Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Take: The X Factor and Law & Order: SVU

The X Factor
It’s here. Billed as the most highly anticipated show of the season, The X-Factor premiered last night. The show, another brainchild of Simon Cowell, as been wildly successful in England and he left the wildly successful American Idol to bring it here.

Of course, it promises to be different from Idol: auditions in front of a live audience, no age limits and groups are encouraged to perform alongside solo artist. As the show progresses, the judges will be responsible for grooming the next ‘star,’ so while singing talent is a factor, it isn’t the only one: charmisma, stage presence, personality, all come into play with deciding who has The X-Factor.

As the show goes on it will differentiate itself from Idol but from what I saw of the first round of auditions, it was Idol in front of a live audience. There were the contestants with a tear-jerking backstory – like the 42-year old single mom. There were precocious child stars – including Rachel Crow, the first contestant, who could have walked off the stage and into her own Disney sitcom. There were awful auditions, including Geo Godly, who exposed himself and, in my opinion should have been cut off (no pun intended) a lot earlier than he was. Of course there were the angry, deluded non-singers who was incensed at the suggestion that they couldn’t sing (“Whaddaya mean I can’t sing???").

Although much has been made of the Paula/Simon chemistry, the most intriguing dynamic to me was the one between Simon and successful music producer L.A Reid. Unlike the laid back Randy Jackson, here is a guy who is just as egotistical and confident as Simon. Both men have strong opinions and don’t always agree. Watching this play out over the season should be interesting.

There are more auditions tonight but I will reserve final judgment until later when I see what really makes The X-Factor stand out.

Law & Order: SVU
And so we start Season 13, without Chirstopher Meloni’s Detective Elliot Stabler. While the case, in this case a ripped from the headlines version of Dominique Strauss Kahn and the hotel maid, is always the main case. A secondary plot line involved Elliot being investigated for the shooting of a teenage girl. Apparently, Internal Affairs went beyond that case and began investigating all of Elliot’s shootings. At the end of the show, we learned that he decided to turn in his badge.

However, executive producer and creator Dick Wolf knows better than anyone that the show must go on and so it did. Kellie Giddish, formerly of NBC’s The Chase made her debut as Detective Amanda Rollins, a transplant from down South (I can’t remember if it was Texas or Georgia) who is a fan of Olivia’s (she’s been following her work, we were told).

Also moving over from the original Law & Order is Linus Roache as Michael Cutter, who has been promoted to bureau chief, a position where he oversees the Special Victims Unit. For years, I thought he was the best thing about the original L&O, so I’m excited to see his character back in a slightly different role. I was sad to learn that he’s only doing four episodes. Stephanie March as ADA Alexandra Cabot is slated to appear in five episodes this season.

Christopher Meloni left some pretty big shoes to fill. This week we were introduced to Giddish’s Det. Rollins, with the next episode we’ll meet the second new detective, Nick Amaro, played by Danny Pino of Cold Case fame.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

MY Take: Glee, The New Girl and Raising Hope

Looking forward to New Directions
new directions!
The third season of Glee has begun! In the first few minutes: Chord Overstreet's absence was addressed (his dad got a job in another city); we met Mercedes new man (he's bigger than I thought); we found out that Lauren had quit New Directions and Puck (fine with me she didn't add anything to the group and she couldn't sing) and that Quinn had entered a rebellious phase (complete with 'edgy' pink hair).

Sue is serious about running for Congress and has found a message that resonates with voters, "stop all funding for the arts in public schools." Of course, this has fired up Will, whose relationship with Emma is progressing (but not quite as far as Will would like). Kurt got Blaine to come on over to McKinley (and New Directions). Speaking of Kurt, he and Rachel have been bitten by the New York bug, after their trip to Nationals and they are bound and determined to make it big in New York. However, last night they got a rude awakening (courtesy of Lindsay from The Glee Project) and realized that being a big fish at McKinley doesn't translate to being a big fish anywhere else. While I like Kurt and Rachel as best buds, I kind of miss Kurt and Mercedes's friendship.

The songs ran the gambit from Broadway (You Can't Stop the Beat fron Hairspray, a mash-up of I Can Do Anything/Anything Goes and Ding Dong the Witch is Dead) to 80's pop (The Go-Gos We Got the Beat) and Tom Jones' It's Not Unusual.

This first episode made it clear that this is a pivotal year for New Directions (as many of them are seniors). It's also a pivotal year for Glee after so many fans and critics thought the show took a nose dive in Season 2, it's trying to find its way as well in Season 3.

The New Girl
If the black guy doesn't look familiar,
there's a good reason. Damon Wayans
Jr., did last night's pilot episode. This
guy, Lamorne Morris, starts in the next
episode. Want  more Damon Wayans Jr.
Check out Happy Endings on ABC.
Honestly, if you have seen the relentless onslaught of promos for this show all summer long, you've pretty much seen the first episode. Zooey Deschanel plays Jess, a kooky, quirky girl next door type who moves in with three guys after she breaks up with her boyfriend. I liked Zooey Deschanel and the quirkiness of Jess, but the verdict is out on the three roommates (Daman Wayans Jr only appeared in the pilot, in the next episode he'll be replaced). It needs to be more than Jess and three generic guys. The guys need to differentiate themselves. I'll be tuning in to see if that happens. As much as I enjoyed Deschanel's performance, she's going to need some help to carry this show.

Raising Hope
Yay!! What I thought was the funniest show of last season, is back. In this first episode, we learn that Jimmy Chance used to be a musical prodigy (maybe?). Martha Plimpton, Cloris Leachman and the gang are in top form. I'm looking forward to this season.

If you are new to Raising Hope, take less than 2 minutes to listen to this opening song from last night's episode to get caught up.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2 and a Half Men - Oops, I Missed It!

Okay, so I was apparently the only one who didn't watch it. While I was singing along with The Sing-Off, apparently every other American was watching Ashton Kutcher’s debut on the season premiere of Two and a Half Men. Huge ratings were expected, ever since we watched Charlie Sheen crash and burn last winter. When Kutcher was announced as his replacement, everyone was curious and last night that curiosity was satisfied.

27.7 million viewers tuned in last night to see Sheen’s funeral and Kutcher’s debut as the sullen suicidal billionaire who becomes Alan’s new housemate. Part two of the episode airs next week, and only time will tell if Men can retain their record-setting audience.

My Take: The Sing-Off and The Playboy Club

The Sing Off was the perfect way to kick off the new Fall season. This show just makes me feel good.

It's about the music. All of the a capella groups are very good and its clear that they love to sing! There are no deluded or embarrassing performances. There are no rude or abrasive judges. Its just a fun show. I'm glad its back.

With The Playboy Club, I was expecting a lot of style but I wasn't sure if there would be any substance. I was pleasantly surprised. I have seen Eddie Cibrian as part of an ensemble but as Nick Dalton, the handsome ambitious lawyer with mob ties, he came across as leading man material.

Within minutes of the open, we were knee-deep in a murder cover-up. Nick likes what he sees in a sexy new cigarette bunny, Maureen (Amber Heard). However, so does his old boss, a mob kingpin who does a little dance with Maureen but is more interested in doing the horizontal mambo with her. He's trying to rape her when Nick walks into the back room. The three tussle until Amber's stiletto stabs him in the neck. Of course, this will be the central mystery of the season.

Throw in a bunch of bunny back stories (jealousy, husbands, homosexuality, ...) many set at the Playboy mansion and you have a show worth checking out again. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Second Best Thing About September!

Finally, it’s here! The new Fall TV season is here! And my birthday falls smack dab in the middle. What could be better? New TV and my birthday! Here’s what I plan to watch this week.

8:00 – 10:00, The Sing-Off (NBC) – I’ve loved this show for the past two seasons and am excited about Season 3. More groups (16 instead of 10) and a new judge (Sara Bareillis).

10:00, The Playboy Club (NBC) – This show has something for everyone. Eddie Cibrian for the ladies and a bunch of curvy chicks in skimpy bunny costumes for the guys. Also helping to set the mood throughout the season will be some contemporary singers channeling their 1960’s counterparts (click here for that story).

8:00, Glee (FOX) – Season 3 begins with Finchel back and Sue running for office. Plus we have the winners of The Glee Project and their seven episode arcs … plus, Mercedes gets a man! I’m so there!

9:00, The New Girl (FOX) – I’ve liked the promos and am curious about the show. I hope it can do a good job of filling the slot between Glee and Raising Hope, otherwise its dog walking and shower time.

9:30, Raising Hope (FOX) – Definitely one of the bright spots of last season. I’ve been looking forward to Season 2 since Season 1 ended, here’s hoping that lightning strikes again with Hope, Maw-Maw and the gang.

8:00, The X-Factor (FOX) – Simon Cowell is back and promising that this won’t be American Idol Part 2. Along with L.A. Reid and Nicole Scherziner (so that’s why she’s not judging on The Sing-off!), this show looks promising. It’s a huge hit already across the pond.

10:00, Law & Order SVU (NBC) – Who would have thought that SVU would be the last in the L&O franchise still standing? Not me. Anyway, they go into the 13th season without Christopher Meloni’s Detective Stabler. Let’s hope 13 isn’t bad luck for the series.

DVR AlertHarry’s Law (9:00, NBC) – I know its easy to overdose on David E. Kelly’s quirkiness and incessant moralizing but I like this show. Kudos to Kathy Bates.

*** This is my birthday so there is a chance that this whole night could be DVRed! ***

8:00, Charlie’s Angels (ABC) – Yes, I will be watching this latest incarnation of Charlie’s Angels. The question is, will I be watching it more than once.

9:00 – 10:00, Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – I’ve been here for seven years, so I guess I’m in it for the long haul. I guess that is a good sign considering on how I’ve bailed on Desperate Housewives and Private Practice.

DVR Alert - Second Episode of The X-Factor, I figure I’ll get the gist of it on the first night.

8:00, Kitchen Nightmares (FOX) – FOX clearly loves some Gordon Ramsey (Hell’s Kitchen, Master Chef and KN) and so do I.

9:00, Fringe, (FOX) – I was on the fence at first, but now I’m fully committed to Fringe and it’s sparring alternate universes. Why John Noble hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy by now is beyond questionable. It’s criminal!

Absolutely nothing to review. I’ll probably catch up on my DVRed shows.

10:00, Pan Am (ABC) – Another period piece but I’ll check out the pilot.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Playboy Club: Retro Music with a Modern Spin

The Playboy Club isn't just about vintage bunny outfits. The show (premiering Monday night at 10:00 p.m. on NBC) is using contemporary artist to portray the 60's musical acts who perform at the club.

Most recently, winner of The Voice, Javier Colon, has been tapped to play Ray Charles. He'll be singing, Let the Good Times Roll. Colby Caillat will do her Lesley Gore impression in It's My Party and one of my faves, Raphael Saadiq will perform  Twisting the Night Away as Sam Cooke.

Eddie Cibrian and good music? I'm so there!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mercedes Gets a Man

OMG! Two black people together!
Everyone knows black men don't date
black women! How racist!
Amber Riley's Mercedes is the only original cast member of Glee who has never really been developed. They bring her out when they need the big black girl to belt out a song. She's Kurt's accessory. There hasn't been any thought of introducing us to her parents and newer cast members have had more plot development than she has (Harry Shum Jr. as Mike Chan, Ashley Fink as Lauren and Darren Criss as Blaine immediately come to mind).

In the season finale, we thought Mercedes would finally get her man when she was seen slyly holding hands with Sam (Chord Overstreet). However, over the summer, Overstreet left the show, leaving our girl single again ... but apparently not for long.

Mercedes gets a guy in Season Three. Lamarcus Tinker (Friday Night Lights and Cougartown) will play the football player who wins her heart. Amber told TVLine that we'll see a softer side of Mercedes. She said, "She’s very lovey-dovey. It’s kind of like, ‘Oh my God? Is this Mercedes?!’ She dresses different. She’s girlier now."

Amazingly, many of the comments I've seen regarding Mercedes and her man are actually upset that, OMG, they actually paired her with a black man. How terribly 1980's! Everyone knows that all black people date non-blacks. I mean, really, two-black people together???? It's positively racist.

So since this is my blog, allow me to say, get over yourselves. Personally, I am tired of every black man on TV being paired with a white girl or some non-black girl. There are black men out here that date black women. The overwhelming number of blacks who are getting married are still intraracial couples. Believe it or not, some black men actually choose to date black women. It still happens ... even in 2011.

If you want to see interracial couples so much watch Parenthood, Private Practice, Happy Endings, 90210, ... and I could go on and on and on. So let Mercedes have her man and realize that black-on-black love is a common occurrence. Again, get over yourselves.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The $130 Million Dollar Man

Tyler Perry tops Forbes’ list of the highest paid men in Hollywood. In other words, Madea might be ghetto but she helped Tyler make some beyond bougie bank! He’s also extended his deal with Lionsgate (who has released all of his films). He’s currently in Cleveland filming, I, Alex Cross, in a role that originally went to Idris Elba.

The list was compiled of all Hollywood heavy hitters and not just actors. Here’s the Forbes Top 10 Highest Paid Hollywood Men:

1. Tyler Perry ($130 million)
2. Jerry Bruckheimer ( $113 million) – producer of Pirates of the Caribbean and all the CSI shows.
3. Steven Spielberg ($107 million) – super producer/director. His latest films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin come out at Christmas.
4. Elton John ($100 million) – his latest tour grossed $204 million in a year.
5. Simon Cowell ($90 million) – His new show, The X-Factor debuts on FOX on September 21.
6. James Patterson ($84 million) – I thought it was a typo but he churned out 20 best sellers in 2010. Apparently, he uses a lot of co-writers. Tyler Perry is playing the lead in I, Alex Cross, one of Patterson’s books.
7. Dr Phil McGraw ($80 million) – And you thought Oprah was the only one raking in some serious bucks!
8. Leonardo DiCaprio ($77 million) – Shutter Island and Inception placed him as the only actor to make the list. Both movies combined earned over one billion dollars!
9. Howard Stern ($76 million) – He just signed a new deal with Sirius … and made some serious money in the process!
10. Tiger Woods ($75 million) – Despite his personal problems, he’s still the highest paid athlete.

Whitney Houston Sparkles?

Remember the movie Sparkle? Okay, maybe you don’t (there I go showing my age again!). It came out in 1976 and starred Irene Cara who later achieved fame by starring in ... Fame. Anyway, it was Dreamgirls, before Dreamgirls as it was also loosely based on The Supremes except this trio was made up of sisters.

It looks like a remake is underway. Written by Mara Brock Akil, creator of The Game and Girlfriends and directed by her husband Salim Akil (who directs The Game). American Idol Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks is set to star as lead singer - Sparkle. Houston would play her mother. Comedic actor Mike Epps is on board playing Satin, a comedian who marries one of the sisters.

In an unrelated story, it was only a matter of time before Bobby and Whitney’s daughter started singing. Here she is doing a cover of Adele’s Someone like You. What do you think?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Zero is NOT My Hero!

Zero? I don't think so.
She's still got some hips.
So according to Joy Behar, she saw Jennifer Hudson out shopping and overheard her and the saleswoman say that Jennifer Hudson is now a size zero.

The Weight Watchers spokeswoman has lost well over the 80 pounds she discussed on Oprah, but when I look at the League of Zeros (Courtney Cox, Mary Kate Olsen…), J Hud is still a little too hippy and booby to be a zero. I’m not quite believing it.

On a larger note, why should zero be the goal? ZERO means nothing and who wants to be a nothing? I am all for her losing weight for health and beauty reasons. Every woman, heck everybody, deserves to feel good and look their best but a zero? Is that really looking your best?

I absolutely hate the way Hollyweird insists on making full grown women look like prepubescent boys. Real women have curves. Most men like a woman with some curves. I’m not talking bumps and bulges but curves. You know, some cleavage, a shapely curve of the hips, a little meat on the thigh or in the booty.

When she hit the 80 pound mark and even as she lost a little more, she looked fabulous and healthy. Now? Not so much. Her face is starting to look gaunt and that is not a good look.If she’s happy, I’m happy for her but if I had a daughter we’d sit down and have a long talk about real women and reality.

Too much of a good thing can be too much of a good thing especially when it means whittling away to nothing.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Movie Review: Contagion

It’s been a long standing pet peeve of mine that people no longer cover their mouths when they cough, sneeze or yawn. Hopefully, those people will see this movie and rethink that behavior.

In Contagion, director Steven Soderbergh takes the same approach he took with Traffic a decade earlier. Traffic focused on the spawling ‘war on drugs’ and it looked at it from a variety of separate and occasionally overlapping stories and characters. In Contagion, he applies that approach to a rapidly evolving, deadly virus.

Possible Patient A, Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) finishes up a business trip in China. She has a lusty layover with her lover in Chicago before heading home to her unsuspecting husband (Matt Damon) and son in Minnesota. Soon, there are patients all over the globe coming down with and dying from this virus: Japan, London, Chicago.

In a matter of days, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is called in. Led by Dr. Ellis Cheever (Laurance Fishburne), his new lead investigator (Kate Winslet) and lead researcher (Jennifer Elhe), they hope to contain the virus initially and then find a vaccine after it begins spirally out of control. Over at the WHO (World Health Organization), Marion Cotillard’s Dr. Leonora Orantes, goes to the heart of the outbreak in China. Meanwhile Jude Law is a blogger who wants more than truth, he wants to profit from a potential cure. If that weren’t enough, this outbreak is a concern of Homeland Security (led by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston).

The tentacles of this outbreak - its origins, its spread, its cure - are all over the place and Soderbergh is the director to keep all of these infectious balls in the air. He creepily shows how something as innocuous as a door knob or a glass can be a carrier of disease and death. A ‘harmless’ cough by a stranger on a train can have deadly consequences.

As he soberly numbers the days since the outbreak of, we see how quickly a virus can spread moving from the contagion of the disease to a contagion of fear among survivors. It is a provocative and thought-provoking look at something that could potentially happen. How does it spread? How quickly can we come up with a cure? How will people respond? What if you had enough of a vaccine to give to some but not to others? Soderbergh addresses all of these questions and more.

However, he does this from a distance. Contagion is not character-driven … unless you consider the virus to be the main character. Everyone else is there to support the virus. Don’t expect to cry because (outside of Damon who has his moment towards the end) you won’t be that invested in the characters. You feel bad for a moment, but then we are off to the next scene, quite possibly on another side of the world.

At the end of the movie, the audience did not applaud. We all just sat there for a few seconds, and I think that is the intended effect. — stunned silence.

My takeaways from Contagion: cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and for goodness sakes, if you have a sweaty fever and hacking cough, do the really noble thing, don’t drag yourself into work, keep your sick ass at home!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Official: Eddie Murphy is Hosting the Oscars

I'm truly hoping that this is part of the resurgence of Eddie Murphy. After a decade of really bad movies, his new film Tower Heist actually looks funny. Now, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced that the 50-year old Murphy will host the 84th Annual Academy Awards. Airing on February 26, Brett Ratner who is co-producing the awards ceremony and Murphy's movie Tower Heist is said to have lobbied hard for the actor/comedian.

With Eddie Murphy as host, I might, for the first time, have to watch the entire show! Now, that's saying something.

The Help Still #1

Viola Davis and the girls have spent their third week at #1 in the box office. The Help is helping itself to great reviews, amazing word of mouth and a heap of success. The last movie to do linger at #1 for three weeks was Inception. The Help is holding its own without having Inception-like money. The film made $19 million over the historically slow Labor Day weekend, and has grossed $123 since it debuted. It took Inception just nine days to make that much.

Still, this is great news for the cast and especially Davis. Here's hoping she can parlay this success into more leading roles!

Glee Season 3: Chris Colfer Speaks

Chris Colfer sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss Glee's third season. Basically, he said this.
  • Kurt and Blaine are still together; but Colfer was coy when it came to whether Blaine will transfer to McKinley and become a New Direction.
  • Kurt is struggling with other's coming to terms with his sexuality.
  • Kurt and Rachel who had been bonding over the second half of Season 2 (especially in the finale), are now BFFs.
  • Sue is still running for office and he says " Wait til you see the posters!"
Wanna read the whole thing? Click here




Monday, September 5, 2011

Grey's Season Eight Premiere

Grey's Anatomy starts its eighth season on September 22nd. TVLine has 25 pics from the 2-hour season opener (click here). I've also attached the promo for the premiere. Take a look.

Here are my questions:

After 25 pictures and a 30 second promo, where in the hell is Eric Dane? Can we even get him lurking in the background somewhere?

Who is getting busy at the 14 second mark of the promo? Is that Avery? Who's he with? Then again, maybe it's not Avery? Again, who's getting busy?

Can I actually get a promo song I like? I haven't had that since How to Save a Life in Season 3!

Holly Robinson Peete - You're Fired

This is Holly Robinson Peete.
I have to admit, I've never watched even five minutes of The Talk; it reminds me too much of The View. And, if I were ever convicted of some minor infraction, I'd choose 100 hours of community service at a drunk tank on the weekends over being forced to watch a full episode of that tripe.

Having said that, those of you who watch The Talk have probably already talked about Leah "former Queen of the King of Queens and avid Scientologist" Remini's decision not to return for Season 2. Now, CBS announces that Holly Robinson Peete won't be back either.

On her blog, the former Celebrity Apprentice winner said, "After weeks in limbo, I was finally ‘officially’ given word from CBS today that I have not been picked up for the 2nd season of The Talk... While I am relieved to have this closure, it doesn’t diminish my disappointment one bit about not continuing with a show I worked very hard to launch and love dearly. But I’ve been around long enough to know that while you cannot control certain situations you CAN control how you respond to them."

Very classy response. Joining Sharon "I've made a good living off of reality TV and my marriage to an aging doddering rock god" Osbourne and Sarah "former surly daughter on Roseanne who's now known for being out and proud" Gilbert at The Talk table will be guest hosts Kris "I'm responsible for bringing all of the Kardashian girls into the world and foisting them on an unsuspecting public" Jenner, Molly "I'm a funny girl but havent' hit pay dirt since I left SNL" Shannon and comic Sheryl "I look like Wesley Snipes did in drag in To Wong Foo" Underwood. As if I didn't have enough reasons not to watch this show, the presence of Jenner and Underwood add two very big new reasons!
This is Wesley Snipes in drag ...
not Sheryl Underwood.

This is Sheryl Underwood ...
not Wesley Snipes in drag.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

HawthoRNe Canceled

Her marriage might be in tact and going strong but the same can't be said for her television show. TNT has canceled HawthoRNe starring Jada-Pinkett Smith. The show ran for three seasons and TNT opted not to pick it up for a fourth.

In a statement, TNT said, “The series gave TNT the opportunity to work with many outstanding people, including Jada Pinkett Smith and the rest of the show’s talented cast, crew, producers and writers. We wish everyone involved with HawthoRNe nothing but the best.”

HawthoRNe joins Men of a Certain Age, starring Ray Romano and  Andre Brauer, earlier this year. The network  has picked up Rizzoli and Isle for a third season, Falling Skies and Franklin and Bash for a second.

Fall Movies I Want to See!

Okay, this holiday weekend, I probably won’t be at the movies. However, take a look at my Must See Movies for the fall. These are the ones I plan on seeing and, of course, reviewing.

Contagion (PG-13) A highly contagious virus kills off millions in a matter of weeks. How do they stop it??? Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law and Kate Winslet star. (September 9)

Moneyball (not rated, probably pg-13) It’s a testament to the power of Brad Pitt that I am willing to sit through a baseball movie. He plays Billy Beane, who helped rejuvenate the Oakland A’s in the early part of the last decade. Also starring Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright (formerly Penn). (September 23)

The Ides of March (not yet rated): Politically, I’m an independent. However, if George Clooney were running for office, he’d get my vote no matter the party: Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green or Ferrets for Freedom! Ryan Gosling is the right hand man supporting the Democratic presidential nominee Mike Morris (Clooney) who learns a secret who could cost his man the election. (October 7)

Like Crazy: (PG-13) Can long distance love survive over the span of years and continents? Like Crazy won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. So I guess I’ll see it. Stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. (October 28)

Tower Heist: (not yet rated) Eddie Murphy is back. After the staff at New York City’s swankiest apartment building lose their pensions to a Bernie Madoff-like character (Alan Alda), they enlist the help of a thief (Murphy) to get it back. Also starring Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck and Gabourey Sidibe. (November 4)

J. Edgar: (not yet rated) Clint Eastwood directs and Leonardo DiCaprio stars as the cross-dressing FBI director who presided over the agency for half a century and became one of the most powerful men in the country. (November 9)

Jack and Jill (PG): Adam Sandler plays twins Jack and Jill. Jill comes to visit her brother for Thanksgiving and refuses to leave. Katie Holmes plays Jack’s wife. (November 11)

The Descendants (R): I hated the movie Sideways and director Alexander Payne is back again with Descendants. George Clooney stars as a man who finds out that his comatose wife was having an affair (I’m assuming she had the affair before the coma) and tries to reconnect with his two estranged daugthers. (November 23).

The Muppets (not yet rated): I normally don’t do kids’ movies but this is The Muppets. Jason Segel and Amy Adams star. (Nov 23)

The Iron Lady (not yet rated): Meryl Streep plays former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. I smell an Oscar nom! (Dec 16)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (not yet rated): Guy Ritchie is back with the hyped-up action version of the cerebral Sherlock Holmes. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law star. (Dec 16)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (not yet rated): Okay, I haven’t read the book. It’s rare that I ever read the book. But apparently, it’s very good and a lot of people can’t wait to see the movie about a journalist who enlists the help of a computer hacker to solve a mystery. According to Entertainment Weekly, it “promises to be violent and creepy” – that alone is enough to pique my interest. (December 21)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (not yet rated): Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt is tracking down the culprits in the bombing of the Kremlin. Paula Patton and Jeremy Renner co-star. (December 21)

Carnage (not yet rated) – Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly face off against Kate Winslet and Chrstoph Waltz as parents who try to get along after there grade school sons get into a fight at school.