2010 Fall Movie Preview: November
127 Hours (November 5)
What would it take to make us want to watch the based-on-a-true-story adventures of Aron Ralston, the mountain climber who spent “127 Hours” trapped under a rock before -- eep! -- cutting off his own arm? Only the mad directing skills of Danny Boyle, who makes a 180 from “Slumdog Millionaire” with this showcase for the talents of walking performance art project/”General Hospital” supervillain James Franco. It still sounds pretty grody, frankly, but Boyle is a genius, and we’ll follow him anywhere -- even Moab, Utah.
Due Date (November 5)
We could give you the plot particulars of this road trip comedy, which have to do with a tightly wound businessman struggling to get home to his wife before she gives birth to their baby, but all you really need to know is that it comes from the mind of Todd Phillips ("The Hangover"), stars Robert Downey, Jr. as the expectant father, and boasts the inspired absurdity of Zach Galifianakis as the man who continually (and unwittingly) keeps Downey from getting home. If this is starting to sound like "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles," with Galifianakis in the John Candy role, you're on the right track -- and remember how well that one worked out?
Megamind (November 5)
“Curious George” star Will Ferrell returns to animation with this action comedy about the long-running rivalry between the titular supervillain (Ferrell) and the fatuous hero he’s dedicated his life to destroying (Brad Pitt). Toss in Tina Fey as the damsel in distress between them, and you’ve got an expertly cast chunk of CGI family fun that should tide your little ones over until “Tangled” arrives in time for Thanksgiving.
Morning Glory (November 12)
It’s been an awfully long time since Harrison Ford made a movie worth caring about, and we’d always assumed it’d take another kickass action flick to restore his mojo. But then along came “Morning Glory,” a mom-friendly workplace comedy about a young producer (Rachel McAdams) given the thankless task of goosing the last-place ratings of a morning show by wooing a cranky old newscaster (Ford) out of retirement. Ford’s always made a pretty funny sourpuss, and with McAdams and Diane Keaton as his foils, we’re game for “Morning Glory,” no matter how much it looks like downmarket Nancy Meyers.
Unstoppable (November 12)
BFFs Tony Scott and Denzel Washington make their fifth film together with “Unstoppable,” the reality-based tale of a runaway train that just happens to be hurtling toward a town. Oh, and it has toxic chemicals in its cargo hold, too. It sounds at least as ridiculous as “Deja Vu,” but similar events took place in Ohio in 2001 -- and action vet Scott says “Unstoppable,” which also co-stars Chris Pine (“Star Trek”), contains some of the coolest stunts he’s ever filmed.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (November 19)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was the fastest-selling book in history -- and it weighed in at a whopping 759 pages -- so naturally, Warner Bros. wasn’t content to mash the whole thing into a single piddling movie. This, then, is the opening act in their (and our) farewell to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and the rest of the residents of cinematic Hogwarts, in which the evil Voldemort takes the final steps toward victory in his quest to conquer death once and for all. Given how many copies the books have sold, you probably already know how it all ends, but we’re betting you’ll still be in line opening weekend.
The Next Three Days (November 19)
If your wife was sent to prison for murder, how far would you go to bring her back? If she looked like Elizabeth Banks, you might go to the lengths plotted by Russell Crowe in this remake of the French film “Anything for Her” -- namely, hatch an action-packed prison break. Sounds a little like something Stallone might have done in the ‘80s, but Stallone never had a director as gifted as Paul Haggis in his corner -- or a supporting cast that included Liam Neeson.