Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Fall Movies, or What I Have to Get Through Before Return of the King

Entertainment Weekly just put out its Fall preview, a look at upcoming films from Sept.
through year's end. Here, then, is a quick tour through some of the films coming our
way. I've indicated for each whether or not I personally think I'd like to check it out
(which should not be taken as an indication if I'll actually see it; the ratio of films I'd like
to see to films I actually get to the theater to see is not that high a one).

Master and Commander
Russell Crowe as a British Sea Captain fighting on the high seas. Not something that
would normally hit my buttons, but director Peter Weir's presence is intriguing. Maybe.

The Human Stain
Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman in an adaptation of the Phillip Roth novel, which
I've read. The preview piece quite cavalierly gives away what, in the book, is a pretty
big, Crying Game-esque surprise. (A surprise I won't give away here). Very curious.

Cold Creek Manor
Sharon Stone and Dennis Quaid in a haunted house story. Not doing anything or me.

Secondhand Lions
I'm curious, if only to see how Haley Joel Osment (who deserved the Oscar for his work
in A.I.) is aging.

Intolerable Cruelty
What appears to be a mainstream George Clooney-Catherine Zeta-Jones comedy from
the Coen brothers. That right there gives it definite interest.

Runaway Jury
Grisham, but Grisham with Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack and Gene Hackman – nice
ensemble, that. Maybe.

In the Cut
What promises to be heavy and relatively explicit sex scenes from Meg Ryan, in a movie
directed by Jane Campion, of The Piano fame? Very curious.

Kill Bill

So curious to see if Tarantino is still interesting or if he blew his metaphoric wad with
Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs.

Brother Bear
Disney desperately tries to prevent traditional animation from being slaughtered by the
CG variety; I hope they succeed (but this limp-seeming picture about a human turned
bear doesn't give me much hope)

Cat in the Hat
The Grinch was bad, and that had a real story at least. And the trailer leaves us with no
hope that Mike Myers is doing anything but Mike Myers. Ugh.

Matrix 3
Well, I have to see Matrix 2 on video first, but I hope to see this one.

Will Ferell's first starring role, as a human raised by elves, actually looks very promising
– call me crazy.

Love Actually
Big ensemble piece from the writer of Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill,
both fine movies. Very curious.

Cuba Gooding Jr. playing a true-life mentally handicapped (read: retarded) football fan. Be very afraid.

Haunted Mansion
Eddie Murphy in an adaption, a la Pirates of the Caribbean, of the Disney ride. Looks
very, very lame; but I said that about Pirates. (I have a hunch this time I made the call).

Big Fish
Tim Burton doing circus freaks. I am so there.

Black comedy with Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore directde by Danny Devito. Death to
notwithstanding, DeVito can do good black comedy – remember War of the
and Throw Momma from the Train. Curious.

The Last Samurai
Had zero interest in this historical Tom Cruise sword-player, but seeing that it's from the
same folks who brought us Glory, as well as Once and Again, easily the best family
drama of the last decade, if not ever, has me very interested.

Not doing anything for me at all. Pass.

Stuck on You
Can the Farrellys make a Siamese twin comedy work? I'm curious to see.

Mona Lisa Smile
Julia Roberts doing Dead Poets (not in the dirty way). Meh.

Something's Gotta Give
A Jack Nicholson comedy where the joke is that he falls for the mom (Diane Keaton) of
the pretty young thing he's squiring? Now that's a high concept I can get behind.

Lord of the Rings 3
Most looking forward to this, out of any release in 2003. 'Nuff said.

Affleck in a memory-twisty sci-fi thriller by John Woo? Doesn't look all that intriguing.

Cheaper by the Dozen
Steve Martin in a kid comedy (a dozen kids). But Bonnie Hunt is also involved – always a
good sign. If anyone cam make it work they can.

Those are the biggies, although I'm sure I skipped more than a few others would judge as
biggies. Looks like a not-bad Fall. Bring on the Oscar talk! ;)

Until Whenever

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