Wizards, Westerns, Viagra: holiday’s biggest films

As the holidays inch closer and the long winter break looms, Hollywood is doing all it can to get your cash into movie theaters.

But which movies this holiday season are worth seeing? Take a look at these promising flicks.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 — Nov. 19

The Harry Potter series is a generational story. This batch of college students has grown up with the epic story of the wizard, so it’s understandable if a critic who missed the boat harps on the films.

Regardless of cinematic perfection, the trailers and TV spots are nothing short of chilling. Potter and his friends must defeat Lord Voldemort once and for all. Bringing the story to a close, the final chapters are set to be the darkest film translations yet and, with a tried and true cast supporting it, there is definitely a reason to be excited.

Tangled—Nov. 24

Disney is taking a shot at the Grimm Fairy Tales with their CGI flick, “Tangled.” Bandit Flynn Rider is running from the law when he decides to hide in the high tower. He gets knocked out with a frying pan by Rapunzel, beginning a new friendship and adventure. Rider is voiced by “Chuck” star Zachary Levi, with Mandy Moore providing Rapunzel’s voice. Disney’s latest foray into animated story telling is complete with the usual whim, goofy animal sidekicks and magical style.

Love and Other Drugs — Nov. 24

Pharmaceutical representative Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a smooth operating womanizer who finally meets his match, the uncontrollable Maggie (Anne Hathaway). Jamie makes it big when he starts representing upstart male enhancement drug Viagra and manages to woo Maggie. The story’s central conflict emerges when Maggie dumps Jamie to avoid getting in the way of his career. Of all the romance flicks coming out this season, “Love and Other Drugs” looks the most clever. Brace yourself for way too many erectile dysfunction jokes.

The Fighter — Dec. 10

Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale star in this tale of Bostonian boxing legend Mickey “Irish” Ward. While it looks like the typical underdog story fishing for an Oscar, it is impossible not to be intrigued by the story and cast. Bale looks like a skeleton of his former self, slimming down to play Ward’s (Wahlberg) big brother Dickie, with Oscar nominee Amy Adams on board as his love interest. Can Wahlberg and company produce an underdog story without the trite plot devices? “The Fighter” could pull a few surprising punches.

True Grit — Dec. 22

Fans of the original John Wayne film might not be enthused, but whether they like it or not, the Cohen Brothers’ remake of “True Grit” looks nothing short of a masterpiece. In recent years, good Westerns are few and far between, and this re-envisioning of the classic, starring Oscar winners Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and nominee Josh Brolin, looks phenomenal. Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn, an infamous lawman out to capture murderer Tom Chaney (Brolin). I’m putting my cash on the Cohen Brothers and their take on this classic revenge story.

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