Although the movie industry has taken another hard hit this past year due to the inflation of ticket prices (most notably due to the 3-D trend gaining appeal amongst most audiences), there are still a variety of films that are new in theaters (some featuring familiar faces) worth dishing out the cash to see.
The Harry Potter franchise has recently released the first segment of their seventh installment to theaters and has been getting rave reviews. While not up to par with the first three films, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 is most certainly superior to the previous three features in the saga. One thing the Potter films always lack is a clear explanation; the director and screenwriter rely on you to play keep up rather than briefly covering the last motion picture's events.
In other words, you must be a fan of the series in order to fully grasp The Deathly Hallows. Anyone going into it who is not familiar or hasn't viewed the previous installment is going to feel a bit lost. And to casual fans who have seen the movies only once, you may get a bit confused as well. With that being said, I would definitely suggest that if you're going to see a movie new in theaters this Fall/Winter season that Harry Potter be in your check list. It's much darker than any of the other films and it's more geared toward the older crowd; the audience who has grown up with the characters.
I could make a crack about how Daniel Radcliffe has outgrown the role like any other blogger, journalist or critic would but I'm going to take the higher route and simply say he is once again spectacular in the lead role and it would have been foolish for Warner Bros. to think at any point they could replace him for a younger actor and still maintain the credibility the series has.
But Harry isn't alone, most recently the CGI Disney film Tangled has given the Potter franchise a whooping it may never forget. The animated fairy tale has wracked up a whopping $96.6 million at the box office since it's release despite poor test screenings and unflattering trailers. On top of that, it's on fire with critics (but then again - I defy you to name a Disney animated film that has been released in the past ten years to have gotten mostly negative reviews).
My opinion, however, clearly does not follow with the mainstream and if the general consensus is anything to base your opinions on then I would suggest seeing this film. Or if there are those of you out there, like myself, who are adults and prefer to watch films that feature real people and contain substance rather than Disney's latest variation of "Rapunzel", it appears the only feasible option out in theaters currently is the Denzel Washington-star studded popcorn flick Unstoppable about a train on a path of destruction.
Opening this week, however, is the acclaimed feature film The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg (Max Payne) and Christian Bale (The Dark Knight, American Psycho), which is seemingly popular with credits and actually gives the impression it could be a good movie despite Wahlberg being the headliner. Not that I have anything against Wahlberg, he was great in The Departed as well as The Basketball Diaries, but he has a treacherous habit of signing his name onto clunkers the vast majority of the time.
In short, if you're interested in seeing the darkest Harry Potter film to date or Disney's, possibly ultimate, fairy tale film then head to the theaters this weekend and check 'em out. But if you're looking for something more adult, take a peak at Unstoppable or wait until The Fighter is released this upcoming weekend.