Thursday, December 1, 2016

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In December (2016)

According to: Cat

20 – Lost in the Pacific (12/1)

Tag Line: The farthest side of the ocean, the darkest side of the world
Production Companies:  Shanghai Hongliang Media & Culture Co., Asia Tropical Films
Director:  Vincent Zhou
Writers:  Vincent Zhou, Peter Cameron
Actors:  Brandon Routh, Yuqi Zhang, Russell Wong, Bernice Liu, Mengjie Jiang, Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau, Vincent M. Ward, Tazito Garcia, Sunny Wang, Xiangyu Dai, Natasha Lloyd, Tim Parrish, Bobby Tonelli
Genre:  Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated:  NR

There is a real bumper crop of excellent movies hitting theaters in December. It was difficult to get my list narrowed down to just 20.

A wide variety of films will offer something for everyone this Holiday Season - whether you’re getting together with friends and family, following your fandom, or just taking a break from the seasonal bustle. Thrills, chills, tears, laughter, and love await you in an excellent ‘choose your own adventure’ at the box office.

Where does this movie fit in among those, and why is it here on my list instead of more substantial films like Run the Tide (2016), Fences (2016), or Gold (2016)?

Because it looks like a guilty-pleasure of a B-movie joyride into awesomeness.

I’m not going to try to butter you up like this is some sort of grand piece of film history or any sort of award contending blockbuster. Lost in the Pacific was released back in January 2016 overseas and has only had a little over $5 million in worldwide box office so far since then – though, that’s primarily from China.

It promises to be an interesting blend of hijacking crisis action and creature feature. Demonic-looking cats will probably steal the show. Panthers, you say? Nope. A swarm of little black housecat-seeming critters straight out of the nightmares of the uber superstitious.

This one isn’t going to make you question your life, count your blessings, or snort your soda out of your nose in the theater; but it should definitely be entertaining.

19 – Hairspray Live! (12/7)

Tag Line: We all dance to the same beat!
Production Companies: Storyline Entertainment, Universal Television
Directors: Kenny Leon, Alex Rudzinski
Writers: Harvey Fierstein (teleplay), Thomas Meehan (book), Mark O'Donnell (book), John Waters (original screenplay)
Actors: Ariana Grande, Kristin Chenoweth, Dove Cameron, Garrett Clayton, Harvey Fierstein, Billy Eichner, Derek Hough, Martin Short, Ricki Lake, Maddie Baillio, Rosie O'Donnell, Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes, Andrea Martin, Ephraim Sykes, Mason Trueblood, Marissa Heart, Paul Vogt
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Musical
Rated: TV-PG

I love that live-action musicals are having a bit of a resurgence lately. The original Hairspray (1988) is a classic. I was glad to see that the cinematic remake from 2007 didn’t try to tinker with it too much. I expect the same sort of reverent-ish treatment from this live special.

I hope that the live musicals such as this keep coming. It’s like going to a Broadway show from wherever you want, whether that’s home or somewhere on the go with a mobile device.

This show is also packed with some serious star power. A couple of the cast from the current Broadway run are reprising their roles. Additionally, consider the talent of Martin Short (Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Frankenweenie, Inherent Vice), and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls, The Three Stooges, Lullaby) as Motormouth Maybelle.

Julianne Hough (Burlesque, Rock of Ages, Safe Haven) knocked the role of Sandy out of the park in the last Live! show; but this is her twin brother Derek Hough’s (Dancing With The Stars, Make Your Move, Nashville) time to shine.

I will say I was a little unsure if I’d like Ariana Grande (Underdogs, Sam & Cat, Scream Queens) in this show. After looking into a little of the ‘behind the scenes,’ I have found a more open mind and am even slightly looking forward to her performance. She reportedly was offered some solos with new music and turned it down in favor of sticking to the original material. She’s apparently a fan and even lobbied for her role.

Check it out! I know I’ll be watching when this hits the small screen this month.

18 – Why Him? (12/23)

Tag Line: Of all the guys his daughter could have chosen...
Production Companies: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Red Hour Films, 21 Laps Entertainment, TSG Entertainment
Director: John Hamburg
Writers: Jonah Hill, John Hamburg, Ian Helfer
Actors: Zoey Deutch, James Franco, Bryan Cranston, Adam Devine, Megan Mullally, Keegan-Michael Key, Zack Pearlman, Griffin Gluck, Casey Wilson, Andrew Rannells, Cedric the Entertainer, Steve Aoki, Bob Stephenson
Genre: Comedy
Rated: NR

As usual, James Franco (Wild Horses, Memoria, Goat) has been a busy busy bee. He has at least two movies releasing this month that I’m aware of. Burn Country (2016) narrowly missed making my list.
The previews for this one have just cracked me up. I expect this movie to be a lot of fun. The world needs more reasons to laugh this year.

Sure, the theme of the boyfriend that the father hates has been done a lot; but I find that I really don’t care. There seems to be enough ‘new’ ingredients to this recipe that should make it feel fresh and relatable. Loony shenanigans are sure to be afoot.

17 – Office Christmas Party (12/9)

Tag Line: Party like your job depends on it
Production Companies: FROSCH Entertainment, Bluegrass Films, DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks SKG, Paramount Pictures, Reliance Entertainment
Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Writers: Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Jon Lucas, Scott Moore, Dan Mazer
Actors: Kate McKinnon, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman, Abbey Lee, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Bayer, Rob Corddry, Oliver Cooper, Karan Soni, Courtney B. Vance, Matt Walsh, Sam Richardson, Randall Park, Andrew Leeds, Adrian Martinez
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

Office Christmas Party looks like it’s going to be absolutely ridiculous in the best ways.
I mean, seriously – flaming Christmas tree jousting.

Everyone loves a good party-gone-out-of-control flick, right? I could mic-drop right here, really, but just to give you a little more incentive – the combination of TJ Miller (How to Train Your Dragon, Yogi Bear, Silicon Valley), Olivia Munn (Greek, Freeloaders, Deliver Us From Evil), and Jason Bateman (Identity Thief, The Gift, Central Intelligence) is sure to have audiences in stitches.

Of course, there’s also Jennifer Aniston (Horrible Bosses, Storks, Life of Crime) in her Scroogely role as the hardcase boss. I like the thought of seeing her as a ‘villain’ rather than your ‘girl next door’ type roles she’s usually in.

16 – Kill Ratio (12/9)

Tag Line: One man versus an army
Production Company: Benattar/Thomas Productions, Parkside Pictures, Tadross Media Group, Fixer Film Productions
Director: Paul Tanter
Writers: Steven Palmer Peterson
Actors: Tom Hopper, Nick Dunning, Amy Huberman, Lacy Moore, Michelle Lehane, Conor Hegarty, Brian McGuiness, Luke Pierucci, Bryan Harte, Norbert Selmaj, Shi Jiao Sun, James Parker, Ben Hopper
Genre: Action
Rated: NR

I have to admit that I’m a fan of action movies where a single protagonist or small group faces crazy odds. This is one of those movies.

So many of the action films in recent years have had the lead roles filled by the same group of actors. It’s nice to see a fresh face hitting the big screen in this genre. I’ve been considerably impressed with Tom Hopper (Merlin, Knights of Badassdom, Northmen - A Viking Saga) in the projects I’ve seen him in so far. My most recent exposure to his work has been the STARZ series Black Sails (2014-) where he plays the pirate Billy Bones.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does with this role – especially with its modern setting rather than period pieces.

15 – Sugar Mountain (12/9)

Tag Line: Truth Gets Lost
Production Company: Yellow Brick Films
Director: Richard Gray
Writers: Abe Pogos, Catherine Hill
Actors: Jason Momoa, Cary Elwes, Anna Hutchison, Melora Walters, Drew Roy, John Karna, Haley Webb, Crawford Wilson, Shane Coffey, Steve Mouzakis, Patrick Sane, Yulia Klass, Nick Farnell, Ron Holmstrom, John Teague
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: NR

Khal Drogo and The Dread Pirate Roberts take a trip to the woods! Seriously, though, this movie sold me with Jason Momoa (Stargate: Atlantis, Bullet to the Head, Wolves) and Cary Elwes (The Adventures of Tintin, Being Charlie, The Queen of Spain) in it.

The concept seems interesting. Every once in a while we hear that some person that has “gone missing” had really just run off somewhere else and ditched their family, friends, and responsibilities. Sometimes those situations are real but often, they’re flat out hoaxes.

This movie takes a look at what happens when an intended hoax goes sideways… or does it? There seems to be a bit of mystery laced into this film and the trailer had me intrigued as to what was really happening.

14 – Abattoir (12/9)

Tag Line: He's been expecting you.
Production Companies: Dark Web Productions, Les Enfants Terribles, Luminary Entertainment, Pacific Bridge Pictures, Radical Studios
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writers: Christopher Monfette
Actors: Jessica Lowndes, Joe Anderson, Dayton Callie, Lin Shaye, John McConnell, Bryan Batt, Michael Paré, J. LaRose, Jackie Tuttle, Jay Huguley, Aiden Flowers, Carol Sutton
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R

I’m an admitted horror junkie. I can’t seem to get enough of the scary movies – and they aren’t even my favorite genre. I also like to balance things a bit, so what better way to decompress from whatever’s going on during The Holidays? Scare yourself silly!

This movie appears to somewhat fit into the haunted house genre, but it has a new twist to it. I’m fascinated with the plot device they’ve chosen here, and can’t wait to see what comes of it.

As an added bonus, modern horror queen, Lin Shaye (The Signal, Ouija, Grow House), is in this one!

13 – Pet (12/2)

Tag Line: If you love something, never let it go.
Production Companies: Magic Lantern, Revolver Picture Company
Director: Carles Torrens
Writer: Jeremy Slater
Actors: Jennette McCurdy, Ksenia Solo, Dominic Monaghan, Nathan Parsons, Gary J. Tunnicliffe, Denise Garcia, Irene Roseen, Janet Song, Harmony McElligott, Alasdair Martin
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R

Oh Merry, what have you done? One thing’s for sure - Dominic Monaghan (Lost, The Day, Soldiers of Fortune) hasn’t been typecast since his stint in Middle Earth. This role is about as far away as you can get from his ‘innocent’ little hobbit.

I fell in love with Ksenia Solo (Black Swan, Orphan Black, Life Unexpected) watching Lost Girl (2010-2016). This role seems to be a significant departure from the characters we’ve seen her play before. Her performance in just the trailer alone really creeped me out.

This movie promises to deliver some thrilling and creepy squirms as it delves into some serious darkness.

12 – Jackie (12/2)

Tag Lines: I want them to see what they have done to Jack.
Production Companies: Jackie Productions, Wild Bunch, Fabula, LD Entertainment, Protozoa Pictures, Bliss Media, Why Not Productions
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writers: Noah Oppenheim
Actors: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Richard E. Grant, Caspar Phillipson, John Carroll Lynch, Max Casella, Sara Verhagen, Dorey Johnson, Deborah Findlay
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: R

I’m not much of a biopic person, usually. It really depends on the subject of the biography. In this case, Natalie Portman (I'm Still Here, Your Highness, Jane Got a Gun) is portraying one of the most iconic First Ladies in US history.

Everyone who was alive (and not in diapers) at the time JFK was assassinated can tell you where they were when they heard the news. Just like with the more recent era; most people can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when the Twin Towers fell. These were moments that engraved themselves on our collective consciousness as a nation.

No one that has seen the video of the fateful motorcade could deny the heart-wrenching and pulse-pounding moment that changed the course of both history and the lives of the Kennedy family forever had to be brutal for Jackie Kennedy.

The history books in school don’t exactly cover very well ‘what comes next’ for her and the children she shared with the late President.

This movie looks to take a look at that span of time. I had an emotional reaction even to the trailer. I think this movie is well worth a watch to take a peek into the family that, in essence, has been the USA’s unofficial royalty. 

11 – Man Down (12/2)

Tag Line: Not Available
Production Companies: Mpower Pictures, Krannel Pictures
Director: Dito Montiel
Writers: Adam G. Simon, Dito Montiel
Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Gary Oldman, Kate Mara, Tory Kittles, Clifton Collins Jr., Charlie Shotwell, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Justin Smith, Paul Sado, Pierre Kennel, Ned Yousef, Jaylen Moore, Ian Casselberry, Bill O'Reilly
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
Rated: R

This one doesn’t need a lot of explanation or sugar coating. The poster is simple; the trailer is straight forward. In this age of war, so many of our veterans have seen horrible things that we can’t even comprehend here on the homefront. This movie takes a look at a soldier’s journey through war and how it’s impacted his life – his family. The trailer alone had me really emotional. 

I almost didn’t recognize Shia LaBeouf (Disturbia, Eagle Eye, Fury). This promises to be a stand-out performance for him. If this one doesn’t garner some awards, I’ll be shocked.

10 – Incarnate (12/2)

Tag Line: Faith has failed us.
Production Companies: IM Global, Blumhouse Productions, WWE Studios, Deep Undergrond Films
Director: Brad Peyton
Writer: Ronnie Christensen
Actors: Carice van Houten, Aaron Eckhart, David Mazouz, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Emjay Anthony, Matt Nable, Breanne Hill, Karolina Wydra, Keir O'Donnell, Mark Steger, Tomas Arana, Mark Henry, John Pirruccello, Emily Jackson
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

Possession stories are one genre of horror that hasn’t lost any of its momentum over the years. There’ve been numerous instances of possession on the big and small screen even within this past year. The Exorcist (2016-) is even a series on network television, currently. (It’s surprisingly good, by the way.)

This movie isn’t the typical demon-removal that we’re used to. Normal avenues of exorcism have failed so Aaron Eckhart (The Black Dahlia, Sully, Bleed For This) gets called in to help a possessed little boy. I like the approach that this story takes for attempting to free the child from the demonic influence. It reminds me a bit of Insidious (2010) with its trips into ‘The Further.’ That's not exactly what happens here - it's somewhere between that and The Cell (2000).

That little something new tossed into a familiar genre has the potential to be something really interesting. I can’t wait to see how it turned out.

9 – Collateral Beauty (12/16)

Tag Line: We are all connected.
Production Companies: PalmStar Media, Likely Story, Anonymous Content, Overbrook Entertainment, Village Roadshow Pictures
Director: David Frankel
Writer: Allan Loeb
Actors: Will Smith, Keira Knightley, Kate Winslet, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris, Helen Miren, Michael Peña, Kylie Rogers, Enrique Murciano, Ann Dowd, Jacob Latimore, Natalie Gold
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

Let’s take a minute to just ogle the names on this cast: Dame Helen Mirren (RED, Hitchcock, Trumbo), Will Smith (Seven Pounds, Focus, Concussion), Kate Winslet (The Holiday, Contagion, The Dressmaker), Edward Norton (Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Sausage Party), and Keira Knightley (Atonement, Last Night, Begin Again).

Before I even know what this movie is about, I’m already ready to see it – just because these are phenomenal and interesting actors. Put them all together? Magic is sure to follow.

Star-power aside, this film is clearly aiming for the traditional Holiday Season drama release niche. I think it’s going to run away with it. It’s a story about a man trying to reconnect with the world while working through a tragic loss. The movie takes a bit of a Dickens-like twist, which I think is a brilliant element for this film.

This one is probably going to be a tear-jerker, so pack some tissues when you go!

8 – The Bounce Back (12/9)

Tag Line: Sometimes you have to turn the page to fall in love.
Production Companies: Ankle Sock & Baseball Pants, Cima Productions
Director: Youssef Delara
Writers: Youssef Delara, Victor Teran, Staci Robinson
Actors: Nadine Velasquez, Shemar Moore, Michael Beach, Matthew Willig, Megan Stevenson, Kali Hawk, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Nishi Munshi, Bell Bellamy, Sonia Rockwell, Robinne Lee, Denise Boutte
Genre: Romance
Rated: PG-13

Looking for a feel-good romantic comedy for a holiday date night? This one’s your movie!
The cast may not be filled with the biggest names in Hollywood right now – but it is jam-packed with talent and heart.

This movie has been the passion project of lead actor and executive producer, Emmy award winner, Shemar Moore (Justice League: War, Criminal Minds, Kill Me Deadly). He believed so strongly in this movie and being able to retain creative control of it that he set up an Indiegogo campaign to crowd-source the financing.

I’ve been a fan of Moore for years – and not just because he’s seriously easy on the eyes. He brings some solid talent to the table. Now add Nadine Velazquez (Flight, Snitch, The League) as the female lead and Bill Bellamy (Lottery Ticket, Noobz, Mr. Box Office) to the picture, and you’ve got a dynamic between these three that is simply amazing.

I expect (and I’m hoping) many will fall in love with this movie.

7 – Solace (12/16)

Tag Line: A serial killer who can see your future, a psychic who can save it.
Production Companies: Eden Rock Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Flynn Picture Company, New Line Cinema, Silver Reel, Supersensory, Venture Forth
Director: Afonso Poyart
Writers: Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin, James Vanderbilt
Actors: Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Abbie Cornish, Colin Farrell, Matt Gerald, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Marley Shelton, Xander Berkeley, Kenny Johnson, Joshua Close, Sharon Lawrence
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rated: R

Sir Anthony Hopkins (The Rite, Noah, Blackway), Colin Farrell (Fright Night, In Bruges, The Lobster), and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural, Red Dawn, Heist) are headlining a movie together alongside Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Sucker Punch, RoboCop).


Ok ok – so there’s more than just the cast as a reason to see this movie. The premise is amazing – you have a serial killer (Farrell) with paranormal mental abilities in a game of chess with the FBI (Morgan & Cornish), whom are aided by their own ‘psychic’ (Hopkins).

This movie has action and plenty of thrills. What’s going to happen when the protagonists knowingly walk into the villain’s trap? Which ‘psychic’ will get the upper hand?

To be quite honest, it will also be quite refreshing to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a suit instead of a leather jacket, and without that horrible bat he carries in The Walking Dead (2010-). I still wince every time I see that thing.

6 – Nocturnal Animals (12/9)

Tag Line:  When you love someone you can't just throw it away
Production Companies: Fade to Black Productions, Focus Features, Universal Pictures
Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford, Austin Wright
Actors: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Ellie Bamber, Armie Hammer, Karl Glusman, Robert Aramayo, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Sheen, Imogen Waterhouse, Zawe Ashton, Graham Beckel, Jena Malone, Kristin Bauer van Straten
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: R

The trailer for this book adaptation has been on heavy television rotation. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen it recently. I just get more and more intrigued every time. I want to know what has happened between Amy Adams’ (Trouble With the Curve, Her, Arrival) character and Jake Gyllenhaal (End of Watch, Southpaw, Everest).

This movie will show you Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Savages, Anna Karenina, Godzilla) in a role that you’ve never seen him in before – a psychopath. I honestly didn’t recognize him in the trailers and had to look twice when I saw he was in the movie.

There seems to be so many layers to this movie, and I can’t wait to peel them all back. It looks to be a gritty gut-punch of a story. Director Tom Ford (McQueen & I, Mademoiselle C, A Single Man) has been quoted as saying, "If you spend an hour and a half in a movie theater, it should challenge you." I believe firmly that will be true with this movie.

Here’s a tidbit for you – even though the director is an accomplished fashion mogul, there isn’t a stitch of his clothing in the movie. It is reported that he didn’t want the movie to be a commercial and ensured that the wardrobe didn’t contain any of his pieces.

5 – La La Land (12/16)

Tag Line: Here's to the fools who dream.
Production Companies: Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures, Marc Platt Productions
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writers: Damien Chazelle
Actors: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Terry Walters, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothe, Sonoya Mizuno, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Hamilton, Finn Wittrock, Damon Gupton, Josh Pence, Nicole Coulon, John Hindman, Tom Everett Scott
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Drama, Musical
Rated: PG-13

Do I really need to extoll the praises of musicals again? I’m fairly giddy that there are multiple musical productions to peruse from this month.

There’s singing and dancing galore against absolutely stunning background. I could just see unbelievable stills as I watched the previews. The choreography shown was thoughtful and graceful. This movie will certainly give you a bit of a ‘throwback’ feeling hailing to the era of Singing in the Rain (1952) while still being firmly planted in the present.

Oh and, have I mentioned that Ryan Gosling (Drive, Gangster Squad, The Nice Guys) is actually playing the piano? He is. He learned it for this movie to allow an extra depth of authenticity to his role.

Throw in the amazing Emma Stone (Zombieland, The Help, Irrational Man) and John Legend (Loverboy, American Dreams, Soul Men) and this movie has the makings of something unbelievably wonderful.

4 – Sing (12/21)

Tag Line: Auditions begin 2016
Production Companies: Hammer & Tongs, Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Directors: Garth Jennings, Christophe Lourdelet
Writer: Garth Jennings
Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton, Nick Kroll, Nick Offerman, Garth Jennings, Peter Serafinowicz, Beck Bennett, Leslie Jones, Jay Pharoah, Jennifer Saunders, Rhea Perlman, Jennifer Hudson, Wes Anderson, Laura Dickinson
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG

Is it any surprise that this is #4 on my list? It shouldn’t be! Yes, another music-themed movie. This one you can take the whole family to, though! This film will be a great one to share with the kids. Round ‘em up and head to the theater to get a couple hours’ break from the winter break – and have a lot of fun while you’re at it.

I had a few giggles with the previews in some of the audition pieces. This one’s going to be a big nostalgia movie for me, musically. I’m also a sucker for singing competitions – singing was my life all through high school and college.

It’s going to be a cute and funny animated movie helmed by a talented cast.

3 – Passengers (12/21)

Tag Line: Every Moment Counts
Production Companies: Columbia Pictures, LStar Capital, Village Roadshow Pictures, Original Film, Company Films, Start Motion Pictures, Wanda Pictures
Director: Morten Tyldum
Writer: Morten Tyldum
Actors: Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Michael Sheen, Andy Garcia, Laurence Fishburne, Jamie Soricelli, Kimberly Battista, Aurora Perrineau, Fred Melamed, Vince Foster, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kara Flowers, Robert Larriviere, Conor Brophy
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance
Rated: PG-13

This movie has me bouncing in my seat with anticipation. Sci-fi is my bread and butter.

Space travel to a distant world? Check. Something mysteriously goes wrong and it’s up to the protagonists to save the whole ship and everyone on board? Check. This might be a genre recipe but it’s one that yields spectacular results when paired with a good script, production team, and talent.

I have full confidence that this is one of those films where all three of those elements have come together well. Chris Pratt (Movie 43, Her, The Magnificent Seven) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Devil You Know, American Hustle, Joy) make their stories relatable and inherently have you rooting for them. Their chemistry in the trailer was outstanding. I’m excited to see them on the screen together.

The dots and dashes in the movie poster read as “S.O.S.” in Morse code. Very clever, and underscoring the fact that these poor souls are in the middle of the vastness of space with a serious problem that extends beyond waking up 90 years too soon from hyper-sleep.

This movie is going to be stellar and I can’t wait to see the mystery unraveled.

2 – Assassin's Creed (12/21)

Tag Lines: Your destiny is in your blood.
Production Companies: Regency Enterprises, Ubisoft Entertainment, New Regency Pictures, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, DMC Film, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, RatPac Entertainment, Alpha Pictures, CatchPlay, Monarchy Enterprises S.a.r.l., Latina Pictures
Director: Justin Kurzel
Writers: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Actors: Marion Cotillard, Michael Fassbender, Essie Davis, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Charlotte Rampling, Ariane Labed, Callum Turner, Denis Menochet, Octavia Selena Alexandru, Brian Gleeson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13

I am seriously geeking out about this movie. When this film went into production, I was doing a happy dance – I really was.

I absolutely adore Michael Fassbender (Centurion, Haywire, The Counsellor). I know I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. His talent is often underrated. Though, I think more and more people are taking serious notice – his star is definitely on the rapid rise. Case and point – Ubisoft, the creator of the video game series that lends its name to the movie, had Fassbender as their first choice. Good call, Ubisoft. Good call.

Aside from that, Fassbender has been a champion of this movie and was even one of its producers.
For fans of the game – don’t worry. This movie isn’t going to tinker with any of the stories you have come to love throughout the Assassin’s Creed series. Ubisoft made a point to specifically create a new story for the movie so that it isn’t tied directly to any specific game. Who knows, though – there might just be future game content based on the movie. It just won’t be the other way around. This was also good for Fassbender, considering he hadn’t played the games until just before filming began.

The stuntwork here is going to be absolutely spectacular. Parkour and fight sequences are always so fascinating to me. The cast has done some serious training to prepare for this movie – Fassbender and his castmate Ariane Labed (Before Midnight, Magic Men, The Lobster) reportedly performed about 95% or more of their own fight scenes.

This film also features a record setting free fall performed by a stunt person at 125ft. (I don’t know for sure but I bet it’s the one from the trailers. That gave me some serious chills.)

I also love the dichotomy of story between the ‘future’ and the ‘past.’

Welcome to the Spanish Inquisition, indeed. 

“NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!” – Monty Python (If you heard that in your head in a high-pitched exaggerated British accent, you are awesome.)

1 – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12/16)

Tag Line: Save the Rebellion. Save the dream.
Production Companies: Lucasfilm, Allison Shearmur Productions, Black Hangar Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy, John Knoll, Gary Whitta, George Lucas
Actors: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, James Earl Jones, Jimmy Smits, Warwick Davis, Donnie Yen, Genevieve O'Reilly, Valene Kane, Fares Fares, Eunice Olumide, Jonathan Aris, Wen Jiang, Alistair Petrie, Paul Kasey
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13

It’s Star Wars (1977-) – go see it!

Ok, seriously though – this story takes place before Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) and after that trilogy that a lot of die-hard fans want to forget exists. This is the tale of what happened before Princess Leia recorded the message for Obi Wan Kenobi that he was her only hope.

Hope is a central theme here. The Death Star (v.1) is looming in space and the Rebellion is facing a bleak future (or none at all) if they don’t figure out how to neutralize that threat.

There’s action, spaceship dogfights, light and shade with drama and humor, and don’t forget the droids. Alan Tudyk (Con Man, Trumbo, Zootopia) is going to be voicing one of the metallic companions that always add a special element to every Star Wars film.

I also can’t wait to see Felicity Jones (Breathe In, Collide, A Monster Calls) in her lead role here.

My family and I will be attending opening weekend for sure.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina

SiREN - 20
Gold - 19
Sing - 18
All We Had - 17
Slash - 16
The Bad Kids - 15
Incarnate - 14
Solace - 13
The Bounce Back - 12
Office Christmas Party - 11
Why Him? - 10
Nocturnal Animals - 9
Jackie - 8
Pet - 7
Man Down - 6
Collateral Beauty - 5
Passengers - 4
La La Land - 3
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story - 2
Assassin's Creed - 1

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