Monthly Movie Preview: November 2014

After the month of October brought us a handful of diverse, good movies, we come to the barren wasteland that is November. Aside from a new Oscar contenders, indie films and family blockbusters, this November looks to be a relatively quiet one. Take advantage of the time off and go see one of these movies!

November 7 – Big Hero 6

Starring: Ryan Potter, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., TJ Miller, Maya Rudolph, Alan Tudyk

The powerhouse combo of Marvel and Disney have teamed up to bring us the newest, and probably one of the best, animated feature of the year.  Big Hero 6 is based on a comic series of the same name, chronicling the adventures of Hiro Takachiho, a kid genius who is forced to join a group of superheroes to save Tokyo.  The comic seems much darker, with its roots engrained in the aftermath of WWII.  The Disney movie will be a light version, using similar characters, but giving a lot of heart to inflatable robot Baymax, the robot who wants to help people.  I don’t know if it was the first trailer released, or the epic song they play during the preview, but I’m pretty sure this is the kind of inspirational animation that I might need to bring my box of tissues to. – Adrian

 

November 7 – Interstellar

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley (Seneca Crane from The Hunger Games)

The mad genius Christopher Nolan and his brother Jonathan at it again. After a couple years off from directing, the legendary filmmaker who brought us Momento and The Dark Knight trilogy is taking us out of this world in Interstellar. This film focuses on space travel, and Earth’s need for a sustainable life source. To add to the validity of the storyline, physicist and longtime colleague of Stephen Hawking was brought in as scientific consultant to the movie. While Interstellar has some star power attached to it in Oscar-winners Matthew McConaughey, it will no doubt rely on its heavy sci-fi elements and beautiful effects to bring people in. Look for this film to be as awe-inspiring visually as it is in subject, so this might be the one time that you pay the extra bump to see this movie in iMAX. – Sherif

 

November 14 – Foxcatcher

Starring: Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo

Who would have known that the only thing keeping Steve Carrell from looking like a total sex offender was his eyebrows? Carrell, who takes a step outside his normal funny-man role (waaay further than The Way, Way Back), plays a creepy millionaire who sponsor wrestling brothers Mark and Dave Schultz to win a gold medal as part of “Team Foxcatcher.” In real life, the story of the Schultz brothers is one of triumph turns tragedy, and has already been subject of a book called Wrestling With Madness. Long story short, sponsor John Eleuthère du Pont (Carrell) becomes schizophrenic and murders Dave. While I hope that this doesn’t become another platform movie for mental illness, I hear that the movie is chilling and suspenseful; some great performances by trio of stars here could really take this movie from cliché to something with substances. – Sherif

 

November 14 – Beyond the Lights

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover, Machine Gun Kelly

The movie is a romantic drama which is both written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. When the pressures of stardom pushes Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) to attempt suicide, Kaz (Nate Parker), a police officer, saves her from throwing herself off a building. A romance soon buds as both are pressured by fame and family who threaten their relationship. I like the preview. I am a sucker for romantic dramas and the story looks engaging enough. I don’t know if it’s a romance to blow use out of the park, but it looks like an emotionally-fulfilling movie. It also has some great actors that I know I’ll get a lot of entertainment out of. I might not go to the theater to see if, but I will definitely see it when it come out on DVD. – Jené

 

November 14 – Dumb and Dumber To

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Laurie Holden (Andrea from The Walking Dead)

So… Is Jeff Daniels low on money? Did Jim Carrey lose a bet? I can’t see any other reason that these guys would want to get together and do this absolutely laughable movie – and not the type of movie that you laugh with. The only thing that I’m really glad to see back here is the dog van. I was a huge fan of the original Dumb and Dumber, and even snickered at Dumb and Dumberer, but from the trailers, this looked like another recycled bastardization of a classic 90’s film. If you’re really hoping for some nostalgia, cross your fingers and hope that the Farrelly brothers can bring back the magic, but chances are you will be better off seeing Big Hero 6 and Interstellar for the second time instead. – Sherif

 

November 21 – Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Pete Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s CGI’d face, Donald Sutherland, Natalie Dormer

The wait is almost over!  Mockingjay is here, but not to its fullest; we will have to wait a whole year for Part 2 to be released.  But what we have is the beginning of the Revolution.  While I loved the book Mockingjay it is one of the few books I have read that I thought, “I would love to see this on the big screen.”  The battles are sure to cause goosebumps, Katniss’s use of celebrity is sure to produce a fire within her young audience, and the deaths of beloved characters may start tears in the eyes of tweens around the country.  While the first two movies were aimed toward a younger generation of girls, I feel that Mockingjay becomes very adult – much like Harry Potter did at the end.  I know that this movie will create the same atmosphere; the marketing strategy is brilliant by using the same marketing campaign that President Snow uses on the people of Panem – a direct attribute of the mature nature of the story. – Adrian

 

November 21 – V/H/S: Viral

Starring: Emilia Ares Zoryan, Emmy Argo, Gregg Bishop, Nick Blanco, Dan Caudill, Angela Garcia, Amanda Hall, Justin Welborn

VHS: Viral is the third installment in only two years to the relatively well received found footage VHS series. Like the others in the series, VHS: Viral will include one overarching storyline as well as a handful of individual stories. This time around, we’ll meet a group of fame hungry young people as they take to the streets to try and get some footage of the runaway ice cream truck that has captivated all of Los Angeles. Yes, you read that right. While the main storyline sounds like a bad version of Twisted Metal, the short stories within the movie range from really intriguing (Parallel Monsters, about monsters within parallel universes) to just plain the stupidest thing I have ever heard (Dante the Great, about an actual magic cape). VHS: Viral seems to be the weakest addition so far, this time even attracting the least exciting directors for each short. Judging from the trailer it seem like it will have its moments, but where the other films had somewhat weak segments and awesome segments, it’s seems the juxtaposition this time around will be just alright and god awful. I’ll give it a shot, because I always do, but I’ll probably hate myself for it. – Keriann

 

November 21 – The Imitation Game

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones)

Get ready to learn somethin’ ‘Murica.  Unlike the flurry of WWII movies made in recent years, The Imitation Game follows a British group of scientists who use computer science via the Enigma machine to break the Germans advanced communication codes.  Spearheaded by Alan Turing, the group uses their technological prowess to learn the codes created by the Nazis.  Based on the true events, the film is sure to shed some light on the major contributions of other countries in the war.  Turing is credited with making some of the biggest contributions and advancements in the war, possibly stopping the war from continuing for an estimated two to four years longer.  If you want to learn more about Alan Turing’s life (warning: it ain’t pretty), I highly recommend checking out The Enigma by Andrew Hodges from your local library. – Adrian

 

November 26 – Horrible Bosses 2

Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Chris Pine, Christoph Waltz, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Banks (Mike from Breaking Bad), Keegan-Michael Key (Key from Key & Peele)

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis are back to commit crimes against employers for a second time in Horrible Bosses 2. If you saw the original Horrible Bosses, you know that the three of them have excellent chemistry and they are one of the funniest groupings of comedic actors I’ve seen. Director Sean Anders looks like he knows how to do a sequel right. He took what was already a funny movie and just built upon it well. He brought back the main cast of characters and kept the favorites in Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey. Jennifer Anniston is also back but….meh. They also bring the talents of Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine. You wouldn’t expect to see Waltz in a comedy but I have a feeling he’ll be good. I liked him in The Green Hornet, yeah I said it. Chris Pine looks like Gary from Team America: World PeaceThis time instead of trying to kill their bosses they’re the bosses. When Christoph Waltz comes around to take over their company with some slick investments the trio decides to get their hands a little dirty again with a terribly misguided kidnapping of Gary Pine. Horrible Bosses 2 looks to be a very successful sequel, which can be hard to do with comedies, just ask Will Ferrell. Takes some time around Thanksgiving to see this one.

 

November 26 – The Penguins of Madagascar

Starring: Tom McGrath, John DiMaggio, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong

The lovable quartet of special ops penguins make their return after stealing hearts in the Madagascar trilogy, as well as getting their own cartoon series. As far as family movies go for the holiday, this is it, and that’s not a bad thing. Penguins of Madagascar could be a hit, and 20th Century Fox is really pulling out all the stops to make sure that it is, accompanying the movie with a video game and a comic book mini-series. I don’t think the train has already left the station just yet for Madagascar, but with the lackluster reception of Madagascar 3, this definitely feels like more of a desperate attempt to gain back an audience than a capitalization on a growing franchise. Nevertheless, Penguins of Madagascar is sure to guarantee some good laughs and a sure-fire way to entertain the whole family during your Thanksgiving Day break. – Sherif

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We are a Fancy-Pants Bunch of Nerds. We have all grown up in the Denver/Aurora area. We love comics, movies, television and being generally nerdy.

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