Hello, once again movie fans of all ages. Let’s start today with a question. Do you like seasonal names for girl children? Do you know anyone named after a season of the year? I know a fine young actress named Summer. There was a great actress back in the day named Spring Byington. I can’t think of anyone named Winter for a first name, though Ariel Winter is a favorite. To satisfy my curiosity, I Googled “Actresses named Autumn” and found Autumn Reeser, who has some film credits and serves on the Screen Actor’s Guild union board. So, actors and seasonal names go together like peas and carrots, to quote noted sage Forrest Gump. That leads me to the day’s movie previews, as a celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. Rotten Tomatoes has a full slate of movies ready for our examination. Let’s get right to it.
The House With a Clock in Its Walls rated PG for thematic elements including sorcery, some action, scary images, rude humor, and language. Director Eli Roth is known for films with a significant gore factor, so its a breath of fresh air to see him helm this stylish movie with a twinkle in its eye. Some see it as tonally off the mark but more see it as a Spielbergesque film in the spirit, if not quite the quality, of E.T. It stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, and Renee Elise Goldsberry. Rotten Tomatoes 57, Gildshire 4.0
Fahrenheit 11/9, rated R for language and some disturbing material/images, Michael Moore is one of filmmaking’s most polarizing characters. His strictly left-leaning look at the world will anger those on the right, but Mr. Moore doesn’t mind that. He sees himself as one voice crying in the wilderness, except he has the advantages of talent with a camera and an eye for the absurd. In Fahrenheit 11/9 he takes a comedic look at where our country is today and how we got here. HIs fans will lap it up and those who don’t like him will dismiss Moore as a crackpot. It has ever been thus. Rotten Tomatoes 85, Gildshire 4.5
Life Itself rated R for language including sexual references, some violent images, and brief drug use. Dan Fogelman made his reputation in television with shows such as “This is Us.” Critically acclaimed for its spot-on depiction of a complicated family, he takes the same kind of run at “Life Itself.” Unfortunately, Fogelman’s effort is almost universally panned. Does it deserve the enmity it is receiving? There are enough “This is Us” fans out there who will be willing to check it out for themselves. It stars Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, and Olivia Cooke. Rotten Tomatoes 14, Gildshire 3.2.
The Sisters Brothers rated R for violence including disturbing images, language, and some sexual content. Two brothers with a funny surname kick butt and take names in the Old West. That sounds pretty standard. They say funny things, which makes it standard, plus a little. But this movie has a mysterious twist that raises it above the norm. The cast, the humor, and the twist make this the Gildshire Movie of the Fortnight. It stars John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Riz Ahmed. Rotten Tomatoes 85, Gildshire 4.7.
Assassination Nation rated R for disturbing bloody violence, strong sexual material including menace, pervasive language, and for drug and alcohol use – all involving teens. That is the most complex movie rating explanation I have ever seen, and it is appropriate in this case. You see, this is the most hard-to-classify movie I have seen in three years of doing Gildshire Goes to the Movies. It is socially aware, yet gratuitously violent. It is stylish yet exploitative on its way to a socially conscious viewpoint. Did you get all that? Little wonder that critics are all over the map. It stars Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Hari Nef, and Abra. Rotten Tomatoes 62, Gildshire 3.9.
That’s it for this week. Help Gildshire welcome fall with a movie or three at the local Movieplex. Put a little extra butter on your popcorn. That’s what Gildshire does and we’re the cool kids…in our own minds.