October 2011

The Ides of March

October 7th

An idealistic staffer (Ryan Gosling) for a newbie presidential candidate (George Clooney) gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail. Based on the play by Beau Willimon. Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Jeffrey Wright co-star.

Our Take: Between Drive, Crazy, Stupid, Love and last year’s Blue Valentine, Gosling seems to be the leading man who can’t lose (which is fitting, given his character in this film). Clooney is also currently on a performance hot streak; the stage play the movie is based on is still a hot property; and The Ides of March trailer makes this look like it’s going to be a great political thriller.

Real Steel

October 7th

A boxing drama set in the near-future where 2,000-pound robots that look like humans do battle. Hugh Jackman, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie and Evangeline Lilly star.

Our Take: Director Shawn Levy (Night At the Museum) promises that this is going to be a robot movie with heart, and the Real Steel trailer certainly backs that claim. It had better be, because we’ve seen Transformers 3 and already gotten our fill of flashy-but-mindless robot action.


October 7th

An urban couple branch out to live a more counter-culture lifestyle. Jennifer Aniston, Malin Akerman, Paul Rudd and Ray Liotta star.

Our Take: Paul Rudd can make just about anything charming, and Jennifer Aniston is okay too… Still, we won’t exactly be ordering our tickets in advance for this one.

The Big Year

October 14th

Three avid bird watchers (Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin) compete to spot the rarest birds in North America at a prestigious annual event.

Our Take: Marley & Me – the last film from director David Frankel and Owen Wilson – was a moving drama disguised as a comedy. Though you may not think so upon first glance, The Big Year trailer hints that this film will be much the same.


October 14th

City kid Ren McCormack moves to a small town where rock ‘n’ roll and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace. Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid star. Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) directs.

Our Take: This story was hokey enough back in the 1980s – it’s almost laughable in 2011. However, with Craig Brewer at the helm we expect that Footloose is going to contain a good deal of dirty dancing. Thankfully, they have two pretty leads taking us through the steps.

The Skin I Live In

October 14th (Limited)

A brilliant plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas), haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession. Pedro Almodóvar directs.

Our Take: No need to sell an Almodóvar movie. The man has many fans, and not without good reason.

The Thing

October 14th

At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson (Ulrich Thomsen). While Dr. Halvorson keeps to his research, Kate partners with Sam Carter (Joel Edgerton), a helicopter pilot, to pursue the alien life form.

Our Take: John Carpenter’s The Thing is a cult classic horror film, and this prequel is basically going to tell us a story we already know the ending of. The Thing trailer and clips have also hinted that first-time feature-film director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. may not have the experience to offer anything more than a horror movie cliche. That said, our love of Carpenter’s film will certainly bring us to theater to find out.

Texas Killing Fields

October 14th

In the Texas bayous, a local homicide detective (Sam Worthington) teams up with a cop from New York City (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to investigate a series of unsolved murders. Chloe Moretz, Stephen Graham and Jessica Chastain co-star.

Our Take: The Texas Killing Fields trailer suggests that this will be one of those cop thrillers that is heavier on mood and atmosphere than actual thrills. Still, the cast features a handful of talented rising stars, so maybe they’ll make it worthwhile.


October 14

As they’re held for ransom, a husband and wife’s (Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman) predicament grows more dire amid the discovery of betrayal and deception.

Our Take: Joel Schumacher’s name has become something of a dirty word (thank films like Batman & Robin and Phantom of the Opera). However, this film looks a lot like Schumacher’s single-setting psychological drama Phone Booth (which was enjoyable) and he and Cage’s partnership on 8MM was a solid one. Add our lowered expectations and it might be a pleasant surprise. Maybe.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

October 21st (Limited)

Haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, a damaged woman (Elizabeth Olsen) struggles to re-assimilate with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

Our Take: An Olsen sister (not one of the twins) could potentially win major awards for this role. That alone has us curious.

Paranormal Activity 3

October 21st

The third installment of the popular horror franchise flashes back to the childhood of sisters Katie and Kristi to reveal how they first encountered the demon that would later haunt their lives.

Our Take: By now you know if you’re onboard with this franchise or not. We’ve always been fans, and expect some major twists to be revealed in this prequel chapter. Also, the Paranormal Activity 3 teaser is arguably the creepiest trailer we’ve seen in the franchise (or this year, for that matter).


October 21st

Kate (Thandie Newton) and Martin (Cillian Murphy) escape from personal tragedy to an Island Retreat. Cut off from the outside world, their attempts to recover are shattered when a Man (Jamie Bell) is washed ashore, with news of an airborne killer disease that is sweeping through Europe.

Our Take: Single-setting films are hit or miss. This one has a talented cast, but will the premise be sustainable for a feature-length runtime? Unless there are big surprises in store, we’re not so sure.

The Three Musketeers 3D

October 21st

The hot-headed young D’Artagnan (Logan Lerman) along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers (Mathew Macfadyen, Ray Stevenson, Luke Evans) must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent (Milla Jovovich) and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war. Christoph Waltz and Mads Mikkelsen co-star.

Our Take: Turn off your brain, feast on popcorn, and try not to get dizzy from all the crazy 3D action. What more can you expect from the guy behind the Resident Evil movies?


October 28th

Roland Emmerich’s political thriller about who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare– Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford– set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her. Rhys Ifans, Xavier Samuel, David Thewlis, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave star.

Our Take: Roland Emmerich (2012, The Day After Tomorrow) and period drama go together like oil and water. The only question we have is: How did they get Vanessa Redgrave to be a part of this?

In Time

October 28th

In the not-too-distant future the aging gene has been switched off. To avoid overpopulation, time has become the currency and the way people pay for luxuries and necessities. When a man from the wrong side of the tracks (Justin Timberlake) is falsely accused of murder, he is forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage (Amanda Seyfried). Living minute to minute, the duo’s love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system. Olivia Wilde, Cillian Murphy, Alex Pettyfer and Johnny Galecki co-star.

Our Take: Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, The Truman Show) knows how to craft smart sci-fi experiences, and this film looks to be just that. The premise alone had us baited on the hook, and the In Time trailer showcases a mix of thoughtful concepts and exciting action.

Johnny English Reborn

October 28th

Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) goes up against international assassins hunting down the Chinese premier.

Our Take: The man has many fans.

Like Crazy

October 28th

A British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for an American student (Anton Yelchin), only to be separated from him when she’s banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. Jennifer Lawrence co-stars.

Our Take: This has all the makings of a genuine and moving love story for a new generation. Its young leads are both talented actors, and word is their performances are great. We’ll be there for date night, box of tissues in hand.

The Rum Diary

October 28th

Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) is a freelance journalist who finds himself at a critical turning point in his life while writing for a run-down newspaper in the Caribbean. Paul is challenged on many levels as he tries to carve out a more secure niche for himself amidst a group of lost souls all bent on self-destruction. Based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson.

Our Take: Those hoping for a repeat of Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas might be disappointed that it isn’t Terry Gilliam directing this time around. However, those simply looking for the Johnny Depp experience will likely be entertained.

November 2011 Movies…

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