We're in Chicago now and things are finally gearing back up for the next issue of the journal. Until then, a brief fall preview. Everyone knows about, and will hear plenty about, the big fall Oscar-bait pictures. I'm going to go a different route and list the ten films that I think have the biggest potential to surprise...I hope.
1. Casino Royale
(Martin Campbell) -
After 20-some James Bond offerings, we finally get a proper, revamped 007 original story. Daniel Craig, for my money, looks poised to blow the roof off of expectations. He's exactly what this tired franchise needs.
(Mike Judge) - Judge's long-overdue follow up to his 1999 comic powerhouse Office Space
has distinctive promise as an absurdist pop satire. I can't wait to see what Judge has been up to these past seven years.
(John Gulager) - The third and final product of the Project Greenlight
series has the benefit of an extremely talented man behind the camera. Gulager is the son of veteran character actor Clu Gulager. His demo reel for the show was better than most features I saw last year. Feast
got lost in the Miramax/Weinstein Co. shakeup and is getting only a cursory limited release this fall before it's put out on DVD in October. A shame, as I believe this film will be fantastic.
4. The Black Dahlia
(Brian De Palma) - I'm seemingly one of the only remaining critics in America who drools when he hears the name "Brian De Palma". I love the man's oeuvre, and cannot wait to see what he cooks up with a fucking James Ellroy book as his source material. Huzzah!
5. Marie Antoinette
(Sofia Coppola) - This film is only on this list because of its lackluster reception at Cannes. Marie with punk hair and modern sneakers, dancing to Siouxsie and the Banshees? I'm all about it.
(John Cameron Mitchell) - A taboo-shattering sex comedy that isn't bothering to go before the MPAA (kudos). Mitchell promises all kinds of non-simulated sex. Love when filmmakers push the boundaries of "taste" in this overzealous culture of ours.
(Steven Shainberg) - The director of Secretary
brings the story of photographer Diane Arbus who is inspired by a man named Lionel who is covered in animal fur. I say WTF, but also I can't wait.
8. For Your Consideration
(Christopher Guest) - Guest's next improv comedy features his cast of usual suspects, with the addition of comic mastermind Ricky Gervais.
(Mel Gibson) - I don't have to like artists to enjoy their work. Gibson's next film looks stunning. I hope his craziness doesn't prevent the film's release.
10. Rocky Balboa
(Sylvester Stallone) - You read it right. I truly think this film will either be a disaster, or a ten-bester (I'm hoping the latter). The trailers have been promising, appropriately melancholy.