It’s Christmas time, and here at Everyview, we like telling our loyal readers what to do, which products to buy, and we generally feel that our opinions are better than yours. We have a website that proves it.
Anyway, this holiday season there look to be a number of quality films that are slated to be released just in time for the New Year, and I’m going to point out the select few that have given me a chubby, and I’m going to tell you which ones to spend that Movie Money you got in your Stockings on!!
I’ll denote a 5 ♦ system for each movie, higher marks going to the most MUST SEE.
Invictus (12/11) | ♦♦♦.5
I think I noticed when I was in 3rd grade that Morgan Freeman looks an awful lot like Nelson Mandella. Well, Hollywood finally caught up to my 3rd grade mind, and this is the film we get. It involves Freeman as Mandella attempting to unite his tumultuous country through the sport of rugby, and co-stars Matt Damon, and is directed by Clint Eastwood. If you were counting, that’s THREE Oscar Winners. Pretty safe bet to be a damn fine film.
Up In The Air (12/11) | ♦♦♦♦
Very rarely does a director burst onto the scene the way Jason Reitman has. Granted, he was practically raised on set (his father is famed director Ivan Reitman), but his Directorial acumen cannot be denied. He has already hit a home run (Thank You For Smoking) and a Grand Slam (Juno), and his latest is receiving all kinds of awards buzz and is only picking up steam. The film stars George Clooney as a corporate downsizing expert who loves living the frequent flyer lifestyle. The movie is bound to have Reitman semi-quirky yet surprisingly intimate touch, and the only question for me is just how far he hits this one out of the park.
Crazy Heart (12/16) | ♦♦.5
Each year there seems to be a movie that sneaks up and becomes a hit based on one performance, and from all accounts, Crazy Hearrt has a strong chance at being that film this year. This year that performance is being attributed to Jeff Bridges as a broken down booze hound ex-country singer walking down his road to redemption. Last year we had the resurgence of Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler, and this film looks to get 4-time Academy Award nominee Bridges over the hump and onto the stage a winner. But oftentimes movies that rely on one great performance fall flat in other areas, so I’m a bet hesitant to say the movie itself is going to be above average.
Avatar (12/18) | ♦♦♦♦
This seems to be the huge movie of the season, though I personally am only marginally interested in it. I can’t imagine what the general public thinks of a movie starring a bunch of blue creatures, but we’re going to find out soon enough. There is not a chance in high hell you haven’t heard or seen something about this film, and if you haven’t it must be nice living under that cozy rock. There are TV spots on seemingly every channel during every commercial break, ads all over the place, and an overall buzz surrounding it that hasn’t truly been seen since last summer’s epic The Dark Knight. James Cameron has been working on this film for what seems like an eternity, but is a Sci-Fi epic something the movie going public is willing to pay money to see (and spend over 2.5 hours watching it?)
The Road (12/18) | ♦
Cormac McCarthy wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning story this film is based on (he also penned No Country for Old Men), but the advanced reviews for this are pretty mediocre. The fact that it got pushed back nearly a year (was an Oscar Buzzed movie last year) only worries me more. I’d still love to see it, but my chubby has faded fast.
Nine (12/25) | ♦♦♦
Now, I’m not usually a big fan of musicals, but this one has me interested for one reason. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS. The rest of the cast is likewise stacked with strong females like Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, and Penelope Cruz and is directed by Frank Marshall (Chicago), so it’s got my attention on all levels. I hope it’s got some catchy tunes, but as long as I see DDL bust out some slick moves, I’ll go home happy.
Sherlock Holmes (12/25) | ♦♦♦.5
What is shaping up to be the runner-up to Avatar this Holiday Season, Sherlock Holmes looks like a fun, quick, stylized update of the classic character from director Guy Ritchie. It’s got the ever charismatic Robert Downey Jr. in the title role, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams supporting, and looks to pick the scraps from the action movie fans who aren’t intrigued by Avatar.
It’s Complicated (12/25) | ♦♦
Revoke my Man Card if you must, but I’m typically a fan of Nancy Meyers films. From What Women Want, to Something’s Gotta Give, to The Holiday, they are Romantic Comedies for Adults, that actually don’t pander overtly to the opposite sex. She writes strong females characters and strong male characters, all of whom are sympathetic and most of the time, very likeable. The dialogue is fun and breezy, and she gets the most out of the performers. With Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin, she won’t have to do much to end up with an overall charming, light-hearted adult Rom-Com.
Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (12/25) ♦♦♦♦♦
Now this is the film I am absolutely dying to see this holiday season, and for various reasons. One, it boasts the sad honor of bringing us the great Heath Ledger’s absolute final performance. Two, it co-stars Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell (two of my other personal favorites). Three, the trailer looks stunning. Overall, it brings me everything I look for in a movie.
As always, there will be Oscar Bait films that won’t be released wide until after the New Year, but this looks to me like a strong line-up of films to end 2009 on!