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New in Theaters November 07: Interstellar, Big Hero 6

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By Chris Kavan - 11/06/14 at 06:47 AM CT

Thanks to Halloween, the first weekend in the new month wasn't exactly a barn burner when it came to returns. All that should change this weekend, however, when two, huge movies enter the scene. A massive sci-fi offering from one of the biggest directors around and an animated film from Disney that should help turn around the somewhat muted family market. Also opening in limited release is a biography that has been getting a lot of awards attention. One thing is for certain, it should be a monster weekend, something that I think will just be the start as the rest of November looks to be strong.

INTERSTELLAR Pretty much I have pegged Insterstallar as my most anticipated movie of the year. Christopher Nolan has given us The Dark Knight and Inception - two of my favorite movies since 2000 - and there is no reason I don't see him continuing to impress me. The movie concerns a not-so-distant future - the Earth is ravaged by climate change, turning it into a desolate dustbowl where food is much harder to come by. In order to save humanity, a now in-hiding NASA creates an ambitious program to find another planet that is inhabitable. The cast looks phenomenal as well - Matthew McConaughey plays the pilot of the expedition and leaves behind his daughter (due to physics played in youth by Mackenzie Foy and then by Jessica Chastain as she grows old) and son (likewise a young version Timothée Chalamet and older version Casey Affleck) as he is joined by crew members played by Anne Hathaway, Wes Bentley and David Gyasi as well as a smart computer program (reminiscent of HAL) the TARS, voiced by Bill Irwin. From the trailers I gather they land on at least one planet made up of mostly water (and huge waves) and another an ice-bound planet. The supporting case is made up by the likes of Michael Caine, John Lithgow, David Oyelowo, Matt Damon and Ellen Burstyn. From everything I have seen, this is probably the type of film where if you have ready access to IMAX - it will be well worth the effort to pay a little extra and see it in the large format. It has been compared to last year's Gravity as well as Stanley Kubrick's seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey. Early reviews, while not 100% positive, are certainly above average and even if is doesn't turn out to be Nolan's best, I am looking forward to this one.

BIG HERO 6 It has been a long time since we had an animated hit. Most of the summer movies underperformed and while a film like The Book of Life has gotten good reviews, it hasn't turned into box office gold. But Disney has the best chance to turn things around with Big Hero 6. You have child prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) and his creation the robot Baymax (Scott Adsit) who must join up with a group of like-minded "heroes" when the city of San Fransokyo is targeted by a nefarious villain. The cast includes T.J. Miller, Jamie Chung, Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, James Cromwell, Alan Tudyk and Maya Rudolph. The movie looks like a whole lot of fun - a lot of action, vibrant, fun and funny - and just all around a quite enjoyable animated endeavor. Now, I am not familiar with the source material, so I don't know how close (or far) the story and characters will veer from the original. And, despite being a Marvel brand, this is in no way associated with their whole cinematic universe. The movie may not break the mold, but I think it looks like a perfectly good example of a solid, animated film. It might not break any records (ala Frozen) but it should be a nice hit for families looking for something to do.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING In limited release this weekend, and sure to expand, is the biography of physicist Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything. Eddie Redmayne has been earning rave reviews for his portrayal of man, from early age to his battle with ALS to beating the odds and living a full life with the disease, which may have ravaged his body but never stops his mind. Also earning a lot of praise is Felicity Jones, who plays his girlfriend then wife Jane Hawking. This really does look like it will be an amazing film - full of heart, humor and drama. It is not a lock, but I have a good feeling it could ride the wave of praise to awards season - Redmayne for sure if nothing else.

The weekend should be a big one all around. With Interstellar and Big Hero 6 coming in swinging, Hollywood should have something to look forward to this Sunday.


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