By Vinnie Abbatecola
Another summer is behind us, and it has left moviegoers floored with the adventures of Marvel’s team of superhero titans in The Avengers, and Christopher Nolan’s Caped Crusader, who swooped in for the The Dark Knight trilogy’s epic conclusion. Ridley Scott revived the Alien series, and the third Men in Black wasn’t nearly as bad as expected.
This summer also provided some shining indie fare, such as the time-traveling comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, a look at preteen romance in Moonrise Kingdom and a brave girl trying to survive the aftermath of a storm in Beasts of the Southern Wild.
To build on the summer’s success is fall’s potential selection of blockbuster and Oscar-worthy films. James Bond returns to the spy scene, the Twilight saga reaches its anticipated conclusion, Daniel Day-Lewis embodies Honest Abe and Quentin Tarantino brings us his latest flirt with bloody and violent originality.
All of that and more await audiences in the next few months.
Taken 2 (Oct. 5): The sequel to the 2008 box office hit returns Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, a CIA agent who, while on vacation in Istanbul, is kidnapped alongside his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) by a group of thugs who want to avenge the deaths of their members killed in the previous film. Now Mills’ daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) must set out to help them escape.
Paranormal Activity 4 (Oct. 19): Unlike the last two films, this latest installment is a direct sequel, taking place five years after the events of the first two. This time we have a possessed Katie (Katie Featherston) and her five-year-old nephew, Hunter (Brady Allen) — now named Robbie to hide his identity — moving into a house of their own. Soon Alice (Kathryn Newton) and her mother, neighbors of Katie and Robbie begin to experience creepy happenings.
Skyfall (Nov. 9): Sam Mendes directs the 23rd installment of 007 Agent James Bond (Daniel Craig). Not much has been disclosed about the plot, but it does concern Bond’s latest adversary, Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem), who wants to take down the MI6 agency and its chief, M (Judi Dench).
Lincoln (Nov. 16): Steven Spielberg chronicles the last four months of the sixteenth president’s life in his latest film, as well as the strategies Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) employed to help the Union win their victory in the Civil War.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (Nov. 16): Director Bill Condon brings the popular vampire saga to a close. After Bella (Kristen Stewart) gives birth to a vampire-human hybrid and becomes a vampire herself, she and her husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson), will do anything they can to protect their daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), from the ruling vampires of the Volturi coven, who see her as a threat to their kind.
Life of Pi (Nov. 21): Based on the bestselling 2001 novel by Yann Martel, Ang Lee directs this adaptation about a young Indian boy named Pi (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea, sharing a lifeboat with a hungry Bengal tiger.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Dec. 14): In a recent change, director Peter Jackson has turned his latest project from a two-part film into a trilogy, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien. He begins the Lord of the Rings prequel with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who joins Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a troop of 13 dwarves on a journey to reclaim a dragon’s treasure.
Les Misérables (Dec. 25): In the film version of the hit Broadway musical, based on the nineteenth-century novel of the same name written by Victor Hugo, Tom Hooper directs the story about Frenchman Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who is imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. After he violates his parole, he must run from police Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). After two decades on the run, Valjean finds himself in the midst of Paris’ 1832 June Rebellion.
This is 40 (Dec. 21): Judd Apatow brings us a spinoff of his smash 2007 comedy, Knocked Up. This time, however, he focuses on characters Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), who are having difficulties coming to terms with the fact they are both about to turn 40 in the same week.
Django Unchained (Dec. 25): In Quentin Tarantino’s latest violent excursion he tells the story of Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter in the Deep South who saves a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) from his masters. The two then strike a deal: Schultz wants Django to help him hunt down a gang of killers, known as the Brittle Brothers, and Schultz will assist Django in freeing his wife Broomhilda von Shaft (Kerry Washington) from merciless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
This fall movie season looks to be one of the best yet, with many of the most anticipated adventures arriving in November and December, offering some fun for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. So, take advantage of those days off during the holidays and catch as many of these films as you can. Invest in a daily planner if you have to; it will surely come in handy for such a time.