Holiday Film Preview
It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. Family, friends, love from long ago … relatives you only see once a year and gifts you know you’ll have to return. However you celebrate the holiday season, it is a time for celebration.
When it comes to the movies, this is equally a most wonderful time. The “holiday season” for Hollywood, which runs from Thanksgiving week through the end of the year, is traditionally loaded with great films and Oscar worthy performances. Sure, not every feature is looking to take home that little golden statute, but that’s ok. There’s something for everyone at the box office this year.
With so much to do and so little time, how will you decide what to see? Here’s a preview of 15 upcoming films worthy of your consideration.
1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (November 20th) –
What will become of Katniss and the resistance? Will President Snow finally meet his end? All of this and more will be answered soon as the final chapter of The Hunger Games franchise arrives in theaters. If you’ve been a fan of the series, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll be headed out to this one. If somehow you’ve missed it, the first two installments are available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu right now for you to take a peek at what all the fuss is about.
2. Legend (November 20th) –
Tom Hardy plays both roles in a tale of two notorious gangster brothers. In the 1960s, the Kray brothers (Reggie and Ronnie) were England’s most dangerous criminals. The film has already released in part of Europe including the U.K. Before release there was some chatter about Hardy possibly giving an Oscar worthy performance. Not sure that’s going to hold up, but should be an interesting film nonetheless.
3. Secret in Their Eyes (November 20th) –
A crime thriller centering around the murder of a cop’s daughter and the more than a decade ordeal to try and find justice. Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, and Chiwetel Ejiofor play a close knit group of investigators prior to the murder of Roberts’ daughter. Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) directed and co-wrote this adaptation of an Oscar winning foreign film. This is the type of thriller that Hollywood loves to put out in the winter months.
This one has real Oscar potential, especially for both female leads. Set in the 1950s, the film is the story of a department store clerk (Rooney Mara) who dreams of a better life when she falls for an older, married woman (Cate Blanchett). Early critical reviews are strong including Andy Caley at Screenrelish who called the film, “utterly captivating and spellbinding experience.” Mara is one of the best female method actors working today and Blanchett rarely gives a bad performance. A nontraditional love story set in a very traditional age — this is a film that may sneak up on some people.
Without watching a single trailer or reading a single word, I would’ve laughed at any notion of rebooting the Rocky franchise. Let’s face the facts: the plight of poor Rocky Balboa is a tired tale that should’ve been retired years ago. Then I watched the first trailer, then the second, for Creed which attempts to reboot but in a different direction.
The film is not about Rocky (although Stallone plays a key supporting role) but about Apollo Creed’s now grown son, played by Michael B. Jordan. For those who don’t remember, Creed was Rocky’s opponent in the first two title matches and later his closest friend. Creed dies in the fourth Rocky film fighting in an exhibition against the inhuman Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren). The film is being directed by one of Hollywood’s youngest up and coming directors, Ryan Coogler. At 29, he’s already raised eyebrows with his debut film, 2013’s Fruitvale Station. If Creed is as good as its trailers, he’ll be a guy getting a lot of new offers.