Mr. Woodcock
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D.O.A. of the fall?

By Patrick Day, Lora Victorio and Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

Not all offerings this fall can be winners. Here are our hunches about the season’s less-savory fare:

‘Mr. Woodcock’ (Sept. 14)

Billy Bob Thornton was once the star of highly regarded indie fare such as “Sling Blade” and “One False Move” and all was great. Then he became the star of less highly regarded but much bigger budget fare such as “Armageddon” and “The Alamo” and that was not so great, but understandable (Billy Bob gotta eat). Now, Billy Bob is starring in low-brow comedies such as “School for Scoundrels” and “Mr. Woodcock” and we have to wonder what happened. (Tracy Bennett / New Line Cinema)
50 Cent, ‘Curtis’ (Sept. 11)

Originally slated to be released back in June, 50 Cent’s “Curtis” was pushed to August then September. But even with the expanded lead time, initial singles “Straight to the Bank” and “Amusement Park” failed to generate much buzz. Additionally, a halfhearted feud with Kanye West, who also releases a new album on Sept. 11, lacks any bite. Unless a hit single suddenly materializes, so will “Curtis.” (Carolyn Cole / LAT)
‘Cavemen,’ ABC (Oct. 2)

Yes, everyone knows about ABC’s new sitcom inspired by the Geico commercials. But just because people know about it doesn’t mean it’s going to be any good. The plot about three cavemen trying to make it in modern society sounds like it could be funny as a movie (Think “Encino Man”), but a whole series? We don’t think so. (ABC)
‘Saw IV’ (Oct. 26)

This will make four “Saw” movies in as many years. Movies should be events, not regular appointments -- especially a movie like “Saw,” which resembles a trip to the dentist in more ways than one. Even after Jigsaw’s death in the last film, his traps continue. At least they’re not contriving a way to bring him back from the dead a la Jason and Freddy. Or aren’t they? (Lionsgate)
‘Moonlight,’ CBS (Sept. 28)

An immortal vampire who works as a private investigator goes against his vampire tendencies in order to do good in the world, but struggles to find love and acceptance. The previews looked bad and so we think it’s only a matter of time before this show gets bled dry. Besides, we’ll watch “Angel” if we need a good vampire fix. (CBS)
Duran Duran, ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ (Nov. 13)

With at least three tracks said to feature production work from Timbaland, and two of them promising cameos from Justin Timberlake, the long-awaited new album from the ‘80s club mainstays reeks of opportunism. Rather than challenge itself to make a relevant album at the latter stages of its career, Duran Duran reached out to the stars of the moment. Worse, the album’s coldly tepid “Nite-Runner” is more fit for a yuppie coffeehouse than the dance floor. (EPA)
‘Good Luck Chuck’ (Sept. 21)

Comedy shouldn’t be pretty. Hot faces and killer bods weren’t what made hits out of “Superbad” and “Borat.” So why is there any expectation that we’ll find comedy gold in the pairing of Dane Cook and Jessica Alba? We’re all very happy they were blessed with good genes and have maintained a rigorous diet and excercise regimen. But they’ve spent so long trying to look so right, the art of looking goofy becomes a lost art -- witness Jessica Alba’s attempt at slapstick. (Sergei Bachlakov / Lionsgate)
‘Cane,’ CBS (Sept. 25)

A family drama set around a Cuban American’s rum and sugar business is not the kind of plot most people can identify with, but props should go to CBS for giving this idea a try. Leading men Hector Elizondo and Jimmy Smits are a sight for sore eyes, but this new show seems like empty calories. (Robert Voets / CBS)
Bo Bice, ‘American Blood’ (tentative) (Oct. 23)

The public’s appetite for “American Idol” vets – winners and losers – never ceases to amaze, but Bo Bice will have an uphill battle on his sophomore effort. After one major-label album on RCA, Bice will release his second on indie StartArt, and do so in a crowded, pre-holiday season. Additionally, Bice’s country-leaning Southern rock is out of step with today’s Top 40 radio, a promotional tool “American Idol” contestants live and die by. (RCA)