Thursday, August 31, 2017

Riske Business: Random Thoughts on 2017 Movies (September-October)

by Adam Riske and Alejandra Gonzalez
Drama season begins! Alejandra and I take a closer look at the next two months.

Home Again

Adam: Ok, what is this? It looks like Eat, Pray, Pottery Barn. I half expect Reese to say “I never thought turning 40 would be this hard but it’s more difficult than when I couldn’t find these fabulous Zander Gray and Ivory Oversized Pillows.” Normally I would say “I’m never going to see this,” but for Home Again I’m all “I have to see this!” #MichaelSheenSailorShirt #LifestylePorn

Alejandra: Riske, you’ve captured my sentiments exactly. I was convinced at first this was aiming to look like a commercial for Crate & Barrel that would eventually go horribly wrong and turn into a horror story for the ages. You know, a Nightmare on West Elm Street of sorts. I mean, I guess it kind of IS like that since her only problem is having two incredibly attractive men fighting to earn her affections. Either way, I’m totally sold.

Alejandra: I don't think I can properly express how excited I am for this. I’ve been waiting for what feels like years to watch a movie that’ll keep me up at night, and clowns remind me of my ex so I’m sure this will do the trick. Everything looks phenomenal, and my high expectations could mean a lot more room for disappointment but I’m excited anyway. I mean, it's Stephen freakin’ King. I think it’ll be the perfect way to set off #ScarySeason2017, but that may have already started on January 20th.

Adam: After hearing from someone in the know that this movie is good and that great four-minute scene from It that played before Annabelle: Creation, I am very excited for this movie. I’m a fan of the original TV movie so I was a bit of the “not my It” camp initially, but Bill Skarsgard looks like he’s put a cool spin on Pennywise and a horror warm-up in September before Scary Movie Month is always welcome.

American Assassin

Adam: I’m game. I like Michael Keaton. I’m in the mood for some B-grade action thrills. Is this Dylan O’ Brien’s big chance?

Alejandra: The first time I saw this trailer I was SO on board because I thought that Dylan O’ Brien was actually Gael Garcia Bernal (look, I was missing my glasses). Then, upon discovering it was actually not Gael Garcia Bernal, I immediately was off board again. This just doesn't feel like something I would want to watch, but I could definitely be wrong.


Alejandra: This one is one of my most anticipated movies right now. I would watch Javier Bardem do ANYTHING. ANYTHING. I’m still not sure what this movie will really be about, but the shameless Rosemary’s Baby poster imitation makes me think it’s something I’d be into...except that I might be really disappointed it’s not just Rosemary’s Baby with Javier Bardem in it. Maybe that’s what they want you to think? Either way, the trailer was gorgeous and I’m really looking forward to watching this, which is more than I thought I’d ever say about something with Jennifer Lawrence in it.

Adam: I want to see it for sure. Darren Aronofsky has made enough movies I’ve liked to warrant getting a chance each time out. I’m worried they’re giving too much away with the trailer and poster, though. What if this is JLaw’s make-good/soft reboot for The House at the End of the Street?

Friend Request

Adam: I’m going to see the hell outta Friend Request. It fits in perfectly with my evolving love for cheesy theatrical horror. Also, lead actress Alycia Debnam-Carey looks like if you took Teresa Palmer and Taissa Farmiga and combined them into one person. That is a compliment. How are they going to kill off all of her 800+ friends in a 90-minute movie? Did you know the film’s two taglines are “Look. Comment. Kill” and “Be careful who you click with?”

Alejandra: Okay, I am ALL over this one. I thought she looked like Taissa Farmiga too! At first I was like, who would want to be friends with someone THIS bad, but then I thought: “well Alycia IS really pretty.” I’m also super impressed by how much you already know about this…must have resonated with you. “Look. Comment. Kill” is how I live my life, too.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Alejandra: I’m excited and probably watching the hell out of this one, too. The only thing a trailer needs is a Frank Sinatra song and I’m there! I just really like how much this reminds me of classic spy movies (I guess that’s because this is a spy movie, go figure) with what seems to be a million geographical locations and all the gadgets. I think it’ll be a fun time regardless, so I’m looking forward to it.

Adam: The Sinatra song does make that trailer. I liked the first Kingsman well enough, but this one seems very pleased with itself. Then again, I don’t think I was all that excited for the first one, so who knows?

The LEGO Ninjago Movie

Adam: I’m done with LEGO movies. So, so done with them. I can’t even talk about them without getting bored/irritated.

Alejandra: What the fuck is a ninjago?

Adam: “You had me at what the fuck is a ninjago.” - Jerry Maguire

American Made

Alejandra: I’m starting to wonder if Tom Cruise knows how to fly a plane in real life. Something about him rubs me the wrong way, and this looks like a total dad movie. Not that there’s anything wrong with dad movies, I just don’t think I’d go out of my way to watch it the way I would My Little Pony.

Adam: Don’t get me wrong. I like Tom Cruise, but this is one of those movies Patrick has referenced before that looks like it should have been made in the early 2000s. Like, it’s Blow but with Tom Cruise, right? I do admire(?) that Cruise is so desperately trying to hang on to the star-system type of movie (i.e. Tom Cruise is…. a lawyer/bartender/secret agent etc.) in a world full of IPs, where stars are put on the back-burner.

Battle of the Sexes

Adam: The fact that this is a Fox Searchlight movie from the directors of Little Miss Sunshine makes me not want to see it as much (also Steve Carell is maybe playing Bobby Riggs and maybe playing Austin Powers...or both) but it’s a sports movie and I love Emma Stone in anything, so I’m down.

Alejandra: You didn't like Little Miss Sunshine? I think I need to actually watch this one to answer your question about Steve Carell, but I love both him and Emma Stone so I’m not sure his playing Austin Powers wouldn’t completely turn me off. I also am not super into sports movies, but I’m interested in finally getting the answer to a question I ask myself everyday: which gender is better at tennis, a sport which I know nothing about? I mean, it’s based on a true story, so I guess I could just look up spoilers…

Adam: Little Miss Sunshine is indie nonsense imho.


Alejandra: There is SO much going on over the span of a couple minutes in this trailer that it’s actually frustrating. I haven’t seen the original Flatliners, but I feel like I barely even have to watch this now. Except that I totally do because of Diego Luna. Now I have to sit through the WHOLE thing. It’s so hard to be me.

Adam: This looks like Sony: The Movie. I recognize it’s not great, but I have some affection for the original Flatliners. It’s weird how little visual style this remake seems to have when the first one was best known for how psychedelic it was. Also, the new cast pales in comparison to the 1990 iteration.

Blade Runner: 2049
Adam: This is the movie I’m most looking forward to this Fall. For the most part, I’ve been a pretty big fan of Denis Villeneuve's movies and he seems like an interesting fit for this material. I’m very curious how this one will turn out, since there’s a lot of story that can be mined from this subject matter. I do think it’s a little funny, though, that everyone is in these interesting costumes but Harrison Ford is pretty much just chilling in a t-shirt.

Alejandra: The best thing about Harrison Ford is that he plays Harrison Ford in every role. Which is why I know this will be one of my favorite movies of the year, no questions asked. I just wonder if it’ll be what everyone is expecting or not because of how beloved the original Blade Runner is. That’s always a problem with these kinds of movies.

The Mountain Between Us

Alejandra: This looks like it’ll be my mom’s favorite movie of the year. You and I already spoke about this, but I feel an incredible need to watch this movie just to see where the dog comes from. It wasn’t on the plane in the trailer, but then it’s on the mountain with them! Or maybe it was in the plane, and I was just too focused on Mr. Elba. It seems like it’ll be a good movie to go to with my parents and those are required sometimes.

Adam: I just want them to have a lot of snow pants sex up on that mountain. The tagline should be: Fuck. Raise Dog. Survive.

Alejandra: What the fuck is a “snow pants sex”?

Adam: It’s too cold to take off your clothes so you dry rub in your snow pants. It’s a thing in the Midwest.

My Little Pony

Adam: This doesn’t look that bad. Good voice cast and the animation is in 2D (in a Treasure Planet sort of way) which is cool. I’m never going to see it (Movie Math: Single Man + My Little Pony = Existential, if not literal, prison), but I hope it does well.

Alejandra: I am DEFINITELY watching this, and unironically too. I don't even remember the last time I saw something that was 2D the way this is, so it’ll be fun.

The Foreigner

Alejandra: So this is kind of, like, Taken on maximum? Not my kind of movie, but for some reason the trailer really earned my interest. I love Jackie Chan but angry and sad old man Jackie kind of breaks my heart.

Adam: I want to have fun watching Jackie Chan. I don’t need Sadckie Chan in my life. That’s how bad 2017 is - they made Jackie Chan of all people into a morose dad out to avenge his daughter’s death. This movie looks like Collateral Damage. It would also gross $50M more if they replaced Pierce Brosnan with Chris Tucker.

Happy Death Day
Adam: I support this movie for no other reason than it gave the world a horror remix of “In Da Club” by 50 Cent. The movie itself looks generic. I don’t know, I hope it’s good. It is Blumhouse after all, and they’ve been on a roll lately.

Alejandra: This does not look good at all to me, but I’m THERE. The Groundhog Day thing is kind of super overdone, and I can't tell if she’s dreaming these days or if she’s actually living them over and over. But you’re right, the usage of “In Da Club” while being on the nose as hell really convinced me I need to watch this.


Alejandra: This trailer kind of made me cry. Am I soft? Also, does a Thurgood Marshall biopic really require a sex scene? Either way, I’m interested.

Adam: Chadwick Boseman will not stop until he plays every African American historical figure. I’m totally fine with that. He was in Draft Day. He can do whatever he wants.


Adam: Ugh. Gerard Butler and Dean Devlin.

Alejandra: I never particularly look forward to environmental disaster movies. They do as much for me as the Jennifer Lawrence movies I don’t watch that I mentioned earlier.

Adam: I would give anything if Geostorm was a return to even 2012 quality and not White House Down or Independence Day: Resurgence quality but the trend is pointing downward.

Only the Brave

Alejandra: Again, not super into natural-disaster-based-on-a-true-story flicks. And even though I AM super into Miles Teller, I probably won’t watch this

Adam: I feel like this movie will only work if watched while eating beef jerky.

The Snowman

Adam: I like Michael Fassbender, but the snowman gimmick is a little silly. This movie looks like something I would stumble upon on HBO in 1996 after the premiere of Copycat.

Alejandra: I really hope there’s snow pants sex in this one. See, you learn something new every day!

Alejandra: This isn’t right, but whenever a new movie for a franchise I love comes out I get totally stoked about it regardless of how good or bad it looks, which may or may not influence my reaction to it. I’m really excited about this and I’m glad there’ll be a good amount of horror to watch in theaters this #ScarySeason

Adam: I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a Saw movie. Sometimes absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I like about half of the movies in the franchise thus far and I read the filmmakers of this one promised it would be more “fun,” which I’m all for with my horror usually. I’m pumped.


Adam: I’m not sure how to feel about this one. It seems interesting, but George Clooney as director is often a case of someone biting off more than they can chew.

Alejandra: You already know this, but my unwavering love for Oscar Isaac means I’m watching this even if he’s just in it for a short amount of time and even if it’s by the same person who directed The Descendants. My hopes aren’t super high, which usually turns out well for me.

Adam: But it’s not from the same director as The Descendants. It’s from the same director as The Monuments Men. If it was Alexander Payne, I would be much more into this. P.S. I fully support your unwavering love of Oscar Isaac because he is one of my favorite current actors.

Alejandra: That’s almost worse. Both movies put me to sleep so I guess there really is no difference.

Thank You for Your Service

Alejandra: No joke, I don't think I’ve seen a movie concerning itself with wars from the 21st century in my entire life and I don’t plan on ending that streak now. I just know these kinds of movies would upset me so I don’t bother, even if it IS Miles Teller.

Adam: As well intentioned as it may be, how is this movie going to make anything more than what Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk made last year? Miles Teller isn’t a draw. Iraq war movies aren’t draws. I feel like I’ve seen this movie a dozen times since 2007. I feel like a total asshole for saying that, but I don’t think I’m wrong either.

Alejandra: Miles Teller IS a draw, in my heart.


  1. Thank You for Your Service is trying to out-Eastwood Eastwood with this. I think the pandering title alone makes it more profitable than Billy Lynn.
    Speaking of money, It will make a lot of it.

    1. I will bet you $10 it doesn't make $10 million in domestic box office.

    2. I should've made that clearer. I tried to space it there but only skipped one line... I meant the movie "IT" will make lots of money haha. But yeah the Service movie will make less than 10 million - Billy Lynn only made 1.7 million (what?!)

  2. It, Blade Runner 2049, and Kingsman: The Golden Circle are where it's at for me this September-October. I'm totally in for those three. Everything else looks either bland and/or bad to me. :(

  3. This entire year has been awful so far for films. I keep an ongoing Top Ten and while I have 9 so far I am only confident in like 3 of them being legit all-timers. The greatest thing ever this year is Twin Peaks Season 3 so at least there's that.

    "IT" looks terrible. Like they are cashing in on the nostalgia trip that we can all thank the overpraised, mediocre "Stranger Things" for (Also, I'm not a fan of the original "IT" and I really don't like the clown horror sub-genre; never scared me.)

    "Jigsaw" is part of one of the worst Horror franchises of all time. "Happy Death Day" has been done a million times (See Vincenzo Natali's "Haunter" - a great movie with the "Groundhog Day" premise) and "Flatliners"?!...I mean...c'mon, haha.

    I really, really hope I love Blade Runner. I haven't watched a trailer yet though I'm a little bummed that Hans Zimmer took over the score from Johann Johansson.

    I'm hoping my most anticipated film of the year actually gets a VOD or theatrical release this year - the great Alex Ross Perry's "Golden Exits". "Queen of Earth" was my favorite film of 2015 and maybe ARP can save the day again.

    1. Sorry this reads really negatively. I really am a happy person, btw :)

    2. My research indicates that Zimmer is not fully replacing or taking over for Johansson on Blade Runner, but rather just assisting.

    3. My feeling is that the studio brought in Zimmer cause they weren't happy with Johansson's score. You want something to sound "studio/audience" friendly, you bring in Zimmer to "assist". I smell a rat.

    4. Haha, I suppose I'm a bit more optimistic of the situation. :)

    5. I think I'm a little more positive about the year than you are Chaybee, but I do think you're right about the potential lack of all-timers for the year. There's only a handful I see myself revisiting in the future.

    6. I also think it's not something to be lementing that there are only a few "all-timers" in a year. We're really lucky to be able to get maybe three of those in a year.

      But I do disagree to an extent on the lack of all-timers. For me personally, Baby Driver, The Big Sick, War For the Planet of the Apes, Get Out, and Your Name are all movies that I see myself revisiting often in the future. They're probably my five favorite movies if the year.

    7. That's a good point. I guess "all timers" is a bit strong for expectations. I've just been underwhelmed with the majority of what I've seen, both major and indie films. Haven't seen a few you mentioned above, yet. Get Out is in my top ten.

    8. Disclaimer: Some of the movies listed above exist in genres that you may or may not be into, but I personally enjoy and recommend them all.

    9. I am starting to think you can't really tell if something is an all-timer for at least a few years after it's released. The way I set expectations for myself nowadays with new, mainstream releases is if it worked for me on the Thursday night or whatever that I saw it. History will take care of itself.

    10. To some extent you can't really tell. I think it's easier at least to know when you like a movie but don't expect to get much out of it after a rewatch or two. That's where I'm at with stuff like War for the Planet of the Apes, Logan, The Big Sick, and even Get Out to an extent. Apes, and Logan (and GOTG2) are things I'd probably only go back to if I were rewatching their respective series.

      Baby Driver I could see myself going back to every now and again (having already seen it three times), and T2: Trainspotting is something that resonated very personally with me while it probably won't make most peoples' top 10 lists for the year.

    11. Not to gloat, but me smelling a rat with Zimmer "helping" out Johannsson was dead on.

      "Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe winner Jóhann Jóhannsson is no longer attached to the film Blade Runner 2049...Jóhann's agent has confirmed to Fréttablaðiðthat the Icelandic composer is no longer involved with the film in any capacity, though he is prohibited from saying anything at this point due to his contract."

  4. The fact that Suburbicon isn't a film about a suburbs-devouring kaiju is a travesty. Way to drop the ball, Clooney.

    1. I thought it was gonna be about a Desperate Housewives convention for sure...

  5. At some point in the next couple weeks I'll be going from the 20 screen theater I'm at now to running a smaller theater that shows mostly art house stuff. Looking at most of the major studio releases for the year I'm pretty much fine with that change.

  6. I suspect viewing Blade Runner 2049 on a huge screen in laser IMAX with 14 channel sound will be the movie viewing highlight of my year.