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Friday, October 22, 2021

Winter Arts Preview: Movies

Sure it’s cold, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up at home
all winter. UC Davis’ hottest tickets this quarter include a
full-length opera, shows by more than a few world-famous musicians and
movies featuring Johnny Depp as a chameleon and Neil Patrick Harris as a
blind tutor. We know you don’t want to miss out on any of this, so read
on for details.MOVIES

The Green Hornet (Jan. 14)

Seth Rogen lights up the screen this time not only with a laugh-worthy performance, but with fancy moves that will dazzle any superhero aficionado. The Green Hornet promises laughs and plenty of martial arts, with Rogen starring as Britt Reid, the son of a rich newspaper publisher who inherits an empire from his father. After meeting fellow employee Kato, Reid decides that the men are wasting their abilities. He embarks with Kato on a crime-fighting journey to make use of their energies.

Cameron Diaz, Jay Chou and Christoph Waltz also star in this contemporary cinematic rendition that’s based on the “Green Hornet” radio program from the 1930s (this program later inspired a television series, comic books and other media). Interesting fact: 29 Chrysler Imperials were modified to portray the Green Hornet’s faithful supercar, the Black Beauty.

– Eleni Stephanides

I Am Number Four (Feb. 18)

From the book by Pittacus Lore and director D.J. Caruso of the films Disturbia and Eagle Eye comes an all-new action-packed science fiction thriller, I Am Number Four. Starring Alex Pettyfer (Beastly), Timothy Olyphant (The Crazies) and Dianna Agron (“Glee,” Burlesque), the movie revolves around a young teen named John Smith (Pettyfer) who tries to conceal his awesome powers by constantly being on the move and has strange, spiral-shaped imprints on different parts of his body. He has to stay in the shadows in order to avoid destruction by an elusive enemy who has already eliminated three others just like him. But his moving habits change when he meets a girl (Agron) in an Ohio town and refuses to move again with his guardian Henri (Olyphant).

– Lea Murillo

The Adjustment Bureau (March 4)

Imagine a film that is part science fiction, part political thriller, part romance, with a little ballet thrown into the mix. Impossible, right? Not anymore.

The Adjustment Bureau is about rising congressman David Norris (Matt Damon) who falls for a beautiful ballerina Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) at the height of his political career. Although he falls for her, unexplainable forces keep them from getting together.

As Norris fights the mysterious forces, men that call themselves the “Agents of Fate,” he discovers if he can beat the path that has already been determined for him and if he is willing to risk everything to change his destiny.

The film also stars “Mad Men’s” John Slattery.

With mystery, passion, and eye candy, this film has something for everyone.

– Anneta Konstantinides

Rango (March 4)

A pet chameleon, bored by safe terrarium life, becomes a swashbuckling hero in an Old West town called Dirt. The family-friendly film, directed and produced by Gore Verbinksy stars Johnny Depp as Rango (who, hearkening back to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, once again wears a bright Hawaiian shirt while going on adventures in the desert). Isla Fisher, Bill Nighy and Abigail Breslin also voice various characters throughout the film.

In the plight of discovering the hero inside of himself, Rango finds himself outside of familiar surroundings in a world populated by various desert creatures straight out of old spaghetti westerns. As he tries to be the new sheriff in town, he finds that good guys don’t have a lengthy life expectancy in Dirt. But Rango must find the willingness to persevere and thrive in an environment that is working hard to bring him down.

Fun fact: Rango is a parody of spaghetti westerns, its title referencing the 1966 iconic spaghetti western Django.

– Anastasia Zhuravleva

Beastly (March 18)

Beastly is another film that keeps with Hollywood’s newest trend of reinventing classic fairytales and bringing them back to life on the silver screen. This time High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens and newcomer Alex Pettyfer star in this reimagined vision of Beauty and the Beast. Hudgens portrays an intelligent young woman, turned off by Pettyfer’s pretty boy rich character. After a mysterious woman (Mary-Kate Olsen) changes his appearance, Kyle (Pettyfer) has to try and teach himself how to be attractive on the inside, with the help of a certain beautiful young woman.

Despite the cheesy clichés screaming for attention, this should be exciting to watch just to see what the filmmakers get right and what they should have done better.

– Brittany Pearlman

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