Six new films will grace the silver screen beginning on Christmas Day. Some showing great promise, others leaving some room for desire. I’ve come up with three categories to help you make your December 25th (or more likely 26th) movie viewing decisions.
So, buckle up… we’re previewing all the Christmas Day movie releases right here!
The first category is those movies which you should never pay money to see, and probably not spend your time on it either. The name is derived from the movies that are played for “free” on airlines flights. Three of the six landed here.
A remake of the 1991 “classic” that starred Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. It being a redux may have something to do with why I have zero interest in this film. The only reason to not catch 113 minutes of extra sleep on your red eye to Shanghai is to see a new character written in the new film, Samsara (played by Teresa Palmer). If you weren’t a fan of the first movie and aren’t a die-hard Teresa Palmer fan, don’t waste your time. Get that shut eye. This one should flop hard at the box office.
A Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg team up that may look similar in skeletal form to their last joint venture, the oft underappreciated “The Other Guys”. But this one strikes me more as Will Ferrell trying to take some of the “kids comedy” market share away from the surging Adam Sandler. My hope is that it will be similar in style to “The Other Guys” sense of humor, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Will Ferrell continues his characters’, what I will call, befuddling ability to land attractive women, as the lovely Linda Cardellini plays his wife. If you’re in the mood for a few laughs on your flight you should give this one a chance. Daddy’s Home should also dud at the box with at least three better options opening up and Sisters coming out the week prior for the comedy goers.
Seems like it will draw those of us interested in the future of the game of football. It shouldn’t be as resounding a disappointment as “Draft Day” because the real Roger Goodell won’t be involved to muddy things up. Will Smith was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as Dr. Bennett Omalu. Just from the trailer it looks like he might overact in this film. I don’t think Will Smith by himself has enough to keep this from floundering at the box office, but people’s interest in the concussion issue may be enough. If you’re really interested in head traumas, I’d read Omalu’s op-ed piece in the New York Times instead.
The second category is the movies that will be worth Redboxing on a free Saturday or Sunday afternoon in the winter, but you should definitely spend your time dissecting Star Wars: The Force Awakens a second or third time after the crowds die down a little bit in its second week instead. Or better yet, go watch Spotlight, a fantastic film that was nominated for Best Picture and Director.
Just Go See The Force Awakens Again
David O. Russell’s second film starring the trifecta of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro doesn’t have the same anticipation Silver Linings Playbook did. It’s closer to that of his other JLaw and Bradley Cooper flick, American Hustle. Jennifer Lawrence proved she deserves to be in the best actress of this generation talk with her performance as Joy Mangano being nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy. Edgar Ramirez also does a little double dipping on this list, from playing Bohdi in Point Break to playing Joy’s ex-husband Tony. A film that has received mixed reviews early on isn’t worth the time Christmas day.
The Hateful Eight
Quentin Tarantino’s latest film packs the typical Tarantino vigor for cult movie fans. This movie has a slate of great cast members, from those we expect to be in every Tarantino film (Tim Roth and Samuel L. Jackson), to the star that is Channing Tatum. This movie received several Golden Globe nominations, Jennifer Jason Leigh for Best Supporting Actress, Tarantino for the Best Screenplay and Ennio Morricone was nominated for his scoring of the film. The only reason this one isn’t a must see in theaters is due to its length, which is just north of three hours. This movie should do ok at the box, but I’m sure the studios wish they would’ve pushed it out a few weeks earlier.
The third category is for movies that you need to see in theater to get the full cinematic experience. All of the film critics will be talking about this one for days afterwards.
Grab Your Halloween Candy, We Are Going to the Theater
Leo looks to finally win his first Oscar with his gritty performance as The Revenant has already garnered three Golden Globe nominations. Dicaprio has another tough year going for that first Oscar as Michael Fassbender and Bryan Cranston produced two spectacular nominations themselves. The film also features Tom Hardy and Domnhall Gleason for reserve star power. Will Poulter (the son from We Are The Millers), also plays a prominent role. The real story here is that Alejandro Gonzales Innarutu followed up his Best Picture and Director wins for Birdman, with two more nominations for The Revenant. Ironic that Innarutu might’ve stolen the day and the best revenge story from the oft extolled Tarantino. He seems to be making his move to the pantheon of directing. This is another long one, so make sure to go to the bathroom beforehand, but this should unquestionably win the day at the box office and the award shows.
Anyone who disagrees (or agrees) can debate me at @IsaacJGillen.