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De Niro, Pacino, Wahlberg have fall thrills

This season’s thrillers offer a lot of cops and robbers action. Sometimes the cops are good (Mark Wahlberg) and sometimes they’re bad (Samuel L. Jackson) and sometimes the gangsters (Gerard Butler) are attractive enough to get the ladies into the theater.
/ Source: contributor

When Robert De Niro and Al Pacino team up for a thriller, you’ve got to line up — even if the results do prove disappoint. This season’s thrillers offer a lot of cops and robbers action. Sometimes the cops are good (Mark Wahlberg) and sometimes they’re bad (Samuel L. Jackson) and sometimes the gangsters (Gerard Butler) are attractive enough to get the ladies into the theater. One thing guaranteed: Bullets will be flying.

“Righteous Kill”Starring: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, 50 Cent, Carla Gugino, Donnie WahlbergDirector: Jon AvnetStory: When bad guys keep turning up dead, two detectives (De Niro, Pacino) realize that they may have a serial killer on their hands, and they may have put the wrong man in prison years ago. One to watch? 50-50 (in honor of 50 Cent). De Niro and Pacino haven’t shared the screen since their small diner scene in “Heat,” so there are a lot of expectations here — and it’s almost certain that they’ll fail to live up to them. Both stars really haven’t been challenged by their recent roles, and director Avnet (“88 Minutes,” “Fried Green Tomatoes”) isn’t anywhere near the ballpark of a Scorsese or Coppola. One good sign: Writer Russell Gewirtz (“Inside Man”) penned the screenplay.Web site: Release date: Sept. 12

“Lakeview Terrace” Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Wilson, Kerry Washington, Eva La Rue, Bitsie TullochDirector: Neil LaButeStory: When a young, interracial couple (Washington, Wilson) move into a new home, they encounter a stern neighbor and LAPD officer (Jackson) who disapproves of their coupling and will seemingly go to any means to get them to move out of the neighborhood. The couple, however, refuses to go and the feud escalates. One to watch? Looks promising, primarily due to the involvement of the fearless LaBute (“In the Company of Men”). Wilson told the L.A. Times, “Neil (LaBute) is able to push buttons without it seeming heavy-handed. It's never done with a, ‘Let’s throw in some crazy stuff for shock value.’ He's not that kind of writer.” LaBute added, “That’s a modern-day horror movie: that the person you normally turn to for safety (is after you), not that you're running around in the woods being chased by someone with a chain saw.”Web site: Release date:  Sept. 19

“Max Payne”
  Mark Wahlberg, Chris O'Donnell, Beau Bridges, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Mila Kunis, Donal Logue, Amaury NolascoDirector:  John MooreStory: Max Payne (Wahlberg), a DEA agent whose family has been murdered, teams up with an assassin (Kunis), who wants to avenge her sister’s death, to find the killers. In his hunt, Max must battle both real and supernatural creatures. Based on the video game of the same name.One to watch? Maybe — it is based on a video game after all. At Comic-Con, director Moore said the film would not rely on CGI, “I'm bored s--tless with CG. I think everyone is bored f--king s--tless of it. “ Of his role, Wahlberg said, “Thankfully John was also in the headspace of doing something that really was layered because I had already done the guy with a few words, you know? That's one note and that's it. I wanted to really kind of go off and push the envelope.” Luckily, the screenwriter is “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan (who is also a fan of the video game) and he knows how to write intense drama. Web site:
Release date:
Oct. 17

“Pride and Glory”
Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer EhleDirector: Gavin O'ConnorStory: Police officer Ray Tierney (Norton) investigates a case that uncovers a police corruption scandal that involves his brother-in-law Jimmy (Farrell).One to watch? Looks dicey. This movie has had a bumpy road to the box office. It was originally slated to come out on March 12, and when it was pushed back director O’Connor (“Tumbleweeds”) wasn’t happy. “I don't think (New Line Chairman) Bob Shaye believes in it,” O’Connor told Variety. “And he's decided he'll only release (sure bet) films. He never had the decency to call me. We've delivered something special and unique, a film that's not for everybody but has something to say. We're all heartbroken.” Farrell explained the delay to Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeff Wells, saying, “It's just a really really strong piece, but I think New Line lost the bollocks on ‘The Golden Compass’… and they literally don't have enough money to market things.”Web site: Release date: Oct. 24

Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Jeremy Piven, Idris Elba, Tom WilkinsonDirector: Guy RitchieStory: When a Russian mobster orchestrates a crooked land deal, millions of dollars are up for grabs and all of London’s underworld wants the money. Butler and Elba are mobster partners and Wilkinson is the man on top. Bridges and Piven are record producers whose client (Toby Kendell), a broken-down rock star who hangs out in a crack den, gets mixed up in the scheme.One to watch: Yes. Guy Ritchie goes back to his “Snatch” roots with this film. At Comic-Con, Guy Ritchie described the film as “born out of enthusiasm … trying to reflect the changing cultural environment in the U.K. It's a look into the underbelly of a subculture.” According to Empire magazine, Ritchie based the role of a rock star on the infamous Pete Doherty. Web site: date: Oct. 3

Note: Dates are subject to change.