You know the drill: The fall movie season starts today, my pretties (my review of Contagion will be up soon...there's a reason it didn't make the preview). Yesterday we covered the first half of 2011's most anticipated upcoming releases, determined through a rigorous scientific analysis consisting of how likely I judged my chances of staying awake through the film's entirety were.
Today we finish out the year. Hopefully in this sampling of spies, heads of state, Muppets and carnivorous fish you'll find something to tickle your fancy.
Next week, we look at the fall movies you'll probably want to avoid like the plague. Not that there's any way in hell the first installment of the Twilight finale won't earn eleventy zillion dollars opening weekend.
The Rum Diary Release Date: October 28 Starring: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, Aaron Eckhart Plot: A journalist grows disenchanted with America under Eisenhower and relocates to Puerto Rico, where he drinks and gets drunk. There's also a woman involved.
As much as I love Hunter S. Thompson, there's a reason it took almost 40 years for The Rum Diary to get published. Written by a 22-year-old HST still trying to find his voice, it's no Great American Novel, but the movie is written and directed by Withnail and I's Bruce Robinson, and with Depp, Eckhart and Richard Jenkins (as his editor), it could still deliver.
Anonymous Release Date: October 28 Starring: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson Plot: If Shakespeare wasn't the actual author of all those plays and sonnets attributed to him, would we still have to read Julius Caesar?
Kicking around for over ten years, Anonymous will finally bring the long-simmering conflict between Stratfordians (those who believe in Shakespeare's authorship) and Oxfordians (those who maintain the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere, did the writing). And to paraphrase Bill Hicks, I'd hate to be a dustbin in the vicinity of these two groups of ruffians when they start in on each other.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas Release Date: November 4 Starring: John Cho, Kal Penn, NPH Plot: Harold and Kumar, having grown estranged from each other since the last movie, reunite unexpectedly and get into more wacky, cannabis-fueled adventures.
These are guilty pleasures, and it's always nice to get your hot beef injection of Neil Patrick Harris.
J. Edgar Release Date: November 11 Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts Plot: Three-time Academy Award winner Clint Eastwood directs four-time Academy Award winner DiCaprio in the story of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover from a script by Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk.
Expect Academy Awards.
The Muppets Release Date: November 23 Starring: Plot:
I wish my kids were old enough to take to this. Screw it, I'll drag 'em along anyway.
Piranha 3DD Release Date: November 23 Starring: Hahahaha, good one. Plot: Breasts will be bared, guts will be spilled and hopefully all those nagging plot threads from the first Piranha will be resolved.
I'm not apologizing for this. Piranha 3D made my Top 10 list for 2010 (and since there's no trailer for the new movie, here's the one for the original).
A Dangerous Method Release Date: November 23 Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley Plot: A three-way...something story about Carl Jung (Fassbender), Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) and the crazy woman who comes between them (Knightley).
You had me at "directed by David Cronenberg." Even though A History of Violence was an overrated piece of crap.
We Need To Talk About Kevin Release Date: December 2 Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller Plot: A mother grapples with the aftermath of her son shooting up his school.
I'm going way out on a limb and saying Swinton will win every acting award this year. And maybe some of next year's as well.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Release Date: December 9 Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt Plot: An intelligence expert is called out of retirement to help track down a Soviet mole in the highest levels of British intelligence.
Wait a minute...it's set in the '70s? Without any car chases, explosions or martial arts? Good luck with that, losers.
The Iron Lady Release Date: December 16 Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head Plot: The rise and rule of Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain.
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While I'm not what you'd call a Thatcher fan, I'd watch Streep read the Twilight books.