Film

Fall Arts Preview 2011

In order of scheduled release date. Dates subject to change at the whim of a studio executive.

SEPTEMBER

DRIVE — Ryan Gosling headlines a murderer’s row as an unnamed Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a heist wheelman. Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, and Albert Brooks tag along for the ride. (9/16)

I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT — A nation waiting in bated breath can finally exhale: Sarah Jessica Parker found more chick lit to adapt. This time, Carrie — err, Kate Reddy — struggles to bring home the bacon as a financial manager without neglecting her kids and husband. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear feminists weeping under each narrative voiceover. (9/16)

THE LION KING (IN 3D) — Simba, Scar, and the rest of the pride return for a two-week only run that could very well make decent use of post-production 3D. One thing to ponder: How else can Disney squeeze money of this franchise? (9/16)

STRAW DOGS — The 1971 psychological thriller that launched a thousand screeds on violence and debasement of women is back, as James Marsden tries to fill Dustin Hoffman’s shoes as a timid husband pushed to a homicidal brink. If it’s anything like Sam Peckinpah’s original — and it looks awfully similar — expect blood and controversy. (9/16)

ABDUCTION — John Singleton tries to convince us all that Taylor Lautner — who is still 19, mind you — is a rising action star. Will it work? And more importantly, does it matter in the least to teeny-bopper fangirls? (9/23)

DOLPHIN TALE — Marine biologist Harry Connick Jr. and prosthetics expert Morgan Freeman design an artificial dolphin tail so a little boy won’t lose his favorite animal friend. File this one under “maudlin things based on true stories.” (9/23)

KILLER ELITE – Jason Statham and Clive Owen finally face off to answer an age-old question: Who has a more entertaining accent to imitate? (9/23)

MONEYBALL — Based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name, this drama throws Brad Pitt into the world of major-league baseball as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s who dragged the sport kicking and screaming into sabermetric statistical analysis. Think Friday Night Lights, except with bats, and if the creepy goblin-looking baby was replaced with a geeky Jonah Hill. (9/23)

MACHINE GUN PREACHER — Marc Forster directs this biopic about Sam Childers (Gerard Butler), a former drug-dealing gang biker who finds God and devotes his life to building an orphanage in war-ravaged Southern Sudan. Like almost everything else released in September, it’s also based on a true story. (9/23)

RED STATE — Kevin Smith shelves his penis joke oeuvre with this violent take on fundamental religious cults starring Michael Parks, John Goodman, and Melissa Leo. Don’t expect to see it in the local multiplex, though — Smith decided to distribute the film on his own, also making it available on demand and online. (9/25)

TUCKER & DALE VS. EVIL — A wickedly funny comedy that made the festival rounds and earned enough acclaim for a wider release, this Canadian export turns the backwoods horror story on its head. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labrine star as the titular witless hillbillies, who can’t seem to figure out why college students keep dying around them. (9/30)

50/50 — Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in a black comedy about a 27-year-old who struggles to accept his cancer diagnosis. Loosely based on screenwriter Will Reiser’s own experiences with cancer, the movie’s got plenty of horsepower behind Gordon-Levitt, including Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Anjelica Huston. (9/30)

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER – Anna Faris is a girl who revisits the past duds of her love life to find a husband! Chris Evans is a one-night-standing lothario who can’t bear to see his conquests the morning after! Will they fall in love?! Only time will tell! I can’t stop using exclamation points! (9/30)

DREAM HOUSE – A publisher (Daniel Craig) relocates his family to a quiant fixer-upper in New England, only to learn that a mother and two children were murdered in the house years earlier. Warning: the trailer blows what could have been a shocker of a plot twist, so stay away from YouTube if you know what’s good for you. (9/30)

COURAGEOUS – A Christian drama from the makers of Fireproof that follows four suburban police officers as they try to be good fathers. Let’s just call this what it is – Milquetoast: The Movie. (9/30)

MARGARET — Kenneth Lonergan’s long-gestating drama about a teenage girl who inadvertently causes a fatal bus accident in New York City was shot so many years ago, Anna Paquin actually looks like she belongs in high school. The reason for the delay? Lonergan wouldn’t release the footage until he was satisfied with the final cut. (9/30)

OCTOBER

THE IDES OF MARCH — George Clooney tries on his writer-director pants in this political drama, starring Ryan Gosling as a brilliant campaign staffer who tries to get Clooney’s Mike Morris into the White House. Expect a lot of intrigue, tense dialogue, and perfectly coiffed hair. (10/7)

REAL STEEL — This is a movie about robots that box professionally. Just a hunch, but that’s probably enough to separate the interested from everybody else. (But in the event that the movie sparks a robo-revolution, I feel obliged to add that I loved it! …please don’t use my blood as battery fuel.) (10/7)

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 — FULL SEQUENCE: No. Never. (10/7)

THE SONS OF TENNESSEE WILLIAMS — Tim Wolff’s documentary investigates how one of the earliest gay civil rights movements in the country — in the Deep South, to boot — led to the gay Mardi Gras krewe scene in 1960s New Orleans. Expect a whole lot of archival footage of N’awlins drag balls. (10/7)

DIRTY GIRL — This film opens the 10-day, 20th Anniversary Reel Affirmations International Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 13. (It will also get a theatrical run later in the month). It’s an offbeat coming-of-age comedy set in rural Oklahoma in 1987, where Danielle (Juno Temple) treks across the country to Los Angeles to find her birth father. Also starring William H. Macy, Milla Jovovich, and Mary Steenburgen. (10/13)

THE ARTIST — This silent film set in the Jazz Age tackles, appropriately enough, the end of the silent film era as an up-and-coming dancer (Berenice Bejo) and a sizzled-out leading man (Jean Dujardin) cross paths on their way to and from stardom. French writer and director Michel Hazanavicius snagged John Goodman, James Cromwell, and Penelope Ann Miller to co-star in his black-and-white epic, which scored a Palme d’Or nomination at Cannes. (10/14)

THE BIG YEAR — Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black star as birdwatching friends who challenge each other to spot the most species of birds in North America in 12 months. (10/14)

FOOTLOOSE — MTV Films brings back an ’80s classic, with a few updates. The uptight adults of Bomont now outlaw dancing because a group of teens get killed in a car crash, Ren McCormack bears a Bawstan accent instead of a Chicago one, and there’s a lot more bump n’ grind. Starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, and Dennis Quaid. (10/14)

THE THING — It’s one thing to tread on Footloose, but you don’t go touching John Carpenter. Mark Elizabeth Winstead stars in this prequel, which takes place three days before the 1982 original, when scientists discovered a shape-shifting alien buried deep in the Antarctic ice. Let’s just say the situation doesn’t bode well for them. (10/14)

THE SKIN I LIVE IN — Antonio Banderas stars as a sadistic surgeon who, while pulling off an uncanny Cary Grant, holds an anonymous woman captive in his estate for reasons unknown. Director Pedro Almodóvar called the film “a horror story without screams or frights,” which seems appropriately melodramatic for the Spanish director. (10/14)

THE MIGHTY MACS — Carla Gugino rallies a women’s basketball team at the small Immaculata University to an unprecedented championship in 1972, with a little help from the college’s tough-love nuns. David Boreanaz co-stars as Gugino’s NBA referee husband, while Ellen Burstyn joins in as the head of the school, Mother St. John. (10/21)

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 – Is this some kind of Halloween tradition now? The latest addition to the cam-horror franchise explains how Katie (Katie Featherston) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden) first encountered the demon that would later possess them. At least it isn’t another Saw movie. (10/21)

THE THREE MUSKETEERS IN 3D – Paul W.S. Anderson’s knows exactly how to spruce up a timeless classic by Alexandre Dumas — three-dimensional steampunk! Matthew Macfayden, Luke Evans, and Ray Stevenson play the titular swordbearers, who face off against the likes of Christoph Waltz’s Cardinal Richelieu. (10/21)

MARGIN CALL — This Wall Street drama follows employees at a large investment bank as they realize they’re sitting on the brink of the 2007 financial collapse. The narrow premise is bolstered by writer and director J.C. Chandor’s screenplay, which landed on the 2010 Black List, a collection of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. (10/21)

ANONYMOUS — This may shock you, but Roland Emmerich is apparently capable of not laying waste to the planet. The German director dives into conspiratorial alt-history in this political drama, which imagines Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans) as the true author behind Shakespeare’s work — and a guy who incestuously lusts after Queen Elizabeth I (Vanessa Redgrave). Factual destruction can still be apocalyptic, right? (10/28)

IN TIME — Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, and Cillian Murphy star in a dystopian thriller where everybody stops aging at 25 and time is money. The bad news? That’s the whole damn premise. The good news? As Gattaca showed, writer and director Andrew Niccol has a deft hand with tacky sci-fi. (10/28)

JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN — Britain’s favorite bumbling super-spy returns, eyebrows and all, after MI-7 calls him out of retirement to investigate a threat again the Chinese Premier. Maybe its patriotism, but I’ll stick with The Naked Gun. (10/28)

THE RUM DIARY — Based on the Hunter S. Thompson novel of the same name, Johnny Depp putzes around Puerto Rico as Paul Kemp, an alcoholic journalist who writes for The San Juan Star and can’t stop chasing after a woman named Chenault, played by Amber Heard. (10/28)

LIKE CRAZY — A British exchange student (Felicity Jones) falls in love with a Los Angeles college boy (Anton Yelchin), but gets booted out of the country after overstaying her visa to be with him. Then, like hundreds of thousands before them, the couple learns the plight of the long distance relationship. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. (10/28)

NOVEMBER

PUSS IN BOOTS — Has anyone stopped to think how the Shrek franchise has affected Grimm’s Fairy Tales? In the latest animated adventure, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) gets retconned as a swashbuckling hero that doubles as a killer merchandising opportunity. (11/4)

TOWER HEIST — Working stiffs hire Eddie Murphy to help them steal millions from a businessman who defrauded their pensions down to nothing. (11/4)

A VERY HAROLD & KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS — Good news, everybody! Neil Patrick Harris didn’t die after he got shot in the head in retaliation for branding a prostitute back in that Texas whorehouse in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay. I know y’all were worried about that. (11/4)

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN — Michelle Williams dons the iconic blonde curls in an adaptation of two books by Colin Clark, who wrote about escorting Marilyn Monroe around Britain during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl. Also starring Kenneth Branagh, Dougray Scott, and Emma Watson. (11/4)

IMMORTALS — The myths of Theseus and the Minotaur gets the 300 treatment in a movie that you won’t be surprised to learn will involve minimal clothing, heavy racial overtones, and 3D glasses. But director Tarsem Singh still managed to snare Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, and Freida Pinto for it, so he’s got that going for him. (11/11)

JACK AND JILL — Adam Sandler is a man! Adam Sandler is a woman! Adam Sandler is increasingly comfortable with his crippling addiction to terrible, well-paying comedies! (11/11)

J. EDGAR — The Clint Eastwood-directed biopic starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Armie Hammer allegedly punts the topic of J. Edgar Hoover’s rumored cross-dressing habits and closeted homosexuality, which is a damn shame — what the hell am I going to do with all these custom-bedazzled “Leo & Armie 4eva!” t-shirts I ordered? (11/9)

MELANCHOLIA — Lars von Trier turns his eyes away from genital mutilation and foxes that eat their own entrails with this somber science-fiction drama about a woman abandoned on her wedding night and a rogue planet that threatens to destroy Earth, all under the umbrella of German romanticism. (Yea, it’s that kind of movie.) Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland star. (11/11)

HAPPY FEET TWO — More dancing penguins! Not much needs to be written about this concept, the animation, or the celebrity-loaded credits. So instead: Awwwww. (11/18)

THE TWILIGHT SAGA — BREAKING DAWN (PART ONE): I’m told that Breaking Dawn features a c-section preformed via vampiric fang. And a telepathic fetus. And superhuman sex scene that knocks a woman out cold. These are not things I expected to happen in a teen book series about vampires. (11/18)

THE DESCENDANTS — George Clooney plays a man living in Hawaii who is forced to re-examine his indifferent attitude towards his family after his wife suffers a boating accident and falls into a coma. Directed by Sideways‘ Alexander Payne. (11/18)

THE MUPPETS — Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang team up with some new friends — including Jason Segel and Amy Adams — to save the Muppet Theater from an oil prospector who wants to drill on the land. Expect all the classic Muppet flourishes. (11/23)

PIRANHA 3DDD — Prehistoric piranhas return to Lake Victoria just in time for bikini season. If this horror comedy plumbs as low as its predecessor did, there’s a decent chance its classiest quality will be its title. Starring Ving Rhames and Christopher Lloyd. (11/23)

A DANGEROUS METHOD — Yet another David Cronenberg-Viggo Mortensen collaboration, but without the blood and violence they’ve come to regularly deliver. Mortensen plays Sigmund Freud, who pushes his fledging protégé Carl Jung (Michael Fassenbender) as Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) threatens to wedge them apart. (11/23)

HUGO — Martin Scorsese dives headfirst into 3D filmmaking with an adaptation of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, about an orphan (Asa Butterfield) living within the walls of a Paris train station. If it’s as half as whimsically fantastic as the novel, Hugo will be a delight. (11/23)

DECEMBER 

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN — An adaptation of the chilling Lionel Shriver novel of the same name, Tilda Swinton stars as a mother who recounts the events surrounding the high school massacre committed by her son. (12/2)

NEW YEAR’S EVE — Garry Marshall decided Valentine’s Day wasn’t enough of a romantic blight, so he spawned an unholy sequel with another bloated ensemble cast. I’d rather watch an oral history of Flag Day. (12/9)

THE SITTER — After getting booted out of college, foulmouthed Noah (Jonah Hill) moves home and babysits to earn some extra cash — but loses the kids after he drags them to a party. This comedy’s hard-R rating could very well mean that director David Gordon Green’s made the filthiest babysitting movie ever. (12/9)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED — Okay, I lied. I’d rather go see New Year’s Eve than listen to high-pitched rodents squeal at me for 90 minutes. (12/16)

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS — With major roles lined up for Professor Moriarty (Mad Men‘s Jared Harris) and Mycroft Holmes (Stephen Fry), Guy Ritchie’s follow-up seems to be aiming for the meat of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best detective stories. (12/16)

THE IRON LADY — Meryl Streep steps up to play British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in this Phyllida Lloyd-directed biopic, because apparently 16 Academy Awards isn’t enough for her. (12/16)

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN — Stephen Spielberg, who originally bought the rights to Tintin in the early ’80s, directs this motion-capture 3D film about Belguim’s favorite fictional journalist and Snowy, his faithful terrier. Starring Jaime Bell, Andy Serkis, and Daniel Craig. (12/23)

THE DARKEST HOUR — When invisible aliens descend on Earth to devour the planet’s electricity, a group of young people traveling in Russia try to fight back. It may sound tepid, but Timur Bekmambetov, who produced the film, has a knack for visually intense action. Starring Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby. (12/23)

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO — With David Fincher at the helm, the first English-language adaptation of Steig Larsson’s best-selling “Millenium series” seems absolutely destined for acclaim. The gist: A disgraced journalist (Daniel Craig) enlists the help of a troubled computer hacker (Rooney Mara) to track down a missing woman. (12/21)

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — GHOST PROTOCOL — There’s not much territory left to cover in Mission — Impossible that will surprise you. The Impossible Mission Force disavows agents, a weapons specialist makes a pithy comment, Tom Cruise runs a lot, and everything goes boom. But here’s something compelling — Ghost Protocol is Pixar whiz Brad Bird’s first swing at live-action directing. (12/21)

WE BOUGHT A ZOO — Cameron Crowe brings his unique brand of sentimentalism to a memoir about a family who bankrupted themselves buying a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Starring Matt Damon, Thomas Hayden Church, and Scarlett Johansson. (12/23)

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE – Twee Alert! This adaptation of a Jonathan Safran Foer novel about a boy who loses his father on 9/11, then searches New York City to find a lock box that fits his dad’s abandoned key may clog your arteries with quirk. With Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn, and Sandra Bullock. (12/23)

IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY — Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut depicts a love story set against the religious and ethnic conflict of the Bosnian War. Interestingly enough, the film was made using only actors local to the region. (12/23)

WAR HORSE — After three years away from the director’s seat, Spielberg sure has got a busy season ahead of him. Set in England in World War I, he’s also directing this family drama about a boy who loses his beloved horse to war cavalry forces, then sneaks off to bring him home. (12/23)

Fall Arts Preview Menu
Comedy, Spoken Word, Discussions, Multi-media, Tastings, Tours Museums and Galleries Pop, Rock, Folk & Jazz Classical Music Dance Stage Film

Please Leave a Comment