Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Say goodbye to Hollywood's... summer.

Officially we've got until September 21st to say goodbye to summer, but Hollywood is already well under way with their annual transition from blockbuster season to award season. At Moviedozer, the first of the month also signals a new hotlist of the movie releases we're most looking forward to.
After being disappointed with the schedule of new releases in August (so much so that we changed our hotlist to an "ice-list" last month), we were a little wary about what September would bring. We're happy to say that although the month lacks any obvious standouts, the 30 or so new releases we considered for our list supplied more than enough selections to pick 6 worthy titles. You can click the link here to jump over and read through our choices. We felt compelled though, to mention some of the "also-rans" this month, so in no particular order, here are some good reasons to help Hollywood say goodbye to summer.

Whiteout - a thriller set in what must be the most claustrophobic wide open space on the planet, Antarctica. Starring Kate Beckinsale, the trailer suggests a true edge of your seat adventure set in a desolate and dangerous wilderness. 9/11

The Invention of Lying - way high concept but with a great cast, Ricky Gervais shares writing and directing credits and stars in a comedy about a place where no one has ever lied. Until now. Gervais is the writer who discovers lying, and it's unexpected benefits. With a cast that includes Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, Rob Lowe, Christopher Guest and Tina Fey, this one just missed our final six. 9/25

Surrogates - On the other hand, this Bruce Willis vehicle easily missed our list, but we still have to admit a fondness for catching Bruce Willis movies, even when they look like worn sci-fi retreads. Watching the trailer for Surrogates is like a game of spotting the other sci-fi movie references. 9/25

All About Steve - Sandra Bullock was lots of fun in The Proposal this summer and she's someone we can watch just about anytime, but All About Steve's trailer has been kicking around for nearly a year and it's never made the movie seem anything but dumb. If you're a fan, have fun but it's likely more fun as a cheaper-than-the-movie-ticket rental. 9/4

Fame - "I'm going to live forever". Ahh to be young. Fame has fresh faces (and familiar ones in the roles of the teachers) shellacked across a refreshed premise in an age where American Idol and Dancing with the Stars rule TV. (In fact, one of the fresh faces belongs to an up and coming star, Kherington Payne who lasted through 12 real episodes of So You Think You Can Dance.) If for nothing else, the role of the arts in education deserves a solid Hollywood boost. 9/25

Amreeka - Set in a small town in Illinois, Amreeka is a small film that has something important to say about stepping into American culture from the outside and lots to say about the moving stories that are available in Independent film. We think this is one to seek out and pay attention to. 9/4

Carriers - After his huge success in this summer's terrific Star Trek, this earlier film starring Chris Pine is finally seeing a release date. The usual story of a viral pandemic that erupts in violent victims only draws our interest for the chance to watch this young, dynamic actor in another role. 9/4

The Burning Plain - Speaking of actors - The Burning Plain boasts two Oscar winners, Kim Basinger and Charlize Theron. The drama is centered on relationship struggles in the wake of a troubled childhood. Though the trailer seems heavy and obvious, the potential of the performances is enough to make us curious. 9/18

Coco Before Chanel - A period piece based on the life of fashion powerhouse Coco Chanel, before the fame and glory. This one's simple for us. Amidst beautiful settings and cinematography is the actor in the leading role, Audrey Tautou. We'd simply watch her in anything. 9/25

Like documentaries? Here are four that nearly made our list.

The Horse Boy - The true story of the Isaacson family. On discovering, by accident, that their young autistic son somehow relates to being near horses, a mother and father make a sojourn to Mongolia to seek a fabled shaman who may be able to bring healing and release to their son and to themselves. 9/25

The September Issue - An inside glimpse at the world of fashion magazines, The September Issue follows Vogue Magazine's editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour through the production of Vogue's nearly five pound fall-fashion issue. Shot with unprecedented access and widely praised by critics. 9/11

Walt & El Grupo - In 1941, the U.S. government asked Walt Disney to take a trip through South America in an effort to convince that nation that Americans weren't such bad neighbors to call allies. The success of that trip is a piece of the legendary stuff of Walt's enormous legacy and is the basis for this documentary that puts together archive film footage with the usual interview clips. 9/11

And if you absolutely have to...

Capitalism, a Love Story - Yes. Michael Moore is back. We think his films are egocentric, manipulated, sensationally fabricated pieces of scrapbook revisionism, but hey, that's just us. He did make the most profitable theatrically released "documentary" of all time so give the man his due. Just don't give him your money unless you are absolutely sucked in to his hype. No, this one never even came close to our list. 9/25

We'll also be recapping the Summer Blockbuster Season on the Sprocket Holes page of Moviedozer.com throughout the month. The trailers for the five most successful summer releases in worldwide box-office are showing now. We'll follow up each week with the top five trailers for the most overlooked, most overrated and our absolute summer favorites.

Get in your last goodbyes to Hollywood's summer, then join us again at Moviedozer.com where we'll be looking forward to dropping the flag in October for the race to Oscar gold.

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