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New in Theaters November 21: Life of Pi, Rise of the Guardians, Red Dawn and Silver Linings

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By Chris Kavan - 11/21/12 at 12:03 PM CT

Welcome to a very special holiday edition of the the New in Theaters blog. Thanks to Thanksgiving landing on Thursday, pretty much all the major releases are coming out on Wednesday in order to take advantage of the holiday. It's too bad most people spend Thanksgiving indoors eating heartily, so I'm still thinking most of the big money is going to come in over the weekend anyway. I have a feeling that despite some new blood at the box office, it's still going to be Twilight that's going to wind up on top. But hey, competition looks fierce, so we'll see how things turn out.

LIFE OF PI There is a lot of hope riding on Life of Pi. It's being touted as the best use of 3D since Avatar, despite the fact the film is more of a drama than an action piece. Regardless, the novel the film is based on has proven very popular and if that popularity can bleed over to the big screen, the film should enjoy some healthy numbers. Plus, I'm a fan of Ang Lee - he's proven he has a handle on drama with everything from The Ice Storm to Brokeback Mountain and he's provided stunning visuals in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I have a feeling he's the right director for such a project that requires the right mix of both of those features. Still, I have a feeling it's probably going to be an uphill battle against the final Twilight film, despite the pedigree.

RISE OF THE GUARDIANS For weeks not, the top box office draw for families has been the feel-good video game film Wreck-It Ralph. However, Rise of the Guardians should be able to steal that crown away. What happens with the boogeyman decides to get serious? Well, Pitch, as he's known here, is ready to make the Earth his personal playground but not if some of the biggest names in fantasy have anything to say. Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost and Sandman are here to save the day. Voiced by the likes of Hugh Jackman, Chris Pine, Isla Fisher, Jude Law and Alec Baldwin, at least the talent is there. It's like The Avengers, if the The Avengers were made by eight-year-old kids. I have a feeling this is going to be one of those movies that kids will like more than adults, but it should still play well with families.

THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Although this is still technically a limited release (reaching 420 odd theaters), I'll mention it here because I've already seen it (weeks ago in fact) and I've been itching to state my peace. Not much of a romantic guy myself, I have to say that I would be more than happy to be asked to see this and if you're one of those guys that is forced to be dragged to "chick flicks" this is a golden opportunity to get one right. Both Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are outstanding (and should be up for awards) as is the supporting cast, including Robert De Niro and, surprisingly, Chris Tucker. Drama, comedy, romance - it's all here and the package it's wrapped up in is quite nice. Do yourself a favor and watch this one before awards season.

RED DAWN A remake that was originally supposed to be released two years ago, but like Skyfall and Cabin in the Woods, it was pushed back for studio issues. Also, the original idea was for the Chinese to invade America while the rah-rah Americans (led by "newcomers" Chris Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson and Josh Peck amongst others) fought back. That has since been changed to North Korea (economic reasons, mayhap?). Whoever we're fighting, I have a feeling this remake is going to follow Total Recall in being underwhelming at the box office despite the now more-famous stars of the film. I'll stick to the 80s cheese-tastic original: Wolverines!

There you go - get a jump on the weekend this Wednesday or start a new Thanksgiving tradition by going to the movies - let's see if we can start a revolution! Or not - I'm just looking forward to turkey and gravy. I'll still be here Sunday with the extra-long weekend box office results - I have a feeling Twilight will still be on top, but it should be interesting where the rest of the films fall.


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