In addition to bringing on three of the best new writers we could possibly have hoped for, their proliferation of brilliant film writing has been nothing short of remarkable. Expect the output in the month of October to be no less stellar, as there happens to be a great deal worth anticipating. We will finally begin seeing the theatrical release of a few serious awards contenders (including the one Ebert said will win Best Picture), and we will get a glimpse at the work of some directors who, after years and years of directing schlock, finally have interesting projects to show off. What’s more, with Halloween just weeks away, there are plenty of scary (and not-too-scary) movies available to whet the horror buff’s insatiable bloodlust.
Here are the highlights in new releases, and what you can expect on Film Misery during the month of October:
Wide Release on October 5
Tim Burton already disappointed us once this year with the painfully dull Dark Shadows, so I wouldn’t blame anybody for not wanting to give him much of a chance. Still, I have a hard time imagining even the world’s biggest Burton detractor not being at least intrigued by Frankenweenie (I can say that, as I am the world’s foremost anti-Burton authority). The movie is an expansion of a short film the director made years ago, and it stars classic Burton collaborators like Winona Ryder, Catherine O’Hara and Martin Landau. Most crucially, Burton has managed the astonishing feat of not casting neither Johnny Depp nor Helena Bonham-Carter.
Could this mean we might once again see the Tim Burton of Beetlejuice fame, instead of the Tim Burton of Alice in Wonderland fame? One can always hope. [View the Trailer]
As much as I hate sounding like a troll, I can’t deny this one has me interested almost solely on the basis of how terrible it is supposed to be. Widely ridiculed at Cannes as “that movie in which Nicole Kidman pees,” I will be interested in seeing how Precious director Lee Daniels’ sophomore effort plays to a non-festival crowd. I don’t think 2012 has yet seen a genuine cinematic fiasco (the closest was probably John Carter), so I am hoping for some tawdry, trashy fun. [View the Trailer]
Wide Release on October 12
I already explained why Ben Affleck’s third movie so excites me when I named it one of my most anticipated movies of the fall season. Argo was a huge hit with audiences at Toronto, but early critical buzz seems to be suggesting that the movie could be more than just a wide-reaching crowd-pleaser. Ebert loved it, of course, and Todd McCarthy called it “a crackerjack political thriller told with intelligence, great period detail and a surprising amount of nutty humor.” Argo sounds like smart fun, and after this particular summer, “smart fun” is what I most dearly need. [View the Trailer]
Wide Release on October 12
Colin Ferrell. Christopher Walken. Woody Harrelson. Sam Rockwell. With a cast of so many big names, how could Seven Psychopaths possibly be bad? Actually, if the trailer is any indicator (it likely isn’t), this movie about “a struggling screenwriter who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu” might end up being too cute by half. But I choose to adorn nothing but good will upon writer/director Martin McDonagh, whose feature debut In Bruges happened to be one of the more pleasant surprises of its respective year. [View the Trailer]
Limited Release on October 19
Speaking of “too cute by half,” Ben Lewin’s based-on-a-true story about a 38-year-old man in an iron lung – one who enlists the help of his sympathetic priest (William H. Macy) and a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to lose his virginity – is practically begging to be placed in the James L. Brooks School of gooey awards-baiting fluff. Festival buzz has been tremendously strong, however, and the story is far enough up the Academy’s alley that there is a very good chance we will be talking about it at least through Golden Globes week. [View the Trailer]
The last time I paid to see a movie from “Wachowski Starship” (as they now like to be called, apparently, and I’ll happily oblige) was when I attended the opening night screening of The Matrix: Revolutions. While that fiasco all but shattered my faith in cinema – and therefore, in humanity – enough time has passed that I am willing to entertain the hype surrounding their adaptation of the David Mitchell novel. Early reviews from TIFF for Cloud Atlas, which is also co-directed by Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer, have been fairly divisive. For me, at least, such buzz usually suggests we have an interesting film in store. Hopefully it’s both “interesting” and “good.” [View the Trailer]
Other October Film Releases:
Taken 2 – October 5
V/H/S – October 5
Here Comes the Boom – October 12
Atlas Shrugged: Part II – October 12
War of the Buttons – October 12
Alex Cross – October 19
Paranormal Activity 4 – October 19
Chasing Mavericks – October 26
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D – October 26
Film Festival Coverage in New York, London and Minneapolis
Your trusty Film Misery correspondents have been dispatched this month to provide coverage for some of the hottest film festivals around! As you’ve seen, Duncan has already been covering the New York Film Fest for us, having already reviewed The Life of Pi, Fill the Void, Tabu and Krishna Kids. Additionally, he plans to review The Paperboy, Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love and the hotly anticipated Palme d’Or winner Amour.
Vinny plans on attending the London Film Fest as well, so be sure to anticipate reviews for Hyde Park on Hudson, The Sessions and (finally) a write-up on Beasts of the Southern Wild. Personally, I think Benh Zeitlin’s film is one of the year’s best. I wonder if he will agree.
With Alex and me both marooned in Saint Paul Minnesota, we plan on spending what few snowless days we have remaining at the Twin Cities Film Fest. We plan to review some of the more high-profile films playing there, like A Late Quartet and Silver Linings Playbook, but we also plan on reviewing some of the smaller films you’re not likely to hear about anywhere else.
We are going to try to include some filmmaker interviews in our coverage, so be sure to follow us!
Over the past few weeks, our new staff has been doing a remarkable job of breathing some life back in to our Regular Columns and Essay features. Don’t expect things to be any different throughout the month of October, as we promise new Master Moments pieces on classics like Lawrence of Arabia and Young Frankenstein, and Alex will give his Blind Spot take on the slasher classic Halloween! It’s about damn time.
What’s more, we will finally complete our long-running Classic Docs Marathon with reviews of Hoop Dreams, American Movie and Roger & Me. We will also continue to provide as many reviews and new write-ups as we can possibly put out, so do keep reading!