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AP Photo/Disney, Scott Garfield
In this image released by Disney, Jason Segel, left, and Amy Adams are shown with muppet characters Walter, Kermit and Fozzie Bear in a scene from the film, “The Muppets.”

Fall: time to look ahead at the cinema

Posted: August 18, 2011 - 10:59am
AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, David James
In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Tom Cruise plays Ethan Hunt, left, Paula Patton plays Jane, Simon Pegg plays Benji, and Jeremy Renner plays Brandt, right, in a scene from “Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol”.

There are some tell-tale signs that summer is coming to an end that we’ve all learned to recognize. The fireweed blooms are slowly inching their way to the top of the stalk. Mushrooms are appearing in the yard, and the temperature begins to drop, incrementally, but assuredly. And at the theater, after weeks of superheroes, aliens, and talking monkeys, the only thing new to see is a weird 3D “Glee” concert movie or “Final Destination 5.” Also in 3D.

I don’t want to trash on the “Glee” movie because I actually really like that show, but, really? A movie about a real touring concert that a bunch of fake characters put on? If I wouldn’t deign to set foot in “The Justin Bieber Experience,” I can’t really go in and groove with the kids from “Glee.” Really, though, it’s the other movie that’s the death knell of summer. “FD53D,” as I prefer to call it, is the Hollywood equivalent of those strange circus peanuts we used to eat as kids. Of course we bought them, they were candy after all, but no one really liked or wanted them. Bored teens will go see this movie, but not me. I don’t like circus peanuts, and I don’t have to eat them anymore. That said, I dedicate this week’s review to movies, coming this winter, that I actually do want to see.

“Immortals”

This movie, coming out Nov. 11, tells the Greek myth of Theseus, who is the guy who went into the maze and fought the minotaur, although you wouldn’t know that from the trailer. What you can tell, however, is that there are going to be a lot of battles, and a lot of guys in pointy hats. Still, it looks pretty cool, in a “300” kind of way, and will give us all the opportunity to see Mickey Rourke wearing what appears to be a venus flytrap around his head.

“The Muppets”

Despite the first poster for this new incarnation of Muppet movie, which showed Kermit, Piggy, and Co. striding confidently toward the viewer, creepy looking legs in full view, I really think this movie will be a lot of fun. Jason Segal, who I don’t normally like, but share his love for puppets, plays a guy who befriends a lonely muppet named Walter and helps him achieve his dream of meeting his heroes from “The Muppet Show.” There’s also the standard “gotta save the theatre” plot, but it looks very cool and will hopefully be a return to the glory days of Jim Henson. November 23.

British Invasion

There’re two films coming out this winter set across the pond, but in two very different time periods. One, the “Sherlock Holmes” sequel subtitled “A Game of Shadows,” will likely be a lot of fun, if only for the chemistry between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. The other, sure to be another Oscar contender, has the most lauded actress of her generation, Meryl Streep, playing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the aptly title “Iron Lady.” These both have the potential to be very good, though from completely different genres. Both films come out on Dec. 16.

“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Yikes! I’m sure this movie is going to be good with David Fincher at the helm, but the trailer they’ve put out looks dark, dark, dark. I liked the book, and kind of liked the Swedish movie, but I’m positive Fincher’s steady hand can make this movie something to behold. The question is, will people be into all that sex and death at Christmas? Never mind, it’s a guaranteed moneymaker and Daniel Craig will have at least one more series to occupy himself with while he waits for 007 to get itself back in order.

“Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol”

OK, I know a lot of people — my friends, mostly — are scoffing at this, but I’m excited for two reasons. One is Tom Cruise. I love Tom Cruise. There, I said it, and I’m not ashamed. I don’t care if he’s crazy, or a religious nut, or if he jumps on Oprah’s couch. I love his movies. And the John Woo debacle that was “MI2” aside, Cruise really knows how to do “Mission: Impossible” The other reason I’m excited is Brad Bird. “Ghost Protocol” marks the first live-action film from the guy who brought us “The Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles.” How great is that?

“War Horse”

I don’t know much about this movie, to be honest, but I’m sold nonetheless. For one, it’s Steven Spielberg directing, and nine times out of 10, that guy can do no wrong. The other reason is because, while we were in London, we tried several times to get tickets to go see this performed live in the West End. Apparently the play is so moving and life-affirming that the entire audience is reduced to tears. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get in, electing to go see “Wicked” instead. We walked out. “War Horse” is coming out Dec. 30.

Chris Jenness is a freelance graphic designer, artist and movie buff who lives in Nikiski.

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