What’s coming in the winter film season…. (Part I)

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In the remaining days of 2011 there are a large number of films coming to theaters. Some of these films seem destined for greatness while the rest seem destined for a quick weekend at the box office before they find their way to the store shelves. In between there are a lot of films that I expect will do well and leave people happy that they spent their time and money to watch them. Here is part one of a four-part series on the films yet to be released in 2011. (Click on the picture for more information about the films.)

 Tower Heist

 Release Date: 11/4/2011

 Rating: PG-13

 Starring: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick.

I’m excited for this movie simply for the fact that the cast is incredible. The story seems fairly straightforward as a group of working-class people seek to rob the head of the Ponzi scheme who lost their retirement money. My hope is that the trailer isn’t giving us all the best scenes as sometimes occurs. The cast is amazing and I expect this to be a good film.

The Son of No One

Release Date: 11/4/2011

Rating: R

Starring: Al Pacino, Channing Tatum, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche

This is the story of a young cop who finds himself working in his hometown. When he’s assigned to his hometown he’s forced to face family secrets that could destroy him. This is a film that I’m not sure about. In one corner you have Al Pacino, Hollywood heavyweight. In the other corner you have feather-weight Channing Tatum. The question is going to be whether or not Al Pacino can bring Channing Tatum up to his level. I think this is one I’ll see if it makes it to more than three weeks on the big screen.

 J. Edgar

 Release Date: 11/9/2011

 Rating: R

 Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Josh Lucas, Naomi Watts

This is the one I’m waiting for! Clint Eastwood has seen more success than failure as a director and I’m not expecting him to fail this time. Leonardo DiCaprio has taken on the role of J. Edgar Hoover, perhaps one of the more enigmatic and controversial men in American history. The film should be an amazing look at the man who kept his life a secret while exposing the secrets of others. I’m planning on seeing this one right away.

 Immortals

 Release Date: 11/11/2011

 Rating: R

 Starring: Mickey Rourke, Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, John Hurt

This is a film that has a 50/50 chance in my opinion. The film tells the story of the mortal Theseus who is chosen by Zeus to fight against King Hyperion.  While Hyperion is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity Theseus is charged with stopping him. This seems like it has the essence of 300 and it’s director Tarsem Singh has made some visually interesting films in the past including The Cell. I think this is another film I’m going to save my money on. If it seems to do well for a while I might take the plunge. I’m afraid that this might fall in line with many other films that have incredible visuals and not much else.

Jack and Jill

Release Date: 11/11/2011

Rating: PG

Starring: Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Dana Carvey

I don’t know what to say…. I’m not planning on spending my time or money on this one. Sandler has taken his “Do it for mama” voice and applied it to a character that’s likely to end as the human equivalent to Jar Jar Binks. I could be wrong since this also brings Dana Carvey and Al Pacino to the screen but my hopes are not high. I’m going to save my money on this one.

11-11-11

Release Date: 11/11/2011

Rating: Not Yet Rated

Starring: Timothy Gibbs, Michael Landes, Wendy Glenn

From the makers of Saw II, III, and IV comes this psychological thriller about the date 11-11 and the curse it has become over a man who has already lost a wife and child and stands to lose even more. The relatively unknown cast might not make much of a difference as the horror genre has been built on unknowns and cult followings in the past few years. This is one I’ll wait to see, but I’m likely to see it just because it has an interesting premise and a good scare is always fun.

Melancholia

Release Date: 11/11/2011

Rating: R

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Stellan Skarsgard, Alexander Skarsgard, Kiefer Sutherland, John Hurt

This is the story of two sisters whose contentious relationship is strained further as a rogue planet heads towards a collision with earth. The film is based on the director’s experience with maintaining calm during a depressive episode he had earlier in life.

The premise is strange but I’m intrigued none the less. The film seems to have a message that might shine through despite the odd beginnings, I hope this succeeds in communicating the same way Donnie Darko did. This has received many positive reviews since its limited release and I plan on making time to see this one.

The Descendants

Release Date: 11/16/2011

Rating: R

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges

The Descendants is the newest film directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, About Schmidt). The story follows Matt King (Clooney) as he seeks out his daughters in the wake of a boating accident that leaves his wife in a coma. In addition to the family pressure he’s under strain to manage his business as well. All of this is coupled with a disturbing secret he learns about his wife.

This film may be worth seeing. Some of the critics are comparing this film to Payne’s last major success Sideways. Based on my research I’m definitely going to see this film. Todd McCarthy from the Hollywood Reporter says this:

“Alexander Payne has made his best film yet with The Descendants. Ostensibly a study of loss and coping with a tragic situation, this wonderfully nuanced look at a father and two daughters dealing with the imminent death of his wife and their mother turns the miraculous trick of possibly being even funnier than it is moving.”

Stay tuned for part II of this series on the films coming to theaters soon.

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