Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What I'm Looking Forward To

Can you tell I bought my Entertainment Weekly Fall Movie Preview? Here is a running list of movies I am looking forward to in Fall/Winter 2007, ordered from the most to the least anticipated. I've dropped in some real-world prospects and milestones along the way, just for the sake of easy comparison. For example, I'd just as soon show up to an average day of work as see John Cusack wear large spectacles in Grace Is Gone, but I'd rather see that movie than contract a common cold. Or, to take a more felicitous example, I'm even more excited to see No Country for Old Men than to find out if it gets any Oscar nominations, though not quite as excited as I'd be to sit and gab about Frances for a coupla hours with Jessica Lange. You dig? I know we put things a little differently here around Nick's Flick Picks, but that's why you keep coming back. I mean, I know it's not because of the stunning frequency of the posts or the thrill of the white-on-black color palette.

Questions? Quibbles? Your own priorities to share? Let me know in the Comments section. I'll be linking this list from my blog template and revising it as my desires are shaped by trailers, moods, festival reports, reviews, and things I would never even know if I didn't read Nathaniel's blog.


The Day My Credit Balance is Zero
I'm Not There - The irony being, I am SO. COMPLETELY. THERE.
Eastern Promises C+ - What happened?? A thin, clichéd crime drama
The Day I Meet Jessica Lange
Southland Tales - Looks like this one's actually happening! Huzzah!
No Country for Old Men - I prefer serious Coens to silly Lebowski Coens
Into the Wild B+ - Rangy, surprising, fully and compassionately realized
Oscar Nomination Day
There Will Be Blood - Curiosity re: PTA + fanboyishness re: DDL
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford B–
    At times quite trenchant, at others smug and overly mannered
Lady Chatterley B+ - Beautiful, intelligent, and deceptively subtle adaptation
The Savages B - Tart and terrifically acted, if a bit underdone
Oscar Day
Atonement - Buzz couldn't be better; I'm rooting for Wright & McAvoy
Youth without Youth - Who doesn't want to see a Coppola comeback?
We Own the Night A– - Classically built and confident, pungent and absorbing
Christmas Vacation
Margot at the Wedding - Shaky trailer, but Squid and the Whale impressed
Redacted - De Palma will surely make the maddest of the Iraq films
Love in the Time of Cholera - Classic epic + great, underutilized cast
Persepolis - Clever concept, great subject, offbeat aesthetic, my Sean
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead B - Flawed but nervy and ambitious
The Devil Came on Horseback B– - Urgent, with indelible images, but incomplete
Irina Palm D+ - Immature in conception, flat and tired in execution
Michael Clayton B - Depth problems, disparate perfs, but tense and solid
My Kid Could Paint That B - Clever and rich but annoyingly coy
My Birthday
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - If it isn't too Sea Inside gloopy
Sweeney Todd - Tim has frittered a lot of cred, but I'm still intrigued
The Brave One D+ - From nervy to addled to hateful to idiotic, it's all downhill
Control B– - After a stirring start, meanders too far into banal BiopicLand
Elizabeth: The Golden Age D+ - Hilariously empty histrionics, daftly edited
Gone, Baby, Gone C+ - Inspired one moment, boneheaded the next
Helvetica C - A great short, padded and mussed to feature length
Terror's Advocate C - Vague at its core but makes a strong impression
Things We Lost in the Fire B– - Limited but moving; loved Del Toro
The Average 3-Day Weekend
Juno - Strong cast, mixed but interesting festival reactions
I Am Legend - The scarier, the better; the more Cast Away-ish, the worse
Jimmy Carter: Man from Plains - A worthy topic in a strong year for docs
War/Dance - I'm a sucker for stories about Africa
Charlie Wilson's War - Tom and I don't mix, but the script has admirers
Lions for Lambs - Lots of bad vibes from this one, but I won't discount it
3:10 to Yuma C– - Dramatically shaky and a visual letdown, despite Crowe
In the Valley of Elah C– - Jones scores, but the plot's jarringly messy
Lars and the Real Girl C+ - Not rave material, but sweet and well-acted
Lust, Caution B+ - A most welcome surprise, formally shrewd and expertly acted
Rendition C– - Cramped actors, diffuse story, botched ending
The Average 2-Day Weekend
The Kite Runner - Marc Forster is hemlock to me; I'm in it for the scenery
American Gangster - I'm pulling for Denzel, but it looks so over the top
P.S. I Love You - Can Hilary act? Without a genius behind the camera?
The Orphanage - I was no Pan's fan, but I'll try again
The Golden Compass - Why, when all I hear is that they've neutered the story?
Cassandra's Dream - I'm not eager to venture back to Match Point
The Darjeeling Limited C– - Retreats from every chance at nuance or maturity
In the Shadow of the Moon C - Formally hidebound, and hardly illuminating
The Kingdom C - Deft touches engulfed within a confused, generic whole
Lake of Fire B+ - Bracing and urgent; at home with its own sprawl
Reservation Road C– - Not atrocious, but truncated and under-directed
The Average Workday
Walk Hard - Sounded great on paper, till I saw the ads; Reilly tries too hard
Grace Is Gone - The kind of good reviews that strongly imply a bad movie
The Walker - Paul Schrader seems like a nut, right? But at least he's still at it
Enchanted - The studio already admits that the movie exists to sell the toys
The Great Debaters - Hoping for that Akeelah vibe (hey, what ↑, Suzan-Lori!)
Across the Universe D+ - Hollow and disconnected, but still could've been worse
The Bubble C - Eytan Fox is now 3-for-3 with letdowns
Dan in Real Life C– - Modestly likeable but hopelessly written & directed
Sleuth D+ - Overpraised material gets a listless, roughshod rewrite
The Common Cold
Stephen King's The Mist - Liked the novella, but The Green Mile hurt bad
Beowulf - The motion-capture stuff still looks like two-dimensional taxidermy
The Average 3-Day Stomach Flu
National Treasure: Book of Secrets - I wouldn't even consider it w/o Helen
The Bucket List - No cinema for old men. I said NO!

The Average Broken Face
(i.e., And I am telling you... I'm not going...)
Bee Movie - One should not speak of the unholy
Fred Claus - One should not. speak. of the unholy
August Rush - One should not. speak. of the unholy
Martian Child - One should not. speak. of the unholy
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium - Hell is here, on Earth

The Boneyard
(i.e., my eagerness has died on the vine)
Fierce People - The preview is lousy, topped with racist insensitivity
Shoot 'Em Up - The reviews confirmed my hunch that this ain't for me
Silk - Critics just wouldn't vouch for this picturesque romantic drama
Feast of Love - Sounds like another Robert Benton misfire
Trade - Sounds pretty sleazy, and the Kline Factor doesn't help
The Heartbreak Kid - I was leaving room for a miracle that ain't coming
Romance & Cigarettes - Hasn't made a peep in Chicago, which is fine by me
Funny Games - Moved to 2008, but I'll wait eagerly in line when it appears
The Jane Austen Book Club - My time was better spent reading Mansfield Park
30 Days of Night - Reviews sound Hard Candy-ish; plus, Danny Huston!
Leatherheads - Moved to 2008, at which time I'll make up my mind
Saw IV - I congratulate myself for resisting the urge
The Good Night - "Released" in name only, it would seem
Live-In Maid - Drat! Only a one-week run, during a clogged week
I Could Never Be Your Woman - Literally, I guess? Delayed again
Bordertown - MGM's no longer listing it as "Coming Soon"
Crossing Over - The push to January '08 gives off a worrisome aroma

Hope Springs Eternal for...
Savage Grace - Best Actress looks weak: give Julianne a shot!


And don't just take my word for it: ModFab, QTA, and Nathaniel have their own viewing itineraries mapped out for the upcoming Season. (None of us has the money to vacation in the Hamptons, so for us, this is The Season.)

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7 Comments:

Blogger Emma said...

Atonement is wonderful, and James McAvoy steals the show.

4:54 PM, August 30, 2007  
Blogger John T said...

I love that Oscar nomination day is a higher sense of joy than Oscar day (which, in a way, I agree with, though both have such pleasant stomach butterflies).

Easily the three films that I'm most looking forward to are Atonement, Youth Without Youth, and Lust, Caution (in that order). I love, love, loved the McEwan novel, Coppola returning to form would mean that I can stop lighting that candle, and I'm always up for Ang Lee (like you said, we don't always agree, but he always puts in the effort).

8:39 PM, August 30, 2007  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

@John T: Glad to hear the support for Youth without Youth; it hasn't popped up on many other lists of anticipated releases, but I'm hoping for the best. Coppola actually came to Evanston in May to present the film and to speak to an audience that I was invited to join, and I had to back out because of an appointment to see an apartment that I couldn't move. That was a hard day.

8:47 PM, August 30, 2007  
Blogger tim r said...

I'm seeing IT today. I know from the top of your list that you know what IT is. I will post a grade, so approach my blog a-trembling later...

Didn't love Eastern Promises, but I liked it.

Oh, and save 3:10 to Yuma for me will ya? Looks fun.

7:47 AM, September 11, 2007  
Blogger Nick Davis said...

Tormentor! I keep "Reload"ing your blog and I'm not seeing anything yet...

Fingers crossed, fingers crossed...

12:49 PM, September 12, 2007  
Blogger tim r said...

I will torment you no longer... it's up, along with some other less expected good news.

See you in two days' time!

9:31 AM, September 13, 2007  
Anonymous perisher said...

Great information. Thanx a lot!

11:15 AM, December 02, 2010  

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