Monday November 6, 2017
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Which of these are you going to watch this month? — Picture by Cinema OnlineWhich of these are you going to watch this month? — Picture by Cinema OnlineKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 — As we approach the end of the year, November still has a couple of major blockbusters to keep cinema seats warm but slowly and surely, the heavier movies are starting to trickle in.

While we wouldn’t hold our breathes to see much of the potential Oscar contender in this month’s release schedule, but there are some acclaimed award winners from this year’s festival circuit that are finally making their way to our screens.

Even those who are not inclined for the artistic cinema, they will still be able to find strong doses of drama from local and international cinemas, but that doesn’t leave out those who just want good escapist entertainment.

For those who are planning to get some strong drama, they will find themselves settling in to this month’s schedule. So if you are looking for action, animation or serious acting, these are the movies not to miss this November.

Killing Gunther

While Arnold Schwarzenegger is still trying to find every inch of his old stardom back, his persona as the unkillable action hero from his heyday still remains in most of us who grew up watching him in the 90s. That subversion seems to be the premise for Killing Gunther, when Schwarzenegger is imagined as an old hitman at the top of his game, and a squad of young upstarts are eager to kill him to take over his place. That meta-commentary on younger action stars trying to take the crown from the action heroes of the 90s is one we see plenty of potential for comedy, Directed and starred by actor Taran Killam in his directorial debut, the hit squad also consists of Hannah Simone, Colbie Smulders, Bobby Moyniha, Kumail Nanjiani, Randall Park and Ryan Gaul.

General release date: November 2

Jailbreak

A squad of elite police officers are on their way to a Cambodian prison, to ensure that a key witness is protected until he reveals the identity of a crime lord. Meanwhile, the crime lord arranges for a jail riot to make sure that the key witness does not leave the prison alive. Made from the ambitious studio who are trying to inject new life to Cambodian cinema, Jailbreak’s following of The Raid formula is a welcoming curiosity for those who rarely dip their toes in Southeast Asian cinema. With Italian director Jimmy Henderson at the helm, Jailbreak has its own unique specialties showcasing the Cambodian martial art of Bokator. The cast is also made up of experienced action stars and stuntmen with much training and involvement in numerous Hollywood movies, so they are bringing a new level of quality to this martial action flick for a roaring time.

General release date: November 2

Brad’s Status

While taking his son on a road trip to visit colleges to apply for, Brad starts to think about the life choices he has made while seeing the successes of his friends. This father-son drama adds another role that we would like to see Ben Stiller do more of since The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, this mid-life crisis meets coming-of-age story is written and directed by Mike White for his second directorial feature since 2007’s Year of the Dog. If you ever wondered what life would be like if you had taken a different path, this might be the consolation that you need to watch, perhaps with your kid.

General release date: November 9

Justice League

After the death of Superman who sacrificed himself in Dawn of Justice, Batman sets out to assemble a team of superheroes to defend humanity from an impending threat of Parademons who have come to Earth in search of power devices. 2017 has been a great year for the DC Extended Universe. Making a splash with Wonder Woman has set it back on the good side of superhero fans, but it does put some undue expectations on the first ensemble movie of the DCEU. Even though crediting Zack Synder as the helm can inspire both concern and excitement at the same time, but perhaps the extra hand of Joss Whedon who added a few scenes of his own, during Synder’s tragic absence, would help encourage some confidence for Justice League. Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot return as Batman and Wonder Woman, while making their big-screen entry into the DCEU is Ezra Miller as The Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Jason Momoa as Aquaman.

General release date: November 16

The Kid from the Big Apple 2

The Kid from the Big Apple made small waves in the local scene as a lovable story of making connections and bridging across generation gaps and cultures. With that reception, first-time director Jess Teong has continued to push herself into making a sequel, and now we have The Kid from the Big Apple 2 reuniting granddaughter, mother and grandfather with their newfound bond until the grandfather starts to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Returning together with Tommy Tam as the grumpy grandfather, are the grown up kids from The Kid from the Big Apple, while also introducing new faces: Malaysia’s Debbie Goh and Hong Kong’s Shaun Tam.

General release date: November 16

Loveless

A loveless Russian couple on the verge of divorce are forced together when their son suddenly goes missing. Despite being a strong contender for the Best Foreign Feature at the Oscars and the Golden Globes for 2014’s Leviathan, director Andrey Zvyagintsev received very little love from his home country for his depiction of Russia’s corrupted state. Having to fund his next project from private investors and foreign collaborators, Loveless is another hard-hitting depiction of how stoic and loveless modern Russian society has become. Zvyagintsev once again shows that he is one of Russia’s master directors working today, winning the Jury Prize at Cannes and once again representing Russia for the Foreign Oscars, and it would be a shame to not show any love for this piece while it is showing in Malaysia.

General release date: November 23

The Square

November is the most rewarding month for those who have been itching to see the winners from this year’s Cannes. Not only do we have the Jury Prize winner, but the crown jewel of the Palme d’Or also comes to Malaysia. Coming from Sweden with a huge blowout for 2014’s Force Majuere, director Ruben Ostlund comes with another tour-de-force of cinematic and critical brilliance with his latest The Square, which stars Claes Bang as an art museum curator who had his phone stolen, and after hiring a public relations company to promote an art installation for the museum, his reputation gets thrown into chaos. Also appearing are Elisabeth Moss, Dominic Wet and Terry Notary. Inspired by bizarre events that Ostlund saw and experienced while visiting parts of Europe, The Square is a tasteful satire on the contemporary modern art world and the underlying contradictions that shape it.

General release date: November 23

Coco

Fans of animation have much to enjoy this November with Mary and the Witches’ Flower and Fireworks coming to Malaysia in the same month, but our recommendation has to go to undoubtedly the biggest animation release of the year. Pixar returns with a new original feature, this time exploring and imagining the Mexican culture of the Day of the Dead, when a little boy who aspires to be musician crosses over to the Land of the Dead for an unusual family reunion. While the premise is one that could be a little morbid for children, the theme of death and depiction of skeletons is made brighter by the colours and the festive mood that is also associated with the Day of the Dead. Wondrous visuals and heart-warming stories are truly the things that make us love Pixar, and we are expecting a dash of moving score and music from Pixar veteran Michael Giacchino (Ratatouille) and Frozen songwriters Robert and Kirsten Anderson-Lopez.

General release date: November 23

Murder on the Orient Express

If superhero ensemble movies are not for you, then perhaps a superstar ensemble is what you are waiting for. This adaptation of the famous Agatha Christie mystery novel has more attractions from its big-named cast rather than the big name that is tied to the source material. But with its plot twist and compelling characters, this is a source material worthy to be directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in his own theatrical adaptation. Also making up the suspect list is Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley, while Branagh works again with Thor cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos for some innovative visuals.

General release date: November 30

Paddington 2

One unexpected sequel that hasn’t gained a lot of attention is for Paddington. Making modest success with its first live-action and animation hybrid, it was enough to warrant a sequel (and possibly another after that), with Ben Whishaw reprising as the voice of the talking, marmalade loving bear. Director Paul King also returns for this next adventure which sees Paddington getting into doing odd jobs to buy a pop-up book from an antique shop. When the book gets stolen, it is up to Paddington and the adoptive Brown family to find and apprehend the thief. Also making a return as the Browns are Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins, with Brendan Gleeson as the sneaky little thief, “Knuckles” McGinty.

General release date: November 30 — Cinema Online

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