Screen savers

So far, 2013 has been a bad year for movies. Hopefully the fall crop will be better.

This coming fall/holiday movie season is loaded, so much so that I can't even cover the whole thing in this space. Below is just a sample of the rest of this movie year, and, man, does it look promising. The summer was a bit of a slog, but we're looking at a major cinematic rally for 2013.

There's a lot cover, so here we go …


(Oct. 4): Sandra Bullock and George Clooney get lost in space for director Alfonso Cuaron. I feel like I’ve seen the whole damned thing already because the marketing for this film involves releasing many clips. Stop! I want to be surprised! Early reviews are crazily enthusiastic, so here’s to it kicking some ass.

Runner Runner

(Oct. 4): Ben Affleck plays big criminal asshole to Justin Timberlake’s just sort of misguided asshole. It involves online gambling and crocodiles, with the future Batman eventually squaring off against the guy who sings that absolutely adorable “Mirrors” song.

Captain Phillips

(Oct. 11): Director Paul Greengrass, master of the shaky cam, pairs with Tom Hanks, master of making us love him because he’s so freaking endearing, in this true story about Somali pirate peril on the high seas. Promises many, many minutes of Hanks looking very anxious.

Machete Kills

(Oct. 11): I’m surprised Machete got a sequel, and I’m even more surprised it got a theatrical release. Groovy.

Romeo and Juliet

(Oct. 11): Seventeen years after Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Daines, we are getting another adaptation of this tragic lubby-dubby story, this one being of the more traditional nature. Hailee Steinfeld from True Grit is in it, so I am intrigued. Trivia: Steinfeld was actually born in ’96, the year of the DiCaprio version. You just learned something stupid and useless.

All is Lost

(Oct. 18): Robert Redford, like Tom Hanks before him, will experience peril on the high seas, sans pirates and, of course, sans Tom Hanks. If you like Redford, this is for you because it is all him.

Escape Plan

(Oct. 18): Sylvester Stallone stars as a guy who breaks out of prisons, and Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a dude sitting in prison. Thirty years ago, this would’ve been HUGE!

12 Years a Slave

(Oct. 18): Chiwetel Ejiofor, an actor whose face you know but would be hard challenged to pronounce his name correctly, stars as a pre-Civil War free man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Already getting Oscar buzz.


(Oct. 18): Chloe Grace Moretz, she of Hit-Girl fame, stars in this retelling of the Stephen King high school nightmare. Something tells me they have no chance of recreating anything close to the deranged John Travolta pig slaughter scene from Brian De Palma’s original. Actually, they could probably get Travolta to cameo and recreate that scene himself. He’ll do anything these days.

The Counselor

(Oct. 25): Ridley Scott directs Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender in a film written by Cormac McCarthy. That’s a solid pedigree.

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

(Oct. 25): Johnny Knoxville does a whole film as his old guy character. If the rest of the movie is half as funny as the scene where the kid does a stripper dance to “Cherry Pie,” this will be a blast.

Diana (Nov. 1) and Grace of Monaco

(Nov. 29): I’m lumping these two together because they both feature Aussie actresses playing princesses. Naomi Watts plays Diana, while Nicole Kidman is Princess Grace, former Hollywood starlet Grace Kelly. Watts should have at least two Oscars by now, so I’m hoping her movie is the one to finally get her the recognition she deserves (although anybody is hard pressed to beat Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine this year).

Ender’s Game

(Nov. 1): People have been telling me to read this book for years. I never did. Now it’s a movie with Harrison Ford in it. Pretty sure I will never read this book.

Thor: the Dark World

(Nov. 8): Kenneth Branagh brought a Shakespearean goofiness to the first Thor movie. He has left the building, so now somebody else has to make an amusing movie with Hemsworth in that getup and without the aid of Iron Man or The Hulk.

The Wolf of Wall Street

(Nov. 15): Scorsese and DiCaprio team yet again for a raucous looking take on financial misbehaving. Matthew McConaughey and Jonah Hill costar. I have a feeling Hill will lose out in any Supporting Actor Oscar campaign due to his demon rape scene in This is the End.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

(Nov. 22): There’s another Hunger Games movie on the way. Joy.

Delivery Man

(Nov. 22): Vince Vaughn stars as a man who has fathered many children with donated sperm, and now they want to meet him. After the horror that was The Internship, I will throw soda at the screen if he says “Google” just once in this movie.


(Nov. 29): Spike Lee remakes one of the more twisted movies ever made. A remake of Oldboy seems a preposterous notion to me, but it’s Spike Lee, so I’m curious.

Inside Llewyn Davis

(Dec. 6): If you aren’t impressed by the upcoming movie list thus far, this Coen Brothers movie about a folk singer should get you back on track. This also costars the guy who sings that adorable “Mirrors” song.

Dallas Buyers Club

(Dec. 6): This is the year of the McConaughey, isn’t it? He participated in Mud, The Wolf of Wall Street, and now this promising looking drama. As Ron Woodroof, a real life man diagnosed with HIV, McConaughey allegedly lost near 40 pounds for the part.

American Hustle

(Dec. 13): Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper all reunite with director David O. Russell for a ’70s period piece about con artists. This movie is essentially why Louis C.K., who also stars, canceled his show at the MGM Grand this year, a show I had tickets for. It better be good.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

(Dec. 13): I didn’t like the first Hobbit movie. I didn’t like it one bit. This one promises more dragon and less dwarves stuffing their faces and hitting themselves over their heads with things.

The Monuments Men

(Dec. 18): George Clooney directs and stars in this one about historians trying to recover works of art during World War II. Also stars Matt Damon and Bill “I Will Never Do Ghostbusters 3” Murray.

Saving Mr. Banks

(Dec. 20): More Hanks! He plays Walt Disney this time. Brother is going to cancel himself out at the Oscars.


(Dec. 20): Spike Jonze is back with Joaquin Phoenix playing a dude that falls in love with a computer voice (Scarlett Johansson).


(Dec. 20): Steve Carell stars as murderer John du Pont. It doesn’t look like there is much to laugh at in this movie. Costars Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo.

Anchorman 2

(Dec. 20): Will Ferrell needs a hit, and he’s going to get one with this long delayed sequel. And Steve Carell is Brick, going for laughs on the very same day his murder guy role is being released. That’s crazy!

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

(Dec. 25): I’ve always championed Ben Stiller as much more than the klutz in the Museum movies. As a director, he’s responsible for The Cable Guy and Tropic Thunder, two of the more adventurous and better looking comedies of the last 20 years. This one looks like he might be treading in Oscar territory.

Grudge Match

(Dec. 27): Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro play retired boxers getting back in the ring for one last fight. It’s Rocky vs. Jake LaMotta, and it can’t happen soon enough for me.