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October movies, October films
Bullz-Eye Fall Movie Preview: October
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OCTOBER: The calm before the storm

In retrospect, September, the month we joked was an extension of the dog days of August, has far, far more interesting stuff than October. A quick glance reveals a couple must-see movies and a bunch of, well, hopefuls.

Ignore the trailer and see the movie. Trust us on this.
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (DreamWorks, October 7)
Actors: voices of Peter Sallis, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Peter Kay
Director: Steve Box, Nick Park
Rating: G
Read our review

The Pitch: England's finest halfwit inventor (Sallis) and his genius IQ dog tackle the rodent problem of a local maiden (Bonham Carter), and discover they are up against one mean fuzzy bunny.
The Buzz: For fans of the Oscar winning short films, this movie could not come soon enough. After the success of "Chicken Run," Aardman (director Park's studio) started working on a tortoise/hare project, but scrapped it in favor of a full-length Wallace & Gromit movie. If only Aardman had been involved with the trailer…
Trailer Highlight: ...which, frankly, is awful. Spoon feeding to the six people left who may not know (or care) who Wallace and Gromit are, the trailer grossly misrepresents W&G, pushing their sly sensibility out of the picture entirely. Worse, they use the sound effect from "The Six Million Dollar Man" in one scene, something that has to have Aardman fit to be tied. The movie's probably really, really funny, but you would barely know it from the trailer.
Bottom Line: Aardman doesn't make bad films. Let's hope DreamWorks comes to their senses, embraces the movie for what it is, and gives it a proper trailer. It ain't "Shrek," people. And that's the point.
Official Web Site: http://www.wandg.com/

Two for the Money (Universal, October 7)
Actors: Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Jaime King, Jeremy Piven
Director: D.J. Caruso
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: A broken down athlete (McConaughey) starts up a side business calling spreads on games, and his picks are so good that he draws the attention of a major bookie (Pacino), who brings him to the big time, where he discovers that people are betting their entire lives on his picks.
The Buzz: Sounds like "Wall Street" crossed with "Devil's Advocate" to us. Isn't Pacino tired of playing this part? The subject matter is a good one, since it is indeed one of those dirty little secrets that has evolved into a billion dollar business. But the presence of Pacino, fine actor that he is, actually works against the movie. The timing of the release – during pro and college football season, as well as the baseball playoffs – couldn't be better, though.
Trailer Highlight: Jeremy Piven, in full "Entourage" mode, carving up McConaughey on sight, telling him to keep his expensive suit and walk away, "All right, Jethro?"
Bottom Line: As nice as it is to see Rene Russo again, this one looks questionable from here.
Official Web Site: No site yet, but you can find the trailer here. (http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/twoforthemoney/)

Domino (New Line, October 14)
Actors: Keira Knightley, Mickey Rourke, Edgar Ramirez, Lucy Liu, Delroy Lindo, Jacqueline Bisset, Mena Suvari, Christopher Walken
Director: Tony Scott
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: A biopic of sorts, and we use the term loosely, based on the life of Domino Harvey, a one-time model and daughter of a Hollywood star, who chucked it all to become a bounty hunter.
The Buzz: Well, her untimely death in June, at age 35, was rather unfortunate. New Line bumped the movie from August 19, though it is unclear from the trailer if the movie was changed in any way.
Trailer Highlight: Domino setting some stuck up model straight. Domino: "Have you had a nose job?" Model: (indignantly) "No." Domino: (Pow!)
Bottom Line: The trailer may have given away too much of the story, but despite Harvey's tragic ending, it looks like a hell of a ride.
Official Web Site: http://www.dominomovie.com/

We know what we'll get from the always cute Dunst, but can Legolas carry a movie?
Elizabethtown (Paramount, October 14)
Actors: Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Biel, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill
Director: Cameron Crowe
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A man (Bloom) whose life is in financial ruin gets the news that his estranged father has passed away. He meets cute with a flight attendant (Dunst) on his way home, and learns many valuable lessons about life and love.
The Buzz: Paramount seems very confident that they have an instant classic on their hands, and to their credit, Crowe does not make many mistakes. Dunst looks as cute as ever, but the key to this movie will be Bloom, who still has to prove that he can be a successful leading man.
Trailer Highlight: Slowly sifting his father's ashes through his fingers while driving on a lonesome highway. That, and Dunst in the tub, covered in bubbles.
Bottom Line: Looks good to us. And the soundtrack (Elton, Petty, Buckingham, Hollies, Ryan Adams, My Morning Jacket) looks like an alt-country-leaning yuppie's wet dream.
Official Web Site: http://www.elizabethtown.com/

The Fog (Columbia, October 14)
Actors: Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, DeRay Davis
Director: Rupert Wainwright
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: One hundred years to the day that a boat carrying a leper colony was sunk under mysterious circumstances off the coast of a sleepy seaside California town, a dense fog settles over the town to exact revenge.
The Buzz: A wisely low-profile entry into movies for both Superman (Welling, from "Smallville") and Shannon (Grace, from "Lost"). And since no one will have high expectations for the movie, no one will be disappointed with them when it tanks.
Trailer Highlight: And based on the trailer, this is probably going to tank. Pretty spook-free, with no snappy dialogue to dress it up.
Bottom Line: Will likely go down with "Bewitched" as something that seemed like a good idea at the time to remake.
Official Web Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thefog/site/

Doom (Universal, October 21)
Actors: The Rock, Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Deobia Oparei, Ben Daniels
Director: Andrez Bartkowiak
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: Based on the wildly popular first person shoot-em-up game, a research facility on Mars makes a genetic breakthrough that creates a savage race of beasties. The Rock & Co. go in to kill, kill, kill.
The Buzz: Another movie bumped from the August schedule, but not for the same reasons as "Domino," though we may be seeing the death of the Rock's movie career if he doesn't start picking smarter projects. "Super Mario Brothers," anyone?
Trailer Highlight: A menacing set of eyes in shadow suddenly becoming four menacing sets of eyes.
Bottom Line: Stay home and play the game on your PC instead.
Official Web Site: http://www.doommovie.com/

Shopgirl (Touchstone, October 21)
Actors: Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Rebecca Pidgeon, Frances Conroy
Director: Anand Tucker
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: A girl who sells gloves (Danes) wins the affection of both an older, richer, more stable man (Martin) and a younger, dead broke, seat-of-his-pants man (Schwartzman). Which to choose, which to choose…
The Buzz: Hey, it has to be better than "The Pink Panther," now pushed back to next February. Death Cab For Cutie's "The Sound of Settling" seems to be the trailer/soundtrack song of choice lately (see the "Wedding Crashers" soundtrack), and the trailer doesn't look half bad.
Trailer Highlight: Danes and Schwartzman outside a movie theater, talking about how expensive the tickets are. Danes: "We could split it." Schwartzman (immediately): "Okay. (pause) Can I borrow ten bucks?"
Bottom Line: It's probably cute, but it's not going to touch "Just Like Heaven."
Official Web Site: http://touchstone.movies.go.com/index.html?dlink=shopgirl

Hold me, thrill me, kiss me...kill me. Please.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Warner Bros., October 21)
Actors: Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr., Michelle, Monaghan, Joel Michaely
Director: Shane Black
Rating: R

The Pitch: A petty thief (Downey Jr.) is mistaken for an actor, cast in a movie, and assigned to take "cop lessons" from a detective (Kilmer), and the two are soon involved in a frame-up.
The Buzz: This is the belated, though probably not highly anticipated, directorial debut of Shane Black, writer of "Lethal Weapon" and, um, "The Last Boy Scout" and "The Long Kiss Goodnight." From the looks of things here, he's sticking to what he knows. Which means, yes, this movie already looks 20 years old.
Trailer Highlight: If forced to choose, the kissing scene between Kilmer and Downey in order to fool some cops on patrol. But even that looks like a "Lethal Weapon" outtake.
Bottom Line: Black must have compromising photos of someone at Warners. It's the only way to explain how this movie was made.
Official Web Site: http://kisskiss-bangbang.warnerbros.com/

The Legend of Zorro (Columbia, October 28)
Actors: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Giovanna Zacarias, Raul Mendez
Director: Martin Campbell
Rating: PG
Read our review

The Pitch: Try as he may to retire, Don Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) gets pulled back into the game…
The Buzz: …after eight years? Was there really anyone who needed his services after being out of action for so long? Didn't anyone think that he'd be slow and out of shape, like Mr. Incredible? Of all the pointless, bewildering sequels/remakes/adaptations we've been subjected to this year, this one might be the most unnecessary of them all.
Trailer Highlight: Hard to say. Lots of stuff happened, but it looks just like the first "Zorro."
Bottom Line: Good, clean, and utterly pointless family fun.
Official Web Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thelegendofzorro/

The Weather Man (Paramount, October 28)
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, Hope Davis, Gil Bellows, Gemmenne de la Pena, Nicholas Hoult
Director: Gore Verbinski
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: A Chicago weatherman takes stock of his life and tries to be more than just a weatherman. His father (Caine) is only happy to help.
The Buzz: There were a rash of movies in the early ‘90s about rich yuppies trying to save their souls ("Regarding Henry," "The Doctor"), and that's how this feels. You have the guy who feels like his existence is meaningless, and decides to try to make his life matter. Sure, there's some Oscar caliber talent involved here in Cage and Caine, but remember, Harrison Ford was in "Regarding Henry." Only Ford wasn't wearing a hairpiece.
Trailer Highlight: The series of people yelling, "Hey, weather man!" and hitting Cage with shakes and sodas.
Bottom Line: Just when Cage gets us interested in him again ("Lord of War"), he loses us, again.
Official Web Site: http://www.weathermanmovie.com/

Saw II (Lions Gate, October 28)
Actors: Donnie Wahlberg, Dina Meyer, Tobin Bell, Lyriq Bent, Tim Burd
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: Jigsaw is at it again, this time pitting eight people against each other, all of whom have a connection they're not aware of. Detective Mason (Wahlberg) tries to stop the carnage.
The Buzz: The first "Saw" had a ridiculous profit margin, with a worldwide box office take nearly 100 times greater than the movie cost to make. The sequel, shot in 36 days, looks to raise the stakes while keeping the budget in check.
Trailer Highlight: Only the teaser was available at press time, and it's kind of hard to explain. A guy dressed like some apocalyptic warrior sees some skull faced dude in a monitor.
Bottom Line: Finally, a horror movie that has the potential to scare us.
Official Web Site: http://www.saw2.com/

Next >> November: Gentlemen, start your Oscar engines.






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