Friday, September 23, 2011

2011 Fall Movie Preview

Some people have football, some people have prime time television. Me?  I've got Oscar.

We’re into it now, the most wonderful time of the year.  As we roll into the precious Oscar-bait season, here are the films I’m most looking forward to, and a few that I hope will simply pass the time pleasantly.

Here’s to hoping a glorified Movie of the Week with really good acting (i.e. The King’s Speech) doesn’t nab the top prize again.  Trailers will be added as they become available.

Drive – Sept. 16
Best film of the year...?  You tell me.  Click here for my review.

Straw Dogs – Sept. 16
A perfectly worthy remake of Sam Peckinpah's mediocre original. My review.

Moneyball – Sept. 23
If it wasn’t for Brad Pitt and its coveted director, I’d have no interest in seeing Moneyball.  Hopefully this will do for baseball what Warrior did for MMA. 

50/50 – Sept. 30
The title says it all: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the reason you should see this, and Seth Rogen is the reason you shouldn’t.  Not banking too much on this.

Margaret – Sept. 30
Made in 2005 and delayed until now (so that’s why Matt Damon looks so skinny), Margaret will either be as good as director Kenneth Lonergan says it is, or a complete dud.

Take Shelter – Sept 30
Because it stars two of the most talented people in the business, and it’s the second feature by a guy who blew me away the first time around.

The Ides of March – Oct. 7
Have you seen this cast?  Seriously.

The Skin I Live In – Oct. 14
Because it’s Almadovar, baby.  All About My Mother…? Talk to Her…? Broken Embraces… ?  Need I say more…?

Martha Marcy May Marlene – Oct. 21
Because it got raves coming out of Sundance.  And because being moved from a summer release date to the fall is never a bad sign.  Also, John Hawkes.

Paranormal Activity 3 – Oct. 21
Because, yes, even though it’s turning into another Saw-like franchise, and will in no way be as scary as the first, I still liked to be freaked out every now and again.  

The Rum Diary – Oct. 28
Because the last time Johnny Depp played Hunter S. Thompson, I absolutely hated it.  Then I watched it again.  And again.  And again.  What’s the score here?  What’s next?

My Week with Marilyn – Nov. 4
Because if anyone can convincingly pull off playing Marilyn Monroe, it’s Michelle Williams.

J. Edgar – Nov. 9
Eastwood.  DiCaprio. Watts.  Oscar. Here. We. Come.

Melancholia – Nov. 11
Because despite the fact that Lars Von Trier may indeed be a Nazi-sympathizing asshole, he often does wonder with the cinematic medium.  And Kristen Dunst, Best Actress and Cannes?  Say what?

The Descendants – Nov. 23
Because I’m one of the few people who didn’t really care for Alexander Payne’s last film (Sideways), but I’m also one of the few people who thought his actual last film was a mini masterpiece (the final segment of Paris, Je T’Aime).

Hugo – Nov. 23
Because despite the fact that the trailer looks rubbish, it’s Scorsese.  Which will always be enough for me.

The Artist – Nov. 23
Because this will be the first silent film in decades that will be nominated for Best Picture.

A Dangerous Method – Nov. 23
Because this looks like pure Cronenbergian bliss.  Also, Michael Fassbender.

Piranha 3DD – Nov. 23
Because, come on, we gotta have a little fun.

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Dec. 2
Because it looks heavy, sad, depressing, and finely acted.  Pure Oscar season joy.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Dec. 9
Because it looks old school spy thriller good.  Not cheap gimmicks, but patient intelligence.

Young Adult – Dec. 16
Because when Charlize Theron is good, she’s great. The writer/director Juno combo is risky (I wasn’t really a fan), but I’m confident Jason Reitman will pull it off.

Carnage – Dec. 16
Four characters. One set.  Roman Polanski.  Yes please.

The Iron Lady – Dec. 16
Because it’s Meryl Streep… as Margaret Thatcher.  She should probably dust off her acceptance speech.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol – Dec. 16
Because of its badass trailer.  And because Jeremy Renner is in talks to take over this franchise, which can possibly mean: Tom Cruise = dead.  Rock ‘n’ roll.

Albert Nobbs – TDB
Because it’s Glenn Close… as a dude.  She should probably dust off her acceptance speech.
Shame - TBD
Because the last time director Steve McQueen and star Michael Fassbender teamed up, I didn't breathe for 96 minutes (yeah, Hunger is that good).  Also, this production still:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Dec. 23
I really shouldn’t have to explain myself here.

We Bought a Zoo – Dec. 23
To be honest, I don’t know about this. I like Cameron Crowe and his rock ‘n’ roll sentimentality, and I’m willing to forget Elizabethtown, but this trailer is pretty weak.  

The Adventures of Tintin – Dec. 23
Much like Hugo, Tintin is a flick that doesn’t interest me nearly as much as its director.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Dec. 25
Acclaimed book, proven stars, American tragedy; expect this to be a serious awards contender.

War Horse – Dec. 28
The second Spielberg flick this season that I’m not really looking forward to.  I do, however, have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll deliver here.

Not in the mood for heavy-handy marvel?  No problem, Hollywood’s got your back with Footloose (Oct. 14), Tower Heist (Oct. 4), Jack and Jill (Nov. 11), Twilight: Eclipse Part 1 (Nov. 18), Sherlock Holmes 2 (Dec. 16), and New Year’s Eve (Dec. 9).


  1. Great list, buddy.

    But shame on you for not mentioning Shame.

    Also, for some like, crazy reverse catharsis, take a date to Like Crazy, then end it.

  2. And with that wonderful post, I just saw 5 or 6 trailers I was interested in! Thanks for the recap, it was great and keep writing about the Oscar Race, i'm always interested!

  3. I got the chance to see Martha Marcy May Marlene and Take Shelter at MIFF earlier this year, and can confirm they are both are really strong.

    I also saw Melancholia and loathed it (but I was definitely in the minority).

    On your list I'm especially excited for Drive, 50/50, The Ides of March, Mission Impossible and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Can't say I have much interest in either Spielberg film, We Bought A Zoo or Extremely Loud (I read the book and didn't care for it at all).

  4. @Tom S., a most...shameful exclusion on my part. Thanks for calling me out (no bullshit).

    @Aziza, thanks man, glad you liked it, much more Oscar chat to come.

    @Tom C., so excited about MMMM and Take Shelter, not too surprised that you didn't dig Melancholia, Von Trier's flicks are always so polarizing. Drive was brilliant, and I agree with your indifference toward the Spielbergs and We Bought a Zoo. I know next to nothing about Extremely Loud, so I'll go into that one blind.

    Thanks all for reading and commenting!!

  5. Well, I can't argue with too many of these. I have also seen MMMM and Take Shelter, and can confirm they are both strong (haha). Most of these films will be out weeks/months later here is Australia, so it will be a frustrating wait at times, but there is plenty to look forward to. Great post. So much work here, man!

  6. Thanks dude, I'm really hoping this fall is better than last year (and the year before that)

  7. Nice work, sure are a lot of great films to look forward to!

    Especially excited for The Descendants, Alexander Payne's first film in years, he's among my favourite directors working today.

    Of the titles you don't mention, "The Future" directed by Miranda July is also on my list, also, "Another Happy Day" Both I heard about at sundance in january-finally they are getting a release date nov 4th

  8. I really enjoy Alexander Payne’s work too. Funny that his weakest film (in my opinion) is also his most praised.

    The Future came out here in July (are you in the UK?), but I’m not the biggest Miranda July fan, so I skipped it.

    Just looked up Another Happy Day (which I’d never heard of). Looks cool, I’ll have to be on the lookout for that one.

    Thanks for reading!

  9. @Alex Withrow: To answer your question, I usually keep up with the UK release dates on imdb, as they are similar to the scandinavian (where I'm at)

    If you're interested, I compiled an online to-see-list of both old and new films here:

  10. Yeah I've been scoping out your blog for the past few days, very cool stuff.

    Wouldn't it be nice if a movie was released everywhere the exact same day? I know there are marketing tactics to take into account and blah blah blah, but it'd just be nice to all few a flick at once.