Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fall Movies Preview Part One

Time for this year’s Fall Movie Preview. After a summer of threequels, CGI storytelling, family fare/torture porn it’s time to move into the season of human drama, complex themes, and character studies – in other words, Oscar hopefuls.

THE KINGDOM – Jaimie Foxx in a high-voltage political thriller set in Saudi Arabia. It cost $70 million, the same as STARDUST. But instead of cute unicorns frolicking they gun down jihadists.

RUN, FATBOY, RUN – A guy who’s not really fat enters a marathon. Does he even really run? Title should be WALK FAST, BEER BELLY, WALK FAST.

LEATHERHEADS – George Clooney stars, co-writes, and directs this romantic comedy about pro football in the 20s. Should hold football fans until Michael Vick stars in LONGEST YARD 2.

3:10 TO YUMA – Either a western or the American Eagle flight you don’t want to be on.

THE JANE AUSTEN BOOK CLUB – Jane Austen movies are becoming their own genre. Next summer expect Mike Myers to star in JANE AUSTEN POWERS.

TRADE – Human sex trafficking in Mexico City. Fortunately not directed by the Farrelly Brothers.

KING OF CALIFORNIA – Michael Douglas as a crazy person who believes there’s gold buried under the local Costco. Shovels are on aisle 23 and jackhammers are on aisle 16.

THE GAME PLAN – “The Rock” in the 2,864th version of "big tough guy saddled with a cute child and becomes a caring person." I bet there are diaper jokes.

SHOOT ‘EM UP – Enigmatic gunslinger who happens upon a newborn baby. The 2,865th version of previous movie. But stars Clive Owens and Paul Giamatti, which is a big improvement over “the Rock”.

BEOWULF – Robert Zemeckis throwing every CGI/stop action movie trick at the book you slogged through in high school. Good buzz. Supposed to be thrilling. It’s the oldest story in the English language. Just a week older than “tough guy gets stuck with tiny child and becomes a better person”.

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON – Documentary on the men who walked on the moon. Interviews with Buzz Aldrin before his recent face lift. Oh how he misses those days of zero gravity!

LUST, CAUTION – (pictured above) I worry about any film with “Caution” right there in the title. Ang Lee returns after BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN with more standard fare: A Chinese language WWII espionage love story set in Shanghai. Starring Joan Chen, not to be confused with Julie Chen of CBS News.

THE HUNTING PARTY – A broad comedy starring the Charlie Chaplin of our generation -- Richard Gere.

EASTERN PROMISES – David Cronenberg’s scary Russian mobster movie. Stars Vigro Mortensen as Boris and Naomi Watts as Natasha.

THE BROTHERS SOLOMON – Exploring the untouched arena of childbirth comedies. The trailer looks absolutely ghastly.

SYDNEY WHITE – Amanda Bynes in a college fairy tale. Features Dopey, Cokey, Roofy, Cheney, Bong, Animal, and Ryan Seacrest.

ELIZABETH: THE GOLDEN AGE – Sequel to ELIZABETH. She’s back and this time she’s pissed!!

HEARTBREAK KID – Farrelly Brothers remake of the 1972 film, obliterating it, removing any nuance, satire, and substance. I refuse to see it.

THE DARJEELING LIMITED – The title says it all.

DECEMBER BOYS – Daniel Radcliffe gets laid for the first time in Australia. In the sequel he will go up on his girlfriend.

GONE BABY GONE – No, not the sequel to RUN, FATBOY, RUN. A Dennis Lehane novel given the “Affleck touch”. Written and directed by Ben, starring Casey. Hopefully it's not PROJECT GREENLIGHT featuring its creator.

SAW IV – This time Jigsaw takes a job as a Benihana chef.

More tomorrow including a romantic comedy set during the Black Plague. I know what you're thinking, "Shit! There goes my spec script!"

15 comments:

Rory L. Aronsky said...

KING OF CALIFORNIA – Michael Douglas as a crazy person who believes there’s gold buried under the local Costco. Shovels are on aisle 23 and jackhammers are on aisle 16.

Filmed in the Santa Clarita Valley. Those shots in the trailer of them walking down past a Chuck E. Cheese and after, coming upon that Costco, I know exactly where both of those are.

"Weeds" is filmed here too, exclusively (they use Santa Clarita Studios for their soundstages), and I consider that our proudest export.

D. McEwan said...

So Julie Chen of BIG BROTHER also does news? News to me. Is the Chenbot as terrible at delivering the news as she is at hosting BB? Because she sucks. (Which is how Mrs. CBS-VP got he job.) Anyway, it's nice to know Joan Chen escaped from that wooden drawer-knob she was trapped in when TWIN PEAKS was cancelled.

I thought THE QUEEN was the sequel to ELIZABETH.

Maybe Mel Gibson could direct one of his religious-torture-porn pictures, and call it SAW YE MY SAVIOUR.

Next they'll be making Jane Austin "Edgy" for the kids, and call it EXTREME PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

BEOWULF will have a natural ad campaign slogan, "Don't give away the ending!" because in 700 years, no one has ever finished reading it.

David said...

//RUN, FATBOY, RUN – A guy who’s not really fat enters a marathon. Does he even really run? Title should be WALK FAST, BEER BELLY, WALK FAST.//

The fact that said guy is the great Simon Pegg means I'll be seeing this movie, no matter how good or bad it is.

Richard Jensen said...

I second David. I just got "Hot Fuzz" on DVD and Pegg rings my chimes.
In a manly hetrosexual way, of course.
By the way, Ken. What do you think of Tim Burton doing "Sweeney Todd". You think he'll pull it off or will it just be a Goth version of "Paint Your Wagon"?

Rory L. Aronsky said...

Hey Ken. It's a little past 1:00 a.m. and on Fox 11, a great episode of M*A*S*H is playing: "Out of Sight, Out of Mind."

How many pennies do you get as residuals again? ;)

Rory L. Aronsky said...

My mistake. Channel 13, MyTV. I guess in that case they only have enough money to pay the competitors in hairy midget bikini contests.

brian said...

I also happened upon OUT OF SIGHT/OUT OF MIND last night as well (here in LA), it was kind of exciting to see it again, now knowing your backstory.

Really good storytelling!

PS What ever happened to MR WOODCOCK? Against all better instincts I like seann william scott. . . .

jbryant said...

Saw a commercial for Mr. Woodcock for the first time just last night. Didn't catch the release date though.

What's the fine print on that poster just below "Michael Douglas - King of California?" Is it "The Gabby Hayes Story?"

Rob Bates said...

I agree with you about the new "Heartbreak Kid." It apparently will not have the second woman be prettier than the first because that would be "mean-spirited" and "alienate woman."

Well, duh. I mean, the whole point of the original is that everyone in it is kind of rotten, if recognizably human. That's why it works so well. That is why it's a classic.

Really disappointing. I hate when they remake great movies and trash them.

estiv said...

I hate when they remake great movies and trash them.

The Stepford Wives. Rollerball. Not really "great," but still. I swear, all some of these people learn in film school is production design. They're great at how things look, but don't know how to put a movie in there.

D. McEwan said...

Certainly the remakes of ROLLERBALL and THE STEPFORD WIVES were terrible, but I would not call the originals "Great Movies". CITIZEN KANE is a Great Movie. ROLLERBALL & THE STEPFORD WIVES were watchable, average movies.

The first two INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS were very good movies. The third one had some interesting ideas, but this 4th one; Yikes! Watching the original (And a lobby card for it, singed by Kevin McCarthy & Dana Wynter, is framed on my living room wall. That's how much I loved the original.), I never thought to myself, "It's good, but what would make it great would be car chases and people vomiting on each other."

Wait a minute! I know now; remake CITIZEN KANE with car chases and fist fights! And for the climax, a sled chase on ROSEBUD!

Next up, HAMLET as an action movie.

estiv said...

Next up, HAMLET as an action movie.

But D., they did that in "Last Action Hero." Which I actually watched in a Shakespeare and the Movies class. Joan Plowright, Olivier's widow, is in it. "To be or not to be?" Schwarzenneger cocks and points his gun. "Not to be." Pulls the trigger.

And of course you're right about Stepford and Rollerball, but the point is the drop in quality in the remake. Thirty-five years ago a social satire like Stepford, or an action flick with a light overlay of social criticism like Rollerball, could come out of Hollywood. Not anymore. Maybe it's just that the execs are now hip enough to catch, defang, and neuter any such attempts.

Dwacon said...

What, no Scary Movie 5 ????

The Crutnacker said...

Julie Chen continues to hold down a job because of her incredible talent and NOT, I repeat NOT, because she's shtupping Les Moonves.

-- The first two INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS were very good movies. The third one had some interesting ideas, but this 4th one; Yikes! Watching the original (And a lobby card for it, singed by Kevin McCarthy & Dana Wynter, is framed on my living room wall. That's how much I loved the original.), I never thought to myself, "It's good, but what would make it great would be car chases and people vomiting on each other." --

Car chases and people vomiting on each other? Isn't that a Farrelley brothers movie?

D. McEwan said...

"Car chases and people vomiting on each other? Isn't that a Farrelley brothers movie?"

No, it's THE INVASION. It's full of car chases by emotionless aliens, and instead of pods, the alieness is spread by holding people down and vomiting on them. I'm not making this up. Nicole Kidman probably didn't realize how disgusting this would be, since vomiting is what she calls "Dessert"; it follows every meal.

estiv, I understood your point - and agreed with it - the first time.

I saw LAST ACTION HERO, but had successfully erased it from my memory.

Crut, you are right, Julie Chen's "Talent" is incredible, in the most literal sense possible.