Monday, November 13, 2006

Movie outlook

Variety hit me with a fairly staggering statistic this morning: between this Friday and Dec. 31, 65 pics will be jockeying for position, with an estimated 27 going wide. Variety tried to posit this as a bad thing, and in terms of marketing it probably is, but as a movie buff I just say bring it on.

Here's a look at what's coming for the rest of the year, both those being released wide and many that will never hit the big screens in my little corner of the world (descriptions of movies I know absolutely nothing about come from Yahoo, and some near the end just don't get any description.)

Nov. 17

Casino Royale (Wide): Daniel Craig takes up the mantle of 007 with a posse of haters on his back, but I'm cheering for him and I think this Bond will just rock.

Happy Feet (Wide): Another animated movie about penguins? I was ready to skip this one until I saw George Miller's name attached to it. Anything from the man who made Babe deserves a look.

Let's Go To Prison (Wide): Will Arnett finds life after Arrested Development in this silly flick about a career criminal (Dax Shepard) who gets his revenge when he finds himself in a prison cell with the son (Arnett) of the judge who sent him to jail.

Bobby (Limited): I get it. Celebrities like Bobby Kennedy. So do I, but this movie just looks like it's gonna be atrocious.

Candy (Limited): A poet (Heath Ledger) falls in love with an art student who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle - and his love of heroin.

Fast Food Nation (Limited): I'm hoping against hope that Richard Linklater made a good choice in fictionalizing Eric Schlosser's expose of the fast food industry.

Flannel Pajamas (Limited): A story about a young couple who fall in love, but whose different backgrounds and religious views threaten to tear them apart.

For Your Consideration (Limited): What does a man have to do get a wide release? Apparently the mad success of "Best In Show" wasn't enough, so only you big-city folk will get to see Christopher Guest's take on the awards season this week.

Nov. 21

The History Boys (Limited): The story of an unruly class of bright, funny teenage boys in pursuit of sex, sport and admission to a prestigious university.

Nov. 22

Deck the Halls (Wide): Why does Christmas inspire stupid movies about people being mean? Just say no to this stinker starring Matthew Broderick and Danny Devito.

Deja Vu (Wide): Though I appreciate that it was filmed in N'awlins, I think I'll skip this flick starring Denzel Washington as an ATF agent unexpectedly guided by a feeling of deja vu who travels back in time to prevent a murder (good luck with that.)

The Fountain (Wide): Darren Aronofsky is finally back again. Hugh Jackman stars in a thousand-year odyssey searching for the secret to eternal life to save the woman he loves (Rachel Weisz).

Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny (Wide): Seeing the first six minutes of this epicly silly movie made me a believer, so I'll definitely be there to see Jack Black and Kyle Gass conquer the world.

Opal Dream (Limited): A young girl's unshakable faith in her two imaginary friends resonates throughout her hometown in the Australian Outback.

Dec. 1

National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj (Wide): Seeing the trailer for this one before Babel (a truly odd fit) was enough for me. How did National Lampoon fall so far?

The Nativity Story (Wide): Tis the season, I guess. I'll probably take a chance on the biblical story of Mary and Joseph.

Turistas (Wide): Rather than trying to change the fact that everyone in the world hates America, we're apparently just gonna keep making gory movies about it. This time a group of backpackers gets hacked up in Brazil. I'll pass.

10 Items or Less (Limited): Morgan Freeman stars as an aging Hollywood actor who strikes up an unexpected friendship with a quirky grocery store clerk.

3 Needles (Limited): A drama spanning three continents to tell three separate yet universal stories connected by the HIV pandemic.

Dec. 8, 2006

Apocalypto (wide): All the buzz about this one leads me to believe that Mel put the fact that he's cracker-jack loony to good use in crafting this epic about the Mayan culture. I'll definitely be there to find out.

Blood Diamond (wide): Leo has been on a real acting roll lately, but his accent in the commercial for this latest African adventure is simply ridiculous. But it does look pretty exciting.

Breaking and Entering (wide)

DOA: Dead or Alive (wide)

The Holiday (wide): Watching Jack Black pitching woo with Kate Winslet probably won't be enough to entice me to see this fairly standard romantic comedy.

Unaccompanied Minors (wide)

Dec. 15, 2006

Arthur and the Invisibles (wide): Frequent visitor Marina, whose site is linked in the list at right, has informed me this animated adventure will be Luc Besson's last time in the director's chair. I hope not, but this one just looks like fun anyway.

Eragon (wide)

The Pursuit of Happyness (wide) Please, please please don't go see this one. In the trailer alone, Will Smith must have told his kid (who, I think, really is his kid) at least 20 times that the secret to life is to follow your dreams. Thanks for the insight. An Oscar nomination, however, is surely coming his way.

Dreamgirls (limited): How the heck is this limited? I can only assume that this musical starring Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy will be playing everywhere.

Good German (limited): Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney and Cate Blanchett offer a World War II murder mystery. In my mind, I'm already there.

Home of the Brave (limited)

Inland Empire (limited): I can only assume that David Lynch's latest mindtrip will see only a very limited release, but I'll definitely check it out on DVD.

Venus (limited)

Dec. 20

Charlotte's Web (wide): I can't imagine this will be anything but awful, but the story is so magical that I'll have to give it a chance.

The Painted Veil (limited)

Dec. 22

The Good Shepherd (wide)

Night at the Museum (wide): I already choose to believe that, at night, museum installations come to life, so this silly flick starring Ben Stiller should be a lot of fun.

Rocky Balboa (wide): Apparently Rocky decides to make yet another comeback after watching a video-game simulation of how his next bout will play out. No, I'm not making this up.

We Are Marshall (wide): I'm a sucker for sports underdog movies, and just the trailer for this one was enough to hook me. I'm not Marshall, but I can be for a few hours or so.

Curse of the Golden Flower (limited) Variety gave Yimou Zhang's latest palace epic a lousy review, but I've chosen to ignore that and just stay psyched for this one.

Dec. 25

Black Christmas (wide): All I know is this is apparently some kind of horror flick remake that features Michelle Trachtenberg of "Buffy" fame. Sorry Michelle, but I'll have to pass.

Children of Men (wide): Alfonso Cuaron enters the realm of science fiction with an intriguing premise and a solid cast led by Clive Owen. Huzzah.

Notes on a Scandal (limited)

Dec. 27

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (wide)

Dec. 29

Factory Girl (limited)

Fast Track (limited)

Miss Potter (limited): Apparently Renee Zellwegger gets skinny again to play Beatrix Potter. Her mandatory Oscar nomination will surely follow.

Pan's Labyrinth (limited): I didn't think Guillermo Del Toro's fantasy set in Franco's Spain was ever going to open, but I guess it made it just under the wire for awards season.

Whew. That was a little longer than I expected, but there you have it. Of all these, I'd have to say the ones I'm most excited about are For Your Consideration, The Good German and Pan's Labyrinth.

As usual, feel free to let me know which flicks you're jazzed about, and have an entirely bearable Monday. Peace out.


Anonymous said...

For Your Consideration, INLAND EMPIRE, and Pan's Labyrinth. Wow, kinda sad with all those listings and I'm only looking forward to 3 of 'em. I will, however, be seeing Casino Royale. After 'Love is the Devil' and 'The Mother' I'll follow Daniel Craig anywhere (and doubly so if he's wearing sky blue square cut speedos).

DesLily said...

i have to admit to being a Morgan Freeman fan... so I hope his movie is a decent one.

Reel Fanatic said...

That one does sound like an oddity, deslily, but I have to agree that's he's a fantastic actor ... It doesn't sound like it's gonna play much wider than the New York-L.A. circuit

Carrie Lofty said...

I just DON'T HAVE TIME for that many films! And so many of them sound great. I'll be relying heavily on Rotten Tomatoes to determine my priority list.

Anonymous said...

Of these films, I have to say Casino Royale, The Fountain, and Pan's Labyrinth are one's I'm looking forward to. Sadly, I don't think that the latter two will come anywhere near the local theatre. In fact, I doubt that Pan's Labyrinth will even make it near Columbia. At any rate, it's good to see so many films being released in the coming month and a half.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think that end-of-year release date does indeed guaranteed a very limited run for Pan's Labyrinth, Mercurie, unless it gets a lot of attention from Academy voters

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why people are down on Daniel Craig. He was great in Layercake and Munich. It's good to see Bond getting serious again.

I've been excited about The Fountain since I saw a preview in July. I know they had some problems but Aranofsky is a visionary in my opinion.

Reel Fanatic said...

I had heard about those problems too, J Marquis, but I'm cautiously optomistic that Aronofsky was able to overcome them .. and you're definitely right about Layer Cake

Sameer Vasta said...

Because I'm bored at work, here's a bit on the films I have already seen...

Happy Feet: cute, fun, but not the best animated film of the year.

Bobby: maybe I just like Robert Kennedy, because this was a powerful (though sometimes contrived) movie.

Fast Food Nation: stick to the book, the movie's a bit of a mess.

For Your Consideration: my favorite Guest film, Parker Posey is fantastic.

Deja Vu: could have been good, but feels tired and overdone.

The Fountain: Aranofsky's back, and in a big big big way.

3 Needles: not for everyone, but I thought it was well conceived, even if it wasn't perfectly executed.

Breaking and Entering: interesting film, and you really can't go wrong with Minghella. Jude Law has a pretty strong performance.

Venus: Peter O'Toole may be the only one that can challenge Forest Whitaker for a best actor Oscar.

Curse of the Golden Flower: should get a Foreign Picture Oscar nomination, pretty solid.

Pan's Labyrinth: my favorite film of the year so far, and so much more than anyone will ever expect.

I'm looking forward to the following movies, and I'm sure I'll be seeing most of them before the release date, so I'll fill you in on what I think:

Casino Royale
Blood Diamond
The Good Shepherd
Children of Men
The Nativity Story.

Lori said...

Well, out of all of those the only ones I can see getting the sitter for are 'Casino Royale,' 'Children of Men,' and 'Pan's Labyrinth' if it goes wide enough to get here. As for the others, looks like there'll be lots to rent next year.

Reel Fanatic said...

How do you get to see many movies in advance, Vasta (I know, of course, that you went to the TIFF, but you must have other secrets .. I'm especially happy to hear that For Your Consideration is as good as I could have hoped

Anonymous said...

The Dreamgirls limited release is an old-fashioned roadshow -- reserved seating and a souvenir program for $25 -- that will last for ten days in NY, LA, and SF before the movie opens wide on the 25th.

Anonymous said...

Just an extra bump here for "Perfume..."! I. Loved. It!

Also, "Dreamgirls" is 'limited' on Dec. 15th to the 'roadshow cities', charging $25 for movie and souvenier program. I. WIll. Be. THERE. of course. ;)

Can NOT wait for "For your consideration"! Apparently, Christopher Guest is going to have to sexually gratify somebody to get a WIDE release! That or Jamie Lee will have to do it for him...

Anonymous said...

OH! And lest I forget, Peter O'Toole will probably get the Oscar for "Venus"! He. Is. INCREDIBLE in it, though it is not as 'showy' as Forrest Whitaker's Idi Amin.

Anonymous said...

All these films coming out is seriously the only thing keeping me going from week to week these days. Though, it's going to be tough what with exams (FINALS!) coming up! Definitely going to the Friday opening of the new Bond, though. Though Daniel Craig kind of looks like James Bond's Russian cousin, I gotta say the new movie looks terrific (from the trailers at least).

Reel Fanatic said...

I should have figured that the limited release of Dreamgirls was only some kind of gimmick, so thanks for giving me the scoop .. I'm a sucker for musicals, so I'll definitely be there on opening day when it hits my little corner of the world

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this year's crop of end-of-year hopefuls leaves me a little cold. Is it bad that Casino Royale is the only film I am viscerally moved to see? Behold the power of Daniel Craig... Oh, wait, Parker Posey's pretty powerful, too. I'm seeing For Your Consideration next week and perhaps The Fountain later this week.

Divinity said...

I'm probably going to be in for Bond even though I've avoided the last 2. Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist tipped me right out of the fan base.
I missed the chance to see History Boys live in London (although that day still stands as my best theatre day ever) so I'll definitely be catching that.
Just saw the trailer for Children of Men and am supremely intrigued by cast and concept.
Other than those, The Fountain, For Your Consideration, and Dreamgirls will probably see my money (unless I can help it...) Might need to deploy the bro to procure one of those souvenir programs...
The trailer for The Pursuit of Happyness yanks some serious heartstrings in effective if obvious ways. More moving when Smith wasn't talking, to be honest. The scene in the public bathroom made me tear up, sap that I am.
DiCaprio's accent in Blood Diamond nearly gave me a seizure. No way in hell.
Notes on a Scandal creeped me out. Period.
Damn, I'm not going to be able to think about much except movies now for the next 6 weeks! Cheers, Reel Fanatic!

Snave said...

I'm looking forward to "The Fountain". I think "Pi" is a masterpiece, and have watched my copy about ten times. As for Tenacious D, I can't wait for that one... their 2-disc DVD set is wonderful, and a full-length movie will undoubtely be so in tune with my lowbrow tastes that it will have me in stitches. I'm a bit dismayed to see that "Fast Food Nation" has been fictionalized, I think the book was great, I hope the film works. I skipped Mel's last epic, but may have to check out his new one.

Thanks for your post, I like to know what's coming up, and get some ideas about what looks interesting. "The Good German", "For Your Consideration", "Inland Empire" and "Night at the Museum" are ones I will definitely check out!

Reel Fanatic said...

That Denise Richards thing was indeed one of the most embarassing moments in cinematic history, divinity, but I'm extremely confident the charming Eva Green will set things right and be the equal of Mr. Craig on screen

Sameer Vasta said...

I write about film for a local newspaper here, as well as do some side film reporting for blogTO. It's a good gig: most of the film PR people in the city email me everytime there's a new screening.

The problem is, sometimes there's too many to see at once. Case in point, last Friday, I had passes to see screenings of Fur, Fast Food Nation, and Tenacious D. Hard to choose at that point.

Michael said...

I am absolutely psyched about some of the upcoming films--as a fan of mind-bending films I am excited about The Fountain, Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men.

Also Fast Food Nation remains on my radar as a political film and I wonder what Perfume will look like on the big screen

Michael said...

Oh yeah, checked out Layer Cake the other night--Daniel Craig is perfect for the role of Bond...

Reel Fanatic said...

He is indeed, Michael .. My one and only beef with Layer Cake was that it was often hard to understand what all those blokes were saying!

Annie in Austin said...

Lordy, what a long list - and many of them look interesting. Although I'm hoping for more, here are my top three picks:

1] James Bond movies haven't been part of my movie life for awhile, but after seeing Daniel Craig in 'Infamous', I'm ready to buy my ticket for "Casino Royale".

2] Call it a chromosone decision, but that pairing of Kate Blanchett and Jack Black sounds a lot hotter than Cameron Diaz with Jude Law in The Holiday. I need a romantic comedy at Christmas time![Tenacious D is calling to me, too.]

3]I live in Austin, so there's a chance that "For Your Consideration" will play here... whenever it shows up, I'll be there.

Annie the Garden Blogger

Reel Fanatic said...

Just from watching the trailer, Annie, Jack and Kate do seem to have a surprising chemistry .. But I'm fairly certain he could be funny paired without just about anyone

Linda said...

Casino Royale, The Fountian, Painted Veil, Dreamgirls and Nativity Story are all on my ever-growing list. But at the tipity top is For Your Consideration. I will be in NYC on Saturday, and the first thing I'm going to do is hit the theater. After meeting Guest and the gang last summer, I can't wait to see this, just the trailer has me grinning like a fool!!!!

Reel Fanatic said...

The Nativity Story should be interesting, Linda ... I do wonder, though, how they're gonna handle the PR now that young Keisha had a baby at age 16 before getting married!

Linda said...

I was wondering the same. It's possible they'll ignore it because she is so young. This time of year, they should be able to concentrate on the subject of the film. The trailer looks good.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the rundown, now I can add a few more to my must-see list that I had forgotten about, like Blood Diamond, Pan's Labyrinth, The Good german and The Fountain.

Sat Purkh Kaur Khalsa said...

Wow you really are a Reel fanatic-smile. I too am hoping that DAniel Craig makes a great 007; I love his work. I couldn't make it through your entire list, but the theatres here are so small, more than half of those movies won't make it to me anyway--I'll reserve them on Netflix though.

Reel Fanatic said...

I think many people would have trouble reading for that long, Sat ... once I get going, I do tend to ramble on!

Mazur said...

Great list. So much coming out, but it's hard to get excited about most of it. I've been cautiously anticipating Fast Food Nation and The Fountain for awhile, but now that the previews are out I'm starting to get pessimistic. Christopher Guest is always good, but I still don't think he's topped Waiting For Guffman yet. Here's hoping.

I'm going to see Pan's Labyrinth at the Denver Film Fest this weekend, I'm really excited. Finally, something that looks unique!

Reel Fanatic said...

Waiting for Guffman would have to be my favorite too, Mazur, but Best in Show was almost as good, so I'm definitely excited for his new one

Chris said...

Just saw Children Of Men yesterday, and it was great! Imagine 28 Days Later minus the Zombies. Great atmosphere and some downright brilliant camerawork. Go see it!
And you might want to keep "Severance" in mind. This horror-comedy got quite good reviews over here in Europe, and was often compared to Shaun Of The Dead. Well, I'll know in a few hours... I'm off to the cinema now! ;)

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks for the heads up, Chris .. I'm definitely gonna see Children of Men as soon as I get the chance!

Chris said...

"Severance" was good as well... not as much gore as I expected, but funny as hell! If you're bored with crap-horror like Wrong Turn or House Of Wax, this might be something for you!

Reel Fanatic said...

I've heard only good things about Severance, Chris, so I definitely will be checking it out as soon as I get the opportunity

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