After all the pomp and circumstance of the summer movie season, which, quite frankly, yielded very little, we have finally put both feet into the autumn season. This is the time for ‘serious’ movies, Oscar contenders and a reprieve (mostly) from expensive explosions.
But after a rather anemic summer (one of the worst in terms of profit since 1997), how are things stacking up? Here’s our previews of what you may want to see and what you can spare yourself from. No plot summaries, no spoilers, just reasons why these films may appeal to you.
Thriller-ish Politics: Ides of March
Why See It: Clooney doesn’t direct movies often, and when he does, he takes great care to make sure that he doesn’t completely embarrass himself. So we think ‘Ides of March’ will be paced well, feature some good acting from the entire cast – even Ryan Gosling (kidding, we love him) – and deliver a satisfying, if not entirely surprising, conclusion.
Why Skip It: Does Clooney’s smug, beautiful face put you off? Do you not want to take your girlfriend to see the movie in fear of ‘The Notebook’ flashbacks? If you control what you watch based on how envious you are of these gents, then by all means avoid this one. But fellas, if you find the DVD of this one hidden in your wife’s sock drawer someday, it will be entirely your fault. IMDb
Documentary: The Swell Season
Why See It: Well they charmed us once already with ‘Once’, so why not let Oscar award-winning singer-songwriters Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova back into your conscious? This documentary follows their band, The Swell Season, on a world tour after their incredible Hollywood success, and should offer excellent music, drama and insight.
Why Not See It: If you’re one of those ‘I hate to see behind the scenes because it ruins the fantasy’, then stay away. Apparently this is an emotionally raw film that may or may not show a darker side and reality that you can’t handle. If easy to digest reality is what you want, you should be handling ‘Jersey Shore’. IMDb
The Send Up: Johnny English Reborn
Why See It: ‘Hey! It’s that Mr. Bean guy! He’s funny!’ and, indeed, Rowan Atkinson is one of the leading comedians working today. If anyone can do this type of movie right, it is him, and spending a couple of hours chuckling during the dreary autumn months sounds pretty good.
Why Skip It: ‘Hey! It’s that Mr. Bean guy… and he’s not being Mr. Bean…!’ And when it comes to parodies of spy films, we’ve seen it all before, so he’d better do something a little more unique to impress us. IMDb
The Sweeping Historical Film: 1911
Why See It: Jackie Chan goes serious in a war epic, going for real acting and serious drama instead of the usual humorous, kung-fu hustle. He’s made so many films at this point that he knows exactly how to choreograph a shot, so we expect this to be a very watchable film despite the fact that the subject matter is not particularly familiar to Western audiences.
Why Skip It: Let’s admit, these films always feel overlong when done wrong, so the risk of having to watch one of your favorite stars in something mediocre can be frightening. And yes, it will be in a language that you may not understand so when you add that to the mix you may want to find something less challenging. IMDb
The Sing Along: Footloose
Why See It: If you are under 25, you probably missed the original ‘Footloose’ in the theaters, on TV and certainly on VHS. So now you can have your own version of it, all shiny and glossy, like the recent ‘Fame’ reboot. Hot bodies! Fun music! Spontaneous dancing! It’s like watching YouTube without having to click any buttons.
Why Skip It: Like the poorly received ‘Fame’ remake, the premise is something that worked really well for the 80’s but may not have a natural significance to today’s youth culture. Wouldn’t you rather be tweeting, texting, or facebooking about how much you hate adults and their antediluvian ways? IMDb
The Popcorn Thriller: In Time
Why See It: From the guy who made ‘Gattaca’ and ‘The Truman Show’ comes another high concept film could possibly happen in the not-so-distant future. It presents an undeniably good looking cast, seemingly lots of chases, possibly lots of twists and turns and probably some interesting ideas to talk about on the drive home.
Why Skip It: Director Andrew Niccol hasn’t really had a hit in years, and the way he’s put together a cast of pretty and popular people – Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde – seems a bit desperate for attention. They could fit perfectly with the idea, or end up annoyingly self-conscious. IMDb
The Indie Darling: Martha Marcy May Marlene
Why See It: This one got rave reviews at festivals, thanks to a strong script, skilled direction and a low-budget. The breakout star is Elizabeth Olson, a young actress that delivers a ‘breakout’ performance that has really been the focus of all the praise, and we always think it’s nice to see a fresh face that can help you forget you’re watching a movie with a big star.
Why Skip It: Look at her. She’s an Olsen sister. Yes, a sister to the twins, Ashley and Mary-Kate. Kind of throws you off, doesn’t it? And this is a serious movie, not one of those child capers, so you better be prepared. IMDb
The Must See: The Skin I Live In
Why See It: It’s been years since Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodovar have worked together. The last movie they worked on together (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down) really launched their international careers. You know this one’s going to be excellent. It’ll be sexy, intriguing, and hopefully push the boundaries of your comfort zone, much like many of Almodovar’s previous efforts.
Why Skip It: You can’t skip a must-see. But if you passively forget that it’s playing, and decide to wait until you’re forced to watch it by a devoted fan of the movie, we understand. IMDb
Got more tips on movies for the fall? Do share!View Comments