Now we’re starting to get us some proper prestige releases! Along with a really odd number of blockbuster-type movies for this time of the year. Of course, the annual tradition of opening all the good movies in New York and Los Angeles before the rest of us get to take a peek continues unabated, and this means that nearly everything super-exciting in November isn’t actually coming out until December.
Every time I see the ads for “Disney’s A Christmas Carol“, I get insanely peeved at that possessive noun. Not only does Robert Zemeckis not merit a damn, apparently the obscure English novelist Charles Dickens doesn’t either. But then I see the eye-shattering mo-cap animation, and I forgive all; for whatever it takes to keep my boy Charlie’s name from being associated with something that looks that skin-crawling and awful, I approve.
Some really weird counterprogramming choices: The Fourth Kind, an alien abduction horror picture with a really aggressive “base on a true story” angle, not to mention a title that really does just hang its balls right out there. When I see the trailer, and Milla Jovovich comes out all, “I’m Milla Jovovich, and I’m this movie’s appeal to authority,” I get the giggles.
Also: The Box, in which Richard Kelly, mindfucker extraordinaire, turns a really elegant little Richard Matheson short story into something not so elegant; and The Men Who Stare at Goats, an Oscar-baity Iraq War comedy that looks absolutely terrible, based on the clips I’ve seen; but George Clooney is one of our most reliable actors…
NY/LA WATCH! A movie with a whole year’s worth of buzz and the single worst title of 2009 finally gets released: Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, and at this point, I cannot tell you how badly I want to despise it, because OH MY GOD stop talking about it every single place on the internet. Expands: 11/13, then 11/20.
That Evening Sun, which has Hal Holbrook in it, and he is apparently good, and if there’s more to it, I don’t know anything. Expands: 11/20.
While all y’all in the only cities that matter keep getting some proper films, the rest of us get to bask in the light of Roland Emmerich, whose latest “the world blows up” movie comes out on this weird date for a popcorn movie. 2012 is the film, and though I know it is going to be awful, I have high hopes that it will be awesomely awful and not just bad, and here is why: the trailer has a shot of the USS John F. Kennedy crushing the White House on the back of a huge wave. If that is not some goddamn high-ass concept shit right there, then I don’t know what is.
Those who don’t like the Emmerich have to settle for Pirate Radio, a film that looks so terrible I don’t even want to talk about it.
NY/LA WATCH! Wes Anderson releases his first animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and though it looks altogether odd from the trailer, every time I see it I get a little bit more okay with the animation style. Whether or not Anderson will be able to shake the mildew from his work, now there is the question. But I think that at the very least, this story won’t give him any chances to be unconsciously racist. Expands: 11/20, then 11/25.
Iraq drama: The Messenger. It is meant to be a good Iraq drama, so that is something, but still. Expands: 11/20
Pretty scant wide-release offerings: Planet 51, an ugly-looking sci-fi cartoon, and a true-life Inspirational Tale of Inspiration, The Blind Side, featuring the indefatigable Sandra Bullock.
Right, and a certain… sequel… fuck fuck FUCK The Twilight Saga: New Moon, a sequel to a terrible movie, based on a terrible book that is even worse than the terrible first one, and at the time the first one was the worst book I’d ever read all the way through. “Saga”, by the way, is a horribly unsupportable word for the combustive lack of occurrence in these books, unless it is short for “So gawddamn bad”. The worst thing is – I will be seeing it, maybe even opening night, because I made a suicide pact with a friend, although at the time I don’t think we realised that “Let’s see all the Twilight films at the same time” was actual going to kill us.
NY/LA WATCH! Werner Herzog’s latest, and it is supposed to be damn fine: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Expands: 12/4
John Woo’s latest, and it is also supposed to be damn fine: Red Cliff. Expands: 11/25.
¡VIVA ALMODÓVAR! Expands: 12/11
25.11.2009 – Thanksgiving Weekend
Sometimes, the studios actually try to put things out that folk are going to want to see with their families on Thanksgiving Weekend. And sometimes they only release Ninja Assassin (an R-rated bloody action picture), The Road (based on one of the most depressing novels of all time), and Old Dogs (from the fucker who made Wild Hogs. Oh, goddamn it, that means this is supposed to be the family picture, doesn’t it?)
NY/LA WATCH! You’re kidding me – Disney is actually doing a platform release on The Princess and the Frog? Blow me. Expands: 12/11
Richard Linklater (yay!) works with Zac Efron (ew!) in Me and Orson Welles. Efron is Me, not Welles. Expands: January
Some poor bastard of a film has to open the day after Thanksgiving, and this year it’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, which is okay, because it sounds pretty damn boring. Woman married to a man man years her senior has an existential crisis. I’m sure you Robin Wright Penn completists are going to have a good time.