It’s that time again when the major movie studios break out their best in hopes of winning the coveted Oscar. This year’s ensemble is bound to please everyone.
There’s action (the Quentin Tarantino formula strikes again in Kill Bill: Volume I).
There’s drama (Russell Crowe’s highly anticipated return to the screen with Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World).
There’s comedy (School of Rock starring Tenacious D funnyman Jack Black).
Then, there’s the horror.
The month of October promises a smorgasbord of horror remakes, reissues and Scary Movie 3, the third installment in the Wayans Brothers’ blockbuster.
This time around, Charlie Sheen and Queen Latifah will join the comic cast.
The high expectations surrounding Scary Movie 3 have already prompted the filming of the fourth movie in the franchise, which will be released sometime next year.
Rounding out the list of high-profile horror flicks: a Halloween reissue of 1979’s Alien, a visually stunning remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Halle Berry thriller Gothika and a less than satisfying video-game-turned-movie adaptation, The House of the Dead.
Now, on to the Oscar buzz. There’s plenty of it, both good and bad, about Robert Downey Jr.’s latest venture: The Singing Detective. In it, the talented Downey plays Dan Dark, a bedridden writer of detective novels who begins to hallucinate his latest story, complete with plenty of show-stopping tunes.
Clint Eastwood’s adaptation of Dennis LeHane’s bestseller, “Mystic River,” stars an ensemble cast: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins and Kevin Bacon.
A tapestry of revenge, regret and lost innocence unfolds as three friends come together after one of their daughters is murdered.
Although the Academy Award nominations aren’t announced until January, Mystic River already looks like a strong contender.
Quentin Tarantino’s latest and most anticipated effort is Kill Bill, Volume I, starring Uma Thurman as “The Bride,” a woman shot and left for dead on her wedding day by Bill, the leader of a ruthless gang of assassins who murder all of the wedding guests.
Five years later, she awakens from her gunshot-induced coma, amazingly healthy and eager to take up a new hobby: revenge.
With David Carradine as Bill, and Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox and Daryl Hannah as members of Bill’s skilled association of fighters, Tarantino looks to have created another hit.
Meanwhile, the heads of Miramax Films wait nervously, hoping that with the success of Volume I, the movie-goers of America will pave a favorable path for the second edition of the Kill Bill chronicles.
Will Leatherface chop The Bride down to size? Will The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King take its rightful place in movie history after its December opening?
Or, will the much-anticipated film bow to Russell Crowe’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World? Only time (and lots of money) will tell.
Marta Rusek can be reached at email@example.com