Metro Weekly


Fall Arts Preview 2007


EASTERN PROMISES — David Cronenberg has a history of creepy, absorbing films (his early forays, including Videodrome and Scanners remain classics of the horror genre), but it wasn’t until A History of Violence that he achieved pure, remarkable depth as a filmmaker. Which makes us look forward to this new work, starring Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts and Armin Mueller-Stahl, even more. The story concerns a murdered prostitute, a hospital midwife and a mysterious mob boss. (9/14)

Jodie Foster in ‘The Brave One’

THE HUNTING PARTY — Two journalists and a cameraman embark on a mission to find the most-wanted war criminal in Bosnia. The CIA mistakes them for a hit squad and sets its sights on making them disappear. With Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg. (9/14)

THE BRAVE ONE — Jodie Foster has really carved a niche out for herself: women who are terrorized and fight back. Hard. At least she’s stopped pretending to be a romantic lead. Jodie’s a tough girl through and through, however, and in this new thriller, directed by Neil Jordan (The Crying Game), she plays a radio host who survives a brutal attack, only to seek revenge. It’s Death Wish on estrogen. Also starring Terrence Howard and Naveen Andrews. (9/14)

MR. WOODCOCK — Billy Bob Thornton’s career continues its slide into oblivion with this comedy about a sadistic gym teacher who gets engaged to the mother of a former student. With Susan Sarandon. (9/14)

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE — An original musical film directed by Julie Taymor (Titus) in which a young man and woman find love during the turbulent ’60s. With Jim Sturgess and Evan Rachel Wood. (9/14)

GOOD LUCK CHUCK — Chuck Logan (Dane Cook) carries a curse: If a woman sleeps with him, the next man she meets is her true love. But when Chuck falls in love with Cam (Jessica Alba), he has to keep her from falling for that next proverbial guy. Laffs ensue. (9/21)

Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil: Apocalypse

RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION — Have you seen what they’ve done to Las Vegas? Well, have you? (9/21)

INTO THE WILD — Sean Penn directs this cinematic adaptation of the late Christopher McCandless’ life story. Emile Hirsch stars as the man who left a conventional life for one amid the Alaskan wilderness. Coldness ensues. (9/21)

THE KINGDOM — Peter Berg directs this story of FBI agents sent to investigate an off-limits Middle Eastern kingdom suspected of terrorist actions. Starring Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper and Jennifer Garner. (9/28)

FEAST OF LOVE — Robert Benton (Kramer vs. Kramer) directs this drama set within a community of friends in Oregon. With Morgan Freeman, Selma Blair, Greg Kinnear, Radha Mitchell and Jane Alexander. (9/28)

TRADE — A 13-year-old girl is kidnapped by sex traffickers. Kevin Kline plays the detective who goes to Mexico to save her. Directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner. (9/28)

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD — Brad Pitt plays James and Casey Affleck is Ford, a member of his gang and the man who killed him. Elton John said it best when he sang, ”I feel like a bullet in the gun of Robert Ford.” (Sept.)

IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH — When a model soldier goes AWOL shortly after returning to the U.S. from a tour of duty in Iraq, his father tries to uncover the mystery behind his disappearance. Directed by Paul Haggis (Crash), and starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon. (Sept.)

FIERCE PEOPLE — Griffin Dunne directs this drama about a boy (Anton Yelchin) and his drug-addicted mother (Diane Lane) who become enmeshed in the life of a millionaire (Donald Sutherland). Also starring Chris Evans. (Sept.)

DECEMBER BOYS — Four orphan boys escape the orphanage and find romance and mild adventure at a beach resort. Starring Daniel Radcliffe. (Sept.)

THE DARJEELING LIMITED — Wes Anderson’s latest, starring Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman as three estranged brothers who set off on a train voyage across India. With Anjelica Huston, Natalie Portman and Roman Coppola. (Sept.)


THE HEARTBREAK KID — Remember the 1972 version penned by Neil Simon starring Charles Grodin? Thought not. Here’s your chance to experience an all-new version starring Ben Stiller and directed by those kings of idiot comedies, the Farrelly Brothers. (10/5)

LUST, CAUTION — What do you follow up Brokeback Mountain with? If you’re Ang Lee, you return to China and concoct an espionage thriller set during WWII and drenched in so much sex the MPAA slaps you with an NC-17. And if you’re Ang Lee, you don’t budge an inch. (10/5)

GRACE IS GONE — When John Cusak’s wife is killed in Iraq, he takes his two daughters on a road trip to ease their grief. (10/5)

REEL AFFIRMATIONS XVII — The 17th annual GLBT film festival kicks off with the film adaptation of Naked Men Singing for ten movie-filled days of queer comedy, queer drama, queer documentaries and queer shorts. (10/11)

Cate Blanchette in ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE — Shekhar Kapur and Cate Blanchett return to the court of England’s Virgin Queen for the second in a reported trilogy. The first movie, 1998’s Elizabeth, received a slew of Oscar noms. This could do the same. With Geoffrey Rush and Clive Owen. (10/12)

WE OWN THE NIGHT — A nightclub owner (Joaquin Phoenix) and his police officer brother (Mark Wahlberg) undergo a near-fatal incident that causes them to unite against a pack of mobsters. Should be Mafia-riffic! Directed by James Gray. (10/12)

MICHAEL CLAYTON — An in-house ”fixer” at one of New York’s largest corporate-law firms meets his match. With George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton. (10/12)

LARS AND THE REAL GIRL — Ryan Gosling stars in this comedy about a boy and his mail-order love doll. (10/12)

30 DAYS OF NIGHT — A gang of vampires terrorize a small Alaskan town. With Josh Hartnett, Ben Foster and Melissa George. Directed by David Slade (Hard Candy). (10/19)

RESERVATION ROAD — A horrible accident threatens to tear a family apart. With Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Connelly and Mira Sorvino. (10/19)

GONE BABY GONE — Ben Affleck’s acting career hasn’t worked out too well, so he’s turned to directing his brother, Casey, in this crime thriller about two Boston detectives investigating a kidnapping. Oh, Ben, Ben, when will you learn? You’re a stay-at-home dad, now. (10/19)


Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook in ‘Dan in Real Life’

DAN IN REAL LIFE — Steve Carell takes on his first romantic-comedy leading role as an advice columnist and single dad who falls for Juliette Binoche. (10/26)

SLEUTH — Michael Caine, who was in the original Sleuth as a young writer who matched wits with Laurence Olivier, takes on the Olivier role in this remake featuring a script by Harold Pinter and direction by Kenneth Branagh. With Jude Law in the original Caine role. But those of us who know the big secret behind the original are asking: What can they do differently to up the ante? (Oct.)

FUNNY GAMES — Two psychotic men take a family hostage. Starring Naomi Watts, Michael Pitt, Tim Roth and Brady Corbet. (Oct.)

RAILS & TIES — Alison Eastwood (yes, that’s Clint’s little girl) directs this story of a deadly collision between a train and a car that leads to an unlikely bond between the train’s engineer and a young boy who escapes the accident. With Marcia Gay Harden, Kevin Bacon and Miles Heizer. (Oct.)


AMERICAN GANGSTER — We’re breathlessly awaiting this latest creation from Ridley Scott, starring Denzel Washington as a ’70s Harlem drug lord who joins forces with a detective (Russell Crowe) to take down entire syndicates. With Cuba Gooding Jr. (redeeming himself for Daddy Day Camp) and Josh Brolin. November can’t come soon enough! (11/2)

THE KITE RUNNER — Marc Forster (Finding Neverland) directs this drama of a young man who returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help an old friend whose son is in trouble. (11/2)

MARTIAN CHILD — John Cusak’s girlfriend dies and, to help ease the pain, he adopts a 6-year-old boy who believes himself to be a Martian. (11/2)

‘Bee Movie’

BEE MOVIE — Jerry Seinfeld voices the lead buzzer in this CGI animation with a cute title. (11/2)

LIONS FOR LAMBS — Tom Cruise stars as a congressman (yes, well, it’s fiction, after all) who joins a journalist (Meryl Streep) and a college professor (Robert Redford, who also directed) in an investigation of two injured American soldiers in Afghanistan. The cast alone is enough to give us vapors. Well, everyone except Cruise. And Redford. But Streep! Oh, Streep! (11/9)

FRED CLAUS — Sounds stupid. But the previews look really, really funny. Santa’s brother (Vince Vaughn) returns to the North Pole for some family bonding. With Paul Giamatti as Santa. Is that perfect, or what? (11/9)

NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN — It’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from the Coen brothers, but their latest sounds terrific: A hunter (Josh Brolin) decides to keep a stash of heroin and $2 million in cash he finds among a pile of dead men in the Rio Grande. Violence ensues. With Tommy Lee Jones and Javier Bardem. (11/16)

BEOWULF — Director Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express) tackles this classic material with motion-capture technology. Starring Crispin Glover, Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich. Could be classy. Could be groundbreaking. Could be just plain weird. (11/16)

MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM — Natalie Portman is the insecure manager of a fantastical toy store who is chosen by its 243-year-old owner (Dustin Hoffman) to succeed him. With Jason Bateman. (11/16)

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA — Mike Newell brings Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s acclaimed novel to the screen. With John Leguizamo, Liev Schreiber and Javier Bardem. (11/16)

MARGOT AT THE WEDDING — Noah Baumbach’s new comedy about family secrets revealed at a wedding stars Jack Black, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh. (11/21)

THE MIST — A small town encounters a mist that releases murderous monsters. Why, it’s The Fog Lite! (11/21)

I’M NOT THERE — Todd Haynes ruminations on the life of Bob Dylan, featuring seven actors — including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and Heath Ledger — who embody a different aspect of the musician’s life and work. Sounds like pure Todd. (11/30)

PATHOLOGY — Medical students on a murderous rampage. (11/30)


Nicole Kidman in ‘The Golden Compass’

THE GOLDEN COMPASS — Chris Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy) directs the first installment of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, hoping to pull off another Lord of the Rings hat trick for New Line Cinema. Should be spectacular, considering the reported $150 million budget. With Nicole Kidman (who could really use a hit right about now), Daniel Craig, and lots of utterly fanciful special effects. (12/7)

LEATHERHEADS — George Clooney stars in and directs this romantic comedy set in the world of 1920s football. With John Krasinski, Renee Zellweger and Jonathan Pryce. (12/7)

I AM LEGEND — A remake of The Omega Man, which was a remake of The Last Man on Earth, which was based on Richard Matheson’s novel, I Am Legend. The story essentially remains the same: One man is left alive on earth, unharmed by a virus that turns the rest of humanity into mutant zombie vampire thing-ies. His immunity holds the key to survival for the human race. Will Smith takes on a role previously held by Charlton Heston (Omega) and Vincent Price (Last Man). (12/14)

JUNO — Jason Reitman directs this comedy about a young woman who takes unusual steps to deal with her unplanned pregnancy. Starring Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Allison Janney and Rainn Wilson. (12/14)

CASSANDRA’S DREAM — The latest from Woody Allen is set in London (no big surprise there) and stars Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor and Tom Wilkinson, but no Woody. (12/14)

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS — We’re sure we’d like it better if it were Richard and the Gerbils. (12/14)

YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH — Francis Ford Coppola returns to his rightful seat in the director’s chair with this period tale set before WWII. With Tim Roth, Bruno Ganz and Alexandra Maria Lara. (12/14)

FLAKES — Michael Lehmann (Heathers) directs this comedy about an aspiring rock musician (Aaron Stanford) who falls in league with a radical clothing designer (Zooey Deschanel). Does somebody explode? That’s the big question. (12/21)

WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY — A mockumentary about a Johnny Cash-like legend named Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly). With Jenna Fischer, Justin Long, Jack Black, Paul Rudd and Patrick Duffy. (12/21)

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in ‘Sweeny Todd’

SWEENEY TODD — The Stephen Sondheim musical gets the Tim Burton treatment. With Johnny Depp as the ”Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Also starring Helena Bonham Carter and Alan Rickman. (12/21)

THE BUCKET LIST — Two terminally ill men escape the cancer ward and head off on a road trip. Starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Rob Reiner. Can anyone say Oscar nominations? Sure ya can. (Dec.)

ALIENS VS. PREDATOR — No, it’s not a reissue. The key here is to look for the pluralization of the word Alien. All together now: Guys, go back to your own planets! We’re weary of your petty little killings. (Dec.)