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New in Theaters October 10: Dracula Untold, Kill the Messenger, The Judge, Very Bad Day

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By Chris Kavan - 10/09/14 at 06:48 AM CT

After a record-setting October weekend, I'm guessing Hollywood is looking to keep the good times rolling. They sure aren't letting up when it comes to releasing new movies as this weekend will see four movies vying for attention - another horror film will try to compete with Annabelle, a very dramatic film for the adults, a very lighthearted film for the family and crime drama, you know, to even things out for everyone else. And that's all in addition to the popular Gone Girl. What I'm saying it's going to get very crowded - and not everyone can be a winner.

THE JUDGE The Judge poses an impressive cast. Robert Downey, Jr (in a non Iron Man role for once), Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Leighton Meester, Jeremy Strong and Dax Shepard all star in this very serious story about a son, a big shot lawyer (Downey Jr.) who returns home after his father (Duvall) a longtime and well-respected judge is accused of murder. Despite his estrangement, he agrees to take his father's case, even as a local prosecutor (Thorton) does everything he can to get a conviction. This is pretty much strictly targeting an adult audience - and it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against Gone Girl. It depends on whether the story comes across as powerful as its cast It's hard to tell from just the trailers - other than, wow, this is serious - but for the cast alone, it should bring in a decent crowd.

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY A long, long title based on a popular children's book, Alexander thinks the world is against him - until he finds out that his bad day is nothing in comparison to what his family goes through on one spectacularly terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. This one also has a good cast - led by Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner - and it looks like a lot of fun - at least for the younger crowd. Families are sure to get a kick out of this one - we'll see if it can top The Boxtrolls, which is really the only game in town right now. This movie is going to rise or fall based on whether it can draw out that family crowd, as I don't see the coveted demo really going all out for this one.

DRACULA UNTOLD I'm getting some major vibes from Dracula Untold - it reminds me of both Priest and Legion - I get the very same feeling about this film as I did from those - and that's not necessarily a good thing. Dracula Untold wants to tell the "true" story about everyone's favorite impaler, Vlad Tepes. Of course this means you have a man transforming into a swarm of bats and laying waste to an army - you know, all for the sake of his family he's trying to keep together. But mostly it seems like a good vehicle for Luke Evans to glower and Dominic Cooper to play yet another evil role. But I do like the nice touch of Charles Dance (who played such a great bastard on Game Thrones) to be the master vampire. Still, we already have one great horror film in Annabelle - it's hard to see this being better just because it looks so... well, stupid. I'm sure it has a lot of action - I'm not so sure about the horror part - but just like Legion and Priest, that action isn't going to be enough to sustain a sub-par story - I have a feeling it's going to wind up middle-of-the-road at best.

KILL THE MESSENGER Finally we have what looks to be the most interesting film out of all the new releases, which, of course, means it's most likely going to be the most overlooked movie of the weyk as well. The story concerns a reporter who uncovers information about the CIA arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua, but instead of being praised for reporting on the scandal, he finds himself as the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide. Maybe it's because I'm a journalist at heart, but anything based on a true story (in this case the real life of Gary Webb) really gets me interested. The cast, once again, looks amazing - Jeremy Renner, Robert Patrick, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Paz Vega, Barry Pepper, Oliver Platt, Ray Liotta, Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia and Tim Blake Nelson are just some of the names attached here. The marketing on this one has been light - and it's not going to get that big of push, but compared to the other offerings this week, I think it has the most potential, but many people will have to seek this one out. I'll probably have to wait for Netflix on this one, but it looks fantastic.

When you have a lot of movies all competing for attention, there is only enough room for one winner. I have a feeling it's going to be tough going competing with last week's big winners but we'll have to wait until Sunday to see what the final results look like.


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