Thursday, November 29, 2018

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In December (2018)

According to: Selina

20 – Holmes & Watson (12/21)

Tag Line: They don’t have a clue.
Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Gary Sanchez Productions, Mimran Schur Pictures, Mosaic Media Group
Director: Etan Cohen
Writer: Etan Cohen, Arthur Conan Doyle
Actors: Will Ferrell, Kelly Macdonald, Ralph Fiennes, John C. Reilly, Rebecca Hall, Lauren Lapkus, Noah Jupe, Hugh Laurie, Pam Ferris, Steve Coogan, Wolf Roth, Rob Brydon, Bella Ramsey, Clare Foster, Bronson Webb, Adam Scherr, Billy Jenkins, Scarlet Grace, Hector Bateman-Harden, Laura Stevely, Paul Cassidy, Ella Bright, David Shackleton, Codie-Lei Eastick
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Rated: NR
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A humorous take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic mysteries featuring Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

I really didn’t want to add this film to my list. I’m not a Will Ferrell (Daddy’s Home, Get Hard, The Lego Movie) fan and, although I can enjoy John C. Reilly (Wreck-It-Ralph, Chicago, Anger Management) for the most part, the moment you pair him with Ferrell I’m just not on board anymore.

On top of that, I think it’s a dumb interpretation of the Sherlock Holmes story.

That said, I know this movie is just not something geared toward my sense of humor. I understand why others might enjoy it. So, it’s on the list. Despite being lowest common denominator on almost every aspect of the film.

Except where it cast Ralph Fiennes (The Grant Budapest Hotel, Skyfall, In Bruges) as Moriarty. I can see that.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything better to add in its place.

19 – Clara’s Ghost (12/6)

Tag Line: Family can be haunting.
Production Company: Smudge Films, Nighthorse Productions, Irony Point
Director: Bridey Elliott
Writer: Bridey Elliott
Actors: Paula Niedert Elliott, Chris Elliott, Abby Elliott, Bridey Elliott, Haley Joel Osment, Isidora Goreshter, Bella Bracken, Josh Fadem
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Rated: NR
Length: 80 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Set over the course of a single evening in the Reynolds family home in suburban Connecticut, Clara's Ghost tells the story of Clara Reynolds who, fed up with constant ribbing from her self-absorbed showbiz family, finds solace in and guidance from the supernatural force she believes is haunting her.

Even after watching the trailer, I’m not entirely sure what to expect from this film. It looks like a funny kind of horror.

The most I can honestly say I might expect is some cringe in with the jump scares and a lot of family-based humor.

Even not knowing what to really expect from the movie, I can say that the trailer does look amusing enough to make me want to know more – which is what the purpose of a trailer is. If it makes you want to see the movie, for any reason, then it’s successful.

I can’t really put to words exactly why this one caught me, but it undoubtedly did.

18 – Second Act (12/21)

Tag Line: Her talent was real. Her resume was not.
Production Company: STX Entertainment
Director: Peter Segal
Writer: Justin Zackham, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas
Actors: Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia, Jennifer Lopez, Leah Remini, Freddie Stroma, Charlyne Yi, Treat Williams, Dave Foley, Larry Miller, Natasha Romanova, Annaleigh Ashford, Dan Bucatinsky, Elizabeth Masucci, Alan Aisenberg, Dalton Harrod, John James Cronin, Dierdre Friel, Anna Suzuki, Phil Nee, Meng Ai
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: PG-13
Length: 103 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A big box store worker reinvents her life and her life-story and shows Madison Avenue what street smarts can do.

It’s possible this is going to be a kind of basic rom-com.

That said, I’m seeing little bits and pieces of the trailer that indicates it could be a part of the ‘Set it Up (2018) effect’. There’s a decent director along with a decent cast. When you add to that the small bits of the trailer that indicate it’s not going to be all meet-cutes and last-second kisses… it really does seem like it’s possible there’s some depth behind the tropes.

Between the fact that it seems like the main character starts off married – with no other suitors appearing in the trailer – and the story seems to be concentrating on her career rather than her love life, there’s hope.

If anything, Second Act seems more like a love story between a woman and herself.

17 – Slay Belles (12/4)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Epic Pictures
Director: Dan Walker
Writer: Jessica Luhrssen, Dan Walker
Actors: Barry Bostwick, Kristina Klebe, Susan Slaughter, Hannah Wagner, Stephen Ford, Diane Salinger, Joel Ezra Hebner, Richard Holl, Rich Manley, Blake Reigle, Larry L. Andrews, Jarrod Burris, Matt Eskew, Diane Ayala Goldner, Clayton Keller, Folsom Keller
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Comedy
Rated: NR
Length: 77 minutes

IMDb Blurb: It's Christmas Eve, and three cosplaying women come across the malevolent Christmas demon Krampus. The girls must team up with Santa Claus himself to battle the creature and save the world.

Personally? I’m super looking forward to seeing this movie, but that’s my own strange personal taste. For a B-movie, the effects look pretty decent and I love horror/comedy B-level films.

At the very least, I’m hoping this will be a case of laughter saving the movie. At best? It could be cult classic quality.

Quite frankly, I expect it to go more toward the latter. The director is not entirely unheard of. Dan Walker (Spookshow, Midnight Ride, Cabaret of the Dead) is on my radar for several reasons. He was a producer for The Devil’s Carnival (2012) – a horror/musical that I watched for Trust the Dice a while back that I really enjoyed. He was also in the visual effects department for Slither (2006) – another damn good film.

It’s true that I don’t know his directorial work at all, but his inclusion on the aforementioned movies does make me think he could very well go down the same road.

On top of all that, Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, The Devil’s Carnival, Tales of Halloween) the director of the cult classic Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008) is credited as executive producer for Slay Belles. I feel like that’s another bonus.

I’m willing to chance it.

16 – Tyrel (12/5)

Tag Line: When you’re the only one.
Production Company: Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Magnolia Pictures
Director: Sebastián Silva
Writer: Sebastián Silva
Actors: Christopher Abbott, Trust Arancio, Nicolas Arze, Max Born, Roddy Bottum, Reg E. Cathey, Michael Cera, Ann Dowd, Philip Ettinger, Olivia Gilliatt, Caleb Landry Jones, Jason Mitchell, Michael Zegen
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 86 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Tyrel, a sole black man, attends an otherwise all-white weekend of drunken bro debauchery on a birthday trip to a cabin in the Catskills.

On one hand, this film looks great. On the other hand, it looks like it’s trying really hard to be Get Out (2017) while overly relying on liberal vs. conservative politics.

One of the great things about Get Out is that it got its point across without relying too heavily on the politics of the time and just concentrated on human nature and racial relations – weaving it in with an amazing story. Here, the trailer immediately goes to a radio clip about Trump’s inauguration controversy.

I hate Trump, but I also believe that trying to use his bullshit to manipulate an audience to feel one way or another about your film is just obnoxious.

That was a misstep in my opinion. If it didn’t look like Tyrel was going to rely that heavily on the politics of right now, it’d be higher on the list.

15 – Hospitality (12/7)

Tag Line: Trouble comes knocking.
Production Company: Kandoo Films
Director: Nick Chakwin, David Guglielmo
Writer: Nick Chakwin, David Guglielmo
Actors: Emmanuelle Chriqui, Jim Beaver, JR Bourne, Sam Trammell, Conner McVicker
Genre: Thriller
Rated: NR
Length: 80 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A woman with a checkered past must protect her son when a man brings trouble to her isolated bed and breakfast.

There are some parts of this trailer that stand out to me, but Hospitality makes the list almost completely on the merit of its cast.

IMDb has five actors credited for Hospitality and only one of them is a wild card. The others? Oh, I know them. More than likely, so do you – even if you don’t entirely know them by name.

Emmanuelle Chriqui (Wrong Turn, Waiting…, Entourage) has done everything for your typical cop dramas, like The Mentalist (2008-2015), to voice acting Cheetara in Thundercats (2011-2012). Her first acting credit was over 20 years ago. She’s a complete professional, and good at what she does.

Like the female lead, JR Bourne (Revenge, Stargate SG-1, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) has a long list of credits going back to the 90s. Now he’s mostly known for his time as Chris Argent in Teen Wolf (2011-2017), but he’s got a long list of thriller/horrors to his name as well.

Speaking of people starring in long-running well-loved series’, Hospitality also features Sam Trammell (This is Us, The Fault in Our Stars, Autumn in New York) and Jim Beaver (The Ranch, The New Adventures of Peter and Wendy, Crimson Peak). The boys are highly recognizable from True Blood and Supernatural respectively. Personally, I’m most interested in seeing how Beaver does. I haven’t really seen him in much else that doesn’t include Sam and Dean.

When there’s a movie coming up with the kind of cast I’ve listed here, it’s impossible to not notice. Provided the writer/directors are on their game, there’s no real way for this to be a dud.

14 – Vox Lux (12/7)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Killer Films, Andrew Lauren Productions (ALP), Bold Films
Director: Brady Corbet
Writer: Brady Corbet
Actors: Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Christopher Abbott, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Ehle, Raffey Cassidy, Stacy Martin, Natasha Romanova, Maria Dizzia, Erik King, Daniel London, Matt Servitto, Christopher Dylan White, Sophie Lane Curtis, Fred Hechinger, Allison Winn, Anna Mikami
Genre: Drama, Music
Rated: R
Length: 110 minutes

IMDb Blurb: An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star.

Although this looks like a unique and interesting look behind the curtain of super-stardom, there’s no way it would make the list at all without Natalie Portman (Annihilation, Song to Song, Planetarium).

Portman makes the entire trailer. I know it says that Jude Law (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Genius, The Grand Budapest Hotel) is in the film, but he honestly got 100% lost for me. I only saw Natalie… and that says a lot. She is absolutely stunning in Vox Lux – both visually and through her acting.

This wouldn’t normally be the kind of movie that had me on the edge of my seat waiting for opening night, but I’ve got enough interest in Portman’s performance that I am.

13 – The Mule (12/14)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Warner Bros., Imperative Entertainment, Bron Creative, The Malpaso Company, BRON Studios
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Sam Dolnick, Nick Schenk
Actors: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña, Taissa Farmiga, Andy Garcia, Alison Eastwood, Laurence Fishburne, Dianne Wiest, Clifton Collins Jr., Jill Flint, Manny Montana, Robert LaSardo, Noel Gugliemi, Katie Gill, Ignacio Serricchio
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A 90-year-old horticulturist and WWII veteran is caught transporting $3 million worth of cocaine through Michigan for a Mexican drug cartel.

This is not to be confused with the 2014 film of the same name that also deals with smuggling drugs. This film has a better cast and just seems to be a better plot – even though it, too, seems to be based on a true story.

Just, in general, this film seems to look like it’s going to be a memorable action/drama. With the legendary Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby, True Crime) alongside other great actors like Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Limitless), Michael Peña (Narcos: Mexico, Ant-Man, A Wrinkle in Time), Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story, The Nun, 6 Years), and Laurence Fishburne (John Wick: Chapter 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Hannibal)… there’s no lack of talent acting in The Mule.

I’ll admit that a lot of the trailer looks a little trope-y, but I think the cast involved could make even a paint-by-numbers story feel fresh.

12 – The House that Jack Built (12/14)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Zentropa Entertainments, Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image, Copenhagen Film Fund, Eurimages, Film i Väst, Film und Medien Stiftung NRW, Nordisk Film- & TV-Fond, Concorde Filmverleih, Danmarks Radio (DR), Les Films du Losange, MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Nordisk Film Distribution, Potemkine, Sveriges Television (SVT), Danish Film Institute, Swedish Film Institute
Director: Lars von Trier
Writer: Lars von Trier, Janle Hallund
Actors: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Sofie Gråbøl, Riley Keough, Jeremy Davies, Ed Speleers, David Bailie, Ji-tae Yu
Genre: Drama, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 152 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.

The House that Jack Built seems to be a creepy and interesting look into the life of a sociopathic serial killer.

There are a lot of people involved in this film that make it seem more interesting, but it’s almost unnecessary, because the story itself will appeal to fans of horror movies. It certainly appeals to me.

The idea of getting an almost psychological look into the mind of a serial killer is fascinating to me.

I do hope that the film sticks more to the thriller aspect than diving into the straight torture porn stuff. That would lessen my enjoyment greatly.

11 – Vice (12/25)

Tag Line: The untold true story that changed the course of history.
Production Company: Annapurna Pictures, Gary Sanchez Productions, Plan B Entertainment
Director: Adam McKay
Writer: Adam McKay
Actors: Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jesse Plemons, Sam Rockwell, Shea Whigham, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe, Eddie Marsan, Tyler Perry, Justin Kirk, Bill Camp, Fay Masterson, LisaGay Hamilton, Casey Sander, Tiffany Smith, Don McManus, Bob Stephenson
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: R
Length: 132 minutes

IMDb Blurb: VICE explores how a bureaucratic Washington insider quietly became the most powerful man in the world as Vice-President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways still felt today.

The very first thing I need to say here is that Francine Maisler (Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver, The Revenant), the woman responsible for casting, is a damn genius. I don’t think there’s anyone else on the planet who would have thought:

“We need someone to play Dick Cheney? Oh, yeah, Christian Bale. Of course. George Bush? Gotta be Sam Rockwell.”

Of course, I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t give too much credit before I see how they do… but on looks alone? She fucking nailed it. Although you can place Sam Rockwell (F is for Family, Woman Walks Ahead, Blue Iguana) without too much thought, I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that the guy in the trailer is Christian Bale (The Big Short, American Hustle, The Dark Knight).

Make-up and costume departments need a lot of credit, too.

Just to see if those two are as good as they look, I have to see this movie.

10 – Stan & Ollie (12/28)

Tag Line: The untold story of the world's greatest comedy act.
Production Company: Entertainment One, BBC Films, Fable Pictures, Laurel and Hardy Feature Productions, Sonesta Films
Director: Jon S. Baird
Writer: Jeff Pope
Actors: John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, Stephanie Hyam, Steve Coogan, Danny Huston, Nina Arianda, Rufus Jones, Susy Kane, Ella Kenion
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG
Length: 97 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Laurel and Hardy, the world's most famous comedy duo, attempt to reignite their film careers as they embark on what becomes their swan song - a grueling theatre tour of post-war Britain.

This is exactly the kind of movie that I enjoy John C. Reilly in. No matter how many trailers and films I watch, I find I almost always believe that Reilly is just plain better without Will Ferrell. Just watch the trailer. Reilly looks amazing in it and he seems so believable that it almost makes him unrecognizable.

Aside from that, the story looks interesting. I’d very much like to know more about Laurel and Hardy.

Films that offer me the truth behind laughs always intrigue me. Comedians are always giving so much of themselves to their audience, but it’s only the parts that bring smiles. You don’t always get to know what’s going on behind it all. I like movies that allow us to see that side of things.

9 – Mary Queen of Scots (12/7)

Tag Line: Two queens, one future.
Production Company: Focus Features, Perfect World Pictures, Working Title Films
Director: Josie Rourke
Writer: Beau Willimon, John Guy
Actors: Gemma Chan, Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan, David Tennant, Joe Alwyn, Guy Pearce, Ian Hart, Jack Lowden, Martin Compston, Brendan Coyle, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Adrian Lester, Scot Greenan, Maria Dragus
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: R
Length: 124 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

If you know me then you know period piece dramas are not my cup of tea. I watch them, mostly, under great protest. Needless to say, when I first saw this trailer – I didn’t even consider putting it on my list.

Then a few days past and I reconsidered.

Something about the trailer was unforgettable. The leading ladies, Margot Robbie (Goodbye Christopher Robin, Suicide Squad, Wall Street) and Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird, Brooklyn, Lost River), are so absolutely regal in Mary Queen of Scots that it was impossible to look them over for this list. The longer I thought about it, the higher up the film got – finally resting here.

I haven’t changed my mind about period piece dramas. I think they’re unbelievably boring for the most part, but this film has a soul to it that is very hard to ignore.

8 – Bumblebee (12/21)

Tag Line: Every adventure has a beginning.
Production Company: Allspark Pictures, Bay Films, Di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro, Paramount Pictures, Tencent Pictures, Tom DeSanto/Don Murphy Production
Director: Travis Knight
Writer: Christina Hodson
Actors: Hailee Steinfeld, Justin Theroux, Angela Bassett, Pamela Adlon, John Cena, Megyn Price, Kenneth Choi, John Ortiz, Peter Cullen, Len Cariou, Lenny Jacobson, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Gracie Dzienny, Marcella Bragio, Glynn Turman, Andrew Morgado, Jason Drucker, Christian Hutcherson, David Sobolov
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rated: PG-13
Length: 113 minutes

IMDb Blurb: On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.

I really didn’t want to put another Transformers (2007-2017) movie high on this list. Even before I saw the trailer, Bumblebee was at a disadvantage. I simply didn’t want to recommend it. The last couple of Transformer films I saw lost any semblance of anything worth it. In one of the movies, part of the script was just copy and pasted in and it was VERY noticeable.

Against all odds, Bumblebee looks good.

The only reason I allowed myself to add it to the list, though, is because Michael Bay (Transformers, 13 Hours, The Island) has minimal involvement in it. It’s directed by Travis Knight (The Boxtrolls, Coraline, ParaNorman), the director responsible for Kubo and the Two Strings (2016), and written by Christina Hodson (Shut In, Unforgettable, Batgirl), a complete wild card.

The creators are backed up by a pretty good cast as well.

In fact, the only involvement Bay has with Bumblebee is as a producer, but he’s out ranked by the executive producer, Steven Spielberg (Ready Player One, The BFG, Catch Me If You Can).

I do believe that Bumblebee could be decent. The trailer certainly holds up… but we’ll see.

7 – On the Basis of Sex (12/25)

Tag Line: Her story made history.
Production Company: Amblin Partners, Participant Media, Robert Cort Productions
Director: Mimi Leder
Writer: Daniel Stiepleman
Actors: Felicity Jones, Stephen Root, Armie Hammer, Cailee Spaeny, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Jack Reynor, Sam Waterston, Ronald Guttman, Gabrielle Graham, Francis X. McCarthy, John Ralston, Arlen Aguayo-Stewart, Dawn Ford, Angela Galuppo, Joe Cobden, Jeff Lillico, Callum Shoniker, Arthur Holden, Julia Borsellino, Amanda MacDonals, Alexandra Petrachuk, Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: 120 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights and what she had to overcome in order to become a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

Regardless of political standing, it’s impossible to try to say that Ruth Bader Ginsburg hasn’t done a hell of a lot for equal rights.

This movie could have concentrated on any number of things that Ginsburg has done for women specifically. What I really love is that it concentrates more on showing how her aiding a male helped equal rights and that is something that is very rarely explored. Too often, equal rights seems to be about raising women above men – when it’s really just supposed to be putting both genders on the same level with equal opportunities.

I’m thrilled to get to see On the Basis of Sex. I expect to hopefully see it at some point with my mom.

6 – Aquaman (12/21)

Tag Line: Home is calling.
Production Company: DC Comics, DC Entertainment, Panoramic Pictures, Warner Bros.
Director: James Wan
Writer: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns, James Wan, Mort Weisinger, Paul Norris
Actors: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Julie Andrews, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Graham McTavish, Tahlia Jade Holt, Djimon Hounsou, Randall Park, Temuera Morrison, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Leigh Whannell, Ludi Lin, Alice Lanesbury, Otis Dhanji, Kaan Guldur, Patrick Cox
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 143 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

I’m as surprised as you probably are to find this film at only #6 for it’s release month. Since the first time I saw the trailer I’ve known it would not only make the list but be very near #1. It just so happens that it’s up against some really amazing stuff in December.

I had to take into account that DC really hasn’t hit the ball out of the park on the majority of its live-action films. I’m hopeful that Aquaman will go the route of Wonder Woman (2017)… but skeptical. That means that the film simply doesn’t inspire the confidence that the movies that appear closer to #1 do.

Still, I love the trailer and Jason Momoa (Justice League, The Bad Batch, Braven) is a bad-ass Arthur Curry.

5 – Mary Poppins Returns (12/19)

Tag Line: When you lose your way, just remember the magic always returns.
Production Company: Lucamar Productions, Marc Platt Productions, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Rob Marshall
Writer: David Magee, Rob Marshall, John DeLuca, P.L. Travers
Actors: Emily Blunt, Dick Van Dyke, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Julie Walters, David Warner, Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, Jeremy Swift, Jim Norton, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Nathanael Saleh
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 130 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.

Mary Poppins (1964) is incredibly nostalgic for me. I love the original movie version (I haven’t read the book). I used to watch the film on repeat with my mom. Sure, there are a lot of issues with it, but that hardly matters to a kid. All that mattered to me was that it mixed realism and cartoons and brought fantasy into my reality.

I suspect that Mary Poppins Returns is going to bring the feeling of the story I once loved into the hearts of a new generation. And I think that’s awesome.

4 – Mortal Engines (12/14)

Tag Line: Some scars never heal.
Production Company: Media Rights Capital (MRC), Scholastic Productions, Silvertongue Films, Universal Pictures, WingNut Films
Director: Christian Rivers
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Philip Reeve
Actors: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Jihae, Robert Sheehan, Stephen Lang, Frankie Adams, Leila George, Caren Pistorius, Colin Salmon, Ronan Raftery, Joel Tobeck, Patrick Malahide
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw joins forces with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head, and Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, to lead a rebellion against a giant predator city on wheels.

As far as I’m concerned, the top 4 movies for December are just about a tie for first. It took days to figure out what order to put them in, and there was a lot of swapping back and forth during that time.

The only reason Mortal Engines wound up in 4th is because I haven’t read the book. That’s it. It’s a dumb reason, I know… but I was really having to be picky to figure out where to put everything.

Watch the trailer, though. There’s so much to this story and it is visually astounding. It’s directed by a wild card, but the writers involved were part of the Lord of the Rings (2002-2014) team – which is about as good as it gets for this kind of film. I will be beyond pissed if this film doesn’t live up to the trailer.

3 – Bird Box (12/21)

Tag Line: Never lose sight of survival.
Production Company: Bluegrass Films, Chris Morgan Productions, Universal Pictures
Director: Susanne Bier
Writer: Eric Heisserer, Josh Malerman
Actors: Rosa Salazar, Sandra Bullock, Sarah Paulson, Tom Hollander, John Malkovich, Danielle Macdonald, Jacki Weaver, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, David Dastmalchian, Parminder Nagra, Trevante Rhodes, Lil Rel Howery, Taylor Handley, Amy Gumenick, Keith Jardine, Happy Anderson, Chanon Finley, Julian Edwards, Vivien Lyra Blair
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: NR
Length: 117 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A woman and a pair of children are blindfolded and make their way through a dystopian setting along a river.

We all know how much I love apocalypse movies. This one seems to be as creative and unique as they come.

It makes me think back to the movie Hush (2016). That might be a bit confusing, so let me explain. In Hush, the main character is deaf and has to navigate a terrifying situation without any sound. We got to experience her other senses and how they helped her survive. Since seeing that film, I’ve been much more interested in seeing others where the protagonists are forced to travel through the story with one or more of their senses cut off.

In Bird Box, the characters are trying to survive in a hostile world without their sight. The entire story seems like it would be engrossing, and Sandra Bullock (Minions, Ocean’s Eight, Gravity) really stands out in the trailer.

2 – Welcome to Marwen (12/21)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: DreamWorks, ImageMovers, Universal Pictures
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writer: Caroline Thompson, Robert Zemeckis
Actors: Steve Carell, Diane Kruger, Eiza González, Leslie Mann, Gwendoline Christie, Marritt Wever, Janelle Monáe, Siobhan Williams, Leslie Zemeckis, Stefanie von Pfetten, Neil Jackson, Matt O’Leary, Falk Hentschel, Christie-Lee Britten, Eric Keenleyside, Venna Sood, Nikolai Witschl, Conrad Coates, Matthew Kevin Anderson
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A victim of a brutal attack finds a unique and beautiful therapeutic outlet to help him through his recovery process.

I’ve been waiting for this film to come out. I think I saw the trailer for it for the first time something like 3 or 4 months ago and I’ve been in love with it since. I never seen anything even remotely like it. It reminds me of literally nothing. I wasn’t sure that could even be a thing in this era.

Steve Carell (The Big Short, Despicable Me, Foxcatcher) really sells his traumatized character, in every version of the trailer I’ve seen. The idea of using his art to protect himself and bolster his sense of safety is something I can truly relate to, as well.

This movie is one that I really want to see in theaters.

1 – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (12/14)

Tag Line: What makes you different is what makes you Spider-Man.
Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corporation, Lord Miller, Marvel Animation, Marvel Entertainment, Pascal Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)
Director: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
Writer: Phil Lord, Steve Ditko, David Hine, Stan Lee, Rodney Rothman, Brian Michael Bendis, Fabrice Sapolsky, Sara Pichelli
Actors: Hailee Steinfeld, Nicolas Cage, Mahershala Ali, Liev Schreiber, Jake Johnson, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Lily Tomlin, Brian Tyree Henry, Luna Lauren Velez, Shameik Moore, Melanie Haynes, Nick Jaine, Muneeb Rehman, Jessica Mikayla Adams, Alycia Cooper, Edwin H. Bravo
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Rated: PG
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

Miles Morales. Look at him. Look at how awesome!

I almost made Welcome to Marwen my #1. I would have if this was just some random Marvel film coming out. However, it’s MILES. I’ve been dying to see Miles on the big screen for a while. He’s an awesome Spidey and it’s about damn time we got a non-Peter Parker version. Sure, Pete’s in it, but it’s not really HIS movie.

I’m not hating the idea of getting a look at Spider-Gwen and Spider-Ham, either… I’m just hoping that Spider-Ham doesn’t make the film lose some of its validity.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Holmes & Watson .20
Ben is Back .19
Clara’s Ghost .18
No Sleep ‘til Christmas .17
Asher .16
Vox Lux .15
Second Act .14
Destroyer .13
Dumplin’ .12
The Mule .11
Bird Box .10
Mary Queen of Scots .9
Stan & Ollie .8
Welcome to Marwen .7
Mary Poppins Returns .6
On the Basis of Sex .5
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse .4
Bumblebee .3
Aquaman .2
Mortal Engines .1

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