It's getting to be that time of year again, folks. Children are singing, and parents are wondering how the hell they can afford an 800 dollar iPad tablet for their kid. The important thing is this is where studios start bumrushing audiences with award-baiting movies. Summer is where they roll out all the blockbusters one after another, but some studios are smart and wait until everyone is depressed because of winter and roll a few out. Titanic came out in December, as did Avatar, and those movies destroyed records! Let's take a look at what we have to enjoy or endure in November and December.
Skyfall, November 9th
Synopsis: Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
James Bond is back, and here to wash the bad tastes out of our mouths after whatever Quantum of Solace was. Seriously, that movie was bad. The plot was to steal water or something? Whatever. Anyway, Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition) takes the director chair, and I have confidence he can pull this franchise back up to how amazing Casino Royale was.
I read the full synopsis, and it almost looks exactly like Mission Impossible. That movie was really convoluted, but it was back when people loved Tom Cruise and he didn't scare everyone with his maniacal laughter and wife auditions. Either way, I hope this movie is as good as the first, because it has the cast for it (Naomie Harris, Javier Bardem).
Lincoln, November 9th
Synopsis: As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
Spielberg is directing, so you know the B-story is going to be about the relationship with his kids. It's always in all of his movies. The trailer to this movie looks like a parody trailer for an obvious Academy Award film with the slow-mo action cutaways, fade to black in almost every scene, shots of Lincoln from behind his back with the big hat. It's all in there.
I'm sure it'll be a good movie, if not a little hammed up. Spielberg hasn't really had that many great movies since Saving Private Ryan. Minority Report was fun (everyone uses that hand-motioned screen technology now), Catch Me If You Can and Munich were all right. War Horse was dreadful. The end of the movie (spoiler alert) where soldiers are signing the armistice, and the camera pans over to the horse mindlessly munching on hay, was unintentionally hilarious.
You can already know how this movie is going to end because of history. Although, this idiotic girl in my high school was shocked that the ship sank at the end of Titanic. We all laughed and slowly realized she was serious. We all grew concerned shortly after laughing.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2, November 16th
Synopsis: After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.
All I can say about this movie is that when it comes out, avoid the theaters. It's the lowest form of cinema made from the lowest form of literature. I'd rather watch that unlabeled VHS tape in my grandma's room than watch this. Just move on, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Playing for Keeps, December 7th
Synopsis: A former sports star who's fallen on hard times starts coaching his son's soccer team in an attempt to get his life together.
Gerald Butler must be on hard times, because this movie looks like a rom-com from the '90s. Remember when Gerald Butler was kicking people into bottomless pits? Remember how awesome that was? Well, 300 was over-the-top terrible, but at least he was yelling and killing. But, this? Do you really even need to see it? He will be down in the dumps, probably an addict of some kind, and then he coaches his kid's team and his life starts to change. He meets a soccer mom and they fall in love, and she shows him how to live again. His kid scores the winning goal near the end and people smile at each other. The end.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, December 14th
Synopsis: A curious hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.
This movie has been in development hell for years, and we've all known about it, so calling it an unexpected journey must be an inside joke that we're all in on. It's been reported that this will be the start of a new trilogy, and that this part will be around two hours and 40 minutes long. It's odd, because that's how long it takes me to read the entire book it's based off of, and a lot of it is singing. I've read The Lord of the Rings, and there's so many dinner parties and decorating in there that completely dwarfs (get it?!) the battle scenes.
I will see this movie regardless of how long it is. I like fantasy stuff like this, plus Martin Freeman is the man in Sherlock as John Watson. I'll give it a go, you should too.
Zero Dark Thirty, December 21st
Synopsis: A chronicle of the decade-long hunt for al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks, and his death at the hands of the Navy SEAL Team 6 in May, 2011.
This is the bin Laden film everyone is getting all freaked out over. It's directed by Kathryn Bigelow, the lady who directed The Hurt Locker and Point Break. Point Break! (Fires gun into the air and yells "Ahhh!") The Hurt Locker was a good action movie, but it shouldn't have won best picture.
Anyway, this movie will probably be widely seen in America. Expect all the 24/7 news to cover this movie. You'll hear about accuracy and Obama, and all of that crap. It's a movie about America finally finding a terrorist responsible for horrific acts being brought to justice. I will go in watching it with devils horns in the air.
On The Road, December 21st
Synopsis: Young writer Sal Paradise has his life shaken by the arrival of free-spirited Dean Moriarty and his girl, Marylou. As they travel across the country, they encounter a mix of people who each impact their journey indelibly.
This movie is based on Beatnik legend Jack Kerouac's novel of the same name. I read the book multiple times. One of my favorite teachers in high school gave it to me to read, and I loved it. She was one of those teachers who actually taught and cared, not one that put on a PowerPoint and read in monotone.
Reading it painted a picture of the United States in a beautiful way. When I heard it was being adapted, I was excited. Shortly after hearing it, I also wondered who would be cast, how they would actually adapt it, and who was directing. It had the duo that wrote and directed The Motorcycle Diaries, and the two main characters seemed legit. Then I read that Kristen Stewart was cast. She can't act. She ruins every scene of every movie that she's in. It's like she asks the director what her motivation is and the director tells her, "I want you to look like you have heart burn." She stands there with her mouth open and periodically bites her lip. Don't believe me? Watch anything that she is in. I know I will probably get flack for saying that, but what many don't understand is, who cares?
I'm cautiously optimistic with this movie. I can't wait to see how Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley take on my favorite traveling alcoholic duo. I'm also looking forward to the soundtrack. They were jamming hard to the tunes in that book.
Django Unchained, December 28th
Synopsis: With the help of his mentor, a slave-turned-bounty-hunter sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner.
Tarantino wrote and directed this. Do I even need to say anything else? A slave goes on a revenge voyage against slave owners? How can that not be awesome? Everything Tarantino does is good when it comes to movie. Lock that guy in a room with a briefcase full of cocaine and he will bust out a script that is ready to shoot. I do, however, have a problem with his obvious foot fetish. He needs to chill out with that.
Expect funky '70s music, brutal killing, a memorable bad guy, and long scenes where characters are talking. Tarantino loves dialogue.