A quirky recap of fall's top films—in verse!

If you've fallen behind cinematically, the obvious next step is to go on an all-day, 7-movie bender. But no need! The columnist did it for you.

Hanks and Berry

Tom Hanks stars as Zachry and Halle Berry as Meronym in the movie "Cloud Atlas." (Jay Maidment / Warner Bros.)

Thanksgiving was fast approaching, and the holiday blockbusters were about to start. But I still hadn't seen any of the big fall movies. How was I ever going to catch up?

If I failed to make up the deficit, I wouldn't be able to outguess Roger Ebert in those Academy Awards sweepstakes. Or talk to my industry friends, who, come to think of it, are pretty much all schoolteachers or Trader Joe's cashiers by now. Would I even be allowed into an Oscar party?

So I went on a movie marathon. Seven films. One day. Sixteen hours.

The marathon started at the Sherman Oaks Galleria just after 9 a.m., before the elevator — but not the elevator music — was turned on. I left the ArcLight Hollywood well after midnight, waving goodbye to the cleanup crew.

Thanks to multiplexes, I had to drive across town only once. I tried taking brisk walks up and down the theater hallway, but by the end, various parts of my body were killing me.I survived on a chicken sausage on baguette with zingy mustard sauce, three Diet Cokes and a small tub of popcorn, no butter. I methodically worked the popcorn down to the last 10 handfuls before I felt too sick to go on.

It was pretty fun, but I was a wreck the next day, I'm not sure why. My sleep was broken by disturbing images: Joaquin Phoenix's tortured face. Keira Knightley impersonating Anna Karenina in a preview, which I sat through five times.

I know I'm not the only one who missed the entire fall slate, but don't attempt Xtreme viewing at home! I boiled it down so you don't have to. As an extra bonus for busy readers, it's all in handy verse:


Joseph Gordon-Levitt picks up his blunderbuss

To blow away his future self — Bruce Willis in a truss.

Bruce escapes. A demon child lets out an awful scream.

A field of cane goes up in smoke, and Looper is a dream.


College a cappella groups and barfing girls galore:

A Pitch Perfect concept for a film that's sure to soar.

Sadly, girls run out of horrid pop songs to perform.

Time to watch "The Breakfast Club" and weep inside your dorm.


Mark O'Brien lives in Berkeley in an iron lung.

William Macy is a priest who thinks sex can be fun.