The blockbuster summer is behind us, the usual August-September lull is a memory (though it was filled by Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Help), and the final awards season push is already on. This past summer of "blockbusters" wasn't really that memorable, aside from the surprisingly entertaining Apes prequel, the gut-bustingly funny Bridesmaids, and a well-composed finale to the Harry Potter series. Anything other big movies I saw ranged from "meh" to "ugh"; it was the indie movies that shone (Beginners, Tree of Life). But at least that's behind us and we can move into the final quarter of the cinematic calendar, which always provides a unique mix of horror/thrillers (thanks to Halloween), family-friendly-fare, emerging independent underdogs, un-summer action blockbusters, and bloated blatant Oscar-bait. It's a season in which movies can go from "must see" to "can't stand" in a week, and when critics really can make or break a movie. Here are the movies I'm keeping track of in the next few months.
Five favourite movies of 2011 (so far):
Of Gods and Men
Rango (I know, I was surprised too!)
Tree of Life
Five movies from 2011 that I've missed that I'd most like to watch:
Everything Must Go
X-Men: First Class
Five movies in theatres now that I would like to see:
The Ides of March
Five most anticipated movies of the next three months:
J. Edgar (Nov 9) - Never count out Clint Eastwood directing or DiCaprio acting. Should be interesting.
The Muppets (Nov 23) - Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Bret McKenzie's music, and a movie full of Muppets! I'm so there.
A Dangerous Method (Nov 23) - Cronenberg disperses with the charade and finally makes a movie about Freud.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Dec 21) - It's the presence of Jeremy Renner and the direction of Brad Bird that draw me back in to this series.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dec 21) - Fincher's take looks dark, dreary, and unnerving. Maybe I'll wait until after Christmas to see it.
Five "wild card" movies that could go either way:
The Thing (Oct 14) - Who knows with horror sci-fi movies, especially remakes.
In Time (Oct 28) - It could be a whipsmart sci-fi action or a dredgingly boring dud. Only time will tell. (hehehe)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Dec 16) - The first movie was entertaining, but not fantastically so. Since its release, the BBC released its far superior series bringing Sherlock into the 21st century, and perhaps the audience for Ritchie's Holmes with it.
The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Dec 21) - Steven Spielberg's name is more of an indictment than an endorsement nowadays (seriously, look at his filmography since Saving Private Ryan. You'll be shocked), but this could be an entertaining family adventure movie.
We Bought A Zoo (Dec 23) - Cameron Crowe's last couple of films haven't been spectacular, but the cast and script sound interesting.
Five other movies on my radar that may or may not work their way into my viewing priority list depending on their publicity and critical reception:
Rum Diary (Oct 28)
Like Crazy (Oct 28)
Coriolanus (Dec 2)
Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy (Dec 9)
The Descendants (Dec 16)