« John Carter trailer | Filmstalker | Margaret quashed by studio? »

Promotion


Filmstalker films for December 2011

Diary.jpgWow, it's the end of the year already, well it's the start of the final month, and that means awards season is just around the corner and the next two months are going to be pretty poor on television and in the cinema. Wait though, what's that you say Filmstalker? It isn't so?

No, for the very end of the month, and indeed the year, has three fantastic films packed into the last four days alone, and it's not just there because throughout the month there are some good films to be had from Hugo to The Thing, from Another Earth to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and a range of films from Camp Hell right through to The Artist.

December is not slouching around with a whisky and a fat belly, oh no. Here's to the festivities, and the films.

It's a good month for cinema, and that means you'll be fighting the food, the drink, the television, and your film related presents, although that's really at the end of the month, regardless there are a few films here that will entice you in, how many mince pies you've had.

Here's the list with a new addition, Stalk or Walk which shows my very clear advice on each film, if neither is there then I just don't know either way and you'll have to let us know. Right, here we go.


2nd
Key Cities
Walk
Trailer on TrailerAddict
I'm pretty sure that this will be a bit of a disaster, the reviews so far aren't that promising, and it's a horror film based around a children's spiritual retreat, however when I saw some of the names involved I did perk up a little, yes there are stars with past glory, but then there are a few that haven't lost out yet - Dana Delany, Andrew McCarthy, Bruce Davison, but I guess the real oddity is Jesse Eisenberg, what's he doing here? It seems a little mixed, but I don't think it's going to turn out to be one to see, especially with Eisenberg distancing himself from it.

Happy Feet Two (3D)
UK Wide
Walk
Trailer on Apple Trailers
I'd say if you have young kids and/or you liked Happy Feet then this one's for you and you're going in there with the idea that this is one to see. For me it's one to miss, I do not see the allure at all, other than hearing the list of actors voicing different characters and guessing who's who. Watching the trailer I didn't find anything that drew me to it and thought it would end up being soft, manipulative rubbish, but then I know there are Happy Feet fans.

Hugo (3D)
UK Wide
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
Without a doubt Martin Scorsese's first foray into 3D, and I say first because I'm sure that he's going to deliver more than just Hugo, is looking exciting. It's the adaptation of the Brian Selznick novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret which sees a boy in the 1930's living behind the scenes of the main Paris train station trying to solve a mystery involving his father and a strange unfinished mechanical robot his father left him. The trailers have been looking visually enticing, and with such an interesting and diverse cast I'm really finding myself drawn to it, although the 3D aspect is completely secondary.

The Last Waltz
Key Cities
Stalk
Trailer on TrailerAddict
While Martin Scorsese's Hugo is making its first outing on screen, his documentary The Last Waltz from back in 1978 is seeing a re-release. The Band perform their last concert after being on tour for some sixteen years, unbelievably, and to celebrate they are joined by a whole host of guest stars with the concert footage edited together with studio sessions and interviews showcasing an enormous list of talent including such names as Muddy Waters, Eric Claption, Bob Dylan, and more. Amazing that the release date is the same as Hugo, but then the audiences for the two films might be very different.

Margaret
Trailer on Filmstalker
It seems like forever since I saw a trailer for this film, but it was only September, it's finally arriving in the cinema and it's not long after the 30th September limited release in the US, the first release it received, closely followed by a limited Canadian release in October. It seems ominous that the film is only getting a full release in the UK and France, and the French have to wait till well into next year, but at least it is getting a release. The film features Anna Paquin as a young woman who witnesses a bus crash and decides to try and influence the after events by lying for the driver of the bus. Mark Ruffalo, Jean Reno, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick and Olivia Thirlby are the surprising names that pop into the fore for this film. Is it going to be a decent one?

The Thing
UK Wide
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
This is not a remake, despite what the title might make you think, this is actually a prequel to the John Carpenter classic film The Thing, which itself is adapted from the story "Who Goes There?" written by John W. Campbell Jr., which was also adapted in the film 1951 film The Thing from Another World. Now that was easy to follow wasn't it? Originally it was going to be a remake, or rather the studio were wanting to go in that direction but the producers steered them away from that idea and onto the prequel route. Sounds great, but everything I've seen from the trailer suggests it is a remake, just one that we're going to know how it ends. I'm sure though they've worked hard to bring us plenty of surprises and differences, over the female lead of course, and although what we've seen looks very similar to The Thing, it also looks really good. Here's hoping that Eric Heisserer and Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. can deliver, and I wonder how much of the previous scripts are going to make it through?

We Have a Pope
Key Cities
Trailer on TrailerAddict
The story behind We Have a Pope certainly has an interesting concept, a new Pope is elected and needs to be assigned a therapist to help him with his troubles and the film follows this relationship between the two. Part of me really doesn't know what to make of the idea behind the film but the other part has me interested, maybe it could turn out to be something completely fascinating. If the film has a Pope discussing the pressures of his role with a therapist we could have all sorts of fascinating discussions ranging from religion to the pressures of being in such a public role, perhaps reflecting a little on the issue of celebrity too.


8th
New Year's Eve
UK Wide
Trailer on Filmstalker
To be honest I'm not looking forward to this film that much, I'm hopeful for it because it has a big ensemble cast bringing together multiple story lines at New Year's Eve for maximum effect. However the writer Katherine Fugate and director Garry Marshall already delivered Valentine's Day which was your average romantic comedy just with lots of stars in it, nothing that exciting. Still, the stars will draw an audience and the light fare will suit many.


9th
Another Earth
Key Cities
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
We're set for two stories about dual worlds arriving at Earth, but for me this looks the most appealing. One day a new planet Earth arrives in close proximity to ours. The President of the United States, because it surely wouldn't be a UN delegation or anything, contacts the planet only to be hear herself talking back. The shock is that this is a duplicate Earth and for each of us there is another one of us on the planet, perhaps with a different journey, a different story. This is where the strength of the film comes in, the fact that it concentrates on a young couple who have crossed paths during a tragic car accident and who are both wishing for a very different life, that seems to come to them until one of them wins a trip to the other Earth.

Puss in Boots (3D)
UK Wide
Walk
Trailer on Apple Trailers
Oh dear me. I know plenty of people will be drawn to Puss in Boots but really, it's a secondary character born from a sequel of a series on a downturn, and while it did help spark a little life into the film and it was an enjoyable film, Puss in Boots was just a part of it, can it really hold its own sequel by doing the big doughy eye bit again and again? Surely the gimmick has had its time.

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Key Cities
Walk
Trailer on Apple Trailers
Ermmm, no.

The Well Digger's Daughter
Selected Cinemas
Stalk
Trailer on TrailerAddict
Daniel Auteuil adapted, directed and starred in this film which is an adaptation of the Marcel Pagnol novel, and for me that's reason enough to go and see it. I know next to nothing about the film and it was just the name that attracted me to the story of a father who is torn between honour and the love for his daughter who is in trouble with the wealthy son of a shopkeeper in pre-World War II France. With Auteuil in the lead and behind the camera you know there's going to be at least one seriously class performance.


16th
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
Key Cities
Walk
Trailer on Apple Trailers
NOOOOO!!!

Dreams of a Life
Key Cities
Trailer on TrailerAddict
Do you remember the story of the death of Joyce Vincent? Found in her bedsit in January 2006 she had probably been dead since December 2003 and was only found when housing officers went there to collect the huge arrears. When her body was found she had to be identified by dental records, and no one had visited her with no one even thinking there was something wrong. Film-maker Carol Morley decided to film a journey to discover what had happened to this woman, who she was and what her story was.

Meet Me in St. Louis
Key Cities
Stalk
Trailer on YouTube
It's an oldie but it regularly appears in the best Christmas film lists, and in particular high up on the list of those lists that aren't created by those that appreciate cinema. At Christmas you want to see a few films that give you that unadulterated Christmas feeling and there's no better way to get that than to go back to the classic Christmas films. Of course I think there are more Christmas ones than this, but still.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
UK Wide
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
The first film was a lot of fun and entertainment and Guy Ritchie really did manage to bring the character to life in a rather different way. It's a little surprising that he did so well, but now it's not surprising that there's another one on the go and that Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are returning for the sequel with an equally star studded cast. It is fantastic casting that they have Jared Harris to play Professor Moriarty, and that the trailer does look like they've upped the game as well as keeping the fun and adventure elements from the first. I'm really hopeful that we're going to have as much fun as the first and more. It's elementary my dear Watson.

Wreckers
Key Cities
Trailer on YouTube
Where did this come from? Claire Foy and Benedict Cumberbatch star in this film about a young couple who return to the childhood home of the husband to start a family. There the husband's brother arrives and a sibling rivalry appears that reveals lies hidden within the couple's relationship and threatens their new life together. I haven't heard a thing about this film before now and it's only the two leading names that drew me to it, particularly Cumberbatch, I can't even talk to you about the past works of the writer and director. It might be a bit of a gamble, but sometimes gambles pay off.


26th
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
UK Wide
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
Well, what is there to say? Originally the idea of a remake appalled many people but when the name of David Fincher was announced and we started hearing the cast of names such as Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright, Joely Richardson, Stellan Skarsgård, to name but a few, people were interested and suddenly very forgiving. However it was when the trailer arrived that I realised that I definitely needed to see this film and that it might just deliver more than the original. There's no doubt the original was great, but there were areas it was clearly lacking and it looks like this is where Fincher is picking up the pace. This is definitely one to watch without a doubt.

Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
UK Wide
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
There's been a bumpy road for this film as all the rumours started when we heard there might be a new agent coming along to take over the franchise. That might still be the case if it all works out for Jeremy Renner it could be the start of something great. Whatever happens there there's one thing that's clear, Mission: Impossible is back with a cracking new story and a fantastic cast, and it looks like they're going to deliver even more than last time. I definitely don't want this series to end, and personally I'd be delighted if Tom Cruise wanted to come on board for another one or two yet. For now, Ghost Protocol has an exciting story and a fantastic trailer.


30th
The Lady
UK Wide
Stalk
Trailer on Filmstalker
Michelle Yeoh is set to play the Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for an insane amount of time for merely trying to stand up for Democracy in her country against the military rulers. Amazingly she was released during the filming and it made for a fantastic turnaround of events in real life and in the film. It promises to be a heart breaking and inspiring film that could mark a new high in Luc Besson's career, as well as Yeoh's. This is another great film to end the year with.

Trailer on FilmstalkerThe Artist
UK Wide
Stalk
This has been receiving a lot of praise in the festivals and through its fractured European release. Arriving just at the end of the year the film is set in 1927 Hollywood following a silent movie star called George Valentin who is struggling to deal with the arrival of talking pictures and wondering if it will be the end for him. It's here that he meets a young dancer who is on the edge of a big break and a new relationship is formed. Writer and director Michel Hazanavicius has delivered something very unusual and has attracted some great names from John Goodman to James Cromwwell to Malcolm McDowell and the leading man Jean Dujardin.


It's amazing to see a line-up of four such great films to end the year, so I guess that means I'll have to be in the cinema before the bells.

There is a surprising amount of great films in December to see, which are you intending to visit, and what did you think of some of these? Are there any that I've missed that should have been on the list?




Promotion


Promotion


Add a comment

Tagline

Site Navigation

Latest Stories

Partner

Vidahost image

Latest Reviews

Promotion

Filmstalker Poll

Promotion

Subscribe with...

AddThis Feed Button

Site Feeds

Subscribe to Filmstalker:

Filmstalker's FeedAll articles

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedReviews only

Filmstalker's Reviews FeedAudiocasts only

Subscribe to the Filmstalker Audiocast on iTunesAudiocasts on iTunes

Feed by email:

Contact

TwitterFacebookSkypePlurkLinkedInIMDB

Help Out

Site Information

Creative Commons License
© www.filmstalker.co.uk

Give credit to your sources. Quote and credit, don't steal


Movable Type 3.34

It's my way, or the highway.
- Dalton, Road House