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Monday, April 22, 2024

Hollywood hangs its hat on a spectacular summer movie season, so it's no surprise that this fall's lineup comes across as less than stellar. After being treated to a monster summer season, the fall schedule, especially in September, is pretty lackluster.

Regardless of this, we've put together a compact movie guide for fall semester with some previews of each film. Watching movies is an easy activity for Fridays and Saturdays that doesn't involve raging, so here are a few Avenue-suggested movies for the upcoming semester.

"Apollo 18" (Sept. 2)

Starring: Lloyd Owen, Warren Christie

"Apollo 18" seems interesting with its "Blair Witch Project" meets "Cloverfield" style of film. The film depicts a fictitious Apollo 18 mission to the moon which never returned. This is supposed to be the reason why NASA never pursued any more manned missions to the moon. It has been promoted as a "found footage" film, claiming there are no actors.

"Found footage" films are usually quite popular, even when they aren't that great, like "Paranormal Activity." Seeing something that seems so amateur on the big screen is refreshing and exciting. Hopefully they take a Blair Witch approach and leave much up to the viewer's imagination. "Cloverfield" would have been much more exciting if we never got a clear look at the alien.

"Drive" (Sept. 16)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

We don't know much about "Drive" other than that Ryan Gosling (swoon, ladies) is in it and it's hyped up to be awesome. Not many action movies involving car chases and gunfights win awards at Cannes, so it came as quite a surprise when "Drive" was nominated for the Palme d'Or, or Best In Show, at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Director Nicholas Refn won Prix de la mise en scène, or Best Director for his part in "Drive." The film has been praised for its unique form and stylized violence. Between the film's style and Gosling, "Drive" is shaping up to be a big seller.

"Moneyball" (Sept. 23)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Baseball fans will rejoice as "Moneyball" finally gets its chance for the big screen. Based off the widely popular book of the same name, "Moneyball" puts Brad Pitt into the shoes of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane as he tries to build up a successful baseball team.

Everyone loves a good underdog sports story, and "Moneyball" seems to be just that. With a solid cast including Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Moneyball" looks like it should be one of the best films of a weak fall season.

"The Ides Of March" (Oct. 14)

Starring: George Clooney, Ryan Gosling, Paul Giamatti

When was the last time you were excited for a political drama movie? Odds are that you've never been excited for one, but if you're a fan of George Clooney, "The Ides Of March" may just change that. Clooney has his hands all over this one: directing, producing, writing and starring, alongside Ryan Gosling, in the film.

Based on the internal turmoil of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential primary campaign, this might be the most eagerly anticipated political film since "Frost/Nixon" back in 2008. We can only hope that we will get to see Clooney's attempt at the infamous "Dean Scream."

"In Time" (Oct. 28)

Starring: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde

"In Time" has given us some mixed signals so far. The trailers make it out to be another run-of-the-mill, futuristic shoot-em-up with a half-assed storyline. Justin Timberlake makes his action-star debut, and frankly, is the only thing I found interesting in the trailer. I love when actors (or, in this case, musicians) step out of their comfort zones and try new things. Similar to Jack Black in "King Kong" or Adam Sandler in "Reign Over Me," Timberlake's role in this movie will be interesting to critique.

Up till now we've seen Timberlake as a goofy, charismatic hunk in most of his roles, aside from his portrayal of the douchebag Frankie in "Alpha Dog." While we should be excited to see how Timberlake does in this role, "In Time" doesn't look all that worthwhile aside from that. Maybe it'll prove to be a movie we wait to watch on Netflix - unless you're a massive *NSYNC fan.

"Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" (Nov. 18)

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

I don't think I'm the best person to try and hype up a "Twlight" movie ... in fact, I know I'm not. I thought the first two films were awful - but to be fair, a college-aged guy is not part of the target audience.

So I'm at a loss on what to say about the film, but it's an essential part of the guide as it might surface as one of the highest-grossing films of the season. At this point, you already know if you're going to go see "Twlight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" or not. Nothing you read here is going to convince you to go see the fourth film in a series of bad films based on mediocre (at best) books.

If you enjoyed the original "Twilight," or its sequels "New Moon" and "Eclipse," then I'm sure this one will be just as great as those in your eyes. Otherwise, I'd avoid this movie unless you're going with a lady friend.


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