One of the many things that has us pumped on fall is the Oscar-worthy movie debuts. And this year's contenders deliver some serious travel porn. Siobhan Reid picks 8 guaranteed to make you want to hit the road ⎯ and fast.
Remember Birdman? — Last year’s Alejandro G. Innaritu flick that cleaned up at the Academy Awards and was so meta, your friends couldn’t even, like, deal? Well, Innaritu’s back, and this time with a film so ambitious it makes Birdman look like his paltry senior project. Set to release December 2015, The Revenant tells the true story of fur trapper Hugh Glass—played by a weathered and fierce-looking Leonardo DiCaprio—who gets mauled by a bear, betrayed by his companions and left to freeze to death in the Rocky Mountain wilderness. The film looks so epic it might even win Leo his Oscar.
By the Sea
We were more than amused to learn that Angelina Jolie shot her latest feature film, By the Sea, while honeymooning with hubby and costar Brad Pitt in Malta. Particularly because the trailer—1:44 seconds’ worth of liquor-slamming, chain-smoking and pill-popping-fueled inter-couple violence—seems more like a fantasy from the mind of Gillian Flynn than the mother of six. But let’s say this: though the subject matter is heavy (we're talking marriage in crisis), the film’s setting in the dreamy south of France is enough to get our asses into the theater. In fact, the surroundings are so over-the-top romantic that we’re willing to bet that a happy ending is in order. But just in case, maybe don’t try to make a date night out of it.
Breaking from the franchise’s history of god-awful movie titles, (we see you, Quantum of Solace), Spectre follows Skyfall as the 24th installment of the James Bond series. In the film, Daniel Craig’s 007 jets off to such exotic far-flung places as Mexico City, Tangier, London, Rome and the Austrian Alps for a casual days’ work of high-octane car chases and plane explosions. Take part in the excitement by snagging tickets to the October 26th World Premiere in London, where you’ll rub shoulders with Will & Kate plus stars of the film, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes and Christopher Waltz.
Imagine you're about to make the final ascent to summit Sagarmatha only to learn that a massive snowstorm is headed in your direction. Such is the harrowing, high-stakes plot of director Baltasar Kormákur’s Everest, a nail-biting adventure story about the deadly 1996 Mount Everest avalanche and the team that tried to survive it. Expect awe-inspiring mountain cinematography, high-altitude shots that’ll make your stomach churn, and, oh, a shirtless Jake Gyllenhaal with ice pick in hand and a full mountain-man beard.
Rock the Kasbah
Rock the Kasbah is definitely bizarre, and unlike anything you’ll see that resembles a traditional Hollywood music movie. But it also looks undeniably appealing. Bill Murray stars as a washed-up rock-tour manager who, after being dropped by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel), signs an Afghani teen who dreams of competing in the country’s version of “American Idol.” The film takes place entirely in Afghanistan (it was partially filmed there, as well) and somehow retains all the California-grown good vibes you’d expect from a movie starring the ineffably loveable Murray. Set for wide release on October 23, the film promises to be an absurdly fun ride, thanks to gorgeous desert photography, a stranger-than-fiction storyline and a gun-toting Bruce Willis, who seems to have revived his macho Die Hard persona for the occasion.
The last time Matt Damon was in outer space, he wrecked all kinds of extraterrestrial havoc (see: that time Damon went totally alpha-male psychopath and stole McConaughey’s spaceship in Interstellar). Here’s to hoping he’s turned over a new leaf in his latest sci-fi adventure, The Martian, directed by cinema legend Ridley Scott. Damon plays a veritable MacGyver of Space, an astronaut marooned on Mars after a mission gone awry, with only his intimate knowledge of both botany and mechanical engineering to stay alive. (Y’ know, those basic skills you pick up while auditing a night course here and there.) To replicate the planet’s volcanic topography, the crew set up camp in what’s known as The Valley of the Moon: a vast swath of deep red sandstone and granite rocks in Jordan’s eerie Wadi Rum valley, where temperatures fluctuate from extreme cold to suffocating heat.
If you’re going to see anything in IMAX this year, make it The Walk. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the high wire artist Philippe Petit, the film recreates the stunt Petit pulled back in 1974 when he stepped out to a high wire suspended between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center. Just for your reference, that’s a dizzying 1,350 feet above ground. Director Robert Zemeckis created the film in part as a “love letter to the Twin Towers,” adding that, “in the tragic history of those buildings, [Petit’s performance] was one glorious and human moment that happened.”
Pop culture has long been obsessed with the psychopathic machinations of twin brothers Ronald and Reginald Kray, the English gangsters once billed as the most dangerous men in London’s East End. L.A Confidential director, Curtis Hanson is the latest to tackle the Kray brothers’ notorious legacy in his new film, The Legend, starring Tom Hardy, whose portrayal of both twins is gathering rave reviews.