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Film

16 - 24 November

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Anna Karenina

Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Keira Knightley,  Kelly Macdonald,  Matthew Macfadyen, Ruth Wilson, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
16 November
Anna Karenina


Oh, joy. What is it with classic literature? It seems that, every few months, another adaptation of something written several hundred years ago comes out from our friends across the pond, requiring audiences to, once again, sit through a story they’ve seen done dozens of times before. In this case, the classic Russian tale of a disheartened married woman and her affair with a savvy Count, pegs Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as its leads. Atonement/Hanna‘s Joe Wright is behind the lens, which is either good news or bad, considering your love for his previous work.


 

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Rust and Bone

Director: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Bouli Lanners, Alex Martin
16 November
Rust and Bone


Not much is known about this French entry for this year’s Cannes film festival except the storyline (a young man falls in love with a killer whale trainer), the short story collection it was based on, and the almost overwhelmingly positive reviews it received. While it did not win any awards at the annual film showcase this year, it does come with a compelling pedigree (co-writer/director Jacques Audiard won the Grand Jury Prize in 2009 for his devastating crime drama A Prophet). It could be a major player come Oscar time. It could also be just another foreign film looking for American arthouse respect.


 

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The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2)

Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Maggie Grace
16 November
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2)


YAHOO!!! Our long international nightmare is finally over. After five films, 10 hours, and numerous female shrieks, Bella Swan and her undead lover (now husband) Edward Cullen are departing the artform they have soiled for the last four years. Yes, this is the second half of the final installment, the story our newly vampired heroine and her battles with the Volturi over her child, Renesmee. Apparently, the kid’s a possible “immortal,” something these neckbiters can’t tolerate. It’s up to the Cullen clan to pool their resources, gather resistance, and battle against their misguided leadership. Wake us when it’s over.


 

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Life of Pi

Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Suraj Sharma, Shravanthi Sainath, Tobey Maguire, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan
21 Novemnber
Life of Pi


Long considered “unfilmable,” Ang Lee takes this tale of an Indian boy trapped on a boat with a Bengal tiger and makes it his own. After a decade in development Hell, we will finally get to see author Yann Martel’s allegory for spirituality and practicality come alive. The trailer is beyond intriguing, showing the Oscar winner (for Brokeback Mountain) in full control of his creative faculties. Of course, the big question remains, will audiences respond to such ‘fantastical’ fare, or will they wonder why the beast doesn’t talk with a famous actor’s voice. It’s makes for an interesting aesthetic quandary.


 

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Red Dawn

Director: Dan Bradley
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Jeffrey Dean Morgan
21 November
Red Dawn


Since China got into a tizzy over being portrayed as the villain and MGM was mired in financial difficulties (see Skyfall),  this remake of the ‘80s fave was pulled from a possible 2010 release. This gave the filmmakers time to retool the enemy (they are now North Korean) and spin the story in their favor. Of course, those who remember shouting “WOLVERINES!” across their high school campuses way back when could probably care less about the production backstory. All they want to know is if longtime stunt coordinator turned first time director Dan Bradley did the ‘classic’ justice. We’ll see.


 

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Rise of the Guardians

Director: Peter Ramsey
Cast: Chris Pine, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Dakota Goyo
21 November
Rise of the Guardians


William Joyce is a wonder. He has three Emmys (for the adaptation of his kiddie character Rolie Polie Olie), served as conceptual designer for characters in Pixar’s Toy Story and A Bug’s Life... he even has an Oscar for the animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. This represents the first adaptation of his ongoing series The Guardians of Childhood. The premise takes the fictional heroes from our youth (Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy) and pits them against various evil forces in the same world. The trailer tells it all, and it looks like a lot of fun.


 

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The Silver Linings Playbook

Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker
24 November
The Silver Linings Playbook


Bradley Cooper again, doing his damnedest to confuse the fanbase that continues his commercial success. This time out, he’s not a character in a story within a movie. He’s a man just released from an insane asylum (as part of a plea agreement) who is desperate to get his life back. This means going to live with his somewhat understanding parents and trying to repair the damage to his marriage. It takes the help of a young girl, and an affinity for the Philadelphia Eagles football team, to supposedly set things right. Again, Cooper continues to confound.


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Also Opening in November: Jack and Diane (11/2), This Must Be the Place (11/2), Coming Up Roses (11/9), A Royal Affair (11/9), The Collection (11/30)

Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill Gibron.com a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.


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