September is not usually a very good movie going month – and this month is no exception. Coming off of four months of non-stop blockbusters, and before October kicks off prestige season where the studios release their Oscar movies, September is usually a dumping ground for bad action, bad comedies, and bad horror. You usually get a couple of interesting movies but little else. So maybe this month isn’t so bad after all, since there are four movies I actually quite want to see.
Week of September 4th
All About Steve – I am not a huge fan of Sandra Bullock in full romantic comedy mode, although I must admit she does do them better than most people –I’m just tired of the genre. And although Bradley Cooper has shown some comedic flair in films like The Hangover, he still isn’t on my list of favorite actors. So this romantic comedy – with Bullock as a pathetic woman chasing down Cooper, her blind date, isn’t exactly setting me a flutter with anticipation. But I do like Thomas Haden Church, who has a supporting role as the “asshole”, and my wife will surely make me see it. Anticipation Level: 4
Mike Judge is a comedic genius. Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill, Office Space and Idioacry are all wonderful, and the preview for his new film, Extract, has me laughing every time I see it. Jason Bateman is one of the best comic actors working right now, and his role as a plant manager looks quite – as does his supporting cast including Kristen Wiig, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck. Anything Judge does I am there for, and I love the fact that after being screwed over on Idiocracy, this one is actually getting a proper release. Anticipation Level: 9.
Gerald Butler has still failed to really impress me. Sure, he’s fine as an action hero, if the roll does not require him to show any actual emotion, so maybe he’ll be fine here. But the fact the this comes from the directors of the horrible and downright offensive Crank series, really has me worried. Having said all of that, I am a HUGE fan of Michael C. Hall and his work on Dexter, so there is no doubt I will be checking this one out. Anticipation Level: 6.
Week of September 11th
Without a doubt my most anticipated wide release movie this month. I love Tim Burton’s animated work, and although he is not directing this one, the preview certainly brings him to mind. I love creepy animation, and this certainly looks like it fits the bill. With an exceptional voice cast – including Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer and a personal favorite of mine Crispin Glover, this film looks amazing. Anticipation Level: 10.
I have not actually seen a preview for this one yet, but the plot descritption about a group of sorority girls who try to cover up the death of one of their and getting stalked by a serial killer does not exactly fill me with excitement. Unless this gets surprisingly good reviews, I think I’ll pass – although apparently this could be rated R, which means lots of gratuitous nudity and violence, which could entice me to see it. Anticipation Level: 3.
Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself
While I respect what Tyler Perry does, and think he fills a much needed roll in the film world, I cannot say that I have ever actually enjoyed any of his films – although I do end up seeing them all on video eventually. I really do not like it when Perry plays Madea, as I find that character to derail all the movies she is in. This one sounds like more of the same from him – a hard living woman (Tarji P. Hensen) needs to grow up and start acting like a parent, with the help of Madea and a new, gorgeous man in her life. Once again, I think I’ll wait until video. Anticipation Level: 2.
I actually quite like Kate Beckinsale as an actress, and director Domenic Sena can do good action movies (although he also directed Gone in 60 Seconds, so who knows?) The preview for this one looks quite entertaining, a murder mystery set in Antarctica. I must say though that I am a little disappointed that Beckinsale will be covered in a parka for much of the movie. Can’t she investigate a murder in Antarctica wearing that skintight leather outfit from Underworld? Anticipation Level: 7.
Week of September 18th
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
This animated kids movie, about a hapless inventor who somehow creates a device that transforms water into food (with the voice of Andy Sandberg no less), looks like plain old silly fun. With a voice cast that also includes Anna Farris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell, Neil Patrick Harris, Lauren Graham, Will Forte and Mr. T, I will definitely being checking this one out. Anticipation Level: 7.
I am just finishing up Kurt Eichenwald’s tremendous non-fiction book right now, and now I cannot wait to see what director Steven Soderbergh does with this material. It is a BIG book, which means things have to go, but Matt Damon should have a prize role (possible Oscar nomination?) as Mark Whitacre, the crazy ADM executive who tried to bring down his company by working with the FBI on a price fixing investigation. If that sounds boring, trust me it isn’t. Anticipation Level: 10.
I am seeing this one at the Toronto Film Festival only a week early (kind of a waste I know, but whatever), and I must say I am quite looking forward to it. Despite the fact that Juno went from being one of the most loved to one of the most hated movies of the decade (because *gasp* other people liked it as well, meaning it became “uncool”), I still love that film, and it’s screenplay by Diablo Cody (yes, the dialogue is stylized, no one actually talks like that, but people don’t complain about that in Tarantino movies do they?). Jennifer’s Body looks to be a fun, entertaining horror film (and with a R rating, that means violence galore, and dare I hope for nudity as well!) No I have not been overly impressed with Megan Fox’s performances so far, but really, has she really been given a chance to act before, or just run in slow motion and jiggle? But Amanda Seyfried, JK Simmons, Adam Brody and Amy Sedaris are proven to be fine actors. Not expecting greatness, but I’ll settle for damn entertaining. Anticipation Level: 9.
I like Aaron Eckhart quite a bit, and I think that in the right role Jennifer Aniston can be quite good as well. Supporting players Dan Fogler and Judy Greer are also top notch. So why am I not really looking forward to this romantic dramedy about a recently widowed self help guru (Eckhart) who connects with a woman who attends one of his seminars (Aniston)? Maybe it’s because the setting (Seattle), and the plot resemble Sleepless in Seattle too much, and for my money, that’s still the creepiest stalker movie disguised as a romantic comedy ever made. Anticipation Level: 3.
Week of September 25th
I never saw the original movie, or the TV show it spawned, so I am certainly no Fame fanatic. And the previews look downright cheesy. And yet, I still kind of want to see this one. I am a fan of So You Think You Can Dance (embarrassing, I know) and this one has some previous contenders in it, and hopefully it will just be silly fun. Anticipation Level: 6.
I have hopes that Pandorum could be good, intelligent, scary science fiction. Two crew members (Ben Foster and Dennis Quaid) on a spaceship awaken and have no idea who they are, and why they are there. The trailer actually looks quite good. But, my anticipation is tempered by the fact that the films producer is Paul W.S. Anderson of Resident Evil fame. This could still be a good sci-fi film, but I have my doubts. Anticipation Level: 6.
Director Jonathan Mostow has directed some good (Breakdown, Terminator 3) and some not so good (U-571) action films in the past, so I am curious to see what he does with this film. I have always quite liked Bruce Willis, and he seems to have aged gracefully into more mature roles in more mature action films, unlike many of his contemporaries. This looks to be a standard science fiction/action movie premise, but with these two – along with a good supporting cast including Radha Michell and Ving Rhames, I will certainly see it. Anticipation Level: 7.