Winter Movie Preview:
A film that includes Steven Spieldberg, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field, and a music by John Williams. Is it safe to say this movie is going to be a must see? From what we have seen in the trailers, it seems politically charged and well-timed. A movie about one of the greatest Americans and a monumental President, the story will take place during Lincoln's fight to abolish slavery and intent to end the civil war, bringing together a disjointed union. (Sound familiar?) This movie should be an obvious winner.
Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (11/16/12)
Having never read the series, I cannot really tell you much of what's going on in this movie. What I do know is what is shown in the trailer and what has been retold to me (in many various accounts) by fans or critics of the book series. It seems this is the lamer of the two parts of the story. The old term "jump the shark" comes to mind and it appears the magical vampire world goes to war over some hybrid-vampire/human, a product of Bella and Edward's "relationship". This is also the part of the story where she gives birth to a vampire so,… yeah.
Life of Pi : (11/21/12)
A lot of students may have felt this book by Yann Martel, forced on them in high school, which is a shame. It has a lot of layers and metaphors as well as intellectual alliteration. I have not been able to get my hands on it for long enough to read through it all myself, but I know the story and I am very excited at the prospect of such a vividly visual story coming to life. Director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Taking Woodstock, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) takes the challenge of adopting the screenplay and based on the trailers and clips, it seems he has a good handle on it. I am planning on finishing the book by its release. I suggest others do the same.
Silent Night: (11/30/12)
Because Malcom McDowell hasn't done enough crazy crap in his career, a seemingly dark and brutal holiday film is due out this season with a brutal murderous Santa Claus. An independent horror film full of cheap thrills and cliché screams, this should be a good popcorn flick for those looking to avoid the abundance of joyful caroling. Not projected to be a clear box-office success, but do not despair fans of the genre. This only means it will have eternal life on Netflix.
Rise of the Guardians: (11/21/12)
DreamWorks Animation has a film based on The Guardians of Childhood book series by William Joyce. I don't have a lot of high hopes being DreamWorks has a short history of putting out some really good animated films but a longer history of putting out some real garbage. (What the hell was that Shark Tale crap, seriously?) The book series has some fans in younger readers, but I honestly had not heard about it until this film was announced -- though this means nothing, see Harry Potter. However, the cast gives me hope. Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Jude Law, and Hugh Jackman? That's some great voice work. The animation seems visually appeasing and well suited for the holidays, I can see this being a big hit with families.
Back To 1942 (Foreign Release: 11/29/12, U.S. Release- TBA)
Adrien Brody, Tim Robbins, and Fan Xu star in this film obviously emotional film set in WWII China. The story is about a deadly drought that overtook the Henan province of China during the war against Japan. Brody appears to be a photo-journalist who is voluntarily displaced there during battle.
The film looks to be an emotional spectacle and should serve up some good tears.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: (12/14/12)
What can I say? I have been waiting for this movie for the last 10 years. A part of me was severely disappointed when I heard they were breaking the story from two to three parts, but I regain my hope each time I see a trailer. With returning cast members Sir Ian McKellen, Andy Serkis, and Hugo Weaving (among others) it's hard to not be hopeful. Combine the fact that Martin Freeman (BBC's Sherlock, 2005's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) is Bilbo and Benedict Cumberbatch (also Sherlock) is playing the deadly dragon Smaug, there is nothing left but sheer, ecstatic, joy. With input from one-time-director and still co-writer of the project Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson returning as producer and director, there's no way this movie is anything short of a success.
The Guilt Trip: (12/19/12)
Seth Rogen is pretty funny, Barbara Streisand, admittedly, is also funny. Together, as a son and mother duo, expect a seriously wacky comedy that should join both generations of comedy. Andy (Rogen) is taking his mother (Streisand) 3000 miles (approximately 8 days) across the country during his traveling sales trip. A road trip with your mother? Ouch. It may not turn into the funniest movie of the year, but it will serve as one last feel good comedy before the end of the world. I mean, 2012. (I am really looking forward to the steak eating contest scene).
Les Miserables: (12/25/12)
I do like a good musical, but I often found it hard to get into Les Miserables. The music was great, but I was often very disappointed in the stage play. I felt the story would have always been more compelling in film. Then Tom Hooper, academy award winning director of The King's Speech and TV miniseries John Adams came along and decided to give it a whirl. Based on the two trailers so far? It looks like he nailed it. Stellar casting (Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Amanda Sayfried, and so many more), it really feels like a sincere film adaptation rather than a messy "trying to bring the camera to the stage" approach, which has always rubbed me the wrong way. This style should suit the movie well at the box office.
Django Unchained: (12/25/12)
I only need to see the trailer to tell you this movie is going to be awesome. The cast, the characters, the fact that it's another Quentin Tarantino interpretation of important moments in American History, all have me finding it difficult to have reason to miss this movie. Unless you just don't like Tarantino, in which case I would suggest you sit this one out. Honestly, with a cast like DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson, you know you're up for a great movie. Just go see it, please. Comes out Christmas Day. What are you doing that's more important than this? Opening presents?
Texas Chainsaw 3D: (1/3/13)
The first remake scared the bejesus out of me. I can't safely say this one looks as good, in fact it seems rather cookie-cut. Apparently this serves as a sequel to the 1974 original when Heather Miller miraculously inherits a house from a grandmother she never met. Oh, by the way Heather, Leatherface lives there. Still. Apparently. GTFO.
Gangster Squad: (1/11/13)
Remember how bad-ass it was to see a brutal, off-the-books team of soldiers take out nazis in Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds? Well, Gangster Squad seems to be the same concept with the L.A. law taking into their own hands the East Coast Mafia's surge of their city during the late 40's to early 50's. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are going to heat up the screen once again, Josh Brolin (an actor who pulls off stoic and deadly very well), Sean Penn as gangster Mickey Coen, and Oh-My-God-Is-That-Nick Nolte, all appear in this film. Based on a book based on actual events, a hyperbolic, over-sensualized look at gritty gangster violence is a sure-thing relief from the bland weather of New England January.