If we are good at anything here at FSR, it is the creation of lists and guides — big, sweeping assessments and recommendations that can be bantered about for days on end in the comment area. And there’s nothing wrong with that, because we love writing them and it’s clear that you love discussing them — it is a win/win for all of us. With that in mind, we have a new monthly feature to share with you.
Tomorrow, the month of October gets underway, at least cinematically, with the first round of releases. And in order to help you navigate through the entire month’s worth of films, we’ve broken them down into simple categories and picked out the ones that you shouldn’t miss. It is a new feature that we like to call the Monthly Movie Guide. Check out our list of selections below, listed in chronological order.
The Date Night Pick:
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (October 3)
There really aren’t any “chick flicks” in this month’s line-up, at least not in the traditional sense. No sappy Nicholas Sparks novels or heavy love stories (except maybe for The Duchess), just some funny, endearing comedies that revolve around a love story. For the 20-somethings, there is How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, but they (and most any other demographic) still might be better served by seeing Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. In this one, the wunderkind of awkward comedy Michael Cera and the new sassy American girl next door Kat Dennings go toe-to-toe in a smart, funny, endearing portrait of blossoming love for two young New Yorkers, all set to an upbeat, but not overbearing soundtrack. Whether you are still young or you still think you are young, if you are looking for a sure-thing date movie, Nick and Norah is your best bet.
The Indie Pick:
Rachel Getting Married (October 3 – Limited)
Hot off some major Toronto buzz and some Oscar-talk for Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married appears to be the standout in a month filled with some good indies. In my mind, the runner up in this category is Fernando Meirrelles’ Blindness (October 3), but even that film doesn’t seem to have the momentum that Rachel has headed into October. And with the sure-fire Oscar nod chances that Anne Hathaway seems to have for her performance, you aren’t going to want to go into the awards season not having seen this one — trust me.
The Action Junkie Pick:
RocknRolla (October 8 – Limited)
When it comes to gun-toting British gangster stories, no one does it quite like Guy Ritchie. In fact, with films like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Ritchie quite possibly ushered in a new genre of high-speed, high tension, heavy beats, big guns and bad teeth. And with RocknRolla, fans appear to be ready to celebrate his return to said genre, after his stint making movies with his wife Madonna. Thankfully for us, that cinematic mid-life crisis is over and Guy can go back to doing what he does best — action, baby. And once again, he brings in a big cast, with the likes of Gerard Butler, Jeremy Piven and Thandie Newton, to help give some meat to the experience. If you are into guns, babes and those fancy British curse words, this is your film, my friends.
The Editor’s Must See Movie of the Month:
Body of Lies (October 10)
It goes without saying that director Ridley Scott has gone a long time without disappointing us when he has ventured into the action genre. Think about it — this is the guy who brought us Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven and American Gangster — he knows what he’s doing. And even well into his 60s and 70s, Scott doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. So if there is anyone I trust to make a good movie about the War on Terror, it is Ridley Scott. We can expect Body of Lies to be well-acted, thanks to Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio; well-directed; have a story with at least a few good layers; and be visually impressive. What more could you want out of an action thriller? If there is any movie that is sure to satisfy just about any moviegoer in the month of October, this is it — and that’s why it is my Editor’s Pick of the Month.
The Family Pick:
City of Ember (October 10)
Similar to the date movie conundrum explained above, the market for films for the whole family is a little slim in October. Though, the fact that we have to hedge our bets on City of Ember isn’t all that bad — it looks like it could be a lot of fun. It has a little bit of adventure, the potential for comedy (assuming Bill Murray is still funny) and it is directed by proven winner Gil Kenan, who directed Monster House. Our buzz perception analyzer (that we stole from CNN’s Situation Room) tells us that City of Ember has a serious Bridge to Terabithia vibe, which should play well with audiences — more of a ‘thinking kid’s movie.’ And there’s nothing wrong with some intelligent entertainment for America’s next generation.
The Fanboy Pick:
Max Payne (October 17)
It seems that everyone on the web is waiting on the edge of their specially designed computer chair for gamers for the release of Max Payne, starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges. For once, gamers have genuine hope for an adaptation of one of their favorite games. It isn’t in the hands of Uwe Boll, but rather Flight of the Phoenix and Behind Enemy Lines director John Moore. As well, based on the footage that many of us saw at Comic-Con in July, the film really does look badass. If the buzz leading up to this release holds any weight in the end, fanboys and fangirls may just have one of the first video game adaptations of which they can be proud. Either way, I have a feeling that this will be one movie that you’ll want to see on the big screen when it comes flying into theaters, guns blazing.
The Thriller Pick:
Saw V (October 24)
The thriller category was by far the most difficult pick this month, despite the fact that our own Robert Fure has already raged on about the serious lack of horror in the month of Halloween. That aside, there is an up-and-coming horror film coming out this month called Quarantine that could rock our shorts in a way that few thrillers have been able to do all year. But despite what our guts tell us about Quarantine, it is untested, whereas the Saw franchise has not failed fans of blood in the past 4 consecutive years. As they say, it wouldn’t be Halloween if it wasn’t time for another Saw movie, and this year is no exception. Now, I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but I do know this: gore-junkies are most likely to get their fix on Saw V than any other thriller this month.
The Comedy Pick:
Zack and Miri Make a Porno (October 31)
As I mentioned above, there are a few good comedies coming out this month, including How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. But it has become clear, in looking at the October release slate as a whole, that none of them will be able to hold a flame to Kevin Smith’s much-anticipated return to raunch-com, also known as Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Seth Rogen, Elizabeth Banks and The Office’s Craig Robinson may be first timers in the View Askewniverse, but they should have no trouble keeping up with Kevin Smith in the director’s chair. If ever there was a time for a movie with the word ‘porno’ in the title, this would be it. As well, our inside sources indicated to us that not only does Zack and Miri deliver some of the classic Kevin Smith filth, it also showcases a very endearing little love story. Aww, how cute? How could you possibly pass up the chance to laugh and get in touch with your feminine side all at once? Oh, and did we mention that Katie Morgan is in it? Ticket sold.
That’s our October Movie Guide, be sure to check back in on November 1st when we run down the best of each category for the Month of November!