The leaves are turning and films are turning serious. Thankfully Hollywood has veered away from military conspiracies and violence in the Middle East, not that it’s not a valid topic, but personally I go to the movies to escape reality. They have turned their attention to a variety of topics. Here are the five biggies coming out this fall.
Quantum of Solace
In a nutshell: Bond is back. Solace picks up right where Casino Royale left off, and Bond is out to avenge the death of his one true love, Vesper. In the process 007 uncovers a complex drug ring importing massive amounts of heroin into Great Britain. Bond takes down the drug lords, and I’m betting lots of things blow up in the process.
The scoop: Casino Royale grossed almost $600 million, so producers could afford to splurge on this hotly anticipated sequel. Audiences are hailing Daniel Craig as the best Bond since Connery, and with the highly accomplished Marc Forster (The Kite Runner, Stranger Than Fiction) behind the camera, all of Hollywood is confident this one is a homerun, maybe even a grand slam.
Opening: Nov. 7
Body of Lies
In a nutshell: Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe star as an undercover CIA agent on the trail of a terrorist and a Washington bean counter who helps him…or does he? Conspriacies abound and nothing is as it seems, a situation with which William Monahan (The Departed) is very comfortable.
The scoop: Everybody seems to like it when Ridley Scott and Crowe put their heads together (Gladiator, American Gangster, A Good Year) and with DiCaprio once again filling the role of vulnerable secret agent, Hollywood is cautiously optimistic. In the end films like this all come down to intelligent screen writing.
Opening: Oct. 10
In a nutshell: Nicole Kidman reunites with her Moulan Rouge director Baz Luhrman to star as an English aristocrat who falls in love with an Australian cattleman against the sweeping backdrop of war-torn Australia.
The scoop: The Oscar bookmakers are giving this baby even odds. It’s Hollywood’s first real epic in several years. Only one question looms: why Hugh Jackman and not Russell Crowe?
Opening: Nov. 14
In a nutshell: Viggo Mortenson stars as a frantic father trying to get his son to safety in a post-apocalyptic world filled with savage survivors.
The scoop: The last novel by Cormac McCarthy that was adapted for the screen was No Country for Old Men. So don’t dismiss this one too quickly, although the material is so dark many studios apparently passed on the project.
Opening: Nov. 14
In a nutshell: Who cares about the plot, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are back on-screen together. While I personally think they are a mismatch, she’s too big or he’s too small, either way I still think there was plenty of room for him on that floating door, the last time they co-starred was in Titanic. That film did pretty well at the box office, almost $2 billion worldwide. Here the two play young newlyweds in the 1950s who move to Connecticut, and after the onset of suburban malaise their marriage takes a wrong turn.
The scoop: Almost everyone is excited to see Leo and Kate reunite, and the last time director Sam Mendes exposed the dark underbelly of suburban life (American Beauty) he won an Academy Award. On the down side, this film is extremely dark, so people looking for Rose and Jack Dawson’s happily ever after may be disappointed.
Opening: Dec. 26