Fall Movie Preview: December 2012

December is more of a holiday movie season than autumnal in any way, but hey, if Entertainment Weekly wants to include December movies in their preview issue, who am I to argue?

December 7:

Deadfall: Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde are siblings who rob a casino and must then evade not only the police, but a massive blizzard. If this gets good word-of-mouth, I'll toss it on the queue, but otherwise, it can slip by unnoticed. (Pass)

Hyde Park on Hudson: I saw the trailer, and still can't decide if this movie depicting a historic 1939 meeting between FDR and King George VI looks entertaining or not. I like Bill Murray, Laura Linney, and Olivia Williams, but it may be kind of a stuffy film. (TBD)

Lay the Favorite: A young, "free-sprited" woman attempts to get rich by betting on sports. If it weren't for another yawn-inducing title (see below), this would be number one on the to-be-avoided list. (Pass)

Playing for Keeps: The number one spot is taken by this Ambien in cinema form. It stars Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel, and involves soccer. I wanzzzzz......... Oh, sorry. I couldn't even stay awake long enough to finish that sentence. (Pass)

December 14:

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: I liked the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, but am extremely turned off by the obvious money grab of stretching a slim novel into three movies of its own. This will be the first of the three, and every time I try to get excited about seeing it, it's accompanied by an internal sigh with the realization of the time, money, and energy that will need to go into signing on. What started as a Must-See has now become... (TBD)

Les Miserables: This, on the other hand, I am extremely excited for. I like the original musical, and the trailers make it look glorious. Film versions of musicals have become a tricky proposition of late, but this one looks pretty close to a sure bet. (Must-See)

December 19:

Amour: A French film, in which an elderly couple must face the trials of deteriorating health. Woo! Sounds fun! (Pass)

Monsters, Inc. 3D: I immediately passed on the 3D version of Finding Nemo, but found myself drawn to this one. I think the story would take on a new richness in 3D that Nemo wouldn't. I probably still won't sink the time and money into seeing it at the theater, but I won't deny the impulse isn't there. (Pass)

Zero Dark Thirty: The wrongest I've ever been about a movie was The Hurt Locker. I predicted it would be yet another depressing war movie that nobody would care about in the slightest. That'll teach me. Well, here's another movie about international conflict from Kathryn Bigelow, and I won't make the same mistake twice. That doesn't mean I'm personally interested, though. I'm sure this movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is extremely well-made, and who knows? Maybe it'll net Bigelow some more awards. But I'm generally not entertained by subject matter like this, and I don't want to make going to the movies a form of homework. (Pass)

December 21:

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away: When a performance of a revival of Company was filmed and released in theaters nationwide, I couldn't wait to hit the theater to see it, and I'm really glad I did. So there's something to be said for cinematic viewings of events that you'd usually want to see live. I'm not sure that it translates to this 3D Cirque du Soleil performance, even if the technical wizardry of James Cameron behind it. If someone wants to go see it, I'd probably be happy to tag along, but won't be too torn up if I happen to miss it. (TBD)

The Impossible: The dramatization of the true story of a family who almost perished in the 2004 Thailand tsunami. It stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, and it's sad that white people had to be imported into the process for this movie to be made, as if the natives dying isn't compelling enough. I'm not sure this is something I want to see. It depends on the balance between disaster movie tropes and pure drama. I'll skip it in the theater, but won't put renting it outside the realm of possibility. (TBD)

Jack Reacher: As my friend Kevin says, is there anyone that can say "Jack Reacher, with Tom Cruise" without giggling? I've never read the series, but apparently, part of the canon is that Jack Reacher is 6'5", which makes Cruise's casting pretty hilarious. Otherwise, it seems a pretty standard action movie, which can skew either awesomely entertaining or awesomely terrible. I still haven't caught up on the latest Mission Impossible, so it's unlikely I'll have the inclination for this. (Pass)

On the Road: An adaptation of Jack Kerouac's novel, which features Kristen Stewart. Wouldn't it be cheaper to just scoop out my eyes with a melon-baller? (Pass)

This is 40: I find Judd Apatow movies to be a series of diminishing returns lately. That's not to say he isn't talented; I just find each movie to be lazier and less funny than the one before it. So even though I adore Paul Rudd, when I didn't get a single smile out of the trailer for this expansion story of the married best friends from Knocked Up, I decided this would be my exit from the Apatow Expressway. Someone let me know when he gets back to putting some effort into these. (Pass)

December 25:

Django Unchained: I enjoy Quentin Tarantino films, but they're often too gory for this wuss. So it goes without saying that I'm going to have to let the first wave of movie viewers digest and review this movie before I even consider giving it a whirl. It's hard out there for a wimp. (TBD)

The Guilt Trip: Seth Rogen goes on a cross-country trip with his mom, played by Barbra Streisand. Sounds zany! And fairly obnoxious. (Pass)

Parental Guidance: Billy Crystal and Bette Midler are tasked with looking after daughter Marisa Tomei's kids. Sounds zany! This may be an ideal Laundry Movie to pay half attention to in a year while I dust the apartment. (Rental)

West of Memphis: I'm sorry, but how many fucking properties have been devoted to these people? Listen, I'm sure it sucks more than I can imagine to be wrongfully convicted of a crime, but enough already. If one quarter the attention was paid to the murder victims than has been paid to the West Memphis prisoners, there wouldn't have been a wrongful conviction to begin with. (Pass)


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