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Fall Movie Preview 2009
      November '09  Sept. '09    Oct. '09    Dec. '09    Back to intro page

Mo'Nique in Lee Daniels' film "Precious", opening on Nov. 6.  (Photo: Lionsgate)

The Men Who Stare At Goats - Grant Heslov tries his hand at directing for the first time.  The film is based on an incredibly true story which stars George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey.  Nov. 6.

A Christmas Carol -
Robert Zemeckis directs Jim Carrey as Scrooge.  After stints as the Grinch and an appearance in "Lemony Snicket ...", this is a logical move for Mr. Carrey, who has great actors surrounding him here (Gary Oldman and Colin Firth).  Nov. 6.

The Fourth Kind -
Milla Jovovich investigates a four-decades-old mystery in Alaska.  Disappearing people galore.  Are aliens to blame?  Or is it just something in the Alaskan air that causes people to see Russia from their houses?  With Elias Koteas and the always reliable Will Patton.  And to think that I believed this was a sequel to "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind"!  Olatunde Osunsamni directs.  Nov. 6.

Precious -
Much-talked about at Sundance back in January, Lee Daniels (who produced "Monster's Ball") directs what many are already saying is the Oscar-winning supporting performance of the year by Mo'Nique, in the story of an obese, illiterate teenage girl in Harlem who is pregnant with her second child, looking to enroll in a private school.  Newcomer Gabourey Sibise plays the teen, and Mariah Carey is supposed to turn up here as well.  Paula Patton also stars.  Based on the novel Push by Sapphire.  The film was originally titled "Push", but an action film released in February (or April) beat them to it.  Nov. 6.  (limited release)

The Box - The talented (and unfairly maligned) Richard Kelly directs this thriller, with Peter Sarsgaard and Cameron Diaz, who hopes to rebound from an audience thumbs-down at her last film "My Sister's Keeper".  In this new film, a box which when opened affects the lives of others far away when the object inside it is taken.  Or something like that.  My advice: look but don't touch!   Nov. 6.

2012 -
Master of disaster Roland Emmerich is at it again with the apocalyptic drama 2012, which shows he's a numbers man or at least a filmmaker who likes dates or times in his film titles ("10,000 B.C.", "The Day After Tomorrow", "Independence Day").  December 21, 2012, is supposedly the date when the world comes to an end, according to the Mayans.  Will they be right?  And will this film be ripe for success?  The answer has to be yes, especially with this cast: John Cusack, Danny Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson - to name just a few.  Nov. 13.  (see related story)  

Pirate Radio - The travails of an illegally-operated radio station in the British North Sea in the 1960s.  After all the real-life pirate drama of the summer in the news, will this one fly high?  Richard Curtis directs.  There's a good cast of actors here, including Bill Nighy and Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Ahoy tharr mateys!!  Nov. 13.

The Young Victoria - The Duchess, The Boleyn Girls, Elizabeth, and now its Emily Blunt's turn, after Keira Knightley, Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johanssen, Cate Blanchett all tried in the respective roles above.  Ms. Blunt has Paul Bettany and Rupert Friend as cast mates in Jean-Marc Vallée's period drama about life for Victoria before she became Queen Victoria.  Any secrets to be had for Queen V.?  You betcha.   Nov. 13.

The Fantastic Mr. Fox - Stop-motion animation film based on Roald Dahl's stories.  A fox with smarts (an oxymoron?) takes on a human family fed up of having to share their chickens.  This fox is no chicken, and nor are the actors whose voices are featured here: Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Bill Murray, et al.  Wes Anderson directs.  (expands Nov. 20 and Nov. 25)

Planet 51 -
Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott (both in Richard Kelly's "Southland Tales") join Jessica Biel in providing voices for the characters in this animated story about inhabitants of a planet living in fear of an alien invasion.  Mr. Johnson starred in "Race To Witch Mountain" earlier this year.  Wondering whether this is similar, although this film's directors (Jorge Blanco and Javier Abad) will say no.   Nov. 20.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon -
Yes indeedy.  It'll make a ton of money, and all the teenage girls in the whole wide world won't care if it's any good or not (see last year's "Twilight").  Anyhow, this prequel about vampires is sure to stir their excited hearts all over again.  And ladies, that young man with the initials R.P. is back.  Start screaming.  Chris Weitz directs.   Nov. 20.

The Blind Side -
Sandra Bullock, who's been on the big screen twice in the last three months ("The Proposal", "All About Steve") goes serious in a true story about a homeless African-American teenage male taken under the wing of a conservative white family.  Can you hear the cynics out there right now?  Quentin Aaron stars as the teen with high academic skills and an NFL prospect to boot.  With Tim McGraw.  John Lee Hancock directs.  Nov. 20.

Broken Embraces -
The eagerly awaited film from Pedro Almodovar, one of cinema's best storytellers.  His muse Penelope Cruz is back for her fifth (or fourth? or sixth?) go-around.  Could be one of the best of the year.  We'll see.  Nov. 20.  (limited release)

Old Dogs -
John Travolta and Robin Williams, who've had their fair share of difficult times over the last year or two, pair up in "Wild Hogs" director Walt Becker's comedy about a former romantic interest of Mr. Williams' character whose twin kids she leaves in his care.  Enter Mr. Travolta to help his buddy out.  Should be fun, with a capital "F".  Nov. 25.

Nine -
Rob "Chicago" Marshall directs this musical adaptation of the film "8 1/2".  Daniel Day-Lewis's character loves his wife, life, mother, girlfriend, muse, agent, mistress -- and definitely not in that order.  Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren and others in what is a dream cast.  Could have sworn Nicole Kidman was also along for the ride, but not sure.  Nov. 25.

Ninja Assassin -
James McTeigue, he of "V For Vendetta", directs a martial arts thriller starring Rain, Rick Yune and Naomie Harris.  Miss Harris needs more work -- please, she's really that good.  Hoping she does well here, too.  Nov. 25.

Sept. '09    Oct. '09    Dec. '09    Back to intro page

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