October is here and that means we will be seeing an onslaught of Halloween movies. But before we go straight on to the scream-fest, there are quite a number of notable not-so-scary flicks in the coming weeks.
Filmmaker and prankster Morgan Spurlock pimps himself in his latest documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which discusses product placements in movies. If you’ve watched Transformers: Dark of The Moon, you’d know how blatant and ridiculous product placements have become.
There are plenty of remakes and reboots this month as well such as Footloose, The Thing and The Three Musketeers. Horror fans will love the third instalment of the Paranormal Activity series as well as other frighteners such as Blood Creek, The Caller, Wake Wood and Dream House.
Week of 6 October
The Stars: Morgan Spurlock
The Buzz: The man that brought us Supersize Me returns with yet another envelope-pushing documentary film that dives deep into the topic product placement, marketing and advertising. To fully demonstrate the power of the premise of his film, Spurlock hustles brands and labels to give his US$1.5M to finance his film.
inSing.com says: “To sleep,” deadpans legendary consumer advocate Ralph Nader when asked by director Morgan Spurlock about the one place you can go to avoid marketing. And how true it is. Advertising and marketing creeps into our daily lives that everywhere we look, there’s a label or brand name attached. The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, sorry, we mean POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold explores product placement in movies and on television. But as much as the film is an exposé of the advertising industry, it is also a celebration of sorts as Spurlock becomes a willing participant of the very thing he’s trying to expose-- he seeks out companies to fund the film in exchange for product placement (also see movie title). Unlike comrade Michael Moore, there’s no political agenda here in Greatest Movie as Spurlock employs an easy digestible style. Also there are plenty of interviews with the likes Ralph Nader, Noam Chomsky, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams.
Also opening: After bombing the box office as a superhero, funnyman Ryan Reynolds goes back to being a comedian alongside Jason Bateman in The Change-Up, a body-swap comedy except with far more swearing and nudity. Also opening is Shark Night 3D. What do you get when you put together some hot college girls (and guys) and a lake full of sharks? You get almost two hours of trashy fun. Wondering how the sharks got into the lake? Watch this movie to find out. If you dig Piranha 3D, you’ll love this. Another must see is the Hugh Jackman helmed sci-fi actioner Real Steel. This futuristic rock em’ sock em sees Hugh Jackman stars as a washed-up boxer who gets new life in the world of robotic boxing after he agrees to train a new contender, a 2,000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robot.
Week of 13 October
The Stars: Joel Edgerton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ulrich Thomsen
The Buzz: The Thing is a sort of prequel to the John Carpenter-helmed 1982 horror movie. Fans of the cult movie will also get to see the shape-shifting alien that caused all the fuss.
inSing.com says: Before you go say, “Not another remake!” The Thing is not a remake. The story is based around the events before Kurt Russell (the protagonist in the 1982 version, which is coincidentally a remake of 1951’s The Thing from Another World) has to kick ass, and run for his life from the rampaging alien. It's still too early to gauge whether or not this prequel will live up to its predecessor. But from looking at the trailers this effort from the producers of Dawn Of The Dead certainly looks like it’s worth a watch!
Also opening: Anna Faris returns to the big screen as her old blonde self in What’s Your Number? Here she employs the help of Chris Evans to re-visit all her ex-boyfriends in hopes of finding the man of her dreams. Legendary auteur Woody Allen brings on the whimsy is his latest movie, Midnight in Paris. This charming rom-com fantasy starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and a slew of other stars is a time-travelling tale of sorts featuring long-dead legendary authors. The movie is centred on Gil (Wilson), a struggling writer, and his dream-like journey back to 1920s Paris.
Week of 20 October
The Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Jodie Whittaker, Patricia Clarkson
The Buzz: Directed by Lone Scherfig, One Day is the feature film version of the internationally best-selling novel of the same name by David Nicholls.
inSing.com says: A sure tearjearker of a film, One Day is the most anticipated movie version of a chick-lit novel since Bridget Jones Diary and Eat, Pray Love. Told through the narrative structure of one day, July 15th, every year from 1988 through 1997, the story follows recent college graduates Emma (Hathaway) and Dexter (Sturgess). An awkward attempt at a casual physical relationship soon morphs into a friendship though it is obvious Emma longs for more. There has been some controversy over Hathaway’s casting of the lead role of Emma Morley—“too pretty” and “she can’t get the Yorkshire accent right”, they say. Well, if you’re a hopeless romantic, we think you’ll look past these details and just watch it.
Also opening: With Halloween around the corner, it’s apt that UIP’s releasingParanormal Activity 3. The third instalment in the found footage horror franchiseis a prequel to the first two films, and attempts to connect everything together as it shows protagonist Katie’s younger years. One movie that’s been bursting the box office when it was released is The Help. The Help, based on the best-selling novel by Kathryn Stockett, is set in Mississippi during the civil rights movement of the early 1960s where racial tensions simmer between African-American maids and their white employers at the dawn of the civil rights movement.
Week of 27 October
The Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Justin Timberlake, Olivia Wilde
The Buzz: Justin Timberlake continues his acting streak in what is touted to be a winner. In Time will be the singer-actor first foray into action films, and the first time that he is asked to carry a film by his lonesome self. This sci-fi thriller is directed by Andrew Niccol who gave us the brilliant Gattaca in 1997.
inSing.com says: While Gattaca, explored a society in which the genetically inferior are discriminated against from birth, In Time is set in a world in which time has replaced money as accepted currency, and in which everybody stops ageing at 25. In the movie, Timberlake’s clock is about to run out when a rich guy tired of living gives away his time. Director Niccol used a similar plot device to great effect in Gattaca, where Ethan Hawke got the chance to escape his dreary home planet and got a shot at space travel despite inferior genetics when an elite athlete (Jude Law) whose body is ruined gives him his ticket off the planet. In Time is also a good opportunity for Timberlake to move away from rom coms and into leading man territory if he wants to hang up his mike full time.
Also opening: More remakes/reimaginings this week. First up isThe Three Musketeers. The movie follows the story of a young d’Artagnan, who longs to become a great musketeer. He encounters and befriends the contentious Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and you know the drill. Also stars Milla Jovovich, Juno Temple and Orlando Bloom. Another remake this week will be 80s cult classic Footloose. This modernized version of the story about a town that banishes dancing until a rebellious teenager comes moving in will be a sure hit among gleeks.
(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)