I see as many of the big blockbusters as I can during the summer. Not that I enjoy most of them, but it beats being outside during the hottest, most pollen-filled months of the year. Same as anyone, really. But what's the fun in writing about the movies everyone is seeing? Why not take a look at some of the things that we can watch in the other seasons still scheduled to occur this year as we take our slow, inexorable march to the grave? Here are some of the post-August highlights:
"Choke": Yep, it's a Chuck Palahniuk adaptation, the first since "Fight Club." Stars Sam Rockwell, so it has the built in indy-cred, but it's doubtful this will reach the same level of cultural influence as "Fight Club" did. Good. I'm fucking sick of that movie and anyone who likes it.
"Blindness": Another adaptation, this one from the only essential Jose Saramago novel. Everything was lined up for this to be a big ol' bucket of awesome, but it got yawned out of its Cannes premier. Hell with it.
"Quarantine": Group of people locked in an apartment building by a CDC quarantine and their experience is recorded by a news crew trapped with them. Rushed out remake of a Spanish horror hit looking to cash in on "Cloverfield"'s success. I've never liked viral internet marketing, going all the way back to "Blair Witch," and this seems like it's on a fast train to Blandsville. But if you can make a good horror film, I fault you nothing. Just try to make the movie more interesting than the advertising campaign.
"Changeling": Clint Eastwood's play at "Chinatown"-like LA conspiracy. Getting some early buzz, but it stars Angelia Jolie and it is impossible for anyone to relate to Angelia Jolie on a human level, which is a bit of a detriment considering that's basically the job of an actor. Might be good, but I generally don't go for such obvious Oscar-bait, which is what all of Eastwood's recent films have boiled down to.
"Passengers": Airplane crash leads to conspiracy in the Pacific Northwest. Stars the ever do-able Anne Hathaway and apparently plays up the mist-and-fir-trees creepiness of the location, but it's helmed by a television director (sure sign of flatness) and is staying at PG-13, which is like coding something as being mediocre, over-test-marketed fluff.
"Quantum of Solace": "Casino Royale" was the sort of movie that made you glad you watched movies. Along with "Batman Begins" it showed that Hollywood can still produce pure entertainment that didn't make you feel guilty for enjoying it so much. Makes up for a lot of shitty 3D animated films about wise-cracking animals ("Madagascar 2" opens up the same day as this, by the way). With the "Batman" sequel, "The Dark Knight," looking to be so entertaining it could start its own religion, we might just luck out with two ball-flatteningly awesome sequels in one year. Unfortunately, with injuries and deaths to those involved in both sequels, it seems the two movies might be cursed. By the third films in each series, expect Christian Bale to end up choking to death on something humiliating and Daniel Craig to have his head sliced off by a helicopter propeller, sending it flying over the House of Parliament and landing with a "plonk" in the Thames.
"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." I only mention this because it means we're that much closer to this series being finished. I'm so sick of this stupid uber-jock prick who has never had to work a second for any of the many gifts he's been given.
Harry Potter is an asshole.
"The Road": Movie studios have a really ham-fisted way of aiming for success. An adaptation of an author's work does well and suddenly anything available by him gets optioned. The book "The Road," has a scene where a baby gets roasted on a spit and eaten as food. Not exactly Thanksgiving material, but I'm not complaining so long as they make a good movie out of it. Music video director at the helm, which could go either way (the two ways being "shitty" or "not that shitty").
"The Spirit": If the preview for this film does not get you pumped, then you do not have testicles. Frank Miller flies solo as director and is bringing the "Sin City" style to Will Eisner's classic noir comic strip hero. Miller's prose (he wrote the screenplay as well) is full of machismo and violence. This ends up being neo-fascist in any context other than the art-noir style he essentially created for himself (the uber-stupid "300" comes to mind). So this seems to be the ideal platform for him. If this ends up sucking, then I will have lost all hope in a just and merciful god.