Special Issues » Fall Guide




NOTE: This selective, wholly subjective overview of some of the season's most notable flicks and festivals is as accurate as the movie business permits – which means that opening dates and other details may change drastically in the weeks to come. Keep checking our Movie Times and The Week listings for final and complete screening schedules.

THUMBSUCKER Teen alienation and the Ritalin culture are the targets of this "hip, relevant" drama, which casts Tilda Swinton as a trophy wife and Keanu Reeves as a spiritually attuned dentist. Because casting agents like drugs, too. (Oct. 7 at Regal Winter Park Village Stadium 20)

WAITING Rob McKittrick was working as a waiter at the T.G.I. Fridays on East Colonial Drive when he penned this wacky paean to the food-service biz. Half a decade and several studios later, the finished film is his directorial debut. And we're still eating at that Fridays, just out of solidarity. (Oct. 7)

WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT With Pixar in a slump and just about every other studio's animated features sucking out loud, the timing couldn't be better for Aardman Animation's cult duo to make a stateside breakout. Love that pup! (Oct. 7)

THE WORLD A Beijing tourist attraction comparable to Epcot is the setting of Chinese director Jia Zhangke's youth-centric comedy-drama. When was the last time a movie was lauded for its "clever use of text-messaging"? Sounds like a category the Independent Spirit Awards should institute, pronto. (Oct. 13 at DMAC; dmacorlando.blogspot.com)

THE FOG Tom Welling and Selma Blair star in a remake of John Carpenter's 1980 creepfest. More scary stuff: Director Rupert Wainwright was responsible for several M.C. Hammer videos. (Oct. 14)

ELIZABETHTOWN After Vanilla Sky, a lot of us wondered if Cameron Crowe could (or should) ever make another movie. Casting Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst in his comeback effort wasn't the smartest move in the world, but this story of mortality in Kentucky also features the great Judy Greer. So we'll keep our fingers crossed. (Oct. 14)

NORTH COUNTRY Charlize Theron and Frances McDormand interpret the plight of female miners fighting the scourge of sexual harassment. Director Niki Caro made the largely dissimilar Whale Rider, so this one's a big but inviting question mark. (Oct. 14)

DOMINO The frighteningly popular Keira Knightley plays Domino Harvey, daughter of actor Laurence Harvey and a model-turned-assassin. This reality-based action/drama has had its release date moved several times – but not, sadly, because audiences are developing any palpable aversion to Keira Knightley. (Oct. 14)

THE WAR WITHIN A Pakistani student's personal struggle between peacefulness and jihadism is the subject of this sure-to-be-talked-about drama. Reportedly, the movie dares suggest that the torturing of innocent prisoners is a potential cause of terrorism – and it still may play here! (Oct. 14)

THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN It's bug eyes all around as an al fresco audience enjoys the 1966 comedy mystery that compels Don Knotts to spend the night in a haunted house. (Enzian Theater's Popcorn Flicks series, 8 p.m. Oct. 20; Central Park, Park Avenue, Winter Park; 407-629-1088; www.enzian.org; free)

SHORTCUT TO NIRVANA Audiences at last June's South Asian Film Festival got an early look at this documentary about an annual spiritual gathering that's huge in India but unknown here. We said the movie is "as entertaining as it is illuminating." And really, why would we lie? (Oct. 20 at DMAC; dmacorlando.blogspot.com)

GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK Director George Clooney helps David Strathairn essay the role of Edward R. Murrow in a retelling of the latter's quest to bring down red-baiter Joseph McCarthy. Patricia Clarkson is in the supporting cast. Yeah, like we're not going to be totally pumped for this. (Oct. 21)

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) directed this adaptation of Rupert Holmes' novel, which probes the mystery of a comedy team's collapse. The MPAA slapped the movie with an NC-17, reportedly over a three-way sex scene that includes contributions from the ever-randy Kevin "Still Makin'" Bacon. (Oct. 21)

SHOPGIRL With Claire Danes and Steve Martin starring in a film version of the latter's hit novella, is there any way to go wrong? Sure there is. Exhibit A: The movie was shot two years ago. Exhibit B: Seen Novocaine? (Oct. 21)

STAY A psychologist (Ewan McGregor) fights to prevent the suicide of a patient with strange precognitive abilities. Director Marc Forster has made both overpraised indie crap (Monster's Ball) and rightfully popular studio pap (Finding Neverland), so there's no telling if this Halloween thriller will be a trick or that other thing. (Oct. 21)

DEAD ALIVE Revisit filmmaker Peter Jackson's bloody roots in this Sundance Channel Film Series showing of the gleefully nauseating horror comedy. (9:30 p.m. Oct. 25; Enzian Theater, Maitland; 407-629-1088; www.enzian.org; $5)

MY BIG FAT INDEPENDENT MOVIE Film Threat's Chris Gore helmed this spoof of indie tropes and touchstones, which boasts more art-house references than you can shake a mysterious briefcase at. Viewers who caught the flick at the Florida Film Festival pronounced it a mighty funny piece of work, but at least one festival insider embarrassedly disavowed any personal responsibility for its booking. With a reaction that mixed, you know you gotta go. (Oct. 27 at DMAC; dmacorlando.blogspot.com)

CAPOTE Philip Seymour Hoffman plays author Truman Capote, seen here trolling for details of the murder case that inspired his In Cold Blood. Catherine Keener appears as Harper Lee, and Chris Cooper and Bob Balaban round out the supporting cast. What's not to drool for? (Oct. 28 at Winter Park Village Stadium 20)

NINE LIVES Big-time divas Holly Hunter, Glenn Close, Sissy Spacek and Dakota Fanning star in a neuftet of interrelated stories told from a female perspective. The catch: All nine were filmed in a single take. Will it be the next Russian Ark or Rope, or just the most ill-advised stunt since Siegfried and Roy? (Oct. 28)

SAW II Still miss seeing Donnie Wahlberg cop it up on the late, lamented NBC series Boomtown? The sequel to last year's Saw lets him do the detective bit again, this time on the trail of a psychopathic torturer who has upped his workload from two victims at a time to eight. Ease up on the throttle, Jigsaw: You're making the rest of working America look bad. (Oct. 28)

BROUHAHA FILM FESTIVAL Florida filmmaking has its day in the sun as Enzian's annual showcase of homegrown talent returns. (Oct. 29 and 30, Enzian Theater, Maitland; 407-629-1088; www.enzian.org; $5 per screening program)

JARHEAD Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) directs Jake Gyllenhaal in a filmic interpretation of the memoirs of Gulf War veteran Anthony Swofford. With the tagline "Welcome to the suck," the movie takes its case straight to the Full Metal Jacket crowd, while inviting comparisons to some other conflict we hear is going on in the Middle East. (Nov. 4)

GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN' Desperate not to become the first man in history to muff the transition from rapping to acting, 50 Cent explores another vocation where you get to say you've been shot a million times. (Nov. 9)

KISS KISS, BANG BANG Lethal Weapon mastermind Shane Black swipes a catchphrase from the James Bond canon and applies it to the adventures shared by an aspiring actor (Robert Downey Jr.) and a detective (Val Kilmer). Downey and Kilmer, of course, are two of the most mercurial actors in all creation. Could be fun – or a train wreck. (Nov. 11)

CENTRAL FLORIDA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL The Enzian and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando team up to bring us the latest and greatest in cinema with a Semitic perspective. (Nov. 13 and 14; Enzian Theater, Maitland; 407-629-1088 or 407-645-5933, ext. 245; www.enzian.org; $9 per screening)

ROMAN HOLIDAY Postponed from last spring, the Gregory Peck/Audrey Hepburn classic finally gets its Popcorn Flicks outdoor screening. (8 p.m. Nov. 17; Central Park, Winter Park; 407-629-1088; www.enzian.org; free)

WALK THE LINE This high-profile biography of the late Johnny Cash could cement star Joaquin Phoenix's ascension to the A-list. The only problem: Who's going to make all the Joaquin Phoenix movies from now on? (Nov. 18)

RENT Rosario Dawson and Taye Diggs star in a cinematic adaptation of the uplifting Broadway musical about downtown heroin addicts with a song in their hearts. Bring your favorite 17-year-old fag hag and she gets in for half price! (Nov. 23)

PRIDE & PREJUDICE Having weathered the ignominy of a dopey Bollywood-style translation, Jane Austen's literary classic now finds itself co-opted by the downright dangerous Keira Knightley. Judi Dench and Brenda Blethyn are on hand to balance the scales with some, you know, acting. (Nov. 25)

PEE-WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE Phone call for Mr. Herman! The Sundance Channel Film Series spotlights the cult comedy that launched Tim Burton's career and the second most notable thing Paul Reubens ever did in a movie theater. (9:30 p.m. Nov. 29; Enzian Theater, Maitland; 407-629-1088; www.enzian.org; $5)

AEON FLUX She once told The New Yorker that she would not become the next Halle Berry, and now Oscar winner Charlize Theron stars as a cartoon heroine in a black, skin-tight catsuit. Riiiiiiight. (Dec. 2)

PROTOCOLS OF ZION Documentarian Marc Levin (Slam) traces the origins and influence of the counterfeit – yet still widely believed – Zionist text, a rallying point for much of the world's anti-Semitism. (Dec. 2)

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE C.S. Lewis' fantasy gets the big-budget treatment, much to the relief of families who find that whole Hogwarts business too darn pagan. Meanwhile, Rowling's legions will still be coming down from the Nov. 18 release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (Dec. 9)

SYRIANA Big oil is the 300-pound gorilla in this star-studded slice of international intrigue, which puts CIA agent George Clooney on the trail of shady mergers and other antisocial initiatives. Jeffrey Wright and Chris Cooper are among the supporting players discovering the truth behind the slippery industry. Jesus! It's like we died and went to cineplex-radical heaven. (Dec 9)

KING KONG Peter Jackson's revolutionary work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy made him the ideal minder for the most infamous primate in movie history. In other words, we can't wait to see what kind of performance he's gotten out of Jack Black. (Dec. 14)

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN After The Hulk, any project Ang Lee took on would have been an improvement. So why not make it an oddball Western adapted by Larry McMurtry from an Annie Proulx story? Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger are cowboy lovers in the gayest movie you'll see anywhere. (Dec. 16) all the king's men Sean Penn leads an all-star cast in the latest filmed version of the Robert Penn Warren novel, based loosely on the life of Southern politician Huey Long. Penn? Politics? It sounds so crazy it just might work! (Dec. 16)

MUNICH Back in "serious history" mode, Steven Spielberg offers his take on the fatal kidnapping of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. We could make another joke here, but nobody needs mail that badly. (Dec. 23)

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.