Despite Auckland’s cinemas still currently being closed, there’s a wide range of options for moviegoers in the rest of the country this month.
Among the titles headed for the big screen over the next four weeks are Kiwi drama Juniper (October 28), French comedy The Rose Maker (October 7) and Icelandic chiller Lamb (October 14). Horror fans are well catered for, with the return of Michael Myers in Halloween Kills and the Keri Russell-starring creature feature Antlers (both October 28).
For those who prefer the comforts of home, Netflix’s line-up includes the Mary J. Blige-headlining Body Cam (October 12) and psychological thriller Hypnotic (October 27), Amazon Prime Video boasts the Justin Bieber documentary Our World (October 8) and the hotly anticipated romantic-drama three-quel After We Fell (October 22), while Sky TV’s MTV Channel plays host to Madonna’s Madame X (October 8).
Fingers crossed also that the New Zealand International Film Festival will also be able to get under way in Auckland (October 28) and Christchurch (October 29) at the end of the month.
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However, after looking through the schedules, Stuff to Watch has come up with the list of the dozen movies we’re most excited to see before Halloween dares to darken our door.
The Alpinist (October 14, Cinemas)
Marc-Andre Leclerc is the latest extreme climber to get the documentary treatment. The young Canadian lives an almost off-the-grid, nomadic lifestyle, while attempting some of the world’s most difficult vertical ascents.
“It’s an intriguing insight into a particular kind of obsessive drive, and a portrait of a man who, as one of his contemporaries remarked, feels almost too comfortable on the side of a mountain,” wrote The Observer’s Wendy Ide.
Army of Thieves (October 29, Netflix)
A prequel to Zac Snyder’s zombies-in-Vegas flick Army of the Dead, this follows the fortunes of German safecracker Ludwig Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer) after he’s recruited by a mysterious woman to assist in a series of heists across Europe.
Schweighöfer doubles-down as director, while the cast also includes current Taskmaster UK contestant Guz Khan, F9’s Nathalie Emmanuel and Miss Scarlet and the Duke’s Stuart Martin.
Dune (October 21, Cinemas)
Thanks to the Warners/HBO Max deal, fans of this keenly anticipated title have only had to wait 10 additional months from its original release date.
Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival director Denis Villeneuve is the latest to try to tackle Frank Herbert’s 1965 space opera.
Planned as a two-movie enterprise, this adventure on the desert planet Arrakis will be populated by the likes of Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa and Zendaya.
The Green Knight (October 28, Amazon Prime Video)
A Ghost Story and Pete’s Dragon director David Lowery’s latest effort is a fantasy retelling of the medieval story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The impressive acting ensemble includes Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sean Harris and Kate Dickie.
“A visual feast that lingers long after the end credits,” wrote Little White Lies’ Hannah Strong.
In the Earth (October 27, Neon)
New Zealand Film Festival favourite Ben Wheatley’s (Sightseers, High-Rise, Free Fire) latest genre pic is set in the midst of a pandemic.
As a deadly virus spreads across the globe, Dr Martin Lowert is on a mission to reach a research hub deep in the forest. However, his progress is hindered by an encounter with a man living off the grid.
Julia (October 21, Cinemas)
Documentarian duo Julie Cohen and Betsy West follow-up their excellent RBG with a look at the woman who revolutionised American cuisine.
Through her cookbooks and TV shows, Julia Child introduced homemakers to the joy of French cooking, breaking complicated recipes down into easy to follow constituent parts.
This endearing and enlightening tale beautifully captures the essence of a truly larger-than-life figure.
The Last Duel (October 21, Cinemas)
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon co-wrote (along with Nicole Holofcener) the screenplay for this historical drama based on the 2004 book by Eric Jager.
Directed by Sir Ridley Scott, it sees Damon play Jean de Carrouges, a knight who challenges his friend and squire Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) to a duel after Carrouges’s wife Marguerite (Jodie Comer) accuses Le Gris of raping her.
No Time to Die (October 7, Cinemas)
Originally set to release on April 9 last year, Daniel Craig’s fifth – and apparently final – outing as 007 opens with Bond having left active service, but persuaded to help in the search for a missing scientist.
Joining the regular cast are Knives Out’s Ana de Armas and Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek, while True Detective’s original director Cary Fukunaga is the man calling the shots.
Ron’s Gone Wrong (October 28, Cinemas)
Zach Galifianakis, Olivia Colman, Ed Helms and Jack Dylan Grazer are just some of the vocal talent on display in this animated adventure about an awkward tween and his new walking, talking, digitally-connected device.
Supposed to be his “best friend out of the box”, Barney discovers “Ron” has more than a few quirks that mean he never quite functions the way he’s supposed to.
The Trip (October 15, Netflix)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’s Noomi Rapace and Headhunters’ Aksel Hennie face off in this Norwegian action thriller about a dysfunctional couple who head to a remote cabin “to connect’ while plotting to bump each other off. However, their respective plans are interrupted by unexpected visitors.
“A riotous, ridiculous ride of a film with plenty of twists and turns [and poop] to boot,” wrote Bloody Disgusting’s Trace Thurman.
The Velvet Underground (October 15, Apple TV+)
Wonderstruck, I’m Not There and Velvet Goldmine director Todd Haynes helms this deep dive into the life and times of the seminal New York rock band.
Led by Lou Reed, they were a major force in music for almost a decade from the mid-1960s, before disbanding and attempting various comebacks in the early ‘90s.
“A brilliantly told story, which causes hearts to soar and break in equal measure. Haynes’ evocation of the band, and the time is vivid and loving. If you love music, then you’ll love this film,” wrote Hey U Guys’ Jo-Anne Titmarsh.
Woodstock 99 (October 11, SoHo)
This HBO documentary explores the chaos of the three-day music festival that was designed to echo the unity and counterculture idealism of the original 1969 concert, but instead devolved into riots, looting and sexual assaults.
The doco will also be available to stream on Neon from October 15.