‘The Duke’s’ fall guide to major and minor flicks

'The Last Jedi'

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios
After ‘Rogue One’s’ mixed reception, Disney and Lucasfilm are set to reclaim audiences’ excitement with ‘Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.’

By Nicole Prieto | Staff Writer

Fall 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting mix of major blockbuster releases and indie darlings. Here is The Duke’s run-down of the films we are most excited to see:

It

The clown-fearing beware: We are only a few weeks away from the new It coming to town. Stephen King’s classic horror tale has gotten an eerier, more sinister facelift sure to freak out modern audiences. As in its predecessor materials, the film follows a group of kids as they investigate a string of disappearances and uncover a town’s deadly secret. Horror icon Pennywise the Clown, an immortal shapeshifter prone to wreaking havoc every 30 years, is played by Bill Skarsgård. This time around, the vibe of Pennywise’s getup is considerably less birthday-party-clown and more circus-of-death — and no less nightmare-inducing.

As reported by Variety, King himself was not consulted in the production of the film. Still, reconsider going it alone if you decide to check out It in theaters on Sept. 8.

Loving Vincent

Touted as the world’s first feature film animated entirely with 65,000 paintings as frames, Loving Vincent follows Armand Roulin (Douglas Booth) in his journey to discover the truth behind van Gogh’s untimely death. Robert Gulaczyk also stars as the eponymous painter himself as the film recreates his life through the lens of some of his iconic works. More than 100 painters were involved in production. According to the film’s site, it took four years to develop the technique in van Gogh’s style and another two to employ it in making the film. Part of the movie was funded through Kickstarter in 2014.

With its world premiere on June 13 in Annecy, France, Loving Vincent has already racked up rave international response and is slated for a U.S. release. Keep an eye out on your local multiplex or indie hotspot of choice since this groundbreaking biopic is only coming out in select theaters on Sept. 22.

Justice League

Set after Superman’s demise in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) have inherited a crime-ridden world despondent from the apparent loss of one of its greatest heroes. But there is little time to mourn, because a new intergalactic-demonic threat is right on the horizon. Featuring Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg and Ezra Miller as the Flash, the nascent Justice League is pitted against the immortal Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds) in his quest to recover the Mother Boxes on Earth.

Running up against Marvel’s established Avengers film universe, Justice League follows this summer’s Wonder Woman box office hit and looks to impress. Watch DC’s iconic team come together on Nov. 17.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It has been two years since fans last saw Rey (Daisy Ridley) poignantly offer Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber to him on a lonely island in a distant world. With last year’s Rogue One either tiding fans over or frustrating them for the wait, Episode VIII looks to bring back Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and villain Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) to the fore. Hopefully we can expect more background on characters such as Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), some revelations regarding Skywalker’s (Mark Hamill) exile and whether Last Jedi really means what you think it does.

This will be the first Star Wars film released since Carrie Fisher’s death. Become one with the force again on Dec. 15.

Bright

OK, full disclosure: This Netflix-original film is to be enjoyed at home over winter break. Bright stars Will Smith as hardened LAPD cop Daryl Ward in a world not unlike our own — except for one detail: modern humans live in on-and-off harmony with various fantasy creatures from fairies to orcs. Not long after Ward is paired with a newcomer “diversity hire,” an orc named Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton), the duo become enmeshed in a high-stakes plot involving a mysterious elf and a powerful wand apparently capable of granting any wish. The underbelly of L.A. is now after it, and Ward and Jakoby must work together to keep it out of the wrong hands.

It is hard what to make of a trailer that may be taking itself too seriously, with Smith variously brooming a fairy like an unwanted pest and taking slow-motion gunshots at an unseen threat. If you are a big fan of the buddy-cop genre, this is an unusual take you may want to check out. Discover the magic from the comfort of your couch on Dec. 22.

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