Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fall Movie Preview 2007

It's September and I can feel a chill in the air that's been absent for months. Fall is nearly upon us and with it will hopefully come some halfway decent movies. I didn't see too many movies this summer, and the ones I saw weren't particularly gripping. When you've got the choice between watching a John From Cincinnati or seeing a crappy blockbuster or decent indie movie, it's not much of a choice. But, there's a lot of promising stuff coming up, let's delve in.

September 7
Shoot 'Em Up - Bellucci, Giamatti and Clive Owen in one movie is quite a cast. Putting them all in an absurdly over the top piece of two guns action excess has me very interested. I'm hoping this is to action movies what Beyond The Valley of the Dolls is to melodrama. Either way, if Monica's in the movie, there's some guaranteed visual magnificence.

September 14
Eastern Promises - I'm not a huge Cronenberg fan, but I like him enough to take a look at anything he puts out, and the combo of Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassel is hard to top. A History of Violence was brilliant and this seems to travel in the same territory. I hope it gets into a bit more of the craziness that infused his early work. Crash in particular was a great example of fusing really bizarre concepts with an essentially real world setting.

Across the Universe - This extremely troubled Beatles musical is probably going to have some cringeworthy moments, but like Moulin Rouge, I'm guessing it will also have some awe inspiring ones. Evan Rachel Wood is one of the best young actresses out there, and I have a soft spot for musicals. Plus, with Beatles songs, you know the music's going to be good. If nothing else, it'll have a strong camp classic value. I'm really looking forward to this one.

September 21
The Assassination of Jesse James by That Coward Robert Ford - I'm hearing this one is a Malicky, moody story and that has me interested. Now, that could result in this being a great movie or it could make it just a boring one, which is what I guess most people will call it. But, if the reviews are decent, I'll give it a look.

September 28
Lust, Caution - Tony Leung alone makes any movie worth a look, but teamed with Ang Lee and it's a must see. The NC-17 rating is getting all the buzz, and hopefully that won't obscure the film's actual merits. Brokeback was fantastic, and I even liked Hulk, so I'm confident Ang will drop another good one. It's probably the closest thing we'll get to a Wong Kar-Wai film this year considering the absence of a release date for My Blueberry Nights.

The Kingdom - It's produced by Michael Mann, and looks like a lot of his films. Director Peter Berg also directed the amazing Friday Night Lights pilot, so he's got a lot of good will from me. If reviews are strong, I'll give it a look in the theater.

The Darjeeling Limited - Wes Anderson's films are always unique and a joy to watch, I'll see anything he does and this is no exception. I think The Life Aquatic was a bit unfocused, hopefully this one will branch out of his comfort zone and push him a bit. But, even if it doesn't, it should be worthwhile viewing.

Blade Runner: The Definitive Final Cut - It's one of my top five movies all time, so I'm both excited and nervous about the new cut. There are a few issues that could use resolving, but hopefully it won't go too far. Either way the five disc set will have every possible version of the movie anyone could want. But, I'm hoping to see the movie earlier then that, at the New York Film Festival.

I'm Not There - Probably my most anticipated movie of the Fall. Haynes's two best films are his musician biopics, and this one seems to be just as crazy as Velvet Goldmine. I'm not a big fan of Dylan, but the audacity of the concept and Haynes's guiding hand should smooth that over. There are only a few directors as exciting as him working today and I can't wait to see this movie.

November 2
American Gangster - Ridley's obviously got some filmmaking chops, and the trailer for this one looks great. The 70s is always a good setting for a film, and the Vietnam themed plot will have some resonance with today. Plus, that's a pretty badass poster, well played marketing department.

November 9
No Country for Old Men - Buzz on this one is really strong, hopefully it'll mark the Coens' bounce back after a couple of weak films. It'll be good to see Tommy Lee Jones back in a serious role after indignities like Man of the House.

Southland Tales - I've heard the bad buzz out of Cannes, but the comments make me only want to see this thing even more. It sounds like the biggest, messiest movie to come along in a while, but just take a look at the cast list, are you expecting some traditional? Kelly's Donnie Darko was one of the greatest directorial debuts of all time, but his instincts in crafting the director's cut were way off. Hopefully this is more on mark, and hopefully the re-editing haven't smoothed off all the crazy edges.

November 16
Margot at the Wedding - Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale was raw and full of energy, a brilliant film, so I'm eager to see this one. The cast is great and the trailer was pretty good, so I'm down.

December 14
I Am Legend - I always enjoy a good post apocalyptic world, so if this one gets decent reviews, I'm there. The buzz is pretty solid, so it should work out well. Either way, I've heard the shoot in New York shut down many streets and had a ton of wrecked cars, so it should be full of nice scenery.

Juno - Jason Bateman and Michael Cera back together! With Ellen Page and Jennifer Garner! The cast doesn't stop and Jason Reitman is coming off great work on last year's Thank You For Smoking. Hopefully this will top the year off with another really strong comedy. Either way, Michael and George Michael Bluth together, that's a must see.

Youth Without Youth - Francis Ford Coppola returns to directing with his "student film." He said "I was so excited to discover, in this tale by Eliade, the key themes that I most hope to understand better: time, consciousness and the dream-like basis of reality. " I'm sold.

December 21
Sweeney Todd - Burton's been working towards a musical for years and now he's finally doing a full blown adaptation of one. Hopefully this will bring back the mad darkness that made 1988-1994 such a strong period for him. The visuals look appropriately crazy, and Depp in the title role should be a joy. This is the most exciting Burton project in a long time.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story - The sight of John C. Reilly in disco gear sold in the trailer sold me on the film. But, this generation spanning musical humor is right up my alley. Music always makes things funnier and the formula sincerity of recent musical biopics is ripe for parody.

December 26
There Will Be Blood - Finally, Paul Thomas Anderson is back with a new film. It's been five years and I'm hoping this one will return to the visual grandeur of Boogie Nights and Magnolia. Anderson is one of the best directors in the world today and I'll see anything he does. I can't say I'm thrilled about the subject matter, but I trust him to deliver something great.


Alexander said...

Here is my first Fall recommendation: Last night I went to a showing of Into the Wild, which I think opens in late September. Written/Directed by Sean Penn, it is based on a true story and a Jon Krakauer book of the same name. This was one of the most affecting movies I've seen in recent memory (notwithstanding some disagreeable directorial choices). It is a very personal and complicated portrayal of this kid's life after college, that I think will particularly affect 21/22-year-olds who can related to the feelings that motivated him.


bianca said...

I went to the Shoot 'Em Up premiere last night. It's ridiculous, completely over the top and super awesome! Lots of fun

Patrick said...

I've heard Into the Wild was really good, if that's playing around, I'll have to give it a look.