September's Most Anticipated Films

Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment
September 10th, 2012

September's Most Anticipated Films

-- September is a month when temperatures drop and children begin to adjust to the end of summer vacation. In movie theaters, summer blockbusters give way to an unusual mix of highly anticipated films. This year's offerings include an animated classic, a nostalgic romantic comedy, and a surefire Oscar contender. There's something on the screens for everyone.

Pixar's 2003 hit animated film "Finding Nemo" is being re-released to movie theaters in 3D format during the third weekend of September. The story follows clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) as he searches for his lost son, Nemo. Marlin's right-fin gal during the journey is the adorably dopey Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), whose memory impairments cause some issues. The 9-year gap since the film's original release makes the potential audience range from older teenagers who saw the film in childhood to young children experiencing the story for the first time.

Adult audiences have plenty to choose from the same weekend as the "Nemo" re-release. Milla Jovovich is back as Alice in the fifth film of the popular "Resident Evil" franchise, based on an equally popular video game series. With the help of some familiar faces, Alice battles the undead and the Umbrella Corporation in "Resident Evil: Retribution." Sienna Guillory returns as Jill Valentine for the first time since her debut in the second film. For the first time in the series, the characters travel the world in search of the diabolical truths behind Umbrella.

Action film fans who prefer less biting and more shooting might want to check out "Stolen." Nicholas Cage stars as a newly released thief who has 12 hours to pay off his daughter's kidnappers, who believe he still has the heist money from his last job. Cage returns to his action hero glory in a film that has shades of his early work in "Con Air" mixed with Liam Neeson's "Taken."

After steaming up summer screens in the male stripper film "Magic Mike," Channing Tatum returns to the romantic comedy genre that made him a household name. Tatum heads up an ensemble cast in "10 Years," playing one of a group of high school friends reuniting prior to the school's official reunion. Old loves are rekindled, and adult characters question the choices made after graduation. The cast includes Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, and Tatum's real-life wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum.
"10 Years" may earn the buzz of Tatum's female fans, but it will hit screens the same weekend as a movie already earning Oscar buzz. "The Master" was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the visionary director behind films such as "There Will Be Blood" and "Boogie Nights." Phillip Seymour Hoffman stars as the titular Master in a fictional biopic thought to mirror the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Joaquin Phoenix returns to screens, following an extended absence, portraying the Master's protégé. This movie is already earning headlines comparing it to the controversial Scientology religion, whose most famous member, Tom Cruise, appeared in a previous Anderson film.

Amy Adams portrays the dutiful wife in "The Master" but turns her heel as the estranged daughter in "Trouble with the Curve," opening on September 21. Adams' character joins her baseball scout father (Clint Eastwood) on the road as he pursues a potential player. Eastwood's character deals with the physical difficulties of aging while making attempts to correct mistakes made with his daughter, making this a stylistic successor to "On Golden Pond."

Audiences dealing with growing pains of the adolescent variety will want to head to theaters for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." Based on a bestselling young adult novel of the same name, the film features "Percy Jackson" star, Logan Lerman, as a shy freshman coached in high school life by a pair of cooler teenagers. "Harry Potter" beauty Emma Watson costars, sporting an American accent for the first time.

For those still holding on to the last breezes of summer, a new comic book movie is hitting screens. Karl Urban, who played Bones in the "Star Trek" reboot, stars as Judge Dredd in "Dredd 3D." The action takes place in futuristic America, where Judges whoact as both prosecutor and punisher chase down criminals. Dredd finds himself, as well as his new partner, targeted when he crosses the wrong criminal. Indie queen Olivia Thirlby changes genres to play Dredd's partner.

The film schedule will become heavier in family and Oscar-caliber films the closer it gets to the winter holidays. September, and often October, offer more opportunities for audiences to catch a variety of films before they leave theaters.