a disaster this year. The Summer 2017 box office was the worst in 25 years. And now, every studio is banking on some big movies to stem their losses. Some Fall movies have built in audiences (Star Wars: The Last JediThor: Ragnarok), but others will have to struggle to bring in money against the NFL, and a world that just seems out of control. So, let’s take a look at the next three months and get our main contributors’ takes on what we can expect between now and New Year’s Eve as we look at the 2017 CocktailsandMovies.com Fall Movie Preview.

Tim’s picks:

“For the love of god, can we just get a good movie?” – Tim

As the creator of CocktailsandMovies.com, I get to go first and I’m going to take a look at the movies that interest me, for one reason or another, and provide scores and outlooks for them. I’m not historically tough on movies as I LOVE going to the theater to see movies. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more discerning. So, here they are: My picks. These are in chronological order of their release dates, not in order of what I’m most looking forward to seeing. Some look really really bad and some are going to be good. Some will disappoint, and others will over achieve. All my choices are just movies that I want to see for one reason or another.

cocktails and movies American madeAmerican Made (September 29th) – Universal Pictures
CAST:  Tom Cruise, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemmons, Domhnall Gleeson, Caleb Landry Jones, Benito Martinez
STORY:  Barry Seal, a TWA pilot, is recruited by the CIA to provide reconnaissance on the burgeoning communist threat in Central America and soon finds himself in charge of one of the biggest covert CIA operations in the history of the United States. The operation spawns the birth of the Medellin cartel and almost brings down the Reagan White House.
Why I want to see it: It looks funny and is one of those historical movies about such outrageously true stories that you just have to see to believe. Director Doug Liman has worked with Cruise before (Edge of Tomorrow) which turned out quite well. Plus, with some Jack Daniels and a Budweiser, what is more American?
Forecast: Since it is getting 85%+ on Rotten Tomatoes, and it is still Tom Cruise, there’s a good chance that Universal will be celebrating with Grey Goose screwdrivers October 2nd. Total box office should be around $125 million when all is said and done.

cocktails and movies FlatlinersFlatliners (September 29th) – Sony Pictures
CAST: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dorbrev, James Norton
STORY: Five medical students embark on a daring and dangerous experiment to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life. The bold adventure begins when they trigger near-death experiences by stopping their hearts for short periods of time. As their trials become more perilous, each must confront the sins from their past while facing the paranormal consequences of journeying to the other side.
Why? Why is this being made? I thought this was a remake, but it’s actually a sequel. A sequel I’m not sure we really need at this time. Or any. With a full slate of horror out there and more to come for Halloween, will this get lost in the shuffle?
Forecast: It’s getting good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, at 83%, BUT seriously? This might come out hot, but I’m not sure it’s got staying power. Look for Sony Pictures to be hitting the bloody mary’s hard by the second weekend

Cocktails and Movies Fall movie preview GeostormGeostorm (October 20th) – Warner Brothers
CAST: Gerard Butler, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Andy Garcia, Mare Winningham, Daniel Wu
STORY: After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong: the system built to protect Earth is attacking it, and it becomes a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone along with it.
Why do I want to see it? Because. It. Looks. So. Bad. It’s. Good! Honestly, my mouth is watering just thinking of shoving popcorn in my mouth after many cocktails! The cast is really out of place in this movie, but it’s Dean Devlin and he brings the noise like almost no other can.
Forecast: Troubling. But, that’s what makes this so cool. It’s budget is unknown, but it’s going to take a miracle for this to make it’s money. But, I don’t have a problem with that.

cocktails and Movies Bladerunner 2049Bladerunner 2049 (October 6th) –
CAST: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista
STORY: Officer K (Ryan Gosling), a new blade runner for the Los Angeles Police Department, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. His discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who’s been missing for 30 years.
Why do I want to see it? Not sure if I told you this, but I hold it that the director’s cut of Bladerunner, release in 1992, is THE BEST movie ever, right up there with Casablanca. Which is why I have mixed emotions on it; will it take away from the original or add to it?
Forecast: Hmmmm. I think it should do well, probably in the $120 million overall. But, it could be more. With the addition of Ryan Gosling and Jared Leto, this might draw a larger audience.

CocktailsandMovies.com fall movies A Bad Mom ChristmasA Bad Moms Christmas (November 3rd) – STX Entertainment
CAST: Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon
STORY: Under-appreciated and overburdened moms Amy, Kiki and Carla rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas. As if creating the perfect holiday for their families isn’t hard enough, they’ll have to do it while hosting and entertaining their own respective mothers when they come to visit.
Why I want to see it: Because I loved the fun and foulness of the first movie. Three great female leads from the first one return with three major female A listers playing their moms.  This could get fun!
Forecast: Now, here is where the rubber will hit the road. Can an R-rated comedy deep into Christmas season find an audience. This could be a bomb.

Thor: Ragnarok (November 2nd) – Marvel/Disney
CAST: Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Anthony Hopkins
STORY: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk, his former ally and fellow Avenger. Thor’s quest for survival leads him in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.
Why do I want to see this? Well, it’s the next comic book movie and I really really want to see it. But, the more I see of the trailers, the more psychedelic it looks and the more I really want to drink absinthe cocktails for hours before.
Forecast: Marvel’s movies are just a bit off lately. It might be comic book fatigue. But, something about this one looks different. This could be the biggest comic book movie of the year.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15th) – Disney
CAST: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Gwendoline Christie
STORY: Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he meets Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force.
Why I want to see it: Because it’s Star Wars. Because for 40 years I have lived and breathed Star Wars and I would NEVER EVER miss one this close to the end of the saga.
Forecast: Pretty, pretty, pretty good. Cristal is icing right now at Disney.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (December 20th) – Sony Pictures
CAST: Dwayne Johson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Bobby Canavale
STORY: Four high school kids discover an old video game console and are drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the adult avatars they chose. What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji – you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves – or they’ll be stuck in the game forever.
Why I want to see it: I’m not really sure that I want to see it. It’s missing a pretty big component in Robin Williams, and it’s a sequel decades later. But, it’s got a big cast. But I’m not sure it’s for me.
Forecast: Another one of those movies I’m not quite sure on. I’ll take my nieces and nephews to see it around the holidays, so Sony may be banking on people like me. But, a big cast may make this a big haul.

― C & M ―

Duwayne’s Picks:

When you regularly watch 300+ movies in theatres every year, it is definitely hard to compile a Top 5 List for a month let alone for a Season. Therefore, when our illustrious leader, Tim, tasked us with creating a Fall Season Movie List, I knew I would have my work cut out for me.

Did you know there are 40+ movies that come out every month? The average film-goer is mostly aware of the big studio wide releases. Of course, during the movie award season the limited release and independent movies get more of the spotlight shone on them. However, every month I not only see the big studio movies, but the smaller independent movies, foreign language movies, and documentaries.

That meant my original list that I had to work with was well over 100 movies. It was extremely difficulty with a lot of agonizing and second-guessing, but I made it. I have listed the movies that interest me the most in descending order with my favorite being last.

12. Molly’s Game – I am an Aaron Sorkin fan, and see every movie he writes. He does such a good job of telling a story and creating interesting characters. The cast is great and led by the talented Jessica Chastain. The added bonus is that this movie will be his directorial debut.

11. Goodbye Christopher Robin – I was a big Winnie the Pooh fan when I was a kid, so it is going to be so fun to watch the creative process of how he and the rest of animals from the Hundred Acre Wood came to be. Aside from that, you have a wonderful family movie about a Father and Son relationship.

10. Suburbicon – I love the movies that the Coen Brothers write, they have provided me with great movies in my Blu-ray collection. George Clooney is the director and this movie looks damn great and funny. They have a great choice in Matt Damon to headline this twisted and dark story.

9. The Snowman – I love serial killer investigation movie, especially when you have a smart antagonist who stays ahead of the police. Michael Fassbender is a good choice as the lead investigator. The movie has a great look to it and has a nice mix of action, suspense and drama.

8. Blade Of The Immortal – I am a huge fan of Takashi Miike. He has directed over a 100 movies that the majority people have not heard of. He has created movies that are controversial as well as graphic. This movie looks almost as good as my recent favorite of his …13 Assassins. I love the western lone gunman feel to it and situating that in a feudal Japan samurai setting is brilliant.

7. Thor: Ragnarok – I am a huge comic book and MCU fan. This by far looks like the best Thor movie yet. I love the addition of Cate Blanchet as Hela, she’s going to be one of the best villains since Loki first appeared. Adding the Hulk to the movie is a work of pure genius. I cannot wait!

6. Breathe – This has award nomination potential written all over it. Andrew Garfield gives another great performance and the story is chock full of emotional drama. It has a wonderful triumphant of the human spirit sub-plot. As well as how he changed the way in which polio patients were treated and cared for.

5. Darkest Hour – I love movies that allow us to learn more about historical people, events, and eras. Joe Wright has directed another wonderful movie with a healthy mix of drama, emotion, and suspense to it despite us already knowing the outcome. Gary Oldman is almost unrecognizable as Winston Churchill and gives an amazing performance that should garnish him award nominations.

4. Blade Runner 2049 – I am a HUGE fan of the Sci-fi classic Blade Runner and have seen all the various iterations of it. Sequels to movies from the past have not been doing well of late, but director Denis Villeneuve has re-created the world and feel of the original, as well as expanding on it with his touches. I love that they brought back Harrison Ford as a supporting character and given the lead to Ryan Gosling. This is going to be awesome!

3. The Shape Of Water – I am a big Guillermo del Toro fan, he has created movies that have the most beautiful gothic & fairy tale worlds. His latest movie has that as well as a great lead in Sally Hawkins. As her character is deaf, she uses facial features, posture, and gestures to give an amazing performance. Michael Shannon always does a good job when playing the antagonist. This movie has a wonderful combination of drama, emotion, action, adventure, sci-fi, and even a bit of romance … that will make it one of the best movies of the year!

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – I love Martin McDonagh’s movies and he has definitely created another great movie. He does a great job of creating some quirky and twisted movies with great interesting and eccentric characters. This one has a good storyline led by Frances McDormand, who definitely should garnish award nominations and has a supporting cast that is impressive.

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Star Wars: A New Hope was my first movie that I ever saw when it came out in 1977. And I have been a huge fan ever since. When all the new ones come out, I take the day off to see it numerous times as well as all weekend. I enjoyed The Force Awakens despite the rehash of plot points from previous Star Wars movies. The movie will have all the things we expect from Star Wars movies. However, the next one will be better than the last as it will have more Luke Skywalker and Jedi training. We will also get a better look at Supreme Leader Snoke. Sadly, it will also be the last time we get to see our beloved Princess Leia.

As you can see from my choices here, I have quite a diverse film palate. I know that some of my movies choices you definitely have heard of. However, I hope that there are some movies that I have listed that you are now aware of or an interest in learning more about. I know that everyone has different movie tastes, but find a movie on my list that you normally would not see. One that you find somewhat interesting and take a chance. You might be pleasantly surprised.

― C & M ―

Mike’s Picks

We’re heading into a season where blockbusters and awards season darlings co-mingle, and I couldn’t be happier. Usually, the weather is perfect for a quick movie or five, before heading back out into the world, and this year’s got some promising contenders. This is also on the heels of a September that brought us IT and Kingsman: The Golden Circle, so it’s not like we’re starting off slow here. I will caveat my rundown with one warning: I haven’t included any comic films on my list. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to any of them, but when you keep getting a steady stream of them, they stop becoming special. That said, here are my picks for the rest of the year:

Blade Runner 2049 – 10/6/17
The buzz surrounding this movie has been building slowly, but surely. In fact, when the early reactions broke this week, hearing that more than a few people were in love with Denis Villeneuve’s follow up to a legitimate sci-fi classic made me so happy. I thought I was excited for this film, now I’m positively ecstatic to be given the opportunity to experience it.

My Little Pony: The Movie – 10/6/17
Laugh if you’ve got to, but My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is one of those things that actually isn’t what you think it is. Yes, there’s a lot of life lessons and the usual kids programming values, but with sly movie references and awesome guest stars like Weird Al, it’s a kids show we should all believe in. So take that, add an even more impressive cast, and turn it into a colorful adventure picture, and you’ve got what My Little Pony: The Movie is promising. And in a world where I’ve sat through most of all the other kid’s films out there, this film looks like a respite in a world full of crap.

Happy Death Day – 10/13/17
Another surprise, I know, but Happy Death Day looks like it might just be the Halloween treat we all needed. Making Groundhog Day into a slasher flick / murder mystery is an interesting concept, but you’ve got to back it with some serious clout. From what I’ve seen in the trailers, I think there’s a chance this could be a dark horse of the season.

Suburbicon – 10/27/17
George Clooney and Grant Heslov are two of the best writers, bar none. The Coen Brothers are two of the best writers, bar none. So while I’m still a little scared that Suburbicon might live up to some of the more negative hype I’ve heard out of Toronto, I’m still on the train to see this one with bells on. Dark comedy is a genre I hold dear to me, and when you cast Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, and Oscar Issac in that genre, with Clooney directing and the four names at the top of this item writing, you’d have to be extremely persuasive to get me not to go.

Last Flag Flying – 11/3/17
Confession time, though this one’s not a dire grievance: I’ve never seen The Last Detail. A cult classic of Jack Nicholson’s career, that film serves as a spiritual predecessor to Last Flag Flying, which tells the story of three Vietnam Vets traveling together for a sacred purpose: to bury one of the group’s sons. Concept wise, I’d have definitely taken my dad to see this movie, as military movies are something we’ve always shared interest in. But with Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Lawrence Fishburne giving performance like they do in the trailer for this film has this marked down as a must see in my eyes. In fact, that could be the trio to beat this fall, when it comes to powerhouse performances.

Murder on the Orient Express – 11/1o/17
I love a good mystery, doubly so if it’s something worthy of the Agatha Christie standard. With And Then There Were None being one of my favorite books of all time, the woman’s work has a nice niche carved out in my brain. But Murder On The Orient Express is probably the most recognizable work of Christie’s in the film world, what with a star studded version from the 70’s still standing the test of time. But I wouldn’t count out Kenneth Branagh, as his sensibilities tend to work exceedingly well with rich literary source material. Not to mention, the ensemble on this film has talent to spare.

Coco – 11/22/17
Pixar’s been hit or miss for me lately, and The Book of Life covered very similar territory already, to very little fanfare. And yet, I’m excited to see how this film covers the musical and spiritual parts of Hispanic culture it’s looking to explore. That, and Dante the dog is too adorable not to see on the big screen.

Molly’s Game – 11/22/17
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and Molly’s Game is one of those truths that sounds like the perfect movie. With one of my personal heroes, Aaron Sorkin, making his directing debut with his own script, I can’t help but be intrigued to see his rhythm and cadence of dialogue through Jessica Chastain’s Molly Bloom. Fingers crossed she gets some golden notices for this one.

The Shape of Water – 12/8/17
It’s really hard to pick one film to be excited for over all of the others this season. Actually, no it’s not, as The Shape of Water has reminded me of why I love Guillermo del Toro’s work, as well as why I love movies in general. A living, breathing fairy tale about a mute woman and the water based creature she’s fallen in love with, it’s probably the closest we’ll get to seeing Uncle Guillermo’s take on Beauty and the Beast. And I’m a-ok with that.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 12/15/17
I’m not immune to blockbusters, as you’ll see with my choices above. And yet, Star Wars is something that I loved before it became the cross-cultural juggernaut it is now. So seeing more of the world take that galaxy far, far away to heart makes me happy, and so does all advanced indicators of where Rian Johnson is taking The Last Jedi. The man turned down Episode IX, probably in part because he wanted to make one perfect film and leave his mark.

Downsizing – 12/22/17
What happens when you take a Charlie Kaufman-esque premise, but give it more warmth and humor, and less disdain for the audience? Odds are, you get Downsizing, which looks like a Kaufman, but talks very much like an Alexander Payne film. Taking into account that Payne hasn’t lost a step, and I’m still in love with what he did with Nebraska, this is another Matt Damon flick I’m really amped for. (Geez Matt, save some for the rest of the world.)

The Post – 12/22/17
We don’t know a lot about The Post, except that it’s about the publishing of The Pentagon Papers, and it’s being directed by Steven Spielberg, who’s reuniting with Tom Hanks and bringing on-board Meryl Streep for the ride as well. Bridge of Spies is a movie a lot of people unjustly slept on, and I really hope this doesn’t fall into the same trap, as Spielberg and Hanks know their way through history, with Streep knowing her way through anything.

— C&M —

Well, we hope that gives you some insight on what’s coming down the road here at the U.S. box office. We’ll be taking a few of these in as events, so keep your eyes peeled for those announcements. For the others, let us know what you plan to see and what you plan to drink with them! Until then, don’t drink and drive, but drink and watch. Movies. Cocktails and Movies.

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