Well, here we are folks, after having gone through the ups (The Dark Knight) and downs (The Happening) of summer, we have arrived at the fall. The wasteland of September lies before us with only a few shining moments of watchability, the rest lies just beyond the horizon in the prestigious end of year lineup. Second star to the right and straight on till morning, think of happy thoughts and we'll be there before you know it. Here are my top five anticipated fall releases and one movie I'll shameless see alone or put on my Netflix queue and won't tell anyone I've ever seen it.
The Wrestler-October 12th
Retired professional wrestler, Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke), makes his way through the independent circuit, trying to get back in the game for one final showdown with his former rival.
I'm at the point where I could watch Darren Oronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Foutain) film fecal matter for two hours. When it comes to making movies the guy rips your jaw off and throws it on the floor. This film just picked up the Golden Lion in Venice before coming over for the Toronto Festival then to New York.
It's bound to get some distribution and if early reviews are any indicator should receive some sort of release this fall with Oscar dreams and caviar wishes.
Synecdoche, New York - October 24th
A tale of a theater director, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who thinks he's dying, and how that shapes his interactions with the world, his art and the women in his life. He ambitiously attempts to put on a play by creating a life-size replica of New York inside a warehouse. He casts an actor as himself and several others and tells them to live out their mundane lives within the life-sized New York he built, the play then has a play within the play and things get crazy and very Charlie Kaufman.
Spike Jonze was set to direct this screenplay by Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine, Adaptation, Being John Malcovich) but he left to do Where the Wild Things Are, which left Kaufman to take the reigns of his heady material for the first time in his career. I'm willing to wager Kaufman picked up a few tricks between Jonze and Michel Gondry, and I couldn't be more excited to see his total vision on the big screen.
I've heard it's dense, complicated, overlong, and is dividing audiences. Last time that happened was Arnofsky's The Fountain, and I couldn't have found the film more wonderful. You don't have something really special unless someone isn't getting it or you aren't dividing people.
Zack and Miri Make a Porno--October 31st
Zack and Miri look to solve their financial woes with a get rich quick scheme involving them making a porno, only as the shoot takes off, their previous platonic feelings melt away.
Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy) brings his filthy humor to a filthy topic, infuses it with heart, throws in a some romance, and creates what looks to be one of the best films of his career if the red band trailer is any indication.
Color me retarded, but I liked Jersey Girl, and have been excited for Smith to make another movie out of the Jay and Silent Bob universe. It looks like he has many cast regulars coming back but this time has snagged himself a couple of Apatow fellas in Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson and that can only mean good things.
The Brothers Bloom--December 19th (limited)
Rian Johnson first dazzled us with Brick, and now switches gears to lead an all-star cast in a comedic con-man crime caper starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel Weisz, Adrien Brody, and Rinko Kinkuchi.
The Brothers Bloom are the best con men in the world, swindling millionaires with complex scenarios of lust and intrigue. Now they've decided to take on one last job - showing a beautiful and eccentric heiress the time of her life with a romantic adventure that takes them around the world.
When describing the recently pushed back flick I've heard people mention it sharing a Wes Anderson feel to the film, and the trailer reminds me of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. I'm banking on this one adding up to more than the sum of it's parts.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - December 25th
Based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the film tells the unusual circumstances under which Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt, is born. He fires out of his mothers womb an 80-year old man, and doctors soon realize Benjamin is aging in reverse. At age 50, he falls in love with a 30-year-old woman, Cate Blanchett, and then must come to terms with the relationship as they literally grow in opposite directions.
Pitt and director David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac, Se7en) team up again to hopefully nail the hat-trick. Fincher seldom disappoints and he's got a great cast and an amazing writer, Eric Roth (Munich, Ali, Forrest Gump).
If this film is even remotely as good as it's trailer (which I've seen in excess of 20 times) then I'll be plenty happy come Christmas Day.
My Dirty Pick
Role Models-November 7th
The State and Stella alum David Wain (Wet Hot American Summer) directs from a script written by himself and fellow Statey Ken Marino, Paul Rudd, and Timothy Dowling. It revolves around a pair of energy drink reps (Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott) who enroll in a Big Brother program as a form of punishment after a run in with the law.
Something about the trailer just keeps me laughing, I don't know if it's that black kid exclaiming, 'No I will not take my pants off!', or what. I'm a lifetime Sean William Scott fan, and Paul Rudd has an open invitation in my heart for permanent residence. I have no idea how this thing will play as Scott has had some trouble recently, and the last Paul Rudd movies I saw were Over Her Dead Body (yes, I'll admit to that) and I Could Never Be Your Woman. But I'm optimistic for this one and I'll go alone if need be.
Even if everyone says it's the worst movie ever, I'll take a page from my Mr. Woodcock manual and Netflix it, watch it, and send it back before my roommate ever has a chance to ask me what I have out right now.
What did we leave out? Feel free to list your top anticipated films of the fall.