Chill out with these winter flicks

Winter Break is almost here, which means time off from classes and a chance to indulge in some much-deserved loafing. Laughs, drama and even a few scares will be arriving in theaters during December and January with several specific films garnering some pre-release buzz.

Starring Michael Stahl-David & Mike Vogel

The publicity for “Cloverfield” has made it one of the most anticipated films of recent years with an unrevealing teaser trailer played before “Transformers” this summer and posters depicting a decapitated Statue of Liberty.

Movie buffs and Internet detectives have been spending the past six months trying to unravel the mystery behind this top-secret film, being kept under tight wraps by director J.J. Abrams. Obviously, not much is known about the film, but what has been confirmed is that the movie will be shot in a style similar to that of the “Blair Witch Project” (through the point of view of a camcorder) and that it documents the destruction of New York City by an unidentified monster. Rumors make the flim out to be a new “Godzilla,” a spin-off of television shows “Heroes” and “Lost,” or a possible adaptation of the work of science-fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it doesn’t seem like much will be known until it stomps into theaters in mid-January.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Starring Johnny Depp & Helena Bonham Carter

It’s been a few years since the dynamic directing-acting duo of Tim Burton and Johnny Depp has hit the big screen, but come this Winter Break, they will return with an interesting turn in both of their careers. After the popularity of the acclaimed “Pirates of the Carribean” trilogy launched Johnny Depp out of the dark sphere of his usual work, he is coming back, and with great vegenance.

The film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical, “Sweeney Todd” follows the life of a serial killer barber driven to violent madness by the death of his wife and daughter. Over the years we’ve seen Depp trim hedges with scissor hands, run a demented chocolate factory, flee from a headless horseman and fight on the high seas, but can he sing? We’ll have to wait until Dec. 21 to find out.

“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”
Starring John Reilly & Jenna Fischer

Director/producer Judd Apatow will bring the gift of laughter this holiday season with this comedy flick. After becoming one of the top creators of comedies in recent years (he also directed “The 40-Year Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up” and produced “Superbad”), Apatow is putting his name and his skills behind this new film that plays out like a parody of another movie genre that has become quite popular in recent years: the biopic.

In the form of a documentary, the film follows the life of ficticious musician Dewey Cox (imagine someone portraying Johnny Cash on “Saturday Night Live”), as he breaks into the music world and is faced with the benefits and the struggles associated with it. With an outrageous storyline and an even crazier script featuring run-ins with Elvis Presley and a dysfunctional collection of Beatles, “Walk Hard” promises, like all of Apatow’s aforementioned films, to have people quoting it for the rest of this year and into the next. Trailers already have fans quoting Cox’s psuedo-philosophical mission statement:

“It is a long hard walk to the top – and I will walk hard.”