While Labor Day may kick off most people's fall season, those that live in Texas don't get to enjoy cooler weather for a couple of months, so we must rely on the box office to tell us that fall is indeed here. Judging by the upcoming indie films and dramatic pieces, the leaves must be about to turn, riiight?
Here are the top five films I'm most excited about, in chronological order.
Burn After Reading--September 12
Bless those Coen brothers. After the amazing success of last year's No Country for Old Men, Ethan and Joel are giving us another taste of their comedy chops this month.
With a megastar cast of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and John Malkovich, the film is a black comedy about Osbourne Cox (Malkovich), a CIA analyst who quits his job after being demoted because of his alcoholism. He decides to write a memoir about his life in the CIA. His wife, Katie (Swinton), wants to divorce Osbourne and, at the counsel of her divorce lawyer, she copies all his personal files. This disk eventually finds its way to Hardbodies, a gym. Chad (Pitt) finds the disc and intends to blackmail Cox with his former employee Linda (McDormand). Clooney appears as a Treasury agent Osbourne's wife.
Whew... Sounds like a whole lotta plot, but judging from the trailers (and Pitt's hair), it seems to be a welcome Coen brothers' weird, wacky, dark comedy. Can't wait...
Guy Ritchie seems to be returning to his former glory with RocknRolla, a tale of “sex, thugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.”
The story focuses on a Russian mobster, who sets up a real estate scam that generates millions of pound and the various members of London’s criminal underworld as their pursue their share of the fortune. Various shady characters, including Mr. One Two (Gerard Butler), Stella the accountant (Thandie Newton), and Johnny Quid a druggie rock-star (Toby Kebbell) try to grab a slice of the pie.
Count on it to be as fast, furious, violent, and (fingers crossed) witty as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels.
Quantum of Solace--November 14
I was one of those who felt like a blonde Bond was not cool. Until I saw Daniel Craig in his tiny little swim trunks, that is…sigh… Anyhoo, the latest and 22nd installment of Bond, James Bond will bow this November with Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball and Stranger than Fiction) at the helm.
Betrayed by Vesper, the woman he loved, 007 fights the urge to make his latest mission personal. Pursuing his determination to uncover the truth, Bond and M (Dame Judy Dench) interrogate Mr. White who reveals the organization that blackmailed Vesper is far more complex and dangerous than anyone had imagined.
Forensic intelligence links an MI6 traitor to a bank account in Haiti where a case of mistaken identity introduces Bond to the beautiful but feisty Camille, a woman who has her own vendetta. Camille leads Bond straight to Dominic Greene, a ruthless business man and major force within the mysterious organization, Quantum.
With all Bond films, this one is probably going to be just as convoluted but wickedly badass.
Baz is back!
Luhrmann, who went off to make plays for the past umpteenth years, is finally reuniting with his Moulin Rouge! star to make the epically beautiful film about Down Under.
Australia is set in northern Australia prior to World War II and centers on an English aristocrat (Nicole Kidman) who inherits a cattle station the size of Maryland. When English cattle barons plot to take her land, she reluctantly joins forces with a rough-hewn stock-man (Hugh Jackman) to drive 2,000 head of cattle across hundreds of miles of the country's most unforgiving land, only to still face the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by the Japanese forces that had attacked Pearl Harbor only months earlier. Romance ensues!
Photos of the flick look gorgeous, and as an avid Kidman fan (I don’t know why her unwrinkled brow mesmerizes me) and a Jackman chest admirer, it’s pretty exciting to have the triumvirate of these costars and quirky director together in one film.
Revolutionary Road--December 26
Titanic, ten years later? Only instead of a ship sinking, it’s a marriage…
Teaming up with her hubby, Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Kate Winslet (who HAS to win an Oscar eventually, I don’t care what it’s for) pairs up with her former teen heartthrob, Titanic love interest Leonardo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road.
Based on a novel of the same name, the film centers on April and Frank Wheeler, a young, thriving couple living with their two children in a Connecticut suburb in the mid-1950s. Frank is mired in a well-paying but boring office job, and April is a housewife still mourning the demise of her acting career. Determined to identify themselves as superior to the mediocre suburbanites who surround them, they decide to move to France where they will be better able to develop their true artistic sensibilities. As their relationship deteriorates into an endless cycle of squabbling, jealousy, and recriminations, their trip and their dreams of self-fulfillment are thrown into jeopardy.
It may sound a little Debbie Downerish, but after Little Children and The Departed, Winslet and DiCaprio make depressing look so good. Sounds like a very merry Xmas…
BONUS FILM: Guilty Pleasure
High School Musical 3: Senior Year--October 24
'Nough said. I'm still not sure I want to actually PAY to see this film as I could previously just tune into the Disney channel in the privacy of my own home, but I'm kinda curious to see how the stories of Gabriella, Troy, Sharpay, Ryan, and Chad pan out as they sing and dance their way to graduation. Go ahead and laugh. I don't care...
Be on the lookout for Greg's top five fall films to post soon, but in the meantime, what films are YOU most excited for? Feel free to comment below!