Movies Not to Miss: September 2016

Movies Not to Miss: September 2016

Which of these are you going to watch?

With the end of Summer, we enter into the Fall season of movies. While it's still a little early to see any of the serious award contenders, moviegoers won't be suffering with any blockbuster leftovers from what was an already lackluster summer. This September in particular will be a happily busy month for those who enjoy Asian movies. Not only is the Japanese Film Festival making its annual return, but a few major hits and anticipated sequels will be coming in from Korea to Hong Kong.

There's going to be a lot of ground to cover. So let's get on to the movies you shouldn't miss this September!

Dara is a rebellious teenager who doesn't seem to listen to a word her father tells her, while Uda is a hearing impaired man who dreams of regaining his hearing with a cochlear implant. When the two meet and enter into an unusual relationship, Uda's secret job as a drug pusher may endanger his dreams and more.

With the Festival Film Malaysia (FFM) about to award some of the best films of last year, we already have sights on who will be a strong nominee for the next FFM. Already receiving some prestige for being screened at this year's Marche du Film at Cannes and the World Premieres Film Festival in the Philippines, this feature debut of director and writer Mohd Khairul Azri Bin Md Noor is finally coming home to make a triumphant return. While most might be taken in by the Romeo and Juliet story of the leads played by Zahiril Adzim and Sharifah Amani, it is its layered approach to the social issues of drugs, prostitution and a dirty coming-of-age that you should be looking out for.

General Release Date: 1 September

When trouble is brewing in one of their laboratories, corporate trouble-shooter Lee Weather is sent to evaluate the problem. What she finds is that the lab has genetically engineered a super-human named Morgan, who not only has demonstrated rapid development, but also something that could be dangerous to the outside world.

One of the most encouraging trends of 2016 is the rise of intense, atmospheric thriller and horrors that put a slight twist to the worn out formulas. Contained within a tight space with an even tighter scripting and a tight-knit cast of Kate Mara, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Paul Giamatti and our very own Michelle Yeoh, "Morgan" is another entry that refreshes the thriller genre with a good twist in its premise. Already looking to be a much less mind-bending "Ex Machina" and emphasizing on the genre tones, this is also the directorial debut of Luke Scott, son to genre-master Ridley Scott, so it would be interesting to see what he has learned from his father.

General Release Date: 1 September

Gran Tesoro is the world's greatest entertainment city, held by its golden emperor Gild Tesoro. When Luffy and his crew of the Straw Hat Pirates enter the city, they have to put a stop to Tesoro's ambitious plan for the New World.

Hiroaki Miyamoto directs his first One Piece film for the 13th feature length entry to the legendary anime series that has already struck gold since its premiere in dazzling Abu Dhabi to its native Japan. This one is a siren call to all One Piece fans to come for the screening in their best pirate-y costume for to set a record for "The Most Fans Dressed in 'One Piece' Character Costume' outing in the Malaysia Book of Records at its gala premiere on 2 September.

General Release Date: 8 September

On the fateful day of 15 January 2009, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger piloted flight US Airways Flight 1549. After hitting a flock of geese and losing both engines three minutes from take-off, Captain Sully makes the call to ditch the plane on the Hudson River, saving 155 lives in what is called the Miracle on the Hudson. Dubbed as a hero, Captain Sully's personal life is gradually invaded by the media as investigations on his purported miracle might cost him his career, reputation and family.

Failing to even get an Oscar nod with Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies" last year, Tom Hanks seems to be banking his bet with another Oscar-winning director who was practically showered during the same awards night; Clint Eastwood. Not a match-up one would argue to have some wings, and Eastwood is once again working with adapted material that if done well by screenwriter Todd Komarnicki, could get both actor and director some momentum going come early next year. Still, if the award potential is not a factor for you, the fascinating aftermath of The Miracle of the Hudson is still a story of how being hailed as a hero could ultimately destroy one's good name.

General Release Date: 8 September

Zombies are in vogue this September, starting off with "The Rezort" which looks like a "Jurassic Park" with zombies. But one of the most highly anticipated zombie movie in recent years comes from South Korea (and there's more from where that came from). "Train to Busan" is the live-action debut of director Sang-ho Yeon, who is better known for making the ultra-violent animation "The King of Pigs". Substituting the blood splatters off knuckles and brutal murder on the streets with the munching of flesh by virus-infected zombies on a train seem to have been the formula for making Sang-ho's name as one of the greats, with "Train to Busan" already setting box office records in South Korea, since its premiere at the Midnight Section of this year's Cannes.

General Release Date: 8 September

When Max's owner adopts a new dog, Duke, into her home, the two dogs don't get along as they squabble over their owner's affection. When both dogs fall into an alley and lose their collars, they are captured by animal control but are rescued by a rabbit named Snowball, who leads 'The Flushed Pets'; a gang of abandoned house pets. Will Max and Duke be able to find their way home?

You may remember Illumination Entertainment for unleashing unto the world the endlessly adorable horde of banana minions from their "Despicable Me" series, but now they are set to be known for unleashing cute cuddly talking pets. Already receiving positive reviews around the world since its release in the United States in July, reviews are calling this the "Toy Story" for pets, which is as good a compliment it gets or as derivative as it sounds. This is sure to make Illumination Entertainment get hot on the heels of animation titans Pixar and Disney, but they probably have the voice cast that has Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Lake Bell and Jenny Slate to thank for it.

General Release Date: 8 September

Betrayed by his adopted Roman brother and sold to be a slave on a Roman galley, Judah Ben-Hur plots for revenge against Messala and save his mother and sister. As his road to revenge takes him closer and closer to Messala, he is redeemed by his numerous encounters with Christ until his crucifixion.

Saved from the throes of bankruptcy by "Skyfall" and "The Hobbit", MGM may be desperate in reviving itself by looking back at its library of classical epics to put them back on their feet. Although it's been 60 years since we saw another adaptation of the second greatest story ever told, we are not quite sure if it was a wise move to churn one out without the grandeur of cast and production design as its predecessors (if anyone still remembers the amount of money spent on the Charles Heston one). Directed by Russian director Timur Bekmambetov, and with an unspeakable cast except for Morgan Freeman, the road to redemption lies only in the climatic chariot race, and that we have a little faith that the director of "Wanted" would be able to pull it off.

General Release Date: 15 September

As the ICAC look into a match fixing scandal that could lead up to the higher ranks of government, the police are investigating a murder. When both officers from the ICAC and the police find that they could be looking for the same culprit and mastermind, they decide to form a joint taskforce, but will they uncover more than they handle?

Not to be outdone by this year's "Cold War 2", director David Lam is back with a sequel to his anti-corruption procedural. Bringing in once again Louis Khoo to the fore, this time accompanied by a cast of TVB favourites starting with Ada Choi, Dada Chan and Bowie Lam to be entangled in a corrupted web of passionate cops against intelligent and also brutal gangsters.

General Release Date:15 September

An aspiring manga artist, Satoru, who has an uncontrolled ability to go back in time for a few minutes when witnessing a life-and-death situation, finds his mother murdered at home and framed for it. When his time traveling ability kicks in, he is sent back 18 years instead, just before the kidnap and murder of two classmates. How do both of these cases have to do with each other and can Satoru prevent it to save his classmates and mother?

Based on the hit manga and anime series by Kei Sanbe, "Erased" is one of the better murder mysteries to have come in a while, with the added twist of time travel. While it has Tatsuya Fujiwara in the lead, a good portion of the case revolves around the time when the characters are still children, and director Yuichiro Hirakawa seems to have scored a few good marks in getting an admirable performance out of the child actors. Fans of the series who know how the mystery goes down may still want to take another look at this movie adaptation, which has an alternate ending to the source material that couldn't possibly fit into its feature length runtime.

General Release Date: 15 September

When mysterious accidents and destruction is caused on the shores near Tokyo, the government dispatches a team to find out that an unknown entity is wreaking havoc on its wake. Confronting with the monstrosity that they have now called Godzilla for the first time, the Japanese government are finding new ways to trap or stop this unknown kaiju from destroying all of Tokyo.

Shortly after the success of Gareth Edward's "Godzilla" American reboot in 2014, Toho announced that it would be making its own reboot for a Japanese audience with Japanese sensibilities. Managing to rope in anime kaiju masters Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, best known for their collaboration in the "Evangelion" series, this is the third reboot the classical monster has in the Japanese canon. With new technologies such as motion capture, animatronics and digital effects being used over the costume approach, it is time for a new Godzilla to arrive and awaken the fears of nuclear fallout.
General Release Date: 22 September

Before General MacArthur could launch his landing operation on Incheon, he sends a small squad of soldiers behind enemy lines for a dangerous reconnaissance mission.

If you quota for Korean movies does not want to be filled by the zombie category, September offers another genre that the Koreans have been quite adept in making; the war drama, especially those set during the Korean War. Until now director John H. Lee has not repeated a genre out of the films he has made, but "Operation Chromite" will be his second war drama by since his 2010 "71: Into the Fire", and he is bringing in the bigger guns into the battle. Aside from having Lee Jung-jae and Lee Beom-soo in the leading cast, Liam Neeson will be making his presence felt as the American general.

General Release Date: 22 September

When an industrialist threatens the town of Rose Krick, the residents of the town hire Sam Chisolm, a bounty hunter, who sets out to recruit six other outlaws to defend the town against overwhelming odds.

Speaking of readapting classical material, this one has a little more confidence in making it more exciting. Director Antoine Fuqua reunites with his "Training Day" leads Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, and recruits Chris Pratt and Byung-hun Lee to make up the new seven for this classical western. While westerns of late have gone down the grit and dirty road in recent years, there's certainly nothing wrong with a good shoot 'em up that Fuqua is not lacking in delivery. The late James Horner had already began scoring for this adaptation before production began, so this will be one of the few last films he has worked on.

General Release Date: 22 September

On 20 April 2010, 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded causing what is considered the largest environmental disaster in the United States that killed 11 workers.

Based on the New York Times article about the incident, and was set to have director J.C. Chandor to run the show, Chandor eventually left the project over creative differences. But his replacement is no slack either, with Peter Berg taking the helm and as evident in the trailer, "Deepwater Horizon" is fully expected to be a drilling experience that will have you riveted for the tiniest of sparks, and all the more made better with Mark Wahlberg in the lead.

General Release Date: 29 September

After the mysterious death of his grandfather, young Jake Portman is sent to find the Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and tasked to help its headmistress, Miss Peregrine to look after them. Upon discovering that the Peculiar Children are more peculiar in more ways than one, will Jake and Miss Peregrine be able to protect them from the evil forces of the Hollows and Wrights.

If you're wondering where director Tim Burton went in "Alice Through the Looking Glass", this is where you will find him. Based on the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs, "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" seems to be a good fit to Burton's fantastic gothic sentiments of peculiar characters in fantastical settings. Lead by Eva Green as the titular headmistress to the strange home, she is aided by Judi Dench and Asa Butterfield to look after a cadre of children that wouldn't look out of place in the Xavier's Institute from the "X-Men". Samuel L. Jackson will don on as the undead Wight who is out to kill the peculiar children, in a villain role we haven't seen him since "The Kingsmen".

General Release Date: 29 September

And to round up our picks for September, we go for one last movie from Asia; this one an inspiring biopic of India's cricket captain. Directed by Neeraj Pandey, Sushant Singh Rajput stars as the titular cricketer who may teach us a thing or two to those who are trying to find a balance between their passion and their job, but also for the cricket fans who don't know about the true story behind this towering figure in Indian cricket.

General Release Date: 30 September

Related Movies:
Morgan (01 Sep 2016)
Pekak (Malay) (01 Sep 2016)
One Piece Film: Gold (AFFM) (Japanese) (25 Aug 2017)
Sully (08 Sep 2016)
Train To Busan (Special Version) (Korean) (01 Jul 2020)
The Secret Life Of Pets (08 Sep 2016)
Ben-Hur (15 Sep 2016)
Erased (Japanese) (03 Nov 2016)
S Storm (Cantonese) (15 Sep 2016)
The Magnificent Seven (22 Sep 2016)
Operation Chromite (English / Korean) (22 Sep 2016)
Shin Godzilla (Japanese) (22 Sep 2016)
Deepwater Horizon (29 Sep 2016)
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (29 Sep 2016)
M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (Hindi) (30 Sep 2016)

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