Some gems may be found during slow season for movies
By JOHN WIRT
The months between the big summer movie season and the blockbuster holiday movie season are the dog days at the multiplex. Hollywood studios typically fill screens with movies for which they have low expectations. Mega-hits will likely be scarce until November, when the Thanksgiving holiday marks the starting line for holiday movie-going.
On the positive side, the less competitive fall often sees more serious, thoughtful and artistically ambitious films. The Constant Gardener, a romantic thriller based on the best-selling book by John Le Carré and directed by the Oscar-nominated Fernando Meirelles (City of God), opens this week.
There's also Roman Polanski's adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, Oliver Twist, arriving Sept. 30, and the fanciful stop-motion animated feature, Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, opening Sept. 23, as is Roll Bounce, an urban drama-comedy that could be this year's Soul Food.
Other potential off-season hits include The Legend of Zorro. The sequel to 1998's The Mark of Zoro, starring the returning Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, begins Oct. 28. Fans of Britain's animated Wallace and Gromit can look forward to their feature-length debut, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, starting Oct. 7.
Many of the films opening in the next months are listed below. Release dates are subject to change.
excerpts behind the CUT!
Flightplan: Taxiing behind the recent Red Eye, here's another Alfred Hitchcock-style suspense-thriller in the sky. Jodie Foster stars as a bereaved woman who's flying from Germany to the United Stars with her young daughter. Thirty-thousand feet up, the girl disappears.
A History of Violence: Viggo Mortensen is Tom Stall, an average family guy who runs a diner. After Stall thwarts an attempted robbery, he's dubbed a hero by the local media. His suddenly high profile draws the deadly attention of mobsters. Directed by David Cronenberg and co-starring Maria Bello, William Hurt and Ed Harris.
Elizabethtown: Directed by Cameron Crowe, Elizabethtown follows a young man who returns to his old Kentucky home to attend his late father's elaborate memorial service. In the meantime, the young man, played by Orlando Bloom, and Kirsten Dunst's flight attendant develop an unlikely romance.
North Country: Charlize Theron stars in a drama about a young woman who returns to her hometown in Minnesota following a failed marriage. She gets a job working for an iron-mining company and ultimately becomes a spokeswoman for the local labor movement. Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson and Sean Bean co-star.
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