You are still sweating walking to your car at last call and you can cook your dinners on the hood of your car, but that doesn't mean we can't get in the mood for the fall and winter movie season. Leave behind your Avengers and Batmans and sass-mouth teddy bears for the newest films from Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson and everyone's favorite British spy, James Bond.
The upcoming seasons are packed with would-be Oscar contenders, box office monoliths and maybe even a few soon-to-be classics, like the first chapter in Jackson's new Hobbit films -- that is, if his new digital process doesn't run off the diehards.
I have already teased a few of these in the past few months, so you know which ones you should be most excited about. You all know by now that my excitement for Spielberg's Lincoln is disgusting.
Lincoln (November 16)
Words cannot adequately express how excited I am that Daniel Day-Lewis is playing Abraham Lincoln for Steven Spielberg. I can't imagine how this would suck, unless Spielberg decides to add an animated Martian and a puppy sidekick to hang with Honest Abe. "I heard that DDL spent three months on Mars to be able to play the Martian's friend," will go the rumors.
Cloud Atlas (October 26)
The Wachowski gang's film version of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas is full of CGI, time-jumping, clouds, atlases, Tom Hanks and Jim Broadbent-starring glossy goodness. Directed by Tom Tykwer and the brother-sister Matrix team of Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski, it also looks like it could be a three-hour monstrosity (it actually only tops out at 164 minutes), but it could be an Oscar contender if the sci-fi mythology sticks to everyone's ribs.
Argo (October 12)
Bryan Cranston and Ben Affleck star as CIA operatives trying to get some Americans out of Iran. I still cannot get used to seeing Cranston with hair.
Trouble with the Curve (September 28)
Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams team up for a tale about an ailing baseball scout who takes his daughter along for one last recruiting trip. Like Dirty Harry, but with a radar gun.
Django Unchained (December 28)
The new Tarantino starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Sacha Baron Cohen and Olympic cheerleader Samuel L. Jackson is sure to wow fan boys and critics alike. The story of a freed slave, a German bounty hunter and a slave-holding plantation owner who makes his property fight like gladiators promises to be hip, bloody and full of all the trademark QT touches.
The Master (September 21)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and director Paul Thomas Anderson re-team for this story about Scientology but not about Scientology. You'll see what I mean when it comes out and there is a gigantic dumb furor over it.
Skyfall (November 9)
Is this Jim Bond dude like, a big deal? Is he like Jason Bourne but British?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (December 14)
All your favorites are back in Peter Jackson's second go-around with the Tolkien saga. Our Pete Vonder Haar took a look into the upcoming trilogy this past week. We're looking at ten hours of film over the next few years.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part Two) (November 16)
The most interesting thing about this is what will happen at the premiere when Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have to be within a city block of each other.
Life of Pi (November 21)
Ang Lee directs this holiday film about lions, boats, the ocean and the Sun. I think.
The Man with the Iron Fists (November 2)
The Wu-Tang Clan's RZA makes his directorial debut and stars in this martial arts saga set in feudal China about a man with iron fists, I guess. RZA and go-to pulp master Eli Roth wrote the screenplay, which should make it a gory and fun ride. At least you know the soundtrack will kick ass.
This Is 40 (December 21)
This spin-off to Knocked Up is aiming for the hearts and minds of the Apatow Nation, centering on Pete and Debbie from the 2007 baby flick and their adventures in aging.
Zero Dark Thirty (December 21)
Jessica Chastain, Kyle Chandler and Chris Pratt help dramatize the run-up to the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden with director Kathryn Bigelow at the helm. Rah-rah propaganda or historical saga? A trailer was just released this week, revealing few details.
The Impossible (December 21)
Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor are stuck in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in this December drama, which is sure to wrench a few awards from the Academy if all falls into place. The effects alone, re-creating a literal wave of terror, should be astounding.
The Silver Linings Playbook (November 23)
A tale about a teacher leaving a mental institution to live with his mother "starring Bradley Cooper" screams "mehhh!" But it's directed by David O. Russell and features Robert De Niro in a role that hopefully pulls his career out of the rom-com gutter.
The Great Gatsby (December 28)
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Isla Fisher take on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel with the help of....Baz Luhrmann. Reserving judgment until it comes out.
Hyde Park on Hudson (December 7)
Hyde Park on Hudson stars Bill Murray as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or, as it looks to me, an older, more regal version of his Herman Blume from Rushmore. Even though it's set in 1939, he cavorts like he's the 2012 Murray. It also opens on December 7, which is kinda cool because of the whole Pearl Harbor deal, and also because this puts it in perfect Oscar standing.
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Les Misérables (December 14)
This one stars Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried, and is directed by Tom Hooper, who also helmed The King's Speech. The money shot in the trailer is the sight of Hathaway getting her hair cut into a great Oscar-worthy pixie style, one that will look perfect as a shoulder-length bob by next year's telecast. I have no idea whether this new version of Victor Hugo's poor-'sploitation novel will win any awards, but you can imagine that Hathaway has already practiced a speech.
The Guilt Trip (December 28)
Seth Rogen plus Barbra Streisand equals what could be Rogen's take on Albert Brooks's Mother, or something awful.