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|O N T H E H O R I Z O N
cant hardly wait...
THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 1
MY OLD LADY
GET ON UP
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
WINTER SLEEP (Tur)
HORRIBLE BOSSES 2
STATIONS OF THE CROSS (Ger)
I AM ALI
SNAILS IN THE RAIN (dvd)
BOYS ON FILM 12: CONFESSION (dvd)
* BLACK SEA
EASTERN BOYS (Fr)
THE GRANDMASTER (Chn)
HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN
* THE CIRCLE (Swi)
IN THEIR ROOM (dvd)
BIG GAY LOVE (dvd)
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
* WOMAN IN BLACK: ANGEL OF DEATH
TESTAMENT OF YOUTH
BIG HERO 6
* INHERENT VICE
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY
LOVE IS STRANGE
* A LITTLE CHAOS
NEXT TO HER (Isr)
* TIMBUKTU (Mrt)
* THE LOOK OF SILENCE
C O M I N G U P . . .
DUMB AND DUMBER TO. PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR. AMERICAN SNIPER. BIG EYES. THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. THE GAMBLER. INTO THE WOODS. STILL ALICE.
N O U K R E L E A S E D A T E . . .
SHADOWS FILM FEST
dir Peter Jackson; with Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Manu Bennett, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Stephen Fry; Warner 14/NZ|
release UK 12.Dec.14, US 17.Dec.14
Peter Jackson definitely knows how to wrap up an epic tale (see The Return of the King), so hopes are pretty high for this final instalment in his latest Tolkien trilogy. Trailers make it look seriously massive, rather a lot bigger than the book it's based on, but that won't be a problem if he delivers the entertainment value. This wraps up what is now one of the most ambitious film series ever staged, so it's pretty much the definition of unmissable. dir Tim Burton; scr Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski; with Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, Terence Stamp, Jon Polito, Farryn VanHumbeck; Weinstein 14/US
release US/UK 25.Dec.14
Honestly, Tim Burton is such an inventive filmmaker that you never have a clue what he'll do next, and this looks like a properly outrageous true story with all kinds of visual fun to be had. The trailer alone is packed with visual wit, promising wonderfully offbeat performances from Adams and Waltz. And with a script by Alexander and Karascewski (Ed Wood), this could easily be a dark horse come awards season. dir Angelina Jolie; scr Joel & Ethan Coen; with Jack O'Connell, Jai Courtney, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Luke Treadaway, Alex Russell, Morgan Griffin, Finn Wittrock; Universal 14/Aus
release US/UK 25.Dec.14
O'Connell continues to conquer cinema this year after his acclaimed starring roles in Starred Up and '71. This looks like the biggest break of all for him, in the true story of an Olympic champion who joins the military during WWII, survives at sea after his ship is sunk and then is captured by the Japanese. It looks rather relentlessly inspirational, so let's hope that director Jolie knows how to rein in the sentiment. dir Ridley Scott; with Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, Joel Edgerton, Ben Kingsley, Emun Elliott, John Turturro, Ben Mendelsohn, Golshifteh Farahani, Hiam Abbass; Fox 14/UKbr> release US 12.Dec.14, UK 26.Dec.15
Ridley Scott is back in toga-epic mode (see Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven) for this grand retelling of the Ten Commandments story with a beefy cast. It looks like a suitably enormous production with attention to the spectacle. So let's hope that the cast can find some emotional resonance amid the cast-of-thousands epicness of it all. dir Will Gluck; with Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, David Zayas, Mike Birbiglia; Sony 14/US
release US 19.Dec.14; UK 26.Dec.14
It's unclear why they've decided to make another film of the hit 1970s musical, although at least it has some intriguing casting. Oddly, the trailers are downplaying the musical aspects of the movie, emphasising the big-scale production and comedy antics. Hopefully the whole thing remains in balance as a spiky story of a strong-willed young orphan who finds a home with a grumpy millionaire. The main worry is creeping sentimentality. dir Rob Marshall; with Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Christine Baranski, Frances de la Tour, Tracey Ullman, Daniel Huttleston; Disney 14/UK
release US 25.Dec.14, UK 9.Jan.15
Stephen Sondheim's fantastic 1980s fairy tale mash-up musical finally gets a big-screen adaptation, complete with an all-star cast. As we finally start seeing trailers that give a proper glimpse into the songs and settings, the film is looking pretty promising, although director Marshall has a tendency to flatten things (Memoirs of a Geisha, Nine). And despite what looks like another annoyingly quirky Depp performance, Streep, Blunt, Kendrick, Corden, Pine, et al look great. dir-scr Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen; with James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Diana Bang, Timothy Simons, Reese Alexander, James Yi; Sony 14/US
release US 25.Dec.14, UK 6.Feb.15
There's been a lot of conjecture about this comedy, in wiht a pair of chucklehead TV hosts decide to travel to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un, then are recruited by the CIA to assassinate the tyrant. It's a pretty bold concept - so it's not surprising that Rogen and Franco have been getting some flack even before anyone sees the film. Let's hope they're able to resist studio pressures to tone things down. This kind of loaded comedy-action only works if the filmmakers really go for it (see Team America). dir-scr Andy & Lana Wachowski; with Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Sean Bean, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Douglas Booth, Eddie Redmayne, Tuppence Middleton, Terry Gilliam, Maria Doyle Kennedy, James D'Arcy; Warner 14/US
release US/UK 6.Feb.15
The Wachowski's return to a full-on sci-fi extravaganza with this epic about a young woman (Kunis) who is shocked to learn that she is the Queen of the Universe, and that everyone is trying to kill her. The trailers look extremely effects-intensive, which might be a marketing mistake for audiences suffering from digital overload. But the Wachowskis have a track record of keeping the focus on the characters while coming up with genuinely outrageous visuals. Although the release has now been pushed back six months to make those visuals more outrageous. Or something.
Also on my want-to-see list...
Autumn: HOME KILL THE MESSENGER ENEMY PADDINGTON
Winter: DYING OF THE LIGHT A MOST VIOLENT YEAR BLACK SEA TAKEN 3
Spring: IN THE HEART OF THE SEA AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON TOMORROWLAND
No UK release date: GOOD PEOPLE IN OUR NATURE THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD JIMMY P. KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM VERY GOOD GIRLS WORDS AND PICTURES
Release dates: British film release schedules are much more fluid than American ones, so please be patient as I try to keep up with UK distributors. I'm working to keep this list up-to-date as they keep trying to outfox me. I'm sure it's personal.
Embargoes: Britain's Film Distributors Association asks us to hold reviews until the week of release, and some distributors are even more restrictive. Normally, once the film is shown to a paying audience, either on release or at a festival, the full review can appear on the site.
© 2014 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall