This time around Director Gareth Edwards' "Rogue One" subtitled "A Star Wars Story," marks the first time a "Star Wars" film has been designed as a stand alone feature, as well as one that essentially serves as a sequel to George Lucas' "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith" (2005) and a prequel to Lucas' game changing "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" (1977)--albeit from somewhat of a sideways glance.
Granted, this film is a risky venture for the series, and I have to admit to harboring a healthy amount of skepticism to go alongside my excitement. Creatively by attempting to usher in a different styled "Star Wars" adventure. But even greater, as far as I am concerned, "Rogue One" does begin to threaten any sense of potential "Star Wars" overkill as Disney desires to release a standalone feature between the upcoming Episodes VIII and IX as well as also possibly just cashing in upon nostalgia as this film is returning to the so-called sacred territory of the original trilogy. But, what if it's good...or even great? We'll have to wait and see and yes, I will definitely be there.
Aside from another tale from along time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
1. "La La Land," Writer/Director Damien Chazelle's follow-up feature to his incendiary "Whiplash" (2014) is a full blown musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (teaming up on screen for the third time) and after seeing the raves it has already received from the film festival circuit, I am more than ready.
2. Stepping behind the camera as Director for the third time, Denzel Washington brings us "Fences," the film adaptation of the classic August Wilson play, in which he also stars alongside Viola Davis. 'Nuff said!
3. "A Monster Calls," Director J.A. Bayona's adaptation of the Patrick Ness novel is something that has intrigued me, even as I have not even seen one trailer--and perhaps this will be best. The element of surprise contained in this story of a boy who is befriended by the presence of a large, frightening looking tree as his Mother is facing terminal illness may be most beneficial for having the the most positive viewing. No expectations...
And with that, these four films are more than enough to keep me busy for this last month of the year and even so, I would not be surprised if some of these features await wide release in January 2017. But, as always, please do send me your best and I will deliver mine in return. And I'll see you when the house lights go down!!!!