The 2012 PopMatters Fall Film Preview - Part 1

September

by Bill Gibron

3 September 2012

 


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The Waiting Room

Director: Peter Nicks
Cast: Various
28 September
The Waiting Room


Another documentary, this time focusing on the faces and personalities visiting at Highland Hospital, a safety-net organization in Oakland, California… and, of course, the current uninsured state of most patients is what takes up the running time. Started as a social media project by filmmaker Peter Nicks, there is a decidedly Sicko feel to the final result, a movie made out of anger and angst, directed at a problem that many recognize but few want to actually address. Since it is an “ongoing” endeavor, one imagines the final product changing with the times… and the tales.

 

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Hotel Transylvania

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Cast: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi
28 September
Hotel Transylvania


Stunt casting? Yes. Second grade storytelling? Apparently. A supposedly novel take on otherwise familiar family film material? Well, as long as you haven’t seen ParaNorman... maybe? Anyway, voiced by Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Jon Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon and David Spade, we have a weird amalgamation of horror and humor, as the great monsters of legend come to a far away spa to escape the normal people. When one of them shows up as well, hijinx apparently ensue. The trailer looks telling enough. Here’s hoping ace in the hole Genndy Tartakovsky (The Clone Wars) can do something novel with this.

 

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Looper

Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels
28 September
Looper


Rian Johnson is perhaps the most popular film geek auteur you’ve probably never heard of. His first film, Brick, made many 2005 Best of Lists with its mixture of hardboiled noir (and language) and coming-of-age narrative. The Brothers Bloom, on the other hand, is usually listed as the filmmaker’s “almost” sophomore slump. Looper has had its issues (mostly thanks to the Chinese government), but overall, the sci-fi fanbase seems high on this story of future assassins. When one of the title characters faces himself at an older age (yes, time travel is involved), we wind up with a clever crime thriller.

 

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Won’t Back Down

Director: Daniel Barnz
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Holly Hunter, Oscar Isaac, Rosie Perez, Ving Rhames, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
28 September
Won’t Back Down


Just what you’d expect from the guy who brought us the unnecessary Beauty and the Beast update, Beastly—an issues movie. The cause the story centers around is a failing inner city school and the teacher/parent combo convinced they can take on the entrenched bureaucracy… and win. Of course, said salaried villains won’t back down without a fight. Neither will those screaming for change. Featuring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola David, Ving Rhames, and Holly Hunter, there’s quite a cast here. Let’s just hope that cinematic novice Daniel Barnz goes for something more significant, and less mawkish.

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Also opening in September: Girl Model (9/7), Las Acacias (9/7), Toys in the Attic (9/7), Finding Nemo 3D (9/14), Bangkok Revenge (9/14), Barfi! (9/14), Backwards (9/21), Heroine (9/21), Bringing Up Bobby (9/28), Starbuck (9/28), Vulgaria (9/28).

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