My 5 Most Anticipated Films In October 2014

Listed below are the top five films that I’m most excited about seeing next month getting UK releases. Thought I’d share with you my reasons why I’m looking forward to them. Enjoy!
1. Gone Girl (3rd October)
Directed by David Fincher
Written by Gillian Flynn (Screenplay and Novel)
Starring Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Missi Pyle, Carrie Coon
Synopsis: When Amy Elliot Dunne goes missing from their home on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, husband Nick becomes the prime suspect by both the police and the media that he may have something to do with it. He swears he didn’t murder her, and if that’s true then where is she?

Getting a UK release in just two weeks from now, this is a film I only recently perked up a lot of interest for. When it comes down to a movie being adapted from a best selling novel, I usually see the movie first and then maybe read the book after. However, considering I was able to get my hands on a copy of the novel over a week ago, I thought ‘why not’?

And guess what? I’m glad to have read it. A brilliant story, extremely well told from the seperate points of view from both Nick and Amy on their relationship, marriage and personal feelings for one another and how these feelings become seriously jeopardised as the story unravels…

In my opinion, David Fincher is the right director to tell this kind of story. It shares a similar overall sense of mystery, intrigue and impending doom that can be found in both ‘Se7en’ and ‘Zodiac’. He was just simply the perfect choice and bringing the actual writer on board to pen the screenplay can do no wrong either.

Casting Ben Affleck in the role of Nick Dunne was also a great decision. He’s come a long way since the likes of ‘Dazed & Confused’ and ‘Good Will Hunting’ and I hate to say it but I don’t think he truly received the recognition he deserves until he went behind camera with his directorial effort ‘Gone Baby Gone’ seven years ago.

2. The Maze Runner (10th October)
Directed by Wes Ball
Written by Noah Oppenhaim (Screenplay), Grant Pierce Myers (Screenplay), T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) and James Dashner (Novel)
Starring Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee
Synopsis: Thomas awakens in a cranky, dark elevator with no recollection of who he is or where he comes from. The only thing he can remember is his name. The lift cranks open and he is welcomed by an army of 60 boys into the Glade, an encampment in the centre of a dangerous and unsolvable maze. The boys known as Gladers also have their memories wiped away with no clue why they’ve been put here and cut off from the outside world. Then the sudden arrival of a girl with a message arrives, setting in motion a chain of events…

Here’s another film based on a best selling novel I have finished reading recently. Being a fan of ‘Battle Royale’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ I was sure to lap this up and having picked up the book from HMV for just £2.99 (bargain) I definitely did for the most part.

It’s an exciting, dark and sinister survival story with a decent amount of twists, turns, mystery and plot threads to keep any readers attention glued to each page. It’s as close to a ‘boys’ version of The Hunger Games as you could possibly get in the world of young adult fiction.

What I didn’t like about it so much, had to do with the fact that the author seemed to be a bit careless when it came to revealing some major twists, rendering them slightly predictable before they actually happen, going into too much detail and explaining too much. I also felt the writing was a little bit amateur at times. I just hope in the film the twists are not shown too obvious to audiences in making it easy for them to guess what’s going to happen.

Considering this is the first directing gig for Wes Ball (after being recognised for the great work he did on a 20 minute short he posted on YouTube), it would be such a shame if this film failed to commercially and critically succeed. That being said, what we’ve seen so far in the trailers looks very promising. Keeping my hopes up high for this one.

3. ’71 (10th October)
Directed by Yann Demange
Written by Gregory Burke (Screenplay)
Starring Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris, Paul Popplewell, Charlie Murphy, Paul Anderson, Killian Scott
Synopsis: A young and disorientated British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot that breaks out on the deadly streets of Belfast in 1971. Chased by an IRA street gang and reliant on the mercy of loyalist allies who offer no sure hope of sanctuary, he must try to survive the night in a hostile city.

Showing at this years BFI London Film Festival on the 9th and 10th October, taking pride of place in the ‘first feature competition’ as an original British directorial debut, I’m really quite excited about seeing this one. In terms of the whole premise and subject matter of the film, ‘The Troubles’ was a crisis I was aware of, but not really an expert in. It was a Northern Ireland conflict that was primarily a political one and not being one to have ever followed politics that closely, all I had to go on was the violence it caused by the IRA in other movies like ‘The Long Good Friday’ and ‘The Devil’s Own’.
It’s finally pleasing then to see a British film set within the deep heart of this conflict depicted on the streets of a Belfast hellish war zone, a conflict that spread from Northern Ireland to the Ireland Republic and England, touching the lives of many and raging on for 30 decades.

Jack O’Connell has already been praised by many that this could possibly be his breakthrough role and I really hope this is true. I have been following his career as a film fan for a while, having seen him go from strength to strength with careful casting choices he has made in the likes of ‘Eden Lake’, ‘Harry Brown’ and most recently ‘Starred Up’.

What makes this particular performance stand out from the rest though, is the fact for the first time, it seems he’s playing the good guy for once, and a survivor desperately trying to escape the nightmare he’s been thrown in against his will. Such a different career turn for him after years playing violent thug types and as this is an intensely physical role for O’Connell working hard after filming endless nights, I’m positive he’ll deliver an INCREDIBLE performance.

4. Fury (24th October)
Directed by David Ayer
Written by David Ayer
Starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Isaacs, Scott Eastwood, Jon Bernthal
Synopsis: Set within the final months of WWII, as Allies are making their final push into Germany, a battle hardened sergeant by the name of Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank with his motley crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier with no training having replaced a dead fellow comrade, they must face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi occupied Germany.

Being showcased as the final night gala performance of the BFI Film Festival on the 19th October, this was probably a great choice on their part to ensure the festival will finish with a big bang. Its great to see Brad Pitt demonstrating his serious acting chops again in his first second world war film since ‘Inglorious Basterds’. After the disappointment that his Lt. Aldo Raine didn’t feature in ‘Basterds’ as much as I had hoped, I felt rest assured upon seeing the trailer for this that he most definitely takes full frame in the leading man role. He’s also surrounded by a great cast that includes Michael Pena (always proven himself to be a great supporting actor) and Logan Lerman (a young, up and rising actor who I always knew had great potential since first watching him in ‘Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief’, fulfilling that potential with his brilliant performance in ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’).

Another thing to get excited about for this film is the simple reason that its written and directed by David Ayer. I really, really liked ‘End of Watch’. The fact it was a gritty, crime film told from the POVs of two hardened police officers through the shaky cam technique was very effective I thought. This may very well be Ayer’s crowning achievement so far though, criticised as having worked on a grand scale that captures the technical virtuosity of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and its been revealed he utilised collector owned Tanks that saw action during the war. One to get excited about and definitely not to be missed.

5. Horns (29th October)
Directed by Alexandra Aja
Written by Keith Bunin (Screenplay) and Joe Hill (Novel)
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Sabrina Carpenter, Heather Graham, Kelli Garner, Joe Anderson, Max Minghella, James Remar, David Morse, Kathleen Quinlan
Synopsis: Set in a small American town, a young man awakens during the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death to find strange demon like horns are sprouting from his forehead. After the whole of the town accuse him of murdering her in cold blood, he must find a way to clear his name but that proves just a bit difficult to do under the circumstances…

Having had the first look and reveal of the trailer at this year’s Comic Con, it only shortly arrived a matter of days afterwards on YouTube. And my god does it look like a treat. A very dark treat at that. The perfect film to be released at Halloween, providing an altogether different acting vehicle for Radcliffe. Having seen him in the previous horror ‘The Woman In Black’ not long after his days playing the boy wizard, he just seemed out of place in it. But here he’s on a completely different level, being a more grown up and confident actor certainly helps him in taking on this kind of daring role.

Based on the graphic novel of the same name from Joe Hill, who I’m fairly familiar with after reading volume 1 of ‘Locke & Key’ recommended to me by a friend, it was only recently that I discovered he is Stephen King’s son, which now makes perfect sense to me where he got inspiration from as a horror storyteller but in graphic novel form.

This film generally just looks like a hell of a lot of fun and directed by Alexandra Aja who I thought did an absolutely terrific job on the remake of ‘The Hills Have Eyes’ (which is not something I say lightly, being a hater of Hollywood churning out remake after remake) I’m just so psyched to see this as a hardcore horror fan.

Martin

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