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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Movies from recent past celebrate five years


Five years ago, movie theaters were full of cinematic, modern-day classics that have become audience favorites. We were presented with the action-packed superhero film “The Avengers” and stories of breaking and healing in “Silver Linings Playbook.” With summer around the corner, look no further for films to watch or re-watch to celebrate the semester’s close. 

“The Avengers” 

Earth is under attack by Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, an Asgardian. To defeat this new enemy, SHIELD director Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, launches the “Avengers initiative” in hopes of effectively combatting the new threat. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint Barton/Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) all must learn to work as a team, despite their different ideas on how to approach and overthrow Loki, and save the day to return safety and order back to the world. Aliens from outer space, a psychotic god from another planet, explosions, missiles and wormholes with a celebratory meal of shawarma are all in a day’s work for Earth’s mightiest heroes in this 2012 superhero film gone wild. Envision kicking ass by renting this on Amazon or skyrocketing into the unbelievable with Netflix DVD.

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“Silver Linings Playbook”

Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano Jr., a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder and recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Pat returns to Philadelphia to live with his parents, hoping to better himself in order to reconcile with his ex-wife, Nikki, played by Brea Bee. In the course of this, he meets Tiffany Maxwell, played by Jennifer Lawrence, who is struggling with her own problems after unexpectedly losing her husband. Because Nikki has a restraining order against him, Pat cannot make direct contact with her, and his family members refuse to help. Tiffany agrees to help him communicate with Nikki on the condition that Pat be her dance partner in an upcoming competition. Raw, vulnerable and unexpected, Pat and Tiffany find that working together heals them and guides them to their silver lining. Find your silver lining with Netflix DVD or by renting on Amazon.


“Hotel Transylvania” 

This animated feature details Dracula’s, voiced by Adam Sandler, desperate attempts to keep his 118-year-old daughter, Mavis, voiced by Selena Gomez, at home and prevent her from going to see the world, as well as falling in love with a human. Dracula runs a hotel for monsters in Transylvania where they can safely be themselves without having to hide from humans. All the monsters are invited for Mavis’ birthday party, but to Dracula’s dismay, a traveling human man named Jonathan, voiced by Adam Samberg, also makes an appearance. Dracula must now hide the fact that a human is in a hotel from all the monsters or else face the end of his business while simultaneously preventing Mavis and Jonathan from a ‘zing,’ otherwise known as a connection. You can watch this film with Netflix DVD or on Amazon.

“Chasing Mavericks” 

This film, starring Gerard Butler as Frosty Hesson and Jonny Weston as Jay Moriarty, is an adaptation of the life of real-life surfer Jay Moriarty. After Frosty saves Jay from drowning as a young kid, Jay becomes fascinated with surfing and decides to pursue the sport. Flash forward a few years and 15-year-old Jay reconnects with Frosty and learns about gigantic swells known as mavericks. Reluctantly, Frosty agrees to teach Jay how to surf these massive waves and the journey begins, evolving into a tale of hard work, dedication, love, friendship, mentorship, chasing dreams and mavericks. Chase the waves yourself with Netflix DVD or by renting on Amazon.

“The Vow” 

Starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum as young married couple Paige and Leo Collins, this film will take you on a heart-wrenching journey that shows just how far one couple will go until death do they part. One night, Paige and Leo are in a car accident on their way home. When Paige, who experienced the worst of the accident, awakens, Leo is distraught to discover that she has no memories of the last few years and, most importantly, no recollection of Leo. Leo does his best to help her remember, but the strain it places on them both leads to Paige returning to the home of her wealthy parents, where she resumes the life she left behind while Leo struggles to move on. Nonetheless, this young couple made a vow, and in the end, love finds a way through; sometimes, you just have to look beyond what’s in front of you to have a new beginning. Make a vow to watch this film with Netflix DVD or by renting on Amazon.


This historical drama will deeply move you as it details the struggles in the final months of President Abraham Lincoln’s life just before his assassination in 1865. Daniel Day-Lewis portrays the unforgettable President, fighting to keep the Emancipation Proclamation in place, as Lincoln fears the courts will disregard it following the end of the Civil War. Angst is not spared, and this film provides great historical reference and certainly heightens appreciation for one of our most famed presidents. Lincoln had to overcome a great deal in a time that was challenging for our country. This is a history lesson that won’t be accompanied by a test; you can watch this film on Hulu or with a Showtime subscription on Amazon.

“People Like Us” 

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Sam Harper, played by Chris Pine, is facing trouble in his career and with the law when he finds out from his girlfriend that his estranged father has died. Sam reluctantly returns to L.A. from New York to attend the funeral, and through a series of events, he finds out he has a half-sister through his father. Sam gradually becomes friends with his sister Frankie, played by Elizabeth Banks, and her son Josh, played by Michael Hall D’Addario. Yet, Sam does not reveal who he is to Frankie for quite some time, and when he does, she explodes in anger. This is a story that will tug on your heartstrings and make you realize the importance of family whilst juggling past hurts and forgiveness along the way. People like you can watch this film on Hulu or on Amazon with a Showtime subscription.

“This Means War” 

Tom Hardy and Chris Pine star as CIA agents and best friends in this romantic comedy. The two compete to earn the affection of Lauren, played by Reese Witherspoon, whom they both initially start dating without realizing she is seeing both of them. Unaware of their true profession, Lauren is oblivious to their antics and misuse of spy skills in order to impress her and make sure the other isn’t sleeping with her. Get ready for an amplified version of the unexpected when it comes to online dating and know that this means war. You can view this film with Netflix DVD or by renting on Amazon.


The year 2012 boasts many more films worth viewing. Check out “Wreck-It Ralph,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Magic Mike,” “Parental Guidance,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Brave,” “Life of Pi” and “21 Jump Street,” to name a few.

Follow Kacie Lillejord on Twitter

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