With the Summer blockbuster season over, avid moviegoers can flock this Autumn to their local theaters to see a better crop of films. Gone are the bombastic explosions, sequels and superheroes. Replaced by actual stories, certified acting and filmmakers that have honed their craft in smaller productions. So, read on to find out about what to watch in Pittsburgh with start dates and brief descriptions to follow.
"Austenland" (9/13) - Jerusha Hess, the writer of the hit Indie "Napoleon Dynamite", directs her very first feature. A Romantic Comedy concerning a desperate woman (Keri Russell), who is hooked on the BBC miniseries of "Pride and Prejudice", visiting a Jane Austen theme park to find her own Mr. Darcy. Fun but, flawed. It also stars Brett McKenzie of "The Flight of the Conchords" fame and Jennifer Coolidge from "Best In Show".
"Prisoners" (9/20) - Canadian director Denis Villaneuve, who last delivered a superb racially charged Foreign film called "Incendicies", returns with even more fiery subject matter, this time concerning child abduction. In a story involving a distraught father (Hugh Jackman) who seeks out a likely suspect to coax out the truth in the disappearance of his daughter and her neighborhood friend. Enthralling, sure to be mentioned in this year's Oscar race.
"Populaire" (9/27) - A sweet throwback to the slapstick Comedies of the 1950's, albeit in a French style, when a naive provincial girl (Deborah Francoise) enters a speed typing contest to win the affections of her big city boss (Romain Duris). Hits just the right keys in rendering a crowd-pleasing picture. Also arrives at the same time to own on Import DVD with English subtitles.
"Gravity" (10/4) - Spanish auteur Alfonso Cuaron makes his biggest and boldest Sci-Fi splash in this saga of an Astronaut (George Clooney) and his ship's Medical Engineer (Sandra Bullock) adrift in outer space after a horrifying accident. Exceptional, called by quite a few Critics as the best picture of 2013... so far.
"The Fifth Estate" (10/11) - Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh off the stellar "Star Trek" sequel as the villainous Khan, embodies Internet upstart and Wikileaks' founder Julian Assange in this moving bio-pic that shows how he supposedly stole secrets from the U.S. Government. Detailed and dramatic, this movie poses questions of America's free speech and what that actually means. From Bill Condon, the Oscar winning filmmaker that made "Gods and Monsters".