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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Four films to watch over winter break

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    Ghoulardi Film Company

    With finals bearing down on us, winter break is what we’re all looking forward to more than ever. However, when that beautiful day of liberation finally dawns, it sometimes doesn’t take too long before it becomes just a bit boring sitting around the house. If you need to get away from your family for a while, here are four films to check out over the next month.

    “The Babadook”

     “If it’s in a word or if it’s in a book, you can’t get rid of The Babadook. … A rumbling sound, then three sharp knocks, ba-BA-ba DOOK! DOOK! DOOK!” Those are the words in a children’s pop-up picture book that speak of Mister Babadook, a supernatural creature in a top hat that haunts those who read his book. When recently widowed mother Amelia (Essie Davis) reads the story to her son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), things start to go bump in the night. Here’s how legitimate the frights are from this Australian horror film: William Friedkin, director of “The Exorcist,” tweeted, “I’ve never seen a more terrifying film than THE BABADOOK.”

    “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

    Well, it all comes to an end. The seminal franchise that started over a decade ago at the turn of the new millennium with “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” has been one of the cornerstones of both cinema and pop culture, and now concludes with “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” Though “The Hobbit” trilogy has not garnered the critical acclaim of its predecessors (zero Academy Awards to 17), the films have been more in line with a lighthearted romp, keeping with the source novel’s less serious tone.

    “A Most Violent Year”

    It probably hasn’t been a violent year for leads Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac. Chastain was an emotional anchor back on Earth in Christopher Nolan’s galaxy-spanning space epic “Interstellar,” Isaac co-starred in the Mediterranean-set thriller “The Two Faces of January” and both have already been nominated for numerous awards for their performances in “A Most Violent Year.” It’s the winter of 1981, and the crime and corruption of New York City is starting to seep into the peaceful microcosm of an immigrant family. To see Chastain and Isaac act opposite each other as their marriage is pushed to the brink should be riveting.

    “Inherent Vice”

    Acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson follows up 2012’s “The Master” with his adaptation of the novel by Thomas Pynchon, who also writes the screenplay. Warner Bros. describes the film as “part surf noir, part psychedelic romp.” Leading a loaded cast, Joaquin Phoenix is Larry “Doc” Sportello, a private eye whose ex-girlfriend comes to him with knowledge of a convoluted plot to kidnap her current billionaire boyfriend and throw him in a psych ward. Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin and Reese Witherspoon join Phoenix in this marijuana-induced haze of a film.

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    Follow Alex Guyton on Twitter.

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