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State of the Blog – September 2016

Speaking generally (which never upsets anyone, ever), September is the month when the studios start to release their Oscar darlings.  Then, in a counter-programming move, you can find some bigger films, genre flicks, or other stuff that will impress the crowds that simply aren’t concerned with the Oscar-bait.  This September is no different, but it strikes me as odd that the films being released this year are much less interesting than we are used to.  So, for this State of the Blog, I’ll likely just complain a bit about the flicks, try to find something that I think will end up being cool, and then I’ll also talk about a few flicks that I would like to see.

So, 2016 continues to disappoint (though not completely, obviously).  If you’ll humor me and visit the “September 2016” tab of the website ComingSoon, you’ll see what I am talking about.   Our most attractive options this month are all Oscar-hunting biopics or accounts of true stories.  We’ve got Sully, Snowden, and Deepwater Horizon, each of which inspired immense reservations with yours truly. Sully and Snowden being released in the same month is definitely strange:  two iconoclasts portrayed by A-list actors (Hanks and Gordon-Levitt) directed by acclaimed directors (Eastwood and Stone).  Most of my reservations here are focused around the directors, because while they certainly have made great films in the past, they have also turned in some boring stinkers.  I believe that each of these stories has a kernel of poignancy, but it may be a challenge to reveal.  Deepwater Horizon looks exploitative and stupid, World Trade Center style.  Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven looks like it may be okay, but I don’t trust remakes until they go out of their way to impress me.

In my opinion, the place to look for cool flicks this month will be found in the baby little indie titles that no one has ever even heard of (by the way, this is a trend for the entirety of 2016, so far).  Chief competitors in this category are American Honey and Goat.  Both have received rave reviews while making the festival circuits, so if you find yourself with the opportunity to see either of these flicks, I say you dive in.  Disney’s also got an intriguing release this month in Queen of Katwe, a chess-based story set in Uganda (Oh boy, like Lion King!).  I am sure Disney will saccharine it all up, but it does look like a rousing story which celebrates the intellect, so I am definitely going to give it a chance.

Hopefully I get a chance to review some of these good movies, and I’m likely to go see Snowden and review it regardless (it is the Oscar flick which interests me most).  Other than that, you can expect reviews of the magnificent films Don’t Breathe and Weiner appearing over the next two days.  I’ll also post a little Netflix news that you’ve probably already heard about, and actually write that Elle Fanning piece that I promised last month.  You’ll certainly see at least one longer-form essay as well, and maybe more than one!

Thanks for touching base with me here, and as always I appreciate your readership.  If you’re still here, make sure to remember that sharing these pieces on your favorite social buttons and chapsnats goes a long way to increasing my readership.  I am approaching 75,000 total views, and it would be awesome to get there by the end of the month (because human brains like round numbers).  I make the buttons real pretty at the bottom of the page, and all you have to do is click them once!  Also, hopefully you like my newly-designed logo which I will try to incorporate into various blog-centric posts.


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Derek Jacobs

Chicago,IL 60606

A website

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