The summer movie season had a surprise ending as the young female fan base of One Direction failed to take down The Butler at the top of the box office (One Direction: This is Us did beat The Butler from Friday to Sunday, but when you add Monday’s grosses, the latter took the lead).
The Butler’s success is due in part to the normal move away from the popcorn blockbusters and into more serious and intellectual fare heading into fall. However, before getting too serious over the next few months, there is one new wide release this weekend that will appeal to the sci-fi action fans.
In 2000, Vin Diesel had his first notable hit with Pitch Black and introduced the character of Riddick to the world. In 2004, The Chronicles of Riddick was released and although it made more money than its predecessor, it was not considered a success until it was released on DVD, gaining a cult following.
Now, Diesel has re-teamed with the writer-director for a third, simply titled Riddick. Continuing the events, Riddick is stranded on a desolate planet and must fight for survival against its indigenous predators. Growing stronger and more dangerous than before, he lures bounty hunters from across the galaxy to become pawns in his greater scheme of revenge against those who betrayed and stranded him there.
If Riddick does not excite you, maybe some of the other September movies will. Next week features French director Luc Besson (The Professional, The Fifth Element) teaming up with Robert DeNiro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones for the action comedy The Family. DeNiro plays a former Mafia boss turned snitch whose family is relocated to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program.
Also in September is Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard as fathers desperately searching for their daughters after they are kidnapped. This thriller also stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello and Melissa Leo.
Directed by Ron Howard, Rush is based on the true story of the rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda during the 1976 season.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his directorial debut with the offbeat romantic comedy Don Jon, in which he also stars as a modern day Don Juan who objectifies everything in his life, especially women. Also starring Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore and Tony Danza.
The most exciting thing about September is the Toronto International Film Festival, which has become one of the premiere film festivals in the world and many of the movies that we will see around awards season make their debut at TIFF.
One of the movies getting a lot of attention is Matthew McConaughey’s dramatic weight loss for his role in Dallas Buyer’s Club, directed by Canadian Jean-Marc Vallée. It is the story of Ron Woodroof who, after being diagnosed with HIV in 1986, started smuggling non-FDA approved anti-viral medications into the U.S. for himself and other AIDS patients. Watch for it to be released into theatres in November.