Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fall Movie Preview - Part one

Before you go to the neighborhood Cineplex or even waste your time watching trailers on line, here is my annual comprehensive Fall Movie Preview. The only thing I haven't done is seen any of these movies.

HARRY POTTER (AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 1) This long running franchise will soon be coming to an end since Daniel Radcliffe who plays Harry could soon play Dumbledore.

WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS – Director Oliver Stone said, “The fact that the financial crisis happened helped get this movie made”. So feel good about losing your life savings. Hollywood benefits!

127 HOURS – Directed by Danny Boyle so I’m seeing it even though it’s about a mountain climber who cuts off his own arm to free himself from a boulder. Then Richard Kimble tries to find him because he saw him kill his wife but no one believes him and… oh wait, that’s THE FUGITIVE.

BURLESQUE – Cher owns a burlesque club. “La Cage aux Facelift”.

THE TOWN – Ben Affleck stars and directs this Boston thriller. GOOD WILL HUNTING with guns and scary masks.

YOU AGAIN – High school rivals, both mothers and daughters reunite for formula studio mayhem. Betty White took time out from being in everything else to be in this.

EASY A – Teen comedy with snappy dialogue. Getting good buzz. MEAN GIRLS meets JUNO.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK – Even snappier dialogue because Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay. It’s the story of Facebook. Who invented it, the lawsuits. I hope it also explains how I can block people from sending me invitations. And then have them killed.

YOU’LL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER – Woody Allen’s 746th attempt at the same movie. He's truly become the Octomom of Cinema.

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN – Documentary on public education. The Comic-con crowd is going to be really pissed about ten minutes into this movie, especially after spending allowance they could have used for Transformer accessories.

GULLIVER’S TRAVELS – The Jonathan Swift classic set in contemporary times with Jack Black. The Lilliputians aren’t terrified that they encounter a giant. It’s that it’s Jack Black.

RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE – If 3D makes people more lifelike, does it make zombies more lifeless? That’s what we’ll find out when Milla Jovovich wrassels ‘em.

LIFE AS WE KNOW IT – Hi-concept formula romcom starring formula actress Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. They hate each other. But have to raise a baby together. What do you think happens? Did you say an hour of poopy jokes and then they fall in love? You’ve just saved yourself twelve dollars.

LET ME IN – Remake of Swedish cult vampire hit. Fans are outraged. Without the Volvos, what’s the point?

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 – Anticipating this might become a franchise the studio early on wisely signed all the ghosts to three sequels.

THE COMPANY MEN – Ben Affleck as workaholic who gets fired and must work for less pay. The heartbreak of financial ruin directed by billionaire John Wells.

The Fall Movie Preview concludes tomorrow.


SCDP said...

Jon Hamm is in The Town. Nothing else is important!

Anonymous said...

Jeremy Renner is in The Town. That is also important. I guarantee he will steal the show.

rockgolf said...

Ken, can I add a Friday question here?

I just saw that Katey Cuoco broke her leg in a horseback riding accident and that The Big Bang Theory show is planning to rewrite the script they are filming tonight without her.

That sounds like a herculean task to take a significant character out of an episode in two or three days. Has this ever happened on a show you were on? If so, how did you do it and what (belated) advise would you give the BBT writers.

Emily Blake said...

I'm just going to say that "Black is the new big" is a poorly thought out tagline.

Troy said...

Quiz: Which Fall movie is all about "Greed times 2"?

If you said "Wall Street" the sequel, sorry, you lose.

The answer is "Harry Potter".

There is only one reason this final book in the series is going to be split up into 2 movies.

Hint: It has nothing to do with story necessity.

I have a good deal of respect for J.K. Rowling and what she was able to accomplish under tremendous pressure...

...but I lost a little of it when she allowed this blatant money grab to happen (and yes, she could have stopped it).

So much for "hallowed" franchises.

Gecko, however, would be proud.

Jack said...

Please preview Legendary and/or Knuckleheads for part 2.

Jack said...

sorry, Knucklehead (singular)

Mac said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who feels murderous about Facebook friend invitations. A friend is someone you call up and get them to buy you a beer, not someone you 'poke' or whatever the hell they do on Facebook. Still, Aaron Sorkin - got to be worth a watch.
I'm really looking forward to 'The Town.' Ben Affleck showed he's got serious directing chops on 'Gone Baby Gone.'
I keep praying that Woody will pull the rabbit out of the hat just one last time, but I've been praying for that for many years now. Even the most faithful dog stops returning after so many kickings.
As for that Katherine Heigl thing, I wouldn't go to see it at gunpoint.

Richard J. Marcej said...


Did you read "Deathly Hallows"??

I don't care how great a screenwriter you could have got to write it, but there's no way in hell that an adaption of that book could have properly been told in two hours on the big screen.

How is this a "blatant money grab"? Do you have behind the scenes access to this? Hey, how about YOU try to write a representative entertaining adaption of this book into a 2 hour film.

Go ahead.

Rex Reed said...

Katherine Heigl AND Josh Duhamel: unless one or both are nekkid....

blogward said...

'Deathly Hallows' in a blog post:

Geeky English kid with special CGI powers prevails against sneaky villains with CGI tricks up their sleeves, but doesn't get laid.


Jim, Cheers Fan said...

I thought Wall St II might be good, since the Sheens and Darryl Hannah weren't in it, but then I saw a preview with Charlie Sheen. Hopefully it's a brief flashback.

I believe the guy directing the last two Harry Potter movies is the same guy who did #6? That doesn't bode well. It was far and away the worst of the series.

Didn't Jamie Lee Curtis retire about five movies ago?

Katherine Heigl gets so worked over in blogs, I found myself rolling my eyes when I saw her name, then I remembered I've never actually seen her act.

Troy said...

@Richard C. Marcej:

1. I did read "Deathly Hallows".

2. I disagree that "there's no way in hell that an adaption of that book could have properly been told in two hours on the big screen."

Let's look at some math:

Book #4: Goblet of Fire = 734 pages
Book #5: Order of the Phoenix = 870 pages
Book #6: Half-Blood Prince = 652 pages
Book #7: Deathly Hallows =759 pages

[Hardcover American editions.]

Similar page counts, yet somehow, they managed to adapt Books 4-6 into single movies.


3. I stand by the phrase "blatant money grab".

So how to 'squeeze' "Deathly Hallows into a 2-3 hour film? To start, cut out most of the camping and...

...Presto Edito! The rest even a not so "great a screenwriter" could probably cherry-pick and condense (and Academy Award nominated Steve Kloves is apparently already pretty good at it).


Tom Quigley said...

Jim, Cheers Fan said...

"Katherine Heigl gets so worked over in blogs, I found myself rolling my eyes when I saw her name, then I remembered I've never actually seen her act."

I tried to watch KNOCKED UP, 27 DRESSES and THE UGLY TRUTH and had to turn them all off... I've never seen her act either...

wv: untins -- diapers for woodsmen made out of metal?...

escalante blogger said...

I've been waiting for this movie.

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David Schwartz said...

Really Ken? "The Comic-con crowd is going to be really pissed about ten minutes into this movie, especially after spending allowance they could have used for Transformer accessories." I've been a comic book reader since the 1960's and after 40 years of headlines in newspapers that all began with, "Pow, Bam, Zowie," comic book readers are finally getting some respect with the mainstream press and you need to go for a cheap shot? I know it's an easy gag, but it still stings! Oh, well, at least I've still got my Transformer accessories...

MattA said...

Aren't all movies at bottom blatant money grabs? I would assume a good screenwriter could condense all 7 books into one movie. If the thought of stretching one book over two movies offends you, don't let the movie makers grab your money.

Troy said...


I won't get into a general philosophical discussion about whether ALL movies are "blatant money grabs", because if you want to stretch the defintion far enough, ANY transaction that involves someone selling something for money could be labeled as such.

I will, however, address why this specific one "offends" me.

Because it's unnecessary.

The SOLE reason to split "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows" into 2 movies is to make more money (for a group of people who have already minted fortunes from the franchise).

So what's wrong with that?

What's wrong is that when squeezing money is your sole motivator, it often results in a poorer product.

I was visiting my nieces yesterday. I asked the older one, 17, who has read every "Harry Potter" book and seen every "Harry Potter" movie, what she thought of the last book being split up into 2 movies. She immediately responded, "I don't like it." I asked why and she said:

"Because I'd rather they put all the good parts into one movie than stretch it out and make two boring movies, like they did with the other books."

There may be a word or two missing, but that's pretty much a direct quote (and, yes, I tried to pose the question in as neutral a manner as possible).

She'll pay to see the 2 "Deathly Hallows" anyways.

Hollywood wins.

But does she?

Ian said...

First, a prediction: "Burlesque" will be a spectacular failure, although if sufficiently awful it might live on as a cult favorite. More likely, it will be the next "Glitter."
As for splitting the final Harry Potter book into two movies, is it a blatant money grab if both of the movies turn out to be great entertainment? It seems to me that ultimately the paying audience will decide whether or not the two-parter was justified. Besides, I think there are more egregious examples of money grabs... does the universe really need another "Pirates of the Caribbean?"
Re Ben Affleck, it looks like he's performing a trick worthy of Harry Potter - returning from punchline status to respectability by doing quality work.
Katey Cuoco broke her leg? Does she need anyone to help her get around? Maybe help her get in and out of the bathtub? Where do I volunteer?
Isn't it odd how some actors wear out their welcome quickly (Jack Black, Katherine Heigl) while others continue to shine, year after year? I always thought that Gene Hackman elevated just about every movie he was in. There there are those actors where you have to wonder how they keep getting work... Will Patton, anyone?
The "Comic-Con croud?"... yeah, that was a bit of a cheap shot. Too easy a target, by far.

bevo said...

Friday question. Bigger waste of screen time: Daryl Hannah or Shia Labeouf?

Who ever casts the Wall Street movies should never be allowed to practice their craft again.

Anonymous said...

I am waiting for Wall Street 2 movie. Loved the first one. Saw "The Devil" and really enjoyed it so far.

mediaedward said...

Also I am looking forward to James L. Brooks movie with Reese Witherspoon and Jack Nicholson.

Download The Town said...

I just watched The Town movie and enjoyed a lot. It is a very awesome and fantastic movie. The story cast is also a good. Really I love this movie very much.