Your 2011 Fall/Movie Preview (Part 1)

Categories: Film and TV

Note: Pop Rocks will return next week.

Labor Day has come and gone, which means the official start of the fall movie season is just around the corner. In fact, two of the more anticipated releases of latter 2011 -- Warrior and Contagion -- come out tomorrow.

After what has been widely regarded as a dismal summer (qualitywise, that is; several movies still made stupid box office) that was chock full of lackluster sequels and subpar superhero fare, hopes are high that the fall and winter will offer some more adult choices for the discerning moviegoer who's grown tired of remakes and giant robots.

Though I should note there are several remakes and at least one robot movie coming out later this year.

Today and tomorrow we're going to look at some of the more highly anticipated coming attractions for the remainder of 2011. Next week we'll check out those...less so.

Release Date: September 9
Starring: Nick Nolte, Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton
Plot: A recovering alcoholic trains his son Tom for an MMA tournament, which just happens to put him on a collision course with Brendan, his other son, who also just happens to be in the tourney.

At first, this looked like a modern retread of stock fighting movies like Gladiator (no, the other one) or Cage, but word of mouth on this has been outstanding, with praise for both Tom Hardy as Tom and Nick Nolte as his father. I wish I'd seen this instead of Contagion.

Release Date: September 16
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman
Plot: Gosling plays a stunt driver (named..."Driver") who moonlights as a wheelman and falls in love with his neighbor (Mulligan), which gets him in trouble with her ex-con husband and his gangster comrades.

Like you, I wondered why they were remaking The Transporter after less than ten years. But it turns out Drive, from Nicolas Winding Refn (the director of Bronson), is a mash-up of film noir, art house and car movies like Bullitt. Refn won Best Director at Cannes, where the film received a standing ovation.

Release Date: September 23
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Goldberg, Philip Seymour-Hoffman
Plot: Based on Michael Lewis's 2003 book about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane (Pitt) and his attempts to use sabermetrics to compete against ball clubs with three times his budget.

A movie about statistical analysis as it pertains to baseball doesn't sound very thrilling, does it? Still, Lewis's book was great, and with a script by The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin, this should help people forget that the A's (where Beane is still GM) haven't made the playoffs in five years.

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Ides of March is the only one of these films that really thrills me but then I'm old.

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