Following a stereotypical summer of big-budget blockbusters that satisfy the masses and empty our wallets, it’s time to shift our gaze toward a few of the more audacious stories that hope to impress during this upcoming fall semester. These five films have potential to be the perfect escape to the theater for all students struggling to readjust to college life.
“A Star Is Born” — Oct. 5
Directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born” is the third remake of a 1937 romantic drama evaluating the luxury and emotional turmoil that accompanies an entertainment career. This rendition will focus on a declining country musician (Cooper) as he encounters and falls for an up-and-coming singer with the potential for stardom. Lady Gaga — one of the most iconic figures within the music industry — happens to portray the young singer. After winning a Golden Globe for her featured role in FX’s “American Horror Story: Hotel,” Gaga hopes to make the transition into a film career, and this feature looks to be like a perfect first step. With original music written by Lady Gaga and performed by the pair, “A Star Is Born” will surely be this fall’s best chance at an original musical film.
“First Man” — Oct. 12
The first biographical drama provided to audiences this fall presents the events leading up to the Apollo 11 mission of 1969. This endeavor for director Damien Chazelle — whose credits include 2014’s “Whiplash” and 2016’s “La La Land” — will focus on the pressure for the United States to successfully land a man on the moon, as well as Neil Armstrong’s hesitation to participate. In his first biographical starring role, Ryan Gosling will portray the iconic astronaut alongside Claire Foy, of Netflix’s “The Crown” fame, as Armstrong’s wife. Fueled by daring performances and Chazelle’s direction, “First Man” should be a slam-dunk critically and commercially for audiences.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” — Nov. 2
If “A Star Is Born” can’t dazzle audiences with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, then “Bohemian Rhapsody” will easily take over the reigns as this fall’s musical film. Focusing on the exemplary British rock band Queen, this film is the first biographical adaptation of Freddie Mercury’s life and unfortunate passing. Industry insiders feared that the movie would not address the late musician’s sexuality and difficulty coping with a positive HIV diagnosis, but director Bryan Singer is not backing down from the challenge. Although the film has had quite a few delays throughout production, including an unprofessional Singer and scripting issues, the first official trailer released in July exceeded all expectations. “Bohemian Rhapsody” looks to be an emotional rock ‘n’ roll film that sympathetically portrays one of music’s most illustrious figures.
“Creed II” — Nov. 21
This upcoming eighth installment in the “Rocky” film series has a lot of pressure to overcome after the surprise success of 2015’s “Creed.” The film follows Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) as he continues to train with living legend Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) to fight the son of Ivan Drago, the iconic athlete who killed his father in the ring over 30 years prior. Steven Caple Jr. is taking over the directing chair from Ryan Coogler, who left the franchise for Marvel’s “Black Panther,” with a screenplay written by Stallone. Coogler’s artistic direction and Jordan’s nuanced performance from the first installment appear to endure in the sequel. Every film fan can appreciate the return of Rocky Balboa, and Michael B. Jordan will definitely continue to prove that he deserves to take over the mantle for years to come.
“Aquaman” — Dec. 21
Although I said we’ve had enough blockbusters for 2018, “Aquaman” is simply too ambitious to dismiss. Directed by James Wan, the man behind “The Conjuring” franchise and 2015’s “Furious 7,” this film looks to be a departure from the past stumbles that have plagued the DC Extended Universe. Jason Momoa stars as Arthur Curry, a forgotten prince willed to return to the ocean floor to reclaim the throne from his distraught brother, portrayed by “Conjuring” star Patrick Wilson. The first trailer debuted last month at San Diego Comic-Con, and the highly stylized visuals already have audiences begging to see more. James Wan does not have a bad film on his resume, and his passion for storytelling should get everybody excited about the trip to Atlantis this December.
Alex M. Jankovich is a film columnist at the Daily Cardinal. To read more of his work, click here.