2011 Fall Movie Preview! “Warrior,” “Drive,” “Weekend,” and More


Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50

Yet another season, yet another slate of movies that sound great, even though a lot of them will end up being complete duds.

Meanwhile, some obscure little fringe movie that no writer like myself even thought to include in all the “fall preview” articles going up right now will end up unexpectedly delighting audiences and breaking out as a sleeper it.

Ah, the movies! They’re just that magically unpredictable, aren’t they?

But just to shake things up and make things even more unpredictable, I’ve included three completely “fake” movies in this fall’s movie preview. Can you spot them all? It might not be that easy, given how derivative and, well, stupid so many Hollywood movies have become. But I have faith in my readers! (The answers are at the end.)

Let’s get to it! Here’s a list of some of the movies I’m looking forward to. It’s not a complete list, mostly because I’m not looking forward to everything. Hey, it’s my party, and I’ll cheerlead for Ryan Gosling if I want to!

CONTAGION

(Friday, September 9th)

It’s a disaster movie about a deadly virus that’s destroying the world, starring an all-star cast, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, and Laurence Fishburne!

Except it’s really not. This is more of director’s Steven Soderbergh’s arthouse take on the issue of, well, viral pandemics — like how Traffic looked at drugs. I’ve seen this movie and, alas, it feels dated and limp. The good news is that Gwyneth Paltrow-haters will find something to enjoy here (e.g. her death scenes).

WARRIOR

(Friday, September 9th)

Inception hunk Tom Hardy headlines a movie that mixes “mixed martial arts” with family drama: Hardy’s character, haunted by a tragic past, returns home to be coached by his washed-up, alcoholic father (Nick Nolte) for a future bout — where he has to compete against his own brother (Joel Edgerton)!

All I can say is: ab-lovers rejoice!

PANNED

(Friday, September 9th)

Adam Sandler stars as Peter, a man who is literally an overgrown adolescent: as the child of Peter Pan, he can’t grow up, no matter how hard he tries. Or can he? When he meets the daughter of Wendy Darling (Leslie Mann), he realizes he must finally somehow become a man to win the woman he loves.

DRIVE

(Friday, September 16th)

Ryan Gosling tries to cement his A-list status in this movie about a stunt-driver who moonlights as a get-away car driver. But when a heist goes bad, he finds that a contract has been put on his life, and he must, well, drive away. But this lower-budget film is no generic actioner; word is, it’s extremely stylized with an impressionistic, non-linear structure.

STRAW DOGS

(Friday, September 16th)

Straw Dogs, which stars James Marsden, Kate Bosworth, and Alexander Skarsgard, is a remake of a controversial 1971 film about a conflicted couple new to a small town who find themselves harassed by locals. The original was set in rural England; the new version is set in the American South.

THE LION KING, 3D

(Friday, September 16th)

I know I’m
in the minority, but I’ve never put The Lion King in the top tier of
animated Disney movies, groundbreaking Broadway production
notwithstanding. But if you’re not like me, you’ll have a chance to shell out 15 pointless dollars see the movie in 3D for the first time. Hakuna Matata indeed!

WEEKEND

(Friday, September 23rd)

A one-night stand between two very different gay men turns into a whole weekend together. But can that weekend turn into something longer-term than that? I found the movie sexy, extremely real, and breathtakingly well-acted — the best gay movie of the year so far.

Weekend opens in New York on Sept. 23, Los Angeles on Sept.
30, and then has a limited nationwide release starting Oct. 7.

ABDUCTION

(Friday, September 23rd)

Can Taylor Lautner carry a movie that doesn’t involve werewolves and angst-y teens? We’ll find out upon the release of this film about a young man who visits a “missing child” website and discovers that he was actually abducted as a boy and that he’s been raised by his kidnappers. Soon he’s on the run with the neighbor girl and no doubt finding a reason to get that shirt off and keep it off, dammit!

Next Page! Joseph Gordon Levitt! And more Ryan Gosling!

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