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5 Fall Movies To… Fall For (Sorry)

With the summer movie season finally behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the fall movies. If summer movies are the ones that sell out in an attempt to get as many asses on seats as possible, then the fall season is when things get weird, and people start thinking about quality, awards, or the holidays. Here’re five movies from the next few months we can’t wait for.

Never mind the all-star cast list (which includes Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwenyth Paltrow and Kate Winslet, as well as Laurence Fishburne and many, many other familiar faces), just concentrate on the scary story that Steven Soderbergh has created for his virus disaster movie, in which an unknown infection manages to kill millions in a few weeks. The trailer goes from hokey to terrifying in seconds, and given Soderbergh’s ability to make movies that work as both art and commercial hits, I’m expecting great things from this genuine horror movie. (Sept 9)

There’s a risk that this comedy drama, in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a man diagnosed with spinal cancer, with Seth Rogen as his best friend, could be seen as tasteless, especially when you see a trailer that suggests that cancer = an easy way to hit on girls, but Rogen (who also produces) has a secret weapon in response to such criticisms: It’s all based on real life. In fact, Rogen plays a version of himself, and Levitt is playing his real life friend, Will Reiser, who wrote the screenplay. I’m expecting something both funny and moving, and hopefully a movie that will make me forget Levitt’s turn in GI Joe a couple of years ago. (Sept 30)

The Big Year
If I say this is a movie about a particularly strong twelve months in the world of competitive bird watching, you’re probably not that likely to be excited. But if I say that it stars Steve Martin and Jack Black, hopefully that makes it seem a little more interesting. Again adapted from real life – in this case, a non-fiction book about competitors traveling North America during 1998’s contest to spot more rare birds than anyone else – look for some gentle character work and hopefully enough laughs to make you forget about both Black and co-star Owen Wilson’s recent career choices. (Oct 14)

Tower Heist
Talking of all-star casts, pairing Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick and Alan Alda in a caper movie might seem like an odd choice – I mean, Alda’s inclusion alone seems unexpected – and Brett Ratner doesn’t have the greatest of resumes, but there’s something about the idea of a glossier, timelier (A bunch of downtrodden workers decide to steal from the man whose ponzi scheme ate their retirement money) version of Ocean’s Eleven that really appeals to me. A return to form for Murphy? I can only hope. (Nov 4)

The Muppets
People, it’s the Muppets. That alone would be enough to get me excited, but having it written by Jason Segel, whose Forgetting Sarah Marshall was much better than it had any right to be, and starring Segel and Amy Adams…? If the movie can live up to the slyness of that first Green With Envy trailer, I think we’ve found the feel good hit of the holidays. (Nov 23)


  • Anonymous

    I can already say that 50/50 is beyond excellent.  Everyone in their right mind should go see it when it come out!

  • Jonathan Hart

    “…and hopefully a movie that will make me forget Levitt’s turn in GI Joe a couple of years ago.” …REALLY? yes, because his part in GI JOE was so monumental and it’s not like he was ever in anything else at all notable. Brick, 500 Days of Summer, Inception, Hesher. Nope just GI JOE, only GI JOE that made his career. Yup.

  • Jacob

    Seriously. I think of Inception first. I have to be reminded he was even in G.I. Joe.

  • David Fullam

    These are worth looking forward to?

  • Anonymous

    Why exactly was Forgetting Sarah Marshall “better than it had any right to be”? 

  • pDUB

    i cannot find any sort of trailer for The Big Year.

    but anyways, Graeme, you shouldn’t apologize in the article title.

  • Owen

    I’m really excited for The Big Year, especially as a big fan of Steve Martin and as someone who was dragged along on many birdwatching trips when I was a kid. I’ve gotta say, though, as we approach the (fairly close) release date and still haven’t seen a trailer I’m worried that maybe that’s because it’s not very good. Trailer soon, please?

  • The Mad Monkey

    You had me with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Steve Martin, Matthew Broderick, and Alan Alda.

    You lost me with Seth Rogen and Jack Black, Ben Stiller, and Eddie Murphy.Then I had to bolt down the door and lock you inside with Owen Wilson.

    And try as they might, The Muppets just isn’t the same…

  • demoncat_4

    hopefuly the muppet movie will  suceed and hook new generations on kermit and the gang.  and tower heist sounds like a fictional version of ole Bernie madoff getting a taste of his own thieving ways. will have to check it out.

  • jephd

    because it was a RomCom starring the guy who wrote it and his mates along with veronica mars, meg griffin  and that exjunkie that kept getting sacked by MTVUK? Written like that I wouldnt be queueing!

  • Beast

    Outside of the Muppets, nothing on the list looks halfways decent.

    I’m seriously starting to question the tastes of the Movie Guy for this website.

    Especially after the Summer Movie Recap, which really showcased some really surprising flawed opinions.Anyone who didn’t see stuff like GL bombing or X-Men First Class doing well has their finger far from the pulse of the masses.

  • Anonymous

    Brick is one of the best noir stories of the last 15 years so I agree. And honestly I thought he was the only good thing about GI Joe, even the CG was terrible in that movie (the scene where the plane lands in the desert looks like it was built in Bryce.

  • Twin1todd

    Love Jason Segal. His name on this means a great flick. Amy adams is very good and very cute,also.

  • Twin1todd

    FSM was a terrific movie and Jason Segal is talented beyond the norm.

  • Sug2763

    No mention of ‘Drive’?!

  • Faust

    I haven’t watched GI Joe (no real desire too). Whenever I think of Levitt – I think 3rd Rock! haha…

    500 Days of Summer really impressed me.

  • memyself&I

    you or somebody would have to pay me to see any of this sh%t are you kidding relly

  • Brian from Canada

    First: no Twilight? Isn’t that the biggest franchise of the fall movie season?

    Second: no Tin Tin? Isn’t that the biggest test of computer animation we’ve seen yet?

    As for some of your other choices, I have to shake my head.

    Seth Rogen is awful. Period. He’s great at playing the drunk/stoner — and he has emotions that come through in a script — but Green Hornet was the first movie of his own that he realized needed a plot; expect this one to be a series of vignettes that meanders but is considered hysterical because of its gross-out factor.

    The Big Year may suffer from the same thing. Steve Martin is brilliant, and Owen Wilson may have made some bad career choices, but Jack Black continues to play the same idiot over and over and over again.

    And, speaking of idiots, when is Ben Stiller going to realize he’s not always funny? He needs to learn that his best results are when he’s the straight guy (Night At The Museum) or just being a sincere adult — all of the rest of the time, he’s just flat. Ratner can do decent comedy with action (see Rush Hour), but having Ben Stiller in the lead turns me off. I’d rather see someone who could realistically be a blue collar worker in the role, like Dennis Leary, Dennis Miller, Keifer Sutherland, Matt Dillon, etc. Heck, even Ben Affleck did a decent job with that. Stiller? Not realistic.

    And, finally, Sodenbergh’s Traffic had a lot of star power too and meandered. I expect Contagion to be the same thing — especially from the trailer.

    Muppets is a must-see from the trailers, if only because it appreciates the origins of the characters. (For those that don’t know, the theatre’s in trouble and so everyone reunites for one big show to save it.) 

    These others? No.

  • 0bsessions

    Given, but you must admit, that is a formula that doesn’t seem appealing going into it from the perspective of when it came out.

  • rawb

    I was interested in Tower Heist until seeing Eddie Murphy in the trailer. As soon as he appears, it turns into garbage.

  • Shaun

    “and hopefully enough laughs to make you forget about both Black and co-star Owen Wilson’s recent career choices.”

    Jack Black sucks, and has pretty much always sucked (unless you go all the way back to his X-Files episode, before he was famous), but Owen Wilson? I haven’t seen much of his work, but his most “recent” work would be a little movie called Midnight In Paris, directed by Woody Allen. It’s not only an excellent movie that the critics have raved about, but it’s also Allen’s biggest hit in over two decades.

    So, what I’m saying is, you might want to get out and see some other movies, Graeme.  

  • Shaun

    Also, I pretty much won’t trust anything Eddie Murphy’s in anymore. Ben Stiller too. I wouldn’t expect much out of Tower Heist. I like Alda and Broderick just fine, but it’s been a long time since MASH, Ferris Bueller, and even Election.

    In spite of all the negative comments here, however, I’m hoping The Muppets will be lots of fun. They haven’t been the same since Jim Henson’s death, but I’ll cross my fingers and hope that the “magic” is back. Given that it opens on Thanksgiving, however, I think of that as a holiday release and not a “Fall film.” At least, not in the traditional sense where the Fall usually means more serious fare/Oscar bate.

    Then again, NONE of the movies on this list are exactly screaming “Oscar”…

  • Dahauk

    I won’t be seeing any of these.

  • Evil_s2003

    Muppets YES!!!! I’ll be passing on everything else on this list. Outside of next week’s Troll Hunter DVD release, Muppets and Piranha 3DD are the only movies I’m looking forward to for the rest of the year 

  • Shaun

    Not sure why I misspelled “bait” earlier… Although I’m sure someone can come up with a good joke as to why I spelled it “bate”! Wow. Not embarrassing at all. Sheesh.