Autumn Preview - Movies to Keep an Eye Out For

So summer is nearly over. In Ireland, we know this because the rain is now cold instead of warm. Just yesterday, I saw an American tourist stop and ask a little boy what he did when it wasn't raining. "I don't know," replied the boy, "I'm only 6." Still, there's some bright spots on the horizon in the form of some movies to look forward to over the next few months. Here, we pick out the ones to keep an eye on as the nights draw in.

If you like POLITICAL THRILLERS, keep an eye out for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (released 16/9/11). Can it do justice to John Le Carre's dense novel? Can it be as good as the BBC mini-series from the 70s? And how can Gary Oldman possibly improve on Alec Guinness' note-perfect George Smiley from that production? Early word from my insider mole is that a stellar British cast and Swedish director Tomas Alfredson have pulled it off. Let's hope he's right and isn't a double agent. Alternatively you could try Helen Mirren in espionage thriller The Debt about the Israeli Mossad, whilst George Clooney fans can salivate over his Oscar-tipped The Ides of March, a based-on-a-true-story film about political shenanigans during a presidential primary, which Clooney directed, produced, wrote and acted in. Show-off. Still can't get a woman to marry him, though, can he? What do you mean, that's a good thing?

If you like REMAKES, keep an eye out for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (26/12/11). Stieg Larsson's phenomenally successful novel has already had a rather underwhelming Swedish adaptation, so there's scope for this to be one of those rare remakes that's better than the original. Daniel Craig stars as crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as the troubled, brilliant computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, who team up to investigate a missing person case. Director David Fincher has good form with this type of thriller (Zodiac and Se7en) and the dark trailer promises it will be the feel-bad hit of Christmas. Alternatively, why not try the new versions of Footloose, The Thing and Straw Dogs. Actually, on second thoughts, don't. They'll really make you feel bad.

If you like ROMANTIC COMEDIES, keep an eye out for Midnight in Paris (7/10/11). Despite a decade of underwhelming films behind him, this finally promises to be the Woody Allen film which reminds us of his glory days and of what a great writer-director he is. I really hope it is, because, well, you see.....I need the eggs. Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard and Rachel McAdams star. Alternatively, you could check out the not-hit-with-the-ugly-stick pairing of Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends With Benefits or Steve Carell's hapless attempts at dating in Crazy, Stupid, Love, both of which have taken US audiences completely by surprise by actually being quite good.

If you like HORROR, keep an eye out for Dream House (release date TBC), better known as the film during which Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz met and fell in love (awww!). The trailer has creepy moments, although it is worryingly long, but it'll be interesting to see if Irish director Jim Sheridan can turn out a film more horrific than Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Alternatively, you have any number of horror flicks to choose from, with star vehicles like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, low-key efforts like Atrocious and they-can't-possibly-be-any-good affairs like Shark Night 3D and Piranha 3DD. No indication as to what the extra D in the latter stands for. Dumb-as-fuck, probably.

If you like TENSE ACTION THRILLERS, keep an eye out for Drive (23/9/11). Ryan Gosling continues to impress with another fine performance as a stuntman/getaway driver, and both he and the film have garnered rave reviews in the US. Alternatively, there's low-budget fare like revenge thriller Red, White & Blue and contract killer thriller Kill List. But, if you prefer looking at the pretty people, go for Steven Soderbergh's star-studded disaster movie Contagion, in which Matt Damon, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, Laurence Fishburne and Gwyneth Paltrow try to avoid being contamined during a global virus pandemic. Let's hope it gets Gwyneth, at least.

If you like girly PERIOD DRAMAS, keep an eye out for Jane Eyre (9/9/11), which has been very well received in the US, with suitably simmering performances from stars-on-the-rise Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Alternatively, there's a new version of Wuthering Heights and also The Help, which celebrates the lives of three extraordinary women in 1960s Mississippi. Men can go to see these films too, by the way, just make sure you've a nice dress on.


If you like COMEDY, keep an eye out for Tower Heist (4/11/11), in which Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead a ragtag gang trying to steal their pensions back from a Wall Street billionaire who fleeced his investors. The premise will appeal in these recessionary times, everyone loves a heist movie and Eddie Murphy must surely be due to start being funny again. Mustn't he? Hello? Anyone? Alternatively, Brad Pitt's underdog comedy Moneyball looks like good value, but I wouldn't hold out much hope for body-swap comedy The Change-Up or action-comedy 30 Minutes or Less. Don't say I didn't warn you.

If you like EDGY DRAMAS THAT MAKE FOR UNCOMFORTABLE VIEWING, keep an eye out for We Need to Talk About Kevin (21/10/11), an adaptation of the best-selling novel about the mother of a mass-murdering teenager, which wowed the critics at Cannes earlier this year. The trailer below will no doubt send a shiver down the spine of any parent who has tried to deal with a crying baby. Alternatively, you could try Paddy Considine's directorial debut Tyrannosaur, an uncompromising kitchen-sink drama or the unnerving Australian movie Snowtown which gives an uncomfortable insight into the mind of a serial killer.

If you like FAMILY MOVIES, keep an eye out for The Adventures of TinTin: Secret of the Unicorn (26/10/11). Although the chances of this passing you by without you noticing are slim, considering the heavyweight duo of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are behind it. Hopefully it'll combine the action-adventure spirit of the original comic books, The Lord of the Rings franchise and the Indiana Jones films (except the last one obviously) and doesn't let the effects get in the way of a good story. Alternatively, fans of Martin Scorsese might be disappointed to hear Hugo is not a blood-soaked, expletive-filled flick about sinister Irish country singer Hugo Duncan, but an adaptation of Brian Selznick's popular children's book. See it to decide if Marty has gone soft. And, on the run-up to Christmas, Puss in Boots scratches his way out of the Shrek films into his own spin-off, whilst the CG animation Arthur Christmas offers some Santa Claus-themed hilarity. (Disclaimer - the word hilarity used advisedly).

If you like SEQUELS, you have my pity. But your best bet is probably Sherlock Holmes : A Game of Shadows (16/12/11) in which Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law attempt to recreate the fun of their enjoyable first outing as they take on Professor Moriarty. Alternatively, Tom Cruise accepts another very hard mission and sets off running like the wind in the new Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, whilst parents of tweenage girls can start worrying about them spontaneously combusting with excitement as R-Patz continues to sniff around the sullen Bella in the latest instalment of The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn - Part 1. There's a few other sequels around, but I'm not telling you about them, in the hope you won't go.

If you like MOVIES THAT ARE A BIT ODD, then Norwegian movie Troll Hunter (9/9/11) could be just the film you're looking for. In it, a team of film-makers start out making a documentary about polar bears and end up hunting trolls. As you do. Expect to see a bridge involved somewhere, and maybe even three goats.  Or there's the film of the Japanese legend 47 Ronin, starring a host of Japanese actors and - Whoa! - Keanu Reeves. Or there's Lars von Trier's Melancholia, in which Kirsten Dunst discovers that the Earth is going to be destroyed on her wedding day by another planet crashing into it. Isn't that ironic, don't you think?

And finally, if you like SEX IN 3D AND ZEN, then try Sex in 3D and Zen (2/9/11). It's a porno. In 3D. Admit it, you're kinda intrigued. And you're raging I haven't included a trailer. In fact, you're off to Google it right now, aren't you? You big perv.

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