2011 Fall Movie Preview
It’s hard to believe but it’s already that time of year again, the Fall movie season. It feels like just yesterday I was sitting in the theatre watching films like The Social Network, The King’s Speech, Black Swan etc. We’re on the heels of the best time for movies and the best time to be a movie fan.
This is when we get to see all the Awards films. From September to November (and sometimes December), studios put up their best shots for the little gold statue. If you’re going to see a really good film this year, it will be in the next few months.
And so, with that being said, we’re here to give you a quick overview of what you can expect to see come the Fall. Not all of these are Oscar worthy titles but instead, we decide to look at blockbusters, sequels, remakes and anything else that we thought you may be interested in.
So without further ado, check out our Fall movie preview!
Contagion – September 9th
If true, Steven Soderbergh is coming to the end of his directorial career. Contagion kind of marks the beginning of the end for Soderbergh’s stint in the director’s chair and it could prove to be one of the most interesting and entertaining films of his career. The director has not intention of leaving quietly either.
The film is about a virus epidemic which kills people after a certain amount of days. It sees Soderbergh reunite with The Informant! scribe Scott Z. Burns for a thrill ride which has been promised to be a grueling affair.
A lot of virus thrillers are pretty dire, from Outbreak to Mission: Impossible II, no one ever seems to get it right. There needs to be a balance between character, action and politics, and the films depend on how well those factors are managed. From the look of a very intense trailer, that balance mentioned before is what we’ll be getting, the film is also supposedly going to be fairly hardcore.
Contagion has one of his finest ensembles with more Oscar winners and nominees than you can shake a stick at. That coupled with Soderbergh behind the camera makes this one a shoe-in come Awards season. Support this piece of intelligent, bracing cinema when it gets released. – Will Chadwick
Straw Dogs – September 16th
I haven’t seen the original Straw Dogs with Dustin Hoffman, but the trailer for the remake ensures me that this will be nothing short of a thrill ride, starring attractive human beings such as James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, and Alexander Skarsgard.
Most horror film fans are already pleased with typical D-list actors cast in their favorite genre, but Straw Dogs is really stepping it up with the talent. Specifically, they are going in a more beautiful direction, with Swedish God, Alexander Skarsgard.
Skarsgard embodies the cold, snarky character Eric on True Blood, and in the most recent season, he has perfected a meek, innocent version. Clearly, Sweden’s hottest man alive will be fantastic as the bad guy in Straw Dogs.
Based on the trailer, Straw Dogs is looking a lot like a less terrifying version of The Strangers, with more drama and a bit less horror. This balance in conjunction with the actors is what really has me looking forward to the film. – Emily Estep
Drive – September 16th
Ryan Gosling continues to impress me as an actor. While I did enjoy The Notebook, I like how the actor is able to expand his acting realm outside of mainstream romantic dramas. Blue Valentine featured one of his best performances to date and Drive looks to show off his acting chops again. This looks like a different kind of role for him as it’s more of a gritty neo-noir drama but I still do hope to see an Oscar nomination for him.
While Gosling may be leading the charge, he’s backed by a fantastic supporting cast that includes Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, and Christina Hendricks, among others. Early reviews from the film’s time on the festival circuit have been tremendously positive and so far, I have yet to hear one negative thing about Drive. – David Wangberg
Moneyball – September 23rd
Moneyball is a movie based off of the well known novel of the same name by financial writer Michael Lewis. It chronicles the unlikely rise of the Oakland Athletics, where they start as a low salary cap team that is at the bottom of league standings and become winners through ingenuity, perserverence and very, very clever scouting.
The book focuses on using Sabermetrics, a highly complicated statistical system used to evaluate players. If you think a book about mathematical formulas is going to be boring, then you obviously haven’t read this one. Lewis brings drama, emotion and humor in his writing, which I am hoping will translate well onto the big screen.
The only worry I have is that they will try to saturate the film with personal drama rather than focus on the fascinating events leading up to the A’s fairytale season. I’m sure Sabermetrics will not test well with sample audiences who haven’t read the book, so finding a happy medium between movie drama and staying true to the book will be a difficult proposition that I am praying works out.
From a box office standpoint, Moneyball could be in the same category as The Blind Side, another Lewis novel. The football themed movie was a huge success, but did what I hate most about book to movie translations. It condensed all of the intriguing parts of the novel into the first three minutes, and then spending the rest of the movie focusing on the more emotional, but less interesting (at least to me) human interest angle . I
understand this is how you get an audience, but as a fan of the book, this was very disappointing. Let’s hope Moneyball can improve on the formula and fix what ailed The Blind Side.
Either way, Moneyball definitiely has the right pedigree with Brad Pitt in the starring role as general manager Billy Bean and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a supporting role as the team manager, Art Howe. Funnyman Jonah Hill also lends his talents as the catalyst for the teams upward momentum, playing the statistical genius Paul DePodesta. – Daniel Harper
Abduction – September 23rd
Taylor Lautner looks to breakthrough the Twilight bubble with the thriller Abduction. Directed by John Singleton, Abduction stars Twilight’s Jacob the Werewolf as Nathan, a teenager who finds out his parents are not really his parents, that he was abducted as a child and that there is more to his fake parents’ treachery than just his abduction.
Taylor Lautner doesn’t exactly get the juices flowing as a leading man; thus far his career consists mostly of training his abs and pining for Kristen Stewart. However, John Singleton has a particular talent for B-Movie action flicks; check out his remarkably underappreciated Four Brothers as proof.
So while I’m not terribly confident in the acting abilities of Lautner, I think Singleton’s direction can turn this into an acceptable if not forgettable thriller. Or at least I hope. – Sean Kernan
Dream House – September 30th
Daniel Craig is having a rough 2011. First, the next film in the James Bond franchise was delayed. Then, his Cowboys & Aliens struggled to top The Smurfs at the box office on its opening weekend.
Craig hopes to turn his year around with Dream House, a supernatural thriller from the brilliant director Jim Sheridan. The elements of Dream House are familiar; Craig plays a man who finds that his family has been killed shortly after moving into their titular Dream House.
Did he kill them? Are they really dead? Is the killer coming for Craig? Dream House compares quite well with The Others, The Sixth Sense and Cold Creek Manor. Considering I enjoyed all of those horror flicks, I’m willing to give this one a shot. – Sean Kernan
Take Shelter – September 30th
Take Shelter looks like the perfect mix of my two favorite things: unpredictable horror movies and pure Oscar bait. It stars Michael Shannon as a husband and father who’s losing his mind in the time leading up to an impending apocalypse.
I trust Shannon, who’s most known for his Oscar-nominated supporting role in Revolutionary Road, in which he played a flawlessly creepy genius, to pull off this role with flying colors. He seems to be on a fantastic career path, and Take Shelter is just unusual enough to add something intriguing to his budding resume.
Take Shelter seems like a totally original story with eerie undertones and a dark journey into the human psyche. The film has very good reviews so far, having already screened at Sundance and honestly, any movie having to do with the apocalypse is usually pretty entertaining. – Emily Estep