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Film preview: Fall flicks set to feature family fables, fantasy and more

(Megan Fu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Jessica Gonzalez, Ashley Kim, Graciana Paxton, and Neha Krishnakumar

Sept. 29, 2022 8:30 p.m.

Whether they watch from the inside of their home or the theater, audiences will be falling for the films premiering this autumnal season.

As the leaves start turning vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow, a wide range of movies will be warmly welcoming audiences to sweater weather. Among the lineup are adaptations from the stage and page as well as returning comedic duos and bone-chilling thrillers.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s harvest of flicks for the fall season.

(Courtesy of "Decision to Leave")
Park Hae-il stars as the leading investigator, Hae-jun, in the Korean drama “Decision to Leave,” pictured. (Courtesy of “Decision to Leave”)

“Decision to Leave” (MUBI)

Audiences will not want to leave after watching Park Chan-Wook’s mystery unfold.

The South Korean auteur’s latest film, “Decision to Leave,” is set to release theatrically Oct. 14. The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where Park won the best director award. Described as a romantic mystery, “Decision to Leave” seemingly blends multiple genres and tones in a manner that has become characteristic of the director’s films, such as “The Handmaiden” and “Oldboy.”

At the core of “Decision to Leave” is investigator Hae-jun (Park Hae-il) looking into a peculiar death and falling for the prime suspect, the wife of the deceased, Seo-rae (Tang Wei). The trailer does not reveal much of the plot aside from its skeleton but does give audiences a sense of the film’s juxtaposition of beauty and brutality, as demonstrated by a shot of a scenic mountaintop from which the suspect’s husband fell and an image of two handcuffed hands nearly touching.

With evocative images and the promise of a satisfying twist, the decision to watch this film is an easy one to make.

Ashley Kim

[Related: Film preview: Summer movie batch offers new spin on established franchises, genres]


(Courtesy of Netflix)
Duo Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele reunite as demon brothers in “Wendell & Wild,” pictured. (Courtesy of Netflix)

“Wendell & Wild” (Netflix)

Dynamic duo Key and Peele are back and more animated than ever.

The comedic pair star as the titular demon brothers in “Wendell & Wild,” which is set to release Oct. 21. Directed by Henry Selick, who is known for films such as “Coraline” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” the movie is a stop-motion project with a distinct visual language, including vibrant purple and green lighting in dark settings and detailed stylized character design.

The film follows Wendell (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wild (Jordan Peele) as they make their way into the land of the living, evading Sister Helley (Angela Bassett), a nun intent on eliminating demons. But along the way, they find company in Kat (Lyric Ross), a goth teenager with a tragic past broken down by the institutions meant to protect her. Over the course of the film, Kat must face what happened to her in order to grow as a person, with the help of the demon brothers and a friendly outcast.

As Halloween nears, audiences should gear up for this wildly funny horror flick.

Ashley Kim

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)
Dwayne Johnson (pictured) enters the DC Extended Universe as the titular character of “Black Adam.”(Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

“Black Adam” (Warner Bros.)

The Rock might not be Dwayne Johnson’s only nickname after his turn in the DC Extended Universe.

The actor stars as the titular character in “Black Adam,” slated to release in theaters Oct. 21. Director Jaume Collet-Serra – known for his horror films such as “The Shallows,” “Orphan” and “House of Wax” – will be tackling the superhero genre for the first time with this flick. As the newest antihero of the DCEU, Black Adam is an ancient, godlike man filled with rage and vengeance when freed from a 5,000-year imprisonment.

Based on previews, the Justice Society of America, a Golden Age superhero team, intervenes to stop Black Adam from destroying the Earth. The trailer features Black Adam sparring with new additions to the DCEU: Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone. Familiar to the action genre, former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan plays Doctor Fate while Viola Davis returns as Amanda Waller.

“Black Adam” will test the DCEU limits as a star-studded cast and horror movie director join forces to create a new action-packed flick for superhero fans.

– Neha Krishnakumar

(Courtesy of Amazon Studios)
(Pictured from left to right) David Dawson, Emma Corrin and Harry Styles star in the film adaptation of “My Policeman.” (Courtesy of Amazon Studios)

“My Policeman” (Amazon Studios)

“My Policeman” is shaping up to be a criminally compelling story.

Set to premiere in theaters Oct. 21, the film adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ novel of the same name stars Harry Styles as Tom Burgess, a police officer in 1950s England who finds himself enamored of art curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson). Despite the fact that he is married to a woman named Marion Taylor (Emma Corrin), Tom has an affair with Patrick but remains with Marion to maintain a guise of heterosexuality and avoid the stigma of homophobia that pervaded the time.

The first half of the trailer exhibits the quiet chemistry between Styles and Dawson as they engage in their whirlwind romance while contending with living in a society that does not accept them. Given the scenes of the characters in their youth and old age in the trailer, audiences can expect to see the film jump in time to explore the respective narratives at different stages in their lives. While much of the plot remains unknown, these scenes allude to an inevitably tragic romance sure to leave one or more of the characters heartbroken.

The complex relationship between the three leads will undoubtedly place the audience’s attention and hearts under arrest.

– Jessica Gonzalez

(Courtesy of Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)
(Pictured from left to right) Paul Dano, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord and Michelle Williams star in Steven Spielberg’s new film based on his life and journey into filmmaking. (Courtesy of Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)

“The Fabelmans” (Universal Pictures)

For the first time in his 63-year career, Steven Spielberg is turning the camera inward.

The acclaimed director intimately revisits his childhood in “The Fabelmans,” an ode to both Spielberg’s parents and his passion for filmmaking. Set to release Nov. 11, the semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age tale centers on Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) from childhood through adolescence and the influences of his expressive, artistic mother, Mitzi Fabelman (Michelle Williams), and more pragmatic, science-oriented father, Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano) – who are both heavily inspired by the personalities and likelinesses of Spielberg’s own parents.

Released a day after its Toronto International Film Festival debut, the film’s first trailer opens with Mitzi hopefully declaring, “Movies are dreams that you never forget,” while a young Sammy excitedly experiments with a film projector. This first look also alludes to young Spielberg making home videos starring his sisters, uncle, mother and father, showcasing the hope and warmness at the core of the family drama.

With intricate filmmaking and intimate storytelling, all signs point to Spielberg delivering his own fable for the ages, just in time for the holiday season.

– Graciana Paxton

[Related: Film preview: Upcoming fall film releases promise to captivate audiences]

(Courtesy of Dan Smith/Netflix)
Stephen Graham (left) and Andrea Riseborough (rise) play the parental roles of titular character Matilda in the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1988 book. (Courtesy of Dan Smith/Netflix)

“Matilda” (Netflix)

The big screen is staging the latest adaptation of a Roald Dahl childhood classic.

Releasing on Netflix on Dec. 25, “Matilda” is the latest in a series of adaptations of the 1988 Roald Dahl novel. This version of “Matilda” is heavily inspired by the Tony Award-winning 2010 musical by the same name, both directed by Matthew Warchus.

Emma Thompson is sure to delight audiences as the wicked Miss Trunchbull, contrasting her usual maternal protagonists. A welcome addition to the cast includes Lashana Lynch in the role of the nurturing Miss Honey. Starring as Matilda, newcomer Alisha Weir presents dynamic facial expressions and powerful line delivery in the film’s teaser, which show her potential in leading the “Revolting Children.”

With a fresh cast and beloved characters, “Matilda” has the promise to spin a new twist on a time-old story.

– Neha Krishnakumar

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Jessica Gonzalez
Gonzalez is a national news and higher education contributor. She is a first-year transfer student at UCLA majoring in political science and minoring in Chicana/o and Central American studies.
Gonzalez is a national news and higher education contributor. She is a first-year transfer student at UCLA majoring in political science and minoring in Chicana/o and Central American studies.
Graciana Paxton | Music | fine arts editor
Paxton is the 2022-2023 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts contributor from 2021-2022. She is also a third-year psychobiology student from Morgan Hill, California.
Paxton is the 2022-2023 music | fine arts editor. She was previously an Arts contributor from 2021-2022. She is also a third-year psychobiology student from Morgan Hill, California.
Neha Krishnakumar | Photographer
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