After a less than satisfying summer movie season, audiences are breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of seeing fresh, imaginative films at the box office this fall.
In September, Tim Burton releases his second film of 2005, the dazzling stop-motion animated spectacle Corpse Bride. Johnny Depp lends his voice to Victor, a tall, shy, yet gentle man about to marry the beautiful and equally gentle Victoria. But days before the wedding, as a result of unbelievable supernatural circumstances, Victor finds himself married to the beautiful but decomposing Corpse Bride. Lucky for Victor, his fiancée Victoria is by his side, and together, they hatch a plan to rid themselves of the unwelcome bride and still have time to live happily ever after.
From a couple determined to help their marriage survive, we go to the Hitchcockian, suspense-filled Flightplan, starring Jodi Foster. Foster plays Kyle Pratt, a recently widowed mother who is flying from Berlin to New York with her young daughter, Julia. Pratt’s world is turned upside down shortly after takeoff when Julia vanishes mysteriously on the plane. The plot thickens when the other passengers deny having seen Julia get on the plane at all. Little do they know that Pratt was a member of the team that designed the plane, an advantage that may save her daughter, or prove that she has lost her mind.
October features surprisingly few horror films, but parents and their children can catch the long-awaited film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Since the Wallace and Gromit short animation A Close Shave won an Oscar in 1995, the claymation duo have become increasingly popular in the United States, and a sequel is already rumored to be in the works.
The hilarious antics of Wallace and Gromit are a perfect lead-in for the two most anticipated films of the season: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Both films are adaptations of popular children’s books and feature extraordinary special effects.
In the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry is preparing for the Triwizard Tournament, a rigorous competition that pits Hogwarts against two other wizarding academies, Durmstrang and Beauxbaton. Against pressure to win the tournament and bring glory to the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, Harry begins to suspect that Lord Voldemort is closer than ever to returning to human form with the help of his evil henchmen, the Death Eaters. Can Harry win the tournament and keep Voldemort at bay? The competition begins on Nov. 18.
Then, it’s time to take a trip through the doors of the mysterious wardrobe and into the world known as Narnia. Discovered accidentally during a game of hide and seek, the kingdom of Narnia is ruled by a powerful but loving lion, Aslan, who quickly gains the trust and affection of the four British children who emerge from the wardrobe. But all is not well in Narnia, and it’s up to the four children and Aslan to stop the evil White Witch, who has cloaked the land in eternal winter.
With seven books in The Chronicles of Narnia series, there’s bound to be more film adaptations following the first installment’s debut in December.
Marta Rusek can be reached at MRusek@temple.edu.