After a relatively bland summer, it is every movie buff”s hope, desire and basic primal need to see some intelligent, entertaining and just plain fun movies that satisfy the cinemaphile in all of us. The following are some of the more promising films that are being released this fall.

Paul Wong
James Gandolfini (right) dares Billy Bob Thornton to make a Tony Soprano joke.<br><br>Courtesy of USA Films

Zoolander In this comedy starring Ben Stiller, it is revealed that male models have been used as patsies for political assassinations since the days of Lincoln. Derek Zoolander (Stiller) is the only one who can save the world from the evil head of a fashion cartel, led by Will Ferrell (Sept. 28).

Training Day The director of “The Replacement Killers” brings us a tale of police corruption. Ethan Hawke is partnered with anti-drug squad seargent Denzel Washington, who is carried away with his position of power and his opportunities for illegal activities (Sept. 21).

Big Trouble Based on columnist and writer Dave Barry”s novel and featuring an all-star cast including Tim Allen, Denis Farina, Jason Lee and Stanley Tucci, this crime/action/comedy film concerns a black market struggle over a nuclear bomb (Sept. 21).

Novocaine This dark comedy, starring Steve Martin, Helena Bonham Carter, and Laura Dern, has Martin as a dentist who is caught up in a murder investiagtion. This film offers Martin a chance to be part of a more sinister plot than usual (Oct. 19).

The Last Castle How would you like to be a prisoner in a military prison controlled by a corrupt James Gandolfini. Robert Redford plays a court-martialed general who plots an uprising with the other prisoners (Oct. 12).

Heist Word wizard David Mamet”s newest film has a familiar plot: it brings some crooks back for one last job. Fortunately, an excellent cast, featuring Gene Hackman, Danny Devito, Delroy Lindo and Mamet regulars Rebecca Pidgeon and Ricky Jay and Mamet”s direction should save this film from cliche oblivion (Oct. 26).

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer”s Stone Based on the insanely popular book by J.K. Rowling, this fantasy follows Harry Potter”s first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Reportedly, the screenplay is nearly identical to the book, which should ensure that the movie appeals to the same audience as the book series (Nov. 16).

Monsters Inc. Pixar Animation Studios, the computer animation pioneers who brought us “Toy Story,” “Toy Story 2,” and “A Bug”s Life,” now delves into the world of monsters, who, after leaving their portal to the bedroom closets of small children unguarded, are foreced to deal with a lost little girl. Features the voices of Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and James Coburn (Nov. 2).

Spy Game Tony Scott (“Enemy of the State,” “Top Gun”) brings brings us a thriller about a CIA agent (Brad Pitt) who is imprisoned and must be rescued by soon to retire aget and mentor Robert Redford (Nov. 21).

The Man Who Wasn”t There The Coen Brothers return with a film noir style piece filled with blackmail and intrigue. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, James Gandolfini and Tony Shalhoub (Nov. 2).

The One In the future, an evil Jet Li grows stronger as he kills alternate versions of himself. Jason Stratham (“Snatch”) and Delroy Lindo also star. The role, originally meant for WWF star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jet Li”s benevolent and malevolent characters do battle with extensive special effects and wire fighting (Nov. 2).

Gangs of New York Martin Scorsese”s crime drama set in the 1860s stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Liam Neeson and Cameron Diaz. Hopefully this will signify an end of the teeny-bopper run for DiCaprio (Dec. 21).

The Fellowship of the Ring The long awaited screen version of the first book in J.R. Tolkien”s classic trilogy has a promising cast and breathtaking scenery and special effects. Without jinxing it, what could possibly go wrong? Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood star as Gandalf the Grey and hobbit Frodo Baggins, respectively (Dec. 19).

The Majestic Frank Darabont, the director of “The Green Mile” and “The Shawshank Redemption” heads this film starring Jim Carrey (in a Jimmy Stewart like role) as a blacklisted screenwriter in the 1950s who suffers memory loss and settles down in a Bedford Falls style town (Dec. 21).

The Royal Tenebaums Wes Anderson, the brains behind “Bottle Rocket” and “Rushmore,” brings us another promising film starring Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Murray and Ben Stiller. It centers on a family”s reunion after their father leaves (Dec. 21).

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