Box Office Weekend: September 2021

Your September trailers are here. Curiously (not really, if you think about 2020) we have several films this month about grief. Two stream on Netflix and one of them stars Melissa McCarthy. Get your tissues–and your cash, you don’t want to miss Simu Liu in theaters–for this month’s trailers.

Already in theaters:

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Marvel’s first Asian-starring superhero, stars my Netflix boyfriend Simu Liu as the titular Shang-Chi. Awkwafina, Meng’er Zhang, Fala Chen, Florian Munteanu, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Kingsley, and Tony Leung also star. The film has been doing really well. The film is part of Phase Four and as a person plodding through Phase One on Disney+, Jesus that’s a lot of phases, Marvel.

We Need To Do Something, a “house-of-horrors thrill ride” finds a family trapped in its house after a storm. You know what? Too soon.

Mogul Mowgli stars Riz Ahmed as a rapper struck by a degenerative autoimmune disease just before he begins a European tour. It’s either before or after he visits his Pakistani family in London; the film has shades of Sound of Metal, for which Ahmed was nominated for an Oscar.

Saving Paradise was the week’s religious movie, about a small town and its pencil factory, and how a beautiful woman and her love of Jesus saved everyone, including the ruthless businessman determined to destroy them.

Wild Indian is a thriller starring Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Greyeyes. An Anishinaabe man must come to terms with the murder he committed as a child. 

Already streaming on Netflix:

Afterlife of the Party stars Victoria Justice as a woman who gets a second chance after she dies during her birthday week. Like Russian Doll if it were mashed with Drop Dead Diva.

Worth stars Michael Keaton: “An attorney learns a lesson in empathy when he is faced with the near-impossible task of determining how to compensate families who suffered incalculable losses as a result of the September 11th attacks in 2001.” I don’t want to watch this.

JJ+E, based on a book by Mats Wahl (Vinterviken, maybe?), is about two teens inhabiting “different worlds.” (It’s rated MA, so.)

Already on Prime:

Cinderella, starring Camila Cabello

Coming to theaters Friday, September 10, 2021

The Capote Tapes is an “intimate portrait” of the “rise and fall” of one of America’s “most iconic writers.” Can we let the dead man rest?

Show Me the Father is a documentary about fatherhood? It’s from those nuts the Kendrick brothers, and good luck with those YouTube comments, ya’ll.

Language Lessons stars Natalie Morales as a Spanish tutor and Mark Duplass as her student. The film promises a “disarmingly moving exploration of platonic love.” Morales, who directed the film, co-wrote Language Lessons with Duplass. They filmed the movie during the pandemic.

Small Engine Repair stars Jon Bernthal and Ciara Bravo: “The seemingly casual reunion of three old friends at an out-of-the-way repair shop masks a hidden agenda fueled by the arrival of a privileged young yuppie.”

The Alpinist is a documentary about Marc-André Leclerc, a solo climber who died in 2018 during a descent in Alaska.

Malignant stars Annabelle Wallis as a woman tortured by waking visions of the deaths of others.

The Card Counter stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, and Willem Dafoe. Isaac is a military veteran haunted by his past and a gambling addiction in his present.

Queenpins stars Kristen Bell, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Vince Vaughn, Paul Walter Hauser.

Coming to Netflix:

Kate is an action-thriller starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The reviews are not good. 

Nightbooks is a kids thriller about kids forced to read scary stories. Looks kind of fun. Streams September 15.

Coming to theaters Friday, September 17, 2021

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is a dramatic biopic based on the 2000 documentary of the same name. It stars Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye Bakker, Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker, and Vincent D’Onofrio as Jerry Falwell. The film, directed by Michael Showalter, follows the rise and fall of the controversial televangelists. Tammy died in 2007. Jim is somehow still alive and sold colloidal silver in 2020 promising it would cure COVID. (Remember when we were worried about that? Quaint compared to horse drugs.)

The Duke stars Jim Broadbent as Kempton Bunton, a 60-year-old retired bus driver who stole a painting on behalf of elder care in 1961. Helen Mirren stars as his wife.

Copshop is an action comedy starring Gerard Butler and Frank Grillo.

Cry Macho, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, is an adaptation of the 1975 novel by N. Richard Nash. Eastwood is a “washed up” horse breeder asked to retrieve a boy from his alcoholic mother. In the novel, the boy is in Mexico. This feels like we’re supposed to root for a kidnapping and an illegal passage into America because of patriarchy and nationalism and that feels gross as hell to me. (Also, I’ve seen Gran Tourino half a dozen times, so I am assuming Eastwood will have to die at the end of the film.) 

The Nowhere Inn is a “mockumentary psychological thriller-comedy” about St. Vincent. The film is directed by Bill Benz. Carrie Brownstein (who is credited with co-writing the screenplay with St. Vincent) stars as herself and the film’s director. 

Blue Bayou, a drama written, directed, and starring Justin Chon, follows a man facing deportation. Alicia Vikander also stars. The reviews are not good.

Coming to Prime:

Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, a film adaptation of the musical. A British teenager follows his dreams to become a drag queen with the help of his friends. 

Coming to Netflix

The Father Who Moves Mountains is a Romanian drama. It received positive reviews.

The Stronghold is a French drama,

Confessions of an Invisible Girl is a Brazilian coming-of-age comedy. It is an adaptation of the novel by Thalita Rebouças. It streams September 22.

Intrusion is a home invasion thriller. It streams September 22.

Je Suis Karl is a German drama. It streams September 12.

Coming to theaters Friday, September 24, 2021

Dear Evan Hansen is an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. It’s the ones your “woke” White friends love, even though it’s the plot of World’s Greatest Dad, a 2009 flop starring Robin Williams. Ben Platt reprises the role he originated, an anxious teenager Who Will Be Found after a mixup implies another friendless teen was his best friend. Platt is 27 and playing a teenager, and I hate everything about this. Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Julianne Moore, and Amy Adams also star.

The Addams Family 2, the sequel to the 2019 animated…hit? finds its cast returning for a road trip in a last ditch effort to hold on to what bit of childhood remains. (Modern Family did this, too.) Expect voices from Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloë Grace Moretz,  Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, and Snoop Dogg. What a world.

Falling for Figaro is a romand-slash-coming-of-age about a young woman who attempts to find her voice via opera. The film stars two of our favorites, Danielle Macdonald and Joanna Lumley. This film has a early ‘90s feel–doesn’t this seem like the sort of UK movie that would have starred Alan Rickman and Toni Collette?

The Many Saints of Newark, the Sopranos prequel, stars Leslie Odom, Jr., Jon Bernthal, and (really) Michael Gandolfini. The film will also stream on HBOMax.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, a franchise that will never find its last word, returns. (Usually these movies are done when the child has its own child.) Andy Samberg’s Johnny accidentally turns Transylvania’s residents-slash-employees into humans, and the monsters scurry to return to their eternal lives. Returning voices for this fourth film include Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key. Bryan Hull is replacing Adam Sandler, who starred in the previous films.

The Jesus Music is a documentary from the same people who brought us I Can Only Imagine (it’s OK if your father is abusive as long as you love God), which is too bad, because a non-biased doc about contemporary Christian music is something I’d really like to see! Interviews include Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Kirk Franklin, Hillsong United, Lecrae, Steven Curtis Chapman, Bill Gaither, and TobyMac. Probably no questions about Brian Houston, though.

Coming to Netflix:

The Starling is a drama starring Melissa McCarthy. She stars as Lily, a woman who battles grief after suffering a loss (presumably a miscarriage). The cast also includes Rosalind Chao, Jimmy O. Yang, Chris O’Dowd, Loretta Devine, and Kevin Kline.

No One Gets Out Alive is a thriller about an undocumented who moves into a rundown boardinghouse in Cleveland. Girl, run!

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