Well we are now in Christmas movie season. No I don’t mean those horrible cheap “feel good” seasonal movies all over Lifetime, ABC Family or the like that hearken back to the golden days of the 70’s. Rather I mean the big blockbusters targeting everyone. We’re already well into the season with the latest Twilight film being #1 for something like three weeks running. There’s Muppet fever and even Martin Scorsese is in the act.
What have you seen? What did you hate? What are you most looking forward to? After a fairly disappointing summer will the winter films do better?
I have to confess my wife loved Breaking Dawn. She thought it was the best of the series. However most people I’ve talked to thought it was the worst. I’m not a Twilight fan so I have no opinions. Plus I lucked out this year and my wife went to see it opening night as part of a girls night out evening. So I haven’t seen it. (I managed to avoid seeing the last one too)
The Muppets is something I’m intrigued by even if Frank Oz has lambasted it – primarily because of fart jokes and a rich Kermit the frog. However inexplicably my kids had puppets. They refuse to watch any of the muppet films or shows. So no luck on this one.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was a fantastic mini-series back in 1979 starting Alec Guiness. It’s based on a John le Carre novel about trying to find a mole in British intelligence. I suspect most of the current generation grew up after the cold war. So much of this will be a bit of a mystery. Say what you will of the cold war but it made for some great spy thrillers. Things really haven’t been the same for Hollywood since.
The new version apparently has a killer performance by Gary Oldman who inexplicably has never won an academy award. Personally I doubt they can recreate a film as good as the classic BBC miniseries which was made during the era in which it takes place. It’s a very subdued story so I’m curious about how the transition to a Hollywood movie works. I have to admit that while I’m suspicious about the remake I’m looking forward to seeing it.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a followup to Guy Ritchie’s popular reimaging of the Holmes mythos. I thought he did a great job myself sticking to the characters while emphasizing different attributes. Admittedly towards the end it became a bit overblown. (Although not as bad as the horrible Spielberg produced Young Sherlock Holmes from the 80’s) This sequel reportedly follows Holmes as he tracks Moriarty across Europe. We’ll see how it turns out. I’m hoping they try to stick to the stories somewhat. I have to admit this is the film I’m most looking forward to. Perhaps even more than the return of the excellent BBC series that puts Holmes in the modern world.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have to admit I’ll probably not see this one although there is a lot of buzz. I’ve not read the books and somehow Fincher hasn’t interested me much of late.
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. I really don’t like Tom Cruise but this is the first live action film by Brian Bird who did The Incredibles. Arguably the best of all the Pixar films. Not to mention Iron Giant as well. The last MI film by J.J. Abrams was great – the best of the bunch. However few saw it due to a backlash against Cruise’s various antics. I really want this one to be good.
The Adventures of Tintin. I’ve been hearing lukewarm stuff about this one. Too much action and not enough character building. Still it’s done by Spielberg and Jackson and is doing big business in Europe. I loved the books as a kid. But I bet I end up seeing this one on DVD.
War Horse. This is reportedly Spielberg trying to recapture his anti-war vibe that he had so good in Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List. It’s not getting a lot of buzz and I have to admit I’m not excited. It’s based upon a Tony award winning play starting life sized puppets. However as intriguing as that sounds I suspect the movie will play it straight only with Spielberg doing his traditional “pull at the heart strings” direction.
The Iron Lady. It’s already controversial with some saying it’s a hit piece of Margaret Thatcher. However I’ll give Meryl Streep credit. She disappears into the role. Streep says it’s more sympathetic to Thatcher than is getting reported. On the other hand the director’s previous effort was Mamma Mia which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Any I miss? Thoughts? I’ll probably be seeing most of my Christmas movies after Christmas day. (I’m just too busy before) But if I had to pick two to see it’ll probably be Sherlock Holmes and Mission Impossible.