Summer is officially over, but Hollywood is still churning out enough remakes (Footloose, The Thing), tech-savvy adventures (Real Steel) and physics-defying thrillers (In Time) to make the adjustment that much smoother. With the first weekend of October about to begin, let's take a look at what the month has to offer.
Real Steel (Oct. 7)
The fighters: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie
Calling the shots: Shawn Levy
Virginia Madsen had plenty to celebrate this Thanksgiving. Last month, she was an official honoree of Hollywood’s LA Femme International Film Festival, an annual celebration of films written, directed or produced by women, for her achievements during 27 years in TV and film, and also for her recently formed production company’s maiden offering: I Know a Woman Like That, an acclaimed documentary about the lives of women 64 and older whose youthful vigor remains defiantly undiminished.
When producer Ivan Reitman first approached Atom Egoyan, the Oscar-nominated director of The Sweet Hereafter (1997) and last year’s Adoration, with the script for the erotically charged drama Chloe, it was a story set in author Erin Cressida Wilson’s hometown, San Francisco. Egoyan, born to an Armenian family in Egypt but raised from early childhood in Victoria, British Columbia, knew immediately that had to change.
If you’ve seen one Final Destination movie, you’ve seen them all. Actors drift in and out of the series, forever linking themselves to the mythology dreamed up a decade ago by screenwriter Jeffrey Reddick, but their on-screen fate remains as inevitable as death itself. The reaper is coming, and he doesn’t take no for an answer.
Has Juno backlash lasted this long? Early returns on the Rotten Tomatoes chat boards suggest so, as hysterical fanboys take turns skewering screenwriter Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning debut and predicting dire things indeed for her latest, the hugely entertaining horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body.
Bashing Juno? That’s so 2007. It’s true that Cody’s dialogue is sometimes gratingly self-satisfied, laced with glib pop-culture references and slang that sounds more scripted than organic. That hasn’t changed. But there is something approaching brilliance in Jennifer’s Body, her macabre tale of teenage friendship gone awry in the sleepy backwoods of Devil’s Creek, Minnesota.
Diablo Cody is living the Hollywood dream.
If that sounds trite, consider her circumstances. Born Brook Busey, Cody (who adopted her pen name in 2003 after repeatedly listening to "El Diablo" by the pop trio Arcadia while passing through Cody, Wyoming) attended parochial school in Illinois for 12 years before moving on to the University of Iowa. After graduating, she tore through a string of "dismal" jobs - among them, working as a secretary at a Chicago law firm and proofreading advertising copy for Minneapolis-area radio stations - until, on a whim, she took up stripping, often billing herself as Bonbon or Roxanne.