Here's a look at the movies coming to theaters this month and next.
WEEK-BY-WEEK MOVIE PICKS FOR SEPTEMBER 2013
Riddick (September 6)
Can it top the 2000 original Pitch Black, the movie that made Vin Diesel a star, still one of my favorite little sci-fi/horror movies? The 2004 sequel, The Chronicles of Riddick, underperformed despite its larger budget, even though it has since gained a strong following. The newest chapter in the saga of the futuristic anti-hero, this time with a supporting cast that includes the fan-favorite Katee Sackhoff.
The Family (September 13)
I've been waiting for Robert De Niro to star in another worthwhile gangster film. Could this be it? He stars with Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Pastore, and others in a tale about a mafia family in the witness protection program in France. It's directed by the notable director Luc Besson, so my anticipation is high.
Prisoners (September 20)
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in this revenge crime thriller, with a lineup of supporting actors that includes Viola Davis, Maria Bello, and Terrence Howard.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (September 27)
The first movie in 2009 was a hit with the kids (and some adults too), so here comes part two. Bill Hader and Anna Faris return to provide the voices (along with other celebrity voice-actors James Caan, Will Forte, Andy Samberg, Benjamin Bratt, and Neil Patrick Harris) as more shenanigans ensue no thanks to the invention that creates food-animal hybrids.
OTHER KEY MOVIES IN SEPTEMBER 2013
Wonderful actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a man with unrealistic expectations about relationships after a lifetime of watching pornography. The cast also includes Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza.
Insidious: Chapter 2
The 2010 original was one of those horror thrillers that made a lot of money, so a sequel was inevitable. Once again we see the paranormal travails of family as they try to discover why the spirits are haunting them.
Director Ron Howard has made some memorable movies, and a handful of forgettable ones. Where will this latest motion picture fall? It follows the story of a rivalry in the 1970s between two Formula One race car drivers. Chris Hemsworth and Olivia Wilde star.
I'm glad to see a documentary on the list. Hopefully it will attract an audience as it sheds light on the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye. The docu-film features appearances by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Martin Sheen, Tom Wolfe, Judd Apatow, Danny DeVito, E.L. Doctorow, John Guare, Robert Towne, the late Gore Vidal, and playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis.
WEEK-BY-WEEK MOVIE PICKS FOR OCTOBER 2013
Gravity (October 4)
The trailer for this realistic-looking science-fiction thriller, in which a space-walking accident leaves astronauts adrift in space, looks amazing. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock bring an emotional wallop to the story directed by the talented Alfonso Cuaron.
Romeo and Juliet (October 11)
Here's another adaptation of one of William Shakepeare's classics. This time, the marvelous Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth star as the star-crossed lovers, with Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence.
Carrie (October 18)
The long-awaited (or long-dreaded) remake of the 1976 horror classic finally comes to the big screen. Can Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore top the Brian DePalma version that starred Sissy Spacek?
The Counselor (October 25)
Brad Pitt tries to make audiences forget about his World War Z flop by playing a lawyer caught up in drug trafficking. Directed by Ridley Scott, the all-star cast also includes Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, John Leguizamo, Rosie Perez, and Goran Visnjic.
OTHER KEY MOVIES IN OCTOBER 2013
12 Years a Slave
Already generating Oscar buzz, this true story of a free black man in the pre-Civil War United States abducted and sold into slavery sounds like it might live up to the hype.
Another true story is recreated for dramatic effect, with Tom Hanks as a captain whose U.S. cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates.
Maybe twenty years ago this cinematic team-up might have been bigger news, but some of us are still interested to see Sylvester Stallon and Arnold Schwarzenegger as inmates seeking freedom from a maximum security prison.
The Fifth Estate
Benedict Cumberbatch portrays the real-life Julian Assange in this retelling of the WikiLeaks scandals.
I know it's just a b-movie sequel to the 2010 original (which was inspired by a fake trailer in Quentin Tarantino's 2007 Grindhouse), but I have huge respect for director Robert Rodriguez, and he's put together an intriguing lineup of actors for this cheesy-licious action-exploitation spoof-drama (how's that for a genre?) -- Danny Trejo, Amber Heard, Vanessa Hudgens, Lady Gaga, Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Mel Gibson, Michelle Rodriguez, Charlie Sheen, Antonio Banderas, and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake star in a crime drama about highstakes online gambling.
OTHER TITLES IN OCTOBER 2013 (Some in limited release)
Here's what else is coming down the motion picture turnpike.
All Is Lost
Battle of the Year
Good Ol' Freda
Jackass Presents: Bad Grampa
Shuddh Desi Romance
The Ultimate Life
Will these next two months be cinema gold or box office bust?