In its infancy as a streaming service, Paramount+ has not yet committed to a heavy schedule of original productions. Despite having some popular shows like The Good Fight and Evil and brand new gems like Players, the service’s library of original films is woefully inadequate.
However, the streaming service really shines in providing older movies that don’t belong to Warner Bros. or Disney thanks to Paramount Pictures’ extensive back library. As an added bonus, (Paramount+) also features some fantastic international sports.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Up in the Air, Zodiac, and Collateral are just a few of the recent hits coming to Paramount+ in September, along with a bevy of oldies like The Quiet Man and Black Sunday and more current favorites like The Quiet Man and Black Sunday. These are a few of the top upcoming films on Paramount+ in September 2022.
The Ghost and the Darkness
Mixed reactions were met with the recent release of the “Idris Elba vs. a lion” film Beast, but nearly three decades ago, the magnificent “man vs. lion” film The Ghost and the Darkness made its debut.
Tsavo man-eaters were male lions who attacked and killed scores of construction workers and engineers building a railway in 1898, and this film is a fictitious dramatization of that event (and later dramatized in a 1907 book by John Henry Patterson).
In this tense and unsettling film, Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer play two men paid by the railroad company to go in and hunt down the lions. A brilliant allegory for colonialism and the “manifest destiny” concepts of western expansionism, helped along by Oscar-winning sound design and excellent performances.
Run & Gun
In Run & Gun, we follow Ray, a former criminal who has finally left the life of crime behind him and wants nothing more than to settle down with his family. This tiny action comedy is buoyed by the spirited and upbeat direction and writing of Christopher Borrelli, who promises a very breezy good time despite the film’s absolute lack of originality and form mastery.
Ben Milliken plays Ray with plenty of charisma, his Sydney accent and gorgeous bedhead serving as an appealing hook for a picture that occasionally borders on silliness but is nearly always entertaining. Even better, Richard Kind gets to portray a terrifying bad guy for a change.
The Descent, directed by Neil Marshall, is one of the best horror movies of the century so far thanks to its bleak tone, serious themes of survival and loss, and horrific monsters.
Having lost her husband and child in a vehicle accident, the film’s protagonist goes cave diving with her pals in a setup that has been used in countless other movies. The cave represents the unconscious, a place where these women fight their inner beasts in the most primal ways. It’s a feminist horror masterpiece that’s brutal and intense and Paramount+ is adding the sequel to it.
F/X, a 1986 action/mystery film, is vastly undervalued despite being an original and entertaining film. In the film, we follow an effects master who specializes in bloody B movies; the government hires him to fake the death of a mobster so that he may enter the Witness Protection Program.
However, things don’t go as planned on set, and the special effects master comes to suspect that he has been framed for a real murder that is being probed by the excellent Brian Dennehy character playing the extremely persistent detective. This is a great film that has held up surprisingly well over time and deserves to be recognized as a true classic.
10 Cloverfield Lane
When Dan Trachtenberg brought this sort-of sequel to J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster hit Cloverfield, nobody was expecting what they got. While taking place in the same universe and time period as the original, 10 Cloverfield Lane is a very different film, a Hitchcockian thriller more akin to Rope than the found-footage Godzilla.
Amazing Mary Elizabeth Winstead tries to leave the city during the alien invasion, but she has a mishap and ends up in John Goodman’s underground bunker.
This beautifully gripping drama demonstrated why Trachtenberg was the ideal director for the Predator prequel, as the three of them waited out the apocalyptic scenario and made predictions about the future while suffering from mental illness, paranoia, and claustrophobia.
On the Come Up
The Hate U Give, based on Angie Thomas’s novel, was one of the best (but least profitable) films about the Black experience in recent years, and now Paramount+ is adapting Thomas’s book On the Come Up into an original feature.
Sanaa Lathan (in her feature directorial debut), known for her roles in Harley Quinn, Succession, The Affair, and Nip/Tuck, will star in and helm the new film, which will follow a young lady who is determined to become a famous rapper while facing personal and financial hardships.
Despite the fact that Rap Sh!t, a recent HBO show, may have touched on similar ground, On the Come Up promises to be a more serious and dramatic take on the Black American Dream.
El Norte is one of the first great movies on the immigrant experience in the west. It follows a young brother and sister as they go from Guatemala via Mexico and into California in search of the American Dream and an escape from the financial and violent catastrophes back home.
The human cost of border control, coyotes, and globalization is front and center in this early 1980s film that has the ability to deepen the viewer’s understanding.
Travels of Buckaroo Banzai Through Time and Space
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is one of the best science fiction comedies of all time; it is a radically hilarious, philosophical, postmodern classic about a space cowboy who travels through space and time.
This is the type of movie where a watermelon appears in the middle of the screen during a scene set in a high-tech laboratory, prompting a character to wonder, “Why is there a watermelon there?” One person says, “I’ll tell you later.” The topic is never mentioned again in the film.
Weirdly Zen in tone, the picture is propelled by the adage “Wherever you go, there you are,” and stars Jeff Goldblum, Peter Weller, and John Lithgow in amusing turns. The film is a postmodern classic and a strange, vaguely satirical, ’80s masterpiece.
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