PopWatch Previewer: "Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist," "Punisher: War Zone," and more!

The eyes of the world are on the Olympics, but the competition is heating up for fall movies, too. This week’s previews include a Juno-esque teencom, a horror schlock-shocker, a superhero sequel, and a festival-fave character study.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

October 3

Plot: Two indie-cool high schoolers (Juno’s Michael Cera and House Bunny’s Kat Dennings) fall for each other over a night of music-filled misadventures in New York City. 

Looks like: Can’t Hardly Wait (High Fidelity remix)

Verdict: The title sounds like some kind of butt-numbing experimental film (actual running time is a sub-infinite 95 minutes), but this trailer paints Nick & Norah as a straightforward teen comedy, complete with puppy love, out-all-night hijinks, and plenty of drunk-girl slapstick. It’s nothing new, but the gag-to-chuckle ratio is pretty high. And when has Michael Cera ever let us down?

The Haunting of Molly Hartley

October 31

Plot: A teenager (Haley Bennett) who believes her soul belongs to the devil tries to escape her fate at a posh private school.

Looks like: Gossip Girl meets The Exorcist

Verdict: Attempted infanticide? Prep school possession? With the fall movie season gearing up to deliver its usual glut of staid prestige pics, it’s a relief to know that at least one movie this year will be a flat-out, unapologetic trashfest. Sign me up.

Punisher: War Zone

December 5

Plot: The skull-sporting anti-hero (Rome’s Ray Stevenson) brings his own brand of justice to a criminal mastermind with a jacked-up face (The Wire’s Dominic West).

Looks like: A punishing second-rate superhero movie.

Verdict: Hmm. A tormented vigilante battling a disfigured baddie…. Sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it? But the low-rent stunts in this trailer make us think this Punisher will probably end up closer to Daredevil than Dark Knight.


October 10

Plot: A quirky brit (Sally Hawkins) in quirky clothes does quirky things quirkily, to bittersweet effect.

Looks like: A big-screen Britcom.

Verdict: The latest character study from Mike Leigh… wait a sec. Mike Leigh? The limey grief-monger behind 2004’s Vera Drake? Yup, it’s the same guy, although Happy-Go-Lucky seems much closer in tone to 1999’s Victorian romp Topsy Turvy — or 1996 Best Picture nominee Secrets & Lies. With some good festival buzz behind it, this looks like a definite Oscar contender, especially for Hawkins (2007’s Cassandra’s Dream).

Your turn, PopWatchers: Do you think that any of these movies are destined for box office — or Oscar — gold?

Comments (15 total) Add your comment
  • Jefferson

    Okay, I just finished reading “Nick and Nora…” this week and adored the book. However, watching the trailer has me a little worried about the page to screen transition. Anyone else read the book and feeling the same thing?

  • Anne

    Nick and Norah film looks really good but I have to say that the book is AWESOME and should be read separate from the film.

  • Lauren

    As a HUGE fan of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (the book), I have to say that I couldn’t be more excited for the film adaptation. Yes, some things will be different, but the casting and general madcap feel as indicated in the preview are exactly right. I’ll be there!

  • Jackie

    Against my better judgement, I’m totally excited to see Nick and Norah. And you’re right. Has Michael Cera EVER let us down? Definetly seeing it. It doesn’t actually look like a regular teen-com. It looks BETTER. It looks like an actual movie.

  • Anonymous

    So excited for Nick and Nora! I loved the book and although the movie can never live up to the book, this looks good.

  • LL

    I think Nick and Norah is my new favorite movie already. I just ordered the book online. Also, it’s good to see the chick from She’s Too Young, that epic Lifetime movie, has moved up in the world.

  • eventgal

    Anyone know the song at the end of the Happy-Go-Lucky trailer?

  • Psappy

    I’m pretty pissed at the direction of Nick and Norah. Have they even read the book? I knew when Michael Cera was cast this would become a vehicle to showcase yet again, his ability to be awkard. Don’t get me wrong, I love Michael Cera, but he isn’t Nick and nor do I see him trying to portray the Nick in the book. Sad.

  • bonnylass

    eventgal–that song is LDN by Lily Allen. It’s off her Alright, Still album. Great song!

  • Ceballos

    I LOVED Michael Cera and thought he deserved an Emmy nomination for “Arrested Development” (which I also adore).
    However, this looks like the fifth straight time he gives the exact same performance. I know a lot of actors have certain personas, but I’d like to see him do something else, at least once.

  • Jessica S

    I don’t want to like Nick and Nora, nor do I want to admit an interest in seeing it. But darn if that Michael Cera isn’t the cutest thing ever! I’ve been known to do anything for a Bluth, though…

  • Raven_Moon

    First off, don’t insult “Daredevil” by comparing it to “The Punisher: Warzone.” I don’t get all the hate towards “Daredevil” now. It had good reviews when it came out.
    Back on topic, though…
    I’d like to see “Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist,” but “Happy-Go-Lucky” looks kind of annoying.

  • monica

    i’m definitely seeing Nick and Nora. I just snagged the book from the library.

  • Arthur

    For those interested, see below the list of songs that will be in the movie. Obviously a bit different than what was originally in the book.
    Brooklyn’s Bishop Allen and Project Jenny, Project Jan also make an appearance in the film.
    Chris Bell – “Speed Of Sound”
    Devendra Banhart – “Lover”
    The Real Tuesday Weld – “Last Words”
    Takka Takka – “Fever”
    Band Of Horses – “Our Swords”
    Richard Hawley – “Baby You’re My Light”
    Modest Mouse – “Little Motel”
    Project Jenny Project Jan – “Negative”
    Dead 60’s – “Riot Radio”
    Paul Tiernan – “How To Say Goodbye”
    Army Navy – “Silvery Sleds”
    Shout Out Louds – “Very Loud”
    We Are Scientists – “After Hours”
    The Submarines – “Xavia”
    The National – “All The Wine”
    The Raveonettes – “Twilight”
    Bishop Allen – “Middle Management”
    Vampire Weekend – “Ottoman”
    Matt & Kim – “Silver Tiles

  • Anonymous

    eventgal its merry happy by kate nash at the end of happy go luck

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