When sharks, apes, Barbarians, and (yawn) teens in peril dominate local screens, we know we're stuck in the post-Labor Day movie doldrums. But fear not: the fresh breezes of fall are on the way, bringing with them a batch of eclectic and interesting new films. Here are a select few of the most promising (we hope):
DRIVE Onetime Oscar nominee Ryan Gosling steps out of his perceived comfort zone with a vengeance in this majorly buzzed action thriller, based on the James Sallis novel.
THE THREE MUSKETEERS It would be tough to top Richard Lester's fresh, rollicking two-part production of the early '70s, so why am I so intrigued by this new film version? The cast, for one thing, starting with Christoph Walz as the scheming Cardinal Richelieu.
ANONYMOUS Okay, I get a little peeved at these conspiracy theories that anyone other than the artist historically known as William Shakespeare wrote the canon of plays attributed to him. This film purports to argue in favor of Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford. But the movie stills look lush and expensive, and with Vanessa Redgrave and real-life daughter Joely Richardson on board as Good Queen Bess (in youth and age), I'm there.
THE RUM DIARY Johnny Depp returns to Fear-and-Loathing mode in this adaptation of the Hunter S. Thompson novel (begun in 1959, but not published until the late '90s), a lightly fictionalized account of the author's early stint as a reporter for a run-down newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN Worlds collided in 1957 when glamorous Hollywood movie star Marilyn Monroe, and acclaimed British thespian Laurence Olivier made a movie together. A memoir about that film shoot inspires this film, starring the ever-gutsy Michelle Williams. (Read complete article)
(Above: Joely Richardson and Jamie Campbell Bower dance around the question of who wrote Shakespeare's plays in Anonymous.)