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Filmstalker Films for September 2012

Diary.jpgSeptember is a mixed bag of a month for films and there's something for everyone from the art-house fan to the standard American comedy, there's also a few films you might have just skimmed over and not noticed and this list should help you notice them as well as help you decide what films in the multiplex you should be seeing. Remember though, there are some choices in the smaller independent cinemas, and you have them near you, go search.

There's a lot on this month from the reconstruction of a future Judge to an historical figure who was judged, there are bootleggers and hooligans, drug dealers to time travellers, and plenty of zombie-esque creatures. Horror to history and thrillers are throughout. Here are the films in September to be seen, those not to be seen, and those that I'm just not sure about. Enjoy.

6th
Greystone Park
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Walk
Trailer: YouTube
Sean Stone directs this film. Does the name ring a bell? Well let me add in a name that stars in the film too, Oliver Stone. Got it yet? Of course, Sean Stone is the son of Oliver Stone and so that might open your eyes to Greystone Park after all. The warning though is that it's a first person footage horror film which should perhaps get your alarm bells ringing. The film tells the story of a group of film-makers who head into an allegedly haunted abandoned mental asylum where people underwent some terrifying practices. It'll be interesting to see what Sean Stone delivers considering who his dad is, and to see his dad in the film. I wonder if he dies early on?


7th
Anna Karenina
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker
Costume drama doesn't fill me with excitement to be honest but when Joe Wright is at the helm I am more interested, and there are flashes in the trailer of some interesting style and cinematography. I still think it's a hard sell and I do wish that Wright had continued along the vein of Hanna because that was just such good fun and did bring something rather different to the action genre, I do wonder what he will do next. However for now I do believe that this film is worth stalking, even if the story isn't turning you on, watch that trailer again and consider the cast and the director once more. Mind you it hasn't been setting audiences ablaze.

Dredd 3D
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: Filmstalker
Oh I don't know. We all know it's going to be better than the previous Judge Dredd film although everyone has to step back a little and watch that film again for what it is, an adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic with action and over the top fun, and it does deliver that but what it doesn't deliver is the darker, harder and more serious adaptations that we are seeing these days. Remember though that it is a fun action romp. We know though that Dredd 3D won't be that and it promises an adaptation more faithful to the original as well as a little more violent and in 3D. Wooo. So there's bad news already now add in the fact that the trailer does look like Max Payne and I'm really not sure. The style feels a little off to me particularly the shots of people uprising against the police which doesn't feel like it's in the same universe as Dredd. The more I think about it the less I want to see it.

Lawless
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker
Is the cast list enough for you? I certainly think it is considering we have Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce and Jessica Chastain, those names together area already raising the excitement levels and then ad in the duo of writer and director behind The Proposition and I think we could have a cracking film on our hands. What I'm also interested in is hearing and seeing is how well Shia LaBeouf will perform in a non-big budget role and one where he's really having to survive on his acting skills. I'm hoping it turns out that he's a cracking actor but he's just been coasting on the big budgets hidden behind the effects. Lawless looks like it's going to be a powerful thriller packed with great performances.

Love
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: TrailerAddict
Love is a strange title for a film about an astronaut stranded in orbit alone in the International Space Station, but this film from writer and director William Eubank is called just that. The astronaut is stranded, has dwindling supplies and the air is running out, it all looks terribly bleak for him until he makes a startling discovery. The film was first seen last year in February as it began the festival circuit and it received a limited US release in August which was followed by a run of festivals. Finally it gets released in the UK and with a poster filled with festival accolades. I'm rather interested to find out where the story goes, so I'd stalk it if I were you.

St. George's Day
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: Filmstalker
I'm really not sure about this film because it's, and I hate to use the saying, a film of two halves. It starts off as some London crime gang film with some strong British acting talent including Craig Fairbrass, Charles Dance and Vincent Reagen, but then it turns into a football hooligan type film with scenes where they don't seem to have enough actors to fill out the shots. I think it's trying to tell us that they are using a huge football match and a clash of hooligans on the terraces to hide some big criminal act in order to get the money the gang owe the Russians. I say think because I can't really see this explanation in the trailer but I think it's there and if it is then it sounds like it could be a good thriller, especially as the first half of the trailer does look good.


12th
The Sweeney
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker
There are so many pros and cons for The Sweeney I am totally undecided as to what way it could go. The biggest positive is Ray Winstone with Hayley Atwell coming a close second, but then there's the largely unproven Ben Drew and the dubious talents of Nick Love. Of course I haven't even mentioned the idea of remaking the seventies cop series which was very much of its time. With all this pulled together in one package it's hard to tell if this will end up as a strong police thriller or another Nick Love film or even something worse. I think I might give it a go because it's a British film and for Winstone and Atwell.


14th
Hope Springs
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer:
You know what, this really is looking like it might be fun and while the main attraction is seeing Meryl Streep play alongside Tommy Lee Jones the idea of Jones playing this kind of role is also drawing me to it. Mind you seeing the trailer it is filled with charm and some funny situational comedy. I think the combination of Streep and Jones is too hard to say no to. I'm reminded of the film she starred with Alec Baldwin which turned out to be rather funny too. I'd give this a go.

Paranorman
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker
No this doesn't have Activity after the title nor is it all filmed first person, this is something rather different, it's an animated comedy about a boy who can see dead people and who becomes the only hope to save his local town when they become overrun with the undead. The trailers have made the film look like a lot of fun, and while the 3D moniker is putting me off as it does with every film that it is tagged onto, the story and the characters do look like they could be delivering some strong laughs.

Premium Rush
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker
I'm rather excited about the David Koepp co-written and directed Premium Rush because I can't really remember many films about cycling and this one features the talents of the Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill who is amazing on a bike and does suggest that the film is going to be filled with some amazing action sequences, suggest is out the window when you see the trailer, it is. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon so there are two reasons to go and see it, but for me it's to see what amazing stunts they have worked around the cycling and how they're going to keep the story packed with thrills. I'm in.

Keyhole
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: TrailerAddict
There's nothing I can really say to draw you to this film other than Jason Patric, Isabella Rossellini and Udo Keir. Rossellini and Patric are interesting enough but then there's the look and style of the film which is surely going to grab the attention of all the art-house lovers out there. I've not seen a film from writer-director Guy Maddin but apparently The Guardian tell me to think of silent film, surrealism, great imagery, noir, not adhering strongly to a clear story telling style or an easily accessible film. Wow, now that's a mix. This is definitely something for you to go and see and break away from the mainstream.

When the Lights Went Out
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker
I'm intrigued by this film and I know we have had a lot of possession and exorcism films in the last while but there's a key differences here, this one is British, and is based on actual events, and by based I mean more than the average "Oh someone once said something that might have been true". Of course I don't believe any of this is true but the events are more than you might first think and with the story being set in Britain there are huge differences expected in the plot and characters from all those American possession and exorcism films. Oh please bring something different and more intelligent.

To Rome With Love
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: Filmstalker
Woody Allen's latest star studded city based romantic comedy filled with lessons on life and reflective moments. There's not as big a cast as you might expect but there are names from Alec Baldwin to Carol Alt so it's an interesting cast and mainly a non-American one so how that will go down with American audiences I'm not sure but then this isn't really for them is it? It's the usual story of a group of characters in a city going through all sorts of different aspects of life, mainly around romance and there will be plenty of misunderstandings and confused characters to keep the humour and story going. Still, despite the fact this is Allen, is it getting a little tiring?

What You Will
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: None
Simon Reade is taking quite a leap as he has co-written and directed this Shakespearean adaptation as his first feature with Guy de Beaujeu also co-writing, what's more is it leads with Dominic West. However this isn't what you're expecting, not at all. Reade is a theatre producer and this film is a documentary that follows the production of Twelfth Night by the Filter Theatre Company as they deliver a successful and critically acclaimed production, however I've seen the company described as "a dysfunctional and anarchic theatre company" so it does sound like it could be a revealing and very interesting documentary.


19th
Now is Good
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Walk
Trailer: Filmstalker
Oh dear, this does sound like a dull film following the usual convoluted emotional heart string tugging storyline that we're expecting, at least Dakota Fanning really does look very ill for the role and she's supported by Olivia Williams and Paddy Considine. You'll know how things are going to play out and it's all designed to make you unhappy and have a good cry.


21st
House at the End of the Street
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Walk
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker
The remake of the classic horror may actually have a lot to offer but with it already giving away a major plot twist in the trailer and looking like it's aimed towards the teen audience I'm not so convinced any more. It does have Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue and Max Thieriot, and Lawerence is in a vest top for most of the film so perhaps it has something to offer. Really though there doesn't seem to be any imagination in there and we've already seen a big reveal in the trailer. I think this might be pretty uninteresting.

Untouchable (Intouchables)
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker
Oh I just missed a screening for this tonight and I'm really rather miffed because it promises a lot with François Cluzet and Omar Sy and written and directed by both Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. There's already a big following for the film as it was previously known, Intouchables, as with over eighty thousand votes it's the top seventy fifth film on IMDB. It's done well at festivals particularly the César French Film Festival where it received a stream of nominations. It's also been released just about everywhere and started a lengthy worldwide release run in Belgium last November running through to Finland in November of this year. The film follows a rather well off and adventurous life-loving man who becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident and hires a young man from the projects to become his carer. Slowly, over time, and despite all the opposing clichés and dislike of each other they begin to form an amazing friendship. Yes it's emotional but it doesn't seem as convoluted and deliberately engineered that way.

Savages
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker
Oliver Stone's latest film stars a list of names from Blake Lively to Benicio Del Toro, from Salma Hayek to Taylor Kitsch and from John Travolta to Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It's a strong cast list and a strong director and Don Winslow, Stone and Shane Salerno have written the screenplay from Winslow's novel which tells the story of a team of small time pot growers and dealers who come up against a Mexican drug cartel and their shared girlfriend is kidnapped forcing them to man up and try and save her. Now that sounds like an interesting set-up and with the cast of actors and Stone behind the camera how could you not stalk it?

Killing Them Softly
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker
I find myself slightly confused by the trailer for this film, oh I know what the story is delivering but I'm not sure how the film is supposed be going and there are hints in there of various different genres and styles, and who is the film going to be focussing on? Well the lead is surely to be Brad Pitt but if it wasn't the actor you might come away from the trailer unsure. Andrew Dominik directed and adapted from the George V. Higgins novel and the list of other actors is mouth wateringly exciting - James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard, Ben Mendelsohn and Scoot McNairy. A mob protected poker game is raided and the money stolen and a professional enforcer and killer is hired to find out who it is and do the necessary. The names involved are enough for a stalk in my book.


28th
The Campaign
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: TrailerAddict
To be honest I'd rather not mention this film, or if I was going to label it "Walk" straight away. I'm really not a great fan of American comedy and anyone who reads Filmstalker knows that I hate the continuing reliance on sexual and bodily function jokes, deadpan, drawn out awkwardness and jokes that repeat until death. It's not that I'm a prude or hate these styles of jokes but the comedies I've watched seem to rely on them and just repeat them to the end of the film. There's no real intelligence in the humour and it relies on the stupid and slapstick rather than something a little more, well, thought through. Okay, I can't taint The Campaign in that way and I have seen some comedy that these names have been involved with actually work and be rather funny, but only in parts. The Campaign seems to have something more of a story and I'm hopeful that there's going to be a lot more situational comedy in here rather than just the usual. Let's see.

Looper
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker (Interactive trailer)
Rian Johnson was responsible for Brick, and in my eyes that means I have to see whatever he comes up with because that was a superb film and a great performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt. So now he's tackling science fiction and what's more he's hitting time travel too in an ambitious storyline that sees organised crime gangs from the future sending people back in time to be killed and disposed of. For those who do the killings, the Loopers, this seems an easy job to do, that is until the organisation start cleaning house and send one of the Loopers back in time so that he can kill himself. Cue all sorts of mind bending possibilities, but more than that bring out Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels and a cracking looking film with a superb idea. It had me at Johnson.

Resident Evil: Retribution 3D
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Stalk
Trailer: Filmstalker / Filmstalker
People have a pop at the Resident Evil franchise but you have to admit a couple of things. The opening film did a great job of adapting the video game and the franchise has gone from strength to strength, oh I know some of the fans of the video games have bones to pick about it but for stylised action and cool characters they have been delivering time and time again and I've rather liked them for that. They haven't forgotten or been ashamed of what they are or where they came from. So I'm hoping that this new film will deliver more of the same and then some, unashamed fun.

Holy Motors
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: TrailerAddict
Leos Carax's film is an intriguing one and carries the interesting blurb:
"From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, family man..."
The film seems to follow a character who is leaping through the lives of others, how we're not quite sure and the trailer has plenty of mystery to add to it all. A surreal journey that seems to ask more questions than give answers and it's definitely one for those looking for something different, and it seems as though it's going to deliver. Oh and did I say Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue are in it?

Barbara
Release: Saturation
Recommendation: Undecided
Trailer: TrailerAddict
Barbara won the Silver Bear award at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Bear award, meanwhile it won silver and was nominated for gold at the German Film Awards, was nominated at the German Film Critics Awards and won Best Film at the Nuremberg Film Festival. I honestly can't remember why I selected the film but the blurb sounds interesting and it's getting a lot of positive comments and a few of Christian Petzold's previous films do stand out. The film is about a doctor working in East Berlin in the eighties who is banished to a small country hospital.




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- Westley, The Princess Bride