Monthly Movie Preview: December 2015

November brought the heat, but December will blow you away. If all you heard is “Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars Star Wars,” then you are in like-minded company.

December 4 – Macbeth

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Sean Harris, and Jack Reynor

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The Scottish Play as it should be. Seeing the way it was filmed makes me so happy. There isn’t the usual bells and whistles Hollywood likes to add to any adaptation. The simplicity of the setting really drew me in. The talented cast will be the focus, as it should be in a Shakespeare film; everything is about the actors and the story. Macbeth should be a story everyone knows, and this version of the tale about corruption and power will likely be accompanied with the play in every English teacher’s lesson plan. – Adrian

December 4 – Krampus

Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, and Allison Tolman

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Ugh. Does a horror movie have to come out every month? Chick flicks don’t even come out that often. Anyway, Krampus is basically this horned devil dude who is supposed to be the opposite of Saint Nicholas; he punishes the children who misbehave. This legend came out of the Alps. So who knows? They could have been crazy mountain people (and we live in Colorado, so we know about crazy mountain people), or the Alps are fucking scary with Christmas demons. I don’t have much to say about the movie other than I will not be partaking in this adventure. – Adrian

December 4 – Life

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Dane DeHaan, Ben Kingsley, and Joel Edgerton

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If five years ago you would have told me that Robert Pattinson would be a legitimate actor and was able to shake the connotation of sparkly gay vampire, I would have laughed in your face. It is funny how things turn out. In Life, Pattinson plays Dennis Stock, photographer for the magazine Life. Dane DeHaan plays up and comer James Dean. DeHaan looks almost as much like Dean as he looks like DiCaprio (and both are very close dead ringers). I am a sucker for period pieces, and I find this era incredibly fascinating. I am really looking forward to Life for this very reason alone. – Adrian

December 4 – The Lady in the Van

StarringMaggie Smith, Dominic Cooper, and James Cordon

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Well… right before this trailer loaded I watched Civil War: Captain America. Can I just take one moment to (Excited dancing emoji here) Anyway, BBC film with Maggie Smith. Looks hilarious. It’s another movie based on a true story coming out in December. I tell you, real life really is stranger than fiction. I really smart genius women live in a van. I’m down to watching what heart-warming hilarity that’ll ensue. Who doesn’t love the ‘ol crazy eccentric living in your neighborhood? – Jené

December 4 – Youth

Starring: Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel

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Old friends Fred (Michael Caine) and Mick (Harvey Keitel) are on holiday in a beautiful hotel in the Alps. Fred is a retired composer who has no desire to take up his art again, while Mick is a film making working on what will most likely be his last movie. Everything seems dull until the Queen invites Fred to perform at Prince Philip’s birthday. Honestly, this looks a little dull. If you enjoy subtle films about aging, it might interest you, but The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was about that too, and I really enjoyed it. It was funny, touching and one of my favorite films. Youth, however, just looks boring. – Charlotte

December 4 – Chi-Raq

Starring: Nick Cannon, Teyonah Parris, John Cusack, Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, and Dave Chappelle

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Oh good, another Spike Lee Joint created with the sole purpose to piss people. If pedophilia in Red Hood Summer didn’t make you hate Spike Lee, or the fact that he gave out the address of THE WRONG GEORGE ZIMMERMAN out via Twitter, then wait til you get a load of a movie starring Nick Cannon – don’t laugh, it very well could have been Kanye West, but due to scheduling conflicts, another one of our generation’s lyrical geniuses got the gig. The premise of the movie is this: people are dying all over Chicago, and the women are withholding the poonani in order to get the men to put their guns down, not unlike the Greek play Lysistrata. It’ll suck, but will YOU be there to witness it? – Sherif

December 11 – In the Heart of the Sea

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, and Brendan Gleeson

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Did you know this movie is not Moby-Dick with a fancy new title? That is right. See what doing a little research will do for you? It will learn you stuff. Anyhow, In the Heart of the Sea is based off a book of the same name written in the year 2000 by Nathaniel Philbrick. This book is based off a story that was also inspiration for Melville’s classic novel. In 1820, the ship Essex was struck by a whale, causing its members to be shipwrecked. They had to resort to extreme measures to survive. I was interested in this movie based on the relation to Moby-Dick, and after finding out the true origins of this tale, I am really looking forward to it. – Adrian

December 11 – The Big Shot

StarringBrad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, and Ryan Gosling

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The film is based on the biography The Big Shot: Inside the Doomsday Machine. The film has some pretty big hitters and looks like a compelling story. That fact that it’s based on a real story is remarkable to me. In a scary and frustrating sort of way.  I’ve never heard of this book or these people. Sure does make me want to do dome heavy Googling on them. The movie is about people who predicted/saw where the banks and the housing market were going and decided to bet against the U.S economy and as a result got rich. Probably not a movie I’ll see in theaters, but compelling enough to give a watch when it pops up on Netflix. – Jené

December 18 – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Starring: Daisy Ridley. John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Issac, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill

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What can be said about Star Wars: The Force Awakens that fans don’t know or that could make anyone more excited? This film is bound to be a hit and the holidays biggest film; I mean, it even made multiple ticket websites crash when tickets first went on sale! Star Wars has been around for decades and has entertained many generations of fans, and this new series seems to be trying to make us forget the prequels with whom many fans feel shamed the franchise (I actually thoroughly enjoyed the prequels AND Jar Jar. Yeah, I said it!). With this new film, we see mostly new faces with new stars Daisy Ridley and John Boyega taking the lead roles, but old fans of the series can take a breath because all your original favorites are back this time too with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and even Warwick Davis (Wicket) are back! Now can we just time travel to the future and see this already! The anticipation is killing me, or maybe that is just Vader force choking me. – Jacob

December 18 – Sisters

Starring: Amy Poehler and Tina Fey

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Dynamic duo Amy Poehler and Tina Fey return for another gut busting, lady empowering feature. After their childhood home is sold, divorcee Maura (Poehler) and her sister Kate Ellis (Fey) decide to throw a crazy party with hopes of reigniting some fire into Maura’s life. What follows is a series of hilarity and wit that the only two queens of comedy could provide. If you’re a fan of Park and Recreation, 30 Rock, or Saturday Night Live, this movie is for you. I, for one, am incredibly excited to see Pawnee Goddess Amy Poehler on the big screen once again. – Charlotte

December 18 – Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Starring: Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Christina Applegate, Anna Faris, and Kaley Cuoco

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It looks so dumb yet so cute. In the FOURTH (four? how are there four?!) Alvin and friends hit the road and some high notes (wow, that was cheesy but could have been a great tagline for the movie). The plot is to make sure that Dave doesn’t marry his new girlfriend. Somehow a road trip is the solution. This won’t be a hit, but the music and squeaky voices will make it entertaining enough to watch with the kids. – Adrian

December 25 – The Revenant

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, and Will Poulter

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This new Leo film came out of nowhere. It reunites DiCaprio and Hardy for the first time since Inception. The movie is really simple: a fur trader is raped attacked by a bear and his team leaves him for dead, because they’re dicks assumedly. The rest of the movie follows the fur trader on his way through the frontier to civilization. See, you wouldn’t know that if you just watched the trailer. All the trailer tells you is that there are a lot of heavy drums and heavy breathing. It looks gorgeous, thrilling, and has the best actor never to win an Oscar starring in it. – Sherif

December 25 – The Hateful Eight

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Demian Bichir, Tim Roth, Michael Masden, and Bruce Dern

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It is Quentin Tarantino. What else is there to say? For sake of spacing in this article, I’ll flesh this out. I have had a love affair with Tarantino’s films for over a decade. It isn’t that long, considering how long the man has been in the film industry. The dialogue, cinematography, music, costumes, and acting are always incredibly iconic, not to mention the immense amount of homages to other films doused throughout. The Hateful Eight will no doubt follow in the same footsteps. With another western, Tarantino will put us in a room full of bad guys. His inspiration was old western shows when a bad guy would hold our heroes hostage; this time, we are only getting the bad guys. There has been a lot of controversy with the film, but I will be seeing this one in theaters. – Adrian

December 25 – Joy

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, and Edgar Ramirez

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Jennifer Lawrence didn’t have me until American Hustle. Sure, I love The Hunger Games, but JLaw has never been my Katniss. Now that her four film stint is over, she can get into the roles (I’m sure) she has been dying to play. In David O. Russell’s newest period period piece (what Lawrence does best because of her timeless look), we follow the story of Joy Mangano, a woman who has a lot of money issues, family issues, and personal issues. She takes control of it all by inventing the Miracle Mop. It sounds a little silly, but I think that is the point. There wasn’t a moment when I watched the trailer that I didn’t think I would go see this movie. Not to mention, we are pretty much reuniting the cast of Silver Linings Playbook. – Adrian

December 25 – Daddy’s Home

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlburg, Linda Cardellini, and Hannibal Buress

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I’m not sure when the time jump between cool bro guy Mark Wahlberg and deadbeat dad Mark Wahlberg happened, but it’s a good fit. He squares off against good guy Will Farrell in the battle for the kids’ affection. Like most comedies that feature either of these two guys, it will be worth a couple of cheap laughs, and then fade into obscurity for all eternity. Remember The Campaign? Didn’t think so. Watch The Other Guys lately? Exactly. So see this if it really appeals to your sense of nostalgia, but I guarantee it won’t be a thought in your mind ever again. – Sherif

December 25 – Concussion

Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Albert Brooks, Paul Reiser, and Luke Wilson

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A biopic about the guy who uncovered brain damage issues in the NFL hardly seems like a typical Will Smith movie, or a typical Christmas movie, but it’s here to make people really hate the NFL – which, judging by the way their officiating has gone this year, shouldn’t be all that difficult. Smith stars as Dr. Bennet Omalu, the doctor who really uncovered the mass damage that players were getting by receiving head injuries on a regular basis. The exposé that printed in GQ magazine has really changed the game on-field (although many players still cheat the rules, like they’re trying to die or something), but what it should do is make the families of ex-players really, really angry. Nobody will be mad if you see an actual movie for Christmas, but should you find the time, this will be worth a watch. Just don’t see it with your wife; she already hates football enough. – Sherif

December 25 – Point Break

Starring: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, and Ray Winstone

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Exactly what we needed! A remake! Of a 90s movie! About surfing cops! sarcasm This movie is basically Fast and the Furious with surfers. This version will have less Patrick Swayze (RIP, you beautiful man) and less Keanu Reeves. I have a feeling the remake won’t have the same cult following that the original does, but I also would guess that it is visually more stunning. I will probably wait for this one on Netflix, but if you are really interested, why not? – Adrian

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