There’s been a major stall in enjoyable film releases since the official close of summer break in late August. Sure, films like The Master and Looper have captured the attention of critics and audiences, but this fall season has also seen the likes of disappointing films such as Trouble with the Curve, Resident Evil: Retribution and Hotel Transylvania.
Fortunately, this weekend offers something for everyone. From high-packed action thriller Taken 2, to Disney-flick Frankenweenie, Hollywood’s hot new releases make getting off campus — if only for a few hours — well worth it.
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, former government agent, in Taken 2, the sequel to the massively popular 2008 film in which Mills rescues his kidnapped daughter, Kim. Now, the kidnappers are back again for revenge, holding Brian and his wife hostage. Whether or not the ending to the first Taken warrants a sequel, this action film should be a mindless way to relieve school stress.
This Disney-Burton collaboration is not just a children’s film. Captured entirely in black and white with plenty of Burton’s signature spooky imagery, Frankenweenie opens to positive reviews from Rotten Tomatoes and Time magazine. Audiences will follow the morbidly creative tale of Victor and his dog, Sparky. When Sparky dies, Victor takes it upon himself to piece his best friend, hoping to bring him back to life. A play on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, Frankenweenie is sure be a treat for viewers of all ages.
A large cast of television favorites — including Hugh Laurie, Allison Janney, Leighton Meister and Adam Brody — assembles in this film about Nina (Meister) returning home for Thanksgiving after a bad break-up with her fiancé. Toby (Brody), son of her parents’ neighbors, seems the perfect rebound — but it’s somebody else who entrances Nina most. Despite the film’s poor reviews, The Oranges might still be worth checking out — if only to enjoy watching several great actors on the big screen.
Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman star in this southern ’60s drama from director Lee Daniels (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire). The noir-style film follows sheriffs and convicts in a small Florida town, but you’ve probably heard about the scene in which Nicole Kidman urinates on Zac Efron’s leg to cure a jellyfish sting. Though in limited release, The Paperboy has generated some massive buzz if not for awards contention then for the strange assemblage of talent involved.