Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fall Movie Preview (September 2010)

Although there is one high-profile sequel in the month, a mere 23 years after its original (“Wall Street”), the release schedule for September is a bit scattershot, with a wide variety of genres being represented. However, no certain hits appear to be present, but some could be sleepers.

“The American”

Starring George Clooney, Violante Placido, Thekla Reuten, Paolo Bonacelli
Directed by Anton Corbijin

The story of a hitman taking on a final job before getting out of the “business” is an overdone premise, but Clooney has selected his material well in recent years. Giving him the benefit of a doubt would seem logical. He’s heading up an international cast for this Italian-set movie that will depend on Clooney’s star power to generate much business. (Sept. 1)

Starring Danny Trejo, Robert DeNiro, Jessica Alba, Steven Seagal, Michelle Rodriguez, Jeff Fahey, Cheech Marin, Don Johnson
Directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez

In what has to be the first-ever movie based on a trailer (which appeared in theaters as part of “Grindhouse,”), the sure-to-be action-packed and violent “Machete” hits the screen. Co-director and co-writer Robert Rodriguez always seems to have fun with his casting choices and assembled quite the unusual collection of actors for a story involving an ex-Federale (Trejo) looking for payback against those who betrayed him. (Sept. 3)

“Resident Evil: Afterlife”
Starring Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn Roberts, Boris Kodjoe and Wentworth Miller
Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

Who could have imagined that a movie based on a video game could have spawned three sequels? The “Resident Evil” franchise continues to drive along, leaving a high body count in its wake, as a group of survivors continue to wage battle against the undead. They head to Los Angeles, hoping to find refuge there. L.A., really? Silly humans. (Sept. 10)

“Never Let Me Go”
Starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, Charlotte Rampling
Directed by Mark Romanek

Three children have grown up together in a prestigious English boarding school. But as they grow into young adults, they find themselves preparing to face uncertain futures as they leave the school. The film is adapted from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro (“The Remains of the Day”). While unlikely to be a box-office hit, this is the type of film that will seek out end-of-year awards. It would seem a bit of an unexpected choice from director Romanek, who hasn’t made a feature film since 2002’s dark “One Hour Photo.” (Sept. 15, limited)

“The Town”
Starring Ben Affleck, Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Blake Lively, Pete Postlethwaite and Chris Cooper
Directed by Ben Affleck

A bank robber (Affleck) who is very good at committing crimes finds himself in a bit of crisis of conscience when he falls for a bank manager (Hall) involved as a hostage in a prior robbery of his gang. Naturally, this makes the rest of the gang nervous, as law enforcement begins to close in. A good cast heads up this crime drama that is also directed and co-written by Affleck. This marks Affleck’s second stint behind the camera after his impressive debut with 2007’s “Gone Baby Gone.” (Sept. 17)

Starring Geoffrey Arend, Logan Marshall-Green, Bojana Novakovic, Jenny O’Hara, Bokeem Woodbine
Directed by Drew and John Erick Dowdle

The concept behind this thriller is a seemingly simple one – five people get trapped in an elevator. The bigger problem, however, is that one of them is ... wait for it – Satan! Talk about a bad situation made worse. The story concept is from M. Night Shyamalan, but he isn’t directing the action. Clearly, with no big names in the cast, this film’s success will all depend on execution and making the most of a confined space. (Sept. 17)

“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”
Starring Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella
Directed by Oliver Stone

The sequel that few would have ever expected (or possibly wanted) has arrived, as former hotshot stockbroker Gordon Gekko (Douglas) gets out of prison and tries to rebuild his life. Naturally, the lure of money drives him back to seeking out more wheeling and dealing in the business world, with another young protege (LeBeouf) along for the ride. But this young man could also become family, as he’s engaged to Gekko’s estranged daughter (Mulligan). (Sept. 24)

“You Again”
Starring Kristen Bell, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Odette Yustman, Kristin Chenoweth, Victor Garber and Betty White
Directed by Andy Fickman

Old rivalries are renewed when a woman (Bell) heads home for her brother’s wedding, only to discover he’s marrying her high school nemesis (Yustman). Her problem is complicated even more when it’s discovered her mom (Curtis) and the fiancee’s aunt (Weaver) were also high school rivals. This has got to be one of those “only in the movies” kind of concepts. Still, perhaps the finished product will be better than its somewhat labored premise. (Sept. 24)

No comments: