Kids are back to school, parents are back to work (well, except for the unemployed ones) and Hollywood has decided to not release anything worthwhile… it must be September! Many of the major television shows are starting up, too, and football season is upon us – not to mention the end of the regular baseball season – which all contribute to less-than-desirable circumstances for movies looking to make a buck. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see… you just have to look a little harder. Or lower your standards a bit.
Here are ten movies you should see this September:
- State of Play
Now out on DVD, this star-studded thriller, a remake of a BBC miniseries, is a surprisingly excellent and intelligent film about the destruction of the newspaper industry, journalism ethics, political scandal, murder and sex. Russell Crowe stars as a reporter who starts to explore a massive conspiracy revolving around the suspicious death of his college roommate’s aides. Oh, his college roommate, played by Ben Affleck, is now an influential senator. Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren and Jeff Daniels also star.
- The Informant!
Matt Damon reunites with his Ocean’s 11 director for The Informant, a comedy about an executive whistle-blower who’s working with the feds to bring down a major corporation while also vying for a promotion. Roughly based on a true story, Damon put on a lot of weight and has shed any resemblance to Jason Bourne to pull this character off – and the film looks like a riot.
- Away We Go
Coming to DVD at the end of the month, Sam Mendes’ latest film earned strong reviews yet didn’t get much attention – or promotion – in theaters. Away We Go stars Jon Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a young couple preparing for their first baby. The film, from the director of American Beauty, is supposed to be a feel-good, smile-on-your-face dramedy, and that sounds good to me.
Easily one of the weirdest and most unique films of the year, this animated adventure is set in a world where humanity has been wiped into extinction. Good versus evil rages on however, as nine little puppets have survived, only to be hunted by a bunch of spider-looking things. The movie has received some excellent early reviews and looks like a visual epic. Unfortunately, parents probably won’t take their kids to see it and adults will be turned off by the CGI.
- The Surrogates
Bruce Willis stars in his latest action thriller, an interesting-looking film set in a future where most humans use robot variants of themselves to interact in the real world, essentially removing the normal risks associated with life. But when people start dying through their surrogates, Willis, a detective, must venture into the real world to learn the truth. The September release date is a little scary, but I’m sort of psyched for this one.
Now in theaters, the latest comedy from Mike Judge – the creator of Office Space – takes another satirical look at normal workers, this time from the perspective of a factory manager. Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck and Mila Kunis star in the film that looks pretty funny – though not nearly as funny as Judge’s cult classic.
- Capitalism: A Love Story
Perhaps Michael Moore’s most timely documentary yet, Capitalism: A Love Story examines how we got into this mess. Always providing a liberal slant, it will be interesting to see what angle Moore takes and how audiences react; though Bush and the lack of regulation is blamed for some of our problems, Obama isn’t exactly popular – even among liberals – for his trillions of dollars worth of deficits. At the very least, Capitalism should evoke plenty of conversation – and that’s all a documentary should strive for.
There is one serious problem with this film: Kate Beckinsale is in Antarctica, which means she’s going to be wearing a fluffy coat most of the time. That’s a shame. But still, Whiteout, about a murder investigation at the end of summer in the most desolate place on the planet, looks intriguing enough. This film has been bounced around for quite a while and its dumping in September does not suggest there’s much to see here, but it still has a fighting chance.
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Based on the popular kid’s book, this animated adventure is about a scientist who discovers a way to turn water into food. The experiment backfires, however, when the food starts to get larger and larger, resulting in dangerous circumstances. The movie, which, of course, will be in 3D, has a lot going for it: namely a fun, family friendly story, plenty of memorable visuals and a concept that doesn’t rely on talking animals. This one should be a hit.
- Jennifer’s Body
It’s hard to get a read on this one: though it’s from the writer of Juno, Jennifer’s Body is a horror-comedy about a sexy girl (Megan Fox) who likes to eat boys – literally. Her best friend, played by Amanda Seyfried, realizes that it’s upon her to stop the demonic creature. The film appears to be chock full of campy one-liners and cleavage shots of Fox, and that’s good enough for me.