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A checklist of the upcoming seasonal fare

Given my lifelong fascination with Idi Amin, the ruthless Ugandan dictator responsible for the murders of hundreds of thousands of his countrymen during the 1970s, no other fall movie excites me as much as The Last King of Scotland, starring Forest Whitaker as Amin and James McAvoy as his reluctant Scottish physician. But you won't find The Last King of Scotland among the following checklist of movies hitting Charlotte between now and the year-end holiday season.

That's because the film is one of the many limited releases being leaked out this fall, pictures that will open in New York and Los Angeles on set dates but then roll out to the rest of the country as their studios see fit. The Last King of Scotland opens in limited release Sept. 27. We may see it in October. Or November. Or even later.

And there are plenty more promising titles subjected to this common practice, among them the documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon; Running With Scissors, starring Annette Bening and Gwyneth Paltrow in an adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' bestseller; and Babel, with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett in a sprawling saga (apparently structured like director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's previous works, 21 Grams and Amores Perros) about a personal tragedy that ends up affecting people on different continents.

On the other hand, if you're only reading to find out when Jackass: Number Two opens in Charlotte, then you're in the right place. In all fairness, the mainstream offerings run the gamut from questionable to quality, so most cinematic bases should be covered. Here, then, are the 33 movies almost certain to blanket the country over the next nine weeks.

SEPTEMBER 15: The Black Dahlia, an adaptation of James Ellroy's book as well as director Brian De Palma's first movie in four years, is a based-on-fact neo-noir about two detectives (Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart) searching for the killer of an aspiring young actress (Mia Kirshner); Scarlett Johansson and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank appear as potential femme fatales ... The late Christopher Reeve retains a directing credit on the animated yarn Everyone's Hero, in which a young boy (Jake T. Austin) learns some valuable life lessons as he embarks on a cross-country odyssey; William H. Macy, Robert Wagner and Whoopi Goldberg are among those lending vocal support ... A juvenile detention center counselor (The Rock) turns a group of troubled teens into a kick-ass football team in Gridiron Gang ... A remake of an Italian film presented by the Charlotte Film Society back in February 2003, The Last Kiss stars Zach Braff as a confused guy who, on the eve of his 30th birthday, considers cheating on his pregnant girlfriend (Jacinda Barrett) with a sexy new acquaintance (Rachel Bilson).

SEPTEMBER 22: Based on the same Robert Penn Warren novel as the 1949 Best Picture Oscar winner, All the King's Men features a high-powered cast led by Sean Penn (as Willie Stark, a brash Louisiana governor based on Huey Long), Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Anthony Hopkins ... The horror flick Feast, the latest winner on Bravo's Project Greenlight series, will only be shown theatrically on the nights of Sept. 22-23 before hitting DVD on Oct. 17; it concerns a face-off between bar dwellers and flesh-eating creatures ... Jackass: The Movie, the 2002 spin-off of the TV show in which Johnny Knoxville and friends indulged in gross-out gags, earned $64 million at the US box office (about 13 times its production costs), so of course there's now Jackass: Number Two ... The standing of the real-life Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li) as one of China's greatest martial arts masters is cemented by his appearance at a major tournament in Jet Li's Fearless, which the action superstar insists will be his final martial arts yarn.

SEPTEMBER 29: The Lafayette Escadrille, the famed flying outfit from World War I, is at the center of Flyboys, an epic adventure yarn starring James Franco as one of the American volunteers serving alongside France's flyers during the Great War ... In The Guardian, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer (Kevin Costner) plagued by a tragic past takes a job at a training school, whereupon he attempts to bring out the best in a swaggering young recruit (Ashton Kutcher) ... Ashton Kutcher -- his voice, anyway -- also turns up in Open Season, an animated tale about a deer (Kutcher) and a bear (Martin Laurence) trying to remain alive during hunting season ... A nerd (Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder) is irked to discover that the teacher (Billy Bob Thornton) of his "confidence building" class is wooing the girl of his dreams (Jacinda Barrett) in the comedy School for Scoundrels ... The Science of Sleep, the latest mindbender from writer-director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), centers on a strange guy (Y Tu Mama Tambien's Gael Garcia Bernal) who searches his dreams for the answer on how to catch the eye of his attractive neighbor (Charlotte Gainsbourg).

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