Movie audiences dissatisfied with summer cinema offerings are eagerly looking towards fall releases in hopes finding a reprieve from the foul, unwatchable dreck currently polluting multiplexes. Here are two that have piqued my interest.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Cast: Michael Douglas, Shia LeBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin, Susan Sarandon and Frank Langella
Director: Oliver Stone
Release Date: September 24
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to the iconic 80s yuppie mortality tale Wall Street, reunites Michael Douglas with provocative director Oliver Stone (Platoon, JFK, Natural Born Killers). Douglas won an Academy-Award for his blistering portrayal of ruthless corporate scavenger Gordon "Greed is Good" Gekko and the sequel finds Gekko fresh out of jail and possibly no wiser from the experience. Of the many Oscar-bait films slated for release during the second half of 2010, this is the one I'm most eager to see. (Bitch Media bonus: Bitch magazine was used as set dressing in the film! Turns out Lebeouf's girlfriend is a feminist.) Stone's timely reexamination of corporate greed and misanthropy is sure to make waves at the box office, but most likely will not be particularly ground-breaking. When I first heard rumors of Josh Brolin's casting I'd hoped he would be cast in the Charlie Sheen role. Sadly, producers opted to go with the bland Shia Lebeouf, which is the only casting choice dampening my enthusiasm.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, Barry Pepper and Matt Damon
Director:Joel & Ethan Coen
Release Date: Christmas Day
I cannot think of a less appealing follow-up to the Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men than a remake of the 1969 John Wayne film True Grit. Even with the Dude assuming Wayne's character Rooster Cogburn, I can't fully conceive of why anyone would want to remake this respectable and beloved (among Western fans) film. But the Coen brothers have intrigued me with a script promising to adhere to True Grit's original story—a teenage girl avenges her father's murder. This restoration of the source material in the hands of the Coens just might be pretty awesome. I don't know much about the actor playing Mattie Ross, but I trust the Coens have found the right person to effective embody their script. It's been a very long time since I've read the novel, but perhaps with the smart and skillful direction of the Coen brothers this adaptation might accidentally have a bit of a feminist consciousness. In other news, it's not just you; Josh Brolin really is practically every single film. Watch your back, Christian Bale.