A blog about movies and filmmaking.

Bye Bye Summer, Hello Fall

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Well, overall I’d have to say that the Summer was a bust. Yes, there were a few pretty great “event” movies (INCEPTION, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD) and some fantastic indie movies that managed to make their mark (CYRUS, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, SPLICE); but for the most part a lot of the movies stunk – and the ones I involuntarily missed, I don’t feel too bad about not seeing.

But, all that’s over and done with, on to the new season. New movies that will entertain, enthrall and might actually have story-lines worth paying attention to. But, instead of doing the complete list of all of the movies that I’m looking forward to this fall (there’s 26 of them), I’m only going to focus on the top 10 that I feel will be must see’s – and not too surprisingly, considering some of the filmmakers involved.

1. THE TOWN (Sept. 17), the new movie written and directed by Ben Affleck – the man behind one of the movies I think have reached the best of the past five years, GONE BABY GONE – also starring Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Affleck, himself. It focusses on a gang of bank-robbers from a suburb of Boston and the FBI-agent trying to catch them. And yeah, there’s gun fights, love interests, turmoil and a great moment (that I saw in a quick preview) of a cop not reacting very well to seeing bank robbers.

I’m excited for the movie, because of the aforementioned GONE BABY GONE, which showed me that Affleck is someone that is a true filmmaker. Yes, he’s made movies like PAYCHECK and PEARL HARBOR; but he’s paid his penance.

2. WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS (Sept. 24), I have to admit grabbed me from the opening moments of it’s initial teaser trailer. The not-much-asked-for-but-seemingly-perfectly-timed sequel to the Oliver Stone movie from 1987. Trading on (heh) the financial woes, of both the gregarious Gordon Gecko – played by Michael Douglas – and well, most of the world; the new movie has Shia LeBeouf, Carey Mulligan, and just looks interesting.

I will say this is the first movie of Stone’s that I’ve looked forward to since W. – and was only luke-warm on that one. But, I’m interested to know how a sequel to a movie like WALL STREET will work.

3. THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Oct. 1), with a script by Aaron Sorkin (THE WEST WING), directed by David Fincher, and starring Jesse Eisenberg; I think that this movie could be a likely successor to THE GRADUATE. It’s got the rebellious, nebbish protagonist – whose rich, and his pains of dealing with moving into the adult world. Am I saying THE SOCIAL NETWORK will have the same staying power – I mean, let’s face it, it is a movie about Facebook; no. But, I think it’s going to be a great movie, that Fincher has been building up to from his highly under-appreciated ZODIAC and also with the more mainstream, heart-string pulling THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON.

I love David Fincher, that’s the main appeal of this movie to me.

4. LET ME IN (Oct. 1) is a remake/re-imagining of the 2009 Nordic movie about two adolescents that fall in love in an unusual way and have to deal with the fact that one’s a vampire. The original was a fantastic movie full of suspense, true horror, and presenting one of the most perfect aspects of growing up as a kid who’s bullied all the time. This time out we have the American talents of Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) directing; Kodi Smit-McPhee (THE ROAD), Chloe Moretz (KICKASS) and Richard Jenkins; and from some of the trailers, a pretty close yet completely different interpretation of the movie I already love.

5. HEREAFTER (Oct. 22), is a supernatural movie set to be released near Halloween. Who’da thunk it? Difference being, this movie stars Matt Damon, Bryce Dallas Howard and is directed by Clint Eastwood. I’ll admit, I know nothing about this movie other than what I just wrote above. But, having been a life-long fan of Eastwood’s career – in front and behind the camera – and loving movies like THE BEGUILED – which is sort of a Civil War-era MISERY (Spoilers?) – and of movies in the vein of THE SIXTH SENSE (let’s be honest, I doubt Eastwood is making a new FRIDAY THE 13TH this late in his career); I’m sold.

6. DUE DATE (Nov. 5th), and after the not-so-light fare that’s come before, is the follow-up from THE HANGOVER crew; including director Todd Phillips, star Zach Galifianakis, and newcomer (to this crew) Robert Downey, Jr. The story’s pretty much a PLANES, TRAINS & AUTOMOBILES journey into mismatched travelers, but with all involved; it’s bound to be great.

7. 127 HOURS (Nov. 5th), directed by Danny Boyle; starring James Franco, and about a guy who goes hiking alone in a desert; gets pinned under a rock; and cuts his arm off to live, is based on a true story. Much like with HEREAFTER and Eastwood, I’m looking forward to seeing Boyle tackle a movie that most recently has only really been covered by the likes of Gus Van Sant (GERRY) and Sean Penn (INTO THE WILD); which ought to give you a clue as to why this is interesting. Meaning edgy, possibly wanky territory of a lone actor walking around not doing stuff. (No offense to Van Sant or Penn.)

8. HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1 (Nov. 19), might be the one big blockbuster on the list. And it might seem a bit cliche, but I have to admit that the past few POTTER movies have left me wanting more. David Yates’ style (and Mike Newell’s GOBLET OF FIRE – I’m not getting into the whole thing about Alfonso Cuaron’s PRISONER OF AZKABAN) has melded perfectly with this franchise. I love the goopy, neon “magic bolts”; I love how dark and completely adult the movies have gotten.

And well, I haven’t read the books, so I’m the only one that doesn’t know how the story ends. Will Harry Potter live?! (I know he does…also possibly a spoiler.)

9. BLACK SWAN (Dec. 1), has only just released it’s first trailer a couple weeks ago. Since then though, it’s now been screened at a number of film festivals; and I can’t wait. The story to me looks like a cross between THE WRESTLER and PI; which if you know Darren Aronofsky’s style of filmmaking (and the fact that he made all three of these movies), you’ll know sort of what I’m expecting. Of course the money shot comes at the end of the trailer…Which like all these movies, I’m leaving to you to venture out and find or just go in cold.

But, the movie stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis (THE BOOK OF ELI), Vincent Cassel (OCEANS 12?) and is about ballet. What’s not to interest you?

For the tenth movie slot, I’m going to cheat. Because, I actually miscounted and there’s eleven. BUT!! The interesting thing I just realized is, is that they both contain the same leading actor. The man is Jeff Bridges, and the movies are TRON: LEGACY (Dec. 17) and TRUE GRIT (Dec. 25).

TRON: LEGACY, the second sequel on my list – that if you’d asked me five years ago what movies would you never expect there to be sequels to, still wouldn’t have crossed my mind – is indeed a reinvigorating of the TRON franchise from the original 1982 movie. I don’t remember much of the original other than light cycles, day-glo spandex costumes, and David Warner seemingly reprising his role from TIME BANDITS. But this new one looks pretty amazing. A mix of the original with a little THE MATRIX thrown in for good measure. Oh and a CGI-youthenized Bridges. (He’s in there older too. Don’t worry.)

TRUE GRIT, on the other hand is a remake of a classic western. Reprising the role of “Rooster” Cogburn – played by John Wayne in the original, you heathen – is Bridges; also reteaming with The Coen Brothers for the first time since THE BIG LEBOWSKI. But along for the ride is Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and semi-newcomer Hailee Steinfeld.

I mean, it’s The Dude with The Coens; in a western. There’s not even a trailer yet and I’ve already told my family I’ll be at the theater on Christmas Day instead of with them.

And those are the ten movies that I feel I have to see this fall/winter. It’ll take into the end of the year and through all the movies that will be clamoring for awards next spring. But, don’t let this list make you think I only care about the event or high-profile movies. There actually are a couple more I want to mention real quick – don’t worry, I’ll just name them (especially since some are “best left unknown” kinds of stories).

– NEVER LET ME GO, directed by Mark Romanek; Sept. 17.

– CATFISH; Sept 17 (limited).

– BURIED, starring Ryan Reynolds; Sept. 24.

– STONE, with Edward Norton conning De Niro again (a la 2001’s THE SCORE); Oct. 8.

– SKYLINE, aliens taking over on a low-budget; Nov. 12.

Check them all out, won’t you. And what movies might you be looking forward to? (I love these questions meant to merit responses from readers, but for the most part, don’t. I know you’re out there!!)

  1. With the bickering of original vs remake surrounding “Let me in”, I’m getting curious. I’m going to watch the original before watching this one. But then again, I sometimes watch horror movies for reasons other than the story, such as Quarantine for Jennifer Carpenter, Christine for the Plymouth Fury, The Stand for the novelized Bible theme, etc.

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