Categorically Speaking 

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Established Actor's Money Grab

"Shoot 'Em Up" (Sept. 7)

Starring: Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, Monica Bellucci.

About: One-upping "The Nanny Diaries," Owen plays a British nanny with elite military training who protects a baby from a vicious hit man (Giamatti) in a bullet fest.

Quintessential Line: "Nothing could be more painful than listening to you jabbering on and on." (Owen to Giamatti, before administering a head-butt.)

Surprise Genre Comeback

"3:10 to Yuma" (Sept. 7)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Peter Fonda.

About: This remake of the 1957 film (based on a book by Elmore Leonard) tracks a volunteer lawman (Bale) trying to bring an infamous outlaw (Crowe) to justice. Despite seeming like an easy remake of a very popular movie, this project has been passed around more than Jennifer Aniston.

Quintessential Line: "This town's gonna burn!" (A murderous outlaw.)

Also playing: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (Sept. 21)

Based on a True Story

"Into the Wild" (Sept. 21)

Starring: Emile Hirsch, Catherine Keener, William Hurt.

About: Sean Penn adapts the 1996 novel by Jon Krakauer about college grad Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch), who gives away all his money and possessions and heads into the Alaskan wilderness. There's heated debate as to whether the real McCandless was an inspired individualist or a heedless one, but the trailers for "Wild" appear to favor the former.

Quintessential Line: "I read somewhere, how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong." (Hirsch, apparently unaware of Fernando's opinion that it's better to look good than to feel good.)

Current Events Angler

"The Kingdom" (Sept. 28)

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, a lot of Eastern wailing.

About: FBI special agent Ron Fleury (Foxx) investigates the bombing of an American facility in Saudi Arabia, but finds himself in a quicksand of competing agencies. The movie, based on the real 2003 bombing of the Riyadh compound in Saudi Arabia, is supposed to demonstrate real FBI procedure, except with better catch phrases.

Quintessential Line: "I guarantee you one thing -- We gonna find him. And we gonna make him pay." (Foxx, explaining FBI procedure regarding the dude who's gonna pay.)

Also playing: "In the Valley of Elah" (Sept. 14), "Rendition" (Oct. 19), "Lions for Lambs" (Nov. 9)

Quirky Comedy

"The Darjeeling Limited" (Sept. 29)

Starring: Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody.

About: Director Wes Anderson reunites three estranged, and of course strange, brothers (Wilson, Schwartzman and Brody) on a trip across India by locomotive. Following Anderson's very well received "Life Aquatic" film, "Darjeeling" promises equal portions of carefully selected pop songs and utterances of accidental wit.

Quintessential Line: "How can a train be lost, it's on rails."

Also playing: "The Heartbreak Kid" (Oct. 5)

Crime is Serious Drama

"Gone Baby Gone" (Oct. 26)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris.

About: Ben Affleck adapted and directed this crime drama based on the novel by "Mystic River" writer Dennis Lehane, in which a private investigator (Casey Affleck) hunts for an abducted 4-year-old in a gritty Boston neighborhood. Evidently, parts of grit not uncovered by "Mystic River" will be found and examined.

Quintessential Line: "If we don't catch the abducted by day one, only 10 percent are ever solved. This is day three." (Freeman, on math used by Boston police.)

Also playing: "We Own the Night" (Oct. 12)

Crime is Really Cool

"American Gangster" (Nov. 2)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, the RZA.

About: Ridley Scott directs this saga based on a real drug lord (Washington) who smuggled dope in the coffins of American soldiers brought back from the Vietnam War. Crowe plays the copper bent on taking him down. Heroin plays the opiate making its movie comeback.

Quintessential Line: "Either you're somebody, or you ain't nobody." (Washington, echoing a sentiment no doubt shared by all his peers.)

Also playing: "Eastern Promises" (Sept. 14)

High-Profile Adaptation

"No Country for Old Men" (Nov. 9)

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin.

About: A man (Brolin) out hunting near the Rio Grande finds a pile of drugs and money, ruining his life. "Only in Hollywood!" critics initially complained, until they were informed it was based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy.

Quintessential Line: The hiss of a high-powered slaughterhouse stun gun the killer uses to off people.

Also playing: "December Boys" (Sept. 14)

This Used to Be a Poem?

"Beowulf" (Nov. 16)

Starring: CGI creatures that look like Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie.

About: Robert Zemeckis helms a new "Beowulf" that elaborates on the infamous high-school reading assignment by, among other things, expanding the relationship between the hero (Winstone) and Grendel's mother (Jolie). In the tradition of Cinemascope, stadium seating and other gimmicks to lure you to the theater, the movie was made with a technique called digitally enhanced live action, and it's slated to be released in part in 3-D.

Quintessential Line: "She's not my curse, not anymore." (Hopkins, referring to Jolie.)

Also playing: "Dragon Wars" (Sept. 14)

Award-Hopeful Biopic

"I'm Not There" (Nov. 21)

Starring: Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Richard Gere.

About: Armed with the idea Todd Solendz used for his 2004 film "Palindromes," director Todd Haynes explores the life and career of Bob Dylan using six different actors. Dylan reportedly gave his nod of approval for the project, which is a good thing for Haynes since the Big D sued another recent movie for having the gall to create a composite character with the same funky afro.

Quintessential Line: "I can't even watch this." (One of the many Dylans, regarding a televised politician)

Also playing: "The Other Boleyn Girl" (Feb. 29)

Woody Allen Movie

"Cassandra's Dream" (Dec. 21)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell.

About: Allen pens and directs another serious London-set drama to follow "Match Point," this one a love triangle of two Brit brothers (Farrell and McGregor) led into crime by a seductive American (Atwell).

Quintessential Line: "Would you sleep with a director to get a part?" (Written by Allen, already thinking of his next movie.)

Also playing: "Sleuth" (Oct. 12)


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