There’s a storm coming. Curtis LaForche can sense it. More ominously, he can see the dark clouds gathering, hear the deafening claps of thunder, feel the torrential downpours as they drench him with an oily rain. Is he the only one who can? Curtis has every right to wonder. Around the same age, his mother was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
Curtis suspects he’s headed down the same path. He is given sleeping pills to ward off his nightmares, in which everyone – his neighbors, his wife, even the family dog – tries to tear him to shreds. He recounts his fears to a counselor at the free clinic, but even at his most lucid he believes the visions are no mere delusions. Why else would he get rid of his dog and part with his closest friend?
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
When Jeff Nichols began writing Take Shelter, his prize-winning selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the young, recently married director was enjoying a banner year. It was the summer of 2008, just weeks after his movie debut, Shotgun Stories, opened to wide critical acclaim, and he was content with his career and his family.
But something was amiss. “Anxiety is born out of having something to lose,” he says, reflecting on the uncertainty that permeates Shelter, his searing family drama, opening Friday, about a father tortured by visions of an apocalyptic storm. “I had a nagging feeling that the world was heading for harder times.”
During an era when so many new directors come from the worlds of advertising and music video, catering to increasingly shorter attention spans and relying on gaudy visuals to engage audiences for seconds at a time, Oscar winner John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, not Monday Night Football) is a throwback to a time when dramas drew their strength from the spoken word.
Summer is slowly winding down, giving Hollywood just a few more weeks to unload the last of its annual sequels, prequels and remakes before Oscar season begins in earnest. The bad news, for some: School will be back in session soon. The good news: August packs a promising lineup of big-screen spectacles, including:
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Aug. 5)
The primates: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis