Jake’s Picks: Have You Seen Any Good Movies Lately?

By Jake Myers

So many movies, so little time! Just like prioritizing your homework, you should prioritize your movie viewing. I am here to help with that. For me, it has been a stellar year for movies thus far.

The year started off right with the movie “Split,” which is one of my favorite movies of 2017. In my humble opinion, it marks the return of M. Night Shyamalan, who in his infinite wisdom picked James McAvoy to play Kevin, the multi-personality main character in this chillingly thought-provoking film.

It just doesn’t get any better than that. Oh, wait! It could, because there is going to be a sequel, “Glass,” which will be out in 2019. But I digress.

The hits kept coming. March didn’t come in like a lion; it came in like a wolverine with the release of “Logan.” “It” was followed by “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “Wonder Woman,” “Alien: Covenant,” “Spider-Man Homecoming,” “Dunkirk,” and “War for the Planet of the Apes” (my favorite of the summer).

After this summer’s phenomenal line-up, can we expect the same greatness this fall?

I would say, yes! My first must-see of fall is out this week: “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” I loved the first one, “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor, drop everything, and rent it or buy the Blu-ray for $10 at Best Buy. Right now, seriously; you won’t regret it.

I would describe “Secret Service” as the elegance of James Bond meets the comedy of “Men in Black.” To top it all off, Jeff Bridges is in this one, enough said! Also out this week, is “Stronger” based on the inspiring memoirs of Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs during the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Jake Gyllenhaal took on the role of Bauman. Knowing how Gyllenhaal totally commits himself to a role, I predict an Oscar nomination, but he didn’t get nominated for “Nightcrawler” (2014) and that is a massive oversight in my opinion, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

“American Made” is another film based on a true story. It comes out next week and stars Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a commercial pilot who becomes a drug runner for the Medellín Cartel and ends up as an informant for the DEA. It looks like the type of stunt-filled role that Cruise excels at. I’ll probably wait and enjoy this one at home on Blu-ray.

“Blade Runner 2049” comes out Oct. 6, and the trailers look amazing. It is directed by one of my favorite directors, Denis (pronounced Denny) Villeneuve who won my admiration with his latest films, “Prisoners,” “Sicario,” and “Arrival.” The movie takes place 30 years after the original.

“Blade Runner” (1982) and stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford. Both futuristic films explore man’s obsession with playing God. I am definitely seeing this film in IMAX or XD.

The film “The Snowman,” based on the book of the same name by Jo Nesbo, comes out on Oct. 20. It is about a serial killer in Norway. Nesbø has published 11 novels based on the character Detective Harry Hole, and this is number seven in the series and is the one that got me hooked. It is a gripping and elegantly written novel, and I can’t wait to see it come to life on the big screen.

On Nov. 3, two films will vie for my viewing attention: the lesser known “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” and the box office juggernaut “Thor: Ragnarok.”

“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” is written and directed by another one of my favorites, Dan Gilroy. It stars Denzel Washington as the title character who is a defense attorney with a cause. Gilroy stated in an interview with the “Los Angeles Times” that Denzel became Roman Israel and totally exceeded his expectations for the character. There are no trailers out yet for this film but Dan Gilroy plus Denzel Washington equals a must-see for me. Gilroy wrote and directed “Nightcrawler,” which is one of my all-time favorites.

Thor teams up with Loki and the Hulk to take down the latest threat to Asgard – Hela, the Goddess of Death. I saw the previews for this in XD and it looks action-packed and amazing.

For DC fans, the long anticipated Justice League will hit theaters on Nov. 17. This is going to be phenomenal as our old favorites, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, team up with Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg, who are all making their big screen debut. Two words: XD 3D.

For “Star Wars” fans, I hope your finals are over early in the week because “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” comes out Dec. 15. Episode VIII is directed by Rian Johnson who directed “Looper” (2012). I am that fan – I will be there opening day seeing it in IMAX or XD.

With all of these great films coming out this fall, now is the time to prioritize. Look at those syllabi and plan ahead. I know I will.

Did I miss anything? Drop me a line: I would love to hear from you. My email is jcmyers02@student.ysu.edu if you wish to opine or use the comments section online.

While the list looks strong, the sheer numbers of great summer movies could be a problem when comparing it to the fall line-up. I am hopeful but this movie season is like the Trump-train, you just can’t stop it!

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