Thursday, September 1, 2011

10 Movies I'm Pumped to See This Fall

It's that time of year again! Entertainment Weekly has released its Fall Movie Preview issue, and it is time to plan the season! I had to remove the cover of this year's, though, because I couldn't look at it (Bella and Edward, blech!). I don't have the energy or the time to do a full rundown of everything, like I've done in the past, but I've still carefully calendared it all, as is my yearly ritual. And here are the ten films I'm *MOST* anticipating this fall. I say most, because there's plenty more I'm looking forward to. Just these a bit more than others.

Perhaps I should be sad that of these ten films, only one has a female as the lead character, and perhaps it's just as sad that that same film is alone among the ten that was *written* by a woman (and as for directed by a chick - pssht, forget it). It certainly does seem like a Mandom-y fall for movies. But I'd rather think about the wealth of Ryan Gosling and George Clooney on this list.

10. Moneyball - Not a baseball movie, but more a business movie set in the world of baseball, based on the book about how the Oakland A's management reinvented how they chose players. Written by rock star screenwriters Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin (not a co-write, but a shared credit). Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

9. J. Edgar - Eastwood directs DiCaprio in a movie about America's original G-man. Written by Dustin Lance Black, one of my new screenwriting heroes who won an Oscar a couple years ago for Milk.

8. Hugo - No, not a book about the youngest child of Ron and Hermione Weasley. :P I read the book (The Invention of Hugo Cabret) last year, and while I enjoyed it, it didn't grab me as a piece of narrative. But the idea of making it a film actually excited me. Especially since it was a book about the magic and love of the cinema and was being made into a movie by perhaps the greatest cinematic enthusiast making movies - Martin Scorsese. Add to that the fact that Chloe "Hit Girl" Moretz is in it as well, and it's a must see.

7. The Descendants- Alexander Payne's first directing job since Sideways back in 2004. His films are always such a sublime mix of comedy and tragedy, and I'm intrigued by the fact that he's directing George Clooney. Though not as intrigued as I am by Clooney playing a middle aged suburban dad whose wife was cheating on him. How do you cheat on Clooney?

6. The Muppets - This is supposedly a return to the kind of Muppet movie we know and love. My favorite is still The Muppets Take Manhattan, and I've never seen what is a lot of people's favorite (Muppet Christmas Carol - yes, I KNOW), but I'm jazzed for this. The Muppets have kind of become cool again in the past couple of years (though they were always cool to me), and the fact that Jason Segel co-wrote it with his Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nicholas Stoller makes me hopeful this will be magic. (If you wonder why, watch the last few minutes of Marshall, which feature a puppet musical about Dracula which is out of this world.)

5. Young Adult - Director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody, who previously worked together on Juno (for which Cody won an Oscar), are reteaming for a story about a successful YA writer who goes nuts when her high school sweetheart has a kid. As excited as I am about this, I'm a little nervous about the "message" behind it. I don't really like Cody's description of the main character as "living like an adolescent in her 30s" and "living that kind of selfish, childish life." Is your life somehow worthless if you're not married with kids and a house full of Pottery Barn furniture? Kind of daring this one to piss me off, in a way, but Cody's writing is always funny and heartfelt. I'm also kind of in love with that recent picture of Charlize Theron in sweatpants and a Hello Kitty shirt. Accurate picture of a lot of YA writers? Probably.

4. The Ides of March - The latest directorial effort of George Clooney, who also acts in the film, playing a presidential contender. Ryan Gosling plays his ... Robert Gibbs, I guess? I'm fascinated by Clooney's work as a director, as well as his recent choices in acting roles. Count me in.

3. The Artist - I've heard all kinds of amazing things about this one, though it seems like the most difficult film in the world to sell (to audiences and Oscar voters alike). It's black and white, it's French, it has no big name Hollywood stars, and it has almost no dialogue (it's being described as a silent film). It does, however, have the Weinsteins behind it, who have placed it in a prominent place in their release schedule - Thanksgiving week (which is, incidentally, the "King's Speech" slot). It was also a huge crowd favorite at Cannes. This is supposedly "the one to beat" this year.

2. Drive - I've heard great things about this since Cannes (where it took Best Director prize), and every piece of the promotion I see makes me more pumped to see it. There's something "Kiss Me Deadly" (the movie, not the song - wait, the song too) about it. Noir and a kind of 1980s vibe. Actually counting the days to this one.

1. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - This is like the best cast list I've ever seen, and may be Gary Oldman's chance at his first nomination (how is that possible?!). Directed by Tomas Alfredson, who made the beautiful Swedish-language vampire love story Let the Right One In (not to be confused with the lesser, though still, good, American remake). I'm not familiar with the John le Carre novel on which this is based, but perhaps I should become so. So pumped for this. You lucky Brits get it in September, but it won't come out here until November 18 December 9.

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