This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

September Preview: 'Warrior,' 'Drive,' 'Abduction' and other one-word Movies

Monthly Movie Preview – September 2011 Summer is over. Superheroes tried to crush our spirits with their stupid movies and refusal to die. A whole bunch of crazy stuff happened, actually, but we made it out. And what’s that I smell? Award season? Too early to think about it … or is it?

Aside from letting folk like Malick do his “thang" in May, September marks when movies on whole put their game faces back on. Not only is it the month in which important festivals like Toronto and Venice go down, but it’s also the time to get serious, in whatever way possible. Aside from Shark Night 3D and Abduction, but you get the hint.

September’s going to give us inspiring movies about fighters, someone’s going to get cancer, and there might even be an “incredible true story” about baseball waiting for us with Moneyball. Hold on now, is this September or December? Then again, Abduction will likely remind us that summer isn’t too far back on the rear view mirror, but a list of curious-looking films seem to suggest that we’d better start getting our Oscar-thinking brain cells back to work. Until we see the truly questionable What’s Your Number?, at least.

[polldaddy poll=5470832]

September 2

Movie of the Week

Shark Night 3D

The Stars: Sara Paxton, Dustin Mulligan The Plot: A group of young adults hanging out on a lake fend for their lives when a group of The Buzz: Pirahna 3D made it safe for audiences to go back into the waters of kitschy, obviously-titled B-movie with its surprising amount of positive reviews and hip factor. Nothing else could explain why a year later, almost on the same release week as last year’s Pirahna, we have Shark Night 3D. But it doesn’t seem like this one as much of a chance as its “predecessor” – it’s rated PG-13, it doesn’t have any familiar faces in its cast, and it features sharks, one of the more overwrought sea villains.

The Others:

Apollo 18 – Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen A Good Old Fashioned Orgy – Jason Sudekis, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll Seven Days in Utopia – Robert Bear, Lucas Black, Robert Duvall

September 9

Movie of the Week


The Stars: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte The Plot: Two brothers fight for the same fighting champion title. The Buzz: First, you’ve got a good cast. Joel Edgerton was really solid in last year’s criminally underrated Animal Kingdom, and Tom Hardy is rising to be a mega-star who will soon have the power to erase all images of his hair in Wuthering Heights. Second, Warrior has Gavin O’Connor, the director behind the surprisingly inspiring Miracle. And even third, Warrior has the chance to open audiences up to a sport not usually given attention from the multiplex oeuvre – mixed martial arts fighting. Oh, and fourth, I guess, is that Nick Nolte is apparently in it. Everyone that I know who has seen it has had a positive reaction.

The Others:

Contagion - Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star - Nick Swardson, Don Johnson Shaolin - Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse Burke and Hare - Bill Bailey, Tom Wilkinson, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg

September 16

Movie of the Week


The Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Ron Perlman, Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks The Plot: After a robbery goes wrong, a mysterious driver must pick up the pieces. The Buzz: This movie’s release probably couldn’t be more perfect. America had their appetites whet for Ryan Gosling (again) with his great performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love., in which he made romantic machismo seem so natural. Now comes Drive, a movie from the hopefully-underrated-no-more Nicolas Winding Refn, who got some notoriety for getting Tom Hardy out into the world with Bronson. Add on some severe Cannes praise for Drive, including word that Albert Brooks is one helluva m*********** in a surprising performance. It’s not award season, but who needs award nominations to tell you this is probably a movie you won’t want to miss.

The Others:

Straw Dogs - Kate Bosworth, James Marsden , Alexander Skarsgaard I Don’t Know How She Does It - Sarah Jessica Parker, Greg Kinnear, Pierce Brosnan, Christina Hendricks

September 23

Movie of the Week


The Stars: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Isaacs The Plot: A young man fights for his life when its revealed his foster parents are targets by bad guys. The Buzz: I can already picture the absolute SLEW of comments I’m about to get for this one. “How could u put Tylor Lautner ahead of a movie with DeNiro and Statham and the word ‘killer’ n it, yet alone a baseball movie that almost never got made?” Very easily, actually, because Sharkboy and Lavagirl star Taylor Lautner has two Twilight movies left before the gluttonous franchise finally has its fill. So what’s he trying to set himself up for next? While Kristen Stewart is toying with more famous literature (Snow White, On the Road) and Robert Pattinson is hurling himself into a David Cronenberg movie, Lautner’s working his ab-by figure with the very Freudian titled movie Abduction. Apparently if you can not wear a shirt successfully, you can shoot a gun? I doubt it, especially if the movie’s first awful trailer is of any inclination. And, it’s directed by John Singleton, who has both seen brighter days and actually action stars. Is this a paycheck for him, or an attempt to make us not giggle at Lautner’s near-automatic anti-action star presence?

The Others:

Moneyball - Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman Killer Elite - Clive Owen, Jason Statham, Robert De Niro

September 30

Movie of the Week


The Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard The Plot: Two friends deal with the concept of cancer when one of them is diagnosed. The Buzz: @bayerjeff might have tweeted it best when describing his experience with 50/50, which has been screening since end of July likely for some strong word-of-mouth purposes: “There’s a 100% chance it got a little dusty and something got in my eye during the screening of 50/50 tonight.” I haven’t seen it yet, but having such a reaction to a heavy subject obviously means Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the not-on-screen-as-much Seth Rogen got more than half of their job done right.

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil - Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk What’s Your Number? - Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Chris Evans Dream House - Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts Margaret - Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo

'Higher Ground' interview with actress/director Vera Farmiga

TSRn: George Lucas tinkers with 'Star Wars' Blu-rays -- Nooooo!