If, like me, you view the world through the prism of Zac Efron, and if summer is the season for Zefron to be in big budget star vehicles with his shirt off (17 Again)—then fall is the season for him to become a capital “A” actor (Me and Orson Welles). As the leaves turn color, the movies change as well—fewer explosions and CGI, more drama and character-studies. Depending on your tastes, this may not be a good thing, but there are more than a few upcoming films to be excited about.
This fall brings no fewer than three movies that resemble the book you begged your parents to read you every night, reworked by directors you now watch every night. There is The Fantastic Mr. Fox (November 13), from the whimsical Roald Dahl story, repurposed by Wes Anderson for his first animated feature, and starring the voices of his usual crowd—Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and the rest. There is also Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (September 18), the fantastical story of the day the weather was food, animated and directed by the producers of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. But most exciting is the Maurice Sendak-approved adaptation of his childhood classic Where the Wild Things Are (October 16)—the rip-snorting story of Max, the king, and the wild rumpus, written and directed by Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze.
It wouldn’t be a fall movie season without some serious Oscar bait. Many of these will be preachy and boring, about serious themes with lots of actors in unflattering costumes emoting for their fans, but Nine (November 25) might just be too big to fail. Directed by Robert Marshall, of the Oscar-winning Chicago, it stars Daniel “I Drink Your Milkshake” Day-Lewis himself, as a movie director trying to get his most recent project off the ground while dealing with the various beautiful women in his life, played by Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, and Fergie.
Fall or not, there are still enough huge, flashy blockbusters with budgets that could pay tuition for your entire microeconomics class. The second movie in the Twilight series, New Moon, about ordinary Bella Swan and the vampires and werewolves who love her, comes out November 20, to the excitement of squealing girls everywhere (including yours truly). Guy Ritchie, director of Snatch, decided that Sherlock Holmes (December 25) needed the Iron Man treatment, so we’ve got a wise-cracking Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams—and more gadgets, explosions, and sex than pipes and tweed hats. The apocalyptic 2012 (November 13), directed by disaster-pic specialist Roland Emmerisch, destroys the White House, the Washington Monument, the Himalayas, and the Vatican—and that’s just in the trailer. Perhaps the biggest of the blockbusters is Avatar (December 18), Titanic director James Cameron’s first movie in 12 years, which just might revolutionize everything we know about movies by showing us lots of blue-skinned aliens. That, or it could displace Waterworld as the benchmark for an epic blockbuster flop.
Photography courtesy IMDB.COM