Hollywood always has a cluster of big-budget blockbuster films and family-friendly offerings ready to suck up some of that money you saved for holiday gift giving. This year it seems to be mostly sequels and remakes, but there are some that seem worth watching, and since Nana doesn’t need the new Dvd player, she’ll be just as happy with another pair of slippers, here are some ideas where to drop the cash you just saved.
November 9th – Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
This film is an example of a classic story that it seems Hollywood never gets tired of feeding us a different version of every few years. This time the story is told through Illumination Studios (Despicable Me, Secret Life of Pets) and includes Benedict Cumberbatch as the grinning green one. The previews look very silly, childish, and overall funny, plus I’d bet good money that his heart grows a few sizes after some moral lesson plays out. What more are you looking for in a Holiday family film?
November 16 – Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Harry Potter world grows a little larger this Holiday season. The story of Crimes of Grindelwald takes place a few years after the first Fantastic Beasts, and we find Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is trying to stop the villainous wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) by a younger version of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law). Early press and audience reactions are mostly positive. Look for big budget effects, solid acting, and at least a few twists in this fun (mostly) family-friendly film.
November 21- Ralph Breaks the Internet
This year Disney’s big animated release is a much-anticipated sequel with an all-star cast. The movie is a sequel to the video game comedy Wreck-It Ralph. Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) leave their games and jump into the internet to find a piece for Vanellope’s broken game. The movie has received positive responses and general praise for its creativity, comedy, and emotional storytelling.
November 21- Creed II
After the surprisingly strong release of the first Creed film, Creed II was destined to go another few rounds. This movie pits Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) against Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), the son of Rocky IV‘s Ivan Drago, the man who killed Creed’s father Apollo in the ring. The script was written by “Rocky” himself Sylvester Stallone, and co-written by Juel Taylor. The first Creed was popular with critics and a financial success with audiences, and Creed II looks like it is be poised for another knockout at the box office.
December 14- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Sony takes Spider-Man movies in a new direction with the first big-screen animated Spider-Man adventure. The movie shifts the focus from our usual friendly neighborhood spiderman to Miles Morales. The animated film includes Spider-People from across multiple comic book series, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Ham, and of course Peter Parker all make an appearance.
December 19- Mary Poppins Returns
The long-awaited and often maligned sequel to the Disney classic Mary Poppins finally arrives. Emily Blunt steps into the very difficult to fill shoes of Julie Andrews in the title role with Lin-Manuel Miranda in a supporting role as Jack (not Burt). The movie will also feature performance and cameos from some Disney greats including Dick Van Dyke, and Angela Lansbury. We’re hoping it’s practically perfect in every way and brings the joy and magic of the original to a new generation.
December 21- Aquaman
Marvel and Star Wars are both holding their offerings this year, and DC is going to do their best to fill the comic book hole with the action-packed, Live action superhero film Aquaman. The movie is directed by a man known for horror, James Wan, and stars Jason Momoa as the amphibious hero. This movie promises to deliver the fight sequences and big budget effects we’ve come to expect from Holiday blockbusters and should be worth the price of admission. Check out our review of the trailer by clicking here.
December 21- Bumblebee
Transformers started as a solid film franchise but quickly fell from grace through the sequels. Bumblebee is more of a spin-off than a sequel and hopes to reset the bar by focusing on characters, emotion, and story instead of massive explosions and citywide fight scenes.
It’s going to be a busy season at the theatres this year! Which movie is on your must-see nice list? Which ones will on your naughty list and might be getting skipped this year?