Cinema Scoop  

Movies Galore this Halloween weekend

Greetings movie lovers, it's time to take a look at what the cinema has to offer us this weekend.

     Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) and her father (Sean Bean) have been on the run, always one step ahead of dangerous forces that she doesn't fully understand. On the eve of her 18th birthday, plagued by horrific nightmares and the disappearance of her father, Heather discovers she's not who she thinks she is. The revelation leads her deeper into a demonic world that threatens to trap her forever.

     My Take

Just in time for Halloween we get another horror sequel to a film that wasn't very good to begin with. It's based on a popular video game, and as I've stated many times before, I have yet to see a worthwhile film get released that has a game as its primary source material.

There doesn't appear to be anything overly original looking about this film but given that it's the time of year when any horror film will do for some, there is likely to be enough interest to propel this to the top of the box office heap this weekend.

In addition to Clemens and Bean, the rest of the supporting cast includes Kit Harington (Jon Snow on HBO's Game of Thrones), Carrie-Anne Moss, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Donovan and Radha Mitchell.

This should appeal to hardcore fans of this genre and avid gamers but otherwise it looks to be fairly uninspiring. It hasn't even been screened for critics at all so that should give you some indication of its quality.

Colour me unexcited!

     Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories move through time.

    My Take

I am very excited to finally see this film. Awhile back I watched a 5 minute long trailer for it and my jaw dropped at how stunning the visuals looked not to mention the seemingly epic scope of the film.

Based on a 2004 novel by David Mitchell that has been deemed unfilmable, Cloud Atlas is an ambitious collaborative effort by directors Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix Trilogy) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). When no Hollywood studio wanted to finance this production the filmmakers sought aid overseas and ended up getting help from several German production companies. With a budget of $100 million Cloud Atlas is one of the most expensive independent films of all time. Hopefully Hollywood's loss ends up becoming the world's gain.

The sprawling cast that has been assembled is stellar and it includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant. The majority of the cast play multiple roles as the film spans across six different time periods throughout history and some even play members of the opposite sex which should be somewhat fascinating to see.

Cloud Atlas debuted at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, whereupon it reportedly received a 10-minute standing ovation. Despite the early critical acclaim however, I think that this is a film that is going to polarize audiences. It deals with metaphysical ideas and a narrative structure that is sure to challenge viewers who are just looking for simple entertainment. If however, you are looking for more of a film experience that stimulates your mind as well as your visual senses then I would suggest you rush out and support Cloud Atlas.

This has the potential to be a visionary masterpiece that will be remembered many years from now or a complete and utter mess that borders on artsy pretentiousness.

I sincerely hope that it is the former.

     Fun Size

Wren's (Victoria Justice) Halloween plans go awry when she's made to babysit her brother, who disappears into a sea of trick-or-treaters. With her best friend and two nerds at her side, she needs to find her brother before her mom finds out he's missing.

     My Take

This light comedy is clearly geared towards the tween set and that's fine since none of them were old enough to see this film the first time it came out when it was called Adventures in Babysitting. Some elements of the plot also sound suspiciously like The Hangover but without all the raunch since this is for the younger crowd of course.

I have zero interest in this film but it could be fun for young teenagers out there who want to see a Halloween themed comedy.

Hopefully it's as much fun as the title promises.

     Chasing Mavericks

It's the inspirational true story of real life surfing phenom Jay Moriarity (played by newcomer Jonny Weston). When 15-year-old Jay discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, is not only real, but exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson (played by Gerard Butler) to train him to survive it. As Jay and Frosty embark on their quest to accomplish the impossible, they form a unique friendship that transforms both their lives, and their quest to tame Mavericks becomes about far more than surfing.

     My Take

I usually really enjoy films about surfing since I find what they do to be beautiful and fascinating to watch. I wonder however if the release of this film is ill-timed. I think it would have played much better to audiences during the summer months and I question whether this movie will just be overlooked at a time when audiences are seeking thrillers and such.

One positive thing Chasing Mavericks has going for it though is that it is directed by Curtis Hanson, who has made some excellent films like L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys and 8 Mile.

Hopefully it will rise above just being another typical inspirational sports story. Either way, I'm sure if you are a big surfing fan then there is likely to be enough in it to keep you entertained.

Also out this weekend just in time for Halloween is another creepy ghost story called The Awakening. It is set in England in 1921, where a woman who is a hoax exposer visits a boarding school to explain reported sightings of a child ghost. Everything she believes begins to unravel however as supernatural phenomenon starts to occur that can't be explained scientifically. The Awakening stars Rebecca Hall, Dominic West and Imelda Staunton.

The new romantic comedy Celeste and Jesse Forever starring Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones also opens down at the Paramount. It's about a divorcing couple that tries to maintain their friendship while they both pursue other people. The film also features performances by Elijah Wood, Ari Graynor, Chris Messina and Emma Roberts. Star Rashida Jones wrote the screenplay and she's received critical praise for making this a likable and clever character piece.

Finally, for those interested in doing the Time Warp, the Paramount Theatre is having a midnight madness showing of the 1975 cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday October 27. There's nothing quite like experiencing this film with an audience of fans who have dressed up as their favourite characters and are willing to reenact scenes as they are playing on the screen. Don't be surprised if you get some rice or toilet paper falling in your lap either. Just sayin'.

Here's wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween but before then, see you at the movies.

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About the Author

Just to give you a little background on my qualifications, I've been a film buff my whole life and I enjoy all different genres.

I especially have a passion for classic cinema.

I spent most of the past 17 years working for Rogers Video, so not only have I seen an immense amount of movies, but I've recommended many films to people over the years.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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