Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Fall Movie Preview (November 2010)

As November rolls around, the holiday season does as well, with a significant increase in family-oriented films hitting theaters. But more serious, award-seeking fare will also be coming.


Starring the voices of Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, David Cross and Brad Pitt
Directed by Tom McGrath

An animated adventure featuring a superhero seemed a no-brainer, thus the latest release from Dreamworks Animation, with what the studio surely hopes will launch a new franchise. That, in turn, could replace the “Shrek” series, which has (supposedly) concluded. Big names (Will Ferrell, Tina Fey and Brad Pitt) headline the vocal talent, focusing on a villain who takes over on the role of a hero after the hugely popular Metro Man decides to retire. Grabbing an early November release slot, the movie should have much of the family-focused audience to itself leading into Thanksgiving. (Nov. 5)

“Due Date”
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis
Directed by Todd Phillips

Coming off his red-hot summer smash of 2009, “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips brings in one of his stars from that film, Zach Galifianakis, and pairs him with just plain red-hot actor Robert Downey Jr. There’s pretty much no genre that Downey can’t excel in, and a road trip comedy featuring an odd couple pairing seems like a gold mine for laughs. If it’s anywhere close to as good as its trailer, Downey and Phillips should have another big hit on their hands. (Nov. 5)

“127 Hours”
Starring James Franco, Amber Tamblyn, Kate Mara
Directed by Danny Boyle

“Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle follows up his Oscar-winning hit film with a true-life harrowing tale of survival. Mountain climber Aron Ralston (James Franco) is a supremely confident young man who has a lot of time to reflect on his life after becoming trapped under a boulder while exploring canyons in Utah. The movie has been a hit on the festival circuit, much like “Slumdog” was before it picked up a head of steam with critics and audiences, eventually leading to a bunch of awards. Time will tell if this release will follow a similar path. (Nov. 5)

“Morning Glory”
Starring Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, Harrison Ford, Patrick Wilson, Jeff Goldblum
Directed by Roger Michell

A young successful television producer (Rachel McAdams) is given the unenviable task of helping to turn around a struggling morning show staffed by feuding anchors (Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford). The cast is certainly appealing, but will need a good story to go along with it to become a hit in a very competitive field. (Nov. 10)

Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Directed by Tony Scott

Frequent collaborators Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott team up for their sixth film together, including the second straight thriller involving a train. This time, Washington is a train conductor looking to head off a potential disaster, as a runaway freight train carrying toxic chemicals makes its way towards a town. He gets help from a young engineer (played by “Star Trek” star Chris Pine) in a desperate race against time. There’s certainly a sense of the familiar here, but its hard to discount the dependability of Washington, who’s coming off one of the biggest hits of his career (“The Book of Eli”). (Nov. 12)

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I”
Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman
Directed by David Yates

This release marks the build up for the big finish of the hugely popular franchise, breaking up the final book into two parts. Part two comes out next summer, but this installment will set the table, with audiences likely to come out in droves. This was originally set to come out in 3D, but the difficulty in converting it to the format led to the studio scrapping the plan. (Nov. 19)

“Love and Other Drugs”
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Gabriel Macht
Directed by Edward Zwick

A free-spirited beauty (Anne Hathaway) and a salesman (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the pharmaceutical industry find themselves unexpectedly falling in love in this romantic comedy. The leads are no doubt an attractive pairing, but can they bring something new to what has clearly become an overused genre? (Nov. 24)

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