Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fall Movie Preview

I think one of the signs of moving from childhood to adulthood is that the fall movie season replaces summer as the season you're most looking forward to. Normally you've got to preface these articles with some snide comment about how Hollywood is churning out crap and maybe we'll get a decent film this year. Well, none of that here, I'm more excited for this fall's batch of films than I've ever been before. There's a ton of potentially great stuff here. Now, I'm sure some of these release dates will change, but for now, here's what I want to see.

September 1
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
- After a foray into martial arts film, Zhang Yimou gets back to his roots with this drama. I'm not sure I'll make it to this one in theaters, but I'll definitely check it out on DVD. I'm curious to see how Zhang's style has been altered by his foray into martial arts stuff.

September 8
Sherrybaby
- A gritty indie drama with Maggie Gyllenhaal is definitely something I'm inclined to check out. The plot sounds exactly like Clean, it worked great there and there's certainly potential for some quality here.

September 15
The Black Dahlia
- A fantastic trailer pretty much sold me on this one. Josh Hartnett's noir voiceover brings back memories of Sin City, and the plot seems like it's got a lot of potential for twisted stuff. If the film can keep the very modern energy of the trailer and combine that with the 40s setting, it's got potential for greatness.

September 22
The Science of Sleep
- After seeing his Director's Label DVD, I'll watch pretty much anything Gondry does. However, the trailer for this one could sell anyone, there's more incredible imagery in those two minutes than in any other film released this year. This is a more personal film for Gondry and if he can fuse the very real emotion of Eternal Sunshine with some of his more whimsical, outre video style stuff, we could have a masterpiece. Plus, I'm curious to see Serge Gainsbourg's daughter in something other than his 'Lemon Incest' video. I saw Gondry speak yesterday and the few clips they showed from the film were great, very funny and imaginative. I just hope this one gets the audience it deserves.

Renaissance - A CG/live action sci-fi film, I haven't heard too much about this one, but I'm always up for a good dystopian thriller. The issue with a lot of films in the genre is that the fact that they're building a whole world means they don't get around to building believable characters. It's a good cast though, so this should be at least worth seeing.

October 6
The Departed
- I love Infernal Affairs, I think it's one of the most stylish, twisty crime thrillers in recent memory. Michael Mann touched on similar themes in the brilliant Miami Vice, but I think it's the kind of concept that's always got something new to explore within. I'd be a lot more excited if this wasn't a remake, particularly since the trailer indicates it's pretty faithful to the original. However, I'm guessing that Jack Nicholson will keep things fresh, I've heard that he no longer learns his lines, he gets them sent in through an earpiece to keep things fresh, and there's some odd stories about him wearing a strap on at some point. I'm intrigued.

October 8
INLAND EMPIRE
- If all goes well, I'll be able to see David Lynch's new film at the New York Film Festival on either the 8th or 9th. I've written about my love of Lynch's work many times before and he's been totally on his game since Twin Peaks: FWWM, up through Lost Highway and Mulholland, he's been developing and refining similar themes. So, I'm curious to see where he goes now that he's been freed up to go more experimental. I'm trying to learn as little about the film as possible, go in completely clean and just be blown away. This is my most anticipated film since Revenge of the Sith.

October 13
Sunshine
- Danny Boyle's made two really great films, and as he showed in 28 Days Later, he can bring a lot of humanity to genre filmmaking. This one's got a great cast and a cool premise that I'm confident Boyle can pull off. Should be cool.

Shortbus - I'm always interested in looking at cinema that pushes boundaries and this film's explicit sexual content does just that. There was good buzz coming out of Cannes, though I'm guessing this one won't make it to too many theaters, so it will probably be a DVD view.

Little Children - Being from suburbia, I'm always up for a film that addresses the issues of suburban culture. The trailer for this is great and the lead actresses are two of our best. This will probably be the 'cool' Oscar pick, the film that's nominated for a bunch of things and critics will lament that fact that it has no chance of winning, despite being better than the big Hollywood films that are the favorites.

Tideland - New Gilliam. This one's been getting mixed buzz, but it at least seems to be more personal than The Brothers Grimm. I doubt he'll ever match what he did with Brazil, but I'll be glad to watch him try.

October 20
Marie Antoinette
- With any luck, I'll get to see this one a week early at the New York Film Festival. This one's been getting a lot of bad reviews, but the criticisms all sound like positives to me, a focus on visuals and music over traditional biopic structure. I love the way that Sofia's blending modern stuff with the historical setting. Her previous two films are brilliant and I'm pretty sure this one'll be good as well.

October 27
Babel
- Inarritu's got a very distinctive style and this seems to push everything he's done to the next level. The cast is fantastic and the trailer indicates a lot of visual energy and greater narrative ambition than anything he's done before. I'm sure a lot of the press will focus on Brad's celebrity, but he's shown again and again that he can sink into a role and steal a film. This is another I'm really looking forward to.

November 3
Volver
- I'm not a huge Almodovar fan, but I usually enjoy his stuff and this one seems to be full of his classic themes and great visuals. Buzz out of annes indicates that it doesn't go far beyond his previous work, but is still reliably entertaining. This is another one I'll check out at NYFF if I get a chance.

November 10
Stranger than Fiction
- This one seems to be a foray into Charlie Kaufman territory, and there's certainly room for more films like that. I'm not sure how Ferrell will do outside of his usual comic area, but if Jim Carrey could do Eternal Sunshine, I'm sure Ferrell can pull something decent together.

November 17
Casino Royale
- I hate to get excited for this one because I'm sure even with the new Bond and series reboot it will still have a lot of the awful lines and implausible set pieces that the late Brosnan films had. Plus, the fact that the producers didn't choose to have Goldfrapp do the theme as was rumored is a bad choice. But, who knows, maybe it'll surprise me. Eva Green was amazing in The Dreamers and the trailer was quite good. I'll at least sample.

Fast Food Nation - I'll see anything Linklater does, but the Cannes buzz doesn't have me too thrilled for this. Still, there's a lot of potential and a great cast. I've liked a lot of Linklater stuff that didn't thrill critics so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here.

Come Early Morning - Joey Lauren Adams was fantastic in Chasing Amy and I'm curious to see her directing debut. It's been getting good buzz, though I'm guessing this won't get much of a release and it will end up being a DVD view.

November 22
The Fountain - I've been waiting for this one for six years. This film has one of the most imaginative premises ever and promises to go into territory that only Kubrick in 2001 touched on. This is very Grant Morrison stuff and there's very little of that in cinema. On top of that, it's made by the man who made arguably the best first two features of all time, Aronofsky makes films that you don't watch, you experience, merging innovative visuals with great scores. This is right up there with Inland Empire as my most anticipated film of the fall.

Deja Vu - Tony Scott's Domino is one of the most underappreciated films of all time, a near avant garde masterpiece of visual innovation. I'm guessing he'll scale back from that style a bit, but if he just reaches Man on Fire level, it'll still be interesting to watch.

For Your Consideration - Christopher Guest movies are always fun, if ultimately inconsequential. The addition of Ricky Gervais could definitely help this one, I hope he brings some of the raw emotion of The Office to the usually cartoonish Guest world.

December 1
The Nativity Story
- Catherine Hardwicke's Thirteen was a really exciting film and Keisha Castle Hughes was great in Whale Rider, even if the film ultimately didn't work. If she brings the edgy style of Thirteen to this story we could have a really cool film, if it's a somber retelling, I've got no particular interest in seeing it.

The Good German - Soderbergh films are consistently entertaining and always bring something new technique wise. This seems to be him in his big Hollywood mode, but Clooney and Blanchett should keep things interesting.

December 22
Rocky Balboa
- Having come through five films, don't I have to see the last one? If the reviews are decent, I'll definitely go, I do have a soft spot for the series, and I'd love to see Stallone make a great film here. I guess we'll see what he can do.

December 25
Dreamgirls
- The buzz on this one is ridiculously good, and I always enjoy a good musical. This is another film with a top notch cast and solid director, I'm guaranteeing at least ten Oscar nominations for this.

Children of Men - The premise is great and the awards season release date indicates a high degree of confidence in the film. Julianne Moore is one of my favorite actresses, hopefully this project will bring her back from a bit of a slump. Between this, Sunshine and The Fountain, we should get at least one really good sci-fi film.

Pan's Labyrinth - Fantastic buzz on this one coming out of Cannes, I'm hoping to catch it on the closing night of the NYFF. It sounds like the sort of crazy fantasy film that rarely gets made, vintage Gilliam territory. I hope it lives up to the hype.

Perfume - Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run was a masterpiece, but I haven't seen any of his other films. That said, the trailer for this is great, and I've got high hopes.

What a season, at least five films with the chance to be all time classics and some of these others might surprise. I'm psyched.

Related Posts
2006 Film Preview (12/27/2005)
Summer Movie Preview (5/3/2006)
Fall TV Season (8/3/2006)

2 comments:

nicholas danger said...

The prospect of new Gondry, Gilliam, Del Toro, and Aronofsky films within a month or so of each other has me very excited. If only David Fincher would get off his ass, I'd be completely satisfied.

I enjoy your blog, by the way, especially the writings on Grant Morrison's work.

Patrick said...

Thanks Nicholas. From what I've read, it sounds like Fincher's near done with the film, but it's the studio that's holding off on the release. Quite annoying.

And look for some more on Grant's JLA soon, then I'm gearing up for an eventual run through of the whole Invisibles series. So, there'll be plenty of him in the future.