Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fall Movie Preview 2010, Part 2

Fall movie season is upon us! What goodies await? What kind of an impact will they make? How many leading questions will I ask before I just get on with it? Three. The answer is three.

Previously: Part 1

Movie: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (Oliver Stone)
High-Concept Synopsis: Gordon Gekko is out of prison, and now mentoring young trader Shia LaBeouf. Much commentary on the recent market collapse and the current state of predatory financial-types -- plus some familial drama with Carey Mulligan as Gekko's daughter and LaBeouf's fiancee -- to follow. Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon, and Frank Langella co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Wall Street fans who always wanted to see Gordon Gekko play a cranky father-in-law. Folks who haven't been following the financial news as closely as they'd like and are waiting for Oliver Stone to lay out the truth of the matter to them in as straightforward a manner as possible. Wall Street a-holes who -- shockingly -- don't understand satire nor social critique.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Wall Street fans who feel like the appeal of the original was all in Michael Douglas's performance, and the face that gave that performance now resides above the man's hairline. Moviegoers who haven't really given much thought to Dear Shia since that Indiana Jones movie and were kind of fine with that. Folks given pause by the fact that the movie got pulled from a spring release date at the last minute.
Why I'd See It: Not having seen the first Wall Street (I know...), I'm not really buzzing with anticipation for this one. Particularly when the added pull to the whole affair is Shia LaBeouf. And I don't exactly trust Oliver Stone to deliver social critique of this sort with any subtlety or nuance. September 24

Movie: You Again (Andy Fickman)
High-Concept Synopsis: Kristen Bell plays a reformed high-school nerd who's plunged back into the emotional abyss when her brother announces he's marrying her tormentor (Odette Yustman). Doubling down on the theme, Bell's mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) was pushed around by Yustman's mom (Sigourney Weaver).
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the "popular girls get what's coming to them" genre. People psyched for the really rather excellent cast (the above-mentioned, plus Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber, Betty White, and Cloris Leachman). People who enjoyed director Fickman's guilty pleasure classic She's the Man.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who have officially given up on Kristen Bell as a cinematic entity. Anyone who saw and was put to sleep by Odette Yustman in The Unborn. Folks boarding the rapidly-filling Betty White Backlash Bandwagon.
Why I'd See It: It looked awful until I saw the trailer. I'll tell you what, Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver will do a lot to convince you that you should see a crappy movie. And I'm not kidding about She's the Man either. September 24

Movie: Howl (Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman)
High-Concept Synopsis: James Franco is beat generation poet Allen Ginsberg, on trial for obscenity for his titular poem. Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels, David Strathairn, and Aaron Tveit co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Hippie nostalgists, damn-the-man graybeards, and college sophomores. James Franco's newly minted legion of Midwestern housewife soap fans. Shallow, shallow people excited to see James Franco, in yet another gay role, kissing up on Aaron Tveit.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Biopic-weary filmgoers. People looking to pre-backlash (fore-lash) against directors Epstein and Friedman for making the Lindsay Lohan/Linda Lovelace movie after this one. The poetry averse.
Why I'd See It: Count me as still enchanted with James Franco's various flights of fancy, plus I have confidence in the directors, who have previously made The Times of Harvey Milk and The Celluloid Closet. Plus the cast is excellent (Jon Hamm! MLP!), and Franco and Tveit boyfriendage! September 24

Movie: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (Zack Snyder)
High-Concept Synopsis: CGI owls go all Middle Earth with a fantastical epic tale where some owl or other must vanquish an evil owl to save all owls. OWLS! Jim Sturgess, Helen Mirren, Hugo Weaving, Abbie Cornish, Ryan Kwanten, Geoffrey Rush, Emilie de Ravin, and Sam Neil provide the voice talent.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fantasy enthusiasts eager to add owls to their veritable beastiary of elves, dwarves, giants, and sorceresses. Zack Snyder fans who may be dubious about the whole cartoon owls thing but trust that he wouldn't follow Watchmen with something totally stupid. Fans of soothing Brit voices.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Owls, for one thing, because owls can't buy movie tickets, STUPID. People who hated Snyder's 300 and Watchmen and are impatient to wait for three strikes and thus are jumping the gun and calling him out. Snyder fans who know they've got Sucker Punch waiting for them next year and thus are taking a breather from the whole owls thing.
Why I'd See It: It's weird -- it's not like owls are any more ridiculous than dragons or toys or robots, but being asked to get emotionally invested in the mythic journey of a group of cartoon owls feels like a bridge too far. September 24

Movie: Buried (Rodrigo Cortes)
High-Concept Synopsis: Ryan Reynolds gets buried alive while doing contract work in Iraq. 95 minutes of claustrophobia and terror ensue.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Audiences who wouldn't mind being stuck in tight quarters with Ryan Reynolds for a while.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Audiences for whom even Ryan Reynolds could force them to face that kind of claustrophobic terror.
Why I'd See It: I'm hoping it'll really freak me out. The generally positive word out of Sundance has me hopeful. September 24



Movie: Waiting for Superman (Davis Guggenheim)
High-Concept Synopsis: A documentary about the sorry -- some might say disastrous -- state of public education in America.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of director Guggenheim, who took home the Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth a few years ago. Adherents to public good and/or frustrated hand-wringing over same. People who like to point and laugh at dumb kids.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who didn't see An Inconvenient Truth for the simple reason that they didn't want to be bummed out. Callous kid-not-care-abouters. Disappointed superhero enthusiasts.
Why I'd See It: This was another big hit at Sundance, winning the Audience Award. I'm one of those people who never saw An Inconvenient Truth because of the crushing helplessness of it all, but I feel like the education crisis is one of which I could stand to be better informed. September 24


Movie: The Social Network (David Fincher)
High-Concept Synopsis: Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield create Facebook amid Ivy League posturing, internet-boom excess, and probable underhandedness. Justin Timberlake and Rashida Jones co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fincher fans, even the ones who weren't entirely enamored with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Audiences turned on by that amazing trailer with the choral version of Radiohead's Creep. People psyched to see Timberlake return to his late-90s platinum-gel-helmet hair era.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: The kind of people who use "Facebook" as an epithet. People who have given up on Jesse Eisenberg's whole twitchy thing. People who have expressed eye-rolly exasperation that a subject as trivial as Facebook is being treated with something approaching operatic gravity.
Why I'd See It: Fincher's involvement already made this prominent on my radar. The "Creep" trailer piqued my interest in a serious way. And now rave reviews have begun to trickle in. It's become pretty obvious that this is going to be one of the defining movies of the year, good or bad. October 1


Movie: Let Me In (Matt Reeves)
High-Concept Synopsis: Remake of the highly acclaimed and highly recent Scandinavian vampire movie. A sad 12-year-old boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) befriends a young girl (Chloe Moretz) who is also a vampire.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the original who can't resist the opportunity to claim that this one is inferior. Fans of Cloverfield director Reeves who feel like he can do the movie justice. People who have previously liked Smit-McPhee in The Road and Moretz in Kick-Ass.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Hard-line anti-remake cinephiles. Fans of the original who know better than to see a movie that can't not disappoint them. People who found Smit-McPhee distracting in The Road and Moretz cloying and overwhelmed in Kick-Ass.
Why I'd See It: I actually very much liked Reeves's work on Cloverfield, but I cannot imagine this remake has much of anything to offer that the original did not. October 1


Movie: Case 39 (Christian Alvart)
High-Concept Synopsis: Renee Zellweger is a social worker who takes in an orphan girl after finding her in a seemingly abusive home. Only the girl might be stalked by evil ... or evil herself. Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of the Creepy Little Girl genre of horror movies. Zellweger fans hoping their girl can get back on the horse after a creatively fallow period. The three people who saw director Alvart's previous film, Pandorum.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: The Zellweger-averse (are people still holding onto their hatred of her? It's been a while since Cold Mountain). People who see the flies-coming-outta-Bradley-Cooper's-ear scene from the trailer. Advocacy groups for creepy little orphan girls.
Why I'd See It: This is another one whose trailer sold me on a shaky concept. It doesn't look like it's going to be as campy and (delightfully) junky as Orphan, but it seems honestly unsettling. I'm in. October 1


Movie: Life As We Know It (Greg Berlanti)
High-Concept Synopsis: Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel play mismatched friends of an-ill fated married couple who are then tasked with raising the child said friends left behind. Let the warmth fill your hearts. Let it!
Who Will Be Seeing It: The one person out there who isn't possessed of a hatred for Katherine Heigl that has surely passed the point of being proportionate to whatever crime she's supposed to have committed (which would be...me. Shit!). Fans of TV impresario Berlanti (Everwood; the good seasons of Brothers & Sisters). Audiences looking for a total bummer of a romantic comedy.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: People who may hate Heigl but nonetheless aren't interested in this little subgenre of movies wherein the male lead hates Katherine Heigl. Mad Men fans who are -- have you noticed? -- somewhat protective of Joan Holloway and thus aren't interested in seeing Christina Hendricks suffer the indignity of playing second fiddle (and as a glorified corpse, no less). Blind people not interested in looking at Josh Duhamel for a good bit.
Why I'd See It: Yes, I'm the oldest living Confederate widow Katherine Heigl semi-fan. And lord knows I support Greg Berlanti in all that he does. But MAN does this seem like a downer. October 8


Movie: Secretariat (Randall Wallace)
High-Concept Synopsis: The inspiring true story of a great, proud horse who defied the odds to win the Triple Crown. And the rich white lady who collected all his winnings.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of inspirational-racehorse movies in the Seabiscuit tradition. Fans of Diane Lane, who is being positioned for her second Oscar nomination as the above-mentioned rich white lady. Fans of the hammier side of John Malkovich, who looks to have a big ol' gristly slab to chomp into as an unconventional trainer type.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Fans of inspirational sports movies who nevertheless draw the line at heroic horse owners.
Why I'd See It: Eh. I mean...I'll see something that's getting Oscar buzz, and I like Diane Lane just fine, but I think I'm done with the horse movies. October 8


Movie: It's Kind of a Funny Story (Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck)
High-Concept Synopsis: Teenager (Keir Gilchrist) checks into an adult psychiatric hospital where weirdos help him with his problems. Zach Galifianakis co-stars as the lead weirdo.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Fans of Keir Gilchrist, who has proven his worth and then some on United States of Tara. Fans of directors Boden and Fleck, who have delivered small-scale triumphs in Half Nelson and Sugar. Fans of the deep roster of supporting talent, including Lauren Graham, Jeremy Davies, and Viola Davis.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Hair-trigger hipster-phobes who are bristling at the psych-ward setting, the random pencil-sketch animation in the trailer, and the fact that the trailer features music. Folks who have begun to tire of the all-out Galifianakis onslaught of the past couple years. People who resent the film for stealing a title from James L. Brooks's barrel full of possible movie titles.
Why I'd See It: Boden and Fleck have yet to steer me wrong, and after two seasons worth of Tara, I couldn't be rooting harder for Gilchrist if he were my own son. October 8


Movie: Nowhere Boy (Sam Taylor-Wood)
High-Concept Synopsis: Young John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) starts a band, romances ladies, is kind of full of himself. Kristin Scott Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff co-star.
Who Will Be Seeing It: Beatles fans, duh-hoy. People who saw Kick-Ass and immediately went and Googled all of Aaron Johnson's assorted shirtless images. Folks who do so enjoy watching Kristin Scott Thomas steal a film from the sidelines.
Who Won't Be Seeing It: Beatles agnostics planning to use the same weapon they've wielded the past 40+ years: their silence. People having a hard time accepting Anne-Marie Duff as Aaron Johnson's mother, not to mention the weird parallels it draws to Johnson and Sam Taylor-Wood's May-December coupling. People who instinctively shy away from movies being sold as an "inspiring true story."
Why I'd See It: Honestly, it makes me a shallow person, but despite the generally positive advance notice, the only reason I'd see a movie like this is because I can look at Aaron Johnson for a couple hours. And even still, I worry the movie will make me not like him. We'll see. October 8
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7 comments:

JA said...

Owls are stupid. I wanna punch that movie in the face.

DuchessKitty said...

Joe, I am the oldest living Katherine Heigl fan. I don't even know why, but I just love her and think she's gotten a bad rap (and rep) for no good reason.
I even saw and enjoyed her in that craptastic movie "Killers". Yes, my sickness is that bad.

I saw Howl at a film festival this summer and it was great. And I've been waiting for The Social Network all year, and I'm so glad to hear good things.

Buried looks absolutely terrifying! I didn't know my love Ryan Reynolds was in it though...I'll have to weigh that against my crippling case of claustrophobia.

Simon said...

Why is it that if you live in cities and wear T-shirts, you're a hipster? Everybody's a hipster now. That, or it's a romantic comedy.

Right. So. The Social Network being sold as an epic, Nowhere Boy looks so...precious, no offense, Defendor, but I want to punch Katharine Heigl in the face, and I don't care how unoriginal that sentiment is.

Meagan said...

Oh we Heigl fans are out here. We're reluctant to advertise the fact for fear the overwhelming punch-in-the-face urge can be satieted by proxy.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Yeah, KST definitely steals the show. I had no interest, but for her, but the movie was a pleasant surprise for me.

Glenn Dunks said...

By "soothing Brit voices" you mean Aussie voices, right? The vocal talent on that film is predominantly Australia since it's an Australian film and all. But, seriously, it looks horrible. Zach Snyder just adds to it. I've seen that trailer at every single 3D movie I've been to in the last year. Including Piranha!

As for Case 39? That was released down here last year so I don't think anybody should be expecting quality from a movie that takes nearly an entire year to get its American release after other countries. Plus, Cooper's character having a hornet's nest in his skull is just... ew.

Nowhere Boy? Another one that came out here a year ago and nobody gave a rats arse about.

Joe Reid said...

Actually, I had Helen Mirren in mind when I wrote that so, yeah, Brit voices. Geoffrey Rush's voice doesn't quite take the edge off.