Film

Fall Arts Preview 2010


Above and Beyond Readings Art Galleries Dance Music: Pop, Rock, Folk, Jazz Music: Classical and Opera Stage Film

Dates subject to change at the whim of a studio executive.

SEPTEMBER

A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP – Director Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers) remakes the Coen brothers’ first film, Blood Simple. Swapping China for the U.S. and swords for guns, the betrayal at the heart of the story needs no translation. (9/17)

ALPHA AND OMEGA – Fist-bumping cartoon wolves in a film that’s made by neither Pixar nor DreamWorks. Sounds howl-able. (9/17)

CATFISH – Could Catfish be this year’s Blair Witch Project or Paranormal Activity? The film claims to be a documentary about online romance that turns into a gripping mystery, but finding out that it’s just a marketing ploy won’t be a shocking ending. (9/17)

DEVIL – How do you know your career is in a freefall? When people see your name in a trailer and laugh. That’s what happened to M. Night Shyamalan when Devil was announced. It’s only based on a story he wrote about people trapped in an elevator, so maybe there will be a happy ending for this film. (9/17)

EASY A – A girl (Emma Stone) pretends to sleep with her gay friend to bolster his rep, but gets branded a slut. Could this be the next, great Mean Girls? We’re suddenly excited about going back to school. (9/17)

THE FREEBIE – In Indecent Proposal it was extramarital sex for money. In Humpday it was extramarital gay sex for porn. In The Freebie, it’s just for sex. Director and star Katie Aselton plays opposite Dax Shepard as a couple who decide to take the night off from their marital vows. (9/17)

THE TOWN – If Ben Affleck pulls this one off, it’s going to be a huge score. Starring in and directing this thriller about a bank heist, Affleck is joined by Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall and Blake Lively. (9/17)

THE VIRGINITY HIT – What do teens like today? Facebook and sex. So The Virginity Hit combines the two: a hapless teen trying to lose his virginity and how it’s shared with the masses online. Looks like this concept might be a little flaccid. (9/17)

HOWL – James Franco is Allen Ginsberg. Put on trial for obscenity, Howl attempts to paint a picture of the legendary gay poet. Also stars Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeff Daniels. (9/24)

JACK GOES BOATING – Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his directorial debut and also stars in this relationship-driven film with a heavy swimming metaphor. The charming Amy Ryan plays his love interest. (9/24)

LEGEND OF THE GUARDIANS: THE OWLS OF GA’HOOLE – Owls star in this adaptation of the popular series of kids’ books. Director Zack Snyder gets to show off his softer side after films like Dawn of the Dead, 300 and Watchmen. It’s 3D, of course. (9/24)

NEVER LET ME GO – From the author of The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go follows three friends at a very special boarding school in England. Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley are joined by Andrew Garfield, the recently anointed new Spider-Man. (9/24)

WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS – Oliver Stone revisits his world from 1987 in this update, with Michael Douglas reprising the role as Gordon Gekko. As the next generation, Shia LaBeouf is the determined upstart who falls for Gekko’s daughter (Carey Mulligan). We predict a crash. (9/24)

YOU AGAIN – How many actresses does it take to headline a comedy? Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Betty White, Kristin Chenoweth and Kristen Bell play multiple generations of feuding women. Will hilarity ensue or will the stars become the punchline? (9/24)

OCTOBER

The Social Network
The Social Network

BURIED ­– Ryan Reynolds. Need more of a reason to see the film? He plays a truck driver buried alive with only a dying cell phone and a lighter. Claustrophobics beware. (10/1)

FREAKONOMICS – Six directors for the price of one movie ticket? That’s a good return, but perhaps a diminishing one. Can even six directors keep economics interesting? Based on the best-selling book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. (10/1)

LET ME IN – Can America remake the amazing Swedish film, Let the Right One In, without ruining it? Cloverfield director Matt Reeves is going to try, but maintaining the original film’s grit is going to be tough. At least the kid stars, The Road‘s Kodi Smit-McPhee and Kick-Ass‘s Chloe Moretz, are accustomed to tougher material. (10/1)

THE SOCIAL NETWORK – It’s so meta that The Social Network has a Facebook fan page. Aaron Sorkin adapts Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book, The Accidental Billionaires, about the founding of Facebook. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, it’s now just a question of how many of Facebook’s 500 million members will leave their computers to see how the biggest time-suck in history began. (10/1)

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN – From the director of An Inconvenient Truth comes another film about America wasting a natural resource: the next generation. Public schools are the focus of Davis Guggenheim’s new documentary, which includes a look at D.C.’s own school system. (10/1)

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE – It’s October, and time to start the gory filmfest. After a brutal attack, a young woman (Sarah Butler) extracts bloody revenge on the perpetrators. Whether trick or treat, cringe-worthy scenes are sure to be handed out. A remake of the ’70s exploitation hit. (10/8)

INSIDE JOB – Director Charles Ferguson, whose last documentary No End in Sight took the Bush administration to task for the occupation of Iraq, returns with an examination of the 2008 economic collapse. Matt Damon narrates a familiar tale of greed. (10/8)

IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY – It’s Kind of a Funny Story looks like kind of a poignant story. Craig (Keir Gilchrist) learns a lot about life when institutionalized in the adult psychiatric ward. With Zach Galifianakis playing a fellow patient, it might be worth checking in for this one. (10/8)

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT – Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel unexpectedly have to raise a child and overcome their dislike for each other. It’s been 10 years since Greg Berlanti directed his last film, The Broken Hearts Club, and it’s nice to see how much he’s sold-out. (10/8)

MY SOUL TO TAKE – Director Wes Craven brings another scream-fest to the big screen with My Soul to Take. Could a killer have been reborn in an unsuspecting teen? Showing in 3D, Craven runs the risk of focusing too much on the technology and not enough on the scares. (10/8)

NOWHERE BOY – First Kick-Ass, now John Lennon. Aaron Johnson is having a good – and varied – year. Johnson is joined by Kristin Scott Thomas in the ”untold story” of the boy who became a Beatle. (10/8)

SECRETARIAT – Black Beauty, Seabiscuit, Flicka and now Secretariat is the latest horse to get a movie deal. Diane Lane and John Malkovich are also in the winner’s circle for this feel-good horse tale. (10/8)

TAMARA DREWE – Director Stephen Frears (The Queen) takes on a lighter subject matter in Tamara Drewe. Set in the English countryside, Tamara (Gemma Arterton) usually gets her way, but that may change when she meets the hunky Andy (Luke Evans). (10/8)

TODAY’S SPECIALDaily Show regular Aasif Mandvi co-wrote this spicy food-themed comedy with Jonathan Bines, a writer from Jimmy Kimmel Live! It’s nice to see not all late-night shows hate each other. (10/8)

YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER – Woody Allen is back with his witty relationships, wacky characters and a stellar cast. This one includes Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas and Gemma Jones. (10/8)

CARLOS – We don’t care how many people the legendary assassin known as ”The Jackal” killed, it doesn’t justify a five-hour long biopic. (10/15)

CONVICTION – Convinced that her brother was wrongly convicted, a woman (Hilary Swank) goes to law school in order to get him released. Based on a true story, Swank is joined by Sam Rockwell as the incarcerated brother and Minnie Driver as a fellow student. (10/15)

GERRYMANDERING – A documentary about politicians doing everything they can to stay in power. The unofficial sequel will be held in congressional districts all across the country on Nov. 2. (10/15)

JACKASS 3D – Stupid guys doing stupid, dangerous things in 3D. (10/15)

REDRED stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous or, in our case, Really Excited Damnit! We’ll take any excuse to see Helen Mirren use a machine gun. That she’s joined by Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker and John Malkovich is just icing on the scone. (10/15)

STONE – Edward Norton in cornrows? This prison-set drama/thriller will have to be pretty good to overcome this hair-don’t. But if anyone can do it, it’s co-stars
Robert De Niro and Milla Jovovich. (10/15)

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST – Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) has been raped, beaten and shot, but now it’s time for her to seek revenge. The final Swedish film based on Stieg Larsson’s wildly popular trilogy will hit theaters before the first American version starts to ruin them. (10/15)

BEARCITY — Reel Affirmations may be postponed to spring, but One in Ten is staying on the cinematic radar with a few tempting screenings this fall. First up this film by Doug Langway and Lawrence Ferber about a group of bears getting ready for a week-long bear-a-thon (Oct. 16, Harman Center for the Arts)

A NIGHT OF DADT ON SCREEN – The second offering from One in Ten includes A Marine Story, a drama starring Dreya Weber and Alex Everett and Out of Annapolis, a documentary that tells the stories of eleven gay former sailors and Marines who attended Annapolis in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s (10/22, U.S. Naval Memorial Theatre)

HEREAFTER – Clint Eastwood and Matt Damon reunite after last year’s successful Invictus. Damon trades a rugby ball for a crystal ball as a psychic who can communicate with the dead. It’s a big shift for Eastwood, but the script by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) could soften the old guy. (10/22)

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 – We hope this film doesn’t fall victim to the curse. Not of the house, but the sequel curse that befell The Blair Witch Project 2. ‘Cause that was a nightmare. (10/22)

THE COMPANY MEN – Ben Affleck plays a corporate man who has to rebuild his career after being fired. Maybe Daredevil was just prep for this role. (10/22)

MONSTERS – Scary monsters descend on the planet and threaten the existence of humankind. It could be great like District 9. Or not. (10/29)

SAW 3D – Thank goodness they can drop the number and just call it 3D (for those counting, it would have been Saw VII — that way people might not remember how many of these films weren’t worth making. (10/29)

THE KIDS GROW UP – A documentary about kids growing up, but we’re not sure if they’re all right. (10/29)

WASTE LAND – A documentary about workers at the largest dump in the world. We’re not sure if they’re all right either. (10/29)

NOVEMBER

127 HOURS – James Franco stars in this biopic about a daredevil who gets trapped between a rock and another rock. He keeps his head, but loses an arm. Danny Boyle directs. (11/5)

CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER – Another politician caught with his pants down, but this time not in a bathroom stall. Brought to you by Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side). (11/5)

DUE DATE – If a hangover follows a night of hard drinking, what follows a hangover? For Hangover director Todd Phillips it’s Due Date. Zach Galifianakis is back and joined by Robert Downey Jr. for a road trip from hell. (11/5)

FAIR GAME – If there’s one consolation for Valerie Plame being exposed as a CIA operative, it’s that Naomi Watts was cast to play her. Sean Penn plays husband Joseph Wilson in this adaptation of the events that became a huge scandal for the Bush administration. (11/5)

FOR COLORED GIRLS WHO HAVE CONSIDERED SUICIDE WHEN THE RAINBOW IS ENUF – Tyler Perry directs this adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s play with an all-star cast including Whoopi Goldberg, Janet Jackson, Phylicia Rashad and Thandie Newton. (11/5)

MEGAMIND – DreamWorks was burning hot with How to Train Your Dragon – time to see if they’re smart enough to create another hit. Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell and Tina Fey lend their voices to this good vs. evil 3D animated flick. (11/5)

WELCOME TO THE RILEYS – Kristen Stewart, James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo star in this New Orleans-set drama. She’s a stripper, but we’re hoping he keeps his clothes on. (11/5)

WILD TARGET – From the director of My Cousin Vinny, Wild Target just might hit the comedy mark. Emily Blunt stars as a thief who is surrounded by clods. Bill Nighy, Rupert Everett and Harry Potter‘s Rupert Grint are part of the chaos. (11/5)

MORNING GLORY – It’s about a struggling morning program. Don’t we see enough of these every day? Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Patrick Wilson and 50 Cent star. (11/12)

SKYLINE – Seems like your typical alien vs. human flick until the final shot of the trailer, which shows humans being sucked into a spaceship by the thousands. Maybe this film will be a close encounter of a scary kind. (11/12)

TINY FURNITURE – New indie darling Lena Dunham writes and directs this film about a young girl finding herself. Tiny Furniture was voted best narrative feature at this year’s South by Southwest festival. (11/12)

UNSTOPPABLE – Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott share a rail fetish. First they made The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 about a subway, and now Unstoppable about a train. Star Trek hottie Chris Pine joins them. (11/12)

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – It’s almost the end of an era. Director David Yates, who also helmed the fifth and sixth films, returns for the two-part finale. (11/19)

MADE IN DAGENHAM ­– Director Nigel Cole likes films about women making money. In Calendar Girls the product was titillating calendars, and in Saving Grace it was pot. Made in Dagenham is about equal pay. Starring Miranda Richardson and Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Sally Hawkins. (11/19)

NOTHING PERSONAL ­– Two loners connect in Ireland. Stars Stephen Rea and Lotte Verbeek. (11/19)

THE NEXT THREE DAYS – For those who miss Prison Break, here’s your fix. Russell Crowe plays a husband determined to break his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of prison when she’s incarcerated for murder. From Crash director Paul Haggis. (11/19)

BURLESQUE – Cher and Christina Aguilera in a film together? Let the squeals of excitement commence! Aguilera plays a starstruck wannabe performer and Cher a strong nightclub owner. Perhaps this pairing alone is worth being thankful for this Thanksgiving. (11/24)

FASTER – Dwayne Johnson may have dropped the Rock from his name, but this film could still sink like a stone. Johnson plays an ex-con out for revenge with a cop (Billy Bob Thornton) hot on his tail. (11/24)

LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS – It’s a match made in heaven: Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Looks to be a little heavier fare than just a rom-com, but these two have the chops to pull it off. From Blood Diamond and Legends of the Fall director Edward Zwick. (11/24)

TANGLED – Disney’s take on Rapunzel, but this time the hair does a lot more than just be let down. (11/24)

THE KING’S SPEECH – Colin Firth plays King George, who was considered unfit to be king because of a speech impediment. He learns to control it – and the country. Will co-star Helena Bonham Carter look less crazy now that she’s in another period piece? (11/24)

DECEMBER

BLACK SWAN – Director Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler) has made a thriller about ballet. Talk about cross marketing. Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis play frenemies on the stage trying to replace a washed-up dancer (Winona Ryder). Ouch, sorry Winona. (12/1)

MIRAL – In her first major role since Slumdog Millionaire, Freida Pinto stars in this drama about a Palestinian girl caught up in the first Arab-Israeli war. Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) directs. (12/3)

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER – C.S. Lewis’s beloved Narnia tales continue on the big screen – this time in 3D. (12/10)

THE FIGHTER – It’s nice to see that Christian Bale found an outlet for his anger. He gets to take it out in the ring in this boxing picture also starring Mark Wahlberg and Amy Adams. (12/10)

THE TEMPEST – If the idea of Helen Mirren as Prospero – or rather Prospera – doesn’t intrigue you, maybe Russell Brand as Trinculo will. If none of this makes sense, you’re probably not a Shakespeare fan and don’t care anyway. Julie Taymor directs. (12/10)

YOU WON’T MISS ME – Small indie film about a struggling urban woman who gets released from a mental institution. Stars Stella Schnabel, daughter of Miral director Julian, whose film is released a week prior. (12/10)

HOW DO YOU KNOW – Remember all those traffic jams in Adams Morgan when Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd were filming a movie? This is that movie. A woman struggles to pick between a corporate guy and a Nats player. And we know the Nats rarely win. Written and directed by James L. Brooks. (12/17)

TRON: LEGACY – Father and son (Jeff Bridges and Garrett Hedlund) battle Master Control in this Disney sequel to the 1982 original. The graphics – and danger – have been modernized. (12/17)

YOGI BEAR – Justin Timberlake as Boo-Boo Bear? Awesome!
Dan Aykroyd provides the voice for Yogi in this semi-CGI holiday flick. (12/17)

COUNTRY STRONG – Gwyneth Paltrow plays a washed-up country singer. Is this the female version of last year’s Crazy Heart? She’s joined on stage by Tim McGraw, Garrett Hedlund and Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester. Oh, and Gwyneth does her own stunts, er, singing. (12/23)

GULLIVER’S TRAVELS – Jack Black takes on the title role in this modern adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s satire. Enduring countless inane jokes are likely required for this trip. Jason Segel plays one of the little people. (12/23)

LITTLE FOCKERS – More kids, more tension and more Babs. The third installment of the Meet the Parents franchise reunites Ben Stiller, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, and many other Fockers. (12/23)

SOMEWHERE – Stephen Dorff plays a fast-living star who gets a little lost and needs help from his daughter, played by Elle Fanning (Dakota’s younger sister) to find himself. Sofia Coppola directs this drama. (12/23)

THE ILLUSIONIST – This animated film is directed by Sylvain Chomet, who also helmed the ravishing Oscar-nominated The Triplets of Belleville. (12/25)

TRUE GRIT – The Coen Brothers remake this John Wayne classic starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. (12/25)

THE DEBT – Thirty years after a secret Mossad operation, the three agents involved are haunted by their actions. Playing the characters at different stages of their lives are Sam Worthington, Helen Mirren and Tom Wilkinson. Ciarán Hinds plays the older version of Worthington. We hope Sam ages better. (12/29)

BLUE VALENTINE – Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling star in this Sundance-favorite indie film about a couple struggling with their future. With these stars, we’re willing to suffer through the relationship too. (12/31)

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