The A-Team, Knight & Day, Cyrus and Predators from Fox. Shrek Forever After and The Last Airbender from Paramount. Please Give and Grown Ups from Sony. Those are some of the titles we should be hearing about in the next few weeks. Everyone knows that Toy Story 3 is imminent in making its Nov. 2 announcement. In the meantime it is limited releases and documentaries to catch up with.
The highest grossing of these new releases today with a whopping $7.3 million is Focus' Babies documentary. For those that can't get enough of YouTube videos, people actually dished out over seven million bucks to see four insufferable tykes make a two-year journey towards walking and talking. Well now for about double the average ticket cost, you can experience Babies on Sept. 28 as it was always meant to be - as a home movie.
If you want to learn more about another kid's trauma, then you may try and join the legions of Stieg Larsson fans and their man-hating, computer-hackin' heroine, Lisbeth Salander in the Dragon Tattoo sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire. Someday someone will explain the fascination of this series to me (second only to the Twilight Saga in baffling loyalty.) Perhaps the books are better than the movies and David Fincher will inject some purpose into it (and maybe even an expression or two out of Rooney Mara.) Cause while Dragon Tattoo held an interesting relationship in the midst of some very ugly goings on, the second (and rather sloppy) mystery keeps Salander and reporter buddy, Mikael Blomkvist, apart until the very final moment of the film. The hardcores can justify it all when Music Box releases the film on Oct. 26.
For other views of how women are treated by men, there are another pair of releases. Both barely seen, but only one justifiably. There is 1970s legal prostitution in Taylor Hackford's long-delayed, Love Ranch, available on Nov. 9. Aside from an always-classy performance by Helen Mirren as the owner of the Ranch, this was pretty much a dramatic disaster from start-to-finish. Aside from a small cameo in The Good Shepherd, this was Joe Pesci's first major role since 1998's Lethal Weapon 4 and when he's not yelling F-bombs or cheating on Mirren he takes a backseat to the story of a boxer who trains at the ranch. Imagine that. Come for a movie about hookers and end up watching a guy with more bruises. I smell a new Lisbeth Salander adventure, The Girl With The One-Hour Donation.
The one to seek out on Oct. 12 is Breaking Upwards by up-and-comers Daryl Wein and Zoe Lister-Jones. They play a couple (based on their real-life relationship) that decides to organize the stages of their mutual break-up. Sounds like a gimmick movie, but it is actually a relaxed indie drama about micromanaging the pain and recovery of a split with a nice role for Andrea Martin as a bonus. The film played the 2009 SXSW Film Festival, as did Wein's documentary Sex Positive (also worth seeking) the year prior. Zoe can be seen in theaters right now in a brief role as the station psychologist in The Other Guys and the pair may be moving into the big time with a deal at Fox Searchlight. See this so you can say you knew them when.
Cinegeeks can rejoice though as Nov. 16 marks the date that they can bring home the film inspired by the infamous Troll 2. Michael Paul Stephenson's wonderful documentary, Best Worst Movie, is simply one of the best you will see this year and I hope it is recognized as more than just a lark by critics when they start marking their year-end ballots. What may start off as a goof and then an interesting behind-the-scenes portrait of both filmmaking and the cult around in becomes a bittersweet take on fifteen minutes searching for a 16th. If the film did not make it to your city, you owe it to yourself to check it out when it arrives from New Video. Both this and Breaking Upwards will be DVD only.
It was just last week when a colleague was saying he was taping (or DVR'ing) the unavilable (except in VHS form) Let's Spend the Night Together. At least he will have a copy until Lions Gate releases Hal Ashby's Rolling Stones rockumentary on Nov. 2. No special features on it to speak of. Just special that it is finally being released on DVD. Speaking of cable connections, our own Scott Weinberg might be interested in Turner Classic Movies releasing another Gene Tierney film from the archives, the WWII film Sundown, on Aug. 30. (He loves the Tierney.) TCM along with Universal will also make available The Douglas Sirk Filmmaker Collection featuring Thunder on the Hill; Taza, Son of Cochise; Captain Lightfoot; and The Tarnished Angels. It will be available on Sept. 30 along with Sundown exclusively at the TCM vault.
A big shout-out to is due to Cinematical's Mel Valentin & David Ehrlich for their detailed, respective reports on Star Wars coming to Blu-ray and the exciting lineup of Criterion titles in store for collectors this November including Modern Times, The Night of the Hunter and Lars Von Trier's Anti-Christ amongst others. That leaves this humbled reporter with the unprecedented announcement that all Blu-ray afficionados have been waiting for. That's right - the Scooby-Doo films with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard are coming to the format from Warner Bros. in a double-feature package Nov. 9. Beat that, George Lucas!
As always for further planning, just click on the following links for a full schedule of DVD and Blu-ray releases.