Friday, September 7, 2012

At the Movies – September 2012 – Part 3: Most Anticipated Films

Must-See of the Month:

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson) – Drama – Sep 14
Summary: Freddie Quell, a Naval veteran, returns home after the war uncertain of what to do with his future (and somewhat disillusioned, like many veterans), that is until he is drawn in by The Cause and its charismatic leader Lancaster Dodd (and we promise, any similarities between ‘The Cause’ and Scientology are purely coincidental and not intentional). Filmmakers: The Master is auteur writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s sixth film, following possibly his best in There Will Be Blood. He is again working with There Will Be Blood collaborators composer Johnny Greenwood (of Radiohead) and production designers Jack Fisk and David Crank. New to the team is talented newcomer cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. Cast: The film stars Joaquin Phoenix with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams co-starring. Jesse Plemons and Laura Dern feature in support. Expectations: Going into the beginning of ‘Awards Season’, The Master is the frontrunner for Best Picture. Critics have showered it with praise after seeing it at an advanced screening over the summer. It is being called a masterpiece, with Paul Thomas Anderson further cementing his place among the ten best directors working right now. In addition to Best Picture, the film is sure to garner acting and writing awards buzz as well. This is not only the must-see film of September, but probably among the five must-see prestige films of 2012. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Worth Checking Out:

Looper (Rian Johnson) – Action Sci-Fi – Sep 28
Summary: Joe is a mob hit-man in the year 2072. His targets are sent 30 years into the past were Joe is waiting to execute them. Joe has never failed an assignment. That all changes when then man sent back for Joe to kill is his future self. Filmmakers: Looper is writer-director Rian Johnson’s (an auteur in the making) third film (and if you have not seen his first, Brick, you really should). Johnson is known for his innovative genre mixing. Brick mixes a high school drama with a hard boiled film noir detective narrative, while his second film The Brothers Bloom takes on the con-man narrative, deconstructing it. He is working again with composer Nathan Johnson (his brother) and cinematographer Steve Yedlin for the third time, while blockbuster production designer Ed Verreaux (X-Men: The Last Stand) is new to the team. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (also a frequent collaborator, starring in Brick and having a brief cameo in The Brother Bloom) and Bruce Willis star, while Emily Blunt, Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, and Tracie Thoms feature in support. Expectations: Looper looks incredible. It certainly has the potential to be among the best action films of the year, based on what I have seen and the great cast and crew. Plus, Bruce Willis has called it the best film he has ever made (link). Fans of Johnson’s work know what to expect, but for newcomers to his films – Looper should be different from any other action film you have seen (in a very good way). I cannot wait to see this one. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

Trouble with the Curve (Robert Lorenz) – Drama – Sep 28
Summary: Gus is an ailing baseball scout, probably on his last legs. For his final recruiting trip, he decides to bring along his daughter Mickey in an attempt to reconnect. Filmmakers: While Robert Lorenz is making his directorial debut with Trouble with the Curve, he has been Clint Eastwood’s producing partner and second unit director for over a decade. Plus, he is working with cinematographer Tom Stern and production designer James J. Murakami, both of whom have worked on all of Eastwood’s films during that time. Eastwood is also producing and starring in the film. So essentially, it is an Eastwood film, only this time Lorenz is directing. New to the team, however, is composer Marco Beltrami (The Hurt Locker). Cast: Amy Adams co-stars alongside Eastwood with Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, and Robert Patrick in support. Expectations: Trouble with the Curve has been mostly under the radar so far, but I suspect that if it is good (which is looks to be) it will be in the hunt for Best Picture as well as acting nominations for Adams and Eastwood. I love baseball movies (even when they are Sam Raimi’s For Love of the Game – the sappy romance could not undo just how great of a baseball movie that really is), so I am very enthusiastic about this film. Plus, when Eastwood gets it right, his films are very strong and emotionally powerful. Trailer: HereReview: Here.

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