December 4, 2013

MOVIE TAKES

Kennebec Journal Staff

"Austenland" A single thirtysomething secretly obsessed with Jane Austen spends her life savings on a trip to an English resort where fans of the author live out their romantic fantasies. With Keri Russell, J.J. Feild and Bret McKenzie. Written by Jerusha Hess and Shannon Hale. Directed by Hess. 97 minutes (PG-13)

"Blue Jasmine" A New York woman (Cate Blanchett) must move to San Francisco after a serious life crisis. 98 minutes (PG-13)

"Closed Circuit" Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall are two lawyers (and former lovers) whose lives are imperiled after they're hired by a terrorist to defend him in court. 96 minutes (R)

"The Family" Retired mobsters Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer are living incognito in France with their kids after ratting out their former partners in crime. Tommy Lee Jones is the CIA agent trying to keep them safe under the witness protection program. Good luck with that. 98 minutes (R)

"Grown Ups 2" Adam Sandler rounds up his buddies (Chris Rock, Kevin James and David Spade) for a sequel to the unexpected box office smash, once again proving that men will always be boys. 101 minutes (PG-13)

"Lee Daniels' The Butler" The Oscar season starts way early this year with the release of this star-studded drama that focuses on the experience of a White House butler (Forrest Whitaker) and his wife (Oprah Winfrey) over the course of several decades and administrations. Jane Fonda, John Cusack, Vanessa Redgrave, Robin Williams and Liev Schreiber are just some of the famous names that round out the cast. 132 minutes (PG-13)

"One Direction: This Is Us" Morgan Spurlock ("Super Size Me") directs this documentary recounting the meteoric rise of the British boy band. 92 minutes (PG)

"Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" Logan Lerman returns as the teenage son of Poseidon in this second adaptation of Rick Riordan's popular fantasy novels. 106 minutes (PG)

"Planes" A cropduster (voiced by Dane Cook) dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. Yes, it does sound an awful lot like Pixar's "Cars," minus the Pixar. This one is just plain Disney. 92 minutes (PG)

"Riddick" Vin Diesel reprises his role as the sci-fi antihero Riddick, this time stranded on a planet of ferocious alien predators. 119 minutes (R)

"Short Term 12" A twentysomething working at a foster home for at-risk teenagers wrestles with her own past and future while helping a troubled newcomer and a young man preparing to leave the facility. With Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr. and Kaitlyn Dever. Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton. 96 minutes (R)

"The Smurfs 2" The diminutive magical blue beings known as Smurfs reunite with their human pals to rescue one of their kind from the clutches of the evil wizard Gargamel. With Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria and voices of Katy Perry and Jonathan Winters. 102 minutes (PG)

"This is the End" While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. 107 minutes (R)

"The Way, Way Back" A 14-year-old boy vacationing with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend and that man's daughter finds an unexpected friend in the manager of a local water park. With Liam James, Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette and Steve Carrell. Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. 102 minutes (PG-13)

"We're the Millers" In order to smuggle a large shipment of marijuana from Mexico to the United States, a pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis) hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston) and two kids to pose as his family. 110 minutes (R)

"World War Z" United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself. 116 minutes (PG-13)

-- Compiled from wire reports

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