Grit Blogs > The Open Book

A Scary October at the Theater

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: Case 39, Let Me In, Hatchet II, Chain Letter, My Soul to Take, I Spit on Your Grave, Paranormal Activity 2, Saw 3D The Final Chapter, The Social Network, Life As We Know It, Secretariat, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Nowhere Boy, Stone, Conviction, RED, Hereafter, The Company Men, Monsters, Wild Target, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, movies,

Jean TellerAs infrequently as I’m heading to the movie theater these days, I’m not sure I’m the best person to write about movies. Guess I won’t let that stop me though. LOL.

My September was fairly movie free. Sigh. I rented Amelia – I find the Earhart story disturbing, albeit fascinating, in any presentation, but it was an interesting character study and offered a few tidbits I didn’t know. I have The Blind Side waiting. I also saw Eat Pray Love in the theater – great scenery, good acting by all the principals, and a delicate love story. I enjoyed it. And that, my friends, is the extent of my September movie watching.

Now if you want to talk television, I’m way behind on watching premieres of new shows and returning favorites. But I’m hoping to catch up this weekend. I’m also planning on cutting out some series, just because I’m watching waaaaaay too much TV.

So for movies in October, we have quite a few choices. And at least three I plan to see in the theaters; please don’t hold me to that.

Case 39 stars Renee Zellweger and Ian McShane. 

Case 39: Starring Renee Zellweger, this horror tale opens a scary October. I guess it’s only natural, but there are a number of horror movies this month, just in time to scare us all for Halloween. I’m not a fan of the genre, so I’ll skip these. If you are, here are a few others to look for: Let Me In, Hatchet II, Chain Letter, My Soul to Take, I Spit on Your Grave, Paranormal Activity 2, and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. Case 39, rated R, also stars Ian McShane, Bradley Cooper and Callum Keith Rennie, and it opens October 1.

The Social Network: A closer look at the birth of Facebook, the movie isn’t at all accurate, according to those involved in the real deal. But critics are saying it’s an entertaining and intriguing movie, nonetheless. Jesse Eisenberg stars as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the film also stars Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. Rated PG-13, The Social Network opens October 1.

Life As We Know It stars Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. 

Life As We Know It: Another rom-com for Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel, who portray a couple who, upon the deaths of their best friends, find themselves guardians of a baby. Since they don’t get along, having been on one bad date, the movie is geared to hijinks as the couple learn to be parents. Rated PG-13, Life opens October 8.

Secretariat stars Diane Lane as Penny Chenery, the owner of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. 

Secretariat: Touted as the true story of the spectacularly successful four-hoofed athlete, the movie stars humans Diane Lane as Penny Chenery, owner of the Triple Crown winner; John Malkovich, Scott Glenn, James Cromwell and Dylan Walsh. I’m planning on seeing this one in the theater, not only for the spectacle of horse racing but to see a successful woman make her way to the pinnacle in what was once thought of as a man’s sport. Rated PG, Secretariat opens October 8.

It's Kind of a Funny Story stars Keir Gilchrist and Zach Galifianakis. 

It’s Kind of a Funny Story: While depression and other mental illnesses are not funny, this film promises a few laughs as Craig (Keir Gilchrist) finds himself a patient of an adult psychiatric ward. He gets a new start with the help of fellow patients Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) and Noelle (Emma Roberts) and Dr. Minerva (Viola Davis). I can see this one producing laughter and lots of tears. Take tissues. Rated PG-13, Funny Story opens in limited release October 8.

Nowhere Boy tells the story of a young John Lennon. 

Nowhere Boy: The story of a young John Lennon (portrayed by Aaron Johnson) chronicles his relationships with his aunt (Kristin Scott Thomas) and mother (Anne-Marie Duff), and the founding of The Quarrymen. Early reviews have been less than favorable. Rated R, Nowhere Boy opens in limited release October 8.

Stone: Another terrifying performance from the always terrific Edward Norton looks to keep people on the edge of their seats in this one. Robert De Niro portrays ready-to-retire parole officer Jack Mabry who wants to finish up his current cases, including Gerald “Stone” Creeson, a convicted arsonist up for early release. Caught in the middle are Stone’s wife, Lucetta (Milla Jovovich), and Mabry’s wife, Madylyn (Frances Conroy). Rated R, Stone opens in limited release October 8.

RED: One of my must-sees for October, RED (Retired Extremely Dangerous) stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich as supposedly retired spies who come in from the cold for one more mission. None of them are enjoying their “golden years” and a threat to one of their own prompts the team to reform. Based on a graphic novel. Rated PG-13, RED opens October 15.

Conviction: Hillary Swank stars as a single mother who spends almost 20 years putting herself through law school in order to overturn her brother’s conviction. Sam Rockwell stars as the convicted sibling. Based on a true story. Rated R, Conviction opens October 15.

Hereafter: Billed as a supernatural thriller, the film stars Matt Damon as a psychic pulled into other people’s experiences with death. Directed by Clint Eastwood, this film is on my to-see list. It also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Cecile De France, Jay Mohr, Derek Jacobi and Richard Kind. Rated PG-13, Hereafter opens October 22.

The Company Men: In today’s economy, The Company Men may strike a bit too close to home for many. Three businessmen (Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Tommy Lee Jones) find themselves on the unemployment line, with all the trauma and drama that entails. Kevin Costner, Maria Bello and Craig T. Nelson also star. Rated R, Company Men is garnering Oscar buzz and opens October 22.

Monsters is being billed as this year's District 9. 

Monsters: While this could go in the horror category mentioned earlier, Monsters is more a science-fiction thriller. Aliens invade and infect portions of the Earth, including Mexico. A journalist finds himself escorting a tourist through the bleak countryside toward the United States. The tag line is “Now it’s our turn to adapt,” which tells me this is going be fairly bleak. Rated R, Monsters opens in limited release October 29, and it’s already available through Video On Demand.

Wild Target: Released during the summer in the United Kingdom, Wild Target stars Bill Nighy as a tired hitman trying to retire whose plans are changed by an intended victim (Emily Blunt) and his new apprentice (Rupert Grint). The film also stars Rupert Everett. Rated PG-13, Wild Target opens in limited release October 29.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest is the third film in the Swedish Millennium Trilogy. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest: The last film in the Millennium Trilogy, the Swedish movie continues the story of Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). Lisbeth’s in the hospital, accused of murder, and she’s ready for revenge. I’ve seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and hope to see The Girl Who Played with Fire soon (and I've read the first two books), so this one is on my radar. Rated R, Hornet’s Nest opens in limited release October 29.

My Netflix queue is looking more inviting every day. Howabout we talk TV next time around? I’ll let you know which of the new shows have caught my attention and which ones are on my never-again list.

 See ya!