Story by JOSH LEONARD, for The Muleskinner—
Coming back to school after a long Christmas break is not always the easiest thing to do.
Some of us went to Florida and enjoyed the beach while others drove around to visit friends and family.
The first couple of days trying to get back into the groove of things with classes, printing off your syllabus, maybe getting homework the first day of class can be exhausting.
Maybe you feel like vegging out just a little longer before you decide to self-motivate to get those good grades; so why not see a movie or two?
The selection of movies to watch in theaters are great this time of year; movies that came out around Christmas time are still out and the summer is just around the corner, which means it is almost time for the blockbuster movie season.
But what movies are there worth spending the high prices of the theater? Let me enlighten you:
At the top of the list, and a must-see motion picture, is “The Hobbit.” “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” is the first of a new trilogy set before the “Lord Of The Rings” films.
The story follows the adventures of a younger Bilbo Baggins played by Martin Freeman from the television show “Sherlock” and most notably from his role in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.”
Bilbo sets out on an adventure with a group of mighty dwarfs to help them take back their once homeland from the evil dragon, Smaug. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” also brings back Gandalf the grey, with Ian McKellen reprising his role.
This film puts audiences back into the world of Middle-Earth once again. Though its running time is nearly three hours, you will not even notice your rear-end is getting sore.
“The Hobbit” is a lot more light-hearted, as was the book, but still has moments of drama and plenty of good goblin-killing action to fulfill most audiences’ movie-viewing pleasure.
You will not regret watching “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
Next on the list is “Django Unchained,” the latest and greatest from the legendary Quentin Tarantino.
This film, by far, has some of the greatest dialogue I have ever seen for a movie. Django, played by Jamie Foxx, is a slave saved by a bounty hunter. He sets out across the United States in search of his beloved wife, Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington, to find out that she is owned by the ruthless Calvin Candie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Django and King Shultz, played by Christophe Waltz (“Inglorious Basterds”), do whatever it takes to save Broomhilda so she and Django can live their lives together and free.
The movie is styled like the classic “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” spaghetti western.
It has plenty of action-packed sequences, phenomenal dialogue, and it would not be a Tarantino film without having Samuel L. Jackson in there somewhere.
Surprisingly, “Django Unchained” has a lot more comedic elements to it than I expected, which only helped how I already felt about the movie.
Already nominated for five Oscars, “Django Unchained” is worth the $10 a person to check out while still in theaters.
The final movie on my list, and most recent to hit theaters, is “Gangster Squad.”
A friend of mine said it best when describing the movie: “‘Gangster Squad’ looks like ‘The Untouchables’, just with pretty people.” This is not too far from the truth. “Gangster Squad” is about the rise to power and capture of the ruthless drug lord, Mickey Cohen. The film has such talent as Josh Brolin (“MIB 3,” “Jonah Hex”), Sean Penn (“Milk,” “Mystic River”), Emma Stone (“Superbad,” “The Amazing Spiderman”) and Ryan Gosling (“Drive,” “The Notebook”).
After seeing the movie, “Gangster Squad” became my favorite cop movie of all time.
The film has a classic noir feel to it, just with more action. The best part of the movie is that it is straight to the point.
“Gangster Squad” is roughly an hour and 40 minutes of pure, non-stop, classic 40s shoot em up action, and a great flick to catch on the silver screen.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Django Unchained” and “Gangster Squad” are my top three picks of the week that I feel will not let you down. All three movies have great elements of character and story line, as well as visual effects that are a must-see on the big screen.