Balls of Fury
directed by Ben Garant

The writers of this film, Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant, are best known for their work on “The State” and “Reno: 911.” They are two hilarious guys who have made careers out of making mediocre Hollywood comedies. While other alums from “The State” toil away in indie limbo (see: The Ten, “Stella”), Lennon and Garant have written movies likes Night at the Museum, Let’s Go to Prison, The Pacifier and Taxi. For Balls of Fury, Lennon has a role in the movie while Garant has taken up directing duties. The film also inducts newcomer and Tony Award winner Dan Fogler into the Will Ferrell/Jack Black Man-Boy Club for Pudgy Actors In Absurd Comedies.

Death Sentence
directed by James Wan

In an attempt to move past his SAW days (not to mention the all-around bomb that was Dead Silence), director James Wan has left the horror genre entirely. A remake of 1974’s Death Wish, this story of a wronged father going vigilante and seeking his own brand of justice could be pretty decent. Elements such as stars Kevin Bacon and John Goodman give this movie a better than average chance of being better than just another hour and 10 minutes of torture-porn.

directed by Rob Zombie

This is the eighth movie about Michael Myers since John Carpenter’s original debuted in 1978 (it’s the ninth movie in the overall franchise if you count Halloween 3: Season of the Witch… but nobody does). Since then, scores and scores of promiscuous teens, meddling doctors and wrong-place-wrong-timers have met their end at the tip of Myer’s knife. This is Rob Zombie’s “re-imagining” of the story, and so far Halloween fanatics have been the only ones frightened. But early buzz is good, with positive comments on the performance of Scout Taylor Compton (a.k.a. the new Jamie Lee Curtis) and Zombie’s directing (apparently he’s lost some of his “bad-acid trip” visual style).

The Nines
directed by John August
John August, veteran writer Big Fish, Go and Corpse Bride, makes his writing/directing debut with this movie. The plot makes it difficult to pin down a genre, leaving something of a metaphysical tale like Palindrome or Donnie Darko. Ryan Reynolds takes a break from premise comedies to play three characters that, apparently, are actually different versions of his true character: a demigod. The trailer doesn’t help too much with the plot. For example, in one scene all of the people at a busy intersection have invisible diamonds over their heads like in computer game “The Sims.” If August and Reynolds can pull this movie off, there is a chance that it could be one of the year’s best. If they don’t pull it off, well, I hear Death Sentence is playing.

By Brian Hickey