December at the Movies
Happy Holidays everyone! December is here, and I feel like I’m still in a food coma from Thanksgiving. World Cup final is Sunday and then family and Holiday plans. But don’t forget the movies! (Don’t worry, I never do.)
Violent Night – Theaters, December 2nd
Ok, stay with me here: David Harbour plays Santa Claus – like the Santa Claus – and stumbles upon a hostage situation while doing his rounds on Christmas Eve. When I tell you that the trailer had me in stitches when I first saw it, I am not exaggerating one bit. Gleeful, mindless action with a Christmas twist has me hoping this movie lives up to that initial reaction. If it does, this movie could easily become a yearly tradition like Die Hard.
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – Netflix, December 9th
Guillermo del Toro is well known for his blend of fantasy and horror in his best known films Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. For those familiar with the original source material (and not just the sanitized Disney version), del Toro seems like a great fit for adapting the old Italian tale. Stop motion animation brings this darker Pinocchio world to life, along with a screen play by del Toro and Patrick McHale. I’m incredibly excited to see how audiences receive Pinocchio, especially since Netflix skipped a theatrical release dropped the film directly on Netflix.
Avatar: The Way of Water – Theaters, December 16th
In preparation for this release, Disney rereleased the original Avatar back to theaters in late September. Seeing it again in IMAX accomplished exactly what Disney hoped it would; I was reintroduced to the world of Pandora, and enraptured all over again. The original was released in 2009 and received incredibly favorable reviews – 82% on Rotten Tomatoes for both critic and audience score. Early reviews for The Way of Water indicated that James Cameron may have somehow bottled lightning a second time. We return to Pandora to check back in on our favorite blue aliens, the Na’vi, getting exposed to new tribes, and new environs along the way. Be sure to watch this film in IMAX if you get the chance!
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery – Netflix, December 23rd
This movie is fantastic – I was lucky enough to catch it in theaters during the limited release last month and love it as much, if not more, than the original Knives Out. My biggest fear was that the movie would lack the emotional center that Christopher Plummer and Ana de Armas provided in the first movie, but I should never have been worried. Daniel Craig is fantastic, as is the rest of this stacked ensemble cast, but the real show stealer is Janelle Monáe. If you somehow missed Knives Out, both stories follow the accomplished detective Benoit Blanc. Where other murder mystery movies come across somber or even dour (I’m looking at you Hercule Poirot), Knives Out and Glass Onion are gleeful. Over the top characters and amusing set pieces escalate the energy and set the stage for the final reveal in Daniel Craig’s hilarious southern accent. I had a great time, and I think you will too.