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Fall Entertainment Preview

September 1, 2011

Along with Fall Fashion, new Spring fashion, and that cute sense of renewal one gets from leftover back-to-school states of mind, Fall has the promise of all the good entertainment. Personally, I feel that things have been a bit lacking in the entertainment world these past few years, but I think this season has some good potential.  Here are my picks from what’s on tap:

Movies

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Dec. 31st)

A lot of what’s coming up hits close to home for me. Case in point: they’re turning my favorite book into a movie, and I’m really, really nervous about it. There isn’t a trailer available yet, but the cast (Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Viola Davis) seems either promising or rife with potential for a shlock fest. The thing is, Extremely Loud is a sentimental book, and I’m worried about it being accurately portrayed on screen, especially since so much of its heart is from an internal monologue and the written perspective of a young boy. I know exactly what it is about the book that gets to me – I’ve read it five times in three years and I’ve cried, nay sobbed, every single time, often in public – and it’s difficult to imagine the same emotional triggers being done with the same finesse in a visual medium. Not to mention that the adaptation of Everything Is Illuminated was SHIT and completed eliminated an entire half of the story.  If they were to do the same for Extremely Loud, since it has a similar set up, it would ruin it. So, I am very nervous about this one, but I am definitely seeing it on opening day.

The Adventures of Tintin (Dec. 23rd)

In similar vein, Tintin is a cherished figure from my childhood, and I’m nervous about them messing it up in a movie version. But, judging from the trailer, they seem to have captured the right mood, sense of adventure, and humor as the comics, and I’m glad to see all of the characters being themselves.

The Muppets Movie (Nov. 23rd)

I’ve been getting excited about this movie since early buzz began. I remember some rumors about Lady Gaga being involved but, unless it’s a cameo thing, that doesn’t seem to be happening. However, Jason Segal wrote it and is costarring with Amy Adams so if it’s even half as good as Dracula: The Musical, I’ll be happy. It just looks freaking heartwarming.

Puss in Boots (Nov. 4th)

To continue with my kids’ movies theme (and, in my opinion, the best movies in the past few years have been kids’ movies), this spin-off Puss in Boots movie looks better than it should be. I actually laughed out loud at the trailer a couple of times, and it generally seems like a 90 minute live action LOLCatz joke, which I mean as a compliment. Plus, it has Selma Hayek voicing the female feline counterpart so how could it be bad?

Young Adult (Dec. 16th)

While the theme isn’t exactly a great transition, I thought at least the title of this movie would be a good way to bridge the gap between that string of kids’ movies to more adult fare. There isn’t a whole lot to know yet about Young Adult, except it has the Diablo Cody as writer/Jason Reitman as director gold as Juno, so I’m looking forward to learning more about it. So far, we know that Charlize Theron plays a young adult author who goes back to her hometown to relive her glory days and try to win back her (now married) high school sweetheart. During her trip – which quickly goes awry – she establishes an unexpected relationship with another former classmate who “hasn’t quite gotten over high school, either.” Hilarity ensues?

50/50 (Sept. 30th)

Disclaimer: I hate Cancer Movies. I can’t remember ever seeing a movie where the main plotline involved around cancer, with the exception of the last Cancer Dramedy, Funny People, which I hated.

But I think 50/50 may be the movie I’m looking forward to most this season. Yeah, part of it has to do with Joseph Gordon-Levitt starring, who is damn charming, but the trailer makes it seem like it could be a realistic portrayal of dealing with the disease, for once. Apparently, it’s a semi-autobiographical script, written by a cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 25, so I trust its perspective, and I’m really glad (for both the writer and myself) that he took a humorless approach to a subject that’s usually ridden with melodrama. I also think it looks like a realistic portrayal of kids my age, another difficult task, and of a male friendship, so overall I’m guessing it will be a refreshing film.

The Rum Diary (Oct. 28th)

Finally, a film about Hunter S. Thompson that actually has a plot, or at least a premise other than making you feel like you’re on an acid trip. Also, getting to watch Johnny Depp not looking like a freak! Need I say more? I’d say it looks “rollicking,” if I could stand to use the word, and maybe have some insight into The Writer’s Life as well.

Hysteria (No release date yet)

This is a movie about the invention of the vibrator. Again, need I say more?

Drive (Sept. 16th)

At first glance, I assumed Drive was going to be just another action flick (although I would’ve seen it anyway to support my boyfriend, Ryan Gosling), but once I watched the trailer it seems like it could be deeper than that. It’s an interesting premise; Gosling’s character is a stunt driver by day and getaway driver for hire by night, when of course something goes awry on one of his night shifts, leading into some kind of cat and mouse story. It looks much more well made than the average vroom vroom movie- with excellent acting and great cinematography- and the story seems to have something for everyone.  Plus, it has Christina Hendricks and Carey Mulligan in it.

In Time (Oct. 28th)

I see maybe one fantasy/sci-fi movie a year, and in 2011 it’ll be In Time. The concept is really interesting, where people have to pay for the time to stay alive past the age of 25 and J.T’s character gets accused of stealing a rich man’s time when he gives it to him, killing himself, but what’s really drawing in is the cast: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfriend, Pete Campbell (ok, ok, Vincent Kartheiser, but he’ll always be Pete Campbell to me), Cillian Murhpy, Olivia Wilde, and even YaYa, from America’s Next Top Model who has actually proven to be pretty awesome in Ugly Betty and The Kids are Alright. Whew. What a list.

Honorable Mentions: Our Idiot Brother (because I love Paul Rudd, even if the trailer didn’t exactly pique my interest), J. Edgar, The Descendants (which I’ll have to see with my dad), and God Save My Shoes. 

TV

With Mad Men and 30 Rock not returning to the small screen until 2012, my life is basically over. However, thankfully (along with the return of Modern Family, which is staying strong, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which I found to be lacking last season but I’m sticking with for now) there are some intriguing new shows coming up. I’m especially interested in how this year’s crop is being marketed as very woman-friendly, boasting the most female-centric shows and women writers since perhaps ever.

New Girl (Fox, Sept 20th)

This is another example as to how Fall Entertainment is borrowing from my life, seeing as how I’m moving in with three guys tomorrow and I relate more to Zooey Deschanel’s character in this trailer than I’d like to admit. The show could lose its appeal a bit quickly – I find Ms. Deschanel and her cutesy characters to sometimes be a bit tiring, but I’m definitely giving it a shot. The trailer made me laugh, and while I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to be a show rather than a movie, I think it has potential to be a fun, lighthearted show.

2 Broke Girls (CBS, Sept 19th)

The thing is, I didn’t like this preview. I find it to be one big caricature: a caricature of the “opposites attract” trope, a caricature of a sassy street-smart girl (so many of her lines do that “I’m a female comedian so I’m going to shock you by being vulgar and unladylike!” thing), a caricature of a ditzy socialite, and a caricature of Brooklyn culture (with the exception of the apartment – the “Oh my god, you’ve been robbed!” line was hilarious).  However, I’m going to give this a shot. Again, I think there’s a good chance I could relate to this a lot, and I think it may be a victim of weird marketing. It may be much smarter than the previews let on, which make it seem like your run-of-the-mill work comedy or shenanigans in the city sitcom. I read somewhere that it eventually becomes about them figuring out ways to scrape it together, including trying to become entrepreneurs. Plus,  I love Kat Dennings, it’s Michael Patrick King, and it’s described in the clip as “Laverne and Shirley on crack”!

Apartment 23 (ABC, premiering midseason)

Continuing the lineup of

a) New shows I’m on the fence about

b) Zany roommate comedies

c) Shows that remind me of me (The moving to the city with the promise of a full-time job and being screwed out of it part)

comes Apartment 23. Going into it further than that would basically repeat what I said about New Girl and 2 Broke Girls, since they’re all…pretty much…the same…show…so I’ll leave it at that. Besides, I’ve been getting such a kick out of James Van Der Beek’s random as all hell comeback via the internet this year, so him playing a fictional version of himself may be reason enough to watch.

Pan Am (ABC, Sept 25th)

It’s obvious that Pan Am is riding on Mad Men’s coattails with it’s stylish retro vibe, but I think it stands on its own regardless of the trends. I’ve always found the culture of the peak of air travel fascinating, especially the appeal of the job as a stewardess as a way for women of the era to escape their lives. The show seems to have it all: humor, romance, sex appeal, drama, girl power,  and was that even a hint of crime that I spied? If it’s good enough for Cristina Ricci, it’s good enough for me.

The Chew (ABC, Sept. 26th)

And now for something completely different. I am so excited about The Chew, a new daytime talk show revolving around food. Hosts Clinton Kelly, Mario Batali, Carla Hall, Daphne Oz, and Michael Symon will discuss the latest in cooking and entertaining with trends, tips, reviews, and how-tos. It looks like a lot of fun! I may or may not have totally just signed up for tickets to be in the audience.

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