Movie still of two Wakandans playing drums in front of a mural of T'chala
movies, writing

November at the Movies

November is a surprisingly busy month, even with Disney making space for Black Panther (and then Avatar in December). Netflix is dropping a number of highly anticipated movies, and we also see the release of “smaller” festival darlings like The Fabelmans, The Wonder, and Bardo. I’ve also made a personal goal to get to 183 movies for the year (currently sitting at 144), since 365 divided by 2 is 182.5. I’m also hoping to do a little meta-analysis of the movies I picked over the year, how many I saw, and their general reception – probably using Rotten Tomatoes’ critic score.

My Father’s Dragon – Netflix, November 11th

From the studio behind the 2021 Best Animated Film Oscar Nominee, Wolfwalkers, My Father’s Dragon completely snuck up on me. Cartoon Saloon always brings beautiful, heartfelt movies to the screen with such sincerity, so I’m incredibly excited about this film. As has been the case in recent history, the voice cast list is impressive, including up and coming actors like Jacob Trembley (Luca) and Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things), as well as big names like Whoopi Goldberg, Ian McShane, Rita Moreno, Chris O’Dowd, Judy Greer, and Alan Cumming. (Special shoutout to one of my wife’s favorites, Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl fame.)

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Theaters, November 11th

I’ll be the first to admit to the waning quality of the Marvel properties as a whole – or maybe it’s just over-saturation? – but this film feels so much bigger than that. The first Black Panther film following the death of Chadwick Boseman, this film reckons with our loss of both the actor and the character. The film also sees the return of many fan favorite characters from the first movie, along with the introduction of Namor and Ironheart to the MCU. Who will be the new Black Panther? Is Namor a mutant? Will Winston Duke growl again? Ryan Cooglar – and Disney for that matter – has a lot riding on the success of this movie and I’m really hoping they can deliver.

Slumberland – Netflix, November 18th

This looks like a blend of A Wrinkle in Time and Alice and Wonderland and I’m definitely here for it. But more importantly, Jason Mamoa just looks like he’s having so much fun here!

The Fabelmans – Theaters, November 23rd

Movies about movies – it seems to be a little mini-theme going on this Fall between The Fabelmans and the December movie, Empire of Light (and to a lesser extent, See How They Run). This semi-autobiographical film from Steven Spielberg follows Sammy Fabelman as he grows up pulled between the world of science (his father) and the arts (his mother). I’m always excited to see Michelle Williams, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get past Paul Dano’s recent stint as the Riddler and will probably spend the entire movie questioning his motives.

And a bonus pick –

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Theaters, November 23rd, Netflix, December 23rd

Adding this in the ‘bonus pick’ slot since most people will see it when it releases on Netflix at the end of December. I have tickets to watch it on the big screen, and I’m so excited to see the return of this Daniel Craig vehicle (his questionable southern accent aside). Rian Johnson takes us back to the world of Benoit Blanc (Craig) with another star-studded cast. My only hesitation for this film comes from how winning Ana de Armas and Christopher Plummer’s characters were in the original, and how they’re relationship became the emotional core of the film. Hopefully some of this new cast will give that gooey center that the first film orchestrated so well.