Fall is officially upon us! In the movie biz, the next few months are also known as “Oscar season.”
But that’s not to imply that every single film coming out before 2011 draws its final breath has Academy Award potential. Oh, no. As you’re about to see, there’s plenty of schlock on hand to balance out all of the Serious Ack-ting that lies in wait. Since we’ll be offering full reviews of the vast majority of titles on the Fall 2011 slate, for now I’ll just provide a quick summary of what’s in store each weekend. Starting with this one!
Moneyball – In this adaptation of Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book of the same name, Brad Pitt stars as Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane, who rebuilds his pathetic baseball team using cold, hard statistics pulled together by his new assistant (Jonah Hill). (Watch the trailer)
Killer Elite – Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Clive Owen’s mustache beat each other up. A lot. (Watch the trailer)
Abduction – The Bourne Identity for the high school set, starring Taylor Lautner’s abs. (Watch the trailer)
50/50 – Let it be known that this one’s currently near the top of my Best of 2011 To-Date list! Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen prove that when you’re battling cancer, you can get by with a little help from your friends. (Watch the trailer)
What’s Your Number? – Anna Faris has slept with a lot of dudes and is convinced she must have already met her future husband. Chris Evans helps her figure out if she’s right… or if, sadly, she’s just a tramp. (Read more)
Dream House - Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz move into a new home that appears to be haunted by the victims of a recent crime, and their neighbor Naomi Watts tries to help them out. But the situation may not actually be what it seems… (Watch the trailer)
The Ides of March – George Clooney’s running for office and Ryan Gosling is his brilliant chief strategist… until he gets a better offer that involves driving getaway cars in the dead of night. (Kidding on that last part.) (Watch the trailer)
Real Steel – Hugh Jackman + robo-boxing. Any questions? (Yeah, actually, you probably have lots of questions. I know I do!)
Footloose – The ’80s classic gets a present-day makeover, but thankfully keeps most of the original’s catchy soundtrack. (Watch the trailer)
The Big Year – Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black are friends—all in the midst of life crises—who end up competing against each other in an extreme bird-watching competition. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
The Thing – A prequel to (not a remake of) the 1982 horror film of the same name.
The Three Musketeers – A 17th-century-set action-adventure about the famed swordsmen, not the candy bar. Duh! (Actually, these days you never really know, do you?)
Paranormal Activity 3 – Yep, another one!
The Mighty Macs – Carla Gugino stars in this true story about the famed Immaculata College women’s basketball team.
In Time – Justin Timberlake takes Amanda Seyfried hostage in a future society where no one lives past the age of 25 unless their internal clock is reloaded. (Watch the trailer)
The Rum Diary – Johnny Depp stars in the adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel about a journalist’s drunken adventures in Puerto Rico.
Johnny English Reborn – British comedian Rowan Atkinson is joined by Gillian Anderson (Scully 4-eva!) when he reprises his role as a Bond-like superagent who’s trying to save the world.
Anonymous – Did Shakespeare really write all of that stuff? This Roland Emmerich film starring Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave responds, “Maybe not.”
Puss in Boots – Finally we get this Shrek scene-stealer’s back-story! (Watch the trailer)
Tower Heist – Ben Stiller gets Eddie Murphy to help him steal huge amounts of money from a rich businessman who made many a pension go “poof!” (Watch the trailer)
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas - There will be ridiculous 3D effects, there will be pot-smoking, and there will be Neil Patrick Harris.
Immortals – Sweaty muscly guys anger the gods! In slo-mo! (Watch the trailer)
Jack and Jill – Because it’s starring Adam Sandler and, um, Adam Sandler in both of the title roles, I’m predicting this one will win my Worst Movie of 2011 title. (Watch the trailer)
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 – Bella and Edward say “I Do” and immediately get to undead-baby-makin’! The wolf dudes are not pleased. (Watch the trailer)
Happy Feet Two – Believe it or not, this isn’t a sequel to the animated penguin hit Happy Feet. (Just kidding, it is.)
The Muppets – Jason Segel and Amy Adams help save the Muppet Theater from destruction! (Watch the trailer)
Piranha 3DD – I just can’t.
Hugo – Martin Scorsese gets into the 3D game with this family-friendly adventure starring Jude Law and Sacha Baron Cohen.
Arthur Christmas 3D – Who wants more 3D? Nobody? TOO BAD! Here comes more of it in this animated tale about Santa’s son.
The Sitter – Jonah Hill proves he’s the last person who should be watching anyone’s kids. (Watch the trailer)
New Year’s Eve – From Garry Marshall, the same director behind last year’s surprisingly fun Valentine’s Day, comes a star-studded (seriously, every actor and actress you’ve ever heard of is in the cast) series of vignettes dealing with love both lost and found in Manhattan on the last night of 2011.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – Forget about December 21, 2012, being Doomsday. We all know that another Chipmunks film is the true sign of Armageddon. You have been warned.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are joined by Noomi Rapace in their next set of adventures, which appear to revolve around tarot-card-reading, jumping off of buildings, and cross-dressing. (Watch the trailer)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara star in David Fincher’s remake of the intensely violent Swedish murder-mystery (which is in turn based on Stieg Larsson’s bestselling novel of the same name). (Watch the trailer)
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Tom Cruise takes on Jeremy Renner in this fourth installment of agent Ethan Hunt’s adventures. (Watch the trailer)
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn – Steven Spielberg’s 3D motion-capture project, based on the popular boy-and-his-dog European comics, finally arrives. I gotta say, I’m really skeptical about this one…
We Bought a Zoo - Cameron Crowe brings to life the true story of a harried father (Matt Damon) who moves his family to the countryside where they attempt to re-open a failing zoo. (Watch the trailer)
The Darkest Hour – Starring Emile Hirsch and from the director of Wanted comes what everyone needs on Christmas Day—an alien-invasion flick, obviously!
Whew! There you have it!
What fall movies are you looking forward to the most?