The summer frivolity at the multiplexes is now behind us, and it's time to get serious. From now until the end of the year, moviegoers can count on nothing but meaty, pensive dramas guaranteed to rack up industry awards and critics' accolades. We're talking about movies like, uh, Jackass 3-D? Saw VII? The remake of the cult gorefest I Spit On Your Grave?
OK, so it's not all heavy lifting. Truth be told, the fall film season always offers a mix of serious fare and surface outings, and this year is no exception. Between now and the middle of November - prior to the Harry Potter-fueled holiday season - approximately three dozen titles are scheduled for release in local theaters. Here, then, are nine of those movies - one per weekend release date - heading our way to enlighten and/or entertain us.
Sept. 10: Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth film in the video game-inspired series, again finds heroine Alice (Milla Jovovich) battling hordes of zombies in a postapocalyptic world. Viewers have the option of seeing this in regular 2-D, 3-D or IMAX.
Sept. 17: My favorite trailer experience of the year by far -- because when M. Night Shyamalan's name came up, half the theater groaned, causing the other half to bust out laughing - Devil takes place on a stuck elevator in which one of the inhabitants isn't quite human.
Sept. 24: In Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Michael Douglas returns to his Oscar-winning role of Gordon Gekko, this time teaming up with a rookie Wall Street player (Shia LaBeouf) to solve a murder.
Oct. 1: The American remake of the popular 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In, Let Me In (directed by Cloverfield's Matt Reeves) centers on the unique relationship between a young boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and his new neighbor, a child vampire (Kick-Ass' Chloe Moretz).
Oct. 8: Secretariat chronicles the true story of the racehorse who, in 1973, became the first horse in a quarter-century to capture the Triple Crown. Diane Lane headlines as the animal's unlikely owner, with John Malkovich appearing as the trainer who lends a hand.
Oct. 15: Based on the graphic novels, Red stars Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich as four CIA agents who've been framed for murder and find themselves on the run.
Oct. 22: After scoring a rare disappointment with Invictus, director Clint Eastwood returns with Hereafter, which weaves together a trio of tales focusing on individuals coping with issues of life, death and the afterlife. Matt Damon heads an international cast.
Oct. 29: In Saw 3D, the seventh picture in the franchise, past survivors of Jigsaw's (Tobin Bell) reign of terror gather, only to be confronted with new dangers.
Nov. 5: On the heels of Despicable Me comes another animated effort about a supervillain coping with moral dilemmas: Megamind, in which a baddie creates a superhero to function as his adversary, only to be shocked when his experiment turns out to be evil in his own right. Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt and Tina Fey contribute the vocals.
SEPTEMBER 10: Resident Evil: Afterlife
SEPTEMBER 17: Alpha and Omega; Devil; Easy A; The Town
SEPTEMBER 24: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; You Again
OCTOBER 1: Buried; Case 39; Let Me In; The Social Network
OCTOBER 8: I Spit On Your Grave; It's Kind of a Funny Story; Life As We Know It; My Soul to Take; Secretariat; Stone
OCTOBER 15: Jackass 3-D; Red
OCTOBER 22: Hereafter; Paranormal Activity 2
OCTOBER 29: Saw 3-D
NOVEMBER 5: Due Date; Megamind