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The Year That Saved the Movies, Part 3

That headline is misleading — I never wrote the first two parts of what might be called “2022 at the Movies.” No, those parts were penned by you, dear reader; or should I say “viewer”? So many of you went piling off to movie theaters that this year’s box-office is already approaching the entire take

That headline is misleading — I never wrote the first two parts of what might be called “2022 at the Movies.”

No, those parts were penned by you, dear reader; or should I say “viewer”? So many of you went piling off to movie theaters that this year’s box-office is already approaching the entire take for 2021 — with four more months to go.

Now some of us cinephiles started the summer wondering if brick-and-mortar movie-houses could recover after the COVID cancellations, delays and empty theaters that characterized these past two years. But at nearly $4 billion in receipts thus far, cinema seems to be bouncing back. And we aren’t done yet.

Indeed, I originally planned a peek at what’s expected between now and Christmas; but there’s so much promise on the filmgoing horizon that I’m limiting this to the next six weeks — with “Part 4” coming later to discuss 2022’s holiday movies.
9/16:

“The Woman King” – Viola Davis stars in this true-story actioner about a group of female warriors who successfully protected an African kingdom in the 19th century.

“See How They Run” – Comical Christie-style whodunit set in 1950s London with a killer cast: Saiorse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Adrien Brody and David Oyelowo.

“Blonde” – Having been bowled over by publicity photos of Latina actress Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”) as Marilyn Monroe, I was looking forward to Netflix’s sprawling, 166-minute biopic — until they rated in NC-17; now I’m not so sure.
9/30:

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever” – Sounding like a witless college comedy, this is actually based on a true story in which several stateside friends set up a risky mission to find and help struggling soldiers in 1967 Vietnam. Starring Zac Efron, Russell Crowe and Billy Murray; directed by Peter Farrelly.

“The Good House” – Handsome-looking late-in-life love story starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline. I’m a sucker for anything with Kline, and the previews on this one sure seem dandy.
10/7:

“Mr. Harrigan’s Phone” – I’m also a sucker for anything written or directed by John Lee Hancock (“The Rookie,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “The Blind Side,” “The Highwaymen”) — especially if it’s based on a novella by Stephen King. Cast includes Donald Sutherland, who has — unbelievably — never been nominated for an Oscar. Maybe 2022 will also be a good year for the 87-year-old veteran of nearly 100 films.

“Amsterdam” – 1930s-era murder mystery written and directed by David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”). Cast to die for: Margot Robbie, Christian Bale, John David Washington, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldana, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Taylor Swift, Rami Malek and Robert De Niro. Whew!
10/14:

“Till” – It’s about time they made a film focusing on Emmitt Till, the 14-year-old black boy who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955 — for supposedly flirting with a white woman. Previews look solid, focused largely on the boy’s mother and her courageous fight for justice.
10/21:

“Wendell & Wild” – I almost scrolled past this — till I saw Henry Selick as director; he helmed the excellent “Coraline” and the beloved “Nightmare Before Christmas” (even though many folks assume that gem was directed by Tim Burton). This is another stop-motion horror comedy, with a script by Jordan Peele, who also stars — along with Keegan-Michael Key. Count me in.

“Ticket to Paradise” – Winsome-looking comedy about squabbling divorcees (Julia Roberts and George Clooney) who must put aside their differences when they travel to Bali for their daughter’s wedding — hoping to sabotage the event because neither one likes the guy she picked.
10/25:

Watch for my final installment on “the year that saved the movies.”