As Blockbuster Season Ends, Hollywood Offers Action-Packed Fall

As Blockbuster Season Ends, Hollywood Offers Action-Packed Fall

6:27am Oct 20, 2015

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Led by dinosaurs and avengers, Hollywood just posted its second biggest summer ever, almost four and a half billion dollars at the box office. Not quite enough to beat out the summer of 2013, but it could end up being a record year. So critic Bob Mondello says Hollywood is pulling out its biggest guns between now and Thanksgiving.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "JAMES BOND THEME")

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: Start with an old friend, 007.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SPECTRE")

NAOMIE HARRIS: (As Eve Moneypenny) So what's going on, James? They say you're finished.

DANIEL CRAIG: (As James Bond) Well, what do you think?

HARRIS: (As Eve Moneypenny) I think you're just getting started.

MONDELLO: Of course he is, against an old foe led by an even older foe.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SPECTRE")

CRAIG: (As James Bond) This organization, do you know what it's called?

LEA SEYDOUX: (As Madeleine Swann) Its name is Spectre.

CHRISTOPH WALTZ: (As Franz Oberhauser) Welcome, James. You came across me so many times yet you never saw me. What took you so long?

MONDELLO: Well, in fairness, Bond's been busy. "Spectre" is his 24th official adventure. By comparison, young "Hunger Games" contestant Katniss Everdeen is a dewy-eyed newcomer, only on her fourth go-round, actually the second part of her third, battling President Snow.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MOCKINGJAY PART TWO")

JENNIFER LAWRENCE: (As Katniss Everdeen) He turns the best of us against each other.

MONDELLO: The girl on fire is setting the whole world on fire in "Mockingjay Part Two."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "MOCKINGJAY PART TWO")

LAWRENCE: (As Katniss Everdeen) Tonight, turn your weapons to the Capitol.

MONDELLO: Or you could turn your weapons on Latin American drug cartels as Emily Blunt does in "Sicario."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SICARIO")

EMILY BLUNT: (As Kate Macer) FBI.

JOSH BROLIN: (As Matt) You'll be part of the team.

BLUNT: (As Kate Macer) What's our objective?

BENICIO DEL TORO: (Alejandro) To dramatically overreact.

MONDELLO: "Sicario" is already garnering Oscar talk for it's harrowing, keep-you-off-balance story. Speaking of harrowing, got a fear of heights?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "EVEREST")

BROLIN: (As Beck Weathers) I'm at the top of Everest, Helen, we made it.

(CHEERING)

MONDELLO: In the movie "Everest," climbing the world's highest peak is the easy part.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Character) There is a massive storm headed your way.

MONDELLO: And if heights don't scare you, how about depths in another true story?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE 33")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As Character) Is that the only way in?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As Character) The only way in, the only way out.

MONDELLO: "The 33" is about 33 Chilean gold miners who made months of world headlines.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE 33")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: What was that?

MONDELLO: When a cave-in trapped them almost half a mile below ground. The lows and highs of "The 33" and "Everest" bracket a long list of true stories, a lot of biopics this fall. Among them, Michael Fassbender playing the most demanding boss a computer geek ever had in the movie "Steve Jobs."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STEVE JOBS")

MICHAEL FASSBENDER: (As Steve Jobs) You had three weeks. The universe was created in a third of that time.

JEFF DANIELS: (As John Sculley) Well, someday you'll have to tell us how you did it.

MONDELLO: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as French tightrope walker Philippe Petit in "The Walk."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE WALK")

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: (As Philippe Petit) I'm going to hang a high wire between the two towers of the World Trade Center and walk it.

MONDELLO: Johnny Depp, almost unrecognizable, as vicious, Boston-based gangster Whitey Bulger in "Black Mass."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BLACK MASS")

JOHNNY DEPP: (As Whitey Bulder) You said to me this is a family secret and you gave it up to me, boom, just like that.

MONDELLO: Also Robert Redford playing news anchor Dan Rather in "Truth," the story of how Rather lost his job at CBS, "Spotlight," which turns its spotlight on the Boston Globe as it uncovers the Catholic church's child abuse scandal, and "Trumbo," in which Brian Cranston blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "TRUMBO")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As Character) Are you not or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?

BRIAN CRANSTON: (As Dalton Trumbo) I'll write you a movie.

JOHN GOODMAN: (As Frank King) And you don't want your name on it.

CRANSTON: (As Dalton Trumbo) No, you don't want my name on it.

MONDELLO: Another story from that Cold War era, "Bridge Of Spies," has quite the pedigree - director Steven Spielberg, screenwriters Joel and Ethan Coen and a true story about a shot down CIA pilot and the nuclear brinksmanship it takes to get him back.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BRIDGE OF SPIES")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: (As Character) We've got a Soviet spy. We've got our spy pilot. We want you to negotiate the swap.

TOM HANKS: (As James Donovan) I'm an insurance lawyer.

MONDELLO: The Cold War won't be the only real world battle to be rethought on the big screen this fall. "Beasts Of No Nation" deals with child soldiers in Africa. "99 homes" tackles the housing crisis. Women's rights are at the center of "Suffragette." And the battle for gay rights gets underway in "Stonewall."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "STONEWALL")

JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS: (As Trevor) This is what we're fighting.

MONDELLO: "Stonewall" is one of so many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender films this fall, you may think your local multiplex is hosting an LGBT festival. Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett have sensuous 1950s affair in "Carol."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "CAROL")

CATE BLANCHETT: (As Carol Aird) Would you like to come visit me this Sunday?

ROONEY MARA: (As Therese Belivet) Yes.

BLANCHETT: (As Carol Aird) What a strange girl you are.

MONDELLO: Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are embattled lesbian partners in "Freeheld."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FREEHELD")

JULIANNE MOORE: (As Laurel Hester) My heterosexual colleagues die, their pensions go to their spouses. But because my partner is a woman, I don't get to do that.

MONDELLO: The film "Legend" features identical twin gangsters, both of them played by Tom Hardy and one of them gay.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LEGEND")

CHAZZ PALMINTERI: (As Angelo Bruno) Is she a nice girl? We'll get her for you.

TOM HARDY: (As Ronald Kray) I prefer boys.

PALMINTERI: You got some balls to admit that, kid.

MONDELLO: And in "The Danish Girl," Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne plays the man who was the first in the world for physically transition from male to female.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE DANISH GIRL")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As Character) The surgery has never been attempted before.

ALICIA VIKANDER: (As Gerda Wegener) You're my whole life. It could kill you.

EDDIE REDMAYNE: (As Einar Wegener) It's my only hope. This is not my body. I have to let it go.

MONDELLO: Let's let all of this go for a moment. Not every fall film is aiming for significance and awards. Some just want to be fun, "The Peanuts Movie," for instance, a computer generated visit to the imagination of Charles M. Schultz.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE PEANUTS MOVIE")

NOAH SCHNAPP: (As Charlie Brown) Excuse me. Sorry.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: (As Character) Charlie Brown, you blockhead.

MONDELLO: Also seeking family audiences will be "Pan," a prequel to the story of J.M. Barrie's boy who can fly.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "PAN")

MARA: (As Tiger Lily) If you don't believe, Peter, then neither will they.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #8: (As Character) You can't stay a kid forever, even in Neverland.

MONDELLO: A children's book series by R.L. Stine gets the 3-D special effects treatment in "Goosebumps."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "GOOSEBUMPS")

RYAN LEE: (As Champ) "The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena" - these are all "Goosebumps" manuscripts. Why are these books locked?

ODEYA RUSH: (As Hannah) Did you unlock a book?

JACK BLACK: (As R.L. Stine) Oh, no.

DYLAN MINNETTE: (As Zach Cooper) I'm sorry. I'll put it back where it belongs (unintelligible).

RUSH: (As Hannah) No, don't open it.

MONDELLO: Also for kids, Pixar's long-delayed "Good Dinosaur," which shows what would've happened if the Earth hadn't gotten hit by an asteroid millions of years ago and Dinosaurs had survived right up until there were cave boys they could play with.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE GOOD DINOSAUR")

RAYMOND OCHOA: (As Arlo) Hello?

MONDELLO: Adults will also have lighter alternatives, say, watching Anne Hathaway realize what she's gotten herself into when Robert De Niro joins her fashion website startup in "The Intern."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE INTERN")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As Character) Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about the senior intern program?

ANNE HATHAWAY: (As Jules Ostin) Seniors in high school or college?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As Character) No, no, no, no - seniors in life.

HATHAWAY: (As Jules Ostin) Hold on. What?

MONDELLO: That turns into a mentoring thing, not romance. For a light look at romance, there's "Sleeping With Other People."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE")

ALISON BRIE: (As Lainey) We come up with a safe word if we're having sexual tension.

JASON SUDEIKIS: (As Jake) You pick it.

BRIE: (As Lainey) Avocado.

SUDEIKIS: (As Jake) No. That's too sexual. That's too...

BRIE: (As Lainey) Avocado is too sexual?

SUDEIKIS: (As Jake) Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, you've got to see the way I eat an avocado. You'd be, like, that's - I - you know, do that to me.

MONDELLO: The dark side of that romantic equation plays out when Sanaa Lathan meets Michael Ealy in "The Perfect Guy."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE PERFECT GUY")

MICHAEL EALY: (As Carter) You know I'd never hurt you, right?

SANAA LATHAN: (As Leah) Do I?

EALY: (As Carter) Leah, open the door.

MONDELLO: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie explore the long-term consequences of a relationship going bad in "By The Sea."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BY THE SEA")

BRAD PITT: (As Roland) You want to hurt me?

>>JOLIE (As Vanessa) You're nothing.

PITT: (As Roland) Hurt me.

MONDELLO: Meanwhile, Bradley Cooper will thrive on the stress in his job in "Burnt."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BURNT")

BRADLEY COOPER: (As Adam Jones) I love every minute of it - the heat, the pressure, the violence.

MONDELLO: He's talking about cooking.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BURNT")

COOPER: (As Adam Jones) I don't want my restaurant to be a place where you come and eat. I want people to sit at that table and be sick with longing.

MONDELLO: An astronaut Matt Damon will be sick with longing when a sandstorm on the red planet forces his crew to take off without him in Ridley Scott's "The Martian."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE MARTIAN")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As Character) Commander, Mark is dead.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #11: (As Character) We have to go now.

MONDELLO: Problem being that Mark's not dead.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE MARTIAN")

MATT DAMON: (As Mark Watney) This will come as quite a shock to my crewmates and to NASA to the entire world, but I'm still alive - surprise.

MONDELLO: All of this before Thanksgiving, after which, films will mostly be getting out of the way of another space-travel movie...

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN WILLIAMS SONG, "OVERTURE")

MONDELLO: One for which audiences have been waiting more than a decade. I'm Bob Mondello. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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