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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Strong films in store for winter break

    Atlas Entertainment

    We’re in the thick of it. Far, far away from now, there will come a bright day (Dec. 19) when we will be freed of our shackles of study guides and finals and the heartless façade of D2L. When that day comes, when break graces us, we will at last be able to embrace our newfound R&R time — and what better way than with a movie?

    “American Hustle” (Dec. 20) — After you’ve negotiated your way through finals, “American Hustle,” a film that has generated significant Oscar buzz over the past couple of weeks, will hit the screens. Director David O. Russell combines the stellar casts from his previous two films, “The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” Con artist Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are forced to collaborate with FBI Agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), who wants to take down corrupt political operator Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner). Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), Irving’s wife, may cause the whole scheme to unravel, though. The question with this film will probably be “how,” not “if,” it will be good.

    “Saving Mr. Banks” (Dec. 20) — Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks headline this adaptation of the true tale of the chimney-sweep classic bumpy road “Mary Poppins” to production. Surprisingly enough, this cinematic marvel was never a lock. Walt Disney (Hanks) encounters the stalwart author of his children’s favorite book, “Mary Poppins,” when he tries to make good on his promise to turn it into a movie. Disney invites P. L. Travers (Thompson) to come out to Los Angeles and Disneyland in an attempt to sway her. It might be overly sappy, or it might be just the right spoonful of sugar?

    “47 Ronin” (Dec. 25) — Keanu Reeves plays a samurai in this fictionalized tale of the true events of the 47 Ronin, a group of samurai at the dawn of the 18th century that set out to avenge the death of their master. A crazy-eyed woman that turns into a dragon and a man with his entire body tattooed as a skeleton are just some of the bizarre and fantastical sights from the trailers. Artistic liberties have been taken, to say the least. There’s style in spades, but will there be just as much substance?

    “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (Jan. 3) — This year, “Paranormal Activity” missed its perennial October slot for the first time since 2009. Besides missing a familiar, possessed face the month of Halloween, fall 2013’s horror slate suffered with its absence, with only the laughable “Carrie” remake serving up anything worth being scared over. This iteration of the series looks to be markedly different than the previous installments, with a more mobile camera that’s not confined to a house. This film also incorporates additional characters, cultures and locales. Will ghosts still be scary right after New Year’s? Time will tell.

    Not to ignore our local art house cinema, The Loft Cinema is showing a number of festive, older classics.

    “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (Dec. 20) — It’s the classic tale of Pumpkin King Jack Skellington and his attempt to host Christmas, instead of Halloween, after usurping Santa’s role. Don’t let the fact that this is the pimped-out face of Hot Topic fool you: It’s a classic for both Halloween and Christmas.

    “Home Alone” (Dec. 27) — Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) holds down the fort against the “Wet Bandits” home burglars by booby trapping his house. He also almost burns off his cheeks with aftershave. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.

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