Every week, the Criticwire Survey asks film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday morning. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?” can be found at the end of this post.) Send suggestions for future questions to sam at indiewire dot com.
Q: With Telluride this weekend and Toronto next week, the fall film season is about to kick into high gear, and the new fall shows will be rolling out on TV as well. What are you most looking forward to, and what are you dreading?
Casey Cipriani, Indiewire, The New York Daily News
Film: I’m excited for “The Martian” because, a) I’m an outer space nerd and b) even though I found the book juvenile and one-note, the entire time I was reading it I thought, “This would make a great movie.”
TV: Bring on the overwrought opening credits and the Debbie Downer atmosphere, because I’m jonesing for Season 2 of HBO’s “The Leftovers.” The acting in Season 1 was phenomenal and though the show can be a little brow-beating I really loved the atmosphere it created, enhanced by the gorgeous music. Since the first season covered the majority of Tom Perotta’s book, I’m excited to see where Damon Lindeloff’s imagination takes us, however wackadoo it may be. Yes I’m still a huge fan of his. I’m also excited for and yet dreading Season 3 of The CW’s “Reign.” As I’ve said before, I hope that the show abandons its made up love triangles and focuses on the real drama that happened in reality, which would make for great TV.
Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
Not exactly the most original answer, I know, but my most anticipated film of the fall is probably “The Hateful Eight” — the combination of the Tarantino all-stars cast, a return to the Western genre play of “Django” (one of his best films, I maintain), a juicy premise, and the 70mm roadshow exhibition is just irresistible. (Close second: “Hitchcock/Truffaut”). And as far as the least anticipated, I have two complimentary titles in film and television: “The Transporter Reloaded” and “Heroes Reborn,” two desperate and utterly inexplicable returns to properties that no one was missing, and that were only even watchable in their initial iterations (the first film, the show’s first season), only to be subsequently driven into the ditch.
Greg Cwik, Vulture
Well, I’ll have an apartment for the first time in a long time, so I’m looking forward to that. (No more couch-sleeping for this guy! He gets a mattress!) Movie-wise, I’m psyched for Spielberg and Hanks to reunite (“Catch Me If You Can” is top-tier Spielberg) on “Bridge of Spies,” and I’m hoping “Crimson Peak” is more “Devil’s Backbone” than “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.” “The Hateful Eight” on 70mm is unquestionably the movie theater experience for which I’m most excited, though. We’ve been going Tarantino-crazy all week at Vulture, and I’ve re-watched most of his movies recently. I somehow love all of them more now — well, except “Reservoir Dogs,” which is still good, but not great, and that opening scene is kinda obnoxious. But “Death Proof” is the bomb.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes
Well, it’s no secret that I’m the idiot that still holds out hope for every new M. Night Shyamalan film, so I’m hoping that “The Visit” is something of a return to form. “The Martian” looks like a genuinely great little popcorn movie, even with the caveat that I dislike more Ridley Scott movies than I actually like. A new Spielberg movie is always an event, so “Bridge of Spies” gets on the list too. And regardless of how “Crimson Peak” works out, I’m thrilled at the notion of a big(ger) budget horror movie being treated as something of an event, during Halloween no less. I’m curious as to the reactions to “Suffragette” as the film will actually be about not-so-passive resistance for an unquestionably just cause. A new Bond film is always a treat, if only for allowing us all to talk about everything 007. And yes, I’m looking forward to the new “Star Wars” film if only because it is still something of an unknown quantity at this point. As far as upcoming TV, I am more excited for “The Flash” than I am for any upcoming big-screen superhero movie on the horizon. But that says more about “The Flash” than anything else.
Liz Shannon Miller, Indiewire
There are at least three or four sci-fi series I’m really looking forward to this fall: “The Expanse,” “The Man in the High Castle,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones,” “Childhood’s End.” Screw fancy prestige dramas — give me space battles and superheroes and alternate realities, any day, especially when it looks like they’ll have a lot to say.
Ethan Alter, Film Journal International, Yahoo Movies
In no particular order: “The Man in the High Castle,” because I’m a sucker for alternate histories and the pilot is a strong foot forward. “SPECTRE,” because “Skyfall” is top-notch Bond and Sam Mendes could prove himself to be Daniel Craig’s Terrence Young. “Steve Jobs,” because I just can’t quit Aaron Sorkin, even after “The Newsroom.” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” because the late night world is weaker without him in it. “Brooklyn” and “Carol” because ’50s era New York is a fertile ground for great stories. “Into the Badlands,” because it looks like “Revolution” done right (and with better swordfights). “Empire,” because Taraji P. Henson is a force of nature, and could single-handedly fend off the dreaded sophomore slump. Criterion’s “Mulholland Dr.” Blu-ray, because it’s about damn time. And “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” because it’s all anyone will be talking about come December anyway.
Jordan Hoffman, Guardian, New York Daily News
“Miles Ahead” is going to be the greatest artistic achievement in the history of mankind. Never mind that music biopics suck and Don Cheadle has never directed anything other than two episodes of a television show I’ve only learned about sixty seconds ago. (Five seasons of “House of Lies”? This is what happens when our attention is focused elsewhere.) “Miles Ahead,” by the very nature of my willing it to do so, will lead us to rearrange our central nervous systems, shed our inhibitions, conquer our fear, bask in oneness, get up, get down, get it on and get with it. “Miles Ahead” is where it’s at. “Miles Ahead” is miles ahead.
There’s a good chance I’ll come away slightly disappointed.
Tomris Laffly, Movie Mezzanine, Film Journal International
What am I most looking forward to seeing this Fall (and beyond)? I don’t know if I can narrow it down to one film only. So I’ll name four instead. I have been too impatient to see Todd Haynes’ “Carol” ever since Cannes. I hope it makes an appearance in Telluride (so I can see it both there and in NYFF). Another film I am dying to watch (and hoping to see as part of the Telluride lineup) is Sarah Gavron’s “Suffragette.” I really hope it is as good as it looks, and that it breathes some fresh air into an upcoming awards season that already looks to be jam-packed with male-led biopics. Other than these two, I look forward to seeing Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” at NYFF, and Alejandro González Iñárritu’s “The Revenant” in December.
I am not dreading anything yet. I hope all these movies are great and it’s all fun and games and everyone just gets along. OK, too much. I guess I’m not looking forward to any of the potential historical accuracy controversies around upcoming biopics. As for TV, I have to admit I’m pretty out of the loop. Though I am excited for the new season of “Fargo”, and of course “South Park” (which never fails to impress). I’m also curious to see what Trevor Noah will bring to “The Daily Show.”
Kyle Turner, Under the Radar
It’s been about eight years since Todd Haynes has made a film for the big screen, not counting his triumphant miniseries “Mildred Pierce.” So, I’m super excited for “Carol,” another examination into queerness and the construction of identity from him. I am, however, dreading tone deaf queer films like “Stonewall,” “The Danish Girl,” and “About Ray.” On second thought, I’m masochistically excited for them.
Max O’Connell, Rapid City Journal
My second-most anticipated film of the year is “Carol.” Todd Haynes has yet to make a film I haven’t loved, and the ecstatic reports from Cannes and New York screenings are only further stoking my anticipation (as well as my disappointment that it’s not going to be at TIFF this year). But my most anticipated film, at the moment, is whatever’s going to surprise me. I hope to fall in love with something that I had low or no expectations for, either because I didn’t like the director’s previous work or wasn’t familiar with it. Last year, I went into “Listen Up Philip” with measured expectations — I didn’t much care for “The Color Wheel,” which I found intermittently funny but mostly a one-note exercise in comic deck-stacking — only to put it in my top 5 of 2014. I had no expectations whatsoever for Julia Loktev’s “The Loneliest Planet” in 2012; as it turns out, that’s the best way to view the film, especially when it comes to the one Big Thing that happens. This fall, I hope to be similarly impressed by a filmmaker I’ve previously disliked or otherwise didn’t expect much from.
As for what I’m dreading: I go into every year hoping that the onslaught of capital-W Worthy prestige pictures isn’t too unbearable, so I’m hoping to not mind “Trumbo” or “Truth” or “Freeheld” so much. Inevitably, though, there’s a “Saving Mr. Banks” or “The Imitation Game” that’s so self-righteous and intellectually dishonest in how it handles history (P.L. Travers as a humorless monster with daddy issues in the former, Alan Turing as an asexually presented gay man/Funny Movie Asperger’s Caricature in the latter) that I cringe throughout. I’m dreading whatever this year’s equivalent is (my money is on “The Danish Girl”).
Charles Bramesco, Random Nerds, Movie Mezzanine
I’m headed off to TIFF in a couple weeks, and after having compiled a prioritized list of films I hope to see that runs fifty-one items long, I can say with all certainty that “Legend” has to be my most anticipated new release of the fall. Acting’s new master Tom Hardy plays Ronnie and Reggie Kray? Sign me up! Sounds like “Dead Ringers” but with British organized crime instead of gynecology! Who wouldn’t want to see that?
Josh Spiegel, Movie Mezzanine
I doubt my answers here are going to be terribly unique, but when you have new films from Steven Spielberg and Guillermo del Toro — opening on the same day, to boot — it’s hard not to choose those first. Both “Crimson Peak” and “Bridge of Spies” boast impressive casts, with Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston in the former, and Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, and Mark Rylance in the latter. And again, they’re from del Toro and Spielberg, so even the weakest of pre-release buzz can’t stop me from wanting to see these very, very badly. As the year winds down to a close, there are, of course, too many films from which to choose, from Todd Haynes’ “Carol” to the second Pixar movie of the year, “The Good Dinosaur” to, yes, new James Bond and “Star Wars” movies. As it goes with literally any year, if you look at the fall slate of options and come up with barely anything that might be good, you’re not looking hard enough.
Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat, One Perfect Shot
Obvious choice, but nothing in 2015 is as exciting to me as “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.” As I explained in a previous Criticwire Survey pertaining to “Star Wars,” the original film literally changed my life and kicked off a 38-year obsession. I’m also eager to check out “The Walk” in 3D, although as someone with a fear of heights, the film might actually make me vomit. Seeing the two-minute trailer in 3D certainly frayed my nerves. As for what I’m dreading… I have no clue what this “Jem and the Holograms” nonsense is, but I’m quite certain that I am not at all in its target audience, and the previews look like it was created specifically to get on my nerves.
Justine Smith, Vague Visages
“Jem and the Holograms.” I never watched the show growing up, but the talent involved has my interest piqued. If the film is able to capture the energy and momentum of Jon M. Chu’s “Step Up” movies, half the battle is won. I can’t deny I’m a sucker for all things girly and glossy — hoping this isn’t patronizing to the teen audience it is likely catering to.
Adam Batty, Hope Lies at 24 Frames Per Second
The upcoming restoration and rerelease (if it can be called that, given that it never actually had a release) of Jacques Rivette’s “Out 1” is the thing I’m most looking forward to. I hope that we in the UK get the opportunity to see it on the big screen. I’m also really excited about Taschen’s upcoming book on Jacques Tati, which might just be a match made in heaven. As for what I’m dreading, well, I hope to continue my 2015 resolution and maintain a distance from things I know will wind me up. While I’m very much excited about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” I do have a feeling that the pre-release hype will soon kick into gear and eventually soak up much of the enthusiasm I have for the December release.
Peter Labuza, The Cinephiliacs, Little White Lies
I’m looking forward to the new restoration of “Out 1,” as well as the new Arrow Films box set that will finally give us Blu-ray editions of “Duelle,” “Noroit,” “Out 1: Spectre,” and “Merry-Go-Round.” Rivette films have been hard to find or watch for too many years, and I can imagine his accessibility will seriously shake up the Sight & Sound list in 2022.
Edwin Arnaudin, Asheville Citizen-Times
Film-wise, I’m most looking forward to the fourth features from a few of my favorite directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s “Mississippi Grind” (technically their third as co-directors since Fleck has sole credit on “Half Nelson”) and – well, at least until it got pushed to March 18 – Jeff Nichols’ “Midnight Special.” For TV, I thought season one of “Fargo” was 2014’s best series, so the season two premiere date has been marked in my planner for months. Otherwise, I’ll be looking for replacements for, appropriately, four NBC shows: “Parenthood,” “Parks and Recreation,” “About A Boy” and “Hannibal.”
Joey Magidson, The Awards Circuit
The fall release I’m most looking forward to is, without question, “The Martian.” One of my favorite books of the past few years looks to have been faithfully adapted and I’m all in. The main concern is Ridley Scott’s recent cold streak, but I’m hopeful that he’s broke out of the funk at last.
As for something I’m dreading, the closest thing is “13 Hours,” mainly because it’s going to be unbearable listening to Benghazi conspiracy theorists coming out of the woodwork and pretending that Michael Bay has somehow validated their nonsense.
John Keefer, 51 Deep
“99 Homes.” Ramin Bahrani remains one of our most exciting directors and I’ve loved everything he’s done. If you haven’t seen “Chop Shop” or “Man Push Cart” or “Goodbye Solo” or the absolutely transcendent “Plastic Bag” you are doing yourself a disservice.
Jeff Berg, Las Cruces Bulletin, Filmmaking in New Mexico
I can only be glad for a new season of “The Simpsons,” which helps to put my weary head at rest once a week! But movie wise, there is a lot! “Sicario,” “The Keeping Room,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Heart of the Sea,” “The Revenant,” “Misunderstood,” “Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead,” “Rock the Kasbah,” and maybe “The Hateful Eight.”
John DeCarli, Film Capsule
It seems like there’s lots of good stuff on the horizon, even for big releases, but I’m most excited to catch up with some of the films that premiered at this years Cannes Film Festival, many of which will play at the New York Film Festival. In particularly, I’m anticipating new films from Apichatpong, Gomes and Haynes.
Gary Kramer, Gay City News, Philadelphia Gay News
I’m most looking forward to seeing “Carol,” Todd Haynes’ adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel “The Price of Salt,” with Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. I’m also keen to see “The Lobster” and “Cemetery of Splendor.” As for what I am dreading: The remake of “The Secret in Their Eyes,” the new Ashley Judd film “Big Stone Gap,” and I’m already tired/bored by the noise over the new “Star Wars.”
Anne-Katrin Titze, Eye For Film
Fall means looking forward to the New York Film Festival with biopic world premieres, the latest treats by Todd Haynes, Arnaud Desplechin, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Rebecca Miller and Hong Sangsoo, a documentary on Robert Frank and fabulous acting by Vincent Lindon. Other highlights are Peter Sarsgaard as Stanley Milgram in Michael Almereyda’s thrilling “Experimenter” and an appropriately creepy John Turturro in Nanni Moretti’s “Mia Madre.”
Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter, Sight & Sound
“High-Rise.” Amazing to think this is the first time in the 21st century — this most inescapably and incrementally Ballardian of centuries — that a J.G. Ballard novel has been adapted for the big screen. (Last one was the little-seen version of “The Atrocity Exhibition” by Jonathan Weiss back in 2000.)
He methodically basted the dark skin of the Alsatian, which he had stuffed with garlic and herbs.”One rule in life”, he murmured to himself. “If you can smell garlic, everything is all right”.
Dan Schindel, Los Angeles Magazine
I was really stoked when I saw “Flesh and Bone” on the TV schedule, because in my skimming, I read the title as “Blood and Bone” and thought it was an adaptation of the lovely 2009 film of the same name. But then I Googled. And figured out that not only is it not the TV version of “Blood and Bone” I’ve been anticipating, but also that no such TV series is in development. Which I swore was a thing. I was like 80% positive they were making a “Blood and Bone” show. I’m very disappointed. Although “Flesh and Bone” will also probably be good, too, I guess.
Anyway “Adventure Time,” “Drunk History,” “You’re the Worst,” “Empire,” The Flash,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Fargo,” “Nathan for You,” and “The Knick” are all coming back. You should watch those.
What is the best movie in theaters?
A: “Queen of Earth”
Other movies receiving multiple votes: “The End of the Tour,” “Magic Mike XXL,” “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation,” “Mistress America.”