September 2008 Movies, Burn After Reading, Choke, Righteous Kill, Eagle Eye, Miracle at St. Anna

2008 Fall Movie Preview: September

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Burn After Reading (September 12)

They’ve certainly taken their share of critical lumps, but the Coen brothers are one of the most trustworthy names in the movie business – and with a cast that includes George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and John Malkovich, they look to extend their winning streak with “Burn After Reading.”

In the film, Pitt plays a doofus health club employee who stumbles across an unpublished memoir written by a former CIA officer (played by Malkovich) and tries to hold it for ransom. If you thought CIA movies went out of fashion in the ‘80s, you aren’t alone – but heck, Homer’s “Odyssey” went out of fashion long before that, and we all remember how well “O Brother, Where Art Thou” turned out, right?

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Righteous Kill (September 12)

We aren’t sure who’s on the official “Righteous Kill” soundtrack, but any movie starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and 50 Cent should at least look into licensing that “one of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong” song featured on classic episodes of “Sesame Street.” Then again, Bobby D and Al have racked up some real stinkers lately – even a mediocre police thriller will be a step up from “88 Minutes,” right?

This time out, De Niro and Pacino play veteran cops who are preparing to hang up their badges when they’re assigned to one last case – the murder of a pimp that, wouldn’t you know it, bears a suspicious resemblance to a case they solved years ago…or did they? Odds are it won’t make you forget “The Godfather II” or “Heat,” but if it’s action you’re looking for on September 12, look no further.

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Choke (September 26)

It isn’t one of the season’s high-profile releases, but “Choke” has a couple of important things going for it: One, it was adapted from the novel by “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk, and two, it’s the only movie you’ll see this year that can rightfully be described as “a wickedly colorful dark comedy about mothers and sons, sexual compulsion, and the sordid underbelly of colonial theme parks.”

Intrigued yet? Yeah, we thought so. And with a cast that includes Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston, something tells us that, if nothing else, “Choke” will be one of the most interesting movies of the fall.

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Eagle Eye (September 26)

Shia LaBeouf has spent the last month in the news for things he’d rather have avoided – specifically his DUI arrest and the car accident that left him in surgery – but it wasn’t supposed to be that way: September 26 brings “Eagle Eye,” LaBeouf’s reunion with “Disturbia” director D.J. Caruso, and the movie’s whiz-bang action (it’s getting a simultaneous IMAX release) and paranoid conspiracy plotline were supposed to cap off a whirlwind 18 months for the rising star.

LaBeouf’s misfortune might have thrown a spanner in the works, but “Eagle Eye” is still the biggest release of the month, and it seems a safe bet that audiences will still turn out to see him and Michelle Monaghan on the run from an unseen assailant. No big robots – that’ll have to wait for “Transformers 2” – but with action like this, who’s complaining?

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Miracle at St. Anna (September 26)

For a Spike Lee joint, this one is flying pretty far under the radar, but that’s why we’re here: to keep you from missing out on films like this one, a look at the United States Army’s all-black 92nd Infantry Division (otherwise known as the Buffalo Soldiers) and the experiences of four members who were trapped behind enemy lines in Tuscany during World War II.

Opening opposite a big-budget action thriller during one of the softest movie months of the year probably means “Miracle at St. Anna” isn’t destined for box-office glory, but the movie’s pedigree – a script from James McBride and a cast led by Derek Luke (“Antwone Fisher”) – means you’ll probably be hearing more about this movie come awards time.

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