The following dates come from the latest Entertainment Weekly Fall Movie Preview issue. You know, the one with Daniel Radcliffe on the cover. These are the ones I'm at least interested in, but I've included the percentage chance that I will actually see it in the theater.
Burn After Reading -- 5%. The latest Cohen brothers movie (who last directed No Country for Old Men) follows two idiot gym employees trying on CIA blackmail. It looks like dumb comedy posing as smart comedy but it's really dumb comedy.
Appaloosa -- 85%. I don't like Westerns, persay, but I like loners and I like Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen. Loses points for having Renée Zellweger as the love interest.
Battle in Seattle -- 70%, trailer above. Anarchy. Humanism. The State vs. the people. As a bleeding heart liberal, this is right up my alley. Also, it's Stuart Townsend's first crack at writing and directing.
The Duchess -- 5%. Looks at the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The original trailer lacked information and confused rather than awed the audience. But I like period pieces. I'll wait for reviews or another trailer, whichever comes first.
Blindness -- 95%, heck yes. Citywide blindness as allegory for the sight being the disadvantaged? Blindness as a metaphor for not really seeing the quotidian? Blindness as an excuse to examine how an "Other" civilization would survive? All interesting possibilities. Plus, it's by the director of City of God and The Constant Gardener.
Choke -- 5%. Chuck Palahniuk. You either love him or think he's an overrated misogynist.
Eagle Eye -- 50%. I couldn't care less about Shia LaBeouf's personal life. I enjoy his casual performances, and since finding out that Michelle Monaghan is in it, I'm even more interested. But Spielberg originally conceived of this idea before the days of iPhones and surveillance paranoia, so I don't know if there will be a pay off. It might come off kind of silly, like Phone Booth.
The Lucky Ones -- 15%. Follows three soldiers returning from the Iraq War, including Tim Robbins and Rachel McAdams. I have avoided modern war movies on the Iraq War, but these two actors are very compelling.
Nights in Rodanthe -- 15%. Richard Gere and Diane Lane fall in love again. For the third time. This is their third pairing after 1984's The Cotton Club and 2002's Unfaithful. I tend to prefer romantic films about older people falling in love. It seems more genuine and they have actual obstacles standing in their way.
How to Lose Friends & Alienate People -- 5%, sorry Simon Pegg.
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist -- 95%. This could be a modern teenage take on Before Sunrise, but without Vienna and stealing wine. Well, there could be wine-stealing... they are underage, you know.
Religulous -- 70%, trailer above. At first, the trailer for Bill Maher's film on world religion looks to be mocking and at times insulting, but as you continue to watch, you realize there's something to be learned about acceptance of differences. A lot of those interviewed tell Maher he's limiting his understanding, presumably by summarizing their faith in neat ten-word sentences. But still, this film will not be lacking crazy people.
City of Ember -- 50%. Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) finds herself on a journey to save her dying city from a failing power generator. The trailer looks quite inventive and aesthetically pleasing.
Happy-Go-Lucky -- 85%, trailer above. What a find. Sally Hawkins stars as an infectiously optimistic primary school teacher. Normally this is a secondary character, a sidekick, an annoying Molly Shannon role, but here, Hawkins's Poppy is front and center. It's refreshing to have a happy person as the lead.
Changeling -- 15%. Clint Eastwood is like the Meryl Streep of directors. He just gets nominated for all sorts of things. This star Angelina Jolie as a mother whose son is kidnapped.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year -- 100%. Ha. Dollar theater, folks. I certainly can't miss out the guaranteed cheese-fest of the year! Did you see the second one? Zac Efron prances like a pixie through a golf course during a song. So ridiculously bad.
Passengers -- I haven't seen a trailer for this yet (not in English, anyway), so I don't know. Anne Hathway stars as a grief counselor for plane crash survivors and ends up falling for one of them, played by Patrick Wilson. I like both leads, but I'm not a fan of crime thrillers. I tend to figure out the ending early on. It's not the studio's fault. It's mine for being, you know, attentive.
Synecdoche, New York -- 100%. Two words: Charlie Kaufman. The most innovative screenwriter is now a first-time director, bringing to life his script about a theater director, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who attempts to create a life-size replica of New York inside a warehouse as part of his new play. It was not well received as some festivals, but I read that he has retweaked it. No trailer is out yet, but I don't need to see one.
Zach and Miri Make a Porno -- 20%. I dislike Kevin Smith and most of his movies, but I really love Mallrats and Chasing Amy, and I'm hoping this movie is closer to those than Clerks or Jersey Girl. Less profanity, more content. Oh, and it's about Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks making a porno. So yeah. What the title says.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa -- 20%. I can't help it. I liked the first one; the penguins were hilarious. I won't go out of my way to see this, but if I'm looking to avoid doing work or if someone asks me to go, I will gladly go.
Quantum of Solace -- 100%. Casino Royale was such an intelligent film, and I've never been interested in James Bond. (The character's a bit outdated, admit it.) But Daniel Craig revitalized the character and I'm hoping that this next script will be just as character-driven as the first. And please, give us another strong female character like Vespar.
Repo! The Genetic Opera -- 65%. Can't pay the organ-financing company for that organ you have? They'll repossess it. Sounds disgusting, but it's a musical. I'm game. And I'm crossing my fingers that Paris Hilton will die in the movie, even if for her to wear her "See Paris Die" shirt again.
Australia -- 100%, trailer above. Australian epic. Baz Luhrman. Hugh Jackman. Please, this movie was made for me. And look at that cinematography! This one'll sweep up every award.
Role Models -- 30%. I've had crushes on Paul Rudd and Sean Williams Scott ever since Clueless and The Rundown, respectively, although Mr. Woodcock was unforgivable. Still, these boys made me laugh in the trailer, and the "you white, then you Ben Affleck" line makes me so unbelievably happy.
Twilight -- Less than 0%. Moved up from a Dec. 12 release because Half-Blood Prince moved from Nov. 21st to July 2009. This is only on here as a note to avoid the theater that God-forsaken weekend.
The Soloist -- 25%. Joe Wright's (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) latest film about a schizophrenic homeless man, Jamie Foxx, who dreams of playing at the Disney Concert Hall. Robert Downey Jr. also stars (he's really capitalizing on his comeback, who knows how long it'll last). Trailer's not out yet, but I trust Joe Wright and the cast includes two strong leads.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (remake) -- 75%. I really, really liked the original. This movie would be right up my alley had I not seen or heard or known about the original, but it loses points for having Klaatu warn earth of environmental issues. We remember how well the The Happening did... oh yeah, no one saw it. My sixth sense is telling me that this will not be a good remake (are they ever?), but I think it will be intolerably bad. But as a cinephile, I will do my duty to see this film.
Doubt -- 10%. Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman isn't a bad cast. It follows a nun who confronts a priest about sexually abusing a black student. Despite the obvious Oscar-bait themes, I'm more interested in the quick-fire dialogue between the two feuding stars, hoping there will be a strong commentary on morality, authority, and religion.
Seven Pounds -- 15%, trailer above. Judging by the trailer, Will Smith's character is in a car accident and is buried under guilt until he decides to take action and find redemption, likely in the arms of Rosario Dawson's character. I prefer Will Smith in his dramatic roles (The Pursuit of Happyness and I Am Legend showcased solid heart-tugging performances), so this movie is in my peripheral vision.
Bedtime Stories -- 1%. Two words: Adam Sandler. Translation: Avoid at all costs. Still, the plot is cute enough, and it will do extremely well as a Christmas movie. National Treasure was only a box office success because it was a family friendly affair, and people want happy light movies during the holidays. (God knows it wasn't Nicolas Cage's performance...) Sandler plays a father whose bedtime stories to his niece and nephew start to come true, but then things start to go wrong when the children start introducing scenes.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button -- 95%, trailer above. Like Brokeback Mountain, this film is based off of a very short story, so I'm hoping a majority of the movie is about recreating the eras and settings. Brad Pitt stars in the title role as a man who was born old and grows to be a child. He falls in love with Cate Blanchett who ages normally. It's like The Time Traveller's Wife but better. Can you imagine being eighty years old and holding the baby-version of a man you love(d)? It's haunting. Another reason to see it: David Fincher is directing. He's my favorite current director, and I'll follow him anywhere. Need another reason? Brad Pitt's face is used for every single age of his character. This technology will be interesting to see.
The Spirit -- 1%. Looks horrible and the campaigns were so postfeminist that they came right back around to sexist again. But the "Frank Miller style" is interesting.
Revolutionary Road -- 75%. I heart director Sam Mendes for giving me American Beauty and I heart his real-life wife Kate Winslet for being amazing in just about everything. Hippes-turned-hipsters, Winslet and Leo DiCaprio play a married couple who deal with trials in their marriage regarding their choices to settle in suburbia. Winslet repeatedly refers to DiCaprio as her best friend, which is amazing. They kept a strong friendship from Titanic eleven years ago.