'Twas the month of ol' Christmas and all through the cines,
Twelve* new releases for twelve bucks plus pennies.
The posters were hung by box office with care,
In hopes that some patrons would spend their cash there.
The audience nestled all snug in their seats,
snacking on popcorn and sodas and treats.
While my wife and her husband, your blogger most true,
Wracked brains over choices like which movies to do.
From YouTube the trailers arose with such clatter,
now posted below with my thoughts on the matter.
Watch and enjoy them, maybe comment below
Then it's off to the pictures to enjoy a show!
*As always this covers films nationwide only,
Poor limited-screen runs will likely feel lonely.
But frankly those movies are too hard to track,
So get off my back, man, and cut me some slack!
In Theaters Dec 2
At a Glance: When professionals fail to expel the demon possessing her 11-year old son, a mother turns to an unconventional exorcist who plans to enter his mind and face the evil there.
Why I'm (Not) Excited: Nothing says "happy holidays" quite like a ho-ho-horrible horror movie! If "The Exorcist" and "Inception" had a shitty, unlovable baby, this would be it. I'll probably still check it out because it has Baby Bruce from "Gotham" and Two-Face from the Nolan Batman films because of my weird fan loyalty to all things Batman. I really like Batman.
In Theaters Dec 9
Office Christmas Party
At a Glance: To save their failing branch, two managers plan to impress a must-land client with an epic office party that, of course, spirals out of control.
Why I'm (Sorta Kinda) Excited: Did you see last year's "Sisters?" It was a pretty standard but entertaining house party movie that also came out around Christmas. Swap the house for an office and this looks like the same thing. More of the same may not be high art but it isn't the worst way to spend ninety minutes. Besides, the cast looks good, I guess.
At a Glance: This political thriller pits Elizabeth Sloane, a determined and successful lobbyist, against her most dangerous foe in a battle over gun control legislation.
Why I'm Excited: "Miss Sloane" released a few weeks ago in New York and Los Angeles to generally positive reviews, but Jessica Chastain's performance has received near universal praise. As an added bonus, the movie is enraging gun nuts by merely existing. A game: can you guess which of these zero or half star audience reviewers actually watched the movie? Hint: Probably none!
At a Glance: A woman receives a manuscript from her long-divorced ex-husband. As she reads the dark and violent novel, she finds herself again confronting their troubled relationship.
Why I'm Excited: This looks like everything I wanted "The Girl on the Train" to be and has a killer cast to boot. Like "Miss Sloane," this got a head start release in NY/LA and has gotten pretty positive reception. I haven't seen a good thriller in theaters since "10 Cloverfield Lane" in March. I'd love for this to break the dry spell.
In Theaters Dec 16
At a Glance: A man grapples with his daughter's tragic death by writing letters to Love, Time, and Death, each of whom answer in person to help him again find meaning.
Why I'm (Naively) Excited: Okay, the trailer plays out like an Oscar-bait version of Scrooge's three ghastly visitors but I admit that it struck a chord with me. That said, despite the phenomenal cast and the director's reasonably solid track record, screenwriter Allan Loeb's filmography can be charitably described as terrible. Mixed signals clouding my judgement on this one.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
At a Glance: Bridging the original and prequel "Star Wars" trilogies, "Rogue One" tells the story of the band of rebels tasked with stealing the plans for the Empire's planet-killing superweapon, the Death Star.
Why I'm (Super Hella) Excited: You're kidding, right? It's a damn "Star Wars" movie. I don't care that there were massive reshoots and rewrites that culminated in an entirely new ending. I don't care that Disney executives were afraid that the movie didn't fit the tone of the franchise. I don't care that idiot losers are pooping themselves online that everything is ruined due to its female protagonist. It's "Star Wars." Day one, nerds.
La La Land
At a Glance: Chasing their dreams in Los Angeles, an aspiring actress and a down-on-his-luck musician meet and fall in love in this homage to the big musicals of old.
Why I'm (Singing I'm So) Excited: Damien Chazelle, the creative mind behind "La La Land," is also responsible for one of my favorite films of 2014: "Whiplash." This has been making the film festival circuit all year and to say the critical reception has been positive would be understatement - raving is probably closer to the mark. This will be a contender when Academy Award voting starts.
In Theaters December 21
At a Glance: A condemned criminal is plucked from death row by a mysterious corporation and forced to participate in an experiment that lets him relive the memories of his ancestor, an Assassin locked in battle against the Templars during the Spanish Inquisition.
Why I'm (Not) Excited: I enjoy the Assassin's Creed games despite the ridiculous premise that you inherit your ancestor's memories through DNA. Even so, this is a video game movie and our first rule is "Never Get Excited About A Video Game Movie." Low expectations can only be met or surpassed!
At a Glance: A ship transporting thousands of colonists to a distant world malfunctions, waking two of the passengers 90 years early.
Why I'm Excited: I love small cast films, and I love the isolating things-aren't-what-they-seem premise that seems to be displayed in the trailer, though I am concerned that the trailer lays too many story beats out.
At a Glance: A koala hosts a singing competition hoping to save his failing theater, drawing entrants who seek to live their dreams and escape from disappointing lives.
Why I'm Excited: "Song Covers: The Movie" may not break any new ground but I trust Illumination Entertainment to deliver warm, family-friendly holiday fare. This is the only animated feature coming out this month and given the studio's track record it's probably safe to say this will be somewhere between fine and good.
In Theaters December 23
At a Glance: A father becomes locked in a holiday rivalry with his daughter's wild boyfriend.
Why I'm Excited: The trailers just don't do anything for me. The humor seems obvious and easy. However! I'm going to keep an open mind because the director, who also did work on the screenplay, is responsible for writing some pretty good comedies like "Meet the Parents" and "I Love You, Man." Trailers are edited separately from movies (hence our refrain to always judge a movie yourself: "Trailers Lie") so I'm hoping for a Christmas miracle.
In Theaters December 25
At a Glance: Based on the 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning drama, "Fences" revolves around an African-American man raising his family against the backdrop of 1950s race relations.
Why I'm Excited: There's a lot working in "Fences" favor. The award-winning play's author returned to adapt the film to screen and the film is bolstered by a proven cast in Denzel Washington (also directing) and Viola Davis. Since it's early screenings, "Fences" has gotten a lot of critical attention, nominated for best picture/film at both the Critic's Choice and Satellite Awards. Like "La La Land," expect this to pop again when Oscar nominations are announced next month.
And that's it for 2016! What a year! What are you most excited to see this month?