Break out the popcorn for this fall’s newest movie releases

Helen Harrington

This fall the box office is jam packed with loads of anticipated movies. Some of those include The Matrix Revolutions, and The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King.

Premiering this Friday, Sept. 12 are Once Upon a Time in Mexico, starring Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp, and Salma Hayek, and Cold Creek Manor, featuring Dennis Quad, Sharon Stone, and Christopher Plummer.

In the action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico, CIA agent (Depp) hires a Mariachi band member (Banderas) to expose a cartel lord on Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

When a family moves to upstate New York in Cold Creek Manor, trouble comes to find them. In this suspenseful flick, Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone battle the manor’s former tenant when he comes back to claim what he believes is his.

Arriving later this month, on Sept. 26, are The Human Stain, starring Nicole Kidman, Anthony Hopkins, and Ed Harris, and The Rundown starring Dwayne (“The Rock”) Johnson, and Seann William Scott.

The Human Stain’s director Benton explains, “What I’ve always taken it to mean is a kind of poison within humanity. It’s the damage that human beings do to the world that we live in.”

When a college professor (Hopkins) utters a racial slur, his life is slowly torn apart. His only refuge and comfort is found in a younger woman, played by Kidman.

Wrestler ‘The Rock,’ born Dwayne Johnson, stars in another action flick, The Rundown. On Beck’s (played by The Rock) last escapade as a bounty hunter before retirement, he heads out into the Amazon to pick up a renegade (Scott) who is searching for a rare artifact.

Opening on Oct. 10 is Intolerable Cruelty starring George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, and Billy Bob Thorton. In this legal thriller, Miles (Clooney) has finally met his match, Marilyn (Zeta-Jones). When Miles tries to cut off Marilyn’s alimony, the race is on.

Runaway Jury is based on the best selling book by author John Grisham. In the court room drama’s convoluted plot, someone inside the courtroom has total control on what will happen during a public health suit against the Big Tobacco company.

Also coming in October is In the Cut (Oct. 24) starring Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kevin Bacon and Nick Damici; Brother Bear (also Oct. 24) featuring the voices of Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Rick Moranis, Dave Thomas, and Michael Duncan; and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre out Oct. 17. This film stars the WB’s “7th Heaven” favorite Jessica Biel, Eric Balfour, Jonathan Tucker, Erica Leerhsen, and Andrew Bryniarski.

The much anticipated Matrix Revolution will keep viewers on the edge of their seats when cast members Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Jada Pinkett-Smith, return to theaters starting Nov. 5. In the last installment of this ongoing trilogy, some of the old favorite characters make a comeback, including Persephone (Monica Bellucci) and Niobe (Smith).

Actor Reeves answers some pending questions about the film. “There’s a battle between Zion and the machines. And the relationship between Agent Smith and Neo are resolved. And some questions of the journey of Neo as ‘The One’ are answered. (There are) lots of surprises.”

Movies hitting theaters this November include Cat in the Hat (opening Nov. 21), staring Mike Meyers, Dakota Fanning, Spencer Breslin, Alex Baldwin, and Kelly Preston; Haunted Mansion starring Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Tilly, Marsha Thomason, Terence Stamp, and Wallace Shawn; and Timeline (Nov. 26) starring Paul Walker and Frances O’Connor.

Movie fans can also look forward to the latest installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King. Many questions come to mind when thinking of the third and final element; will Frodo make it to Mount Doom? Can Sam escape the killer arachnid? Will Middle Earth be saved from the corrupting power of the Ring? Find out as the film opens nationwide beginning Dec. 17.

Also premiering this December are The Last Samurai (Dec. 5) starring Tom Cruise, Timothy Spall, Bill Connolly, Tony Goldwyn, and Ken Watanabe; Mona Lisa Smile (Dec. 19) starring Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Marcia Gay Harden; and Cold Mountain (Dec. 25) staring Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, Renee Zellweger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Natalie Portman.

Whether you like sci-fi, romantic comedies, or action adventure, this fall movie lineup is sure to have something captivate you.