2010 Fall/Winter Movie Preview – Part 2 September 7, 2010Posted by Matt in movies.
Tags: 127 Hours, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, Burlesque, Country Strong, due date, Fair Game, Fall Movie Preview, Faster, Gulliver's Travels, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Little Fockers, Love and Other Drugs, Megamind, Morning Glory, Somewhere, Tangled, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Debt, The Fighter, The Next Three Days, The Tourist, Tron: Legacy, Ture Grit, Unstoppable, Yogi Bear
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Today we continue our look at the upcoming Fall/Winter movies using nothing but the descriptions given on IMDB.com. Last week we journeyed through the months of September and October so today we will tackle the true Oscar season, November and December.
Director: Tom McGrath (Madagascar, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa)
Cast: Will Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey
Plot: After super-villain Megamind (Ferrell) kills his good guy nemesis, Metro Man (Pitt), he becomes bored since there is no one left to fight. He creates a new foe, Titan (Hill), who, instead of using his powers for good, sets out to destroy the world, positioning Megamind to save the day for the first time in his life.
My Take: The combination of a great cast and Dreamworks Animation, who were responsible for the acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon, make this a must-see.
Director: Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School)
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan
Plot: High-strung father-to-be Peter Highman (Downey Jr.) is forced to hitch a ride with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) on a road trip in order to make it to his child’s birth on time.
My Take: I faith that in Phillips’ hands this film will transcend the overdone road trip comedy. That and I think Galifianakis is hilarious. I’ll see this one later on DVD.
Director: Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later)
Cast: James Franco
Plot: Mountain climber Aron Ralston (Franco) becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive.
My Take: A movie about a guy who gets his armed stuck and reflects on his life for the duration of the film before cutting it off with a pocket knife? Umm…I’ll wait for the reviews.
Director: Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
Cast: Naomi Watts, Sean Penn
Plot: While investigating the existence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, CIA operative Valerie Plame (Watts) discovers her identity allegedly leaked by the government as payback for an op-ed article her husband (Penn) wrote criticizing the Bush administration.
My Take: While I’m sure this will be a fine movie and that it will be in line with my political beliefs, it just doesn’t excite me. Not at all. But, I’ll wait for the reviews.
Director: Tony Scott (The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Man on Fire)
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Plot: A rail company frantically works to prevent an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train carrying combustible liquids and poisonous gas from wiping out a city.
My Take: Following their tepid remake of Pelham, Denzel and Scott reunite for another action packed movie about a train. Umm…probably not for me…
Director: Roger Michel (Changing Lanes, Notting Hill)
Cast: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum
Plot: A hotshot television producer (McAdams) is set the challenge of reviving a struggling morning show program, despite the constant feuding of its high-profile anchors (Keaton and Ford)
My Take: This movie sounds like something for people older than me, so I’ll just leave it for them. No thanks.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Director: David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Plot: Harry, Hermione, and Ron set out from Hogwarts to find and destroy the Horcruxes – the secret to Voldemort’s power and immortality
My take: The first part of the finale has finally arrived! Count me in!
The Next Three Days
Director: Paul Haggis (Crash, In the Valley of Elah)
Cast: Russell Crowe, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson
Plot: A married couple’s life is turned upside down when Lara Brennan (Banks) is accused of murder. Three years into her sentence, Lara’s husband John (Crowe) is struggling to keep their family together and, realizing his wife’s deteriorating condition, he decides to break her out of prison.
Remake of French film, Pour Elle (Anything for her)
My Take: This French film remake has a good director and an excellent cast, so I feel pretty sure it will be a well-received Oscar contender that I’ll see eventually.
Director: Nathan Greno (feature debut, Animation for Bolt, Meet the Robinsons), Byron Howard (Bolt)
Cast: Many Moore, Zachary Levi
Plot: Rapunzel (Moore), a princess with 70 feet of magical, golden hair, has been locked away for years in a tower high above her kingdom. Desperate to be free, she strikes a deal with Flynn Rider (Levi), a handsome bandit who chooses her tower as a hideout spot.
My Take: Given that I have two little girls, this will probably be unavoidable.
Director: Steven Antin (feature debut)
Cast: Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming
Plot: A small-town girl (Aguilera) ventures to Los Angeles and finds her place in a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer (Cher).
My take: While this holds no interest for me at the moment, I’ll wait for the reviews.
Love and Other Drugs
Director: Edward Zwick (Defiance, Blood Diamond)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Judy Greer
Plot: A romantic comedy that skewers the pharmaceutical industry and is centered on relentlessly charming Viagra salesman Jamie Reidy (Gyllenhaal) and his romantic involvement with free-spirited Maggie Murdock (Hathaway).
My Take: It has a good cast, but there isn’t much in the rom-com genre that interests me.
Director: George Tillman Jr. (Notorious, Men of Honor)
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Maggie Grace
Plot: An ex-con (Johnson) sets out to avenge his brother’s death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he’s tracked by a veteran cop (Thornton) and an egocentric hitman.
My Take: Given that I’ve pretty much ignored The Rock’s past forays into film, it’s basically a given that I’ll do the same with this one.
Director: Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Requiem for a Dream, Pi)
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Plot: While vying for the coveted lead roles in a production of Swan Lake, a veteran ballerina (Portman) enters into a twisted friendship with promising new dancer (Kunis) that threatens to consume her.
My Take: I like the past work of Aronofsky and I tend to be a fan of Natalie Portman, but ballet just doesn’t ring my bell. I’ll wait for the reviews.
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others)
Cast: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany
Plot: Frank Taylor (Depp) travels to Venice to recover from a recent break-up, though he soon finds himself engaged by the beautiful and mysterious Elise (Jolie) – who happens to be an Interpol agent with a dangerous connection to a fugitive criminal.
My Take: Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in a thriller taking place in a glamorous foreign location? This may be worth checking out.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Director: Michael Apted (Enough, The World is Not Enough)
Cast: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley
Plot: Lucy (Henley) and Edmund (Keynes) return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace (Polter) where they meet up with Prince Caspian (Barnes) for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
My Take: I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by the Narnia films so far, though much of that is probably due to them coming on the heels of the incredible Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m sure I’ll see this movie sometime, probably on DVD.
Director: David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo
Plot: A look at the early years of boxer “Irish” Micky Ward (Wahlberg) and his brother, Dick Eklund (Bale), who helped train to become a pro fighter.
My Take: I like Russell and the idea of this film being at least partly a dark comedy intrigues me. I’ll wait for the reviews.
Director: Joseph Kosinski (debut)
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde
Plot: When Sam (Hedlund) investigates a signal sent from his father’s old arcade, he’s pulled into the digital world where his dead, Kevin Flynn (Bridges), has been trapped for 20 years. With father and son reunited, they team up with the warrior Quorra (Wilde) on a life-or-death journey across the cyber universe Kevin created.
My Take: I must admit that I’ve never seen the first Tron. Maybe if I did see it the idea of The Dude in cyberworld would appeal to me more. We’ll see.
Director: Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth)
Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Justin Timberlake, Anna Faris
Plot: A documentary filmmaker (Faris) travels to Jellystone Park to shoot a project and soon crosses paths with Yogi Bear (Aykroyd) and his sidekick Boo-Boo (Timberlake).
My Take: Like the Chimpmunks movies, I’m sure my kids will make sure I see this one. Ugh.
Director: Paul Weitz (About a Boy, American Pie)
Cast: Ben Stiller, Teri Polo, Robert De Niro
Plot: The Focker and the Byrnes families brace themselves for the arrival of a baby.
My Take: Really? Another of these movies? No thanks.
Director: Ethan and Joel Coen (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men)
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld, Josh Brolin
Plot: A young girl recruits a tough US Marshall to track down the man who killed her father.
My Take: Yes! I’ll watch anything the Coens put out, but the idea of Bridges taking on John Wayne’s Rooster Cogburn role is too much to pass up. This has all the marks of being my top film of the year.
Director: Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette)
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning
Plot: A hard-living actor (Dorff) holed up in the Chateau Marmont gets a reality check when he’s visited by his 11-year-old daughter (Fanning).
My Take: I loved Coppola’s Lost in Translation, but was unimpressed with Marie Antoinette. Hopefully she rediscovers her groove with this one.
Director: Rob Letterman (Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale)
Cast: Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel
Plot: Shipwrecked travel writer Lemuel Gulliver (Black) finds himself transported to an island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, where he’s a giant among the natives, the Lilliputians. Initially taken prisoner, Gulliver becomes a favorite of the court and schemes for a way in which the Lilliputians can outwit their rivals, the Blefuscudians.
My Take: Jack Black is very hit-or-miss with me and I can’t help but think this will be the latter. Will wait for the reviews.
Director: Shana Feste (The Greatest)
Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leighton Meesler, Tim McGraw
Plot: A drama centered on a rising country music songwriter (Hedlund) who sparks with a fallen star (Paltrow). Together, they mount his ascent and her comeback, which leads to romantic complications involving her husband/manager (McGraw) and a beauty queen-turned-singer (Meester).
My take: It’s great that Hollywood seems to have rediscovered country music (see last year’s excellent Crazy Heart). I’m not familiar with the director, so it remains to be seen how this will turn out. I’ll wait for the reviews.
Director: Derek Cianfrance (several short films and documentaries)
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman
Plot: A look at the idyllic past and troubled present of working class couple Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams).
My Take: This heavy drama was well-received at Sundance last year, but we’ll see.
Director: John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin)
Cast: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Tom Wilkinson
Plot: In 1965, Mossad agent Rachel Singer (Mirren) was part of a secret mission to capture and bring to trial the Surgeon of Birkenau, a Nazi war criminal. In her present-day life, when a man claiming to be the killer surfaces in Ukraine, Singer travels to Eastern Europe to seek out the truth.
My Take: Interesting concept. I’ll wait for the reviews.