So how psyched are you for the Labor Day long weekend? Extremely, I hope. Of course even though it’s all about the time off, the family & friends, the barbecues, the chips and somebody’s potato salad – today’s still Friday and that means one thing: movies. They’re here, and in the same way that we view the Labor Day holiday as a kind of back-to-school return-to-something (that isn’t summer) transition time, the movie studios are thinking precisely the same thing. And now’s when they begin to move away from the big shoot ‘em up summer action flicks that dominate the box office and provide a certain escape for zillions of tweens and salvation for the parents who have to tend them. We won’t see as many of the diverting/silly popcorn flicks – until Thanksgiving and Christmas, that is. With September we get into films that are often just a bit more thoughtful. Fall movies tend to be geared towards awards too, so now instead of summer’s “horrifying” and “gory”, we get autumn films that are just plain “chilling”. And we’ll also start seeing a lot of those “gritty, raw dramas” otherwise known as “Oscar bait” (that’s not to say that we don’t still have Green Lantern and Green Hornet headed our way along with other superhero fare, but you know what I mean). Definitely transition time. So here are your options for this weekend: four big openings – one of them bowed Wednesday and if you like George Clooney, this is probably your best bet (as a matter of fact, if you like George Clooney this is also your only bet). It’s called The American and on paper it looks formulaic: an older _________, exhausted from the dangers and perilous life of _______, reluctantly agrees to take on one last________. He’s an assassin and there’s the requisite exotic girl and he’s mysterious & misunderstood but, you know, he’s also the best________ in the biz, and there’s already Oscar buzz. So you can’t say you weren’t warned. Also in theaters we have Going The Distance – with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. This will be a genuinely good movie methinks. And me doesn’t think that because I am the target demographic and it’s just my kind of diverting holiday weekend RomCom. Large and well-respected news sources apparently think so, too. The idea here is that Drew and Justin are a couple who meet cute and then one of them moves away. We can do the math from there. Also opening nationwide is Machete, with Danny Trejo, Jessica Alba and Robert DeNiro (and even Lindsay Lohan) – this is a revenge tale and it hails from the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino school. So I’m thinking massive over-the-top gunfire & vigilante stuff (if only because I’ve never seen a romantic comedy where the protagonist’s name was Machete). Finally we have a documentary that everyone is supposed to see and it will be riveting and I’m guessing not a little heartbreaking: this one’s called The Tillman Story, all about the late NFL star Pat Tillman who left pro football in order to enlist in the US army after 9/11. It explores the mystery surrounding his death and the Tillman family’s efforts to discover what really happened. P to the S, this one’s got Oscar for Best Doc written all over it. So there you have them — four completely different movies, and each one will most certainly provide an entirely different type of holiday weekend moviegoing experience. With that in mind, have a great Labor Day & now voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of the four films opening this weekend you’re most excited about:
2) The American
3) Going The Distance
4) The Tillman Story
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