Seven reasons to head to theaters this fall

Joe Cramer

It’s difficult to find the will to get out to the movies once school starts. Between classes, studying, extracurriculars and other perfectly legal diversions, there doesn’t seem to be much need to spend an admittedly bloated amount of your hard-earned and easily-lost money on a movie that might not even be good.

Yet, circumstances will surely arise where you find yourself in need of the sweet escape that only Hollywood can provide.

Maybe you want to start something casual with that cute girl or guy in your Philosophy class. Maybe you and your friends want a low-key night out. Maybe you’re just bored.

In any of these cases, you’ll need to have a working knowledge of what’s a good bet in the cinemas this season. With that in mind, here are a few upcoming gems that will be closing out the movie year in style.

“Zombieland” (Oct. 9)

The relative absence of both Judd Apatow-style comedies and gruesome horror pictures fortunately seems to have yielded this unholy combination of the two, featuring Woody Harrelson and “Adventureland” star Jesse Eisenberg as two mismatched survivors in a post-apocalyptic and absurdly satirical vision of zombie-infested America.

Combining low-brow humor and graphic violence, this one has it all for the non-squeamish looking for a fun time at the theater.

“Whip It” (Oct. 2)

In what can best be described as a spirited follow-up to “Juno,” Ellen Page stars as a discontented high-school misfit who falls in with the Texas roller-derby crowd and learns to break the constraints of her suburban life, finding both love and purpose along the way.

Directed by Drew Barrymore, this is one chick-flick that you won’t be ashamed to talk about with your friends the next day.

“Jennifer’s Body” (Sept. 18)

No, this isn’t a movie about revenge; it is revenge in itself. Provided you didn’t immediately break up with your significant other after being put through “Twilight” last fall, here is how you can pay her back. Take her to see this movie, a shameless excuse to showcase the unique talents of Hollywood vixen Megan Fox. There’s blood, terror and, well, Megan Fox. Apparently, there is also a plot involving demonic possession. Who knew?

“2012” (Nov. 13)

Every fall, there is at least one massively budgeted special effects extravaganza that the studios seemingly forgot to release on the 4th of July weekend. Luckily for you, this year’s vagrant event film happens to star John Cusack. “2012” tells the story of humanity’s prophesized fall at the hands of natural disasters and the survivors’ subsequent struggle to start again, all brought to you by the director of “Independence Day.”

“New Moon” (Nov. 20)

Nothing’s ever that easy, is it? Enjoy “Jennifer’s Body” while you can, because in two short months, its back to the multiplex to see the continuing adventures of Bella and her dreamily-pale vampire lover, Edward.

Fortunately for you guys, while you try to figure out why your girl is melting at the stony, pale face of Robert Pattinson, you are also treated to a more action-oriented and globe-trotting premise. Ladies, you get Taylor Lautner. Fair trade?

“Where the Wild Things Are” (Oct. 16)

Music video guru Spike Jonze’s long-awaited, live-action adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s famous children’s book has generated a massive amount of pre-release buzz ever since the debut of its stunning trailer over the summer. A rare movie that promises to combine a childhood sense of wonder with poignant and subtle introspection, this is the movie to take that special lady to if you want to prove you’re deeper than that “Boondock Saints” poster on your wall.

“Avatar” (Dec. 18)

The last time “Terminator” director James Cameron released a movie, it became the highest-grossing of all time and went on to win 11 Oscars. That film was 1997’s “Titanic.” twelve years later, Cameron is back with the 3D science-fiction epic “Avatar,” a quantum leap forward in filmmaking which bridges the valley between live-action and CGI.

Cameron has said that his goal is to give this generation its “Star Wars,” so come December, film as we know it may be changed forever. Either that or Cameron will be out of a job and back on “Entourage.”