Movie Mania: Upcoming movie releases draw attention from viewers; fans anticipate release of sequels

Sheila Gregory, Co-Editor

“Thor: Dark World”
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Interest Level: 2 out of 5
Let’s face it — no one liked Thor until the Avengers. Now back with Chris Hemsworth’s third movie as the thunder god from Asgard, Thor must combat a force that’s not to be reckoned with. This journey will reunite him with Jane (Natalie Portman) — his sort-of girlfriend from the first movie. Just from the trailer, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), his evil brother, returns to “help.” Marvel fans everywhere will most likely eat this one up.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Release Date: Nov. 22, 2013
Interest Level: 5 out of 5
“Chins up, smiles on.” This will be the reaction of fans everywhere when they catch this much-anticipated dystopian thriller. Picking up where it left off, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) must face the consequences of the revolution she inadvertently started. Will she and Gale get together? Will President Snow kill her? Will Miley come at Jennifer Lawrence with a wrecking ball for kissing her ex-fiance (as seen in the trailer)? With “The Hunger Games” grossing $4.08 million, this new sequel will hopefully surpass those profits and the raving fans’ expectations.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Release Date: Dec. 13, 2013
Interest Level: 4 out of 5
In the newest Peter Jackson nerd-fest, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen)  and the Dwarves have made it to Smaug’s lair, filled with immense riches, and — pause for dramatic effect — a dragon. This is part two of the Hobbit movie trilogy and brings back some “Lord of the Rings” favorites including the elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom) — ladies, hold onto your panties. From the trailer, it seems to be an action-packed climax adventure easily worth a $15 IMAX ticket.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” 
Release Date: Dec. 20, 2013
Interest Level: 5 out of 5
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention? I’ve just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you to stop what you’re doing and listen.” Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)  and the entire Channel 4 news team is back and better than ever with new comedic faces such as Kristen Wiig, Jim Carrey and Amy Poehler. In this sequel, released almost 10 years after the first movie, Ron, Champ (David Koechner), Brian (Paul Rudd) and Brick (Steve Carell) take on the new challenge of a 24-hour news station. “Love lamp,” but also buy tickets in advance, camp out in front of the theater, grow a Ron Burgundy-worthy mustache and definitely see this movie.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” 
Release Date: TBD
Interest Level: 10 out of 5
“All is well.” These were the last three words in the seventh “Harry Potter” novel. And for the fans everything was — for a while. But we wanted more. We craved it. And we got it, thank the Lord, hallelujah! This movie is taking place 70 years prior to the birth of our beloved hero Harry, and follows the writer Newt Scamander and his adventures in New York City. From this brief description provided by the wonderful people of IMDb.com, it answers the question of, “Are there wizards in America?” It brings back the sadness of never receiving your Hogwarts letter — or whatever the United States equivalent is — though we can keep our fingers crossed for this movie.