Valdosta Daily Times

August 18, 2013

Thirteen for the Fall

A look at coming movies through the year’s end

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Action, comedy, drama. Special effects and Oscar contenders. Real stories and science fiction. Fall 2013 promises a full range of movies in the coming months. The Times looks at 13 promising and anticipated movies.

RIDDICK: Abandoned, betrayed, marooned on a sun-ravaged planet, Riddick confronts brutal predators, while a beacon summons respective ships of mercenaries and someone from his past. Vin Diesel returns as the title character in the third film in this cult-classic series, which has included “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick.” Opens Sept. 6.

PRISONERS: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello and Melissa Leo star in this promising suspense story of families who kidnap the man they suspect is behind the disappearance of their children. Opens Sept. 20.

RUSH: Before landing again as Thor later in the fall, actor Chris Hemsworth races to a new role in this Ron Howard-directed movie based on the 1976 crash that nearly killed Austria’s Formula 1 racing legend Niki Lauda; however, it is Daniel Bruhl who will play Lauda; Hemsworth will play Lauda’s rival, James Hunt. Opens Sept. 27.  

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Tom Hanks returns playing real-life Capt. Richard Phillips who was kidnapped at sea by Somali pirates and rescued by Navy SEALS in 2009. Opens Oct. 11.

ENDER’S GAME: Decades after a vicious alien war, a child is sent to a space academy to prepare for the onslaught of another alien invasion. Asa Butterfield, who performed wonderfully in the under-appreciated “Hugo,” plays Ender, a shunned boy genius. Harrison Ford also stars in a rare year that has seen him in at least three films ... maybe more. Opens Nov. 1.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD: A sequel to both “Thor” and “Marvel’s The Avengers,” Norse god Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must save the mortal Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and Earth, from the rise of a dark lord. Thor must team with brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who attempted to destroy Asgard in “Thor” and rule Earth in “The Avengers,” to save them both. Opens Nov. 8.

BEST MAN HOLIDAY: Nearly 15 years after “The Best Man” edged Terrence Howard, Taye Diggs, Nia Long and others toward stardom, they return to these characters in this sequel. Here, rivalries and romances are renewed during a Christmastime reunion. Opens Nov. 15.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: If movies were judged by previews alone, this will be one of the most fun, smartest movies of the year. That’s definitely how the preview plays out for this film directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, who seems to be moving away from the dour characters he’s played in so many dramas in recent years. Based on a true story, Dicaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a filthy rich Wall Street broker who scales the heights higher and higher until there’s nowhere left go ... except for the fall. The preview looks fast-paced, fun and funny, but Scorsese is also the director of “Goodfellas,” which starts as a coming-of-age story in the romanticized mob before it beautifully spirals into the reality of corruption, violence, paranoia, betrayal and revenge. Will the gleeful “Wolf” eat its own? Opens Nov. 15.

HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE: When the first “Hunger Games” movie premiered, a few people may have remembered Jennifer Lawrence as the blue-skinned, young Mystique in “X-Men First Class,” or the Oscar-nominated actress from the little-seen “Winter’s Bone,” but most people knew her as the girl selected to play Katniss in the movie adaptations of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novels of a mountain youth who must survive a deadly reality show that has young people hunting one another. The first “Hunger Games” was a huge success, and to ensure that Jennifer Lawrence became a household name last year, she won an Oscar for her role in “Silver Linings Playbook,” and now she returns as Katniss in the first of three “Hunger Games” sequels (the third book is scheduled to be adapted over two films). Opens Nov. 22.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG: The second of three movie adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s prequel novel to “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. With “The Lord of the Rings,” it made sense to make three movies because Tolkien wrote three “Rings” books, with each book being several hundred pages. But “The Hobbit” is roughly a 250-page book, about hobbit Bilbo Baggins’ journey with dwarves, his meeting Gollum, acquiring a magic ring, and encountering a dragon. Smaug is that dragon. The first “Hobbit” movie took the storyline from its namesake book and added pieces from other Tolkien books and took directions of its own as prescribed by director Peter Jackson, who directs all three “Hobbit” movies based on his success directing the “Lord of the Rings” movies. Opens Dec. 13.

THE MONUMENTS MEN: During World War II, Adolf Hitler looted Nazi-conquered countries of their treasures and artworks. In this movie listed as an adventure, comedy, drama, a team of art historians and curators scurry to save these works before an increasingly isolated and doomed Hitler can destroy them. A star-studded cast: George Clooney (who also directs), Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, etc. Opens Dec. 18.

ANCHORMAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES: Will Ferrell returns as 1970s-era San Diego TV newsman Ron Burgundy in this comedy sequel. In addition to Ferrell, the cast includes the return of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, as well as Jim Carrey, Kristin Wiig, James Marsden, and did we note earlier a rare three movies in one year? ... Make that at least four movies for Harrison Ford. Yes, Harrison Ford is listed in the credits for the “Anchorman” sequel. Stay classy, Harrison.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY: After a couple years absence that seemed barely noticeable until the previews for this movie, Ben Stiller, who is one of the most successful box-office comedians of all time, returns to the big screen. Stiller also directs this potentially surreal remake of the story of an apparently dull office worker who lives a rich inner life, but is it fantasy or reality? Opens Dec. 25.