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BY: MATT GRIPPI

Movies

Dec. 14 | "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

The most unexpected thing about this journey is that we’re going to have to wait years to see the end of it. Instead of the planned two-movies based on the 300-page prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” series, director Peter Jackson has decided to split the films up into three parts. This is partially a cash-grab and partially because Peter Jackson seems to be incapable of telling a story in less than 9 hours no matter how long the source material is. However, let’s not forget that the Lord of the Rings series was one of the most ambitious, critically acclaimed and visually stunning film projects of its time, and these films will most likely be at least something worth talking about. Unfortunately, if the world does end this year we will never actually get to see Bilbo fight that dragon.

Dec. 21st | "This is 40"

Judd Apatow changed the style of popular comedies when he released his first two films “The 40 Year-Old Virgin” and “Knocked Up.” Before then, most R-rated comedy was over-the-top gross-out humor with little substance, or arthouseWoody Allen style comedies for intellectuals.Apatow manages to balance gross-out R-rated comedy with realistic dramatic situations and improvised humor. Nobody else can go from fart jokes to serious relationship drama so quickly and smoothly. “This is 40” is a spiritual sequel to “Knocked Up” starring Paul Rudd and Apatow’swife Leslie Mann. Expect a balance of filthy humor and real life observations that only someone likeApatow could provide.

Dec. 25th | "Django Unchained"

There is no better Christmas present than a new Quentin Tarantino flick. This film stars Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who becomes a bounty hunter in order to save his wife from an evil and ruthless plantation owner played by the always great Leonardo DiCaprio. The film is a spaghetti western with some elements of a blaxploitationgrindhouse movie, which is an insane genre-bending exercise that could only come from Tarantino’s mind. Few filmmakers have a better track record than Tarantino, so this is almost guaranteed to be a lot of fun. Check it out if the world doesn’t end. Video Game

The Walking Dead

Based on the popular comic book and television series, this video game continues the story of the zombie apocalypse and its effect on the human race. The main character is Lee Everett, a man accused of murdering a congressman who was sleeping with his wife. Everett escapes from a cop car when the zombie apocalypse hits, and is forced to survive the changed world by making tough decisions. Unlike most zombie games, this one is a point-and-click adventure game that focuses more on emotion, decision and character development than action. Choices you make during the game and friendships you form with other characters will affect the rest of game and how you make it out in the end. Make one mistake and the wrong person might die, or your friends will stop trusting you. The writing and story are fantastic, and the game is great at delivering moments of legitimate terror without just making loud noises that startle you. The game was originally released as a five part series on the PS3and Xbox online stores, but it will be available in its complete form this month.

TV

The Walking Dead Season 3

Unlike the game, The Walking Dead TV show hasn’t been all good. The first and second seasons had some strong episodes but they suffered from writing problems and bland characters. Deaths didn’t really seem to matter emotionally, and there were times where the series seemed to really lag. However, season 3 has stepped it up significantly. With a new villain called The Governor, new characters, and an entirely new setting, the show has finally hit its stride. Finally we get great, scary, gross zombie battles coupled with believable drama and characters we actually care about. If you’re new to the show it is worth joining in, even if you don’t want to watch the first two seasons. If you’re curious, seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix.