October Movie Preview 2011

E: Ah, October.  The leaves change color, and the serious movies come out – along with a few would be nightmares.  There are more than a few offerings this month to keep you warm on a chilly fall evening – or to keep you jumping out of your seat.  Enjoy!

October 7th

Real Steel

E: Starring Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly, the story of a boy and his Dad and their over-sized metal Rock’em Sock’em Robots.

M: Okay, so, I know this will probably be pretty bad, but I’m interested.  I like the look of it, like the two main stars, and heard the director and writer saying that they wanted the robot boxing part to be interchangeable with any sport, like ping pong or something, because they wanted the movie to really be about the story of the father and son.  If they pull that off and the Rock’em Sock’em Robots are cool?  Smells like a good flick.

C: I’m sure that, for what it’s trying to be, it has the capacity to be quite good. The inspirational sports movie is a genre that many, many people love. I’ll catch it on DVD.

E: Apparently Sugar Ray Leonard taught Jackman how to box, and that’s cool, at least.

M: Speaking as a total Boston homer…  it would have been cooler if it had been Marvelous Marvin Hagler, but I suppose Leonard is an acceptable replacement if Hagler wasn’t available or willing.  🙂

The Ides of March

E: I’m so thrilled about this thriller.  It’s got a stellar cast: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Jennifer Ehle, Marissa Tomei and Jeffrey Wright.  And intrigue during political campaigns – that’s always got my attention.

C: Written and directed by George Clooney, too. I enjoy his last directorial foray, the underrated Leatherheads, and love his other writing/directing outing, Good Night and Good Luck. So that bodes well…

M: I am inherently dubious of most political movies Hollywood puts out (since there is basically one political point of view in Hollywood) and am highly skeptical about anything political involving George Clooney specifically.  HOWEVER, this looks like it could be really, really good, and looks like they are not trying to just make one political side look good, and in fact are looking at the whole system and the moral fiber of any individual in it, which is a great topic no matter the side of the aisle the person is on.  Gosling has serious Oscar buzz around his performance, and with the exception of Hoffman (who just annoys the crap out of me in everything I’ve ever seen him in) I like everyone on that list, especially Giamatti.  Here’s hoping this one succeeds!

October 14th


E: Why are they doing this?  And why are all the songs countrified?

M: Oooohhhh!  Ooooooohhhh!  I can answer both questions!!  That would be money and, um, money.  HOWEVER…  Mrs M saw a screening of this the other night and loved it, as did the ladies she went with.

C: I’ll just sit in this corner pretending outrage and not admitting I haven’t seen the original…

M: For shame!

E:  Wow. I’m shocked by both those revelations!

The Thing

M: Normally the type of movie I’d stay away from, but with BSG‘s Ronald D. Moore bringing another classic back to life, it’s at least worth waiting to hear what people think, right?

E: I really want to say no.  I mean, can even Ron D. Moore make The Thing into a good thing?

The Big Year

E: The bird watching movie with the great cast.  Okay.

M: But can even Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black make bird watching funny?

E:  Hey, Lord of the Gourds is funny (and sympathetic).  Anything can be funny if it’s done right.  The question is, are you going to go to the theater to see it?

M: No.  Wait, were you asking me or our readers?

Fireflies in the Garden

E: The long delayed Julia Roberts/Ryan Reynolds movie finally sees the light (or dark) of theaters.  Roberts plays Reynolds’s mysteriously deceased mother in flashbacks.  A lot of bad seventies clothes and hair.

C: Roberts… plays… Reynolds’… mother? My brain just exploded.

M: Bad clothes, bad hair, bad male lead….  sign me up!

The Skin I Live In

E: Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodovar, together again. Creeping us out again.

M: Even at his highest point, Banderas has never been in the “I want to see it because so and so is in it” category for me.

E: Well, I had a bit of a thing for him.  Back in, like, 1995.

C: How could you resist Zorro?

M: Because he’s skeevy looking, to the point of looking like you’d get an STD just by being in the same zip code as him?

E: It wasn’t enough to get me to see a horror movie even then, however.  This one seems to be about a surgeon who captures a beautiful woman in order to grow her a skin suit?  I really don’t want to think about it that much, to be honest.  Not cool.

M: With the possible exception of learning how to you say “It puts the lotion in the basket” in Spanish, I can’t think of anything good that could come out of that concept.


M: Kind of amazing that a movie starring Nicholas Cage and Nichole Kidman and being directed by Joel Schumacher looks like a straight to DVD flick.  Or should it be straight to BluRay?  Straight to streaming?  Whichever, all I can think is how the mighty have fallen.

E: How is that even possible?

October 21st

The Three Musketeers

E: I hate to say it, but this looks dreadful, even with Matthew McFadyen in it and even though I adore this story.  Hmm. I should have said that in the other order.  Anyway, filmmakers can’t just leave well enough alone.  Swordplay with wire fu?  Not in this era, thank you.   What a total downer.

M: Yeah, based on what I’ve seen the SwashFu looks totally out of place.  Though, Percy Jackson’s playing D’Artagnan…  um, okay, yeah, that’s not a plus.

E: No.  I don’t think Orlando Bloom or Christoph Waltz could sway me, either.

M: And unlike the others, that actually is saying something.  Why can’t anyone get this story onto the big screen in a good way?

E: That’s so true.  I don’t think there’s ever been a properly exciting rendition of this.

C: Nope, they keep trying, and keep bombing. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the book is actually kind of ridiculous too?

Paranormal Activity 3

M: The first one worked because it was something new.  Was there a Blair Witch 3?  No, and with good reason.

E: Also, doesn’t it seem like the second one was out really recently?  Huh – it was almost a year ago.  Still, that’s fairly fast between sequels.

Martha Macy May Marlene

E: Oscar buzz, hello!  The four names of the title all refer to one girl (Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister to those Olsens, in an allegedly star-making turn) who is many things to many different people.  At least one of her several personae (not split personalities, mind you) is part of a cult. Family favorite John Hawkes is also supposed to be excellent here.

C: Family favorite, eh? Wish I knew who that was.

M: Wait, it’s not just me?  I assumed when E wrote that that he was in Pride and Prejudice or some other thing you guys love together.  Apparently he’s an E favorite.

E: (Throws up her hands.)  You just forget that you know who he is.  The Perfect Storm, Winter’s Bone, Lost, The X-Files – but we all loved him from that 2 episode case on The Practice where he was unjustly accused of rape.   He has nothing to do with Pride and Prejudice.

 Margin Call

M: A financial crisis movie, but a fictionalized one, as opposed to the incredibly well received documentary Inside Job.  Also opposed to Inside Job, this is not being very well received, despite an amazing cast including Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Simon Baker and Paul Bettany.

E: Oh, that’s sort of too bad.  I guess I should really rent Inside Job, huh?

C: You should rent the Spike Lee movie Inside Man instead.

M: Agreed, that’s a good flick.

C: As to this one, that’s quite a cast… but maybe still not enough to get me interested in a movie about finance.

M: Wait, Dad hasn’t been pestering you to watch that doceumentary as persistently as he’s been pestering me, E?  But yes, from all accounts (not just Dad), it is remarkably well done and you should see it.

The Mighty Macs

E: Carla Gugino stars as the coach of a girls basketball team, based on a true story.  There are nuns.  Cheerleading.  In habits.  I mean, come on.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

E: I’d never see it in the theaters, but I can’t help thinking it could be interesting.

C: If only Elmo weren’t the least cool muppet.

October 28th

The Rum Diary

E: Johnny Depp in Cuba before the revolution.

M: And returning to Hunter S Thompson work.  The trailer looks really slick.  In a good way, that is.

In Time

E: Now this looks fascinating.  Justin Timberlake stars in a sci fi thriller about time as a commodity.  The haves have it, the have nots (like Timberlake) don’t.  The happy idea that everyone stops aging at 25 allows the makers to cast the movie with luscious youth.

M: The descriptions I’ve seen make it seem like something that came out of someone watching the highly underrated Logan’s Run (which I own) and thinking “I could come up with something cool that’s sort of like that!”  Plus it’s directed by Andrew Niccol, whose debut film, Gattaca, is one of my all time favorites.  And, as much as I’m not a fan of his music, I think Timberlake has turned out to be a very gifted and talented actor who usually makes very good decisions on projects.  I’m on board with this one big time.

E: Well, I’m not sold it’ll live up to the premise, but I’m definitely intrigued.


E: Shakespeare’s plays weren’t written by Shakespeare.  Yawn.

M: Directed by Roland Emmerich?  Seriously?  The guy that directed The Patriot, Stargate, ID4, Universal Soldier, Godzilla (the Matthew Broderick one) and The Day After Tomorrow?  Really, wtf?

C: It’s a wild, epic, out-of-this-world blockbuster tale of–noms de plume!!

And They’re Off

E: A mockumentary about thoroughbred racing, starring Sean Astin?  That has potential for serious awesome.

M: Seriously?  A mockumentary, thoroughbred racing AND Sean Astin?  We have to be at the exact center of the Venn diagram intersecting those three things, right?

E: There’s probably not a lot of people occupying that space, but we are definitely in that number.

Like Crazy

E: This movie has had a lot of buzz since Sundance; it’s loosely based on writer and costar Ben York Jones’ experience in a passionate college relationship which becomes a long distance romance.  The cast includes Star Trek‘s Anton Yelchin, Doctor Who‘s Alex Kingston, The Hunger Games‘ Jennifer Lawrence, Finola Hughes (of General Hospital and How Do I Look?) and “hey, its that guy” Oliver Muirhead.

M: Holy crap is Jennifer Lawrence in a movie every other month?  It’s like she’s the new Samuel L Jackson!

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