The PopMatters Fall Movie Preview - October 2011

by Bill Gibron

9 Sep 2011

 
With Award Season in sight, October offers up the last of the should-have-been-summer blockbusters (Real Steel, Anonymous), a few indie darlings (Like Crazy, Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene), and the usual dose of All Hallow’s Eve tie-ins (Red State, Paranormal Activity 3).
 

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Real Steel

Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie
7 October
Real Steel


It’s a great idea: giant robot boxers. Too bad Stuart Gordon did it—and from the looks of things, did it better—than this big budget bungle from the director of such dross as Night at the Museum. Shawn Levy aside, the premise reeks of an automaton remake of The Champ, complete with down and out pugilist looking for redemption and a tow-headed tot along for the manipulative ride. While the F/X and money are magnified a thousand percent, the results don’t look much different than what Gordon accomplished with Robot Jox. Definitely aimed at the adolescents in the audience.

 

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The Ides of March

Director: George Clooney
Cast: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood
7 October
The Ides of March


George Clooney: the mancrush of every human being on the planet. He’s a great actor. He’s a classic movie star. And when he feels a bit frustrated, he stretches out and directs movies like Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Good Night and Good Luck. Now he’s back with a political potboiler based on the play Farragut North by Beau Willimon. It deals with backstabbing and betrayal during a fictional presidential campaign (though the material was loosely based on the run of Howard Dean in 1992). Clooney himself plays the Democratic candidate, with Gosling as his advisor and—if you believe the trailer—eventual turncoat. With such a pedigree, it becomes one of October’s must-sees.

 

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Wanderlust

Director: David Wain
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, Malin Åkerman, Lauren Ambrose, Joe Lo Truglio
7 October
Wanderlust


David Wain is one of the most beloved creators of comedy in the last 20 years. Or at least, you’d think that was the case considering the buzz that has built up around his early work as part of the obsessed over MTV sketch show The State. Even with a mainstream hit (Role Models) and a fondly held first film (Wet Hot American Summer) under his belt, the fans still foam over the 26 episodes of the memorable music television series. This sounds like the reverse Out of Towners (city slickers escape to the country), but with Wain’s unique POV.

 

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Dirty Girl

Director: Abe Sylvia
Cast: Juno Temple, Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Jeremy Dozier
7 October
Dirty Girl


Call us old fashioned—or just old—but the title of this independent film automatically has us thinking about Elton John and his fabulous ‘70s masterwork, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (side three, song three). In truth, it’s the tale of a promiscuous teen in the ‘80s who befriends a gay classmate and, together, steal away to Los Angeles. He hopes to escape the ridicule of his homophobic father. She wants to find her birth father. This is the first feature film for writer/director Abe Sylvia and he has an established cast (William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen, Milla Jovovich) to work with. Still, ignore us while we nostalgically hum away…

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