September is traditionally one of the worst months for movies. This is because of a drop in attendance caused by the fact that people blew all their spare cash in the previous three months and that kids are going back to school and to college and are too busy trying to get back into that groove to go to the movies. This means that September generally has the year's worst major releases. (This doesn't count the smaller markets of prestige and indie movies released in September as they appeal to an older and more financially sound market than the people who line up hours in advance to see G.I. Joe and Transformers 2.) Resident Evil sequels, films based on video games and slasher movie remakes are your typical September releases. This September, though, seems to be a little different. As I look through the list of upcoming releases for September, I discover movies I actually want to see. Not many, of course, but it's way more the blank sheet of paper that normally qualifies as my "Must See" list for September.
The big one for the month is 9. A movie like this loaded with visual imagination, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't even really need a plot but it looks like they're tossing one in anyway. It takes place in a Terminator/Matrix type world where machines have taken over and wiped out humanity but darn it all if those clever humans didn't figure out a way to pass on some sort of spark or essence of human life into nine dolls that, somehow, will save the world. Yay! Either I'm wrong about the way this looks and it really, really sucks or the habits of the moviegoing public have changed in a way that could make 9 a hit and I didn't notice.
Another movie that might be good, though it doesn't inspire the confidence that 9 does, is the Mike Judge directed comedy Extract. Comingsoon.net's plot summary describes it this way:
In "Extract," writer/director Mike Judge ("Beavis and Butt-Head," "King of the Hill") returns to the fertile territory of the American workplace, rotating his perspective away from the white collar cubicle warriors of "Office Space" and towards a blue collar boss – a small business owner – who employs an odd cast of losers, loners and misfits in his flavor extract factory.Personally, I think the guy's first mistake was populating his factory with, "an odd cast of losers, loners and misfits." I'd think you'd want competent employees but hey, what do I know? Extract stars Jason Bateman, probably Hollywood's most underrated actor, and it also has loads of other famous people and hey hey, Gene Simmons is in it too. Still, I'm worried that it's coming out the first week in September.
In case you were thinking, "Wow, this'll be the greatest September ever with no bad movies at all," think again. September is also giving us the movie Gamer in which Gerard Butler plays a guy in a simulated battle being controlled by by a video game player. Now THAT'S a September movie. Dumb plot, stupid dialogue (in the trailer anyway, maybe Tarantino wrote everything else) and cheesy looking sets and effects are what you usually see in this magic month. Also, an anti-video game movie? In 2009? What, couldn't get the film about the evils of the telegraph made so you did this instead?
We also have All About Steve starring Sandra Bullock. I'm tempted to really trash this movie but Sandra Bullock has had a habit lately of making movies that should have been godawful and having them instead be surprisingly watchable. The Proposal is an excellent example. That movie with its ridiculous premise should have been a viscerally horrific experience and instead it was...not awful. Still, I know for a fact that luck always runs out and I'm willing to bet that will be the case with All About Steve. Well, I wouldn't bet money. I'm not that sure.
And then there's Sorority Row, a movie where hot girls take off their clothes just before they get hacked to bits by a violent psychopath. Think that'll be good?