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September movies, September films
Bullz-Eye Fall Movie Preview: September
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SEPTEMBER: Shouldn't you be studying?

Not a whole heck of a lot to get excited about this month, though it has to get better than that Labor Day Trilogy of Suck we were just subjected to. Still, there are some diamonds in the rough; Johnny Depp falls for a dead Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Ruffalo falls for a dead Reese Witherspoon, Nicolas Cage plays with guns, and Jodie Foster goes completely batshit on an airplane. Last but not least, the Joss Whedon Army holds their first nationwide convention in multiplexes across the country at month's end. That should make for some interesting people watching.

The Transporter 2 (20th Century Fox, September 2)
Actors: Jason Statham, Amber Valletta, Hunter Clary, Jeff Chase, Keith David, Matthew Modine
Director: Louis Leterrier
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: Everyone's favorite delivery man Frank (Statham), now retired, works for a rich family, only to lose their son to an equally nasty female transporter (Valletta), who hands him off to a terrorist baddie, who's demanding hundreds of millions of dollars while dealing in what appears to be weapons grade plutonium.
The Buzz: Writer/Executive Producer Luc Besson has a core following of his own, thanks to movies like "The Professional" (no, not that one with Stallone, that's "The Specialist") and "La Femme Nikita." The trailer is your typical fast-car-blow-shit-up deal, but it also looks like a lot of fun.
Trailer Highlight: Statham jumping straight up when two cars try to hit him, and the cars run head on into each other.
Bottom Line: It plays like everything "xXx: State of the Union" was supposed to be, but wasn't. Yes, we know that that's not saying a lot.
Official Web Site: http://www.transporter2movie.com/

"So Ben, think we can use that machine back there to get us out of this movie?" "What, and give up this fabulous hairpiece?"
A Sound of Thunder (Warner Bros., September 2)
Actors: Edward Burns, Ben Kingsley, Catherine McCormack, Jemima Rooper
Director: Peter Hyams
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A group of hunters who travel back in time drastically change the outcome of the future with the accidental killing of a butterfly.
The Buzz: What a dreadful title. How, exactly, did no one think of calling this movie "Butterflies and Hurricanes," after the great track by UK rockers Muse? A golden opportunity missed, but we digress. Director Hyams has ventured into time travel territory before (the underrated Jean-Claude Van Damme movie "Timecop"), but the goings here, based on a Ray Bradbury story, look pretty incoherent from the trailer.
Trailer Highlight: There's some kind of wind wave rushing over a city, it looks like it's about to demolish everything and turn the world back to the Stone Age. The rest of the trailer is darkness and Mexican jumping flashlights.
Bottom Line: Quick: name the last good movie Edward Burns was in. That was eight years ago. Now, name the last decent movie Hyams directed (hint: it's referenced above). That was 11 years ago.
Official Web Site: http://asoundofthunder.warnerbros.com/

Underclassman (Miramax, September 2)
Actors: Nick Cannon, Roselyn Sanchez, Shawn Ashmore, Angelo Spizzirri
Director: Marcos Siega
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: An undersized cop (Cannon) goes undercover to solve a murder at a posh, all-white private school.
The Buzz: Cannon, following up his sleeper hit "Drumline," apparently came up with the story himself, though someone should keep him away from his Netflix queue next time he's pitching an idea. This is like "The Fast and the Furious" and "Beverly Hills Cop," peppered with TRL references.
Trailer Highlight: "If we get a scratch on this car, my dad's gonna kill me!" Boom. "Your dad's gonna kill you." Yep, that's as good as it gets.
Bottom Line: You know, maybe Miramax going under new management isn't such a bad idea after all.
Official Web Site: http://www.miramax.com/underclassman/, though at press time, the link was a dead end.

The Man (New Line, September 9)
Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy, Miguel Ferrer, Horatio Sanz
Director: Les Mayfield
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: An everyday salesman (Levy) inadvertently winds up involved in a sting, and the agent running the operation (Jackson) uses him to break up a smuggling ring.
The Buzz: Quiet. Does the world really need another mismatched buddy cop movie? We thought that Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker squelched that urge a couple years ago.
Trailer Highlight: We'll use our old standby: eventually, it ended.
Bottom Line: Come on, it's September, both football and baseball are in season. Stay home, watch TV. Or go out and hit one last bucket of range balls. Hey, maybe even talk to your girlfriend?
Official Web Site: http://www.themanmovie.com/

The Exorcism of Emily Rose (Screen Gems, September 9)
Actors: Tom Wilkinson, Laura Linney, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Feore, Campbell Scott
Director: Scott Derrickson
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A "Rashomon" version based on a true story, an attorney (Linney) defends a priest (Wilkinson) accused of killing a young girl (Carpenter) that the church actually declared was possessed.
The Buzz: Director Derrickson has stated he tried to make a horror episode of "Law & Order," and the trailer certainly backs that up, with Rose seeing faces not unlike that creepy little boy in "The Grudge" while Linney tries to defend a client that clearly appears to be guilty.
Trailer Highlight: Anytime a girl speaks, and her voice is deeper than Barry White, you have our attention.
Bottom Line: It's obviously not going to make us throw out our copies of "The Exorcist," but for now, we're intrigued.
Official Web Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/exorcismofemilyrose/site/

Lord of War (Lions Gate, September 16)
Actors: Nicolas Cage, Ethan Hawke, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan, Ian Holm, Donald Sutherland
Director: Andrew Niccol
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: An extremely successful arms dealer (Cage) starts to gain a conscience, with both an ATF agent (Hawke) on his tail and a slew of clients who refuse to let him walk away from the biz.
The Buzz: Niccol is one of the few high-concept writers that you can count on ("Gattaca," "The Truman Show"), and he's probably just as eager as everyone else to make the world forget about "S1m0ne," his last project. Cage is in free-wheeling mode here, which is his most likable mode, and with Niccol in charge, you know this is going to be about far more than guns and blowing shit up.
Trailer Highlight: Cage handing out hand grenades to small children like he's Santa Claus.
Bottom Line: We smell a "Three Kings" here: a great war movie that no one sees until it hits video.
Official Web Site: http://www.lordofwarthemovie.com/

The Libertine (Miramax, September 16)
Actors: Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton
Director: Laurence Dunmore
Rating: N/A

The Pitch: A biopic of John Wilmot, a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a playwright who partied like a rock star and lived about as long.
The Buzz: See a pattern here? Yet another Miramax movie, this one with an IMDb date of 2004. We do like the sight of fellow poet/lush Shane MacGowan in the credits as "17th Century Bard."
Trailer Highlight: Couldn't find one, which is weird, given that the movie's been in the can for more than a year now.
Bottom Line: We love Depp and all, but this looks like yet another piece of the Miramax fire sale.
Official Web Site: http://www.miramax.com/thelibertine/

Why is it that the good ones are always dead?
Just Like Heaven (DreamWorks, September 16)
Actors: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue, Jon Heber
Director: Mark Bass
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A man (Ruffalo) moves into the apartment of a recently deceased doctor (Witherspoon), who at first doesn't realize that she's dead. Sparks fly.
The Buzz: Mark Bass is a smart guy, going from family friendly ("Freaky Friday") to edgy teen comedy ("Mean Girls") to romantic ghost story in three short steps. And how do you not stare longingly into that stunning shot of Witherspoon on the movie's poster?
Trailer Highlight: When Ruffalo's friend tests him with a guessing game by holding rock, paper or scissors behind his back. "Are you flipping her off?"
Bottom Line: Let your girlfriend pick it, and pretend you hate the idea. But we know better.
Official Web Site: http://www.justlikeheaven-themovie.com/

Cry Wolf (Focus, September 16)
Actors: Julian Morris, Lindy Booth, Jared Padalecki, Jon Bon Jovi, Gary Cole
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: Some wiseacre kids create a serial killer nicknamed The Wolf. Problem is, people start dying in a manner befitting The Wolf, and the kids soon find that they are the suspects.
The Buzz: Bumped from August, this got a good plug on IMDb, but half the time those bits are written by studio flacks trying to generate buzz for their duds-in-waiting. There's no way of knowing at this point which side this rave falls on.
Trailer Highlight: Gary Cole doesn't make a single appearance, which almost assuredly makes him the killer.
Bottom Line: When a movie and an a-ha song share the same title, and the a-ha song is better, you're in trouble.
Official Web Site: http://crywolfmovie.com/splash.html

Flightplan (Touchstone, September 23)
Actors: Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean, Marlene Lawston
Director: Robert Schwentke
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A woman (Foster) and her daughter get on a plane, but after falling asleep mid-flight, she discovers her daughter is missing. Only problem is, no one on the flight ever saw her daughter, nor do they have any record of her being on the plane. As David Letterman would say when describing the latest movie of the week, "Give me my kids back!"
The Buzz: Quiet, but maybe that's because the ‘biz doesn't like harshing Foster's mellow. From here, it looks like a paycheck movie, through and through.
Trailer Highlight: Even though she looks like a complete nut case, based on how they edited the trailer, it's kinda fun to watch Foster basically risk the lives of everyone on board in order to prove she's not crazy.
Bottom Line: If you see one airborne thriller this year…see "Red Eye."
Official Web Site: http://touchstone.movies.go.com/index.html?dlink=flightplan

"So...um...what are your thoughts about a pre-nup?"
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (Warner Brothers, September 23)
Actors: voices of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Emily Watson, Albert Finney, Joanna Lumley, Christopher Lee, Jane Horrocks, Michael Gough, Danny Elfman
Director: Tim Burton, Mike Johnson
Rating: PG
Read our review

The Pitch: While Victor (voiced by Depp) nervously rehearses his arranged marriage proposal in a graveyard, a corpse (voiced by Bonham Carter) accepts, much to the dismay of his living fiancé to be (Watson).
The Buzz: Believe it or not, this was greenlighted by Warners before "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," and as much as we love Tim Burton, we're not sure how. It looks wonderfully oddball, like all of Burton's best work, but this is a hard sell if ever there was one. Then again, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" has become one of the best-selling merchandising lines of the last 15 years, so there is clearly a market for kiddie Goth.
Trailer Highlight: The dog, which has to be Zero from "Nightmare."
Bottom Line: Hey, it's Burton. We're there.
Official Web Site: http://corpsebridemovie.warnerbros.com/

Into the Blue (Columbia/MGM, September 30)
Actors: Paul Walker, Jessica Alba, Scott Caan, Ashley Scott, Josh Brolin,
Director: John Stockwell
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: Think "The Deep, Re-imagined," or to use a more recent example, "A Simple Plan, Underwater." Two snorkeling couples find untold millions of drug money in pretty shallow water. The bad guys find out they have the loot, and coerce them into finish collecting it, putting them between sharks on land and the sharks in the sea.
The Buzz: Originally scheduled for a July release, this babes-in-bikinis, dudes-with-guns flick has clearly missed its window of opportunity.
Trailer Highlight: There is no sweeter sight than Alba in a bikini. The rest of the trailer is one of those hyper-edited hack jobs that screams, "We're hiding something."
Bottom Line: It's a summer movie, coming out the day before October starts. Case closed.
Official Web Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/intotheblue/

Serenity (Universal, September 30)
Actors: Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Summer Glau
Director: Joss Whedon
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: Fox canceled "Firefly," so Universal decided to make a movie about it. Fillion is the captain of a ship of scavengers who are trying to stay neutral during an intergalactic civil war. Complicating matters is the transport of a passenger (Glau) who's being tailed by a bounty hunter (Chiwetel Ejiofor).
The Buzz: For the "Buffy"/"Angel" set, who have been seriously jonesing for Joss since "Angel" went off the air, "Serenity" is heaven sent. It won't be terribly original – Whedon's genius lies in expanding on existing genres more than creating new ones – but it will definitely be smart, funny, and he knows how to write for women. Or, at the very least, he gives them the chance to kick some butt.
Trailer Highlight: "This is gonna get pretty interesting." "Define ‘interesting'." "‘Oh God, oh God, we're all gonna die'?"
Bottom Line: Hey, it's Joss. We're there.
Official Web Site: http://www.serenitymovie.com/

The Greatest Game Ever Played (Disney, September 30)
Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas
Director: Bill Paxton
Rating: PG
Read our review

The Pitch: It's the true story of a dirt-poor 20-year-old caddy (LaBeouf) who enters the 1913 US Open and beats reigning champion Harry Vardon (Dillane).
The Buzz: Disney may no longer be the animation powerhouse of yore, but they have nailed the sports movie, from "Remember the Titans" to "The Rookie" to "Miracle." This time around, they tackle golf – period piece golf, no less – but it looks like yet another well made, compelling story. Director Paxton won kudos with his movie "Frailty," so we're curious to see what he does with a bigger budget.
Trailer Highlight: Chipping the ball over another ball on the green, and in the hole.
Bottom Line: Bad title. But it could be a good, good movie.
Official Web Site: No site yet, but the trailer is on Apple's site.

Next >> October: The calm before the storm.





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