Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Falling into Film

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: movies, 9, District 9, The Time Travelers Wife, Julie and Julia, Taking Woodstock, All About Steve, Extract, Gamer, Whiteout, Love Happens, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Informant, Fame, Pandorum, Surrogates,

Jean TellerIt’s been too long since we talked movies (or television, for that matter, an omission I will try to rectify in the near future). So how about a list of a few movies in September that I’m looking forward to seeing?

Oh, I saw District 9. A good, low-budget, sci-fi romp, albeit a bit more bloody and gruesome than I’d expected. I still have yet to see The Time Traveler’s Wife or Julie & Julia. And Taking Woodstock opens this weekend in my town. Sigh, too many movies, too little time.

What does September hold?

All About Steve stars Sandra Bullock and Bradle Cooper.

All About Steve: A romp for Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper, this comedy looks good in the trailers. A blind date between puzzle constructor Mary (Bullock) and hunky news cameraman Steve (Cooper) leads to a lopsided relationship, with Mary as the stalker. I’m a little leery of a movie in which someone makes such an utter fool of herself, as I don’t find stupidity all that funny. But I love both Bullock and Cooper (since his Alias days!), so I may make the effort to see this one. If only to see how it ends, because I don’t really see a happily-ever-after ending for this one. Do you? Rated PG-13, All About Steve also stars Thomas Haden Church and opens September 4.

Extract stars Jason Bateman.Extract: Another comedy, this one stars Jason Bateman as the owner of a flower extract plant (a hilarious concept itself) who has to deal with a range of work, home and marriage issues. On paper, it doesn’t sound so funny, but the trailers were enough to make me laugh, and I do like Bateman. Rated R, Extract opens September 4.

Gamer: While I’m still a bit unclear as to the plot, Gamer is science fiction, which puts it fairly high on my to-see list, even with the mixed (read, mainly bad) reviews this one is getting. I’m a fan of Gerard Butler, who leads the cast in this movie about gaming. A reclusive billionaire has created an online game in which players are able to act out their secret fantasies through first-person games. Butler portrays Kable, controlled by Simon (young Logan Lerman) in a shooter game. Gamer also stars Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes) and Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), is rated R and opens September 4.

Gamer stars Gerard Butler.

An animated film, 9 stars the voice of Elijah Woods, among others.

9: Directed by Shane Acker, and adapted from his animated short, 9 follows the lives (?) of several doll-like creatures in the not-so-distant future. The world has ended, and the only living creatures in a post-apocalyptic world are 9 and a small group of similar refugees. Machines roam the earth intent on extinguishing any signs of life. The animation looks terrific, although another post-apocalyptic tale may be too much. Voices include Elijah Woods, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Crispin Glover, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer. 9 is rated PG-13 and opens, appropriately enough, on 9/9/09.

Whiteout, a mystery set in Antarctica, stars Kate Beckinsale.Whiteout: Ah, a mystery! Set in Antarctica, no less. Kate Beckinsale is the only law enforcement officer on hand to investigate a shocking murder. Her task is made more difficult by the timing – winter is only three days away, which will plunge the continent into total darkness – and by blinding snow, and her investigation opens up a deeper mystery. I love a good mystery. Whiteout also stars Gabriel Macht, Columbus Short, Tom Skerrit and Alex O’Loughlin, is rated R, and opens September 11.

Love Happens: A romantic comedy, Love Happens stars Aaron Eckhart as a self-help author in need of help. Enter Jennifer Aniston as the one person who might be able to provide that help. Yep, it hopefully will translate better on film than on paper. I’m in the mood for a good rom-com, so I’m looking forward to this one. Love Happens is rated PG-13 and opens September 18.

Love Happens stars Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs takes an animated look at a popular children's book.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Just the title is enough to make me smile, so I’m sure this animated comedy will make me laugh. Based on the popular children’s book by Judi Barrett (published in 1982), Cloudy follows inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) who comes up with a way to feed the world – making food fall like rain. Sam Sparks (voiced by Anna Faris) is a weather girl covering the phenomenon, Tim Lockwood (James Caan) is Flint’s technophobic father, and Bruce Campbell voices Mayor Shelbourne who knows Flint’s invention will put the town – and the mayor – in the national spotlight. Rated PG, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs opens September 18.

The Informant! Starring Matt Damon as real-life whistle-blower Mark Whitacre, The Informant! chronicles Whitacre’s work with the FBI to uncover the price-fixing scandal at Archer Daniels Midland (an agribusiness Fortune 500 company) in the early 1990s, as well as Whitacre’s struggles with a severe bipolar disorder. The Informant! also stars Melanie Lynskey, Patton Oswalt, Clancy Brown and Scott Bakula. Rated R, The Informant! opens September 18.

A remake of the 1980 musical, Fame looks at talented teens in New York City.

Fame: I loved the 1980 musical and the 1982 television series, so I suspect I’ll like this updated version. The movie follows talented students at Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (formerly the New York City High School for the Performing Arts) and their instructors. Starring Kelsey Grammer, Megan Mullally, Bebe Neuwirth, Charles S. Dutton and Debbie Allen, Fame also spotlights a number of up-and-coming performers. Rated PG, Fame opens September 25.

Pandorum stars Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster.

Pandorum: While listed as a science fiction movie, Pandorum may be more horror thriller than anything else, which puts it somewhat further down on my to-see list. But it also stars Dennis Quaid, a fact that may move it up a notch or two on that list. The tagline – Don’t fear the end of the world. Fear what happens next. – may say it all, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle this one in the theater. A pair of crew members (Quaid and Ben Foster) wake up on a spaceship with no memory of who they are or what they’re doing there. Horror ensues. Rated R, Pandorum opens September 25.

Surrogates stars Bruce Willis.

Surrogates: Perhaps a combination of genres, Surrogates seems to be mainly science fiction, and since it stars Bruce Willis, I’m there. People stay in the safety of their homes, living their lives remotely through robotic surrogates, in a world without crime or fear. Then a murder occurs, the first in years, and an FBI agent (Willis) leaves his home and surrogate behind to track down the killer. Rated PG-13, Surrogates opens September 25.

There you have it, my list of possible movies for this month. Oh, and more than a few have terrific websites, just so you know. Let me know what you think of these movies, and what other titles you’ve seen that you’ve enjoyed. I’m always on the lookout for new movies to watch.

See ya at the theater!