Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Fall movie lineup: the top ten

By Nick Coviello

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With the dawning of September, gone are the days of vacation, long nights doing nothing and summer blockbusters. In their place come football, the return to school and the highly-anticipated fall film releases. Maybe it’s just people’s need of something to look forward to in the face of classes beginning once more, but the diversity of fall releases seems to one-up the other seasons. From the always popular horror movie to the franchise finale to the most recent raunchy comedy, here are ten movies that’ll draw college student’s interest.

“The Social Network”

October 1st

What is sure to be one of the highlights of October, “The Social Network” packs double the punch. Not only does it tell the story behind the early days of the originally college-based (now everything-based) social networking site Facebook, but it stars Jessie Eisenberg, a rising star who is beginning to build somewhat of a name for himself amongst the college crowd. Noted for his striking similarities to Michael Cera, Eisenberg has burst onto the scene in young adult box office hits such as 2009’s “Adventureland” and “Zombieland.” For college students, Eisenberg playing Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is sure to be a hit.

“The American”

Sept. 1

Within the league of big-name franchises – the slapstick comedy, the horror movie – fits the spy/assassin movie. Enter George Clooney, who has the benefit of coming off a year in which he was nominated for an Oscar and voiced the main character of another Oscar-nominated film. Though it’s bound to include fresh twists to the story, the film appears to be headed in the traditional direction of drawing an audience: filling the screen with a big name actor, an attractive actress, suspense, violence and sex. “The American” will have America buzzing, especially collegiate America.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1”

Nov. 19

Romance. Suspense. Emotional instability. Fear. Love. Togetherness. Death. These are only a couple of the mature themes that will be covered in the first part of the final installment of the Harry Potter series – not exactly the children’s book it started out as. The series has morphed from an average children’s story to a national phenomenon. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will not only pull in the fans who have been counting down the days before the breathtaking final chapter is brought to life on the big screen – the mature themes and constant action, direct and indirect, will more than fill the seats.

“Unstoppable”

Nov. 12

“Unstoppable” may be appropriately titled in more ways than one. This thrill ride is set to star Denzel Washington in a role very similar to that of his previous in “The Taking of Pelham 123.” While Denzel Washington is, for the most part, unstoppable himself, at the box office, Tony Scott’s “Unstoppable” is sure to pull in audiences with its usual dosage of extravagant adrenaline and downright excitement. When one factors in the story, which centers on hero Denzel trying to stop a runaway, combustible freight train from destroying a city, “Unstoppable” seems just that.

“The Town”

Sept. 17

It seems as though Ben Affleck’s directorial debut, “Gone Baby Gone,” a gritty and challenging story about a Boston detective, came out of nowhere. Affleck’s second film, “The Town,” features the same setup: corruption in the grime of Boston. Its apparent love story, between thief Affleck and the manager of the bank he robs, gives the story a lot of space to spread its wings. Also starring are Jon Hamm, Blake Lively and Jeremy Renner, three actors very much on the rise and familiar in the eyes of the youth. Though Lively may end up being the stand-out draw as a young mother, a role out of her norm.

“Jackass 3D”

Oct. 15

It’s been 10 years since “Jackass” premiered, yet the TV series turned now trilogy has managed to consistently draw an audience, produce laughs and influence its viewers. What may be hard to believe for others is easily acceptable by college students: it’s not difficult to relate to the “Jackass” boys’ daring stupidity. Without a doubt, there will be those who, upon viewing, will turn to their buddy and proclaim they did something just like that. It’s for reasons like that, for entertainment value and for sheer curiosity at what’s left for these daredevils to do, that will make “Jackass 3D” a success.

“Paranormal Activity 2”

Oct. 22

Built strictly upon Internet hype, “Paranormal Activity” was one of the biggest surprises of 2009 as it drew large numbers at the box office. While it’s been heavily argued whether or not it fit the bill of being as frightening as advertised, “Paranormal Activity” certainly created discussion amongst its audience. Being released less than a year after its counterpart, the sequel is sure to draw similar totals eager to see what else the story has to offer. Certainly a good amount of this crowd will include the college student, who is always anticipating the next best horror movie.

“Due Date”

Nov. 5

Almost a guaranteed success at the box office, “Due Date” is sure to draw in the younger crowd after director Todd Philips’ 2009 summer smash “The Hangover.” “Due Date,” like its counterpart from summer 2009, will hold a few basic keys to its success. Focusing on the adventure of two bickering men forced to take a cross country trip together, “Due Date” is sure to produce the same crude and disturbingly hilarious antics as “The Hangover.” Plus, it won’t hurt that Zack Galifianakis and Robert Downey Jr., presently two of Hollywood’s “coolest” actors, have starring roles.

“Saw 3D”

Oct. 29

As one of the biggest tossups, “Saw 3D” is the final installment of the “Saw” franchise. While it is true that “Saw 6” produced the lowest box office numbers of the series to date, the conclusion of the bizarre and disturbing tale will turn some heads. Naturally, “Saw’s” gore and terror help its name among college students as no movies produces quite as much entertainment as one in which multiple people die in grotesque and gruesome ways. Not to mention that the diehards of the series will certainly make their presence felt. “Saw 3D” is bound to extinguish the franchise on a good note.

“Life As We Know It”

Oct. 8

Its story is destined to be a predictable one; however, its draw may be just as predictable. For every guy who drags his girlfriend to an action movie, there’s a girl dragging her boyfriend to a chick flick. “Life As We Know It” offers an interesting, yet serious, twist to the genre as it involves the tragedy of two adults having to play caregivers to their mutual friend’s daughter following that friend’s death. This dark spin on the usual romance film is sure to be an attraction, as is Katherine Heigl, who has mastered starring in a chick flick.

Nick Coviello can be reached at [email protected]

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