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Autumn peeves

By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 11, 2008

Next on the list: “elitist” snobs and their house pets. In the Disney animation BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA (October 3), the title pooch gets separated from the family while vacationing in Mexico and is befriended by a local stray. Raja Gosnell (Scooby Doo) directs; Piper Perabo, Manolo Cardona, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Andy Garcia lend their voices to the cause. And let’s not forget those illegal immigrants. Wayne (The Cooler) Kramer’s CROSSING OVER (October 17) looks like a Crash course in the problem, with its multi-narrative about immigrants struggling to survive in LA. Harrison Ford, Sean Penn, Ray Liotta, and Ashley Judd star.

Don’t overlook those young people — so hedonistic and apathetic. In NICK AND NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST (October 3), a high-school rocker asks a classmate to pretend to be his girlfriend to piss off his ex. I mean, shouldn’t they be doing something about global warming? Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas) adapts the David Levithan novel; Michael Cera and Kat Dennings star.

The ultimate patsy is, of course, the CIA. In Ridley Scott’s adaptation of David Ignatius’s novel BODY OF LIES (October 10), Leonardo DiCaprio plays an agent hired by the CIA to track down an al-Qaeda leader in Jordan. Russell Crowe also stars.

Whatever the reason, at least we won’t have W. (October 17) to kick around anymore. Oliver Stone turns his camera on the soon-to-be-former-resident of the White House, highlighting his wild-and-crazy salad days. Josh Brolin has the title role; Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Richard Dreyfuss, and Jeffrey Wright help out.

Speaking of bad male behavior: THE BROTHERS BLOOM (October 24) has Adrien Brody and Mark Ruffalo as charming con men who plan to shake down an heiress as their one last heist. What do you want to bet at least one falls for the mark, especially since she’s played by the charming Rachel Weisz? Rian Johnson (Brick) directs. Maybe HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU (October 24) can explain all this raging testosterone. Ken Kwapis (License To Wed) adapts Greg Behrendt & Liz Tuccillo’s self-help bestseller into a multi-character narrative starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Scarlett Johansson, Justin Long, and Ben Affleck.

Is it too late for a musical? Director Kenny Ortega’s HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3: SENIOR YEAR (October 24) stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. How about a postmodernist comedy on the nature of representation? Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman makes his directorial debut in SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (October 24), the story of a drama professor who wants to make an exact scale model of NYC for his school production. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener, and Emily Watson, however, are actual size.

Halloween comes four days before the election, and if you’re like most red-blooded Americans, you can’t be bothered to vote. Besides, there’s so much great stuff to see at the movies! Like Clint Eastwood’s CHANGELING (October 31), in which Angelina Jolie plays a mother who’s not sure the child who’s been returned to her is her son. I guess if you have three adopted and three natural children, that can happen. This one also stars the perennial changeling himself, John Malkovich. Another must-see is ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO (October 31), which is what the Nick and Norah mentioned above would be working on instead of that infinite playlist if they were directed by Kevin Smith and played by Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. They’re a pair of hard-up pals who recruit friends for the moneymaking scheme of the title.

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