Got a thing for monsters? This West Palm art show is for you.

Monster Madness, a haunted art show where the dead and the living collide opens on Saturday, October 15 in West Palm Beach at Slushbox Gallery.

As the SlushBox Gallery story says on Facebook: “You can be sure to find the best Lowbrow and Outsider art in Florida and around the country” in this very cool space behind Ink & Pistons Tattoo shop (one of West Palm’s best kept secrets, for sure)
Related: Best spooktacular Halloween events in Palm Beach County

Be freaked out, in awe or maybe a little bit of both because the featured artists are super talented. Here’s a taste of what you’ll see:

This freaky little beauty right here…

 

And this gator of guy too.

 

This group art exhibit at SlushBox Gallery features as many as 25 different artists. See which of your friends are already going by visiting the Facebook event. Oh, and follow the gallery on Instagram for more sneak peeks, and shoot, just to spice up your Instagram feed.

Want to get ideas for Halloween costumes? Check out these creepy makeup tutorials on YouTube.

It’s that time of the year again, where the dead crawl back to life and the living yearn to cross to the other side. Enjoy!


The Deets:

What: Monster Madness

When: Opening night Saturday, October 15. Shows until November 19

Where: SlushBox Gallery 2716 South Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405

Contact: 561-832-4655

Car enthusiasts, this beach was made for your ride.

Vroom, vroom! Get ready to hear and see a variety of muscle machines at the Horsepower at the Beach car show on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Lake Worth Casino Building and Beach Complex in Lake Worth.

You can either check out the exhibition for free or register your vehicle for a chance to win some awards. This is an opportunity to admire some of the coolest rides in town, check out the engines, the upgrades and take a peek at their stylish interiors.

photo car show
(Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

If you think your car has what it takes to win, you can pay $15 to be included in the lineup and receive up-front, VIP beachfront parking. To register, contact lbennett@lakeworth.org or 561-533-7395.

Otherwise, just come out, enjoy the show, eat some food and listen to great music outside.

What: Horsepower at the Beach car show

When: Thursday, Oct. 13. 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Lake Worth Casino building and Beach complex in Lake Worth, FL.

Must watch: Britney Spears unofficial ‘Do You Wanna Come Over’ lyric video

Britney Spears is as horny and digital as they come in the music video that’s stopping the Internet in it’s tracks.

Digital-Britney is calling for womanizers over and over in a new, Grindr-esque, unofficial lyric video created by Peruvian digital designer, Luigi Luciano for her song “Do You Wanna Come Over” off her latest album, Glory.

https://vimeo.com/185340191

Can’t see the video? Click here for the goods.

If you let the Internet tell it, the blonde Lolita hasn’t pleased her fans with a decent music video since Work Bitch, but this one right here, this one puts Britney back on top… even though she had nothing to do with it.

“I told myself, I need to do this video because the [Britney Spears] team doesn’t do much to make iconic videos anymore,” Luciano said to The Palm Beach Post via Facebook Messenger on October 4th.

britney-1000

The clip portrays a sexy Britney Spears searching for men in a hook-up app. While she’s unsuccessful at first, America’s sweetheart ends up with a TDH, green-eyed stud who she seduces with her curves before finally reaching the glory she’s been looking for.

The dance moves, the fire in her eyes, and the story plot will take you back to the days when the Britney Spears’s money-making brand actually cared to put out good music videos.

Luigi Luciano’s work brings back that nostalgia that reminds us why we love Britney Spears and why she’ll continue being the Princess of Pop.

Glory had a rough start with a highly-teased music video for its first single “Make Me” ft. G-Easy. The video was straight up trashed, unreleased and then substituted with what fans think was an obviously rushed and boring video.

Fans were not having at all! Check some tweets:

https://twitter.com/jrnascimento_o/status/778635923659558912

However, Glory managed to debut at #3 on the Top Album Billboard chart earlier this year with an amazing overall album, one rank above her previous Will.i.am. produced album “Britney Jean.” Neither lives up to the fan-favorite Blackout. 

Give it a listen and let us know what you think.

For more pop culture, follow @juliopoletti on Twitter and Instagram.

Hurricane Matthew: status of Fall Family Fun Fest is ‘to be determined’

Hurricane Matthew update: The status of this event is “to be determined.” Get the latest updates on Hurricane Matthew on our WeatherPlus blog.

Lots of families will be at Fall Family Fun Fest at South Florida Science Center and Aquarium this Saturday. More than two hundred say they’re going to attend on Facebook and a couple of thousand are thinking about it.

For the sixth time, the center hosts children of all ages to enjoy themed crafts, face painting, bounce houses, live science demonstrations and carnival-style games.

The Fall Family Fun Fest will feature face painting. Here, Carl Duhaney sits still for an artist at last year's festival.
The Fall Family Fun Fest will feature face painting. Here, Carl Duhaney sits still for an artist at last year’s festival.

People seem most excited about the Every Kid’s Dream petting zoo that will be on site from 11am – 3 pm.

And if that’s not enough, just think: This awesome event is included when you pay regular admission to the science center, which means, you’ve also got the science center to explore.

Purchase tickets for adults and children here. 


The Deets:

What: Fall Family Fun Fest

When: Saturday, Oct. 8 from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Where: South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, 4801 Dreher Trail N, West Palm Beach, FL 

Cost: $13 for adults, $9 for children 3-12, $11 for seniors and free for members.

Which movie did late director Curtis Hanson make in Palm Beach County?

Curtis Hanson (Associated Press)
Curtis Hanson (Associated Press)

Film lovers are mourning today the death of Curtis Hanson, the Oscar-winning director who made such movies as “L.A. Confidential,” “Eight Mile,” “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle” and “Wonder Boys.”

An underrated gem on his resume is “In Her Shoes,” a 2005 mother-daughter comedy starring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine that brought Hanson to Palm Beach County. He filmed scenes for the movie in Briny Breezes and around Delray Beach.

Band leader Billy Duke took part in the filming, and told the Palm Beach Post in 2004 that Hanson surprised him: “I thought the director would be yelling and screaming, but he was really quiet.”

Here are pictures we shot of star Shirley MacLaine during the filming in Briny Breezes:

mark-042304-sc-met-movie-1

mark-042304-sc-met-movie-4

mark-042304-sc-met-movie-5

 

Halloween Horror Nights: killers, ghouls and one very scary little girl

the-exorcist
The face of ‘The Exorcist’s little possessed girl Regan (Linda Blair). who haunted my dreams for years as a kid. (Photo courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort.)

ORLANDO — When the leaves turn brown and begin to fall, when the weather starts getting a tad nippier at night, when the NFL season is in full swing, that only means one thing….it’s time to get the living heck scared out of you at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Resort.

Yes, the 26th annual frightfest returns Friday, running on select nights through Oct. 31 with nine haunted houses, including those featuring Leatherface, the chainsaw-loving homicidal maniac from “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre;” Michael Myers, the knife-wielding, slow-walking killer from, oh, 68 “Halloween”  films; the bloodthirsty zombies from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and, the one I’m looking forward to most, the pea soup-spewing, head-spinning demonic little girl from “The Exorcist” – still the scariest movie ever made.

If that’s not enough, look for more chills and thrills inside “American Horror Story,” FX’s wildly popular anthology, but ridiculously violent, series and “Krampus,” a horned creature who punishes children at Christmastime. Gives new meaning to the “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” lyrics, “You better watch out/You better not cry/You better not pout/I’m telling you why,” doesn’t it?

Also look for five scare zones and two live shows.

Anyone who really knows me, knows Halloween Horror Nights is one of my favorite events of the year. I moved to Florida from New York in 1996 with my family and I’ve been to every HHN since.

What I looked like before venturing inside Michael Myers' house at Halloween Horror Nights two years ago.
What I looked like before venturing inside Michael Myers’ house at Halloween Horror Nights two years ago.

Two years ago was one of my favorites as I stood toe-to-toe with Michael Myers, wondering if I was going to make it out of his Haddonfield, Ill., house alive. OK, so I wasn’t really wondering that since this is all make-believe stuff, but, hey, work with me here.

This year, I’m psyched about “The Exorcist,” a movie that haunted my dreams for months after seeing it as an 11-year-old kid when the film premiered in 1973. I wasn’t alone. Moviegoers were reported fainting in theaters. I wasn’t that bad. I just covered my eyes a lot. If I had another set of hands, I would’ve covered my ears while little girl Regan (Linda Blair) was speaking in tongues. I still haven’t forgiven my mom for taking me.

Anyway, I’m 54 now. Way past the childhood trauma of watching a little girl’s head spin 360 degrees while she’s saying the kind of naughty things no little girl has any business saying.

At least, I hope I’m past that trauma. I’ve seen the film several times since 1973 and usually rent it around Halloween as part of my own personal “Horrorfest” movie marathon I host at home. But watching a film and seeing a possessed little girl whose voice is deeper than mine in person are two different things.

Look for an upcoming blog on my reaction to little girl Regan’s evil antics in the coming weeks.

For more ghoulish information on HHN, click here….if you dare! (Cue sinister laugh)

 

 

Palm Beach yacht wreck brings back memories of beached freighter

Socialite Mollie Wilmot stands near the 197-foot freighter that ran aground on her beachfront home in November, 1984. (Post file photo)
Socialite Mollie Wilmot stands near the 197-foot freighter, Mercedes, that ran aground at her oceanfront home in November, 1984.
(Post file photo)
The 72-foot yacht, Time Out, beached on the sand just south of the Palm Beach Inlet on September 7, 2016. (Post photo/Lannis Waters)
The 72-foot yacht, Time Out, beached on the sand just south of the Palm Beach Inlet on September 7, 2016. (Post photo/Lannis Waters)

The 72-foot yacht that ran aground on Palm Beach last week brought back memories of the time a storm drove a far-larger freighter into a socialite’s seawall for an uninvited three-month stay.

On Wednesday, yacht owner Thomas Henry Baker’s boat, the Time Out, ended up on the beach just south of the Palm Beach Inlet as he returned from a trip to the Bahamas.  Baker, who police say admitted drinking Long Island iced teas on board, blamed his GPS for directing him to shallow waters near the beach.  He was charged with boating under the influence, his second such arrest in the last month.

Back in 1984, Mollie Wilmot’s maid awakened her the day after Thanksgiving, saying the society hostess had guests at her oceanfront mansion, one door south of what was then still the Kennedy estate.

Wilmot expected it was the photographer scheduled to shoot her house for Town & Country magazine that day.

Instead, it was the captain and 10-member crew of a 197-foot Venezuelan freighter now towering over her pool cabana as the derelict rust bucket pounded her seawall into concrete chips.

Ever the hostess, Wilmot served the crew finger sandwiches, caviar and coffee in her gazebo, becoming the glamorous star of a reality show playing out on her beach.

I was working for a Miami TV station at the time and was among the gaggle of reporters and photographers who showed up later that day.

Reporter Barbara Marshall (at left) worked for a Miami TV station while covering the beaching of the Mercedes. (Post file photo.)
Reporter Barbara Marshall (at left) worked for a Miami TV station while covering the beaching of the Mercedes. (Post file photo.)

To us, Wilmot offered hot cocoa on cold mornings and icy martinis at cocktail hour almost every evening.  (I recall the network correspondents who didn’t have a story on the air that night indulging.  The rest of us were always on deadline or preparing for live shots.)

A Venezuelan freighter named Mercedes was an uninvited guest at socialite Mollie Wilmot's seawall, Thanksgiving weekend of 1984. (Post file photo)
A Venezuelan freighter named Mercedes was an uninvited guest at socialite Mollie Wilmot’s pool pavilion on Thanksgiving weekend of 1984. (Post file photo)

In her big white sunglasses, Wilmot, a horse breeder and department store heiress who died in 2002, became a national figure as she tottered around her pool patio, always wearing white while carrying her dog, a white fur ball named “Fluff.”

While various agencies debated how best to get the freighter afloat and reporters made bets on when it would be hauled out to sea, the droll Wilmot gathered her Palm Beach friends to sip cocktails and watch the news unfold live from her back yard.

After overstaying its welcome by 105 days, the Mercedes was finally hauled away to become an artificial reef off the Broward County coast.

Disney studios hoped to turn the saga into a movie called “Palm Beached,” but Wilmot balked at the choice of Bette Midler playing her as well as a plot line that had her cavorting with the ship’s captain.

Wilmot’s house was sold and demolished after her death.  A new house on the property sold for $23 million in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/11 anniversary: Why I can’t let go of my Sept. 11 ‘hurt locker’

090211 (Ray Graham/The Palm Beach Post)--Studio--We need a photo of this old Samsonite suitcase I have that is filled with a bunch of stuff from the week of 9/11/2001.
Post reporter Staci Sturrock’s old Samsonite suitcase is filled with ephemera from the week she spent in New York City covering 9/11. (File photo/The Palm Beach Post)

The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is Sunday. Palm Beach Post reporter Staci Sturrock wrote this column on the tenth anniversary of the attack:

It’s been years since I had the heart to sift through the contents of the vintage suitcase in my spare bedroom. But recently, I flipped open the latches of the hard-sided, marbled-green Samsonite.

There was the paper air-filter mask someone handed me on the streets of New York 10 years ago this Sunday.

There were the reporter’s note pads, scribbled with quotes like this one from an eyewitness to the attack on the twin towers: “At first, we were just watching the smoke, and then we saw people jumping or bodies falling out of the windows. They were like rag dolls.”

Or this one, jotted down two days later outside the Lexington Avenue Armory, where families sought help in locating what we then called “the missing”: “We just hope someone will tell us where we can go to find our son.”

And there, the pair of battered black sandals.

I wore the shoes most of that week, when I happened to be in New York to attend fashion shows, and wound up covering a national tragedy.

Now, I remember why I couldn’t bear to look inside the suitcase. It’s my very own “hurt locker” of recent history.

*****

The Samsonite is also a time capsule of sorts, a historic relic, a souvenir of an era long past.

This particular model was popular in the 1950s, when the person who drove you to the airport could escort you to the gate and kiss you goodbye. When you didn’t have to remove your shoes and belt and jacket to pass through security. When grabbing your bags and heading to the airport meant packing your sense of adventure, not a couple of Xanax.

Stored inside, I can see the technological changes of 10 years. There’s a small stack of faxes.

A horizontal credit-card receipt that had been put through an old-fashioned, sliding imprinter. A packet of 36-exposure film developed at an Eckerd drugstore, not instantly routed from a phone to my Facebook page.

The photos trace my path after I scribbled this note during the initial post-attack phone call from my editor: “first person story, center of the apocalypse, walk as far south as possible.”

And so, around 10 that morning, I headed south from my Times Square hotel. Along the way, I talked to dazed New Yorkers and aimed my point-and-shoot camera at pedestrians trudging mid-avenue, pausing to stare at smoke billowing in the distance.

Out on the streets, news updates weren’t as near as the palm of your hand. Smartphones? Tablet computers? Try the occasional transistor radio or jam box. I didn’t even own a cellphone then, and neither did the many residents waiting at pay phones to call home.

Here’s a photo of information-gathering, circa 2001: two dozen strangers huddled around a car, its windows rolled down and radio cranked up.

And here’s a snapshot of how quickly hospitals mobilized that morning — attached to a tree, a hand-lettered sign that read “Blood needed at St. Vincent’s.”

Scores waited in line to donate at the Greenwich Village hospital, where green-scrubbed doctors stood outside, next to office chairs draped in white sheets, ready to ferry the wounded who never arrived.

And, in my note pad, phrases evoking the surreal nature of a catastrophe that was simply unbelievable, even with the evidence written in a disfigured skyline:

“NYC bus goes by with paramedics in every seat. … Police riding in back of Ford F-250 pickup.”

“A priest wearing a dusty white hard hat.”

“Soot falling from sky like snowflakes.”

*****

In the end, I made it within half a mile of ground zero before encountering a policeman who had every reason to be impatient, but wasn’t. “I even threw NBC out,” he said.  “Unfortunately, you guys gotta go, too.”

The days that followed were a blur of interviews with tourists and mourners and downtown residents trying to retrieve the pets they’d hastily abandoned in apartment buildings adjacent to the Trade Center.

My photos do a poor job of conveying that week’s schizophrenic mix of pride, sorrow and hopefulness: American flags hung from fences and scaffolding. The makeshift memorials of roses and sunflowers, candles and messages of peace. Mailboxes papered over with missing-person fliers.

Those hastily Xeroxed pleas for information — which typically featured professionals in their prime, oblivious to the violent fate that awaited them — were mind-boggling in number.

Two posters were handed to me outside the Lexington armory, where many fathers and mothers, friends and co-workers sought out reporters, or anyone else, who would listen to their stories.

One shows a handsome 32-year-old man in a swimming pool with a young child. He is Mario Nardone, and on Sept. 15, 2001, The New York Times described the bonds broker, who worked on the 84th floor of the South Tower, as the guy with “the million-dollar smile and the million-dollar heart.”

Less than a week later, The Times ran an obit of the lovely woman on the other flier. Rosa Julia Gonzalez, also 32, a Port Authority secretary. After the terrorists flew into the South Tower, Gonzalez called one of her six sisters, then tried to make her way to the street from the 66th floor.

According to news reports, Gonzalez was descending the stairs with her friend Genelle Guzman-McMillan when the building collapsed. Almost 27 hours later, McMillan became the last person pulled alive from the wreckage.

Gonzalez was not so lucky.

*****

Last month, my boyfriend asked, gently and without judgment, if I’d like to get rid of the suitcase, or at least the contents that give it so much physical and emotional weight.

We’ll be in Lower Manhattan on Sunday, and maybe, he suggested, we could leave a few items in tribute at the new 9/11 Memorial, the one inscribed with 2,983 names.

I didn’t know what to say. He finally spoke: “You’re not ready to let it go.”

I guess I’m not, and I’m not sure why. I experienced 9/11 at such a remove that it’s wrong to say I “experienced” it at all. I wasn’t in the center of the apocalypse; I was an observer on its outskirts, and after six long days, I returned to the comforting routines of home.

But it seems heartless to discard the fliers or the photos or the note pads, or even say goodbye to those worn-out sandals.

Now, as I handle the shoes, lyrics from a favorite song by the folk trio The Be Good Tanyas come to mind:

You pass through places
And places pass through you
But you carry ’em with you
On the soles of your travellin’ shoes.

The suitcase is where I carry ’em with me — those memories of places I hope we never pass through again.

Melania Trump: Has she disappeared from the campaign trail?

Melania and Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago.
Melania and Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago.

Melania Trump made one of her first appearances since the Republican National Convention at Wednesday night’s Commander-In-Chief Forum, the Washington Post noted. While daughter Ivanka has been seen frequently on the campaign trail, Melania has been mostly mum since July.

The woman who may become First Lady is extremely private, as The Palm Beach Post’s Barbara Marshall reported. “It’s hard not to feel sorry for Melania Trump,” she wrote.

Read more:

What you don’t know about Melania Trump, the Potential First Lady.

Our complete coverage of Donald Trump’s candidacy.

 

 

 

Fall movies 2016: Twenty ‘must see’ films

southside-with-you

1) Southside With You

What is it about: The film is set in the summer of 1989 in Chicago and tells the story (with some cinematic liberties) of the first date between future President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama. Parker Sawyers plays the President with Tika Sumpter taking on the role of Michelle.

Why we should be excited: While the concept of the Obamas first date seems like a stretch, it has to be better than the last time they made a movie about a President while he was in office (looking at you Oliver Stone’s “W”). The trailer sells the romance pretty well with both leads really leaning into the roles without doing impressions of these very identifiable personalities. Also, they sit and discuss Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing,” which should be ticket price worthy enough.

“Southside with You” opens on August 26.

 

2) Hands of Stone

What is it about: The film tells the story of boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) and his rise to the top alongside the legendary trainer, Ray Arcel (Robert DeNiro), including a fight between him and Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond).

Why we should be excited: It is always kind of cool to see DeNiro return to the ring and do a boxing movie even when he isn’t putting on the gloves. It seems like he is pretty hit-or-miss with most roles these days and this seems like one shepherded to pulling out a classic and great performance from the legendary actor. Ramirez has silently been rising up the ranks lately and this could be his big Oscar-caliber role even if it doesn’t seem to have the punch that “Creed” had last year.

“Hands of Stone” opens on August 26.

 

3) The Light Between Oceans

What is it about: Based on the novel by M.L. Stedman, the story follows a lighthouse keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Alicia Vikander), who are living off the coast of Western Australia when they find a baby that washes ashore. They decide to raise it, but the situation becomes more complicated when a woman (Rachel Weisz) comes to town and may be the birth mother.

Why we should be excited: Not only does this star two immensely talented actors, but it also stars two beautiful people who are (might be) dating! Vikander just took home an Oscar for Best Actress in “The Danish Girl” while Fassbender has consistently been one of the better actors in the industry over the past few years. The trailers are promising a tear-jerker so get ready to ball your eyes out.

“The Light Between Oceans” opens on September 2.

 

4) Sully

What is it about: From director Clint Eastwood, the film stars Tom Hanks as Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who became a hero when he glided his plane along the Hudson River in 2009, which saved the 155 crew members and passengers. The movie also stars Aaron Eckhart, Anna Gunn, Laura Linney, and Jerry Ferrara.

Why we should be excited: Eastwood has been hit-or-miss lately (as one of the people not completely in love with “American Sniper”), but he is still a name to take notice of whenever a new project is coming out. It is hard to believe that this is his first time working with Hanks and this seems like a role tailor made for the actor as he plays an American hero dealing with the pitfalls of fame and scrutiny.

“Sully” opens on September 9.

 

bridget-jones

5) Bridget Jones’ Baby

What is it about: The film picks up where the last one in the series, “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” left off in 2004 with Bridget (Renee Zellweger) still single and barely making it through life until she runs into the complication of having a baby with two possible dads, played by Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey.

Why we should be excited: I guess if you like the previous two movies, it will be nice to return to the world of neurotic British people having problems. Zellweger hasn’t been in too many projects lately so she is a welcome presence back on screen and this is Firth’s first time returning to the role as an Oscar winner. Also, I don’t think Patrick Dempsey ages and that is frustrating.

“Bridget Jones’ Baby” opens on September 16.

 

6) Blair Witch

What is it about: Coming out of nowhere after a surprise announcement at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego, the film is a sequel to the out-of-nowhere hit from 1999, “The Blair Witch Project.” In this version, the brother of one of the main characters from the first movie discovers video showing what he believes to be recordings of his sister in the woods of the Blair Witch so naturally, he sets out with some friends to find his lost sibling. The film is directed by horror aficionado, Adam Wingard, who also helmed “You’re Next” and “The Guest.”

Why we should be excited: I don’t find “The Blair Witch Project” to be a good movie in any respects with the only impressive thing about it being how well they marketed that film. This one has caught my attention due to Wingard being attached to it with his film, “The Guest,” being an exercise is chilling horror and stylish action directing. Much like the original, this is a cast of unknowns, but it will surely keep you frightened.

“Blair Witch” opens on September 16.

 

7) Snowden

What is it about: Director Oliver Stone takes us into the story of Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and how the former NSA employee leaked thousands of classified documents to the press in 2013. The movie also features Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, Scott Eastwood, and Nicolas Cage.

Why we should be excited: Stone has been in a rut lately and the trailer for this film doesn’t inspire much confidence that this was a temporary thing. For those who have seen “Citizen Four” on HBO, there really isn’t much incentive to seek out this version when the documentary, which won an Oscar, is as chilling and informative as anything Stone could come up with. Also, what accent is Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing? Stop, please.

“Snowden” opens on September 16.

 

8) The Magnificent Seven

What is it about: This remake of a remake is directed by “Training Day” and “White House Down” director Antoine Fuqua and stars both Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke from that first movie with other members of the cast including Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Matt Bomer. The film follows seven gunmen in the Old West, who have to come together and help a poor village, which is being pillaged by thieves.

Why we should be excited: The cast should earn your ticket dollars alone because what better experience at the movies will you be getting this year than Denzel, Chris Pratt, and Ethan Hawke gun-slinging and taking down bad guys in the West. Fuqua knows action well and the trailers have been selling this movie as a fun blockbuster with a talented cast.

“The Magnificent Seven” opens on September 23.

 

deepwater-horizon

9) Deepwater Horizon

What is it about: Peter Berg of “Lone Survivor” fame directs this movie starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson, Dylan O’Brien, Gina Rodriguez, and John Malkovich. The movie follows the story of a team on an offshore drilling rig, which exploded in April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Why we should be excited: Berg and Wahlberg struck gold with “Lone Survivor” and this seems to be carrying that patriotic, heroism vibe to it. The trailers promise massive explosions and lots of yelling and reaching from Wahlberg with the cast giving us what should be a very engaging and thrilling blockbuster drama.

“Deepwater Horizon” opens on September 30.

 

10) The Girl on the Train

What is it about: Based on the best-selling novel by Paula Hawkins, the story follows Rachel Watson (Emily Blunt) as she takes the train to work each day in London and passes by her old house. One day, as they’re passing the house, she sees something shocking and wakes up the next day with the sneaking suspicion that something bad has happened. The film is directed by Tate Taylor, who is known for “The Help” and “Get On Up,” with a cast that also includes Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Haley Bennett, Laura Prepon, and Rebecca Ferguson.

Why we should be excited: This book has been heralded the sequel to “Gone Girl” in terms of tone and the movie is definitely trying to sell us on that. The first trailer has threads of the David Fincher-directed thriller mixed with the sexuality of “Fifty Shades of Grey” with Blunt’s character being in the middle of it. She is a talented actress and it seems like she is being given a big stage to work on, but I’m not sold on Taylor being the right director to sell the intrigue like Fincher could.

“The Girl on the Train” opens on October 7.

 

11) The Birth of a Nation

What is it about: The film is written and directed by the first-time director Nate Parker, who took home the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for his work on this project. The movie follows Nat Turner (Parker), as he rises from child to adult and uses his knowledge of the Bible to be a preacher to the other slaves. As he works, he notices the scope of slavery and decides to become a different leader for them. The rest of the cast includes Armie Hammer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Gabrielle Union.

Why we should be excited: People were raving about the film after Sundance and how well Parker was at directing it, and the first trailer seemed to verify that. It plays so evocatively and at times, in a very visceral way. Parker seems to try to sway it from previous stories of slavery such as “12 Years a Slave” and tell a different story in a different light and this instantly looks to be a major Oscar contender both for him and his cast.

“The Birth of a Nation” opens on October 7.

 

jack-reacher

12) Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

What is it about: The sequel to the 2012 action film, “Jack Reacher,” finds Tom Cruise once again in the title role and on the run. Not much is known about the plot, but it seems to center around Reacher teaming up with military specialist Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders) to take down a plot from the inside. The movie is directed by Cruise’s director from “The Last Samurai,” Edward Zwick, and also stars Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper, and Danika Yarosh.

Why should we be excited: Watching Tom Cruise beat people up is just fun. That’s really the only reason. The first “Jack Reacher” movie was solid and while these don’t have the world-travelling fun that ensues in “Mission: Impossible,” there is something nice about the small-level action and more hand-to-hand moments that this series offers. Smulders is also a very lively actress to fans of the Marvel movies and her role as Maria Hill.

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” opens on October 21.
13) A Monster Calls

What is it about: From director J.A. Bayona, who will be taking over the “Jurassic Park” franchise soon, the film follows a boy seeks help from a tree monster as he tries to cope with his mother’s terminal illness. Felicity Jones stars as the mother with newcomer Lewis MacDouglass playing the boy and Liam Neeson voicing the tree monster. Toby Kebbell, Sigourney Weaver, and Geraldine Chaplin also star.

Why we should be excited: The trailer made it seem like a more exotic version of Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG” from earlier this year with stunning visuals and a much more dramatic plot. Bayona earned enough credit for this movie and “The Impossible” to be picked to take over for Colin Trevorrow with “Jurassic World 2” so it may be worth seeing this one to see if he can pull it off. Judging from the trailer, he may be perfect.

“A Monster Calls” opens on October 21.

14) Inferno

What is it about: Tom Hanks returns as Robert Langdon in the third movie in the “Da Vinci Code” series by director Ron Howard. This time, Langdon wakes up in Italy with amnesia and has to team-up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to uncover what he is forgetting and foil a global plot of destruction. The film also stars Ben Foster, Omar Sy, and Irrfan Khan.

Why we should be excited: The movies in this series have been popular even if the last one, “Angels and Demons,” was not as critically well-received. It seems odd to take 10 years to return to this franchise, but it seems like Howard and Hanks have a story they want to tell and the biblical history has always been a fascinating point.

“Inferno” opens on October 28.

 

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15) Doctor Strange

What is it about: The latest entry from Marvel stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Steven Strange, a surgeon who is forced to re-examine his life after his career is destroyed and a sorcerer (Tilda Swinton) takes him under her wing and trains him to hone his magical gifts to rid the world of evil. The film is directed by Scott Derrickson with a cast that also includes Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen, Benedict Wong, and Benjamin Bratt.

Why we should be excited: This looks like it may be Marvel’s most different and weird movie yet and I say that will the utmost excitement. They have teased a movie that will include mind-bending visuals and the trailers for this movie seem to promise that with moments that could put “Inception” to shame. Cumberbatch has been waiting for the blockbuster property to work on and he selected this one with the hopes it will churn out Marvel gold like the other entries. The biggest hurdle will be whether or not audiences will buy the eccentricities of this new hero.

“Doctor Strange” opens on November 4.

16) Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

What is it about: Leaving the more modern setting of “Harry Potter,” this spin-off takes us to the 1920s in New York City where recent Hogwarts castout, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), is interacting with the wizarding world of the United States and collecting information for his study in the magical creatures of the area. The film is directed by previous “Potter” director David Yates from a script by J.K. Rowling with Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Jon Voight rounding out the cast.

Why we should be excited: I doubt this needs to be hyped up anymore, but any new “Harry Potter” adventures are always exciting. Redmayne is one of the hot ticket actors right now and is hoping to make this “his series.” The biggest question facing this proposed trilogy is how it will separate itself from the “Potter” movies. Having some similarities is fine, but completely retreading what they did before will get redundant and boring very quickly.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” opens on November 18

17) Moana

What is it about: The latest Disney Animation movie follows a young woman named Moana (voiced by Auli’l Cravalho), who uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled land and is joined by the legendary demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson). The movie is directed by “Great Mouse Detective” and “Lilo & Stitch” directors Ron Clements and John Musker with songs by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda and a cast that also includes Alan Tudyk and Jemaine Clement.

Why we should be excited: The trailers for this already look utterly charming and the fact that names such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Taika Waititi (who wrote the script), and Dwayne Johnson are involved should get people stoked. Disney has been doing great work in the animation department lately and already have a bonafide hit this year with “Zootopia.” I assume they’ll have another with this one.

“Moana” opens on November 23.

 

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18) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

What is it about: The first “Star Wars” spin-off or anthology movie will be taking place before the events of the original trilogy with a band of rebels being sent on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. “Godzilla” director Gareth Edwards helms the film with a cast that includes Felicity Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelson, Donnie Yen, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, and James Earl Jones returning as the voice of Darth Vader.

Why we should be excited: It’s “Star Wars.” I don’t need to pump you up anymore for this. The most exciting quality is the concept, which sounds like it will explore new avenues in the “Star Wars” universe while also playing with some of the lore we recognize from the previous movies. This looks like a lot of fun and the cast is absolutely stellar.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens on December 16.

 

19) Passengers

What is it about: This science fiction movie comes from “The Imitation Game” director Morten Tyldum and stars Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt as passengers on a spacecraft that is taking thousands of sleeping people to a planet to colonize. Lawrence and Pratt’s characters wake up 60 years too early and are stuck on this ship together for that span of time.

Why we should be excited: Other than the fact that Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are together? The concept sounds very similar to something like “Moon” or “Gravity,” but with a more romantic angle. Plus you have two of the most charismatic actors working today stuck on a spaceship together. What could go wrong?

“Passengers” opens on December 21.

 

20) Assassin’s Creed

What is it about: Based on the popular video game series, “Assassin’s Creed” stars Michael Fassbender as Callum Lynch, who is taken to a secret facility and put into a machine known as the Animus, which allows him to travel back in time and re-enact the life of his ancestor, Aguilar, who lived during the Spanish Inquisition. The movie is directed by Fassbender’s “Macbeth” director, Justin Kurzel, and features a cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, and Ariane Labed.

Why we should be excited: The game’s concept has always begged to be put on the big screen and the first trailer for this seems to live up to that scope. While video game movies have tended to be flops, this one is hoping to buck the trend and possibly re-invent the genre. Will it succeed? Who knows. Will we get to stare at a shirtless Michael Fassbender? Absolutely.

“Assassin’s Creed” opens on December 21.

Time for you to weigh in! Which movie do you want to see?