Temps may be cooling, but things are heating up this fall at the cinema with several highly anticipated flicks, including some that were several years in the making

BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI

THE LIGHTHOUSE
OCTOBER 18 (RATED R)
Return to 1801, when two Welsh lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, commanding most of the screen time) weather a raging storm in their lighthouse. Loosely based on a true story, but script influences also include works by Herman Melville, Robert Louis Stevenson, and H.P. Lovecraft. The extreme cold, winds, and rain depicted were largely real. (According to IMDB.com, three Nor’easters actually occurred during production.)

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LUCY IN THE SKY
OCTOBER 4 (RATED R)
Buzz around the galaxy is high for this sci-fi story of astronaut Lucy Cola (Natalie Portman), who returns to Earth and confronts challenges back home. Produced by Reese Witherspoon, and the supporting cast includes Nick Oerman and Jon Hamm as her colleague/ love interest, with additional support from Dan Stevens, Jeffrey Donovan (of USA Network’s Burn Notice), Ellen Burstyn, and Tig Notaro. Portman’s hairstyle is an homage to the late Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space.

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DOLOMITE IS MY NAME
OCTOBER 4 (RATED R)
Eddie Murphy returns to the big screen as Rudy Ray Moore, aka “Dolomite,” a real 1970s entertainer who renamed himself after the mineral and created an alter ego to match (see this issue’s “Insider” for more info). Among those Moore influenced were Snoop Dog and Busta Rhymes (both invited him to appear on albums). Co-stars include Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Rock, and Craig Robinson.

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MA Spread

THE ADDAMS FAMILY
OCTOBER 11 (RATED PG)
This animated version of Charles Addams’s series of cartoons about a lovably ghoulish family is co-directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon and voice-stars Charlize Theron as Morticia, Chloë Grace Moretz as Wednesday, and Oscar Isaac as Gomez

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MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
OCTOBER 18 (UNRATED)
Angelina Jolie returns as the villain from 2014’s Maleficent, further bending the tale of Sleeping Beauty with new material. Timed to mark the 60th Anniversary of Disney’s original, the characters, including a grown Aurora (Elle Fanning), get into more wedding planning drama than those of the average reality show. Mayhem, evil, dazzling special effects, and hurt feelings among the relatives send things south. Michelle Pfeier plays the queen, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, Juno Temple, and Imelda Staunton are also on board.

MALEFICENT, Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, 2014. ph: Frank Connor/©Walt Disney Studios Motion

GEMINI MAN
OCTOBER 11 (RATED PG-13)
Ang Lee directs Will Smith in this action-packed thriller. No spoilers if the premise is yet unknown to readers, but suffice to say Henry Brogan (Smith), an aging assassin, makes a startling discovery about a younger operative hot on his heels. The fi lm has reportedly been in the works since 1997, with Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford among those considered for the lead, but digital face-aging technology had to evolve before proper effects could be achieved. Praising the technical skill and dedication of his crew, Lee said, “I truly hope that this movie delivers a completely new theatrical cinematic experience to audiences across the world.”

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ZOMBIELAND 2: DOUBLE TAP
OCTOBER 18 (UNRATED)
Released on the tenth anniversary of 2009’s Zombieland, this sequel to the horror/comedy hit, about four strangers during a zombie outbreak, explores a later time when three different types of zombies are wreaking havoc. Big names ate this material up, evidenced by the stars on board: Woody Harrelson, Bill Murray, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, and Dan Aykroyd (as himself). The cast includes an Oscar winner (Stone) and five nominees, and Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live fans are gushing over the Murray/Aykroyd reunion.

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