BY VINCENT ABBATECOLA
Another summer is behind us, and it has left moviegoers floored by the adventures of Marvel Comics’ team of superhero titans in “The Avengers,” and Christopher Nolan had the Caped Crusader swoop in for the epic conclusion to his colossal Batman trilogy. Ridley Scott revived the “Alien” mythology, and the third “Men in Black” wasn’t nearly as bad as expected.
There was also some shining indie fare. We had the time-traveling comedy “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a look at preteen romance in “Moonrise Kingdom,” and a brave girl trying to survive the aftermath of a storm in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”
Now, this fall seems to be all set with a plentiful selection of blockbuster and Oscar-worthy films. James Bond returns to the spy scene, the “Twilight” saga reaches its anticipated conclusion, Daniel Day-Lewis embodies Honest Abe and Quentin Tarantino brings us his latest flirt with bloody and violent originality.
All of that, and more, wait in the last few months of the year.
“Argo” (Oct. 12)
In Ben Affleck’s latest turn as a director, he tells the true story of a group of Americans that escapes the 444-day hostage crisis in Tehran back in 1979, who then return by posing as a Canadian film crew in an attempt to rescue the other hostages. Starring Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and Bryan Cranston.
“Paranormal Activity 4″ (Oct. 19)
Unlike the last two films, this latest installment is a direct sequel, taking place five years after the events of the first two films. This time, we have a possessed Katie (Katie Featherston) and her five-year-old nephew, Hunter (Brady Allen), moving into a house of their own. Soon, Alice (Kathryn Newton) and her mother begin to experience some creepy happenings.
“Skyfall” (Nov. 9)
Sam Mendes directs the 23rd installment in the adventures of 007 Agent James Bond. Not much has been disclosed about the plot, but it does concern Bond’s latest adversary, Silva (Javier Bardem), who wants to plan involves taking down the MI6 agency and its chief, M (Judi Dench). Also starring Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe.
“Lincoln” (Nov. 16)
In Steven Spielberg’s latest film, he chronicles the last four months of the sixteenth president’s life and the strategies he employed to help the Union win their victory in the Civil War. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, David Strathairn, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ (Nov. 16)
Director Bill Condon brings the popular vampire saga to a close. After Bella (Kristen Stewart) gives birth to a vampire-human hybrid and becomes a vampire herself, she and her husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson), will do everything they can to protect their daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), from the ruling vampires of the Volturi coven, who see her as a threat to their whole kind. Also starring Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Ashley Greene and Michael Sheen.
“Life of Pi” (Nov. 21)
Based on the bestselling 2001 novel by Yann Martel, Ang Lee directs this adaptation about a young Indian boy named Pi (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea and sharing a lifeboat with a hungry Bengal tiger. Also starring Irrfan Khan, Gerard Depardieu and Tobey Maguire.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (Dec. 14)
In a recent change, director Peter Jackson has turned his latest project from a two-part film into a trilogy, based on the book by J.R.R. Tolkien. He begins the Lord of the Rings prequel with Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who joins Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a troop of 13 dwarves on a journey to reclaim a dragon’s treasure. Also starring Cate Blanchett, Richard Armitage and Andy Serkis.
“Les Miserables” (Dec. 14)
In the film version of the hit Broadway musical, based on the nineteenth-century novel by Victor Hugo, Tom Hooper directs the story about Frenchman Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) who is imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread. After he violates his parole, he must run from police Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe). After two decades of running, Valjean finds himself in the midst of Paris’ 1832 June Rebellion. Also starring Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter.
“This is 40″ (Dec. 21)
Judd Apatow brings us a spin-off to his smash 2007 comedy, Knocked Up. This time, he focuses on the characters played by Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who are having difficulties coming to terms with the fact that they are both about to turn 40, and in the same week. Also starring Maude and Iris Apatow, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Melissa McCarthy, Megan Fox and Jason Segel.
“Django Unchained” (Dec. 25)
In Quentin Tarantino’s latest violent excursion, he tells the story of Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter in the Deep South who saves a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) from his masters. The two then strike a deal: Schultz wants Django to help him hunt down a gang of killers, known as the Brittle Brothers, and Schultz will assist Django in freeing his wife (Kerry Washington) from merciless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio).
This fall movie season looks to be one of the best yet, with many of the most-anticipated adventures arriving in November and December, which will offer some fun for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, take good advantage of those days-off during the holidays to catch as many of these films as you can. Invest in a daily planner if you have to; it will surely come in handy for such a time.
With everything that’s being released, go for some blockbusters and indie films. Both hold their merits, and will surely spark passionate discussions after the credits begin to roll.