I haven’t been everywhere, but I think it’s safe to say after all the bizarre weather patterns last week that it is finally fall now! It’s also that wonderful month when drug stores turn into creepy candy cornucopias and the movie theater is flooded with horror movies. This week, there’s actually a bunch of exciting movies coming out! In honor of what would be John Lennon‘s 70th birthday, his biopic, “Nowhere Boy,” is in theaters. There is also the “talk to your friends about the fact that you made them godparents” fable, “Life as We Know It.” We find love in a psych ward in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” And then there’s a prison movie (“Stone”), a horse movie (“Secretariat”), and two horror movies (“I Spit on Your Grave” and “My Soul to Take”). Now go to the movies! Bring some candy corn. God knows there isn’t enough corn in your diet. Brought to you by the American Corn Growers Association. Not really though.
The Movie: “Life as We Know It”
The Trailer: Holly (Katherine Heigl) and Messer (Josh Duhamel) are set up on a disastrous blind date by their best friends (including Christina Hendricks). A year later, their best friends are killed in a car accident and Holly and Messer find out they are the baby’s godparents. They’re forced to come together to raise the baby girl and, after lots of struggling, find that they’re somehow accidentally compatible.
The Hitch: I hate to be anti-Heigl, because I’ve liked her ever since “My Father the Hero,” but why is every character she plays these days exactly the same? It would have been interesting to see Hendricks take on the role—why the hell would they get her in the movie just to kill her off? The premise is decent, so hopefully it wasn’t totally suffocated with poop jokes and angry banter.
The Movie: “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”
The Trailer: Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) is a stressed-out 16-year-old who bikes to a mental health clinic one morning and checks himself in, hoping to stop the noise in his head. The youth ward is closed for the day, so he’s placed in the adult ward and an unhinged patient named Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) takes him under his wing. Craig falls for another displaced teen, Noelle (Emma Roberts). Craig is stuck in the ward for the minimum five-days stay but accidentally finds what he needs.
The Hitch: Perhaps sometime in the next year, we will suffer from a Galifianakis overload, but since that time has not yet come, this movie looks awesome. It will be nice to see Zack in a role that requires the occasional seriousness but still allows him to do that acting-out thing he’s so good at. And anyway, when was the last time we had a good psych ward love story? I even pre-approve the soundtrack.
The Movie: “Nowhere Boy”
The Trailer: Growing up in Liverpool and being fought over by his aunt (Kristin Scott ) and mother (Anne-Marie Duff), John Lennon (Aaron Johnson) dreams of starting a rock band and becoming Elvis Presley and eventually finds a kindred spirit in a young Paul McCartney (Thomas Sangster). They go off and form the Beattles.
The Hitch: We’re already crushing on Aaron Johnson and we’ve been waiting for this movie since it showed at Sundance last winter, so it’s about time they finally shared the biopic with the us! This is also the film that introduced Johnson to his significantly older baby mama, director Sam Taylor-Wood, but maybe we’ll get a better idea about why she fell in love with the young star. Oh and the little kid from “Love Actually,” is all grown up and portraying Paul McCartney! I can’t wait to see this and it’s not just because the boys are kinda dreamy, though that certainly doesn’t hurt.
The Movie: “Secretariat”
The Trailer: Penny Chenery (Diane Lane) is a housewife who knows nothing about horses but has to run her father’s stables in Virginia when he falls ill. She wins a horse named Secretariat in a coin toss and gets a nutty trainer (John Malkovich) to prepare him for the 1973 Triple Crown.
The Hitch: Spoiler alert: it’s based on a true story and Secretariat wins. Disney is really good at making a rousing trailer, but it would take a lot more than a horse movie to get me out of the house. It’s supposedly a good movie and Diane Lane is almost always great, so if you’re a horse person, get psyched!
The Movie: “Stone”
The Trailer: Stone (Edward Norton) is a con who’s trying to get out of prison and his parole officer (Robert De Niro) takes him on as his last case before he retires. Stone’s wife (Mila Jovovich) seduces the parole officer in an effort to compromise his position.
The Hitch: Edward Norton looks excessively silly with cornrows, but playing the Southern criminal somehow suits him and Jovovich makes the perfect conniving wife. Something feels really wrong about De Niro hooking up with Jovovich, but I guess that’s a perk about making movies — you can make the audience feel uncomfortable without even trying that hard!
The Movie: “Tamara Drewe”
The Trailer: Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) moves back to her hometown in the English countryside one nose job lighter and starts flings with some of the local males, like the smug novelist (Roger Allam) and the loony drummer (Dominic Cooper).
The Hitch: There’s some adultery, some musing and presumably lots of nose jokes. I want this movie to be about an ugly duckling returning home a swan to get revenge on everyone who ignored her or made fun of her, but it seems from the trailer that Tamara might not necessarily be fully in control of her take-over.
The Movie: “I Spit on Your Grave”
The Trailer: A woman is gang-raped and exacts her revenge by slowly torturing and killing her attackers in brutal ways. Based on the 1978 Meir Zarchi torture porn film.
The Hitch: I guess if there has to be a rape scene in a movie, at least it’s followed by blood-spurting revenge. But how much of the movie is meant to be purposefully pornographic like the original? And does she really need to be stuck in her underwear for the entire film?
The Movie: “My Soul To Take”
The Trailer: A serial killer goes back to his hometown to take down the seven kids who were born on the day he allegedly died, one by one.
The Hitch: One of the best things about horror movies is that they often require you to suspend your disbelief about everything. Wait, didn’t we bury that guy? Yeah, but maybe we buried him alive!? Or maybe his soul jumped into one of you guys? That’s totally possible. Yeah, I guess you just have to run with it.