I did something a little different this week on my “Movies” list for The Chris Vernon Show. Rather than do five video recommendations based on something new in theaters, I previewed the five fall releases I'm most anticipating.
This list is restricted to titles opening in September, October, and the first two weeks of November. I'll come back before Thanksgiving with a separate holiday-season preview.
5. Seven Psychopaths (October 12): Writer-director Martin McDonagh earned a huge cult following for his 2008 debut In Bruges, a dark comedy about a couple of assassins stuck in the title city. This follow-up tracks a gang of oddballs caught up in the Los Angeles criminal underworld. With Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Christopher Walken, among others.
4. Argo (October 12): Ben Affleck moves away from modern Boston crime stories (Gone Baby Gone, The Town) for his third directorial effort. This time it's a period piece, based on an apparently true story, about a bizarre CIA plan to rescue Americans trapped in Iran during the Iranian revolution by having agents pose as a crew shooting a sci-fi film. Affleck heads a deep cast that includes Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, and Alan Arkin.
3. Killing Them Softly (October 19): Writer/director Andrew Dominik made one of the most impressive breakthrough films of the current century with 2007's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. His follow-up also stars Brad Pitt as an enforcer investigating a heist at a mob-connected poker game. With James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, and Ray Liotta.
2. Lincoln (November 9): Director Steven Spielberg and star Daniel Day-Lewis team up for the first time. I really like Spielberg's last couple of serious movies (War Horse, Munich) and Lewis is coming off a landmark performance in There Will Be Blood. This depiction of Lincoln captures the greatest president as he's guiding the Union to victory in the Civil War. Based on historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's bestseller Team of Rivals. The deep supporting cast includes Tommy Le Jones (as Thaddeus Stevens) and Sally Field (as Mary Todd Lincoln). No trailer yet.
1. The Master (September 14th): After the triumph of There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson should probably be considered the leading American filmmaker of his generation. This ambitious follow-up stars Joaquin Phoenix as a troubled Navy veteran home from the war who begins to follow the leader of a new religion/philosophy, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and seemingly based on controversial Scientology creator L. Ron Hubbard. With the always excellent Amy Adams.