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10 Films To See In October

by Kristen Lopez
October 2, 2013 12:25 PM
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Escape From Tomorrow
Synopsis: Jim (Roy Abramsohn) and his family are visiting the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland, at the same time that Jim discovers he’s been fired. Distraught over how to deal with the future, the theme park where dreams come becomes a hellish nightmare.
What You Need to Know: Writer/director Randy Moore struggled to create the film, secretly taping throughout Disneyland and turning it into a nightmarish landscape akin to the seventh circle of hell. When “Escape From Tomorrow” premiered at Sundance, there was all sorts of talk over whether the Walt Disney Company would sue, or delay the release of the film citing copyright infringement. Writer William Goss called the movie “dark [and] utterly bizarre,” but still slapped the movie with a “B+” grade in his review. The poster and first trailer are hilarious and portray the theme park, known for talking mice and mass consumerism, as a place where people go to die….figuratively. Escape From Tomorrow takes Disneyland to task, and it’s looking to be more insidious to your psyche and memory than a thousand verses of “It’s a Small World” (admit it; it’s stuck in your ear).
Release Date: October 11th in limited release

"All Is Lost"

All is Lost
Synopsis: A man (Robert Redford) finds himself shipwrecked and bobbing along the Sumatran Straits desperately losing hope of rescue.
What You Need to Know: Director J.C. Chandor gained acclaim with his narrative analysis of the US financial crisis, “Margin Call“. His latest work could find Redford priming himself for a Best Actor nod, despite the movie itself being rather “bare bones” according to Jessica Kiang’s review. The trailer for the film emphasizes the trials and tribulations Redford’s character goes through, and it’s akin to Tom Hanks’ work in “Cast Away;” wouldn’t it be great to see these two titans of cinema -- representing Classic Hollywood and New Hollywood -- duking it out come Oscar time? We can dream.
Release Date: October 18th in limited release

12 Years a Slave
Synopsis: Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is kidnapped and sold into slavery. In the twelve years he’s held captive, he is passed to a variety of owners who change his life.
What You Need to Know: “12 Years a Slave” is the movie on everyone’s lips, with many predicting it as a shoo-in for several major categories, and a game-changer for the history of race within the Academy. It certainly gained a toehold after winning the People’s Choice Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Our own Chris Willman had nothing but praise for the stars, and the disturbing -- yet haunting -- plotline in his “A-” review. The debate rages about the portrayal of slavery in American cinema, especially in light of last year’s “Django Unchained.” Thankfully, “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen believes there’s room for several depictions of slavery in cinema, as he explained in a recent interview. Expect the controversy to start flowing; questioning the movie’s content as it did with 'Django'; although this is one to keep at the top of your Oscar pool.
Release Date: October 18th in limited release

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  • George W. Clinton | October 2, 2013 3:56 PMReply

    blue is the warmest COLOR.


  • Kristen | October 3, 2013 3:28 AM

    Yes, George I understand that is the American spelling but I'm going with the European spelling which is on the poster.

  • Introspective Man | October 2, 2013 1:15 PMReply

    Another must-see suggestion for this list--

    "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete"

    Synopsis: Left alone after his drug-addicted mother is arrested, a penniless 14 year-old teams up with an abandoned 9 year-old to survive a tumultuous summer in New York City.

    What You Need to Know: This Sundance favorite, beautifully scripted by writer Michael Starrbury, powerfully directed by George Tillman, features breakout performances by its two young leads, Skylan Brooks and Ethan Dizon.

    The film, executive produced by Alicia Keys, also stars Academy-Award winning actress Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Adewale Akkinuoye-Agbaje, Jeffrey Wright, and Anthony Mackie.

    Release Date: Opening in select theaters October 11th.

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