Unlike some of the summer flicks, the ones this fall’s action-adventure films are a bit more grown up. Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris look to keep the Western revival back on, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman create chemistry while fleeing WWII bombs, and Shia LaBeouf, Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage each try to outrun bullets. So saddle up, load up and get amped up for some fall action.
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, David Wenham, Jack Thompson, Bryan BrownDirector: Baz LuhrmannStory: Set during World War II, Kidman plays an Englishwoman who is left in control of an Australian ranch. There she meets a local (Jackman) who helps her drive her cattle out of harm’s way of falling Japanese bombs. The two fall in love. One to watch? Yes. This is Luhrmann’s first film since 2001’s “Moulin Rouge!” He told CNN, “It uses the landscape as a canvas, and historical events as a canvas, but it's a romance… I can say with hand-on-my-heart confidence that the performances are extraordinary, and that the chemistry between Hugh and Nicole is palpable and real.” Luhrmann is nothing if not ambitious. Look for this one come Oscar time. Web site: http://www.australiamovie.com/ Release date: Nov. 7 (Note: Date has changed to Nov. 26)
“Body of Lies” Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Carice Van Houten, Vince ColosimoDirector: Ridley ScottStory: CIA operative Roger Ferris (DiCaprio) uncovers a lead on a terrorist network operating out of Jordon, but in order to infiltrate the network, he needs the backing of CIA veteran Ed Hoffman (Crowe) and the head of Jordanian intelligence. But can he trust these men not to double cross him?One to watch? Yes. The trio of Crowe, DiCaprio and Scott is pretty hard to resist, especially with Crowe doing character work here as an older, slightly overweight agent. Scott told Entertainment Weekly, “It's not James Bond with lots of people running around. It's much more undercover and casual... which makes it more lethal.” EW added that both lead actors added their own touches to the roles: Crowe put on weight and DiCaprio uses a twangy accent. Considering how well “The Departed” did at Oscar time, don’t be surprised if this film follows in that one’s footsteps. Web site: http://www.body-of-lies.com/ Release date: Oct. 10
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael ChiklisDirector: D.J. CarusoStory: Two strangers (LaBeouf, Monaghan) become the puppets of a mysterious woman they’ve never met, but who seems to know their every move. They become involved in a plot to assassinate a politician and must find away to escape the grip of the terrorists. One to watch? Yes. Director Caruso (“Disturbia”) told CHUD.com, “I just wanted (the movie) to be as real and naturalistic as possible so that the technology… it's real... I think said at the end of this movie we want people to fear their BlackBerry.” The idea for the film was Steven Spielberg’s, which producer Robert Orci described to CHUD.com as, “What if the world turned against you in every way that it can, when everything is so interconnected.”Web site: http://www.eagleeyemovie.com/ Release date: Sept. 26
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Shahkrit Yamnarm, Charlie Yeung, Panward HemmaneeDirector: Danny Pang, Oxide PangStory: The Pang brothers remake their own 1999 film about a hitman (Cage) who goes to Bangkok for a job and falls in love with a local woman. One to watch? Looks promising. The Pang brothers are mostly known for their Thai horror films, such as “The Eye” and the “Infernal Affairs” sequels. They’re looking to branch out with this English-language thriller. Unlike the 1999 film, Cage’s character is not a deaf-mute in this film. “We understand that from a marketing purpose Nic needs to have some lines,” Oxide Pang said told the International Herald Tribune. “So what we're going to do is transform his girlfriend into a deaf-mute. By switching the roles, the drama of communication between two people will remain the same.”Web site: http://www.bangkokdangerousmovie.net/Release date: Sept. 5
Starring: Ed Harris, Renee Zellweger, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy IronsDirector: Ed HarrisStory: Based on the book by Robert B. Parker, this Western tells the story of two friends (Mortensen, Harris) who must protect their town from a renegade rancher (Irons). But when a beautiful widow (Zellweger) comes to town, things get complicated. One to watch? Yes. Last year’s “3:10 to Yuma” proved the Western isn’t dead yet, and Harris and Mortensen seem just the right guys to keep the resurgence going. Mortensen told Entertainment Weekly, “What set this (Western) apart is just how the characters are a little more guarded.” And Harris added that this is no revisionist Western. “This movie is definitely in the classic mode.” This is Harris’ second time in the director’s chair (“Pollock”). Web site: http://www.righteouskill-themovie.com/ Release date: Sept. 17
Note: Dates are subject to change.