Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FALL MOVIE PREVIEW: What movie are you looking forward to most this fall?

Fall is when the big movie studios bring out their best movies – at least in theory.

This is when most Oscars are won, though.

And, even though summer used to be the lone blockbuster season, fall is now a place where many a blockbuster can be found.

This fall, viewers will be treated to trips back to Middle Earth and The Hunger Games – all the while experiencing new worlds like Ender’s Game and Oldboy.

It looks to be an exciting upcoming movie season.

So, when are this fall’s most anticipated movies hitting theaters?

12 Years A Slave (Oct. 18): In 1841 a free black man (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is kidnapped and sold to a sadistic slave owner in the Deep South. Also starring Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch. I’m in this one for the cast alone.

All Is Lost (Oct. 18): Robert Redford stars in this movie about an old man all alone on his sinking sailboat in the Indian Ocean. Yeah, it sounds pretty boring to me, too.

American Hustle (Dec. 13): Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and Louis C.K. start in this movie about an unhinged FBI agent, two con artists, a volatile power broker and a loose-cannon housewife. Yeah, it actually looks hilarious – and you can’t beat the cast.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Dec. 2): Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Christina Applegate return for more zany news station antics. Here’s hoping the second lives up the cult classic nature of the first movie in the series. That’s going to be a hard pedigree to live up to, though.

August: Osage County (Dec. 25): Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis
and Ewan MacGregor star in this film about a dysfunctional family and the way they interact with each other. This is supposed to be a big one.

Carrie (Oct. 18): As a general rule, I loathe horror remakes. I can count on one hand the number that should have actually been turned into films. I like Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore a great deal. I have doubts, though, that this classic needs to be remade. I will probably see it, though.

The Counselor (Oct. 25): Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz unite in this Ridley Scott film about a lawyer drawn into a drug-running operation. I’m over Pitt, but I’m a big fan of Fassbender and Barden. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Diana (October TBA): Naomi Watts and Naveen Andrews start in the true life story of Diana’s later years leading up to her death. Watts is supposedly Oscar worthy in the role.

Don Jon (Sept. 27): This flick already suffers from a bad title, so that’s something that’s going to be hard to overcome. Still, this the cast involved in this movie (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson and Julianne-Moore) is too good not to at least check out. The movie, directed by Gordon-Levitt, is about a tough-talking New Jersey guy in the middle of a love triangle when his heart belongs to someone else – himself.

Ender’s Game (Nov. 1): I’m not going to lie; I liked the trailer for this. Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford
and Asa Butterfield unite for this story about a kid who’s recruited by the military to lead humankind’s last stand against aliens.

Escape Plan (Oct. 18): Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone reunite (again) in this 1980s action throwback. This time, they bring Jim Caviezel along for the ride. I like The Expendables movies – but I’m pretty much over this duo in anything else.

The Family (Sept. 13): Robert DeNiro is hit or miss these days. He was great in Silver Linings Playbook and he was terrible in The Big Wedding. Still, the trailer for this Luc Besson rated R comedy focuses on a Mafioso-turned-snitch that has trouble adjusting to his new life. Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones co-star. It has a winning cast, so maybe it will have a winning outcome.

The Fifth Estate (Oct. 18): Benedict Cumberbatch stars as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Right now I would watch Cumberbatch read the phone book, but I’ll probably wait until this one comes out on DVD.

Gravity (Oct. 4): Science fiction seems like a weird genre for Sandra Bullock and George Clooney to meet in – but maybe that’s while it will work? Alfonso Cuaron is a gifted director and I have a hard time believing he would make a movie that’s terrible – even though I have a lot of trepidation about this movie. This is the story of an astronaut (Bullock) stranded in space after losing sight of her ship and co-pilot (Clooney).

Grudge Match (Dec. 25): Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro team up for the second time in the same year – and this time they’re joined by Kim Basinger. This time Stallone and DeNiro play rival pugilists stepping back in the ring for one last fight. Wasn’t that Rocky Balboa a few years ago?

Her (Nov. 20): Joaquin Phoenix (didn’t he retire) stars as a soon-to-be divorced man who buys a new
computer operating system (Scarlett Johansson) whose almost-human voice is so empathetic he begins to fall in low with “her.” Amy Adams and Rooney Mara also star. I think I’ll pass – despite the talent involved.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Dec. 13): The three original Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson are some of my all time favorite films. I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed in the first Hobbit movie. Sill, Orlando Bloom is returning in this one and Benedict Cumberbatch is breathing life into the dragon Smaug. Jackson needs to remember that you don’t have to pad these movies. The source material stands on its own.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov. 22): This is the movie I’m most looking forward to this fall. This is the middle film in the trilogy about Katniss Everdeen and the havoc she wreaks in her dystopian world. Most of the cast is back, including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson. They’re joined by newcomers Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright, among others. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Insidious: Chapter 2 (Sept. 13): Really? Didn’t we say all we needed to with the first Insidious? Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne return in the sequel – even though the first movie was terrible. Can you say pass?

Jack Ryan (Dec. 25): Chris Pine is awesome. That’s all I have to say. Pairing him with Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley and Kenneth Brannagh - -in a film directed by Brannagh – only leaves me with warm feelings. Pine has big shoes to fill – but he’s used to that. I think he’ll be fine.

Kill Your Darlings (Oct. 16): Daniel Radcliffe has proven himself to be a capable little actor – with or without the wand in his hand. Michael C. Hall and Ben Foster join him in this film about poet Allen Ginsberg.

Labor Day (Dec. 25): Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin star as an escaped convict who takes shelter with
a mentally fragile and reclusive single mother.

Last Vegas (Nov. 1): Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline unite as four boyhood friends that hit Las Vegas for a bachelor party. You can imagine what hijinks ensue. Still, the cast is interesting.

Machete Kills (Oct. 11): Robert Rodriguez goes ultra-violent again. This time he brings back favorite Danny Trejo and pairs him with Mel Gibson and Carlos Estevez (Charlie Sheen for those that don’t know) and pits them against each other in the sequel to 2010’s cult hit Machete.

The Monuments Men (Dec. 18): George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchette star in this war adventure tale. Really? You had me at Bill Murray and John Goodman.

Oldboy (Nov. 27): Josh Brolin plays a man seeking revenge on a mysterious villain who kidnapped him and locked him in a room for 20 years before letting him go. Samuel L. Jackson, Elizabeth Olsen and Sharlto Copley also star in this Spike Lee movie. I'm actually interested in this. I'm not saying it will be good, but it definitely has the potential to do just that.

Prisoners (Sept. 20): Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo and Viola Davis? That’s one power fast. This ensemble tells the story of a detective searching for two missing young girls and the anguished father (Jackman) who decides to take the law into his own hands. This looks like it could be a sleeper hit.

Rush (Sept. 20): This movie will show whether or not Chris Hemsworth has real leading man power
– or if he’s just a hot guy in a super hero movie. This flick, directed by Ron Howard, tells the story Formula One racing legend James Hunt. The film is rated R – and it’s set in 1976 – so those are already stumbling blocks to success.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (Dec. 25): Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn and Shirley MacLaine star in this film by Ben Stiller. I’m over Ben Stiller.

Thor: The Dark World (Nov. 8): All the familiar faces are back, including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins as super hero Thor has to entrust estranged brother Loki in his attempts to save Earth from Christopher Eccleston. It will be interesting to see if this franchise can live on despite its out there premise. I will be in theaters opening night.

The Wolf of Wall Street (Nov. 15): Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey and Jon Bernthal star in this Martin Scorsese film about bankers and how much they’re really like mobsters. The cast is too strong to ignore.

What do you think? What movie are you most looking forward to this fall?


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