What To Look Forward To in … February 2011

9 01 2011

February comes, and with it the Oscars to celebrate 2010 in cinema!  Here are some movies I doubt we will be toasting this time in 2012.

February 4

“Sanctum” looks like a movie worth the price of 3D.  No stars and a somewhat enticing plot could make for a great experience.  Oh, and having James Cameron’s name in the trailer helps.

The Roommate” could make a decent chunk of change since it has teen stars Aly Michalka, Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, and Cam Gigandet to its name.  How good or thrilling it will be really can’t be deduced from the trailer – and maybe it’s not something I want to see heading off to college next year.

Thanks to a qualifying run, Halle Berry’s “Frankie & Alice” is eligible for 2010’s awards and has so far racked up a Golden Globe nomination.  That’s been about it for the previous winner, and an Oscar nod doesn’t look likely.  But if she does get it, there could be quite a few people flocking to this curious drama about a woman with multiple personality syndrome.

Speaking of Oscar nominations, Natalie Portman is almost certain to receive one for “Black Swan,” but her movies don’t stop there.  In addition to “No Strings Attached” coming out in January, she has “The Other Woman,” a 2009 Toronto Film Festival hit, being released theatrically.  (It’s also available on demand beginning in January.)

Also not likely to be hitting a theater near you: “Cold Weather,” a detective film that played 2010 SXSW, “Dressed,” a fashion documentary, and “Waiting for Forever,” a romance featuring Rachel Bilson.

February 11

Forget the birds in Arkansas falling.  If you are looking for a sign of the apocalypse, look no further than “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” in pointless 3D (as if you needed any indication that Paramount is soaking the Bieber cow for all the money its worth).  If it does well, you may find yourself with me wishing the apocalypse would come a little sooner.

The Eagle” sure doesn’t look much better as it’s just wannabe “Gladiator” period action fading into white noise.  Poor Channing Tatum managed to lose top billing to Jamie Bell in the trailer; maybe they chose only to advertise someone with acting skills.  “Gnomeo and Juliet” could be OK; at least we haven’t seen a million talking lawn gnome movies.

Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston sure didn’t have a good 2010; his “Grown Ups” and her “The Bounty Hunter” both charted on my 10 worst of the year.  So I guess when two fading stars cross each other’s paths, nothing good can come of it?  Their collaboration on “Just Go With It” seems pretty contrived.  I’ll see it, of course, in the hopes of finding a laugh or two.  Maybe Nicole Kidman can save this, just hopefully not at the expense of her Oscar campaign.

On the indie side of things, “Cedar Rapids” sure looks promising.  A fish-out-of-water comedy involving Ed Helms’ small-town boy getting into trouble in the booming metropolis of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the movie seems like a perfect foil for Sandler’s comedy.  With John C. Reilly, Sigourney Weaver, and Rob Corddry on board, I’m really looking forward to this.

February 18

Thankfully for “Just Go With It,” there will probably be a much worse comedy released in February, and it comes dressed in drag and a fat suit.  “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son” is a sequel that no one wanted, and it quite frankly looks like something meant to go straight to DVD.

Meanwhile, “I Am Number Four” is so cryptic and based on such a strange premise that I have a hard time getting excited to see it.  I’ll have to wait for audience and critical reactions before I can seriously consider shelling out my money for it.  If it hits big, though, Alex Pettyfer could have a nice breakout 2011.

“Unknown,” a new Liam Neeson thriller, looks like something I’ve seen before.  But at the same time, it looks thrilling and entertaining.

On the indie side of the coin, there’s “I Am” for all those who like Christian movies.  The movie is about the true nature of God, something that could be quite powerful for many people of faith – as long as they can find a theater that will show the movie.

February 25

Or, who knows, “Hall Pass” could be the worst comedy of February!  An Owen Wilson/Jason Sudeikis pairing seems inspired, but when they debate whether to pick up women at Applebee’s or Olive Garden, I’m worried that it’s going to be horrifically pathetic.

The enigma that is Nicolas Cage is back with “Drive Angry” as a dude who breaks out of hell.  It’s stranger, though, than Julianne Moore’s venture back into horror with “Shelter,” a creepy sci-fi thriller with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers doing some weird stuff with his mouth.

There’s no trailer yet for “Of Gods and Men,” but it’s been a big fixture among critics groups as a pick for Best Foreign Language Film.  I’d love to see some of it, but the clips are all in French.

So, that’s February!  What are YOU looking forward to?!?  As always, take the poll and comment!


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What To Look Forward To in … January 2011

13 12 2010

Hard to believe we are just around the corner from a new year!  2011, here we come … er, here we enjoy 2010’s movies a little while longer until the new year offers us something good.  Here are January’s sincerest efforts!

January 7

Nicolas Cage just keeps distancing himself further and further from his Oscar win for “Leaving Las Vegas” back in 1995.  He kicks off another disappointing year of quirky movie selection with “Season of the Witch,” originally slated for release about 9 months ago.  This supernatural thriller where he plays a 1300s Crusader and gets involved in some sort of black magic.  Needless to say, go see “Little Fockers” again.

Speaking of 2010, most theaters will finally be receiving “Country Strong” this week; whether it comes with any sort of awards season heat though is yet to be seen.  Gwenyth Paltrow’s vehicle as a fading country music star in desperate need of rehab looks a little corny and cliched, but would you rather see “Season of the Witch?”  My guess is no.

January 14

“The Green Hornet” was going to be a fanboy favorite, despite the casting of Seth Rogen as the title character.  Then some footage was released at Comic-Con, and everyone saw that it was just a typical Rogen slacker humor-a-thon.  They got angry, but I got happy.  I love Seth Rogen’s shenanigans, and I’m happy to see him move them to some genre other than gross-out comedy.

Is it possible for a movie’s trailer to get more coverage than the movie itself?  That’s likely the case for “The Dilemma,” a comedy of best friends, secrets, and infidelity strangely directed by Academy Award-winner Ron Howard.  With the use of the word gay, the trailer sparked an uproar and plenty of discussion on the power of words in society.  Apparently the joke stayed in the movie, and while I won’t head to the movie just to see that, I’ll probably hit it some other time once I’ve knocked out my mandatory 2010 viewing.

Also worth noting: “Rabbit Hole” should be getting a wide expansion this weekend.  If you haven’t seen it, SEE IT!  As for other 2010 movies just seeing release in the new year, there’s also “Barney’s Version,” the dramedy starring Paul Giamatti, Minnie Driver, Rosamund Pike, and Dustin Hoffman.  All those names together can’t be too bad.

Opening as well is “Every Day” with Liev Schrieber, Carla Gugino, and Helen Hunt in a rare appearance.  But given the no-name distributors, it’s going to be a while before it hits anywhere other than New York or Los Angeles.  And for all environmentalists out there, “Plastic Planet” looks at how safe plastic really is.

January 21

“No Strings Attached” looks like a suitable romantic comedy.  Starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, the movie tells the story of two lovers who only want a physical connection – in other words, the flip side of the coin of “When Harry Met Sally.”  It’s directed by Ivan Reitman, who helmed old classics like “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters” but also new stinkers like “Evolution” and “My Super-Ex Girlfriend.”  All I can say is that this had better not be for Natalie Portman what “Norbit” was for Eddie Murphy.

If “The Way Back” didn’t look interesting and gritty as you-know-what, I’d probably joke that it’s the “Defiance” of 2010/2011.  But alas, I can’t poke fun at this trailer.

And for the third time, “The Company Men” has been moved, this time to 2011 and out of Oscar contention.  So now everyone can safely stop worrying about Tommy Lee Jones pulling another “In the Valley of Elah” and get back to writing this movie off.

January 28

Hey, look!  It’s another movie starring Jason Statham and a gun!  In other words, you’ve probably seen “The Mechanic” before.  As for other retreads, there’s another Catholic Church conspiracy theory movie combined with an exorcism movie.  Top it off with a little creepy Anthony Hopkins, and you get “The Rite!”

From Prada to Nada” opens also in limited release, but this Jane Austen wannabe tale looks entirely dismissable.  Unless, of course, you want to see Carmen from “Spy Kids” all grown up.

So, what’s the verdict on January?  Are you going to don the glasses for “The Green Hornet” or just see “TRON: Legacy” again?






What To Look Forward To in … December 2010

15 11 2010

Hard to believe we are rapidly approaching the last month of 2010!  Enjoy the movies now, because soon Hollywood will be offering us its scraps.  We have an interesting December slate peppered with Oscar contenders and blockbusters, so it makes for an interesting mix.  Let’s get started at our look!

December 3

I’ve already seen “Black Swan” (mwahaha), and you need to see it.  Not for the faint at heart, I must warn.

FINALLY opening after being shuffled from preview post to preview post is “I Love You Phillip Morris,” the racy comedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as lovers.  It’s changed release dates so many times, in fact, that I’m not going to write anything about it just in case I jinx it.  Also opening is “The Warrior’s Way,” which looks to potentially play “Norbit” for Geoffrey Rush’s Oscar chances.  And “All Good Things” looks like a jumbled mess that might be worth checking out on video if for no other reason than to see Kristen Wiig’s first major dramatic turn.  If you really need a Christmas movie, check out no-name distributor Freestyle’s release of “The Nutcracker” in 3D with Dakota Fanning’s sister and Nathan Lane!

Also in limited release is a documentary on Benazir Bhutto, the assassinated former Prime Minister of Pakistan, called “Bhutto.”  I think she would be a fascinating subject, and I sure hope it comes to Houston.

December 10

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” looks to undo the disastrous effects of Disneyfication on C.S. Lewis’ classic series.  After “Prince Caspian,” the series needs a strong recovery.  Here’s to hoping the venture with Fox can do it.

As for “The Tourist,” I like anything with Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp.  This could be a totally formulaic thriller, but it’s Christmas and I have time to see whatever.

For all those interested in having Julia Taymor’s bad trips mess with their mind, “The Tempest” opens in limited release this Friday.  The weekend also brings us “The Company Men” with Ben Affleck, which tackles the issue of unemployment in America.  Unfortunately, the zeitgeist movie market has pretty much been cornered with “The Social Network,” so it’s going to take a backseat.  “Hemingway’s Garden of Eden” also heads your way in limited release, yet even with the big name expatriate author out in front, this still doesn’t excite me in the slightest.

Oh, and opening limited this weekend and wide December 17 is a little movie called “The Fighter.”  It just stars a few no-names like Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.  It’s kind of got some minor buzz, so it could be worth checking out.  (Note the sarcasm.)

December 17

How Do You Know” is my top mainstream pick for December.  The combination of the light dramedy of James L. Brooks with stars like Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson is just endlessly appealing to me.

I feel like the jury is still out on what will become of “Tron: Legacy.”  It’s sure going to be a visual effects phenomenon worth my IMAX money, but is it going to be any good?  Quality doesn’t seem to shine through the numerous trailers.  Maybe it’s some ’80s child thing I don’t get.

I’ve also seen “Rabbit Hole,” and it is more than worth your time and money in the busy Oscar bait season.  Nicole Kidman is astounding.  Also in the indie spectrum, Kevin Spacey stars in the late George Hickenlooper’s “Casino Jack,” a story of big influence on Capitol Hill.  Expect the two-time Oscar winner to hit out of the park as usual.

In case your family was looking to fill the void that “Alvin and the Chipmunks” left in the holiday season, Warner Bros. has quite a treat in store for you with “Yogi Bear!”

December 22

As for big name, sure-fire Oscar bait, it doesn’t get much better than the Coen Brothers’ “True Grit.”  It’s the perfect holiday movie that is totally not for the holiday season.

For more shoddy kids’ entertainment, you could also check out “Gulliver’s Travels” if you think that a non-animated Jack Black still has the capability to be funny.  I don’t think he does, to be honest.  As for “Little Fockers,” I don’t want to ruin whatever jokes the movie has up its sleeve by watching the trailer.  Who knows, there could be few to be had.

In limited release, moody hipster Sofia Coppola has a new movie, “Somewhere,” to totally disrupt the mood of your holiday season.  There’s also Gwenyth Paltrow in “Crazy Heart” — I mean, “Country Strong.”  More on that when it opens wide in January.

I’ve been hearing good things all year about “The Illusionist,” an animated movie about a magician, NOT the Edward Norton starrer from 2006.  It obviously won’t be making Houston in 2010, but I hope I get to catch it some time before it hits Netflix.

December 29/31

The year closes with three awards-type movies: the depressing “Biutiful,” the Mike Leigh unfunny comedy “Another Year,” and the intense NC-17 “Blue Valentine.”  I’ll see all three, but the only one I’ll be rushing the box office for is the latter, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.

So, what are YOU looking forward to in December?  I’m tightening up the poll this month to save some space by eliminating some of the less popular titles that never get votes.






What To Look Forward To in … November 2010

11 10 2010

Folks, we are moving closer and closer towards the best movies of the year – at least according to the Academy.  How many Oscar nominees are we looking at in this bunch?  How many box office smashes?  I’m looking forward to a healthy helping of turkey and movies this month.

November 5

The highlight of the week for me has to be “127 Hours,” although I’m sure New York and Los Angeles are going to hog it for several weeks before it comes to Houston.  Turning such a gut-wrenching story into a life-affirming movie is something I’m really excited to see.  (Check out more of my thoughts in the “Oscar Moment” I wrote on it.)

“Megamind” seems to be a little bit of “The Incredibles,” a little bit of “Shrek,” and a little bit of every Will Ferrell movie.  The combination should be fun – keyword should.  This is no certain bet.

“For Colored Girls” looks intense and depressing.  I do have to ask though – does anyone know what the plot is going to be about just from the trailer?  It’s basically like a montage of angry African-American actresses looking to put on a show for the golden Oscar.

As for other movies on the indie circuit, if “Client 9” looks so interesting to you, just pay the $10 to watch it during October on iTunes. A story about Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution ring is certainly a story that many don’t want to hear, but how much of it we really want to spend hours of our time hearing is debatable.  I’ll talk more about “Fair Game” in an Oscar Moment next week, but I think it looks like an intriguing contemporary thriller.  I just hope it doesn’t become some blatant political manifesto.

November 12

I liked “Skyline” better when I saw it as a little movie called “Independence Day.”  Carbon copy much?  On the same note, I liked “Unstoppable” better when it was called “The Taking of Pelham 123.”  Denzel Washington even stars in them both.

To save the weekend, there’s Rachel McAdams in “Morning Glory!”  As if she’s not enough, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton are on board for this drama-comedy mix that doesn’t seem to favor any genre over the other.  What a great surprise awaits us!

November 19

HARRY.  FREAKING.  POTTER.  That’s really all.

The Next Three Days” brings us Russell Crowe far removed from his Oscar days, here as a man trying to organize a prison break for his wife.  Even with Paul Haggis (Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Crash”) onboard, I still can’t really get behind this.

Again, I hate to delay my thoughts, but more will be coming on “Made in Dagenham” in an Oscar Moment.  I think it looks like a fantastic comedy, and I love Sally Hawkins.

November 24/26

The only movie not getting a head start on Thanksgiving weekend is “The King’s Speech,” so expect the Oscar buzz to cue up in a big way around this weekend.

As for those movies opening on Wednesday, there’s quite an interesting array of releases.  We have Christina Aguilera and her crazy vibrato in “Burlesque.”  There’s also the dubious “Faster” starring Dwayne Johnson … er, The Rock.  Apparently the remake of “Red Dawn” is supposed to open too, but given MGM’s financial troubles, I’m hearing that’s not going to happen.

There are two nice options this holiday weekend, one for families and one for adults.  “Tangled” comes from the Disney animators who can’t cut it at Pixar, and the company has been furiously selling it to boys after the gender deserted “The Princess and the Frog” based on its name.  Notice that the movie is not called “Rapunzel” in an attempt to make it seem less girly.  Nonetheless, I can almost guarantee you that once the turkey has settled, my family will be headed to this.  (Side note: WHERE ARE THE CHRISTMAS MOVIES THIS YEAR??)

And another semi-cop out to save commentary for an Oscar Moment, but “Love and Other Drugs” looks to be the weekend’s adult hit.  Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, the story of one of the earliest Viagra salesman seems like a well-acted, steamy comedic outing.  I’m in, although this could go wrong.

So, what are YOU looking forward to in November?  Looking like a pretty thin slate, but not a shabby one.





What To Look Forward To in … October 2010

18 09 2010

In less than two weeks, we are headed into October.  More quality fall entertainment, more Oscar contenders.  But really, “The Social Network” leads off the month and it’s all downhill from there.  Sorry, every other movie coming out in my month of birth.  AND PLEASE TAKE THE POLL AT THE END … I blanked and left it off for a few days, but please vote!

October 1

I’ve stated twice that I’m dying to see “The Social Network,” and I’ve predicted it twice now to win Best Picture.  I’m counting on a great movie, and I’m planning on catching the first showing after school on Friday.

“Let Me In” reminds us of a time when vampires were still scary, not sexy.  Chloe Moretz (best known as Hit Girl) plays the blood-sucking child in question in this remake of the 2008 foreign horror flick “Let the Right One In.”  I think subtitles make anything creepier, but Hollywood sees English-language versions as a way to make things more accessible.

I love the book “Freakonomics,” and I think the documentary montage without any particular focus is a perfect complement to the bestseller.  If it’s anything like the book, it will be fascinating and incredibly thought-provoking.  It’s an interesting tactic to put it on iTunes before releasing it in theaters, and I’ve been asking myself whether or not I should wait for the big screen.

And on another note, poor Renee Zellweger has dropped so low as to start doing low-brow horror like “Case 39.”  To think she won an Oscar just 7 years ago…

October 8

Ugh, “Secretariat.”  Inspirational sports movies now give me an averse reaction.  And there’s also more gross horror in 3D with “My Soul to Take.”  Way to sell your soul, Wes Craven.  With the only other wide release being a corny Josh Duhamel-Katherine Heigl romantic comedy, “Life as We Know It,” it looks like I may be seeing “The Social Network” for a second time.

On the indie side of things, I’ll be happy to see some of the offerings.  For example, I’m sure “Inside Job” will be an illuminating (and probably slanted) view of what really went down with the economic meltdown in 2008.

“Stone” looks intense, much like “Brothers” appealed to me this time last year.  With an impressive cast of Robert DeNiro and Edward Norton (Milla Jovovich to a lesser degree as well), it could be a pretty good under-the-radar movie.

Tamara Drewe” has been playing at a lot of film festivals this year to mixed/positive reviews, most of the praise going not to director Stephen Frears but to leading lady Gemma Arterton.  “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” has also been playing film festivals recently albeit to much less success.  Despite the widespread acclaim the filmmakers’ past two movies, “Half Nelson” and “Sugar,” have received, this just hasn’t caught on.  “Nowhere Boy,” the story of John Lennon, premiered at Toronto this week, but I didn’t hear anything about it.  No news is NOT good news at a festival.

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What To Look Forward To in … September 2010

15 08 2010

Weird to think that the circle is complete and I’m back doing my second September preview post!  All strangeness aside, we have emerged from a summer that many people loathed.  Now it’s up to fall, which begins in September, to redeem the year.  With the big film festivals beginning, it’s time for the Oscar hopefuls to hit the stage and make it or break it.

September 1/3

Getting a head start on the weekend is Anton Corbjin’s “The American,” starring George Clooney.  The director has only one other film under his belt, “Control,” which received enough raves that it’s sitting comfortably on my DVR.  Nevertheless, it’s George Clooney’s only movie of awards season 2010, so that makes it worth seeing.  Added bonus is the trailer gives very little of the plot away.

Apparently Robert Rodriguez didn’t get the memo that more is more when it comes to having old people in action movies, as August’s “The Expendables” bloated cast translated into cash.  But “Machete,” with Danny Trejo as the titular swordslinger along with Steven Seagal (tragically overlooked by Sly), Cheech Marin, and Robert DeNiro, still looks pretty fun.  Plus, there’s Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, and America’s favorite jail bait, Lindsay Lohan!

Going the Distance” finds a home in September for Labor Day weekend after August just seemed a little too crowded.

Americans remake foreign movies all the time, but “A Woman A Gun and A Noodle Shop” switches it up on us and remakes an American movie.  The source: The Coen Brothers’ “Blood Simple.”  Should be interesting…

September 10

Haven’t we seen enough “Resident Evil” in the last 8 years?  In case we haven’t, “Resident Evil: Afterlife” is here.  I will give the marketing executives credit for the trailer: they get that people can tell phony 3D from real 3D, and they are selling the fact that this is real 3D.

The prospects don’t look much better off the beaten path, either.  “The Virginity Hit” just looks like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” for the YouTube era.

September 15/17

Emma Stone’s “Easy A” looks to make “The Scarlet Letter” much more enjoyable for the juniors at my school who have to read it (I was not among those).  Hopefully this can make a star out of Stone, best known as Jules from “Superbad.”

I have absolutely no idea what to make of the trailer for “The Town” or “Never Let Me Go.”  But with a cast including the likes of Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, and Ben Affleck for the former, which opens in wide release this weekend, I’m definitely in.  Ditto for the latter which opens in limited release on Wednesday and stars Oscar nominees Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley.

“Devil” looks kind of freaky … but I’m wondering how many viewers Universal lost for this movie after “The Last Airbender” was so poorly received.  Maybe selling the movie based on M. Night Shyamalan wasn’t the best idea…

The weekend also brings Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut, “Jack Goes Boating,” starring he and Oscar nominee Amy Ryan.  It’s a very quirky, melancholy-looking romance.  Hoffman would.

Hey, look, another talking animal movie!  I’ll give “Alpha and Omega” the fact that it has the slight distinction of being Dennis Hopper’s last movie.  Don’t cry; he wouldn’t want us to.

September 22/24

I’m interested in “You Again” because it’s a different kind of high school movie – one where all the students are out of school.  Forced to be around each other, old high school rivals duke it out.  And Betty White watches.  What could be better?

Is “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” a zeitgeist-tapping look at our economy?  Or just Oliver Stone trying to reclaim his glory days?  Carey Mulligan is in it … good reason for me to see it.

Ryan Reynolds inside a coffin for an entire movie?  Will it work?  I want to see “Buried” if for no other reason than to see how they pull it off.

Wednesday sees the latest film from prolific director Woody Allen, “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.”  It has a great ensemble cast, but it didn’t get the greatest reviews at Cannes.  We’ll see how this goes.

I lost so much respect for “Legend of the Guardians” when the filmmakers attempted to convince me that their movie about talking owls was comparable to “The Lord of the Rings.”  Talk about a stretch…

What are YOU looking forward to in September?  Planning on going to the movies at all?  Or just clearing out your DVR…





What To Look Forward To in … August 2010

7 07 2010

It’s the day after three days after (didn’t finish the post quite in time) July 4th, which means that summer is basically half-over. Everyone make a sad face.

It’s also July, which means it’s time for me to make my August preview post for some movies that few people want to see. Everyone make a sadder face.

But I think there is some potential for some hits in August, some fueled by estrogen and others by testosterone.

August 6

And the winner for the most unnecessary 3D treatment in the history of movies is “Step Up 3D!” Honestly, Hollywood, stop making the third installment of every series in 3D just because it sounds nice in the title. Who wants to see people breakdancing in 3D? I’m just waiting for the straw that will break the camel’s back on the technology … getting closer …

It’s make or break career-wise for Will Farrell with “The Other Guys.” After last summer’s “Land of the Lost” tanked hard, it’s up to this movie to help him save face in the industry. Thankfully, he has Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, and Samuel L. Jackson to help him. My bet is on the latter, though, to provide the most laughs.

The last two decades were not exactly good to Rob Reiner, so maybe “Flipped” can turn the tables in his favor again. This is the man that gave us “This is Spinal Tap,” “The Princess Bride,” and “When Harry Met Sally.”  It’s time for a return to form, and I think his adaptation of Wendelin Von Draanen’s book can do it for him.  I read the book as a kid, and it still to this day is one of my favorites.  I’ll forgive him for the slap in the face to my generation though – he moved its setting to the 1950s because it is more “innocent.”

On the indie side of things, the most interesting release looks to be “Middle Men,” which chronicles the birth of the Internet pornography industry. It’s a curious choice for Luke Wilson, former comedic star.

There’s also the quiet “Cairo Time” with Patricia Clarkson, the film festival hit “Lebanon” that provides hard-hitting war drama, and “The Oxford Murders” which seems to have little to offer aside from Elijah Wood.

August 13

“Eat Pray Love” is this year’s “Julie & Julia,” that is, a late summer movie aimed at the oft looked-over women. Particularly middle-aged and older women, AKA not the kind that lined up for “Twilight.” With Julia Roberts, a huge star who makes herself pretty scarce, and a literary phenomenon to its name, this could be poised to reap in some big money.

But all the guys seem to be hungering for “The Expendables,” Sylvester Stallone’s new movie that features just about every ’80s action star, be they fresh or washed up. All I can say is thank goodness it is rated R.

And then aiming somewhere in between is “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” a different kind of comic book movie. The usual hero is someone awesome; here, the hero is pathetic Michael Cera fending off seven evil ex-boyfriends of his new girlfriend. Anna Kendrick makes an appearance in the movie in some aspect, so that’s probably enough to get me to see it. Don’t be surprised if this is an out-of-nowhere smash hit. The style looks pretty irresistible.

These movies are probably not opening anywhere else other than New York or Los Angeles this day, but look for them in late August or September. Hopefully “Animal Kingdom,” a foreign crime drama released by Sony Pictures Classics, isn’t the new “Gommorah.” And then there’s “Tales from Earthsea,” the latest Japanese anime movie. One of these days I’ll get around to watching “Spirited Away”…

August 20

“Lottery Ticket” would fall in a pile with other urban movies I don’t pay much attention to if it weren’t for one tiny detail: Ice Cube is playing an old man. He was a hip father only five years ago … it’s a little soon for a grandpa role.

“The Switch” is in an interesting place. Jennifer Aniston was once a draw, but her rep has taken some hits after a series of movies that were not very well received. Jason Bateman is still a rising star, still looking for that movie to really put him on the A-list. Can they meet in the middle? A comedy with a serious concept could do it for them.

I don’t get excited for documentaries, but “The Tillman Story” looks great. A little un-American, sure. But it’s a movie about the truth, and that’s usually a good thing.

Maybe your local megaplex will keep “Toy Story 3” in its 3D theaters to save you from “Piranha 3D,” yet another unnecessary movie looking to profit off the premium ticket prices.  And “Nanny McPhee Returns” because apparently we didn’t get enough of her the first time.

I really hope that “happythankyoumoreplease” finds its way to Houston sometime. It’s directed by Josh Radnor of “How I Met Your Mother” fame and stars the gorgeous Malin Akerman. I love me some indie comedy, and the movie found some love at Sundance. But since no real trailer is out there and it’s being released by some distributor I’ve never heard of, I have my doubts.

August 27

And now we get to those crummy last official week of summer releases.  “Takers,” despite a fairly impressive cast, just looks dumb.  “The Last Exorcism” provides enough chills to tide that crowd over until Halloween.

Indeed, the only movie that looks redeemable this weekend is “Going the Distance,” the rom-com starring real life couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long.  The movie explores a long-distance relationship, territory that has seldom been tread.  If the women have seen “Eat Pray Love” too many times, they could make this a hit.

So, whatcha wanna see in August?  Lemme know in the poll.