No surprise to see Paranormal Activity 3 pull away with the box office win and it might repeat as there are no horror movies looking to compete with it this Halloween weekend. There are four movies that have their own merits though and the audience that saw Paranormal Activity 3, if they’re regular movies goers, will have plenty of new choices on their hands worthy of their bucks depending on their demo. So let’s take a look at the competition!
1) The Rum Diary – An American journalist looking for a change of pace and chance to hone his craft takes a freelance gig in Puerto Rico and ends up with more than he bargained for as he tries to balance his own overindulgence with island culture and the expatriates who live there.
Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s book of the same name, which in turn was based loosely on his own experiences in Puerto Rico, The Rum Diary looks to be a fun-filled romp that fans of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas will likely eat up as it has Thompson’s experiences as the father of Gonzo journalism written all over it. Fittingly, Johnny Depp plays Paul Kemp who was basically Thompson, who Depp has already played in Fear and Loathing, and so is not much of a stretch for him in terms of getting into character. If anything, consider this a prequel to Fear and Loathing and that fans of that original mind trip will probably enjoy this one just as much.
2) Anonymous – A political and historical thriller revolving around the theory that the 17th Earl of Oxford, Edward De Vere, actually penned Shakespeare’s plays, but could not put his name to them due to political turmoil of the time and so set Shakespeare up as a celebrity.
Anyone who enjoys history and literature will probably enjoy what looks to be a smart and compelling case for Shakespeare to be nothing more than a figurehead for these plays. Whether or not this is true, we will never know, but the dramatic speculation set up by the movie will definitely make for good conversation if you can follow along with what looks to be a bit of a cerebral 130 minutes. Rhys Ifans, best known as a comedic actor, continues to spread his acting wings with another dramatic role, this time as the lead as the Earl of Oxford.
If movies like Lion King 3D and A Dolphin Tale prove anything in recent weeks, its that kids movies do well no matter the season and this looks to be a kids movie that could also appeal to adults if it features any of the classic humor of the Shrek movies. Although I doubt it will hold a candle to the Shrek movies, it should still be a worthy choice for the family and with a star-studded voice cast featuring Antonio Banderas reprising the role of Puss in Boots, Billy Bob Thorton and Amy Sedaris as Jack and Jill, Selma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws, and Zach Galifianakis as Humpty Dumpty, could be a solid choice for your family activity this weekend.
4) In Time – In the future, people don’t age past 25 years old, but are engineered to die anyway at 26. Some though can afford more time, literally, and can buy them and their family a way to immortality. Enter Will Salas who suddenly wakes up with a lot more time on his hands than he should and must escape “the timekeepers” who are looking to set things right.
As much as I hate to say it, this looks like a very interesting sci-fi action thriller. Justin Timberlake continues to flaunt his acting chops as the lead Will Salas. More impressively though he is pitted against Cillian Murphy, who I believe is slowly becoming this generation’s Christopher Walken, as he looks to brilliantly pull off another villainous role, this time as the head of the timekeepers after Salas. Throw in Amanda Seyfried as the love interest in very tight and skimpy clothing for the necessary eye candy and In Time has me very intrigued indeed.