By Vanessa Willoughby
After a summer of action-packed, CGI-infested blockbusters such as Transformers and Captain America, cinephiles are certainly wondering what Hollywood will roll out for the fall season. Who will be the next breakout star? What movie will bring in the bucks during Thanksgiving Weekend? Which movie will horrendously flop? Check out the list below and feel free to come to your own conclusions.
Puss in Boots
Release Date: November 4, 2011
Cast: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thorton, Amy Sedaris
Director: Chris Miller
With the Shrek franchise pretty much in the can, it’s only appropriate that one of the “supporting” characters is granted its own full-length movie. Puss in Boots, as voiced by Antonio Banderas, chronicles the adventures of the notable sword-wielding cat prior to befriending Shrek and Donkey. For fans of Shrek, especially the younger market demographic, Puss in Boots is a film that shouldn’t be missed.
Release Date: November 11, 2011
Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Freida Pinto, Kellan Lutz
Director: Tarsem Singh
So maybe last year’s Clash of the Titans remake wasn’t your cup of tea, despite Sam Worthington’s convincing portrayal of Perseus or Liam Neeson’s throwaway “Release the Kracken!” quip that launched thousands of Internet memes. However, Immortals, staring Henry Cavill, the latest face of the Man of Steel, seems to take itself a bit more seriously. Cavill has previously made his mark in films such as Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, Stardust, Tristan + Isolde, and Showtime’s hit period-piece drama, The Tudors. However, it seems as though this film, in addition to the upcoming Superman reboot, are set to be the vehicles that will launch Cavill into full-fledged leading man status.
My Week with Marilyn
Release Date: November 4, 2011
Cast: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Emma Watson
Director: Simon Curtis
It’s easy to see why Marilyn Monroe earned her status as a Hollywood sex symbol. With her platinum blond hair and Coke-bottle curves, Monroe’s untouchable beauty made her a bonafide silver screen goddess. It’s much harder to find an actress can that realistically and believably look past the obvious stereotypes and unearth the essence of Norma Jean. Although an unconventional choice, Michelle Williams will showcase her acting chops and step into the coveted role. Once stuck playing second fiddle to Katie Holmes on Dawson’s Creek, Williams has become a solid actress unafraid to take challenging and soulful roles as witnessed in the critically acclaimed Blue Valentine and 2008’s Wendy and Lucy. The film chronicles Monroe’s days on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, as told from the point of view of Laurence Olivier’s assistant.
Release Date: November 9, 2011
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts
Director: Clint Eastwood
Can anyone say, Oscar Bait? Leonardo DiCaprio steps into the shoes of the legendary J. Edgar Hoover and teams up with acclaimed actor and director, Clint Eastwood. Gathering from press releases and current revelations, the film isn’t going to be a shining homage to Hoover. Instead, it’s all about exposing Hoover’s secrets, including his affair with another man. Without a doubt, judging from Eastwood’s previous works, (Gran Torino, Invictus, Letters from Iwo Jima, Mystic River), he won’t shy away from the controversial and the gritty.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner
Director: Bill Condon
Who knew that sparkly vampires would attract so much tween (and in some disturbing cases, Twi-Mom) hype? Alas, Stephenie Meyer created a cash cow when she penned the Twilight series, which spawned a pop culture phenomenon and shot Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner into astronomical fame. The beginning of the end is here and Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) have finally decided to get married. If that wasn’t enough to cause mass hysteria in the small town of Forks, Bella is also pregnant and the warring vampire coven and wolf pack are hot on their trail. Who will snatch the child first? If you’re planning to see Breaking Dawn on opening night, be prepared to fight your way through crowds of screaming and hyperventilating Twihards. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Release Date: November 23, 2011
Cast: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper, Zach Galifianakis
Director: James Bobin
Amy Adams and funnyman Jason Segel star in this live-action version of The Muppets, where the pair must help the beloved puppets reunite in order to save their old studio from a greedy oil tycoon. Judging from the trailer, all of your favorites are back, including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Fozie Bear, and Gonzo. If you’re in a nostalgic mood this Thanksgiving holiday, be sure to round up the family and see The Muppets. Sure, it may not have a solid plot or intricate dialogue, but you can’t really doubt the bankability of something as familiar and culturally cherished as Kermit and Co.
Vanessa Willoughby lives in Waterford. A recent graduate of The New School’s MFA program, she also blogs for the entertainment and music website, 411mania.com.