By John wirt
January 07, 2013
The months between the summer movie blockbusters and big ticket films that open from Thanksgiving through Christmas typically are low-key at the cineplex. Nonetheless, likely blockbuster The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 2, the grand finale in the vampire-human love story series, arrives Nov. 16, just before Thanksgiving.
Upcoming movies with hit potential also include Paranormal Activity 4 and the fifth Milla Jovovich-starring Resident Evil movie, Resident Evil: Retribution.
Veteran movie star and Oscar-winning director Clint Eastwood, fresh from his much talked about performance at the Republican National Convention, plays what may be one of his quintessential roles in Trouble with the Curve. The Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln, starring Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president of the United States, promises epic historical drama. And classic spy James Bond returns in Skyfall.
Movie star and sometimes New Orleans resident Brad Pitt returns as a mob enforcer in Killing Them Softly. Also looking promising are the animated Hotel Transylvania, featuring Adam Sandler as Dracula, and Tim Burton’s tale of a boy and his reanimated dog, Frankenweenie.
Hollywood South is represented by Pitch Perfect, a Glee-goes-to-college musical comedy shot on the LSU campus.
Many of the films opening between Sept. 7 and Nov. 16 are listed below. Opening dates are subject to change and may vary from city to city.
THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY — Henry Cavill plays Will Shaw, a young businessman who travels to Spain for a family vacation. Shaw and his family are kidnapped by intelligence agents searching for a mysterious briefcase. Shaw later learns that his estranged father, played by Bruce Willis, is an undercover agent involved in a deadly tangle of secrets and lies. Sigourney Weaver co-stars.
THE WORDS — A complex romantic drama, The Words centers upon a gifted writer who, desperate for success, stoops to literary thievery. Bradley Cooper stars as the plagiarizing writer while Jeremy Irons plays the old man whose work is stolen. Amidst multiple narratives, devastating consequences develop after ambition trumps love. Zoë Saldana, Ben Barnes, Dennis Quaid and Olivia Wilde co-star.
FINDING NEMO — Pixar’s modern-era computer-animated classic about a protective fish dad and his lost son, Nemo, resurfaces in 3-D. A new short film, PartySaurus Rex, precedes the feature attraction.
FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… — After economic necessity compels two young women to become roommates in this New York City-set comedy, the pair opens a phone-sex business. Ari Graynor and Lauren Anne Miller lead a cast including James Wolk and Justin Long.
THE MASTER — Paul Thomas Anderson directs Joaquin Phoenix in this drama about a Navy veteran who returns from World War II with no plans for his future. A charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) presents Phoenix with a new direction.
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION — Milla Jovovich’s zombie-zapping Alice returns in the fifth Resident Evil movie. Continuing her primary mission — hunting those responsible for the Umbrella Corp.’s zombie-spawning T-virus — she travels to Tokyo, New York, Moscow and Washington, D.C.
DREDD 3D — Karl Urban assumes the role Sylvester Stallone played in 1995’s Judge Dredd. In this new film based on the comic series set in a post-apocalyptic future, Dredd — a combination judge, jury and executioner — and his trainee (Olivia Thirlby) battle a slum-ruling drug queen (Lena Headey) and her ruthless clan.
END OF WATCH — Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña play police offers in a story of family, friendship, love, honor and courage.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET — After the recently divorced Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) and her daughter Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) move into the house of their dreams, they learn that a girl killed her parents in the house next door.
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE — Clint Eastwood exits the director’s chair he usually occupies to merely act in this drama about a great baseball scout whose years have begun to catch up with him. Determined to keep the job that defines him, Eastwood’s Gus Lobel resists the Atlanta Braves management’s skepticism about him. Amy Adams co-stars as the estranged daughter who may be able to help her old dad hang onto the job he loves. Also in the cast are John Goodman, Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard and Scott Eastwood.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA — In this animated comedy, Adam Sandler is the voice of Dracula, vampire and proprietor of Hotel Transylvania. Drac invites his monster friends to a party at the hotel, staged in honor of his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) turning 118. Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and a pack of werewolves attend the monster event.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER — This comedy based on an internationally popular novel follows a shy teenager who doesn’t know whether to embrace life or avoid it. Featuring Logan Lerman, a post-Harry Potter Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman and Dylan McDermott.
LOOPER — In the action-thriller Looper, time travel is possible but illegal. Meanwhile, when the mob wants someone dead, they send the target into the past, where a staff assassin waits to make the hit. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis respectively play the younger and older version of the assassin. Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels co-star.
WON’T BACK DOWN — Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis co-star as two mothers determined to transform their children’s struggling inner city school.
FRANKENWEENIE — Tim Burton directs this stop-motion animated story about a boy scientist who won’t let his beloved Sparky go to the place where the good dogs go. Presented in black-and-white 3-D, the film features the voices of Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan and Winona Ryder.
Prior to the film’s Oct. 5 opening, two Frankenweenie CDs will be released Sept. 25, one featuring longtime Burton collaborator Danny Elfman’s instrumental score, the other songs from and inspired by the movie, performed by Karen O, Robert Smith, Neon Trees, Mark Foster, Plain White Ts and others.
PITCH PERFECT — Anna Kendrick’s reluctant Beca finds herself in a college clique populated by mean girls, good girls and weird girls. The young ladies discover they sing well together in this Glee-goes-to-college scenario shot on the LSU campus. Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine and Elizabeth Banks co-star.
SINISTER — After a writer of true-crime novels played by Ethan Hawke finds a box of horrifying home movies, his life becomes a horror movie. Vincent D’Onofrio and James Ransone co-star.
ARGO — Ben Affleck directs and stars in a thriller about a covert operation to rescue six Americans trapped in Iran following the country’s anti-American 1979 revolution. The ensemble cast also features Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber and Tate Donovan.
FUN SIZE — Victoria Justice plays Wren, a sarcastic high school senior who can’t wait to escape to college. Potential disaster strikes, however, when Wren loses sight of the little brother her mother told her to watch on Halloween night. Thomas Mann, Thomas McDonell, Thomas Middleditch and talk-show host Chelsea Handler co-star.
HERE COMES THE BOOM — Kevin James and Salma Hayek lead the cast of this comedy about a disaffected high school biology teacher who, hoping to stop budget cuts from destroying his school’s music program, competes in mixed martial arts fights.
KILLING THEM SOFTLY — Brad Pitt plays a mob enforcer on the trail of three dumb guys who rob a mob-sanctioned card game. Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta co-star in this film written and directed by Andrew Dominik, the filmmaker behind the Pitt-starring The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 — More spooky stuff from the popular faux found-footage horror series.
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS — A floundering screenwriter played by Colin Ferrell gets involved in Los Angeles’ criminal underworld after his friends, played by Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken, kidnap a gangster’s Shih Tzu. Woody Harrelson plays the gangster in this film directed by Oscar winner Martin McDonagh (In Bruges).
SMASHED — Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul play a pair of married alcoholics. After she decides to sober up, their alcohol-based relationship may be on the rocks. Opens in limited release.
ALEX CROSS — The normally comedic and frequently in drag Tyler Perry turns serious for his title role as Alex Cross. Starring as a homicide detective-psychologist, Perry matches wits with a serial killer played by Matthew Fox.
THE BIG WEDDING — Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton are two divorced people who pretend to still be married while attending their son’s wedding. Written and directed by Justin Zackham (The Bucket List), the ensemble comedy co-stars Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Ben Barnes and Topher Grace.
CHASING MAVERICKS — Fifteen-year-old surfer Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break is real and only miles from his home in Santa Cruz. Local surfing legend Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) trains Jay so the youngster can surf the giant wave without suffering a fatal wipeout.
CLOUD ATLAS — Billed as an epic drama about the actions and consequences of individual lives, Cloud Atlas takes place over centuries. The all-star ensemble cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.
THE SESSIONS — Based on the autobiographical writing of journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, The Sessions tells of a 38-year-old man who, despite being confined to an iron lung, is determined to live life to the fullest. John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy lead the cast.
SILENT HILL: REVELATION — When her father disappears, Heather Mason is drawn into a strange and terrifying alternate reality that contains answers to the horrific nightmares she’d endured since childhood. The cast includes Sean Bean, Radha Mitchell and Carrie-Anne Moss.
FLIGHT — Oscar winner Denzel Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a veteran pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane following a mid-air disaster. Whitaker is celebrated as a hero until questions arise about whom or what deserves blame for the crash.
THE GUILT TRIP — Seth Rogen plays an inventor who hits the road to sell his latest invention. The inventor’s mom, played by Barbra Streisand, goes along to help.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS — Hip-hop artist RZA directs and stars in an epic about warriors, assassins and a classic outsider. Set in 19th-century China, the film also features Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Rick Yune, Jamie Chung and Pam Grier.
THIS MUST BE THE PLACE — Sean Penn plays Cheyenne, a 50-year-old former rock star. Still dressing Goth, Cheyenne lives in Dublin by means of his music royalties. He embarks upon an unexpected mission, however, to seek revenge for humiliation inflicted upon his late father.
LINCOLN — Steven Spielberg directs Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis in the role of Abraham Lincoln. The film concentrates on the 16th president’s final months in office, as he seeks to conclude the Civil War, end slavery and unite a divided nation. Based in part upon historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film features Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones. Opens in limited release Nov. 9, expands Nov. 16.
SKYFALL — James Bond’s loyalty to M is tested when her past resurfaces. When MI6 comes under attack, Bond must hunt the threat down and destroy it no matter what the cost. Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench and Albert Finney star.
WRECK-IT RALPH — At a video game arcade, Wreck-It Ralph tires of being bad guy to Fix-It Felix’s good guy. So Ralph hops from game to game to prove he can be a hero, too. In doing so, Ralph accidentally releases a super bad guy who may destroy the entire arcade. The voice talent in this animated comedy-adventure from Walt Disney Pictures features John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch.
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN: PART 2 — That strange love triangle featuring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner returns for the vampire- and werewolf-filled Twilight series’ grand finale.
ANNA KARENINA — Director Joe Wright and actress Keira Knightley collaborate for a third time for this adaptation by Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) of the Leo Tolstoy novel. Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen and Emily Watson co-star.