WEIRDLAND: November & December's next releases

Monday, October 19, 2009

November & December's next releases

November Highlights:Cameron Diaz and James Marsden play a couple who must decide if they want to open The Box that will both give them $1 million and cause the death of a random person. Directed by Richard Kelly ( Donnie Darko), the thriller is based on the short story “Button, Button,” which was previously adapted into a “Twilight Zone” segment. (Warner Bros., Nov. 6)Wes Anderson applies his signature style to stop-motion animation in Fantastic Mr. Fox. Based on the beloved children’s book by Roald Dahl, Anderson’s adaptation is much more grown-up, and features the suave vocal stylings of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray. (20th Century Fox, Nov. 13)
A U.S. Army officer (Ben Foster) who has returned from Iraq is assigned to the Casualty Notification service in The Messenger. He finds himself attracted to a young widow (Samantha Morton) as he deals with his difficult assignment and his own war scars. Woody Harrelson co-stars for director Oren Moverman. (Oscilloscope, Nov. 13)
The renegade group in Pirate Radio broadcast rock ’n’ roll music from a tanker just outside of British jurisdiction in the 1960s. They include Philip Seymour Hoffman as “The Count” and Bill Nighy as the ship’s captain, who receives a series of visits from a godson (Tom Sturridge) who is in search of his father. Richard Curtis ( Love, Actually) wrote and directed the seagoing tale. (Focus, Nov. 13)
Disaster addicts will see their favorite monuments crumble in 2012, the new spectacle from director Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). John Cusack stars as a sci-fi writer trying to save his family when an apocalypse foreseen by the Mayans comes to pass. (Columbia, Nov. 13)A complex romantic mystery from renowned Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, Broken Embraces stars Penélope Cruz as a call girl who marries a wealthy businessman who helps finance her career as a film actress. When she falls in love with her director (Lluis Homar), the consequences are tragic. (Sony Pictures Classics, Nov. 20)In Twilight: New Moon, the romance between vampire Edward and mortal Bella becomes a love triangle. Distraught over an incident during which Bella is almost killed by a helplessly bloodthirsty relative, Edward leaves the young woman. Bella then begins a romance with her quiet Native American classmate Jake, who turns out to be a werewolf, a vampire’s mortal enemy. Chris Weitz ( The Golden Compass) directed the second chapter in the pop phenomenon. (Summit, Nov 20)Set during theatrical wunderkind Orson Welles’ celebrated staging of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar in 1937, Me and Orson Welles takes the point of view of a young, aspiring actor (Zac Efron) who spends a hectic week with the Mercury Theatre Company and falls in love with an older woman (Claire Danes). Film newcomer Christian McKay gives an uncanny performance as Welles in the new film from director Richard Linklater (School of Rock, Before Sunset). (Freestyle, Nov. 25)Set in a post-apocalyptic America, The Road focuses on a man and boy who traverse the country in an effort to stay alive. Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall and newcomer Kodi Smit-McPhee head the cast. John Hillcoat ( The Proposition) directed the film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. (Weinstein Co., Nov. 25)

Also in November:
William Hurt, Chiwetel Ejiofor (American Gangster), Jonny Lee Miller, Mark Strong ( Body of Lies), Derek Jacobi and Clarke Peters star in Endgame, a drama about the behind-the-scenes negotiations to end apartheid in South Africa in 1985. Peter Travis directed. (Monterey Media, Nov. 6)Three high-school seniors (Emmy Rossum, Ashley Springer, Zach Gilford) decide to take one big risk before they enter the real world in Dare. (Image Entertainment, Nov. 13)
Women in Trouble follows ten women with careers ranging from flight attendant to psychiatrist to call girl, who are all trying to get out of difficult situations. Writer-director Sebastian Gutierrez’s ensemble cast includes Carla Gugino, Adrienne Palicki (“Friday Night Lights”), Connie Britton, Emmanuelle Chriqui (“Entourage”), Simon Baker (“The Mentalist”), Josh Brolin and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (Screen Media, Nov. 13)In Fix, two filmmakers, Bella (Olivia Wilde) and Milo (Tao Ruspoli), race around Los Angeles trying to raise $5,000 to send Milo’s brother to rehab and help him avoid a three-year jail sentence. (Lafco & Mangusta Prods., Nov. 20)

December Highlights:
In Brothers, a U.S. Marine (Tobey Maguire) goes MIA in Afghanistan, his freewheeling brother (Jake Gyllenhaal) helps take care of his presumed widow (Natalie Portman), and the two develop a bond. Then the husband returns home, psychologically ravaged by the war, creating a tense domestic triangle. Jim Sheridan ( In America) directed this remake of an acclaimed 2004 Danish drama. (Lionsgate, Dec. 4)
Everybody’s Fine stars Robert De Niro as a gruff widower who falls out of touch with his three children after the death of his wife. After they decline invitations to visit, he goes on a road trip to visit each of his children, played by Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell. Kirk Jones adapted and directed the film, which is based on the 1990 Italian movie Stanno Tutti Bene. (Miramax, Dec. 4)
George Clooney plays a high-powered downsizing expert in Up in the Air. Close to accruing his ten-millionth mile, and just after meeting the woman of his dreams (Vera Farmiga) in an airport frequent-flyer lounge, he finds his jet-setting way of life suddenly thrown into turmoil. Jason Reitman ( Juno) directed the Toronto Film Festival hit. (Paramount, Dec. 4)Invictus takes us to South Africa to tell the post-apartheid story of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) and the captain of the country’s rugby team, Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon). In an attempt to unite the country, they focus on bringing the underdog team to the 1995 World Cup. Clint Eastwood directed. (Warner Bros., Dec. 11)
Based on the bestselling book, The Lovely Bones is the story of a family recovering after the rape and murder of their daughter (Saoirse Ronan), who narrates the story from heaven. Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci and Michael Imperioli round out the cast. Peter Jackson ( Lord of the Rings) brings his experience in fantasy worlds and suspense to his role as writer-director. (Paramount/Dreamworks, Dec. 11)In Avatar, a paralyzed soldier (Sam Worthington) inhabits a ten-foot tall, blue avatar. Within this body, he navigates the world of the Na’vi, a lush but dangerous realm. Technological innovator James Cameron ( Titanic, Aliens) wrote and directed the sci-fi fantasy, which will release in 3D. (20th Century Fox, Dec. 18)Based on a Broadway musical that was in turn inspired by the Fellini classic 8 1/2, Nine stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a film director balancing his relationships with his wife (Marion Cotillard), mistress (Penélope Cruz), muse (Nicole Kidman), costume designer (Judi Dench), mother (Sophia Loren), an American journalist (Kate Hudson) and a prostitute (Fergie), while also trying to make his ninth film. Musical veteran Rob Marshall ( Chicago) directs. (Weinstein Co., Dec. 18)Heath Ledger died during the filming of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and director Terry Gilliam recruited three stars—Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell—to complete his role. That’s just one fascinating aspect of this wild fantasy, in which Christopher Plummer stars as a man with extraordinary powers who makes a wager with the Devil in a desperate ploy to save his teenage daughter (Lily Cole). (Sony Pictures Classics, Dec. 25)
Guy Ritchie ( Snatch) directs a modern, kung-fu laced update of Arthur Conan Doyle’s venerable detective, Sherlock Holmes. Watson (Jude Law) and Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr.) use a mix of logic and martial arts to outsmart Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong), and Rachel McAdams appears as the alluring Adler (Warner Bros., Dec. 25)". Source: www.filmjournal.com

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