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September movie guide: Your monthly collection of cinematic selections

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The Halloween season arrives earlier every year, as department stores don’t even wait for the leaves to change before they break out the costumes and plastic spiders. Movie theaters are following suit, with most of September’s notable releases promising to put a chill in your bone in exchange for a chunk of your change.

“It”

Sept. 8

In the fictional town of Derry, Maine, a group of outcast kids known as the Loser’s Club face off against an interdimensional creature that manifests himself as a clown named Pennywise.

Jaeden Lieberher (“St. Vincent”) leads the Losers as Bill Denbrough, along with his best friend Trashmouth Tozier, played by Finn Wolfhard (“Stranger Things”), after the monster murders Denbrough’s brother.

Bill Skarsgård plays the titular creature, a role made iconic by Tim Curry in the 1990 television mini series, also based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name.

With few exceptions, King has a poor track record when it comes to having his novels adapted for the big screen. That includes this summer’s blockbuster treatment of “The Dark Tower,” which was met with a resounding shrug from general audiences.

“It” is a more familiar property and seems to be coming off the success of Netlfix’s “Stranger Things,” which was hugely popular and took many cues from King’s work, in particular through the casting of Wolfhard and a plot revolving around a group of children in the ‘80s banding together to stop an interdimensional threat.

“Mother!”

Sept. 15

Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”) wrote and directed this psychological horror film starring Jennifer Lawrence (“The Hunger Games”) and Javier Bardem (“No Country for Old Men”).

Lawrence and Bardem portray a couple who live a peaceful life in a remote country home. However, their tranquil existence is interrupted when a mysterious couple, played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer arrives at their home, looking for a place to stay.

Harris is coming off of an electrifying run on HBO’s overhyped “West World” as the Man in Black, while Pfeiffer is having something of a career resurgence, as she stars in “Murder on the Orient Express” later this year and has been cast as the Wasp, in Marvel’s “Ant Man and the Wasp,” which is currently filming.

The casting of Bardem and Lawrence as a couple is odd given their 21 year age difference. But putting Bardem in your film is never a bad idea, and even though Lawrence has been woefully overexposed in recent years she is a talented actress and can bring her A-game when she has to. There is a reason she has an Oscar, though it isn’t always apparent.

“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”

Sept. 20

This sequel to 2015’s “Kingsman: the Secret Service” picks up with protagonist Taron Egerton’s Gary “Eggsy” Unwin as a full-fledged secret agent and member of Kingsman, a covert British intelligence organization. Unfortunately for Kingsman, its headquarters are destroyed by the mysterious Golden Circle and the agency must join forces with its American counterpart, Statesman.

Fortunately for the audience, this means Channing Tatum (“Magic Mike”), Jeff Bridges (“The Big Lebowski”), Halle Berry (“X-Men”) and Pedro Pascal (“Game of Thrones”) join the cast as cowboy-themed Statesman agents.

Matthew Vaughn returns to direct this over-the-top and bloody homage to classic spy films – think Roger Moore’s James Bond but with more decapitations and more anal.

“Flatliners”

Sept. 29

What lies beyond death? Well, there’s only one way to find out: go there. Five medical students embark on this journey by stopping each other’s hearts, allowing them to experience death and the afterlife before resuscitating themselves. What starts as curiosity and thrill-seeking soon takes a turn as the students are haunted by visons of the afterlife upon their return to the land of the living.

The film is a sequel and soft reboot of a 1990 film of the same name, directed by Joel Schumacher who gave us 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” or the only non-Nolan directed Batman film worth watching. Don’t quote me.

Kiefer Sutherland reprises his role as Dr. Nelson Wright, while Ellen Page (“Juno”) leads a cast of hot men and women in their thirties, including Diego Luna (“Rogue One”) and Nina Dobrev (“The Vampire Diaries”).

David Tunis-Garcia is the co-senior arts editor and can be reached at david.garcia@ubspectrum.com.


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