Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Movie Releases

We're getting deeper into Oscar territory. Only two movies that I've labeled "must see"s this month, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It leaves a lot of room for the "maybe"s and the "I'd love to see it if only there wasn't so much else coming out"s.


[MUST-SEE] The Social Network - Otherwise known as "The Facebook Movie." Definitely one of my most anticipated movies of the year and currently considered one of the Best Picture frontrunners. Written by Sorkin. Directed by Fincher. I challenge you not to be wowed by the full trailer and its strategic use of a girls choir's cover of Radiohead's "Creep."

[MUST-SEE] Let Me In - Horror geeks were appalled that anyone would dare remake the perfect Swedish vampire flick Let the Right One In, but everything I've heard convinces me this is one remake that does it right. The conversation may now, in fact, be turning toward whether this actually improves on the original. Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee of The Road and Chloe Kick-Ass Moretz.

Case 39 - It is freaky to watch the trailer for this film and see a younger Bradley Cooper, before he got all buff (because the movie was shot four years ago and then shelved). It almost doesn't even look like him. I hate that this movie comes out on a weekend with such heavy competition, because it looks interesting and I'm afraid it might fall through the cracks. And even though I haven't yet seen Eclipse (waiting for the Rifftrax), I'm pretty sure that little girl is the same actress who played Bree "cheeseburger of pain" Tanner.

Freakonomics - [limited] I have not read the best-selling book on which this is based, but while the ideas seem pretty fascinating, I'm wondering how they're woven together into a film without it feeling too fractious. I don't even know how to explain this one properly, so click on the title to go to the IMDB page, which has the trailer. See what you make of it.

Hatchet II - I never got around to seeing the first Hatchet, but I loved director Adam Green's follow up, Frozen, immensely. *checks Netflix* Maybe I can check out the first one before this comes out. It might be better to see it closer to Halloween anyway (especially as there's jack-all coming out the second half of the month).

Barry Munday - [LA/NY] This was a pretty big hit at SXSW this year, and I'm kind of stoked to see it. And one of the main things that interests me is the prospect of finally seeing Judy Greer starring in her own freakin' film and not just playing the snotty/quirky/clingy "best friend type" to Jennifer Garner or Katherine Heigl or whoever.

Chain Letter - [limited] Eh. I feel conflicted. I know that some of my favorite horror movies have been cheap stuff like this, but there's just something about today's horror sensibilities that make me distrustful. It's good to see a fairly original idea in the genre, though, and not just another movie spit out of the remake factory.

Douchebag - This strikes me as unbearably smug, like a funnier but less intelligent Noah Baumbach movie. No.


Life as We Know It - Before you immediately turn your back on this because of the presence of Katherine Heigl, I've heard this is actually quite good. I still hate that poster with Josh Duhamel in a diaper, but that's marketing, not the movie. At least not the whole movie. Even the snarky blog boys seem to like it.

Secretariat - Didn't I see this movie like seven years ago when it was called Seabiscuit? I don't know. The cast is impressive, the director, Randall Wallace ... I'd like to have faith because his two other films as a director (We Were Soldiers and The Man in the Iron Mask) were decent. But he also wrote the script for Pearl Harbor. My faith is not strong.

It's Kind of a Funny Story - [limited] Originally in the September post. Buzz has been horrible. This is a skip or a rental for me.

Tamara Drewe - [LA/NY] Will someone please tell me what is so special about Gemma Arterton and why I'm supposed to even know who she is? This is based on a graphic novel that is supposedly based on Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd. I'm skipping this, though, because I'm not a fan of the plot where a hot girl goes to a small town and all the men fall all over themselves for her as if the women who already exist in their lives Don't Count and this is the first time they've actually seen a female. Bella Swan, much?

Nowhere Boy - [limited] The lovely Aaron Johnson (the eponymous hero of Kick-Ass) plays a quite young John Lennon. I have always been more of a Paul gal myself and there's always been something kind of off-putting about Lennon. I mean, he was a genius, but he knew it. This is, however, the most exciting thing coming out this weekend, so I'll probably see it. The music and Aaron Johnson will be worth it, if nothing else.

My Soul to Take - Wes Craven brings us a film that bears more than a passing resemblance to his genre-defining A Nightmare on Elm Street. Dare I hope for another truly awesome Craven horror movie? Waiting to see other people's responses to this.

Stone - The notion of Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton teaming up again is definitely enticing, and I'm hearing this is actually quite good. I confess, part of my interest is in seeing Milla Jovovich act in a movie not directed by her husband, Paul W.S. Anderson.

I Spit on Your Grave: Unrated - This movie, and the ungodly original film that it is a remake of, can kindly go and die in every fire that ever burned. I am curious, though - will there actually be a story this time? Or will they fall back on the original's more, shall we say, deliberate plot pacing and faithfully recreate the (I kid you not) THIRTY-FIVE MINUTE GRAPHIC GANG RAPE SEQUENCE. In case you were wondering, I'd rather eat my own face than see this.

Inside Job - Another doc about the economic meltdown and one that looks particularly infuriating. Love the moments in the trailer where people do not want to be participating in this or ask for the camera to be turned off. I don't think I can handle this, though. I'm still seething from the last doc these filmmakers made, No End in Sight.

Today's Special - A cooking comedy. I'm intrigued by the presence of Kevin Corrigan and Aasif Mandvi, but I'm not sold.


Jackass 3-D - Don't judge me, but I may be kind of pumped to see this. May. Also, I may or may not be contemplating checking out the two previous movies. The big hand high five gets me every time I see this trailer. I think this is what 3D was made for. *wipes a proud tear from eye*

Conviction - Hearing good things about this one. But am I a bad person for hoping there's no Oscar campaign planned for Hilary Swank? I really cannot take a third round of Swank v. Bening. Sam Rockwell seems to be the jewel in the crown here, though. I'm interested.

Red - Helen Mirren has a license to kill, bitches! I think this is a definite yes, for the awesome cast alone. Willis. Freeman. Parker. Malkovich. Mirren. 'Nuff said.

Down Terrace - [limited] Most of the trailer makes it look kind of boring. UNTIL one of the characters shoves a little old lady in front of a speeding car. Sadly, that alone is not enough reason to see a movie. Waiting to hear more about this. It's being touted as "Mike Leigh meets the Sopranos" but ... I don't know.


Paranormal Activity 2 - Unless I see some downright stellar reviews of this one, this is in my "no" pile on principle. The whole charm of the first one was that it was at least somewhat original and homemade. I'm glad it was a huge hit, though I don't see what the point of rooting for original content is anymore. It doesn't help new filmmakers with new ideas at all; it just turns original content into sequel factories.

Hereafter - The trailer is lovely, but I'm hearing mixed-to-bad buzz. However, Eastwood's Gran Torino had a similar response coming out of the festivals, and then a few months later people were wondering why it got shut out of the Oscars. Also, Peter Morgan wrote the script, so there's that. I'm also intrigued by the casting of Cecile De France, who was that crazy chick in Haute Tension. I'm determined to see this and make up my own mind instead of defaulting to critical opinion.

The Company Men - [LA/NY] John Wells, who produced two of the biggest ensemble dramas in the history of television (ER and The West Wing), turns his eye to films with what looks like an incredible - you guessed it - ensemble drama. I think the most exciting thing about the trailer is "Academy Award Winner Ben Affleck ... Academy Award Winner Chris Cooper ... Academy Award Winner Kevin Costner ... Academy Award Winner Tommy Lee Jones." This is a yes.

Inhale - [NY] This looks pretty awesome, I have to say, but I'm curious as to why I've never heard of it before. It seems like a movie that appeared at a festival and took a long time to get picked up, because while I can't find any official reviews, what I *have* found are loads of links to bootleg copies on the internets. I may balance out my Paranormal Activity Principled Boycott with a Principle Viewing of this film. I can't help feeling this just deserves to be given a chance. Not that my one ticket will achieve anything, but then my not going to PA2 won't put a dent in its box office either.


Monsters - [limited] I don't know, guys, this sounds an AWFUL lot like District 9, only with a different social subtext. Reviews I'm seeing emphasize the shoestring budget and the fact that the director did the special effects on his computer. Impressive to be sure, but I'm worried people are pointing that out in an effort to adjust audience expectations. Waiting to hear more about why critics are calling it so "original."

Saw 3D: The Final Chapter - No. A thousand times no. I'm afraid this kind of sequel cycle is the fate that awaits you, Paranormal Activity.

Welcome to the Rileys - [limited] I like the idea of this story, where a married couple takes a young stripper under their wing. But I'm afraid I can't watch Kristen Stewart in anything right now.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest - [limited] The third and final chapter in the successful adaptations of Stieg Larsson's smash hit book series. I have yet to see or read any of these, but they're on my to-do list, I promise! I don't think I'll be caught up in time to catch this in theaters, though.

The Kids Grow Up - [NY] Documentary about letting go of kids who leave home for the first time. What little I've heard about this is not promising.

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