Now that Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has begun, this is the time for some highly anticipated movies to premiere before the summer blockbuster season. This is the time for award hopefuls like “Hyde Park on Hudson,” “The Hobbit,” and “Zero Dark Thirty” to come out and be fresh on everyone’s minds going into awards season which starts early next year. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tarantino’s western “Django Unchained” is a sleeper that in my opinion will be met with well-deserved nominations.
I have to admit that I’m not as excited about the upcoming December movies this year, although it’s miles ahead of last year’s releases. Every Christmas season I go into New York City for a day and enjoy the whimsy of the city and take in a movie while I’m there. This year I’ll go and see the first installment of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” because it looks very good. Other than that, the only movie I am very much looking forward to is “Django Unchained” and “Hyde Park on Hudson” because I can always count on Bill Murray for a great performance.
Here is a guide of this Decembers upcoming movie releases:
“Hyde Park on the Hudson”- In this movie Bill Murray stars as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in this Dramadey about FDR’s secret love affair with his distant cousin while the king and queen of England are visiting the president in 1939 at a retreat in Upstate New York.
“Playing for Keeps”- An immature former soccer star played by Gerard Butler is trying to change his ways and reconnect his son and the boys now engaged mother played by Jessica Biel. He must change his ways and mature if he has any hope of winning his family back.
“Deadfall”- Siblings played by Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde must separate and fend for themselves after a casino heist is botched, but their bloody paths will cross during a random family's Thanksgiving dinner.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"- Martin Freeman leads this prequel to “The Lord of The Rings” Trilogy as a young Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo is asked by Gandalf played by Sir Ian McKellar to join on an adventure and team up with a group of Dwarves to regain a stolen treasure from the evil Dragon Smaug.
“This is 40”- Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann take on the roles they portrayed in “Knocked Up” (2007). This time the characters of Pete and Debbie find themselves turning 40 and having grown apart but begin to push themselves to live life to its fullest
“Zero Dark Thirty”- An ensemble cast lead by Chris Pratt and Jessica Chastain tells the story of the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden. This is a highly anticipated and Kathryn Bigelow’s first movie since the The Hurt Locker (2008) in which she won a Best Director Academy Award.
“Jack Reacher”- This new action/thriller starring Tom Cruise playing the title character is a former Military Police investigator that now works outside the boundaries of the law in search of justice.
“The Guilt Trip” - A workaholic son takes his lonely and outspoken mother on a business road trip which proves to be a trying journey but ultimately brings the two closer together. Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand star as the mom and son duo, the two are sure to bring laughs in this offbeat comedy.
“Django Unchained”- A bounty hunter and a freed slave team up to rescue his wife from a ruthless plantation owner. Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz play the pair determined to save the girl, while Leonardo DiCaprio plays the evil slave owner.
"Les Misérables" - An all-star cast lead by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, and Amanda Seyfried bring the wildly successful stage play to the big screen. The movie follows Jean (Jackman) who is being pursued by Inspector Javert (Crowe) and his promise to care for a factory worker Fantine’s (Hathaway) young daughter Cosette (Seyfried) in the backdrop of the French Revolution.
“Parental Guidance” - Billy Crystal and Bette Midler play a couple who agree to watch their grandkids while their parents are away. The new age kids clash with the grandparents’ old school method of parenting.
As I stated above, I’m not too enthusiastic about this month’s lineup of movies. Out of all the movies coming to theaters I am focused on about three of them. While I will probably wait until the rest are available to rent, there is definitely a healthy mix of genres for anyone going to the movies this holiday season.
Michael C. Kimball is an independent filmmaker and movie blogger. Follow him on Twitter @Pureclass13.