Fall Movie Preview

By Columbus Alive
From the August 30, 2012 edition

It doesn’t matter what the calendar says. When the big dumb action movies — I’m looking at you, “Expendables 2” — dry up, that’s your first sign that summer is over at the movies.

As things are gettin’ all autumnal up in here, check out the movies I’ll be “falling” for in the next few months.*

Finding Nemo (Sept. 14)

I’ve sort of hated the trend of rereleasing 3D-adapted versions, but how could anyone hate on Nemo? Pixar seems poised to do this right. Keep swimming.

The Master (Sept. 14)

Paul Thomas Anderson (“Boogie Nights,” “There Will Be Blood”) is the greatest American director working today in my book. His latest is a tale of a charismatic cult leader (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) that is definitely not (wink) about Scientology. I expect Oscar-caliber.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Sept. 21)

Stephen Chbosky’s coming-of-age novel comes to the big screen. If it sucks, he can’t blame anyone … he’s writing and directing himself. Weirdos and misfits — this one included — can’t wait.

Looper (Sept. 28)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt reteams with “Brick” writer-director Rian Johnson in a twisty tale about a time-traveling killer. Bruce Willis plays future Gordon-Levitt. I’m in.

Taken 2 (Oct. 5)

Liam Neeson’s unexpectedly badass turn as action hero didn’t really call for a sequel, but I’ll take it for some more breathless action. Also great to see Worthington native Maggie Grace on the big screen again.

Frankenweenie (Oct. 5)

Tim Burton directs an offbeat stop-motion movie aimed at offbeat kids and their offbeat parents with a tale of a kid who resurrects his lost pooch. It also marks an “Edwards Scissorhands” reunion with Winona Ryder.

Argo (Oct. 12)

Ben Affleck stars and directs this real-life tale of an elaborate plan to free American hostages during the Iranian revolution. Affleck has gone from punchline to director to watch. Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” co-stars.

Seven Psychopaths (Oct. 12)

The writer-director of the criminally underseen “In Bruges” returns with another violent crime comedy, this one involving a kidnapped Shih Tzu. The cast —Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken — is perfect for this material.

Cloud Atlas (Oct. 26)

Based on a sweeping novel that weaves six stories that cross past and future, it teams the directors of the Matrix trilogy and “Run, Lola Run.” It will be interesting to see whether it crumbles under its own weight.

The Man with the Iron Fists (Nov. 2)

An over-the-top martial arts movie with the coolest pedigree of the year: produced by Quentin Tarantino, co-written by Eli Roth (“Hostel”) and directed by Wu-Tang member and noted martial-arts movie nut RZA.

Skyfall (Nov. 9)

Let’s forgive that terrible title and focus on the positive. The gritty modern James Bond may be the best yet, and I can’t think of a better Bond villain than Javier Bardem.

Lincoln (Nov. 9)

Firing the first shot in the Oscar war (no pun intended) is Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” with Daniel Day-Lewis portraying the 16th president. The Best Actor race may be over before it starts.

* All dates are subject to change. Consult your local listings and Columbus Alive.