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Upcoming movies to watch out for include big names, bigger expectations


By Sam Watermeier

<swatermeier@hilite.org>

“Righteous Kill” (Sept. 12)
Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino reunite for the first time since 1995’s “Heat” for another crime thriller. The cast also includes the master of crime drama himself- director Martin Scorsese. Sounds great, right? Well, don’t get your hopes up yet. Keep in mind that “Righteous Kill” is directed by Jon Avnet, the man who helmed “88 Minutes,” one of the worst reviewed movies of this year or any year. However, maybe DeNiro and Pacino will pull this film together with their power and presence.

“Lakeview Terrace” (Sept. 19)
Writer-director Neil LaBute is back in serious form with this thriller about a policeman (Samuel L. Jackson) trying to force an interracial couple out of his neighborhood (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington). LaBute’s last film was the puzzlingly bad and cheesy horror flick “The Wicker Man.” Considering LaBute’s earlier films (“In the Company of Men,” “Nurse Betty”) were so smart and provocative, I refuse to believe that “The Wicker Man” was anything other than a hoax. All that matters is that LaBute is back and looking more sophisticated than ever.

“Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” (Oct. 3)
Anything starring Michael Cera lately is comic genius with the exception of “Juno” which is pretentious and annoying to say the least. However, this romantic comedy is supposed to be nothing like the vastly overrated “Juno.” In that case, it looks okay to me. In this film, Cera plays a high school student who asks a girl (Kat Dennings) to be his girlfriend for five minutes in order to avoid his ex. They end up spending an adventurous night together in New York City.

“Quantum of Solace” (Nov. 7)
Bond’s back. 2006’s “Casino Royale” turned out to be the grittiest and most thoughtful James Bond film in the series. It eliminated all of the clichés of the earlier installments, giving the franchise an invigorating start. With Marc Forster, the director behind such wrenching human dramas as “Monster’s Ball” and “The Kite Runner,” and Daniel Craig reprising his role, this film is destined for greatness. By the way, there have been many complaints about the title of this film. But despite qualms, “Quantum of Solace” (Amount of comfort in sorrow) is a relevant title for Bond’s personality. After all, this deadly and risk-taking character is known for being accustomed to misfortune and tragedy. So, everyone can stop their complaining now.

“The Road” (Nov. 28)
Another Cormac McCarthy adaptation. Will it be as intense and exciting as “No Country for Old Men?” Produced by Dimension Films (“Scream” among other horror films), this film sounds like a pure chiller. Viggo Mortensen stars as a man who travels with his son through a post-apocalyptic landscape looking for signs of life. The book won McCarthy the Pulitzer Prize and like “No Country,” this film has Oscar written all over it. Director John Hillcoat is the perfect choice to bring this story to life since he already created his own scary wasteland in the gritty western “The Proposition.”

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