Fall Movie Preview: November 2014

November 7

Big Hero 6

Disney Animation dipped into Marvel’s well for an obscure comic book title that they’ve turned into this animated insta-classic about a boy, Hiro, and his robot companion, Baymax. Early reviews have been strong and advanced buzz is so good this might actually upset Interstellar at the box office.

The real story, though, is that Big Hero 6 was made without much participation from Marvel Studios—allegedly the top creatives didn’t want Disney producing anything outside the MCU—which has led to some ill will between Marvel and its parent company.


Historically I have really liked Christopher Nolan but the last few years have chipped away at my enthusiasm. Inception is a case of diminishing returns—once you understand how the plot works, sitting through all the exposition gets tedious—and The Dark Knight Rises doesn’t hold up at all. I keep hoping his next movie will be like The Prestige, my favorite Nolan movie to date, but I’m not convinced Interstellar will be that movie.

Open Windows

A creepy fanboy (Elijah Wood) spies on his favorite actress (Sasha Grey) through the internet. Wood’s a horror junkie and has been producing some pretty solid genre flicks over the last few years, most notably Grand Piano. If you’re into horror, checking out Wood’s latest might not be a bad idea.


The Theory of Everything

Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star as Stephen and Jane Hawking in this biopic charting their relationship and Dr. Hawking’s struggle with ALS. This movie has serious Oscar buzz already and Redmayne and Jones are virtual locks nominations.


November 14

Beyond the Lights

God I love Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Did you see Belle? She’s really fantastic in Belle.

Dumb and Dumber To



Bennett Miller follows up Moneyball with the true story of John du Pont, the scion of a wealthy family (THOSE du Ponts) who sponsored the US Olympic wrestling team and then ended up murdering Dave Schultz, a gold medal-winning wrestler and the older brother of a stand-out wrestler on du Pont’s team. It’s a bizarre story and Miller has proven good at turning these oddball real-life events into compelling cinema. One of my must-sees for the month. Starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum.

The Homesman

Tommy Lee Jones’s latest directorial effort—in which he also stars alongside Hilary Swank—is about a drifter and a woman who take three women who went nuts on the frontier back to Iowa and a minister who will care for their “prairie fever”. It’s supposed to have some pretty feminist ideas, which is great, and Jones is a good director, though I inevitably find his movies slow. There’s about half a heartbeat of Oscar buzz for this one.


Miss Meadows

WTF, Katie Holmes. WTF.



Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, which he also wrote, is based on the real life experience of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian journalist who was imprisoned and tortured for over 100 days in Iran. Part of Iran’s case against him was that Bahari was interviewed by Jason Jones in a Daily Show segment in which Jones mockingly portrayed himself as a Western spy. Unfortunately, the Iranian government took this seriously and used it as evidence that Bahari was also a spy. It’d be funny if it wasn’t true.

November 21

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I

I think I’m the only person on the planet who’s not really into The Hunger Games. It looks okay, I guess? The whole dystopian YA thing is not my bag.

Happy Valley

Documentarian Amir Bar-Lev (The Tillman Story) goes to Penn State to investigate the fallout and aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and Joe Paterno’s subsequent downfall. This is an emotionally tough watch, alternately sad and infuriating, but it’s an interesting look at what happens when an entire town’s identity is so fundamentally shaken. It’s also a stark reminder that no, football is not more important than people.

NYC Only

V/H/S: Viral

The horror anthology continues. Are anthologies the new found-footage? Seems to be the hip thing in genre these days.

November 28

The Babadook

I caught this at CIFF last month. It’s a solid horror movie with a genuinely engaging story to go with it. A really good VOD option for cold nights.


Horrible Bosses 2

Get that easy money, Charlie Day. I guess.

The Imitation Game

The Batch stars as math genius Alan Turing.

Penguins of Madagascar

The Batch stars as an animated wolf.

4 thoughts on “Fall Movie Preview: November 2014

  1. Cindy

    Thank you so much for your comments regarding Christopher Nolan’s last few outings. Agree with your thoughts on Inception and I still want the 2+ hours of my life back from Dark Knight but I seem to be in the minority regarding those two movies. The Prestige is one of my favourite films… so is Highlander so maybe I should not be taken too seriously. Love your reviews. Thanks.

  2. Agent K

    I cannot wait for Interstellar but what fascinates me is that it seems it’s Nolan’s turn to have a target on his back (I don’t mean your comments, they were totally fair). I love his work pretty much across the board but I get that he’s not Movie Jesus; it’s just that the media has been bizarre the past few days. What was that Jessica Chastain scheduling story?! Hollywood is so high school.

    It seems to happen to anyone who hits both awards and massive blockbuster success. I guess because it is such a limited list: Spielberg, Cameron (OK bad example, I get the backlash there) , and….???.

    There’s also some Theory of Everything push back that seems a tad high school. I’ve seen it referred to as “Hallmark Hawking”.

    Eh, let’s just blame Weinstein for it all and move on.

  3. Just to clarify, the top Marvel creatives didn’t want Disney to produce any superhero characters outside of the MCU (i.e.. Marvel characters that will not be a part of the MCU)? Is that a pride thing, or a case of Marvel Studios not knowing whether they want to use certain characters in the future?

    1. It’s a control thing. They don’t want anything happening “outside” the MCU, and they weren’t interested in overseeing an animated project like that. The MCU is one big story, and they don’t want anything being produced that doesn’t connect back to that story.

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