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Heartthrobs, Haddish And The Boogeyman: All Of Fall’s Must-See Movies

Stars will be born and reborn this fall as the blockbuster dog days fade into the shimmer of awards season. Fall’s big film festivals begin around Labor Day, jump-starting a derby that will chug its way through early 2019. But popcorn crowd-pleasers still emerge amid the prestige, whether it’s Michael Myers returning home after 40…

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Heartthrobs, Haddish And The Boogeyman: All Of Fall’s Must-See Movies

Stars will be born and reborn this fall as the blockbuster dog days fade into the shimmer of awards season.

Fall’s big film festivals begin around Labor Day, jump-starting a derby that will chug its way through early 2019. But popcorn crowd-pleasers still emerge amid the prestige, whether it’s Michael Myers returning home after 40 years, Michael B. Jordan donning his “Creed” suit or Tiffany Haddish serving up not one, not two, but three star-studded comedies. 

Here’s a handpicked sampling of what’s on tap at the movies from September through December, grouped according to unifying traits.

Heartthrobs

Clockwise from top:


Universal Pictures/Lionsgate/Amazon/Aviron

Clockwise from top: “Green Book,” “A Simple Favor,” “Serenity” and “Beautiful Boy.”

Which dashing gentleman is right for you? Last year’s heartthrob of choice, Timothée Chalamet, is back to threaten this year’s heartthrob of choice, Henry Golding ― unless 2016′s heartthrob of choice, Mahershala Ali, has anything to say about it. The heartthrob hunt is on.

Sometimes heartthrobs make us weep, as Chalamet is likely to do as a meth addict opposite Steve Carell in the father-son drama “Beautiful Boy” (Oct. 12). Other times, they charm us, as Ali surely will in the 1960s-set “Green Book” (Nov. 22), a reverse “Driving Miss Daisy” with fellow heartthrob Viggo Mortensen chauffeuring Ali’s classical pianist during a tour of the South.

But Golding, hot off “Crazy Rich Asians,” is a major threat, co-headlining funnyman Paul Feig’s first thriller, “A Simple Favor” (Sept. 14), alongside Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively. And then there’s the OG heartthrob, Matthew McConaughey, who will smolder his way through two crime escapades: the drug-kingpin saga “White Boy Rick” (Sept. 14) and the sensual noir “Serenity” (Oct. 19, pictured above).

Horror

Clockwise from left:


Universal Pictures/Fox/Paramount/Amazon

Clockwise from left: “Halloween,” “The Predator,” “Overlord” and “Suspiria.”

Beyond “Hereditary” and the Omarose Manigault Newman news cycle, summer wasn’t nearly scary enough. Here comes fall to the rescue, first with the latest installment in the three-decades-long “Predator” franchise. Sporting an illustrious article in its title, “The Predator” (Sept. 14) places “Iron Man 3” director Shane Black at the head of the series, which finds a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) inadvertently calling the titular hunters back to Earth. 

About a month later, another iconic hunter will return to multiplexes: Michael Myers, supreme boogeyman. “Halloween” (Oct. 19) raises Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) from the dead to confront the masked madman who murdered her friends 40 years ago. Right before the real Halloween, “Call Me by Your Name” maestro Luca Guadagnino’s much-anticipated remake of the Italian horror gem “Suspiria” (Oct. 26) turns Tilda Swinton into an enigmatic witch and Dakota Johnson into the dance student under her tutelage. Capping it off, “Overlord” (Nov. 9) renders World War II even more of a nightmare, chronicling bloody brutes born out of a Nazi experiment gone hellishly wrong.

Song and Dance


Warner Bros/Fox/Neon/Disney

And now for a musical interlude or four.

Which do you prefer: pop stars acting or actors pop-starring? Well, you’ll get both. Lady Gaga finds herself stuck in another romance gone bad when she joins first-time director Bradley Cooper in his rocker remake of the classic Judy Garland-Barbra Streisand vehicle “A Star Is Born” (Oct. 5). Then Rami Malek gets to pretend to be an arena idol in “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Nov. 2), a biopic about Queen and late frontman Freddie Mercury. 

Fifty-four years after Julie Andrews rode an umbrella into the Banks’ medicine-fearing home, Emily Blunt takes over in the sequel “Mary Poppins Returns” (Dec. 19), directed by “Chicago” and “Into the Woods” honcho Rob Marshall. And then there’s “Bodied” (Nov. 2), a feisty opera about competitive rap battles from Joseph Kahn, who directed such famous music videos as Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine,” Eminem’s “Without Me,” Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space.”

Snazzy Ensembles


Fox/Sony/Annapurna

Who wants one celebrity when you can have half a dozen or more?

In “The Old Man & the Gun” (Sept. 28), Robert Redford goes out with a bang, playing a career criminal in his final movie before retirement. He’s joined by Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Casey Affleck, Elisabeth Moss, Tom Waits and “BlacKkKlsansman” breakout John David Washington. Not enough for you? Try on the sleek-looking thriller “Bad Times at El Royale” (Oct. 12) for size. Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth, Jim O’Heir and Nick Offerman check into the titular hotel straddling the California-Nevada border, where secrets are currency. 

The crime spree continues with “The Sisters Brothers” (Sept. 21), a meditative travelogue about two hitmen (Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly) hunting down a prospector (Jake Gyllenhaal) and opportunistic chemist (Riz Amed) at the height of the Gold Rush. 

Already headlining the Oscar race are “Widows” (Nov. 16) and “The Front Runner” (Nov. 7). Both movies’ rosters are too stacked to list in full, so know that the former has Steve McQueen directing Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo (fall’s ensemble queen) as they step in to finish their late husbands’ botched heist. In “The Front Runner,” Jason Reitman shepherds the real story of Gary Hart’s scandalous presidential bid, with Hugh Jackman playing the Colorado senator and Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, Kaitlyn Dever, Mike Judge and Alex Karpovsky providing supporting assists. 

Exciting Showcases

Clockwise from left:


STXfilms/RLJE Films/Briarcliff Entertainment/Bleecker Street

Clockwise from left: “Second Act,” “Mandy,” “Fahrenheit 11/9” and “What They Had.”

Every movie roundup should be rife with quirky workplace comedies, but Jennifer Lopez will have to carry autumn’s torch via “Second Act” (Nov. 21), in which she plays a Costco nine-to-fiver who suddenly gets to “Working Girl” her way through a private finance firm. Real-life BFF Leah Remini plays Lopez’s onscreen BFF, and man-of-the-moment Milo Ventimiglia shows up as her supportive significant other.

Fans of Nicolas Cage, Michael Moore and Hilary Swank are in for treats, too, with the rowdy supernatural thrill ride “Mandy” (Sept. 14), the anti-Trump documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9” (Sept. 21) and the family dramedy “What They Had” (Oct. 19).

Distinguished Directors

Clockwise from top left:


Annapurna/Netflix/Universal/Fox Searchlight

Clockwise from top left: “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “The Land of Steady Habits,” “First Man,” “The Favourite” and “ROMA.”

Bring on the auteurs, the ladies and gents whose fingerprints give films their zest.

All eyes are on Barry Jenkins, who will follow up “Moonlight” with the James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nov. 30). “Enough Said” saint Nicole Holofcener returns with her first directorial feature since 2013, casting Ben Mendelsohn as a new retiree drifting through a midlife crisis in “The Land of Steady Habits” (Sept. 14).

Meanwhile, “La La Land” chieftain Damien Chazelle gives the story of Neil Armstrong a vérité treatment in “First Man” (Oct. 12), with Ryan Gosling playing the Apollo 11 moon man. The unpredictable Greek humorist Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster,” “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”) gets a touch more mainstream with “The Favourite” (Nov. 23), a regal 18th-century farce starring Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz.

And then there’s “ROMA” (Dec. 14), a portrait of middle-class life in Mexico helmed by the stately Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity,” “Children of Men”). 

Best Actress Contenders

Clockwise from top left:


Fox Searchlight/Focus Features/Netflix/Annapurna

Clockwise from top left: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” “On the Basis of Sex,” “Destroyer” and “Private Life.”

So many seasoned actresses are giving exciting performances this winter that it’s hard to name just five Oscar hopefuls. Consider this less of a formal prognostication and more of a Hollywood who’s who. 

Melissa McCarthy goes dramatic in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Oct. 19), a biopic about a struggling journalist who starts concocting fabrications when her career falters. Saoirse Ronan leaves “Lady Bird” behind for a royal affair, playing the titular monarch in “Mary Queen of Scots” (Dec. 7). Felicity Jones steps into the shoes of American royalty, playing a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg on a feminist crusade in “On the Basis of Sex” (Dec. 25).

Nicole Kidman deglams as an LAPD detective working through a gang-related case that has haunted her for years in “Destroyer” (Dec. 25). And Kathryn Hahn brings her effervescent verve to the dramedy “Private Life” (Oct. 5), a Netflix original in which she and Paul Giamatti play New York artists struggling to get pregnant. 

Choose Your Own Tiffany Haddish Adventure

Clockwise from left:


Universal/Paramount/Roadside Attractions

Clockwise from left: “Night School,” “Nobody’s Fool” and “The Oath.”

After “Girls Trip” and Groupon made Tiffany Haddish 2017′s breakout sensation, everyone wanted a piece of her. Naturally, that resulted in a succession of comedies that will let Haddish flex her deft physical humor multiple times over. 

First up is “Night School” (Sept. 28), in which she plays a GED teacher instructing a classroom of rabble-rousers played by the likes of Kevin Hart and Ben Schwartz. Then comes “The Oath” (Oct. 12), Ike Barinholtz’s directorial debut about a family trying to make it through Thanksgiving without their political divides turning perilous. Finally, there’s “Nobody’s Fool” (Nov. 2), a Tyler Perry project in which Haddish reunites with her sister (Tika Sumpter) and mother (Whoopi Goldberg) after getting out of jail. 

Choose Your Own Lucas Hedges Adventure

Clockwise from top left:


Roadside Attractions/A24/Focus Features

Clockwise from top left: “Ben Is Back,” “Boy Erased” and “Mid90s.”

Lucas Hedges scored an Oscar nomination for “Manchester by the Sea,” the role that made him a star. Now he has three opportunities to repeat.

Two of them let him play house with Hollywood royalty: “Ben Is Back” (Dec. 7), in which Hedges is Julia Roberts’ prodigal son, and “Boy Erased” (Nov. 2), in which he’s the offspring of an evangelical Nicole Kidman, who sends him to conversion therapy after discovering he’s gay. 

Hedges goes in a different direction for Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, “Mid90s” (Oct. 19), which finds the 21-year-old actor playing the punkish older brother of a 13-year-old skateboarder seeking refuge from his distressed home life. 

The Sagas Continue

Top:


Warner Bros

Top: “Creed II”; bottom: “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

Fall won’t be without its big-budget behemoths, including the requisite superhero slug-outs (Marvel’s “Venom” and DC’s “Aquaman”) and Transformers adjunct (“Bumblebee”).

But the most exciting franchise installments are “Creed II” (Nov. 21), in which Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) trains to defeat the son of the boxer who killed his father years earlier, and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (Nov. 16), the second entry in the “Harry Potter” prequel streak. Jude Law (yay) joins the troupe as a young Albus Dumbledore, while Johnny Depp (nay) shows up as a young Gellert Grindelwald.

Unfortunately, the make-out potential is slim.

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Thousand Oaks Shooter Was A ‘Ticking Time Bomb,’ High School Coach Says

MONTCLAIR, Calif. (AP) — A second high school coach of the gunman who killed 12 people at a Southern California bar recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline. Evie Cluke coached Ian David Long on Newbury Park High…

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Thousand Oaks Shooter Was A ‘Ticking Time Bomb,’ High School Coach Says

MONTCLAIR, Calif. (AP) — A second high school coach of the gunman who killed 12 people at a Southern California bar recalled him on Sunday as volatile and intimidating, and said that repeated complaints to school administrators about his behavior failed to prompt any discipline.

Evie Cluke coached Ian David Long on Newbury Park High School’s track team in 2007 and 2008. In an interview with The Associated Press, she said Long was a “ticking time bomb” who constantly lost his temper, threw tantrums and would scream at coaches when he didn’t like their decisions. She said she once witnessed him assault a fellow coach.

That coach, Dominique Colell, said Long grabbed her rear and midsection after she refused to return a cellphone. Another time, he used his hand to mimic shooting her, Colell said, adding that she feared for herself whenever she was around him.

Cluke said she also witnessed Long pretending to shoot Colell.

“When Dominique turned around and saw that, she turned pale as a ghost and it was very, very scary.” Cluke said. “Just sadistic. … He was out of control. He would scream and cuss and his face would turn bright red and people would actually back away from him.”

Former high school track coach Evie Cluke said Ian David Long was volatile and sadistic and once told her he wanted to join t


ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former high school track coach Evie Cluke said Ian David Long was volatile and sadistic and once told her he wanted to join the military so he could kill people for his country.

Long, a 28-year-old former Marine machine-gunner who served in Afghanistan, opened fire during college night at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night. He killed 11 people and a police officer who responded, and then fatally shot himself, police said.

Authorities have not determined a motive.

Colell kicked Long off the track team immediately after he assaulted her, but she and Cluke said the boy’s track coach urged her to reconsider because that could compromise Long’s goal of joining the Marines. The head track coach, Cluke said, reversed Colell’s decision to throw Long off the team and told her she didn’t have that authority, while the now-retired principal brushed it aside as a one-time incident.

Long rejoined the team after apologizing in front of several coaches and administrators.

Cluke said she, Colell, and her father, also a track coach at the school at the time, repeatedly reported Long’s behavioral problems, to no avail.

“You need to do something about this kid. He needs some help.” Cluke said she told administrators. “And they’re like, ‘Well, he’s got a good heart he’ll be fine. Just talk to him.’”

Emails to various administrators at the high school were not immediately answered Sunday. Attempts to get comment by phone and in person from officials at the school and its district were unsuccessful Friday, when both were closed because of a massive and deadly wildfire in the area.

Cluke recalled a time when she and her father sat down with Long for a talk and asked him why he wanted to join the military. His answer, she said, “is burned in my soul.”

“He said he wanted to be in the Marines because he wanted to go fight in the war for our country and he wanted to kill for our country,” she said. “When you hear somebody say they want to be in the military because they want to kill people in the name of our country, that’s chilling. It chilled me right down to my bones.”

She said it’s time for school administrators across the country to take behavioral problems seriously.

“It’s not the military or video games or music that causes this,” she said. “It’s the inaction of people in authority.”

She said that if other coaches and school administrators had acted following complaints about Long, “he could’ve gotten help and 12 innocent people wouldn’t be dead now.”

“The warning signs were there,” she said.

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U.S. Troops Will Likely Miss Thanksgiving At Home As They Wait For Migrant Caravan

The thousands of troops deployed to the southern U.S. border will most likely spend Thanksgiving setting up camp and eating prepackaged meals instead of being able to return to their families.  At Base Camp Donna, located between a highway and the border wall separating Texas and Mexico, troops barely have access to electricity, The New…

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U.S. Troops Will Likely Miss Thanksgiving At Home As They Wait For Migrant Caravan

The thousands of troops deployed to the southern U.S. border will most likely spend Thanksgiving setting up camp and eating prepackaged meals instead of being able to return to their families. 

At Base Camp Donna, located between a highway and the border wall separating Texas and Mexico, troops barely have access to electricity, The New York Times reported Saturday. Showers ― which weren’t installed until last week ― can only last a maximum of seven minutes in order to preserve water. Their tents don’t have air conditioning even though the heat is sweltering. 

The soldiers spend their time trying to make the outpost livable, according to the Times. They play cards and take turns charging their electronic devices. They build barbed wire fences. There’s no mess hall or access to hot food, so instead they eat prepackaged meals.

Their deployment orders expire Dec. 15, meaning that they most likely won’t be making it home for Thanksgiving. 

A caravan of thousands of migrants has spent weeks trekking through Central America toward the U.S.-Mexico border. President Donald Trump, claiming the caravan is filled with terrorists, gang members and drug dealers, decided to deploy additional forces to patrol the border in an attempt to keep people out of the country. 

Deploying troops to our own border for no national security reason is one of the biggest scandals of this Presidency. These dedicated, skilled, highly trained men and women will likely miss Thanksgiving w family, are near American cities but eating MREs. Let them go home.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) November 11, 2018

The Trump administration went ahead with plans to send more than 7,000 troops to patrol the border despite resistance from the Pentagon. The Defense Department rejected demands from the Department of Homeland Security that troops be armed in preparation for contact with migrants last month. Instead, the Pentagon agreed to allow the troops to provide air and logistics support.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis denied that the troop increases represented a political stunt to bolster Republicans ahead of last week’s midterm elections.

“The support that we provide to the secretary of Homeland Security is tactical support based on the request from the commissioner of customs and border police,” Mattis told reporters earlier this month.  “So we don’t do stunts in this department, thank you.” 

Yet many argue that the deployment is a waste of time and resources, especially given that the caravan is still weeks away from the border. 

“When you give a soldier a real mission, you have less of a morale problem, even if it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving,” said Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), a veteran of the Iraq war. “But when you send a soldier on a dubious mission, with no military value, over Thanksgiving, it doesn’t help morale at all.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) criticized the deployment and suggested that the troops be allowed to return home for Thanksgiving. 

“Every member of Congress, including those that have not yet been sworn in, should be asked if they think that our Troops deployed to the southern border should be allowed to go home for the holidays,” he tweeted Sunday. 

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Michelle Obama Explains That Look On Her Face During Trump’s Inauguration

Former first lady Michelle Obama has revealed that she “stopped even trying to smile” during the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump in an interview with ABC that aired Sunday night. Reading from her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, Obama said that the “vibrant diversity” of her husband’s two previous inaugurations “was gone” on the day Trump took office.…

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Michelle Obama Explains That Look On Her Face During Trump’s Inauguration

Former first lady Michelle Obama has revealed that she “stopped even trying to smile” during the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump in an interview with ABC that aired Sunday night.

Reading from her forthcoming memoir, Becoming, Obama said that the “vibrant diversity” of her husband’s two previous inaugurations “was gone” on the day Trump took office.

“Someone from Barack’s administration might have said that the optics were bad ― that what the public saw didn’t reflect the president’s reality or ideals,” she said. “But in this case, maybe it did. Realizing it, I made my own optic adjustment: I stopped even trying to smile.”

“I stopped even trying to smile,” @MichelleObama shares what she was feeling during President Trump’s 2017 Presidential Inauguration. #MichelleObama #Michellehttps://t.co/GG1GiLxNVX pic.twitter.com/iBq38HR5hv

— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 12, 2018

Obama also recounted the rage and fear that she had felt in the lead up to the Trump’s election, especially after the surfacing of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. 

Writing in her book, the former first lady said that she had faith that when Americans went to the polls, they would understand “the true nature of what they were choosing between.”


Pool via Getty Images

“I stopped even trying to smile,” Obama said.

“I implored people to focus and to think about what it takes to be the commander in chief,” she told the ABC’s Robin Roberts. “It’s amazing to me that we still have to tell people about the importance of voting … People have to be educated, they have to be focused on the issues and they have to go to the polls if they want their politics to reflect their values.”

Watch Obama discuss how she felt during Trump’s inauguration in the clip above. 

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