Tuesday, September 1, 2009

fall movie preview: october (part two)

Welcome to part two of my literary (and sometimes pop cultural) analysis of Entertainment Weekly's Fall Move Preview. The fall movie calendar is so full, I'm detailing the literary origins of fall movies one month at a time.

Sadly, October starts with bad news. The featured movie, Scorsese's sure to be a hit Shutter Island has been pushed back to early 2010 because the studio can't afford to publicize it. There were rumors about competing for an Oscar, but sadly, Oscar campaigns cost money, and the studio is short. Shutter Island is based on the book by Dennis Lehane and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo and Michelle Williams. I am in the minority of those who though the film version of Mystic River was underwhelming, so I will be first in line to read Shutter Island before I see the movie. I'm glad I have an extra six months.

  • Amelia - I have always had a fascination with Amelia Earhart. She's a famous, mysterious woman from my beloved home state of Kansas. I'm thrilled to see a biopic of her, but I am still trying to figure out why Hilary Swank got the role. I like Hilary Swank, sort of. She was brilliant in Boys Don't Cry, which was a mesmerizing, brilliant and troubling film; she deserved the Oscar. I couldn't sit through Million Dollar Baby; she didn't deserve that Oscar (in fact, she came in last in my assessment of nominees that year). Still, I'm excited for the film. It's written by Ronald Bass, who based the script on two biographies and one novel of Earhart. I'm curious to see how factual the film is.
  • Couples Retreat - Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau are back together, and they co-wrote the script with Dana Fox.
  • Gentlemen Broncos - the latest from Jared Hess, of the abysmal Napolean Dynamite (I know, it's a dissenting opinion).
  • Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant - based on the first novel in Darren Shan's young adult vampire series, The Vampire Blood Trilogy. I haven't read the books, and my vampire young adult fiction to read pile already overflows; I'll pass until I hear more amazing reviews.
  • A Serious Man - Joel and Ethan Coen are back! I've been underwhelmed by their last two films, No Country for Old Men (it couldn't possibly live up to its hype because I saw it so late) and Burn After Reading (it couldn't possibly live up to its cast), but this film excites me so much I might even see it in the theater.
  • Where the Wild Things Are - if you need me to tell you...yes, it's based on the book, but more importantly, it was written by Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze. I can't wait, and I don't even care for the book that much (backlash, I'm sure).
  • More Than a Game - a documentary following LeBron James from high school. Yes, please.
  • The Messenger - not based on a book.
  • New York, I Love You - The New York version of Paris, Je T'aime, this film features shorts from a wide variety of directors.
  • Whip It- Yes, the Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig roller derby is finally coming out! Shauna Cross wrote the screenplay based on her young adult novel, Derby Girl. I watched the A&E roller derby reality series, I adore the cast, and I will read the book. Also, in my quest to support female writers and directors of non-romantic comedy films, I will gladly pay $10 at my local independent cinema to see this film opening weekend.
  • This Is It - Unless you believe the Internet footage of Michael Jackson walking out of the ambulance, this is your last chance to see him perform. Kenny Ortega is directing the available footage of Jackson practicing for his now cancelled 50-date London concert series.
  • Zombieland - This sure to be fun film starring Woody Harrelson and Abigail Bresland as zombies is completely original and not based on a book.
  • The Road - based on Cormac McCarthy's book, which I somehow still have not read. Perhaps this film will be my impetus to do so.
  • The Stepfather - based on the not-so-classic-to-high-brow-folks 1987 film of the same name. Most importantly, Penn Badgley gets a juicy role.
  • Afterschool - not based on a book, but starring the enigmatic and should be a superstar character actress Rosemarie DeWitt.
  • Adventures of Power - Ari Gold wrote and directed this film.
  • Peter and Vandy - the first film from writer and director Jay DiPietro. EW describes it as "an indie romance told out of sequence," which sounds like a movie I will adore.
  • St. Trinian's - is the relaunching of a franchise; it's an update on The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954), which was based on the works of British cartoonist Ronald Searle. There have been five movies all together, but the most recent was in 1980. This version is somewhat of a sequel and a remake. St. Trinian's is an anarchic school for troubled girls (Mischa Barton, seriously) and stars Colin Firth, Lena Headley(!) and Rupert Everett. Yes, please.
  • Bronson - a biopic of the infamous British criminal.
  • Free Style - I'm not sure if I'm more amazed Corbin Bleu's motocross movie isn't airing on Disney or that someone managed to make another motocross movie after Supercross (yes, I saw it because I adore Sophia Bush).
  • Good Hair - Chris Rock explores the black hair industry; the film is part documentary, part comedy.
  • Trucker - not based on a book
  • Law Abiding Citizen - written by Kurt Wimmer, a screenwriter of several smarter action films, including one of my personal favorites, the 1999 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair.
  • The Maid (La Nana) - winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, from Chilean writer/director Sebastian Silva
  • Motherhood - Uma Thurman and Minnie Driver together is awesome enough, but the film was also written and directed by Katherine Dieckmann, who made the music videos for both "Shiny Happy People" and "Stand". She even directed "The Adventures of Pete and Pete." Why have I never heard of her? She has two other movies? One of them (Diggers) stars Paul Rudd (from Kansas!) She must be from Athens, Georgia, and I will thus pay to see her movie.
  • Astro Boy - an animated 3-D version of the manga series, which also spawned an international anime series.
  • Ong Bak 2 - it's a prequel to Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior, which I am not familiar with, but I never pretended to have knowledge of Thai martial arts movies.
  • Antichrist - Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark) is back with a horror film he wrote and directed.
  • The Private Lives of Pippa Lee - Rebecca Miller wrote the screenplay based on her novel of the same title; she also directed the film. The cast is amazing: Julianne Moore, Blake Lively, Maria Bello, Alan Arkin, Robin Wright Penn, Keanu Reeves & Winona Ryder. I will need to read this book soon.
  • Saw VI - Six? Really?
  • The House of the Devil - Ti West is making quite a career of horror movies I barely remember hearing about. The list includes The Wicked, The Roost, Trigger Man, and Cabin Fever 2 (2?)
  • Skin- based on the life of Sandra Laing, a South African woman who was labeled colored under apartheid, despite having white parents; it's not based on a book.
  • Mary and Max - a stopmotion claymation film based on a true story of pen pals.
Wow, October is another great month for films. I added four books to my list to read before then: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane, Derby Girl by Shauna Cross, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Shannon Miller.

November is up next!

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