2008 Fall/Holiday Movie Preview

by Alan Rapp on September 4, 2008

in Film News & Trailers

The kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to turn, and The Dark Knight was finally knocked off the #1 spot at the box office,  Yes, summer may be over, but Hollywood’s got plenty of movies ready to hit the theaters over the year’s final four months.  Today we take a look at what you should be looking for at the theater in the coming weeks and months in our Fall & Holiday Movie Preview!

September:

Bangkok Dangerous

Nicolas Cage stars as a hitman who falls for a woman while on the job in this American remake of the 1999 filmJames With, Charlie Yeung, Shahkrit Yamnarm, and Panward Hemmanee also star.  The film opens on September 5th.

Burn After Reading

The Coen Brothers follow-up to No Country for Old Men involves two gym employees (Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand) who get their hands on the memoirs of a CIA agent (John Malkovich) and decide to use it for blackmail.  George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, J.K. Simmons, and Richard Jenkins also star.  The fun begins everywhere on September 12th.

Righteous Kill

Two NYC cops (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino) work on a possible connection between a recent murder and a case solved years ago.  Carla Gugino, 50 Cent, Shirly Brener, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, and Donnie Wahlberg also star in this Jon Avnet (Up Close & Personal) film.  Check out the official site.  The game’s afoot on September 12th.

The Women

Mary (Meg Ryan) is the last to learn of her husband’s affair with a shopgirl (Eva Mendes) in this remake of the 1939 film updated by Murphy Brown creator Diane EnglishAnnette Bening, Candice Bergen, Debra Messing, Bette Midler, Carrie Fisher, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Lynn Whitfield also star in this all-woman cast.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in theaters on September 12th.

Towelhead

Based on Alicia Erian’s novel about an Arab-American teenager (Summer Bishil) coming of age who struggles to fit in after she is sent to live with her father.  Aaron Eckhart, Peter Macdissi, and Toni Collette also star.  The film opens exclusively in New York and Los Angeles on September 12th.

Appaloosa

Ed Harris directs this adaptation of the Robert B. Parker novel about two friends (Harris, Viggo Mortensen) hired as lawman for a small town controlled by evil rancher (Jeremy Irons).  Renée Zellweger, Lance Henriksen, Rex Linn, and Girard Swan also star.  Check out the official site.  The law comes to town in select cities in limited release on September 17th.

Blindness

Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo star in this adaptation of the Jose Saramago novel about a city struck by an epidemic of unexplained blindness.  Alice Braga, Danny Glover, and Gael Garcia Bernal also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on September 19th.

Igor

The longtime laboratory assistant (John Cusack) to an evil scientist strikes out on his own in an attempt to win the Evil Science Fair in this new animated film.  Other actors lending their voices include Steve Buscemi, John Cleese, Eddie Izzard, Jennifer Coolridge, Molly Shannon, Sean Hayes, and Arsenio Hall.  Check out the official site.  Igor’s quest begins everywhere on September 19th.

The Duchess

Keira Knightley stars in this period piece about the life of Georgiana Cavendish, a 19th century aritocrat known for both her beauty and her vices.  Ralph Fiennes, Dominic Cooper, Charlotte Rampling, Hayley Atwell, and Simon McBurney also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on September 19th.

Ghost Town

After momentarily dying during a medical procedure Bertram (Ricky Gervais) returns to life with the ability to, wait for it, see dead people.  Greg Kinnear, Téa Leoni, Kristen Wig, and Bridget Moloney also star.  Check out the official site.  The haunting begins everywhere on September 19th.

Choke

Based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk, Sam Rockwell stars as a sex-addict con man known for fake choking in upscale restaraunts who attempts to solve the mystery of his father’s identity with the help of his mother’s physician (Kelly Macdonald) and his best friend (Brad William Henke).  Anjelica Huston, Kathryn Alexander, Clark Gregg, and Bijou Phillips also star.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on September 26th

Miracle at St. Anna

Spike Lee directs this adaptation of the James McBride novel inspired by true events about a murder committed by a post office worker (Laz Alonso) which uncovers a forty-year-old secret centering around African American soldiers (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Omar Benson Miller) stationed in Italy during WWII.  Piefrancesco Favino, Valentina Cervi, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Turturro, D.B. Sweeney and Kerry Washington also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in theaters on September 26th.

Other films hitting theaters in September include Kathy Bates and Alfre Woodard going for a roadtrip in The Family That Preys, Samuel L. Jackson goes after an interracial couple in Neil LaBute’s Lakeview Terrace, Elle Fanning stars as Phoebe in Wonderland, Flow: For Love of Water examines the planet’s shrinking water supply, Kate Hudson, Dane Cook and Jason Biggs star in My Best Friend’s Girl, Battle in Seattle examines the 1999 peaceful deomonstration against the WTO which turned into an all-out riot, Dakota Fanning stars as a troubled girl in Hounddog, Diane Lane and Richard Gere spend some Nights in Rodanthe, Kirk Cameron deals with a troubled marriage and newfound faith in Fireproof, a med student finds a new world in Humboldt County, a look at the Obscene legacy of Barney Rosset, Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Peña return from Iraq in The Lucky Ones, and Michelle Monaghan and Shia LeBeouf run from terrorists in Eagle Eye.

October:

The Express

Hollywood gives us another racially important meaningful sports movie with this drama based on the life of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy.  Dennis Quaid, Clancy Brown, Darrin Dewitt Henson, and Charles S. Dutton also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens everywhere on October 3rd.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Finding themselves in a jam with their ex’s Nick (Michael Cera) and Norah (Kat Dennings) agree to pose as boyfriend and girlfriend, but soon real feelings develop and lead to a night out on the town in NYC.  Alexis Dziena, Aaron Yoo, and Ari Graynor also star.  The film opens in theaters everywhere on October 3rd.

What Just Happened?

Robert De Niro stars as a Hollywood producer on the downside of his career struggling to get his latest movie made in this new Barry Levinson comedy.  Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, Moon Bloodgood, and Robin Wright Penn also star – plus Bruce Willis and Sean Penn show up to play themselves.  Check out the official site.  The film opens exclusively in New York and Los Angeles on October 3rd.

Religulous

In the documentary comedian and talk-show host Bill Maher travels around the country interviewing people about God and religion.  Check out the Wikipedia page.  The film opens in limited release on October 3rd.

RocknRolla

Guy Richie’s latest film involves a London real-estate scam, a stolen painting, and several less than honest players who want in on the action.  Gerard Butler, Idris Elba, Tom Wilkinson, Gemma Arterton, Thandie Newton, Jeremy Piven, and Ludacris star.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on October 3rd before a wide release on the 31st.

Body of Lies

The latest from Ridley Scott finds an asset (Leonardo DiCaprio) pressured by a CIA agent (Russell Crowe) to find an Al Queda leader in Jordan.  Mark Strong, Carice van Houten, and Oscar Isaac also star.  The story was adapted from the David Ignatius’ spy thriller .  The film opens in theaters on October 10th.

W.

No stranger to controversial topics Oliver Stone‘s latest turns the camera on the controversial 2000 Presidential Election and the resulting Geroge W. Bush (Josh Brolin) presidency.  Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Ioan Gruffudd, Richard Dreyfuss, James Cromwell, Scott Glenn, Ellen Burstyn, and Jeffrey Wright also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on October 17th.

Max Payne

This video game adaptation stars Mark Wahlberg as a DEA agent out for revenge after the murder of his family and Mila Kunis as an assassin after the same people for the murder of her sister.  Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Donal Logue, Ted Atherton, and Kate Burton also star.  The film got some positive hype at Comic-Con, but video game flicks like this usually don’t translate too well on film (Shitman, Duum).  Check out the official site.  The bloodbath begins everywhere on October 17th.

The Secret Life of Bees

Sue Monk Kidd’s novel, about an incident in 1964 which causes Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) and Rosaleen Daise (Jennifer Hudson) to flee their home and end up with three beekeeping sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo) in the town of Tiburon, comes to the big screen.  Paul Bettany, Hilarie Burton, and Tristan Wilds also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens everywhere on October 17th.

Changeling

Clint Eastwood directs Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, and Amy Ryan (okay, got my attention!) in this 1920’s tale of a woman (Jolie) committed to an insane asylum when she questions the identity of he recently reunited son.  The scirpt was penned by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael StraczynskiJeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, Colm Feore, and Jason Butler Harner also star.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on October 24th.

The Brothers Bloom

Con artist brothers (Adrien Brody, Mark Ruffalo) target a wealthy woman (Rachel Weisz) for one last big score before retiring.  Rinko Kikuchi, Robbie Coltrane, Nora Zehetner, and Andy Nyman also star in the latest film from writer director Rian Johnson (Brick).  Check out the official site.  The con begins on October 24th.

Synecdoche, New York

The latest from writer/director Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Adaptation) centers around a theater director (Philip Seymour Hoffman) struggling with the women in his life (Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Diane Wiest, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Hope Davis, Robin Weigert, Daisy Tahan) and finishing a life-sized replica of New York City needed for his latest play.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on October 24th.

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks star in Kevin Smith‘s latest about a pair of longtime friends in need of money who decide to make an adult film together.  Traci Lords, Katie Morgan, Jennifer Schwalbach Smith, Jeff Anderson, and Jason Mewes also star.  Originally branded NC-17 for language the film won it’s appeal (take that MPAA!) and will be released with an R-rating.  Check out the official site.  View Askew returns to theaters on October 31st.

Also hitting theaters in November are Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Simon Pegg learns How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Anne Hathaway returns home for her sister’s wedding in Rachel Getting Married, Alan Rickman, Shawn Hatosy and Eliza Dushku star in Nobel Son, Kelsey Grammar stars in the Dickens spoof An American Carol, Walden Media brings Jeanne DuPrau’s City of Ember to the big screen, a group of people are locked in together with a video recording during a Quarantine, high school friends go on a road trip in Sex Drive, Wong Kar Wai reworks his own 1994 film for Ashes of Time Redux, 15 young sailors train for six months for the Transpacific Yacht Race in Morning Light, Greg Kinnear sues over windshield wipers in Flash of Genuis, Madonna stars in Filth and Wisdom, the kids return for High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Jigsaw returns with more victims in Saw V, Edward Norton discovers a dangerous secret in Pride and Glory, Harrison Ford, Sean Penn, and Ashley Judd star in Crossing Over, a new documentary looks at The Universe of Keith Haring, Anne Hathaway counsels survivors of a plane crash in Passengers, a young boy is befriended by a childhood vampire in Let the Right One In, and Haley Bennet and Chace Crawford star in The Haunting of Molly Hartley.

November:

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

The animal pals (Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith) attempt to get back to New York City on a plane repaired by their penguin pals only to find themselves crashing down in Africa.  Bernie Mac and Sacha Baron Cohen also lend their voices this time around.  Check out the official site.  The adventure continues (both in theaters and IMAX) on November 7th.

Repo! The Genetic Opera

In the future a run on organs creates organ-financing programs, but those who can’t keep up with the bills find repossession to be a real killer.  The horror/rock opera adapted from the stage show stars Paul Sorvino, Paris Hilton, Bill Moseley, Anthony Head, Alexa Vega, and Nina Bergman.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on November 7th.

Quantum of Solace

Picking up hours after the end of Casino Royale, Daniel Craig returns as James Bond on the search of the secret organization behind Vesper’s (Eva Green) death and taking on a businessman (Mathieu Amalric) trying to grab control of the world’s water supply.  Judi Dench and Jeffrey Wright return, and Olga Kurylenko and Gemma Arterton become the latest Bond Girls.  Check out the official site.  James Bond returns to theaters on November 7th.

Role Models

After running afoul of the law two friends (Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott) are forced to become Big Brothers to stay out of jail.  Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb’e J. Thompson, Ken Marino, and Jane Lynch also star.  Check out the official site.  The film hits theaters on November 14th.

Assassination of a High School President

The sexiest girl in school (Mischa Barton) sweet talks the student newspaper reporter (Reece Thompson) into investigating the disappearance of several standardized tests from the Catholic high school.  Gabrielle Brennan, Melonie Diaz, Zachary Booth, Vincent Piazza, and Bruce Willis also star.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on November 14th.

Australia

Nicole Kidman stars as an English aristocrat who inherits a ranch in Australia and hires Hugh Jackman to protect the property in this period drama set just prior to WWII.  David Wenham, Bruce Spence, Bryan Brown, and Jack Thomson also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in theaters on November 14th.

Bolt

A celebrity canine (John Travolta) who believes he is the real-life hero of the popular TV show gets lost on the streets of New York City in this new animated film from Disney 3-D.  Other voices tapped for the project include Miley Cyrus, Malcolm McDowell, Greg Germann, James Lipton, Susie Essman, and Mark Walton.  Check out the official site.  Bolt races into theaters in 3-D on November 21st.

Twilight

Based on the teen novels aimed for girls (and their mothers) the film follows the relationship of a misfit teen (Kristen Stewart) and a vampire (Robert Pattinson).  Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Peter Facinelli, and Anna Kendrick also star.  Check out the official site, and for more check out G4’s behind the scene interviews from Comic-Con.  The film opens in theaters everywhere on November 21st.

The Soloist

Robert Downey Jr. strs as a journalist who begins writing a series of articles about a once great musician (Jamie Foxx) now homeless in Los Angeles.  Based on a true story, it also sounds remarkably similar to a film from last yearCatherine Keener, Stephen Root, Tom Hollander, Rachael Harris, and Lisa Gay Hamilton also star.  The film opens in theaters on November 21st.

Transporter 3

Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin in the third chapter of the franchise.  Robert Knepper, Francois Berleand, Justin Rogers Hall, Eriq Ebouaney, and David Atrakchi also star.  The mayhem begins on November 26th.

The Road

Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel, a father (Viggo Mortensen) and son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) travel across the post-apocalyptic landscape in search of civilization.  Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce, Robert Duvall, and Michael K. Williams also star.  The film opens in theaters on November 26th.

Four Christmases

Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn star as a married couple forced to hit four different X-Mas Day family celebrations.  Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Jon Favreau, Kristin Chenowith, Dwight Yoakam, Sissy Spacek, Katy Mixon, Tim McGraw, and Stephanie Venditto also star.  The ho-ho-ho’s begin on November 26th.

Milk

The latest from Gus Van Sant is a look back at San Fransico’s first openly gay city supervisor Harvey Milk (Sean Penn) and the events which led to his assassination.  Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, James Franco, Diego Luna, and Alison Pill also star.  The film opens in limited release on November 26th.

Also hitting theaters this month David Thewlis and Vera Farmiga star in The Boy in Striped Pajamas, Samuel L. Jackson and Bernie Mac reunite as Soul Men, Catherine Deneuve stars in A Christmas Tale, Jesse Metcalfe and Sara Foster fall in love over the phone in The Other End of the Line, Michael Rappaport’s reaction to medication makes him believe he’s a super-hero in Special, John Leguizamo returns home for Christmas in Nothing Like the Holidays, and a troubled soldier returns home from Afghanistan in Badland.

December:

Frost/Nixon

Ron Howard directs this retelling of Nixon’s (Frank Langella) post-Wategate interviews with David Frost (Michael Sheen).  Kevin Bacon, Rebecca Hall, Sam Rockwell, Oliver Platt, Toby Jones, Matthew Mcfadyen, Patty McCormack, and Holly Weber also star.  The film opens in select cities in limited release on December 5th.

Punisher: War Zone

Because the previous attempts to bring the charcter to the big screnn have been so successful (note the sarcasm) the character gets yet another reboot with Ray Stevenson in the title role taking on New York’s underworld.  Dominic West, Larry Day, Doug Hutchison, Wayne Knight, Dash Mihok, and Angel alum Julie Benz also star.  Check out the official site.  The Punisher returns to theaters on December 5th.

Defiance

No, it’s not a remake of the Jan-Michael Vincent film.  Based on a true story of three Jewish brothers (Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell) who join the Russian resistance and fight to save other Jews from the Nazis.  George MacKay, Mia Wasikowska, Jodhi May, Mark Margolis, and Tomas Arana also star.  The film opens in theaters on December 12th.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

And in the unnecessary remake category… Keanu Reeves stars as an alien who lands on Earth with an important warning for the world’s population.  The 1951 original is considered one of the best sci-fi flicks ever, but this one has Keanu!  SighJennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Kathy Bates, John Cleese, Jaden Smith, and Aaron Douglas also star.  Check out the official site.  The remake hits theaters everywhere on December 12th.

Doubt

John Patrick Shanley adapts his own Broadway play about the principal (Meryl Streep) of a Brooklyn Catholic school who begins to suspect a priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of inappropriate behavior with one of the students (Joseph Foster).  Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Llyod Clay Brown, and Bridget Megan Clark also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in limited release in select cities on December 12th.

The Tale of Despereaux

In this animated adaptation of the Newbury Award winning book by Kate DiCamillo Matthew Broderick stars as a small mouse with big ears who falls in love with a human princess (Emma Watson) who teaches him about reading and books.  Other voices include those of Dustin Hoffman, Sigourney Weaver, Christopher Lloyd, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin Kline, William H. Macy, and Stanley Tucci.  Check out the official site.  Desperaux’s adventures begin everywhere on December 19th.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story about a man who ages backwards (Brad Pitt) and the unusual story of his life is adapted for the big screen by director David Fincher and screenwriter Eric RothCate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Elle Fanning, Jason Femyng, Julia Ormond, Spencer Daniels, Patrick Holland, and Peter Donald Badalament II also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens in theaters everywhere on December 19th.

Yes Man

A man (Jim Carey) decides to agree to everything for an entire year.  Funny idea for a skit, but what do you do with the other 90+ minutes?  Trillian, Steven Hyde, Will Tippin, Zod, Delinda Deline, Caitlin Todd, and Mentok the Mindtaker also star.  Check out the official site.  The agreeable film opens in theaters on December 19th.

The Spirit

Will Eisner‘s iconic comic hero (Gabriel Macht) who returns from the dead to fight crime in Central City hits the big screen thanks to longtime pal Frank MillerScarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Eva Mendes, Jaime King, Paz Vega, Stana Katic, Eric Balfour, and Dan Lauria also star.  Check out the official site.  The Spirit hits theaters on Christmas Day.

Valkyrie

Bryan “Stop Blaming Me For Superman Returns” Singer directs this long-delayed film about German army colonels led by Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) who attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler (David Bamber) in the July 20 Plot of 1944.  Manfred-Anton Algrang, Matthias Frelhof, Stephen Fry, Christian Oliver, Carice van Houten, Eddie Izzard, and Bill Nighy also star.  Check out the official site.  The film opens everywhere on December 26th (we hope).

Also this month Michael Cera tries to get laid in Youth in Revolt, Will Smith deals with an auto accident with the help of Rosario Dawson in Seven Pounds, Adam Sandler tries his hand at a family comedy in Bedtime Stories, Kate Beckinsale goes to jail after outing a CIA agent for her story in Nothing But the Truth, a year after Katrina Forest Whitaker puts together a new high school basketball team in Hurricane Season, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for Revolutionary Road, and Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston deal with a troublesome dog in Marley & Me.

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