New movies this month include the inspirational “90 Minutes in Heaven,” a thrilling trip to “Everest,” new installments of the “Hotel Transylvania” and “Maze Runner” franchises and lots more. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and Blu-ray this month. Note that release dates are subject to change.
90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN
PG-13 for intense accident and injury images | In Theaters 9/11 | Ok for Kids 12+ | Giving Films | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels | 90 Minutes in Heaven
Based on the incredible true story and New York Times bestseller, this movie follows the life of Don Piper (Hayden Christensen), who died Jan. 18, 1989 when a semi-tractor truck crushed his car. Declared dead by the first rescue workers to arrive on the scene, Don’s body lay under a tarp for the next 90 minutes. His soul, meanwhile, was experiencing love and joy like he’d never known before – in Heaven.
When a pastor’s prayer helps bring Don back to life, he becomes a living miracle, but also experiences pain and emotional turmoil. With the support and prayers of his beloved Eva (Kate Bosworth), their three kids and friends near and far, Don clings to his faith in God and fights to regain a semblance of his previous life.
Directed by Michael Polish, this inspirational movie also stars Dwight Yoakam, Elizabeth Hunter and Fred Thompson.
PG-13 for intense peril and disturbing images | In Theaters 9/18 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 13+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | Everest
Inspired by the incredible events surrounding a treacherous attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, “Everest” documents the journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms in history.
Their mettle tested by the harsh elements, the climbers face impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival. Directed by Baltasar Kormakur, this movie features an all-star cast, including Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Jake Gyllenhaal, Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington.
MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS
Not yet rated; likely PG-13 | In Theaters 9/18 (2D, 3D, IMAX 3D | Ok for Kids 12+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | The Maze Runner
This sequel to the 2014 hit movie follows Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) and his fellow Gladers as they face their greatest challenge yet: searching for clues about the mysterious and powerful organization known as WCKD. Their journey takes them to the Scorch, a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.
Teaming up with resistance fighters, the Gladers take on WCKD’s vastly superior forces and uncover its shocking plans for them all. Directed by Wes Ball (who also helmed the first movie), this movie is based on the book by James Dashner and also stars Patricia Clarkson, Giancarlo Esposito, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Aidan Gillen.
PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language | In Theaters 9/25 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | The Intern
In this cute comedy from director Nancy Meyers – a favorite of mine who also helmed “It’s Complicated” and “Something’s Gotta Give” – Robert De Niro plays Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who’s discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). This movie also stars Anders Holm, Rene Russo, Nat Wolff and Linda Lavin.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Not yet rated; likely PG | In Theaters 9/25 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Sony Pictures Animation | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels | Welcome To Hotel T
The Drac pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure! Everything is changing at Hotel Transylvania. Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening its doors to human guests.
But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and old-school dad is about to pay a visit to the hotel.
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (who also directed the first movie), this cute family film features the voice talent of Mel Brooks, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Steve Buscemi and Selena Gomez.
PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking | In Theaters 9/30 (2D, IMAX 3D) | Ok for Kids 11+ | TriStar, Sony | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels | The Walk
Twelve people have walked on the moon, but only one man has ever walked the immense void between the World Trade Center towers. Guided by his real-life mentor, Papa Rudy (Ben Kingsley), and aided by an unlikely band of international recruits, Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his crew overcome long odds, betrayals, dissension and countless close calls to conceive and execute their mad plan.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this thrilling movie also stars James Badge Dale and Charlotte Le Bon.
NEW ON DVD/BLU-RAY:
20 HALLOWEEN STORIES: SCHOLASTIC STORYBOOK TREASURES CLASSIC COLLECTION
Not Rated | On DVD 9/1 | Ok for Kids 4+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
This wonderful collection of spooky tales and silly stories, faithfully adapted from classic books, is the perfect way to get kids reading. The set includes: Where the Wild Things Are, Creepy Carrots, Dinosaur Bones, The Day of the Dead, Dem Bones, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman, A Very Brave Witch, Space Case, Diary of a Spider, Los Gatos Black on Halloween, By the Light of the Halloween Moon, A Dark, Dark Tale, What’s Under My Bed, Strega Nona, The Three Robbers, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, The Trip, Georgie, and The Wizard.
ALPHA & OMEGA: THE LEGEND OF THE SAW TOOTH CAVE
Not Rated | Release Date 9/1 | Ok for Kids 5+ | Reel Review: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
The Alphas and Omegas share a thrilling adventure filled with suspense, humor and heartwarming moments after Runt – Kate and Humphrey’s Omega wolf cub – sneaks off to explore the haunted Saw Tooth Cave.
When Runt finds a wolf who’s been driven from her pack for being different, he musters all his courage to help her – and learns the joys of lending a paw to a friend in need. A great way to chat with kids about accepting and embracing each others’ differences.
SCOOBY-DOO: GOBLIN KING/ABRACADABRA-DOO
Not Rated | On DVD 9/1 | Ok for Kids 5+ | Reel Review: 3.5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
Scooby-Doo and the gang keep rolling along year after year – thank goodness! This 2-movie set includes “Goblin King,” in which our heroes board the Grim Reaper Railroad bound for the fantastic world of Halloween Land to retrieve the powerful Goblin Scepter from the Goblin King before the villainous Krudsky can.
Along the way, the Mystery Inc. crew encounters the Headless Horseman, the helpful Jack O’Lantern and a frisky broomstick that takes them on the ride of their afterlife. In”Abracadabra-Doo,” a secluded school for magicians faces danger from a fantastical flying creature outside and sinister forces inside. Can Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Velma learn enough tricks of the trade to uncover the secrets that will save the school? We all know the answer, but it’s a hauntingly fun ride getting there.
YU-GI-OH! 5DS SEASON 2
Not Rated | On DVD 9/8 | Ok for Kids 8+ | Reel Review: 4 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
This 8-DVD set includes all 38 episodes of season two of the popular “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5DS” series. With the defeat of Director Goodwin and the Dark Signers, New Domino City s barriers have been torn down.
City and Satellite are now one – united in the hope of building a brighter tomorrow. Yet in this time of renaissance and rebuilding, a new enemy emerges, and Yusei and his friends must rev it up in order to save the world — one duel at a time.
MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC: GAMES PONIES PLAY
Not Rated | On DVD 9/29 | Ok for Kids 3+ | Reel Review: 5 of 5 Reels | Buy on Amazon
Sportsmanship is put to the ultimate test in Equestria, as your favorite Ponies – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy – prepare for the Games Ponies Play! Included are six awesome adventures that will teach kids all about overcoming the challenges of competition through the magic of friendship.
Will Spike be able to build up the courage to light the ceremonial Equestria Games torch? Who’s the best athlete in Equestria? And will it matter, when true friendship is on the line? Another great installment of the MLP franchise.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Images used with permission of the studios and distributors.