2012 Fall Guide: Movies

RZA’s martial-arts fantasy. The return of Bond. PW’s film guy has some sure-bet recommendations.

By Matt Prigge
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 19, 2012

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The blonde Bond: Daniel Craig returns as super agent James Bond in Skyfall on Nov. 9.

Let’s assume you don’t need another article reminding you of a forthcoming picture about hairy-footed twats (The Hobbit, due Dec. 14) or another shockingly solid film de Ben Affleck (Argo, out Oct. 12) or even Steven Spielberg’s lumbering contribution to the year’s Honest Abe cinema (Lincoln, due Nov. 9). You know by now Tim Burton has remade his early short Frankenweenie for entirely non-moneymaking reasons (out Oct. 5), Liam Neeson is back in a sequel mysteriously not entitled Taken Again (due Oct. 5), and Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings have turned novelist David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas into everything-is-connected mincemeat (in theaters Oct. 26). Any or all of these may not wind up worthy of sarcasm, but the following 11 are, in this writer’s wizened estimation, a surer bet. (Note: The dates are super-tentative, and one or two may never hit Philadelphia— so stay tuned, cinephiles.)


The absurdly talented Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) consulted Shane Carruth of the mindfucking time travel indie Primer while prepping for his own mindfucking time travel opus, this one with guns and a blonde Emily Blunt. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a mafia assassin from the year 2044 who discovers that one of his hits is his future self, played by Bruce Willis, of course. (Sept. 28)

Photographic Memory

Any new, wry cine-diary from auto-documentarian Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March) is worth rejoicing. This one finds him struggling to connect with his Internet-brainwashed son. (Oct. 12)

The Man With the Iron Fists

Noted martial arts film fanatic RZA finally gets to make his own. With Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu, natch. (Nov. 2)

The Loneliest Planet

Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg play young backpackers in the Caucasus Mountains, and there’s a crazy twist I’ve somehow managed to avoid since it wowed at Toronto last year. From Julia Loktev, of the terrorist indie stunner Day Night Day Night. (Nov. 2)


Some of us watch Casino Royale every Thanksgiving. And following the most boring Bond ever—thanks again, director Marc Forster, you total ass—even one by Sam Mendes can only be an improvement. (Nov. 9)

In Another Country

South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo has made a dozen Rohmer-esque pictures (the best: Turning Gate, Woman on the Beach, Night and Day), only a few of which have scored stateside release. This one teams him with Isabelle Huppert, so you have no excuse. (Nov. 9)

The Comedy

This year has already seen a Tim and Eric movie in Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. But their other Sundance ‘12 player, from director Rick Alverson, sounds way more insane: Tim plays a lazy, rich asshole who spends the movie being grotesquely obnoxious to the supporting cast, which includes Eric and James Murphy. Audiences walked out in droves. Sounds like a Top Ten lock to me. (Nov. 16)

Holy Motors

Following a rocky two decades, one-time French enfant terrible Leos Carax (Lovers on the Bridge) suddenly got the best reviews of his life when this bugfuck whatsit stormed Cannes. Legitimately insane Carax regular Denis Lavant plays a shape-shifting creature who—shades of Cosmopolis—travels to bizarro pitstops by limo, sometimes with Kylie Minogue. Trust me: Everyone—or everyone save the Nanni Moretti-led Cannes jury—adores this thing. (Nov. 23)

Zero Dark Thirty

Conservatives bitched when this docudrama on the assassination of Osama bin Laden was originally slated for a pre-election release, thereby inflating the credibility of the presidential nominee who ordered his death. (Anti-Obama screeds 2016 and Atlas Shrugged 2 are fine, apparently.) Oh, well: At least it’s by the Hurt Locker team—director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal—and features among SEAL Team Six no less than Andy Dwyer. (Dec. 19)

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