After Dark’s Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For
Nov. 9 to 18
For the second annual Horrorfest (again, strangely held the week AFTER Halloween), After Dark has toned down last year’s largely unfulfilled promise of movies “too graphic, too disturbing, and too shocking for general audiences,” billing 2007’s batch of eight indie horror flicks simply as movies that run “the spectrum of horror to thriller to gore to supernatural.” Among them are director Matthew Leutwyler’s (Dead & Breakfast) Unearthed, which stars Saw II’s Emmanuelle Vaugier, and writer/director Mark Young’s Tooth and Nail, which stars Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones, and Rachel Miner. The fest is running in more than 350 theaters around the country, and the movies will probably eventually come out on DVD, as last year’s did.
Stone’s Throw Records’ 2K Sports Bounce Tour (Holiday Edition)
Nov. 8 to Dec. 7
California hip-hop label Stone’s Throw is following up the fall edition of the Bounce Tour (featuring Common and Q-Tip) with another quick U.S. jaunt to promote Peanut Butter Wolf Presents 2K8: B-Ball Zombie War, a 20-song compilation featuring Talib Kweli (pictured), Q-Tip, and MF Doom rapping over beats produced by the late J Dilla. The second, 13-date leg of the tour will include sets by Stones Throw mainstays Peanut Butter Wolf and Madlib, plus Percee P, J Rocc, and Detroit’s indie hip hop wunderkind Guilty Simpson.
Listening Is an Act of Love (Penguin), by Dave Isay
Releases Nov. 8
Story Corp. founder and radio producer Dave Isay attempts to present an oral history of modern America with this collection of excerpts from interviews conducted with some 10,000 “everyday Americans.” They range from political to inspiring to tear-jerking, such as the a father sitting with his daughter remembering her late mother and older brother, who both died of cancer within months of each other.
Things We Want, directed by Ethan Hawke
Opening Nov. 7
Ethan Hawke directs Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Off-Broadway play, a dark comedy, which focuses on three brothers who reunite as adults in their inherited childhood home and struggle to redefine themselves as they pursue the things they want in life. Meanwhile, a hot young neighbor suddenly shows up and throws everyone for a loop. The cast includes Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) and Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent). Expect lots of philosophical waxing on about what makes people happy and Hawke-ian portrayals of masculinity through ironic, vulnerable sensitivity. (The play started its preview run Oct. 22, but Nov. 7 is the “official opening night.”)
Gears of War, PC version
Releases Nov. 6
Gears of War didn’t quite turn out to be the Halo killer some people were predicting it’d be, as evidenced by the hysteria surrounding the recent release of Halo 3, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t gamers who say Gears is actually the better game. The third-person shooter, in which users assume the role of hard-ass Delta Squad soldiers as they attempt to save the inhabitants of the planet Sera from the subterranean Locust Horde, has been an exclusive Xbox 360 title since its release in November 2006. Now, a year later, PC users can finally blast them some Locust scum as the title heads to the Windows platform with a bunch of new features, including five new campaign chapters and three exclusive multiplayer maps.