Well, it’s officially fall now and along with the heavier foods and heavier sweaters come some heavier movies. Thank goodness, because I couldn’t deal with another teenager falling in love on the beach. Now it’s just a steady build-up to the bah-humbug movies of the season of chilled hearts. It’s time for some self-reflection and hoarding food for the winter. And because a lot of people are too lazy to read books these days, movies are a concise alternative—now go catch one of these flicks!
The Movie: “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”
The Trailer: In 2001, Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) has just been released from federal prison with no one to greet him. Gekko becomes a financial writer and goes on a press tour to promote his book Is Greed Good? while trying to build a relationship with his daughter (Carey Mulligan) who’s dating a newbie trader (Shia LaBeouf). Gekko and a ruthless investment banker (Josh Brolin) take him under their wing and turn him into something his girlfriend warned him about.
The Hitch: It’s kind of amazing that the sequel to Oliver Stone’s 1987 “Wall Street” could be made not too long after Michael Douglas’ character might have gotten out of prison … if corporate criminals actually stayed there for a substantial amount of time. Given our current economical climate, it’s an interesting time to explore greed and the ethics of the banking system. Plus, Charlie Sheen, who played Gekko’s protégé Bud Fox in the original movie, will return for a cameo, which should be interesting.
The Movie: “Howl”
The Trailer: James Franco portrays Beat poet and counter-culture icon Allen Ginsberg during his public obscenity trial and leading up to his most well-known 1956 poem, Howl. And his defense lawyer (Jon Hamm) appears to put on a good show as well.
The Hitch: I feel like we’ve been waiting for this movie for far longer than usual. I don’t know if it’s because of James Franco and Jon Hamm or because I was a poetry major and nerd out at these kinds of things, but my excitement hasn’t quelled.
The Movie: “Waiting for ‘Superman’”
The Trailer: For this documentary about our country’s failing public education system, Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim (“An Inconvenient Truth”) and his producing partner, Lesley Chilcott, follow five diverse families in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. while they desperately try to get their kids into better schools. Their journey culminates in a lottery, which determines whether students will get a place at a boarding school in Baltimore.
The Hitch: The trailer alone has made me so fearful for our nation’s future. I feel like everyone who has children or plans on having children, or works somewhere that will eventually hire someone who was once a child, should probably know what they’re getting themselves into. The fact that we rank behind 20 other countries in math and science but rank first in confidence is so gruesomely tragic. And if you pledge to see the movie, five books will be given to kids in need!
The Movie: “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”
The Trailer: An older couple (Anthony Hopkins and Gemma Jones) break up when the old man marries a former prostitute (Lucy Punch). Meanwhile, their daughter’s (Naomi Waatts) marriage to a novelist (Josh Brolin) is also dissolving because she’s kind of in love with her boss (Antonio Banderas) and he’s a loser who’s become obsessed with their neighbor (Freida Pinto).
The Hitch: You’ve got to take Woody Allen movies with a grain of salt these days. The movie is set in London, which automatically endears me to it, but why do his movies always involve lovers chasing each other around? And between the self-pitying whining and the melodrama, most of the characters end up coming off as such unlikable people. Allen fans will inevitably watch this anyway, but I’m perfectly happy re-watching “Annie Hall.”
The Movie: “Buried”
The Trailer: A U.S. truck driver (Ryan Reynolds) in Iraq wakes up to realize he’s been buried in a coffin, with nothing but a cell phone and a lighter. He is told that he must get $5 million to his kidnappers, or he will be killed.
The Hitch: The entire movie takes place in a coffin that is only sporadically lit by either a cell phone or a lighter. That is a lot of pressure for one actor to maintain, let alone to carry an entire movie with limited body movement and facial expression. The whole thing was filmed without a single rehearsal, for less than $2 million with just 17 days in Barcelona. And crowds still really dug it (heh) at Sundance.
The Movie: “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”
The Trailer: Soren (Jim Sturgess) and Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) are brother owlets who fall into a battle between the good-guy Guardians and Nazi-style Pure Ones.
The Hitch: Who knew owl politics were so confusing? I know they’re supposed to be tough-guy owls, especially the ones in the fierce little masks, but it’s really hard for me not to coo and aww through the trailer. Apparently, director Zack Snyder (“300″) went all-out on the CG 3-D hardcore owl fest, so if you want something visually stimulating, action-packed, and kinda fluffy-cute, this should cover your needs.