Friday, July 20, 2018
Things To Do

Fall Movie Preview: Season is stocked, from 'Miss Peregrine' to 'Deepwater Horizon' to 'Snowden'

Fall is when Hollywood's attention, like leaves, turns from green to gold.

Money is still paramount (and Disney, Universal, Sony, etc.), but studio executives might swap a healthy box office weekend for a guaranteed Oscar or Golden Globe.

Movies generally get better after Labor Day. That's just the way it is. Movies remembered are those rewarded, and award voters have notoriously short memories.

Our annual fall movie guide features 20 upcoming releases, taking us to Thanksgiving, when the prestige race heads down the holiday homestretch.

Dates are subject to change, but not the stakes. As always, please, no wagering.

OUT NOW

Sully

In 2009, Chesley Sullenberger landed a crippled airliner in the Hudson River, saving everyone aboard. Sullenberger was hailed as heroic, his water landing then routinely investigated. Casting Tom Hanks as Sullenberger tips the judgement scale toward hero; Clint Eastwood directing means he'll nobly squirm. Read a review at tampabay.com/movies.

FRIDAY

Universal Pictures via AP

Renee Zellweger in a scene from "Bridget Jones's Baby."

Bridget Jones's Baby

Twelve years past The Edge of Reason, Renee Zellweger returns to the role that made her unconvincingly British. Red flag: Even though Helen Fielding wrote a third Bridget Jones novel, this isn't based on it. Bridget is now forty-ish and preggers, either by Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) or a McDreamy American (Patrick Dempsey). We love her just as she was.

Snowden

Oliver Stone hasn't pushed any political hot buttons lately, but taking sides with national security documents leaker Edward Snowden should do the trick. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Snowden, with Zachary Quinto as journalist Glenn Greenwald, who assisted the information leak. (Review, page 18)

SEPT. 23

The Magnificent Seven

Not exactly a remake of 1960s classic Western, except in the lucky number of gunslingers defending a village, this time against a corrupt rich guy (Peter Sarsgaard), rather than politically incorrect Mexican bandits. Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke are the biggest stars slapping leather for justice.

Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures

Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt star in "The Magnificent Seven."

SEPT. 30

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Tim Burton gets back into his spooky groove, adapting Ransom Riggs' novel about a sanctuary for little mutants, and Jacob (Asa Butterfield), a new enrollee just learning his supernatural gift. Don't be late to the show, or you'll miss Tampa Bay portraying Jacob's real world home (Burton filmed scenes around town), before the magical stuff begins.

Deepwater Horizon

The final hours of the BP oil rig that exploded in 2009, unleashing an eco-catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell lead efforts to evacuate the inferno, while director Peter Berg tries making this a profile in crew courage, rather than just another disaster flick.

Queen of Katwe

Based on the true story of a young girl from Uganda (newcomer Madina Nalwanga) who became a chess champion. Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and should've been nominated David Oyelowo (Selma) co-star. This is Disney's inaugural feature under its ESPN Films banner.

OCT. 7

The Girl on the Train

The runaway bestseller becomes a movie, as so many do. Emily Blunt stars as Rachel Watson, a divorced woman intrigued by the disappearance of a young wife (Haley Bennett) she watched daily from a commuter train. Maybe Rachel had something to do with the gone girl. Maybe she didn't. There's no more spoilable fall movie out there, so shush.

The Birth of a Nation

Nate Parker directs and stars as Nat Turner, leading a bloody Virginia slave rebellion, decades before the Civil War. After a glorious reception at Sundance, Parker and his movie are now tainted by the re-emergence of a sexual assault charge he had in 1999 while enrolled at Penn State University. He was acquitted then, but the jury of public opinion is still out.

Fox Searchlight

"Birth of a Nation" stars Nate Parker, who also wrote and directed the film.

OCT. 14

The Accountant

After muffing Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, Ben Affleck finds another line of work. Now he's an antisocial math savant hired as a forensic accountant, uncooking crooks' books. Hey, if Matt Damon can play a math genius, why not? Anna Kendrick and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons lend a hand when things don't add up safely.

OCT. 28

Inferno

This movie season for Tom Hanks, it's out of the flying can (Sully), into theological fire. He's back as author Dan Brown's symbologist Robert Langdon, globetrotting to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus. Director Ron Howard has the Langdon formula down pat, after two previous blockbuster adaptations, with another (The Lost Symbol) possibly on the way.

NOV. 4

Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch adds a dash of elegance to Marvel's cinematic universe, as former surgeon Stephen Strange, who visits Nepal and brings home the ability to cast spells. Cumberbatch has done that on fans for years, now with the CGI effects to back it up. Doctor Strange crosses dimensions like others cross streets, and trailers promise plenty of Inception-style mind games.

Loving

Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga), an interracial couple whose 1958 marriage violated Virginia law, sending them to prison. Writer-director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Midnight Special) follows the outrage all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Loving has been touted as an awards contender since its debut at Cannes.

20th Century Fox

"Trolls" features voice work by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick.

Trolls

Animated Internet users leave comments on websites for no other reason than to incite anger, making them feel better about themselves. I'm kidding. This 'toon is about those wild-haired, semi-nude squeeze toys that every kid has settled for sometime in life. Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick up the cute quotient with their voices.

NOV. 11

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

My personally most anticipated movie of the season. Two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee adapts Ben Fountain's novel of a teenage soldier (Joe Alwyn) being honored at an NFL game. The hoopla sharply contrasts with his Iraq War memories. Vin Diesel co-stars as Billy's sergeant, with Kristen Stewart as the kid's sister, and Steve Martin doctoring the patriotic spin. The trailer gives me chills, the good kind.

Arrival

A linguistics expert (Amy Adams) is recruited by the U.S. military as an interpreter for aliens that have landed, in locations worldwide. Why they're here, and what we'll do about it might be easily guessed, except Denis Villeneuve is directing, and after Sicario, Enemy and Prisoners, anything is possible. Arrival was Villeneuve's warmup for the Blade Runner sequel he's now filming.

NOV. 18

Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Pictures

Eddie Redmayne in a scene from "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," scheduled for release on Nov. 18, 2016.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Harry Potter's path to wizardry began by reading Newt Scamander's book on supernatural matters. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne gets his very own franchise as Newt, an immigrant to New York with a suitcase full of beasties. Colin Farrell and Katherine Waterston are part of the secret society Newt joins, just in time to stop occult forces.

NOV. 23

Bleed for This

A decade removed from Citrus County's Lecanto High School, Miles Teller has graduated to name above the title stardom, and now serious Oscar buzz. Teller plays boxer Vinny Pazienza, who won three world titles after recovering from a car accident that broke his neck. Two years ago, Teller told me it's the most dramatic role he has taken, and that's after Whiplash and Rabbit Hole. Aaron Eckhart co-stars as his trainer, Lou Duva, along with Katey Sagal as Vinny's mom.

Moana

Lin-Manuel Miranda's march to rare PEGOT status continues, after collecting a Pulitzer, Emmy, Grammys and Tonys. Co-writing songs for a Disney animated feature is a good start toward the "O." Moana is the adventure of a Pacific island girl (voice of Auli'i Cravalho) searching for her lost family with the help of a demigod (Dwayne Johnson). She's not throwing away her shot.

Allied

Humphrey Bogart was a star but he was no Brad Pitt in the looks department. Pitt takes a role that Bogey would've loved in Robert Zemeckis' World War II drama, a spy romancing a French resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) behind enemy lines. Don't worry if Allied doesn't work out as hoped. We'll always have Casablanca.

Contact Steve Persall at [email protected] or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall.

 
Comments
In case you missed it: There’s a giant shirtless Jeff Goldlum in London and a ninja shortage in Japan

In case you missed it: There’s a giant shirtless Jeff Goldlum in London and a ninja shortage in Japan

Here's some entertainment (and entertaining) news you might've missed this week.A gloriously giant and shirtless Jeff Goldblum statue was erected in LondonLife found a way to amuse us this week. A giant statue of a bare-chested Jeff Goldblum was rais...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
In the few weeks before school starts, experts offer tips on getting ready mentally and physically

In the few weeks before school starts, experts offer tips on getting ready mentally and physically

By the second week of August, public schools will be back in session across the Tampa Bay area. That may seem far off, but sleep experts say now is when parents need to start easing the kids (and themselves) into those early wakeup routines. The foll...
Published: 07/20/18
Column: The sliming of a Florida river

Column: The sliming of a Florida river

The Great Toxic Slime Outbreak of 2018 has befouled the Caloosahatchee River, the river of my childhood. I needed to see for myself, so I grabbed my cameras and headed south to Fort Myers and Cape Coral. A heartbreaking sight awaited.Gov. Rick Scott ...
Published: 07/20/18
Review: Kent Wascom’s ‘New Inheritors’ a novel of love, power on the gulf coast

Review: Kent Wascom’s ‘New Inheritors’ a novel of love, power on the gulf coast

When a woman looks at the hands of the toddler who will become the main character of The New Inheritors, she sees "written in the lines of his palms a bird’s vision of the rivers and creeks that fanned across the region of his birth, the upper reache...
Published: 07/20/18

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, July 20

TODAYAction sportsX Games9 p.m.ESPNArena FootballPhiladelphia at Baltimore7 p.m.CBSSNAutosMonster Energy Cup: Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 qualifying4:30 p.m.NBCSNBaseballCardinals at Cubs2 p.m.MLBMarlins at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun, FSF; 620-AMMets at Yankee...
Published: 07/19/18
Hillsborough County looks to hold the line in 2019 budget

Hillsborough County looks to hold the line in 2019 budget

TAMPA – County leaders won't know until November whether Florida voters will greenlight an increase to the homestead exemption that would take a $30 million chunk out of Hillsborough County's annual budget.But they're not taking ...
Published: 07/19/18
SoundBytes: The Struts, After the Burial, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and more

SoundBytes: The Struts, After the Burial, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts and more

— Glam-rockers the Struts, most recently seen locally opening for the Foo Fighters at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre, have announced a much more intimate show on Oct. 14 at the Orpheum. Spirit Animal opens. Tickets go on sale Friday. ...
Published: 07/19/18
Deep-fried wonders at Plant City Strawberry Festival to be featured on Cooking Channel

Deep-fried wonders at Plant City Strawberry Festival to be featured on Cooking Channel

The strawberry-laden and deep-fried wonders of Plant City’s Florida Strawberry Festival will be featured on two episodes of the TV series Carnival Eats, the first on July 29.The Cooking Channel series features host Noah Cappe as he marvels at the "ga...
Published: 07/19/18

Hernando Events for July 27

Events28 SaturdayWalking Sticks Club: Perry Oldenburg: The club will meet at Perry Oldenberg Wildlife and Environmental Area located off Deer Run Road, north of Brooksville. Registration is required. Those attending will learn about the history of Pe...
Published: 07/19/18
Three trips in one on a whirlwind tour of Ecuador

Three trips in one on a whirlwind tour of Ecuador

"Why Ecuador?" I was asked that at least a dozen times when I told folks I had booked a short trip to the South American country. At the time, the answer was that my husband, who has an Indian passport, didn’t need a visa to visit Ecuador and...
Published: 07/19/18