If you’re feeling bummed out that the summer blockbuster movie season is over, fear not. The upcoming weeks will see a slew of movies that will rock you world (or just crumble into dust).
September will see the start of a number of reboots, remakes and big-screen adaptations such as the first of three Smurfs movies. Horror movie fans will also get to see a reboot of cult classic Fright Nightstarring Colin Farrell, Anton Yelchin and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. And who can forget the kids from McKinley High in Glee The 3D Concert Movie.
More treats for film buffs this September with the return of the 24th Singapore International Film Festival. This year’s instalment sees a bumper crop of 144 films. Top picks include China's first and only sex shop comedy, Red Light Revolution, acclaimed documentary Senna, which chronicles the life and works of racing legend Aryton Senna, superhero satire Super, the acclaimed Exit Through The Gift Shop (directed by notorious artist Banksy) as well as Griff The Invisible starring True Blood’s Jason Stackhouse, Ryan Kwanten (we hear he’s coming down).
Week of 1 September
The Stars: Alan Cumming, Anton Yelchin, George Lopez, Hank Azaria, Katy Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays
The Buzz: This film is the first CGI/live-action hybrid film of The Smurfs trilogy which will be distributed by the Columbia Pictures.
The Story: Set during the Middle Ages, evil wizard Gargamel (Azaria) found the Smurfs’ village and he chases them out of their village. Clumsy Smurf strays into a “forbidden” grotto and some of the other Smurfs followed. Since it was a night of the blue moon, a magical portal within the grotto opened and dumps the lil blue men (and girl) into present-day Central Park in New York. Stranded in the Big Apple, they took shelter with married couple, Grace and Patrick Winslow (Mays and Harris). They must try to find their way back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.
inSing.com says: You may remember the saccharine-sweet cartoon with the annoyingly catchy theme song (the one that goes, ‘la’ ad infinitum) that this movie attempts to bring to life and reinvent at the same time. Directed by Raja Gosnell who helmed Home Alone 3, Scooby Doo and Beverly Hill Chihuahua, The Smurfs follows the established pattern set by live action animation movies in recent years down to the last detail. You got the celebrity cast: Harris, Azaria, Alan Cumming and even Katy Perry as the voice of Smurfette; the old family-comedy routine, and it’s in 3D—the gold standard in filmmaking these days. If you’re a child of the 80s and grew up watching the Smurfs, we’re pretty sure that you will be entertained here.
Also opening: More kid-friendly flicks this week with the fourth instalment of the Spy Kids franchise, Spy Kids: All The Time In The World. Latina bombshell Jessica Alba shows off her motherly instincts in this Robert Rodriguez affair. Did we mention that it’s in 4D? Also opening is the film version of TV’s breakout smash Glee (GASP!!). See Kurt, Finn, Rachel and the rest of the gang in 3D glory in Glee The 3D Concert Movie. Grown-ups will love Crazy, Stupid, Love. The movie revolves around Cal Weaver (Steve Carell), whose wife (Julianne Moore) has recently announced her infidelity (the "other man" is played by Kevin Bacon) and requested a divorce. Hottie Ryan Gosling also stars.
Week of 8 September
The Stars: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant, Toni Collette, Christopher Mintz-Plasse
The Buzz: It’s another remake from the 80s cult classic! If you loved The Lost Boys, The Monster Squad, or even the original Fright Night from 1985, this ought to be right up your alley.
The Story: If you haven’t seen the original; Fright Night revolves around a teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) who guesses that his new neighbour Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), a self-proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry.
inSing.com says: We love vampire movies, especially those from the 80s with its equal amounts of laughs and scares. But some (Read: Twilight) seems to have spoil it with its sappy portrayal of the undead. Yes, vamps are scary again—at least for the time being, or until the next Twi-film. Fright Night is of course based on the 1985 film. That movie is a horror classic known for its great blend of scares and comedy, as well as a top-notch cast (Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale and Amanda Bearse) and terrific practical special effects (in 1985 standards, of course). Yelchin plays the perfect unlikely hero and if you loved McLovin, you’ll certainly love Mintz-Plasse in this one. And Farrell is just intimidating as a vampire. Hit this one up, if you’ve got a taste for nostalgia.Also opening: Don’t miss Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard who star in the Steven Soderberg helmed viral outbreak thrillerContagion. Also opening this week isMy Kingdom, a sweeping story of love, honour and revenge set against the backdrop of Chinese opera during its heyday in 1920s Shanghai. Written by Zou Jingzhi, one of China’s most popular writers, the story centres around two sworn brothers and their quest to regain their master’s honour. This week also mark the opening of the annualSingapore International Film Festival(through Sep 25). This year’s festival will see a bumper crop of 144 feature films.
Week of 15 September
The Stars: Dominic West, Gillian Anderson, Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike, Rowan Atkinson
The Buzz: Rowan Atkinson once again pays the hapless spy in Johnny English Reborn. A series of recognizable names join Atkinson this time around, namely X-Files’ Anderson, and James Bond alum Brosnan and Pike.
The Story: This second instalment finds the spy up against international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier. The comedic caper opens with the "greatest agent" leaving an ashram hideout to return to service, continuing his clumsy, witless moves to accidentally succeed in his mission.
inSing.com says: If you’re a fan of English humour, or Mr. Bean for that matter, then there’s no doubt that this movie will leave you rolling on the floor in laughter. Reborn looks like more of the same, but if its slap-stick comedy and mindless fun, like its predecessor, Johnny English, it will bring you what you’re looking for. Whether it’s as Johnny English, Mr. Bean or even Edmund Blackadder, there is no one like Atkinson who can play a bumbling character down pat.
Also opening: Don’t miss Eric Khoo’s first animated feature Tatsumiwhich pays tribute to Japanese animator hero Yoshihiro Tatsumi. The movie borrows five "really dark and sad" stories from the artist's autobiography. Horror and gore fans will love I Saw The Devil. This revenge-thriller sees Lee Byung-hyun (The Good, the Bad and the Weird) stars as Dae-hoon, a special agent whose pregnant wife becomes the latest victim of a disturbed and brutal serial killer, captivatingly played by Oldboy's Choi Min-sik. This week also sees more concert films. Asian music fans shouldn’t miss 2AM Showas well as Mayday 3DNA.
Week of 22 September
The Stars: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn
The Buzz: It is iconoclastic director Terrence Malick’s long-awaited fifth feature and in many ways his simplest yet most ambitious work—a provocative story that’s a reflection of love and loss.
The Story: From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950’s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.
inSing.com says: Malick’s latest film in 38 years, The Tree of Life is a head-trip of a film that’s basically an experiment in existentialism. The film explores the meaning of life (rolls eyes) through a middle-aged architect’s boyhood memories with his authoritarian father and devout mother. The film drew polarized reactions during the recent Cannes festival where it won the Palme d’Or. Like most art-house affairs, The Tree of Lifeis the kind of film that will compel you to say you absolutely love it or else risk being nit-picked for supporting the decline of cinema as an art form.Also opening: Hot bod Taylor Lautner shows there is life after Twilight. The former werewolf turns action hero in Abduction, a thriller centred on a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing person’s website. Also opening this week is The Help. Based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett and directed by Tate Taylor, the film is set in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s, when African Americans were denied equal rights.
Week of 29 September
The Stars: Jodie Whittaker, Luke Treadaway, Nick Frost, John Boyega, Leeon Jones, Franz Drameh, Alex Esmail
The Buzz: It’s made by the producers of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The movie also marked the directorial debut of Joe Cornish, who co-wrote Steven Spielberg's upcoming comic-book adaptation, The Adventures of Tintin.
The Story: A group of young teens (led by the newcomer John Boyega) are about to be arrested for a mugging in their grim London council estate when a hairy murderous alien lands and attacks. After they’ve killed the bloodthirsty creature, more monsters arrive, and the kids unite with other residents of the block and engage in a gleeful turf war.
inSing.com says: So we’ve seen loads of alien movies this year such as I Am Number Four, Battle: Los Angeles, Cowboys & Aliens. But we think that none of those is as great as British flick Attack The Block. But unlike the rest, there are no hero archetypes to save the day—only everyday nobodies that were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The plot is pretty straightforward: What happens if an alien invasion started at a rundown housing project in South London, and a group of young punks were the only ones who could fight back? But it's where the movie goes both with its action story and this kids we come to love that makes this movie so exhilarating and distinct.
Also opening: Justin Timberlake returns to the big screen this week in rom-comFriends With Benefits, also starring hottie Mila Kunis and Woody Harrelson. If you dig Paranormal Activity, then you will love horror-thriller Apollo 18. The movie follows a 1974 space mission that NASA claims never existed and shows "what really happened” (ooooh).
(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)