Are you ready to see a lot of movies? Well, thanks to summer blockbusters (or blockbuster pretenders) like "Godzilla," "Armageddon" and "Halloween: H20 (20 Years Later)," you'll have the chance to see a whole bunch of them opening in theaters this fall.
Between mid-August and mid-November, there are at least 50 films waiting to open theatrically, many of them summer leftovers that were bumped from the schedule to accomodate the release of more high-profile, and sometimes-underperforming movies.Consequently, what's become known to film critics as "Oscar Season" ain't what it used to be.
While there are films that look like they might be worth some Academy Award nominations, they're being overshadowed by the release of more high-profile "genre" movies. (Besides, Oscar contenders face stiff competition from "The Truman Show" and "Saving Private Ryan," two shoo-ins released earlier this summer.)
On the other hand, maybe we should give the upcoming movie season a little more credit.
Sure there are what appear to be dumbbell comedies, like "The Water Boy," with Adam Sandler; the "Fugitive" parody "Wrongfully Accused," with Leslie Nielsen; and "A Night at the Roxbury," a "Saturday Night Live" skit stretched to feature-film length. And there are the expected horror films, such as "Bride of Chucky," "Blade" and "Vampires." (After all, Halloween falls right in the middle of autumn.)
But the idea of Woody Allen lending his voice to a nerdy insect in the computer-animated comedy "Antz" seems too funny for words. And there are other films that sound equally irrestisible, at least on paper:
- "Beloved" teams Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover and director Jonathan Demme, for an adaptation of Toni Morrison's beloved (excuse the pun) novel.
- Renee Zellweger, Meryl Streep and William Hurt are playing a family we'd probably all like to have as neighbors in the drama "One True Thing," also adapted from a novel (by Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna Quindlen).
- "The Siege," a new suspense-thriller from Ed Zwick "Courage Under Fire," features a clash between FBI agent Denzel Washington and U.S. Army commander Bruce Willis when New York City is taken over by terrorists.
- Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest play the meddling aunts of Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in the fantasycomedy "Practical Magic," about a family of witches.
The rundown of scheduled fall film releases begins on Page W3. But, as always, dates are subject to change (and they will).