Davis: Oscar winners in Vegas

Happy Halloween everybody and while the kids have barely begun to collect their candy corn, it is already time to look forward to some of the biggest movies of the year.

You can already purchase tickets for Thor: The Dark World (opening Nov. 10) and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Nov. 24) as this weekend is the unofficial start of the holiday movie season.

While the three new releases will not individually ignite the box office, together they will draw many people to movie theatres.

Based on Orson Scott Card’s best-selling and award-winning 1985 novel, Ender’s Game is a science fiction film starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis (The Help), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine). Asa Butterfield (Hugo) stars as Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future alien invasion.

Behind the camera, not only does author Card serve as producer, he is joined by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, the duo behind movies like Star Trek: Into Darkness and Now You See Me and TV shows like Alias, Fringe and Hawaii 5-0.

The screenwriter and director is South African Gavin Hood, who won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film in 2005 for Tsotsi.

While Last Vegas may look like The Hangover for baby boomers, the four Academy Award-winning stars give this comedy a certain amount of gravitas.

Michael Douglas stars as the last of four friends in their 60s to end his bachelorhood and they decide to celebrate by heading to Vegas.  Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline play his life-long friends who leave their domestic lives for one more blowout.

It is directed by Jon Turteltaub, whose impressive resume includes Cool Runnings, While You Were Sleeping, Phenomenon and the National Treasure movies. Screenwriter Dan Fogelman is best known for the Disney animated movies Tangled, Bolt and Cars, but also wrote the under-appreciated Crazy, Stupid, Love.

What is really notable about Last Vegas is that this is the first time the four stars have shared the screen, but watch for the always likable Mary Steenburgen as it is said that she steals the spotlight from the legendary leads.

It is dangerous to make a movie about turkeys because it makes writing negative reviews very easy, which is probably why the producers changed the title from Turkeys to Free Birds. However, reviews of this bright and colourful animated adventure will not matter to the kids coming to watch it.

Owen Wilson voices Reggie, a turkey living a comfortable life after being pardoned by the President of the United States. However, his comfortable life ends when fellow turkey Jake (Woody Harrelson) kidnaps him and both travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to prevent turkeys from becoming the traditional holiday meal.

Also featuring the voice of Amy Poehler, it is directed by Canadian Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!) and produced by Aron Warner (the Shrek series).

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