WeekinRewind.com’s Comprehensive Field Guide to Fall Movies 2010: September

8/28/2010 Posted by Admin

Week in Rewind’s Comprehensive Field Guide to Fall Movies 2010: September

By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree

Yes, I know, autumn doesn’t actually start until Wednesday, Sept. 22. But lucky for us, the fall movie season kicks off as soon as the dust settles from the summer blockbusters. As the leaves turn, the movies do too, mostly taking a grittier or smarter tone than some of their summer predecessors in an attempt to grab some early Oscar buzz.

This fall is filled with some clear winners and losers. Despite having a lot of star power (George Clooney, Keira Knightley Ben Affleck, just to name a few), this September's schedule is unlikely to bring in a lot of box office. Outside of “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole,” there are certainly no guarantees to make money.

Box office aside, below is a list of films for September broken up into four sections: Movies to see, movies on the fence, movies to skip and September's surprise. Check it out, and prepare for fall movies.


Movies to See:

“The American” (Thriller, drama, Sept. 1): George Clooney plays an assassin who has retreated into the Italian Countryside. Clooney, the last of a dying breed of true movie stars, doesn’t really make bad movies. The leading roles the star chooses continue to get darker, and “The American” looks to be Clooney’s edgiest yet.

Having director Anton Corbijn (“Control”) behind the camera just gives further reassurance that “The American” is going to set the tone for the rest of the fall season.

“Machete” (Action, Sept. 3)
Simply put, Robert Rodriguez’s latest film, in collaboration with his longtime editing partner Ethan Maniquis, is going to be a lot of fun. But would you expect anything less from the man who brought us “Planet Terror,” “From Dusk Till Dawn” and “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”?

“Machete,” based on Rodriguez’s trailer made for the “Grindhouse” movie experience, stars Danny Trejo as the title character, an ex-Federale who launches an assault seeking revenge on his former employer (Jeff Fahey). Also along for the ride are Jessica Alba, Cheech Marin, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert De Niro, Don Johnson and Steven Seagal ... yes .. that Steven Seagal.

“The Town” (Crime drama, Sept. 17)
When it comes to directing, Ben Affleck sticks to what he knows -- Boston-based crime -- and he does it so well. Following up 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone,” Affleck is adapting yet another successful novel, “Prince of Thieves” by Chuck Hogan.

His model for success hasn’t gone stale, and with a cast featuring himself, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and Blake Lively, among many others, there’s a strong chance Affleck will one-up his previous effort with “The Town.”

“Jack Goes Boating” (Comedy, Sept. 17) Philip Seymour Hoffman, an offbeat romantic comedy about Jack (Hoffman), a limo driver, and his budding relationship with Connie (Amy Ryan) after a blind date. As their relationship progresses, the couple who set them up (John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega) find their marriage falling apart.

Hoffman, one of today's finest actors, has set himself up for a successful start to his directing career with “Jack Goes Boating.” The subject matter is perfect for him, and it will certainly please Philly faithfuls. And if you believe the title, you may also get to see him go boating.

“Buried” (Sept. 24 limited, Oct. 8 wide) Ryan Reynolds is buried alive, and he needs some help. Could he possibly use the powers from his Green Lantern ring to escape? Well, not in this movie, anyway.

With that said, there’s nothing more frightening to a claustrophobe such as myself than being buried alive. Writer Chris Sparling and director Rodrigo Cortes have created a simple, yet undeniably tense premise in “Buried.” Judging by the trailer, they seem to throw the audience right in the coffin with Ryan, a lighter and a cell phone. Sounds like a party to me.

“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (Comedy, Sept. 22) At 75, Woody Allen is still writing and directing circles around pretty much everyone. His latest effort follows two married couples, Alfie (Anthony Hopkins) and Helena (Gemma Jones), and their daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) and Roy (Josh Brolin).

The characters, each one their own brand of neurotic, struggle with the intricacies of relationships, anxiety and passion to create what looks like a pretty dark, but golden, comedy. Only Woody Allen could pull it off.

To quote Chicago Sun-Times’ writer Richard Roeper, “Even a relatively slight effort from Woody Allen is galaxies above most modern comedies.” Thankfully, over the past five or so years, Allen has been putting out more than just “slight efforts” -- he has returned to true form. “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” will, yet again, be galaxies above most modern comedies.

Movies that show promise:

“My Dog Tulip” (Animated, Sept. 1) A touching story about a British man as he forms a bond with his dog Tulip. Christopher Plummer, Lynn Redgrave and Isabella Rossellini provide voices, but the animation is the star. It's simple, yet unorthodox for a modern animated feature.

“Bran Nue Dae” (Comedy, Sept. 10) A high-energy coming-of-age comedy about an Aborigine in Australia. Starring Geoffrey Rush and Rocky McKenzie.

“Kings of Pastry” (Documentary, Sept. 15) A documentary focusing on the Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the most most prestigious of pastry competitions. It should offer up some high tension in the kitchen, genuine emotional moments, and even some laughs.

“Never Let Me Go” (Drama, Sept. 17) Iconic music video director Mark Romanek (a true master of his craft) directs Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield in this tale of three adults coming to terms with their new reality after growing up in a strict boarding school. With a cast and director like that, odds are this one will be quite good.

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (Drama, Sept. 24) Oliver Stone's sequel to “Wall Street” received mixed word of mouth after premiering at this year's Cannes Film Festival. But I still have a good feeling about this one. Starring Shia LaBeouf and Michael Douglas.

“Howl” (Drama, biopic, Sept. 24) Rob Epstein directs this biopic following the uproar over Allen Ginsberg's poem “Howl.” The subject matter alone makes this one worth watching. The cast, led by James Franco as Ginsberg, is just an added bonus. Mary Louise Parker, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels and David Strathairn also star.

“Devil” (Horror, Sept. 17) Five people are trapped in an elevator and one of them is, well, the Devil. The premise should provide enough suspense and mystery.

“Waiting for Superman” (Documentary, Sept. 24) Filmmaker David Guggenheim casts a critical eye on the public school system.

“The Wild Hunt” (Drama, Sept. 24) Hannover House's release shows what happens with the world of live-action roleplaying gets too real. From director Alexandre Franchi.

Movies on the Fence:

“Resident Evil: Afterlife” (Sci-Fi, Sept. 10) And yes, it's in 3-D. The fourth in the “Resident Evil series” marks the return of writer-director-producer Paul W.S. Anderson. Is that a good or bad thing for the franchise?

“A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop"(Foreign drama, Sept. 3) A woman, a gun and a noodle shop – this Hong Kong import has all of that. An Eastern remake of "Blood Simple" from Zhang Yimou ("Curse of the Golden Flower," "Hero") sounds great in theory, but I have doubts about how it will work in practice.

“Legendary” (Sports drama, Sept. 10) WWE superstar John Cena gives dramatic acting a shot in this cookie-cutter sports movie about amateur wrestling. Lucky for Cena, he has powerhouse Patricia Clarkson to work with.

“Easy A” (High school comedy, Sept. 17) Emma Stone stars as Olive, a high-school girl who, as she puts it, “fake rocks” the world of losers. She develops a reputation from her phony trysts and causes controversy around the campus. Penn Badgley, Alyson Michalka and Amanda Bynes also star.

“Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole” (Animated, Sept. 24) By far the favorite in September to succeed at the box office, the “Legend of the Guardians” is going to blow people away with director Zack Snyder's stunning eye for visuals. But Warner Bros. Is looking for much more than just money with this one, they're looking for an animated film Oscar nomination. If “Legend of the Guardians” delivers, it could be within reach.

Movies to skip:

“Going the Distance” (Romantic comedy, Sept. 3) Justin Long and Drew Barrymore are in a long-distance relationship, setting the stage for plenty of stale rom-com jokes.

“We are Family” (Foreign, Sept. 3) An Indian film focusing on one woman trying to keep a severely broken household with her ex-husband and his new wife.

“Logan” (Family, Sept. 10) The younger of two brothers shakes up the school and his relationships with his dreams of becoming a filmmaker.

“The Virginity Hit” (Comedy, Sept. 10) This faux documentary follows a teen on his quest to lose his virginity. It looks more like something that should be on MTV than in theaters.

“Picture Me: A Model's Diary” (Documentary, Sept. 17) A documentary from Ole Schell and Sara Ziff takes a look at the inner world of modeling, but it doesn't really seem offer anything new on the subject.

“Alpha and Omega” (Animated, Sept. 17) Wolves Kate (The alpha, voiced by Hayden Panetierre) and Humphrey (the omega, voiced by Justin Long) are stuck with each other on a nature preserve. An unoriginal story and, what looks like sub par animation, leaves little promise.

“The Trouble With Terkel” (Animated, Sept. 17) A crude, and really poorly animated film from Britain about the problems of sixth-grader Terkel. It looks like something that should have been made 17 years ago, and even then it wouldn't have had any edge.

“You Again” (Romantic comedy, Sept. 24) Kristen Bell stars in what looks like another failed attempt at comedy. After “Couples Retreat” and “When in Rome,” should we expect anything more? This time Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver co-star in a film about high school jealousy and angst that has lingered over years, and in the case of Curtis and Weaver, decades.

“Like Dandelion Dust” (Drama, Sept. 24)  Sentimental, inspirational melodrama abounds in this film about a man fresh out of jail fighting to get back his son who was adopted by a wealthy and stable family. Barry Pepper and Mira Sorvino star.

September’s surprise:

“Catfish” (Documentary, Sept. 17) The advertising team behind this one deserves a pay raise – or maybe “Catfish” is just an easy sell. Word coming out of Sundance is that this film will get people talking, and the trailer seems to back that up. It starts with documenting the talent of an 8-year-old girl who paints and sends it her work to New York photographer Nev Schulman. Nev begins talking to the girl's family, including the girl's sister, Megan, through Facebook.

Nev and Megan develop a web-based relationship, and from there the film takes on a life of its own when Nev goes to rural Michigan to meet Megan – of course, things are not as they seem.

From directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Nev's friend and brother), “Catfish” should be one of the surprise hits of the fall.

Below is the trailer for “Catfish,” what are your thoughts?

Here are some trailers for other releases that will generate buzz this fall:

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  1. Anonymous said...

    post the trailer for THE WILD HUNT.that movie will be the sleeper for the start of the fall movies. great trailer.very interested in seeing that movie. not the same ol same ol movie plot.