Typically, the movies opening in San Antonio have already opened elsewhere first, thanks to that strange studio policy that mistakes our fair city for some sort of a movie dumpster. But with the turn of the weather, we can also hope for a turn in the hearts of the film moguls and start planning now a fall with lots worth seeing before year's end.
The Man With the Iron Fists
(opens November 2)
Quentin Tarantino's love for Hong Kong flicks is well-known, and the Kill Bill movies were a skillful homage to the best choreographed scenes in martial arts cinema. In Iron Fists, he's happy with just producing, letting RZA take the reigns both in front and behind the camera. Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu also appear in the directorial debut of the Wu-Tang Clan leader.
Runner-up: Skyfall, the new 007 movie with James Bond (Daniel Craig) coming back from the "dead." Must-see bonus: Skyfall also features Javier Bardem as a blond bad guy. (Opens November 9)
THE HORROR, THE HORROR
V / H / S (opening October 5)
Before you dismiss this one as yet another take on the increasingly tedious "found footage" crap genre, be advised: this might be the year's scariest film. "We made it hard to tell what's going to happen," producer Brad Miska told Rolling Stone, "and that makes it feel a little dirty." A little? Let just say you won't have to be Ron Jeremy to cringe when a certain de-membering scene concludes.
Other horror options: Sinister (Oct 12) has Ethan Hawke and family moving to the wrong house at the wrong time, and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D (Oct 26) is an alternate reality nightmare not recommended if you've had a traumatic childhood. For old-schoolers: John Carpenter's original Halloween (1980) will be shown at most SA Santikos locations on October 25 and 30. Dubious bonus: Paranormal Activity 4 opens October 19.
BEST REPUBLICAN EVER
Lincoln (opening November 9)
Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln? You better believe it. This Steven Spielberg-directed biopic of the legendary president takes place in the middle of the Civil War and deals with Lincoln's clashes with his cabinet when it came to abolishing slavery. The movie focuses on his life, not his assassination, and is based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book Team of Rivals. It is Spielberg's most ambitious film since Munich (2005).
OTHER NATIONAL RELEASES
Sep 28: Hotel Transylvania, Looper, Won't Back Down. Oct 5: Frankenweenie, Taken 2. Oct 12: Argo, Here Comes the Boom, Seven Psychopats, War of the Buttons.
Oct 19: Alex Cross, Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day (2007 concert), Chasing Mavericks, Clout Atlas, Fun Size. Nov 2: Flight, Wreck-it Ralph. Nov. 16: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2.
Nov. 21: Life of Pi (dir. Ang Lee), Red Dawn, Rise of the Guardians, The Silver Linings Playbook. Nov. 23: Hitchcock (starring Anthony Hopkins). Nov. 30: Killing Them Softly.