Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Top Movies to See This Holiday Season

While you're dicking around on your computer today waiting for the clock to strike 5 p.m. so you can get the hell out of the office and start enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I'd write up a little something to entertain you during lunch.

After checking out Rotten Tomatoes' 2011 Holiday Movie Preview, I can honestly say that three are a number of intriguing films that are being released in the next 6 weeks.

And without further adieu, let me give you the top movies that I would like to see in a good, old-fashioned theater this holiday season (in no particular order):

Directed by Martin Scorcese, and in 3-D, Hugo (based on the very entertaining young adult book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick) has already been getting great buzz in movie geek circles. Hell, it's got an all-star cast, a great director and a fantastic, original plot - plus it's great for kids. What more could you ask for in a holiday movie?

A movie directed, written for the screen and produced by Alexander Payne? Starring George Clooney? Go check out both of their film resumes (which I linked to their names) and you'll understand why this is on my list.

Without knowing too much about this film, count me intrigued. It's in black and white. It's a silent film. So, you're probably asking yourself, 'How can this movie be that good?' Well, all I know is that it's been cleaning up the awards circuit including a best actor win for star Jean Dujardin and a Palme d'Or nomination at Cannes. And, again, it's an original plot, which always gets me excited.

When you have Director David Cronenberg (The Fly, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) attached to any movie, it's sure to be a rather interesting trip (ahem, Naked Lunch). When you have Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen playing Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud who are both fascinated by a particularly sexy patient played by Keira Knightly - you have the perfect concoction for a rather odd period drama.

This just looks like a fun comedy starring Jonah Hill as a babysitter. From what Rotten Tomatoes says 'it's Adventures in Babysitting for the Twitter generation.' Also Directed by David Gordon Green who has directed a handful of great dramas (All the Real Girls, Undertow, Snow Angels) as well as the funny (Pineapple Express as well as episodes of HBO comedy Eastbound & Down).

I know absolutely nothing about this film, which is a good thing. But with an all-star cast such as Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy and John Hurt  not to mention Director Tomas Alfredson (who directed one of the best horror movies ever in Let The Right One In), this movie looks to be a lot of espionage-laden fun.

Just kidding. :)

Directed by Steven Speilberg. Produced by Peter Jackson. Winter-animated film based on the hit adventure series of yore. What more do you need to say?

I read all three books by Steig Larrson. I've even viewed the three foreign films based on the same name. But, there's just something about this outing directed by David Fincher, that seems very intriguing. The books are pretty dark. Fincher knows dark (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac). And, by the looks of the trailer, he seems to have gotten the look and feel down pat - at the very least what I pictured in my mind. I have faith that screenwriter Steve Zaillen (Schindler's List, Moneyball, Gangs of New York) has been faithful to Larrson's book. And kudos to Fincher for making Rooney Mara (who plays Lisbeth Salandar in the film) look extra homely...exactly as I pictured her in the books. Oh, and let's not forget a soundtrack by Nine Inch Nails frontman (and Academy Award winner) Trent Reznor.

With J.J. Abrams producing and director Brad Bird behind the lens, this looks to be an interesting fourth entry into this Tom Cruise franchise. However, I'll be honest and say the only reason I want to see this film is to see what Academy Award-Winning Animated Film Director Bird (Rataouille, The Incredibles) can do with a live-action cast. If he can even equal what he's done for animation (Simpsons, The Iron Giant, etc.) then the man is sure to have a very long live-action filmmaking career.

I was dragging my heels on this one. But, when I found out that this would be Cameron Crowe's fictional directional return after taking a six-year hiatus (remember the not-so-great Elizabethtown?), I was intrigued. (Note: Crowe directed two documentaries last year - one about Pearl Jam, the other about Elton John). It looks like it's going to be a feel-good movie that will just make you want to hug everyone when it's over. And, let's be honest, is there anything wrong with that? Considering most of my other choices are a bit darker, why not include at least one feel-good movie on this list.

Well, there you have it. Sure, there are other movies that I want to see, but just not really too excited to view in a theater including Young Adult, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Darkest Hour, War Horse, The Muppets, My Week With Marilyn, Melancholia and let's not forget Chipwrecked (just kidding).

So, what do you think?

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