You’ve suffered through Flightplan and Dukes of Hazzard, Deuce Bigalow European Gigolo and My Date with Drew (or enjoyed them, how the hell do we know?) The point is that those fluffy films have floated away like so much cinematic ragweed and in its place an autumnal harvest of films of quality are on the horizon (presumably.) There’s movies about trannies on the run, cowpokes getting poked and one very, very big ape. Plus lions, witches Nazis and Israeli assassins. Pass the stuffing.
39 Pounds of Love (Dani Menkin)
Doc about a 39-lb, 34-year-old muscular dystrophy patient who has a career as a computer animator.
Ice Harvest (Harold Ramis)
Hmm...a foul-mouthed Christmas caper comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton, you say?
In the Mix (Ron Underwood)
Although we’ve always considered ourselves to be Usher fanatics of the first order, we must confess we had never heard of this particular star vehicle before we found out we’d need to tell you about it.
Just Friends (Roger Kumble)
Ryan Reynolds hitches his wagon to the wildly popular “fat suit” rom-com subgenre (hey, if it worked for Gwyneth Paltrow...)
Rent (Chris Columbus)
If the guy who made Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in 1992 can’t recreate the AIDS-plagued Bohemian East Village scene of the early 90’s, then who can?
Syriana (Stephen Gaghan)
So the guy who wrote Traffic wrote and directed another panoramic-plotted mega-drama, only about oil instead of drugs.
Yours, Mine and Ours (Raja Gosnell)
Remake of 60s huge family comedy features two baseball teams worth of adorable moppets. Just think how many stage parents must have been around during the production.
Aeon Flux (Karyn Kusama)
Charlize Theron, sensibly enough, stars in the film adaptation of the animated MTV series. On a related note, Rex Reed’s head just exploded.
Be Here to Love Me: a Film About Townes Van Zandt (Margaret Brown)
Clearly, the filmmakers aren’t worried about Aeon Flux eating up their prospective audience.
I’m Taraneh, 15 (Rasul Sadrameli)
Another Iranian film about a teenage girl, if that’s your kind of thing.
TransAmerica (Duncan Tucker)
Felicity Huffman plays a pre-op male-to-female transsexual on a cross-country road trip; our Played Out Puerile Joke Researchers inform us that “Desperate to be a Housewife” has not yet been used to describe Huffman’s character in this movie, but that, “it’s not really that funny.”
Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
Our Played Out Puerile Joke Researchers also inform us that “Bareback Mountain” gets roughly 475,000 Google hits, so we should probably take this blurb in another direction.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Andrew Adamson)
If we were Machiavellian Disney execs (probably redundant, but bear with), we would have entered this movie in a game of Release Date Chicken with the new Harry Potter, and tried to play up the pagan vs. evangelical undertones angle in an effort to leverage the increasingly viable right-wing moviegoing audience and decimate Harry’s audience. It’s probably a good thing we don’t run Hollywood.
Isn’t This a Time: A Tribute Concert for Harold Leventhal (Jim Brown)
Documents the 2003 Carnegie Hall event lauding the recently deceased folkie.
Memoirs of a Geisha (Rob Marshall)
Chicago overdirector Marshall does his part in Hollywood’s ongoing attempt to put the entirety of our mother’s 1990s suburban book club’s reading list onto celluloid (see also: Snow Falling on Cedars, Cold Mountain, Like Water for Chocolate, etc.). If this movie doesn’t make Ziyi Zhang a household name, by the way, we are going to be royally put out.