I've been playing catch-up in November and didn't see anything that I mentioned yet. Though I did watch The King off Netflix (a November release that I overlooked somehow) and was impressed enough with it that I wanted to give it a review. (Read it here!) We got to the theater to see Jojo Rabbit, which was a wonderful little film, full of wicked humor and genuine heart. (Read my review here!) And I caught up on one that I wanted to see in theaters but never did -- The Peanut Butter Falcon. It was so good, clean, warm and full of adventure that I wish I had seen it in theaters, but I'm glad I've seen it now. (Review here!)
Now it's December (Merry Christmas!) and there's one last movie I need to see before my end-of-year list will be complete. And it's not Star Wars, though I'm looking forward to that, too. There's more than a few good looking releases coming before 2020 though -- I hope the decade ends with a fantastic month of movies!
What looks good to you?? See y'all again in the New Year!
Limited release Dec 6th, streaming Dec 20th; PG-13
Eddie Redmayne hires Felicity Jones to fly a hot air balloon for him so he can study the atmosphere. It says inspired by a true story, so you know it's 100% fictional, and it seems like the movie throws one obstacle after another at them to ramp up the action and tension aspect. Still it'll be streaming on Amazon since it's an Amazon production -- and it's an adventure! I'll always give adventure movie their due chance to impress.
In theaters Dec 13th; R
Now this Clint Eastwood film is actually a true story. About a security guard who found a bomb and saved a ton of lives, but then was smeared by the media who believed that he set the bomb in the first place. He fought them (my favorite Sam Rockwell play his lawyer) and proves his innocence, but the media of course didn't spread the truth like they did the lie. They'd already ruined his life, why bother to take it back? So Mr. Eastwood is making this film so that everyone will know and his name will be cleared in public perception as well. It's sad though, because Jewell died back in 2007. Still it's a story worth telling. I'm glad it's being told, and I'll definitely watch it.
Jumanji: The Next Level
In theaters Dec 13th; PG-13
The Rock, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan (and even Nick Jonas) are back for round two of this surprisingly fun reboot of the Jumanji franchise. I seriously don't expect this to rise to the same levels as the last one (genuinely good dumb fun can be hard to do with a big head but we'll see) but even if it doesn't it's not like it's going to ruin anything. A rare example of worry-free sequel!
Limited release Dec 13th; R
I may have heard of this one because it's an A24 production crime drama hype. But the only reason I'd want to watch is this: to see Adam Sandler do this level of acting. It's something I'm not surprised he had in him, and it's about time it came out.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
In theaters Dec 20th; PG-13
I mean... it's Star Wars, so I'll be there. I was happy when J.J. got the job for this movie, but still haven't been able to build hype for it very far. I expect it'll be about as good as The Force Awakens, but even if it turns out worse than The Last Jedi it won't really make much difference. One thing I know will happen, and that's all I need: Rey, Finn, and Poe, actually in scenes together. Whoever heard of a Star Wars trilogy where the leading trio only interact in the third movie?? But at least it'll happen before it all ends. Maybe it'll be fun, maybe not. I'm really just curious to see at this point!
In theaters Dec 20th; PG
Another case of curiosity. Insert curiosity/cat joke here, haha. This is such a bizarre mix of awful and unique. I can't tear my eyes away. I won't see it in theaters, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't interested at all. It's just to weird to ignore.
Spies in Disguise
In theaters Dec 25th; PG
This looks silly. And probably not very good. I'm sure it's more made for the actors, Will Smith and Tom Holland to mess around with than it is a story that's good, entertaining, and worthwhile in its own right -- but since I like the cast, I'm sure I'll give it a chance someday. I just kinda wish Tom Holland would stop wasting his career. Seems like Hollywood has him pigeonholed (pun not intended but I'll allow it) as the endearing goofy idiot and I'm already growing tired of it.
In theaters Dec 25th; PG
Every once in a while you need a new adaptation of Little Women, and this one has top-notch production value that's getting me pretty excited. I loved Greta Gerwig's writing and directing in Lady Bird. Also the stars from that film, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet were great, and seem very well cast as Jo and Laurie perspectively. Emma Watson as Meg isn't ideal but will likely work, and I haven't see Florence Pugh (Amy) in anything yet but hear tell she's talented. I'd love to see this wind up being a high quality as faithful adaptation -- I don't think it's a guarantee, but here's hoping!
Limited release Dec 25th; R
And THIS is most anticipated of the whole year! A WWI story, in which two soldiers must race to warn another group of an impending ambush. The film takes place in real time, shot as if it were one, long continuous shot for the entire feature. As cool as that sounds, that's also my biggest worry, that the gimmick will distract from the story. Or even that the story won't have been developed far due to reliance on the gimmick. There are many big names here -- Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Andrew Scott, and Richard Madden -- but the two lead are less known: George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman. Chapman was in Netflix's The King briefly, and MacKay has been doing impressive indie work for a while already. He's one of my current favorite actors, and I'm excited to see him lead a film that could easily be a favorite of the year, if all goes to plan!