ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN The Huntington News, Jan. 9, 2013
By Sara Tucker and Mary Whitfill, News Staff and News Correspondent
“Silver Linings Playbook”
Patrick Solatano (Bradley Cooper) suffers from a problem that is ruining his entire life: anger management. He’s lost his wife, his job and his house. After being released from a rehab facility, Pat finds himself at the ultimate 30-year-old rock bottom: living with his parents. The story progresses as Pat tries to rebuild his life. He meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) along the way, who has recently lost her husband and is dealing with her own laundry list of issues. Tiffany and Pat make a deal, much to the disapproval of Pat’s parents, who want him only to cater to their strange obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. The family, who gamble on the team almost religiously, end up making a bet on Tiffany and Pat as well as the team, and the couple begins to grow closer as the bet plays out.
James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his latest comeback in “Skyfall” as the famous MI6 agent, but this time his mission doesn’t go as planned, and 007 is injured by a fellow agent, an injury that throws him completely off his game. Bond returns to England to find MI6 in shambles as an outside source tries to rip the agency apart to get to M, head of MI6. The agency is relocated and Bond is sent to find the source of all the problems with fellow agent, Eve (Naomie Harris). Bond finally catches on to the mysterious man’s trail, but his motives are unclear, and Bond must put himself and M in harm’s way to find out why the stranger wants to destroy M16.
Set before the outbreak of the French Revolution, this classic story follows multiple characters through the years leading up to the conflict. Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is a fugitive of the law who evades the police by changing his name and becoming a respected member of a town in France. Valjean adopts a girl called Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), who he loves as his own, all while Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) pursues Valjean after his true identity is revealed, as Javert had been searching for Valjean for years. Valjean raises Cosette to womanhood, when she falls for Marius (Eddie Redmayne), a young revolutionary. With the outbreak of the revolution, Valjean becomes aware that his daughter has fallen for Marius and sees to it that the two are married. The revolution gets in the way of this inevitable love story, and creates much tension in the characters’ lives. “Les Mis” is a remake of the French classic by Victor Hugo and the musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Bringing to life J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” tells the tale of cautious hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he embarks on a fast-paced and dangerous adventure. Escorted by the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen), Bilbo’s task is to accompany 13 dwarves, led by King Thorin Oakenshild (Richard Armitage) through Middle-Earth as they attempt to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. “The Hobbit” is the latest film from the director of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy Peter Jackson and is the result of collaboration with well-known fantasy film creator Guillermo del Torro.
The most recent work of legendary director and writer Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained” tells the story of a freed slave, Django, (Jamie Foxx) in the antebellum. The take on the film follows Django as he teams up with bounty hunter King Shultz (Christopher Waltz) to rescue his wife (Kerry Washington) from a cruel but charming plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Sometimes referred to as the most influential director of his time, (“Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill”), Tarantino’s signature style is apparent throughout the film as it tackles some of the largest issues of America’s most shameful age.