Upcoming Steampunk (and Other Nerdy) Films

The kids are back in school. The weather (still) feels like autumn. You’re wondering what happened to summer. It’s time to plan your bonfires, tricks, treats, and turkey. And sometime between consuming pumpkin-flavored foodstuffs and wandering through corn mazes, you should really go to the movies, because it’s promising to be a busy season.


 

September 18th – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

The second in the series of film adaptations based on the YA book series, Scorch Trials hasn’t drawn as much media attention as its predecessor (which it could probably blame for the lack of media attention). Book adaptations tend to be hit or miss, and the first Maze Runner film left many audiences wanting. The Maze Runner scored 63% on RottenTomatoes, whereas The Hunger Games, a similar YA adaptation, scored 84%. A sequel, however, can be a fresh start, or a very sandy one, if the poster is anything to go by. Regardless, the book series still has a strong following, and an established fanbase is a very good place to start.


 

September 25th – The Keeping Room

A historical drama with overt feminist themes, this film centers around three women fighting a private battle during the American Civil War. The men of the household are gone, as are, presumably, trusted neighbors and friends. Before they feel vulnerable, the women feel alone. The trailer for the film conjures an almost post-apocalyptic mood, which is an interesting take on an era filmmakers typically paint in great shades of southern belles and bugle boys. But it makes perfect sense. Life as these women have known it is over. The threats they face are as immediate as the daily requirements of survival. Already selected for multiple film festivals, the movie promises a tense plot supported by elegant cinematography.


 

November 25th – Victor Frankenstein

If you’ve never read Frankenstein, you probably should, because it’s a tremendous read. But maybe you should wait until after you see this film, lest you compare the two. Like many stories loosely inspired by adventures in literature, Victor Fankenstein appears to have found one or two notes to share with the original work, and then the makers had a grand time inventing the rest. There is nothing wrong with that, provided the result achieves its goal. This film’s goal, judging by the trailer, is to have a good romp through an appropriately gothic setting, entertaining audiences with a really wonderful cast. As an added bonus, the audience will get to enjoy the story from a new perspective: Igor’s. So, mark your calendars and remember to keep an eye out for grave robbers, because Doctor Frankenstein is up to his old tricks.


 

October 16th – Crimson Peak

If you haven’t heard the gleeful screams of Loki’s army and Guillermo del Toro’s faithful following over the past several months, then you must have very good soundproofing in your home. Del Toro’s ode to classic gothic romance, Crimson Peak boasts a stellar cast (Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Charlie Hunnam). Trailers have revealed scenes featuring del Toro’s usual high standards for imagery, building a perfect world for a good haunting. As a fan of Guillermo del Toro myself, I dare not say more lest I join the caterwauling of anticipating.


 

October 23rd – The Last Witch Hunter

If you enjoyed the cult hit Van Helsing, then this could be your new favorite film. The differences are primarily aesthetic. Like Helsing, Witch Hunter features an ageless superhero facing off against evil from his past – while tripping over his devout but untested underling. Add a mysterious and purportedly powerful woman, and you have a very familiar triumvirate of heroes. However, where Helsing pulled heavily on gothic influences (and a dash of steampunk) to build an alternate version of the 1800’s, Witch Hunter resembles an urban fantasy – a modern setting with flash and some graffiti to counterbalance a richly bizarre dream world.


 

November 20th – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

Despite nearly universal disappointment in the production company for splitting the final installment of The Hunger Games in two, this is easily one of the most anticipated films of the year. It will close Katniss Everdeen’s cinematic saga, and sometime next year your complete collection of DVDs can take up their rightful place beside the trilogy of books. Unless you don’t believe in mixed media relationships, of course.


 

November 27th – The Martian

In a no-win situation, an astronaut and the team who accidentally abandoned him fight the odds to pull through alive. Space exploration has dazzled the public imagination since before it was even possible. Now, as we get back high resolution images from the farthest reaches of our solar system, we’re all the more ready for a scientific flight of fancy. Based on a novel, this film has the potential to be a nerve-wracking adventure that will leave you thankful for oxygen.

M. Leigh Hood is a rare beast of the Cincinnati wilderness typically preoccupied with writing, nerding, and filming The Spittoon List. For more articles and stories by M. Leigh Hood, look HERE.


 

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