This holiday movie season is like a clear night in the mountains, full of stars new, old and dead. The silver screen this month is going to be filled with Hollywood’s favorite celebrities. Maybe it’s the cold, the extra free time, or family bonding, but this time of year has always been profitable for the box office.
Over winter break five big-budget films, some Oscar hopefuls, will be hitting the silver screen. Whether romance, aliens, monarchy or extravagant musicals are your cup of tea, there are plenty of choices for all.
”Avatar,” directed by James Cameron of “Titanic” and “Terminator” fame, is the newest big-budget fantasy film to come to theaters. Jake Scully, played by Sam Worthington, is a soldier sent to the distant planet of Pandora, which is inhabited by an exotic alien race called the Na’vi. With the help of Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), Scully is turned into an Avatar, meaning he has the body of a Na’vi but the same human mind. All of this is done so that the humans can mine for a valuable material that happens to be located underneath the Na’vi’s largest city. And so a war is started between the humans fighting for money and the locals fighting for their land.
It’s unknown how popular this film will be, however, because it may be too much for the casual fantasy fan.
“I like fantasy films, but I don’t think I would purposefully see Avatar. Maybe if, like, a group of my friends wanted to,” said Christina Jones, an 18-year-old freshman civil engineering major.
Much like science fiction and fantasy films, musicals aren’t for everyone, but several come out a year. So who sees them? People like Jenny Gruver, a 20-year-old junior anthropology major.
“I like musicals because as a kid I used to fall asleep to ‘The Sound of Music,’” Gruver said.
”Nine” is the latest musical from the people who created “Chicago.” The movie is made up of a star-studded cast, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench and Kate Hudson. “Nine” is the story of director Guido Contini (Day-Lewis) and his various relationships with the ladies in his life during a mid-life crisis. Originally a Broadway production, director Rob Marshall brings the musical to the silver screen with massive choreographed dance scenes and extravagant settings in Italy.
For those aching for some gold old-fashioned drama, director Jean-Marc Vallée brings the romance of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to the cinema with actors Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend in “The Young Victoria.” When Queen Victoria (Blunt) takes the crown as a young single woman, her beginning years are difficult to say the least. With many suitors trying to win her heart (and by extension the throne), she has trouble finding a man who loves her for being Victoria without the title of queen. The film presents the story of her search for Prince Albert (Friend), who helps her balance the stress of power and the emptiness in her heart.
With an extravagant number of actors and extras in Victorian clothing and settings straight from the age, Vallée works to have the effect Ariel Allee Jumbo, a 19-year-old sophomore psychology major, looks for in that genre.
“I like period movies, it’s even better when they can set you back to a different world,” Jumbo said.
Here’s a quick mystery for CU students: Who is the greatest detective in all of history? Well that’s elementary. It’s Sherlock Holmes. Holmes, played by Robert Downey Jr., and his partner Watson (Jude Law), are finally bringing the famous sleuthing team back to the movies. With several scenes released of the two detectives comically bickering as they work to foil a plot meant to doom England, the film seems to have aspects that will attract a variety of viewers, including those interested solely in the actors.
“Action movies are my thing, so I am excited to see ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ but I would marry Jude Law if I could,” said Jenny Gruver, a sophomore anthropology major.
But of course, what’s a good movie without a little romance? According to the released trailers, actress Rachel McAdams shows up several times in “Sherlock Holmes” wearing a corset (or less) to add a little steam to the story of Holmes racing against the clock.
In early 2008, the world lost a magnificent actor, but this Christmas Heath Ledger will be reincarnated for one last grand finale in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.” That fact alone may be enough to bring large crowds in to see the movie.
Filmed before the actor’s tragic death, this movie is sure to be a wild ride. A thousand years ago, a man made a deal with the devil for immortality. That man was Dr. Parnassus, played by Christopher Plummer, who is the ringleader to a fantastical theater company. However, that deal came with a catch; any child the doctor had would become the Devil’s property at age 16. Tony, played collectively by Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell, makes it his goal to save the girl, while transforming the show into something it has never been before. Filled with cartoon-like effects and an “Alice in Wonderland” feel, the movie is sure to be an adventure. And if it sucks, at least there’s Heath Ledger.
“I don’t care what the movie is about, I just want to see Heath Ledger one more time,” Gruver said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Reporter Halie Noble at email@example.com.