September is traditionally one of the quieter months in terms of movies in the US, but in Malaysia, we’ve still got quite a good mix of movies from different genres to look forward to.
There’s lots of remakes (The Magnificent Seven, Godzilla: Resurgence) and animated features (The Secret Life Of Pets, Storks), and the return of some familiar franchises (Blair Witch, S Storm). Oh, and a Korean zombie movie. Now that’s going to be awesome.
Pekak (Sept 1)
Cast: Zahiril Adzim, Sharifah Amani, Iedil Putra, Sharifah Sakinah
Director: Mohd Khairul Azri
A deaf boy named Uda, who has to resort to selling drugs to pay for surgery that will restore his hearing, meets Dara, a troubled schoolgirl seeking solace from her overbearing father, and they forge an unlikely relationship.
Why you should see it: It was nominated for Best Intercontinental Film at the World Premieres Film Festival Philippines. Debutant director Mohd Khairul Azri based Pekak loosely on Romeo And Juliet, and from the looks of the trailer, has crafted a touching romance tempered with a gritty and hard-hitting take on drug abuse.
Voice cast: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper, Steve Coogan
Directors: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Max is a terrier who is perfectly happy with his life until his owner Katie brings home Duke, an unwanted mongrel from the pound. Butting heads at first, the two have to learn to work together to escape the clutches of a cute white bunny named Snowball and his army of abandoned pets, who have sworn vengeance on all pets and their owners.
Why you should see it: Zootopia, Finding Nemo, and (to a certain extent) Kubo And The Two Strings – 2016 has been a good year for animated features starring talking animals, and The Secret Life Of Pets happily continues that trend. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming, and it’s got a cute but homicidal fluffy bunny. What more do you need?
Cast: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi, Choi Woo-shik, Ahn So-hee, Kim Soo-ahn
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
A zombie virus breaks out all over South Korea, and Busan is apparently the only place that is safe. A group of survivors board a bullet train from Seoul to Busan in a bid to escape, but even the train is not safe…
Why you should see it: Judging from the trailer, it’s got everything you want from an apocalyptic zombie thriller – drama, emotion, action, and lots and lots of blood-thirsty zombies. The film broke the 10 million audience record in South Korea when it was released.
S Storm (Sept 15)
Cast: Louis Koo, Julian Cheung Chi-lam, Vic Chou, Ada Choi, Dada Chan Ching, Bowie Lam
Director: David Lam
While investigating a crime syndicate, ICAC investigator William Luk witnesses the murder of a trader, but refuses to cooperate with the CID detective assigned to the case. What is Luk up to, and will he eventually join forces with the police to bring down the syndicate?
Why you should see it: Another month, another Louis Koo movie. This time around though, he reprises one of his best roles, as William Luk from Z Storm, and from the looks of the trailer, things are about to get really intense for him. It’s also the first time in 10 years that he is starring alongside Julian Cheung (they used to work together quite a lot back then), so it should be interesting to see if they can get that old chemistry going.
Blair Witch (Sept 15)
Cast: Callie Hernandez, James Allen McCune, Brandon Scott
Director: Adam Wingard
A group of college students venture into the Black Hills to find James Donahue’s sister, Heather, who disappeared 22 years ago and is believed to be connected to the Blair Witch legend. You can pretty much guess what happens next.
Why you should see it: The original Blair Witch Project was scary as hell, but unfortunately, subsequent attempts at cashing in on its unexpected success have not gone well. This one, however, is directed by Adam Wingard, who did the modestly successful You’re Next, so maybe he can kick the Blair Witch curse and revive the franchise.
Godzilla: Resurgence (Sept 22)
Cast: Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, Ishihara Satomi
Director: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi
Godzilla emerges and stomps Japan. Chaos ensues. Look, it’s a Godzilla movie, so you should know that the story really doesn’t matter.
Why you should see it: Forget the lame Hollywood remakes. No one does Godzilla like the Japanese do. The trailer doesn’t reveal much about the movie – it’s just got a lot of worried government-type faces and of course, Godzilla stomping a city, but hey, it’s Godzilla. And this is supposed to be the BIGGEST GODZILLA EVER. Consider us sold.
The Magnificent Seven (Sept 22)
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Lee Byung-Hun, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Peter Sarsgaard, Haley Bennett
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns are hired by the desperate townspeople of Rose Creek, to defend them against evil industrialist Bartholomew Bogue. Expect guns. Lots of guns.
Why you should see it: This really does seem like a month of remakes, doesn’t it? If you’ve watched the original 1960 Magnificent Seven (and Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, on which it was based), then you’d know what to expect. What really got our attention is that star-studded cast though. It should be interesting to see how they gel together.
Cast: Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammer
Directors: Doug Sweetland, Nicholas Stoller
You thought storks only deliver babies? Well, they’ve now diversified into delivering packages instead. A stork called Junior, however, gets into a bit of trouble when an unauthorised baby turns up on his watch.
Why you should see it: Hey look, another animated feature starring talking animals! The trailer looks funny, and the concept looks great. We’re a bit worried about the whole tired “taking care of baby” angle, but hey, this should still be a lot of fun for the whole family.
Cast: Eva Green, Asa Butterfield, Samuel L. Jackson, Ella Purnell, Allison Janney
Director: Tim Burton
A teenager stumbles upon an island that houses Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children, where a group of children with peculiar abilities live.
Why you should see it: It’s directed by Tim Burton, who seems to have reined in his more eccentric tendencies and focused on the wonder and fantasy of the premise instead of dialling up the weirdness like he did with Alice In Wonderland. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter and other fantasy stories like that, this should be right up your (Diagon) alley.