Films: Top 5 For December
December, the final month of the year, is upon us (cue epic war speech voice); shoppers of England, ready your wallets, for the assault is about to begin! We will march upon the shops and unleash our full firepower to conquer the coming festivities. Not all of you will survive as overdrafts creep forward, but we will shop none the less! Cards will be swiped, toes will be trodden on and Costa will make a fortune! The great battle of our time is about to begin…but maybe you can pop to the pictures on the way eh? There’s a whole lotta good stuff going down at your local Cinema this month, and sometimes you’ve just gotta relax. Plus, if there are any (shall we say?) force users out there, then you may want to get seated before the trailers start. These are our top film releases this Christmas.
The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies – The defining chapter is here (whatever that means!?) and we take one final journey into Middle Earth (for now) as The Hobbit trilogy comes to a climax. The second film was good but seemed thin…like butter spread over too much toast? Peter Jackson successfully shoe horned in our favourite elf, along with Radaghast and Sauron too, but that’s OK in our book because we just can’t get enough really. So, our heroes have taken back the Lonely Mountain but inadvertently unleashed a Cumberdragon upon Stephen Fry and his people, and now all hell is going to break loose as the orc hordes march upon Thorin and company. Help is at hand though, but who will come? Elves? Dwarves? Stallone? Somebody’s gotta come to take out those huge bats! We’re expecting this to be of epic proportions, with exciting fight scenes, more finger wagging from Martin Freeman and a complicated CGI sequence involving Legolas. Then of course there’s the emotional bit at the end (promised by Billy Boyd’s end title song ‘The Last Goodbye’). It is released on December 12th but you can book your tickets now.
Into The Woods – Based on the musical of the same name, Into The Woods tells an original story about a butcher and his wife that intertwines with various stories and characters from The Brothers Grimm fairytales. Meryl Streep takes centre stage as the Witch as she’s established herself as being more than capable of creating diverse characters and stealing the show, and with another little musical under her belt we’re sure she’ll be fantastic. Also among the main cast are Emily Blunt and James Corden as the butcher and his wife; like many of our national TV treasures of late, Corden follows the likes of Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan, Chris O’Dowd and (ahem) Russell Brand in their pursuits of Hollywood stardom (no wonder Americans have the idea that we’re all bloody ugly!). That’s not all though because there’s one more roll to fill; he has a quirky costume, inch thick makeup and he’s sooooo eccentric…why it’s a memorable supporting role from Johnny Depp of course! Another crazy character to tuck under his crazy belt. In all seriousness though (or rather not!?) he does create very watchable characters. We’re not sure on the actual release date in the UK but it will likely land in cinemas around Boxing Day or New Year. UPDATE: It is released January 9th.
St. Vincent – Bill Murray looks to be back on form in this comedy drama, and Hurricane Melissa (McCarthy) looks to have calmed into something a little more manageable to watch. The plot sees a mother and son move next door to a hedonistic ex war veteran, in whom the boy strikes a friendship as Murray baby sits him after school. He takes very good care of him, treating him to strip clubs as well as trips to the racetrack. This looks to be a heartwarming, maybe even emotional film riddled with black humour. You can go see it now in cinemas.
Black Sea – This is our only thriller in the mix this month and boy does it look good! It looks to be a tense claustrophobic escapade much like The Hole (the british one) and it sees Jude Law embrace his balding scalp, ditching his sleazy heart throb roles for more of a gritty, dirty looking outing full of Alienesque lighting and lots of sweat. The misssion is simple; in the depths of The Black Sea is a Nazi submarine rumoured to contain a ludicrous amount of gold, so Jude (being mighty down on his luck) and his crew embark on the daring mission to retrieve it. Tensions rise though and it’s only a matter of time before they get the fever and realisation that the less men there are, the more gold there will be for the rest. In cinemas now.
Exodus: Gods And Kings – Get ready for some serious action and heavy use of CGI with Ridley Scott’s latest historic epic starring Russell Crowe…no wait, Christian Bale (sorry). Yes, it’s Moses’s turn to get the Epic Blockbuster, ragged beardy hero war speech treatment, making that a total of 2 Bible films in 1 year! Maybe this is the beginning of a trend and we’ll see Joseph, or Sodom and Gomorrah on the big screen next? The story of course follows Moses and his brother from another mother Ramses as they drift apart due to conflicting morals toward human life. The film has large spoon fulls of familiar faces equally as Egyptian looking as Bale for an authentic feel to the movie, with names like Sigourney Weaver, Sir Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad!) and Joel Edgerton as the golden skinned Pharaoh Ramses. We’ve been teased with a lot of action shots of Gargantuan proportions already so here’s hoping that we haven’t seen the best sequences in the trailer and that Scott has reserved these for the film. We may mock, but we think you’ll agree this is definitely worth a watch. It is released December 26th.