As I wing to Dallas, Texas for the weekend to speak to the Dallas Screenwriters Association on Friday night and fill-in broadcasting for the Seattle Mariners (in town to play the Rangers) on Sunday night, here is the final installment of my Fall Movies Preview. Sign up for Netflix NOW.
THIS CHRISTMAS – Oh God no, another “going home for the holidays and confronting where you are in your life” pictures. It’s the fruitcake of Christmas movie themes.
MARGOT AT THE WEDDING – Nicole Kidman – THE INVASION, FUR, and BEWITCHED – is only one bomb away from television. Will this family drama by Noah Baumbach (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE) save her, or does she join the cast of BONES next fall?
BEE MOVIE – Jerry Seinfeld as an animated bee. Probably has some laughs but good luck being funnier than THE SIMPSONS MOVIE.
FRED CLAUS – Another Santa Claus high concept commercial holiday comedy. But the real Christmas miracle is that they got Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacey, and Rachel Weisz to be in this thing. Tim Allen surely fired his agent.
IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH – CRASH writer/director Paul Haggis is back with this tale about a returning Iraq soldier. Haggis promises lot of exploration on the morality of this war. The first of what seems like twelve “explorations of the war” films lined up for your popcorn pleasure this fall.
THE KITE RUNNER – From the best selling novel. Friendship in Afghanistan. “Exploration of the war” #2.
LIONS FOR LAMBS -- #3. Robert Redford directs and stars as a professor who’s had too much plastic surgery (one operation more than Buzz Aldrin, six less than Mary Tyler Moore) and is unable to prevent some students from signing up for the war. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise, in a real departure, plays a slick guy. And Meryl Streep plays…aw, what difference does it make? She’ll be nominated for an Oscar.
REDACTED -- #4.
CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR -- #5 but might be the best. All-stars at every position. (pictured above) Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman star. Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay and Mike Nichols directed. And if that isn’t intriguing enough – it’s a comedy.
LOOKING FOR CHEYENNE – A film about French Lesbians. Opens November 16. I’ve already got my ticket.
ELEVEN MEN OUT – Ho hum. Yet another gay Icelandic soccer player movie.
ALL THAT REALLY MATTERS – Michelle Pheiffer makes up for her acting hiatus by being in every movie this season. This time she falls for Paul Rudd. Depending on the make-up and cinematography she’s either twenty years or twenty months older than him.
FLAWLESS – Michael Caine and Demi Moore try to recreate the magic they created together in BLAME IT ON RIO with this jewelry heist caper film.
I AM LEGEND – Another Will Smith desperate attempt at an Oscar. In this one he’s the last man alive. It’s CASTAWAY in New York City. Not only will we better appreciate Tom Hanks, we’ll better appreciate “Wilson”.
GOLDEN COMPASS – Brace yourselves – another epic journey, another trilogy, another book adaptation, and another Nicole Kidman attempt to open a movie.
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD – long title usually mean pretentious movie. Three years in the making, 34 different cuts, and five test screenings. Uh oh.
THE BUCKET LIST – Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman as terminal cancer patients who live to the fullest. They jump out of airplanes, drive race cars, go to Knicks games and root for the Lakers.
I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH – I’m assuming the autobiography of Victor Buono.
SWEENEY TODD – Tim Burton adapts Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece. With Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter (duh), Alan Richman, and Sacha Baron Cohen. My question: Can Helena Bonham Carter (Burton’s girlfriend) sing? Or bake?
YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH – Francis Ford Coppola directs his first movie in ten years. Financed by his winery. There was going to be a big car chase scene but the 2005 Zinfandel crop was disappointing.
ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS – Why???
WALK HARD – Another Judd Apatow comedy, this one starring John C. Reilly as a six decade rock star. FORREST GUMP meets VIVA LAS VEGAS. The only movie I’d see before this is the one about the French Lesbians.