We’ve known the writer and actor strikes would cause some adjustments to our viewing options, but the September 2023 movie list is worth noting. The handful of original features hitting the big screen are seriously overshadowed by all the sequels. Yes, I know, follow-ups to prior hits were in the works before the strike. It’s just odd to me that SO MANY are releasing at the same time.
Even with that in mind, there are plenty of options (sequels and originals) for all ages of the family. I mean, if it’s a franchise you enjoy then by all means hit the theaters for the sequels. And if you haven’t watched their predecessor lately, they’re probably being featured on one of the streaming services in preparation for the sequels.
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The Equalizer 3
Since giving up his life as a government assassin, Robert McCall (Denzel Washington) has struggled to reconcile the horrific things he’s done in the past and finds a strange solace in serving justice on behalf of the oppressed. Finding himself surprisingly at home in Southern Italy, he discovers his new friends are under the control of local crime bosses. As events turn deadly, McCall knows what he has to do: become his friends’ protector by taking on the mafia.
The Good Mother
The film follows a journalist grieving the murder of her son who forms an unlikely alliance with his pregnant girlfriend (Olivia Cooke) to track down the killers in the seedy world of drugs and corruption.
The Nun II
1956 – France. A priest is murdered. An evil is spreading. The sequel to the worldwide smash hit follows Sister Irene as she once again comes face-to-face with Valak, the demon nun.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3
The worldwide phenomenon My Big Fat Greek Wedding is coming back to theaters with a brand-new adventure. Join the Portokalos family as they travel to a family reunion in Greece for a heartwarming and hilarious trip full of love, twists and turns. Opa!
“The Inventor” follows famed inventor and artist Leonardo da Vinci after he leaves Italy for France. In his new country, da Vinci joins the French court where he experiments with flying contraptions, invents machines and studies the human body, all in an effort to answer the question: “What is the meaning of life?”
A Haunting in Venice
“A Haunting in Venice” is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve and is a terrifying mystery featuring the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile in the world’s most glamorous city, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets.
Reuniting as the team of elite mercenaries, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone are joined for the first time by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia. Armed with every weapon they can get their hands on and the skills to use them, The Expendables are the world’s last line of defense and the team that gets called when all other options are off the table. But new team members with new styles and tactics are going to give “new blood” a whole new meaning.
Dumb Money is the ultimate David vs. Goliath tale, based on the insane true story of everyday people who flipped the script on Wall Street and got rich by turning GameStop (yes, the mall videogame store) into the world’s hottest company. In the middle of everything is regular guy Keith Gill (Paul Dano), who starts it all by sinking his life savings into the stock and posting about it. When his social posts start blowing up, so does his life and the lives of everyone following him. As a stock tip becomes a movement, everyone gets rich – until the billionaires fight back, and both sides find their worlds turned upside down.
PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie
When a magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City, it gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into The MIGHTY PUPS! For Skye, the smallest member of the team, her new powers are a dream come true. But things take a turn for the worse when the pups’ arch-rival Humdinger breaks out of jail and teams up with a mad scientist to steal the superpowers for the two villains. With the fate of Adventure City hanging in the balance, the Mighty Pups have to stop the supervillains before it’s too late, and Skye will need to learn that even the smallest pup can make the biggest difference.
Amidst a future war between the human race and the forces of artificial intelligence, Joshua (Washington), a hardened ex-special forces agent grieving the disappearance of his wife (Chan), is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the elusive architect of advanced AI who has developed a mysterious weapon with the power to end the war… and mankind itself. Joshua and his team of elite operatives journey across enemy lines, into the dark heart of AI-occupied territory… only to discover the world-ending weapon he’s been instructed to destroy is an AI in the form of a young child.
The Kill Room
The Kill Room is a dark comedic thriller follows an art dealer (Uma Thurman) who teams with a hitman (Joe Manganiello) and his boss (Samuel L. Jackson) for a money laundering scheme that accidentally turns the hitman into an overnight Avant-Garde sensation, forcing the dealer to play the art world against the underworld.
John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is back. The most chilling installment of the SAW franchise yet explores the untold chapter of Jigsaw’s most personal game. Set between the events of SAW I and II, a sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer – only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, John returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through a series of ingenious and terrifying traps.
D*cks: The Musical (Movie title edited: algorithms didn’t like it)
Two self-obsessed businessmen discover they’re long-lost identical twins and come together to plot the reunion of their eccentric divorced parents, in this riotously funny and depraved musical.
The nice thing about sequels is that sometimes it highlights a major hit you missed the first time around. There is at least one movie in September where that’s the case for me and the sequel has driven an interest in learning more about the series. Of course, I’m also looking forward to seeing Dumb Money because we watched that true story unfold in real time. It will be interesting to see how it’s reflected on the big screen.
How often does release of a sequel make you want to go back and watch the original?