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Fall into film

What's in store over the next few weeks

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We have a couple more months before we start seeing the glitzy holiday films starring the likes of Harrison Ford, Will Smith, Tom Cruise, and Bond, James Bond, but until then, here's a bundle of fall flicks to keep moviegoers busy.

SEPT. 19

After being pronounced dead for a full seven minutes, a self-centered jerk (Ricky Gervais) finds that he now has the ability to communicate with ghosts (specifically, Greg Kinnear) in the comedy Ghost Town ... In the animated flick Igor, a lowly hunchback (John Cusack) seeks to elevate his lot in life by becoming a mad scientist; John Cleese, Eddie Izzard and Molly Shannon also contribute vocals ... A hit on the film festival circuit, In Search of a Midnight Kiss focuses on two lonely hearts (Scoot McNairy and Sara Simmonds) who meet shortly before New Year's Eve ... In the thriller Lakeview Terrace, an interracial couple (Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) move into their new suburban home, only to immediately be harassed by the cop (Samuel L. Jackson) who lives next door ... My Best Friend's Girl stars American Pie's Jason Biggs as the best friend, Kate Hudson as the girl, and Dane Cook as the sleazebag who tries to steal her away ... In Transsiberian, an American couple (Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer) traveling aboard the Trans-Siberian Express make the acquaintance of another pair (Eduardo Noriega and Kate Mara) who may or may not be involved in drug trafficking; also along for the ride is a shady Russian detective (Ben Kingsley).

SEPT. 26

Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), Choke centers on a sex addict (Sam Rockwell) who financially supports his Alzheimer's-afflicted mother (Anjelica Huston) by pretending to choke on food in restaurants, thereby allowing his "saviors" to send him checks to pay for his recovery ... Two strangers -- a slacker (Shia LaBeouf) and a single mom (Michelle Monaghan) -- are thrust together when an unknown person frames them for criminal activities and forces them to do her bidding in Eagle Eye, a thriller co-starring Rosario Dawson and Billy Bob Thornton ... Despite the commercial failure of all Iraq War-based movies, The Lucky Ones hopes to be the lucky one, focusing on three vets (Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams and Michael Pena) who bond after returning stateside from their respective tours of duty ... Spike Lee directs the World War II tale Miracle at St. Anna, about four African-American soldiers (Derek Luke, Michael Ealy, Laz Alonso and Omar Benson Miller) trapped behind enemy lines in an Italian village; Kerry Washington, John Leguizamo and Lee regular John Turturro appear in supporting roles ... Richard Gere and Diane Lane team for the third time (following 1984's The Cotton Club and 2002's Unfaithful) in the romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe, set in the Outer Banks and based on the book by N.C. author Nicholas Sparks ... Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball wrote and directed Towelhead, an adaptation of Alicia Erian's novel about a 13-year-old Arabian-American girl (Summer Bishil) who must contend with her strict Lebanese father (Peter Macdissi), her black boyfriend (Eugene Jones III) and her lecherous neighbor (Aaron Eckhart).

OCT. 3

Ed Harris serves as director, co-writer and co-star of Appaloosa, a Western saga about two cowboys (Harris and Viggo Mortensen) tasked to protect a small town from tyranny; Renee Zellweger and Jeremy Irons also star ... Battle in Seattle is a fictionalized look at the famous riots that disrupted the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle; Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson and Andre Benjamin are among the name actors taking part ... A pampered pet gets lost in Mexico in the Disney family film Beverly Hills Chihuahua ... The Duchess stars Keira Knightley as the real-life Georgiana, the freethinking Duchess of Devonshire who attempts to carve out her own happiness after being trapped in a loveless marriage to a selfish Duke (Ralph Fiennes) ... Based on a true story, Flash of Genius tells the underdog tale of Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear), an ordinary guy who fights back after his revolutionary invention is stolen outright by the shameless heads of the automobile industry ... A maverick British writer (Shaun of the Dead's Simon Pegg) accepts a job at a stuffy New York magazine in How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, co-starring Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges and Megan Fox ... Film critic and N.C. native Godfrey Cheshire helms the documentary Moving Midway, about the emotions stirred when his family attempts to physically move the clan's ancestral plantation home to a more remote region of the state ... In Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, high schooler and band member Nick (Juno's Michael Cera) asks a stranger named Norah (Charlie Bartlett's Kat Dennings) to pretend to be his girlfriend for a few minutes just to make his ex jealous; naturally, things progress from there ... What Just Happened is an inside-Hollywood tale directed by Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog), with Robert De Niro as a struggling film producer and Bruce Willis making an appearance as himself.

OCT. 10

The co-star (Leonardo DiCaprio) and scripter (William Monahan) of The Departed team with the co-star (Russell Crowe) and director (Ridley Scott) of American Gangster for the political thriller Body of Lies, in which a CIA field operative (Leo) working in Jordan doesn't trust the superior (Russ) who's supposed to be looking out for him ... Two children (Atonement Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and Harry Treadaway) must save their city from plunging into permanent darkness in the fantasy yarn City of Ember, co-starring Bill Murray, Martin Landau and Tim Robbins ... The Express centers on the life of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the first African-American football player to win the Heisman Trophy during the turbulent 1960s; Dennis Quaid co-stars as the college team's tough coach ... In the style of The Blair Witch Project, Diary of the Dead, Cloverfield and the little-seen Spanish import [Rec] (of which this is a remake), Quarantine is yet another horror flick in which the action -- in this case, taking place inside an apartment building populated by crazies -- is seen through the lens of a video camera.

OCT. 17

Based on the video game, Max Payne stars Mark Wahlberg as the title character, a DEA agent seeking revenge for the death of his loved ones ... The Secret Life of Bees, adapted from Sue Monk Kidd's best-selling novel by writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), stars Dakota Fanning as a lonely girl in 1960s South Carolina who learns valuable life lessons from three sisters (Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keys) ... Apparently, we're supposed to take the title Sex Drive literally, as three teens embark on a road trip looking for some action ... Oliver Stone's Nixon was far more sympathetic toward the disgraced (and disgraceful) president than anyone had expected, so let's see what the filmmaker does with W., his biopic about the most incompetent and insidious commander in chief in American history (Josh Brolin plays Dubya).

OCT. 24

After the first two installments proved to be cable TV ratings bonanzas, Disney is hoping to score some actual green with the theatrical release of High School Musical 3: Senior Year ... Passengers stars Anne Hathaway as a grief counselor who starts to notice strange occurrences involving the survivors of a plane crash ... Two brothers-in-law (Edward Norton and Colin Farrell) on the New York police force become embroiled in scandal in Pride and Glory ... Saw V; nuff said.

OCT. 31

Clint Eastwood directs Angelina Jolie in Changeling, a period (1920s Los Angeles) drama about a mother who suspects that the boy who's returned home after being kidnapped isn't really her son; John Malkovich and Gone Baby Gone Oscar nominee Amy Ryan also star ... Director Guy Ritchie returns to the criminal milieu that initially launched his career (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch) with Rocknrolla, in which a valuable painting draws the attention of various underworld types, including a London crime lord (Tom Wilkinson) and a smalltime hood (Gerard Butler) ... Kevin Smith is the writer-director of Zack and Miri Make a Porno, about two friends (Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks) who decide to pay off their debts by mounting (no pun intended) their own amateur adult flick; the cast also includes Smith veteran Jason Mewes (not playing Jay for once) and former jailbait porn star Traci Lords.

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