Films to catch over break

Ben Atwater

As we all cram for finals, none of us have had much time to go out to the movies. Yet that will all be compensated for in the upcoming month while we are home. Here’s my list of films you might want to catch over break.

James Franco and Seth Rogan star in The Interview, a comedy worth seeing over break (AP photo)
James Franco and Seth Rogan star in The Interview, a comedy worth seeing over break (AP photo)

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (December 17, 2014)

The Lord of the Rings films are collectively one of my three favorite movies, alongside Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia. While the past two Hobbit films, An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, have not come close to the level of epic mastery of filmmaking LOTR has, they are still consistently engaging and well made films.

An Unexpected Journey detailed Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit in Middle Earth, leaving his quaint life to assist a party of dwarves to reclaim their kingdom which was conquered by the dragon Smaug. The second film, The Desolation of Smaug, had Bilbo and company arrive at the dwarve kingdom of Erebor only to find Smaug, and the only thing warm about his reception was his fire breath. So, the stage is set for an epic finale, as Smaug must be taken down and the wealth of Erebor will be fought over in what is sure to be a sweeping battle. My tickets are already bought, and I cannot be more excited.

The Interview (December 25, 2014)

I am not normally a fan of comedies, yet the trailers for The Interview have made me chuckle. Reuniting James Franco and Seth Rogen from This is the End, the two actors play talk show hosts who are sent by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. Subject matter that could be a political thriller like Zero Dark Thirty will surely be made light hearted with Franco and Rogen, who seem to be less than sly as they fail at all of their tasks in the trailer. But The Interview is sure to please fans of comedies like 22 Jump Street and Neighbors.

Unbroken (December 25, 2014)

Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a high school track star who is called into combat in World War II. His plane is shot down, and he must survive for 47 days on a raft before being captured by Japanese to serve over two years as a prisoner of war. I love old wartime epics, and Unbroken seems like a cross between Castaway and Bridge on the River Kwai, which are both excellent films. Jack O’Connell, who plays Zamperini, is already getting Oscar buzz for his performance, so Unbroken will surely have me in the theater.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (December 12, 2014)

Technically, Exodus comes out before semester ends. But no one is really going to the movies in the heat of finals, so if you’re going to see this, it will surely be after semester ends. Exodus is Ridley Scott’s take on the story of Moses, also depicted in The Ten Commandments and The Prince of Egypt. Earlier this year, Noah reinvigorated the Hollywood biblical epic, and Exodus seems to be following this trend. Starring Christian Bale as Moses, Ridley Scott has attracted other A-listers such as Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley. Ridley Scott has a knack for large scale storytelling, proven by Gladiator and Prometheus. I cannot wait to see the Ten Plagues play out on the big screen. Of course, a spring date near Passover would be a more appropriate release date.

Into the Woods (December 25, 2014)

Some have said that cinematic adaptations of musical do not happen often enough. The last major movie musical was Les Miserables in 2012. Well, another one is coming our way on Christmas Day. Into the Woods combines various Grimm fairy tales such as Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood and puts them into a musical crossover. Starring Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp and Chris Pine, Into the Woods is sure to attract musical lovers.