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Arts in Review

Fall Movie Preview

A look ahead at what will be playing in the multiplex during the fall semester.

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By Anne Franklin, Michael ScoularEmail

Date Posted: September 16, 2011
Print Edition: September 14, 2011

The Lion King 3D
September 16, 2011 (two week release period)

The Lion King 3D offers a kickback to when Disney was making cartoons worth watching. Of course it’s a money grab — re-releasing an old movie in 3D can be nothing else – but at least they’re using a masterpiece to do it. The Lion King brought a whole bunch of kids to tears, won an Oscar and a Golden Globe, and introduced some pretty catchy songs that I still hear people my age singing. Scheduled for release on September 16, The Lion King in 3D is clearly a bid, and probably quite a successful one, at that, to attract nostalgic adults as well as young children. AF

Hugo
November 23, 2011

At first glance, the trailer for this seems to indicate Martin Scorsese has a misstep on his hands. Sacha Baron Cohen as a Keystone Kop, only less gifted in the physical comedy department, chasing two kids with something magical on their hands. Destiny awaits. In 3D. But some quick glimpses at the end of the trailer reveal that this is not all the movie will be. Nods to classic filmmaker Georges Méliès in the imagery and casting (Ben Kingsley plays the famous director) paint this as another ode to past films that have defined Scorsese’s career as much as his gangster pictures (The Aviator, My Voyage to Italy, his considerable aid towards restoring classics). While the trailer indicates a weighting toward the movie’s broader aspects, this could just as likely be a marketing effort to downplay the allusions and shove crazy antics and actors young people can name to the forefront. It also stars Chloë Moretz, possibly the best child actor currently working. MS

The Artist
November 23, 2011 (limited)

While there are many other limited releases that look intriguing, (Take Shelter, Melancholia, The Skin I Live In, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Carnage) The Artist, a silent, square-aspect-ratioed, black-and-white film, is the one with the greatest chance of actually playing here. Building off its win at Cannes and enthusiastic praise more recently at the Toronto International Film Festival, The Artist is being pegged as a possible Oscar nominee, always a good thing for distribution. Director Michel Hazanavicius, most well-known for his French OSS 177 Bond parodies, has made less a tribute to a time past than a movie more in common with Singin’ in the Rain, which used silent movie techniques to tell a story of difficult transition due to uncontrollable change. In addition to Cannes best actor Jean Dujardin, the movie’s cast includes John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, and James Cromwell. MS

Young Adult
December 16, 2011

While Jason Reitman’s last collaboration with Diablo Cody, Juno, was equally unfairly praised (best of the year?!) and unfairly maligned (worst of the year?!), early reports indicate Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron as a teen fiction writer, is a return to the darker comedy of Reitman’s first, and best, movie Thank You for Smoking. While I have yet to seen something written by Cody that can be praised unreservedly, this at least appears to be a shift away from the issue-driven drama that has gradually overpowered Reitman’s subsequent releases (Up in the Air’s not too subtle commentary on the recession was unwelcome non-advice). Also, it features a decent supporting cast (JK Simmons, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt). MS

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
December 16, 2011

Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, directed by Guy Ritchie and up for release on December 16, is the sequel to Ritchie’s 2009 adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories. I’m not so sure Doyle would approve of the liberties taken with his writing, but the first movie was undeniably fun, and this too promises to be an enjoyable evening’s entertainment. Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively, and Jared Harris stars as the evil Professor Moriarty. Although probably not to be expected as an Oscar-winner, Game of Shadows still ought to garner good reviews from anyone looking for a light-hearted couple hours of action-mystery fun. AF

The Adventures of Tintin
December 23

The Adventures of Tintin, to be released December 23, is the first movie in a trilogy adaptation of the well-loved comic books about the young Belgian journalist. Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg team up for this production, each directing at least one film (Spielberg’s got this first one). Produced using motion capture animation (by Jackson’s own WETA Digital, of course), and starring Andy Serkis, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, among others, Tintin promises to be a highlight of the fall movie season. The preview looks superb, with enough attention paid to production values mingled with the style of the original comic books to bring the Tintin series to life. AF

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