Feature: Film Guide
Holiday Film Guide 2013
At some point this holiday season, some day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, you’re going to get sick of shopping at the mall. You’re going to need to escape. You're going to need to decompress. One of the most favored, heavily traditional ways to do that is to sneak over to the movie theater and catch a nice matinee while your family is tied up at the perfume counter at Macy’s. So what will you have to choose from this winter? Whether you like Sylvester Stallone, Meryl Streep or Larry the Cable Guy, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Keep in mind, all opening dates are subject to change.
In this remake of a 2011 New Zealand comedy (named Starbuck), a middle-aged slacker finds out that a screw up at the fertility clinic has made him the biological father of 500 kids.
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Cobie Smulders
Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity) directs this sophisticated comedy-drama about a journalist trailing after a woman who is searching for the son she was forced to give up decades ago.
Stars: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
This sequel to last year’s hit sci-fi franchise finds our heroine Katniss dealing with the fame of her victory in the Hunger Games.
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth
Kill Your Darlings
Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter films) takes a career turn, playing Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in this biopic about the infamous 1944 murder that brought Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs together.
Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Michael C. Hall, David Cross
This bluntly titled musical drama finds a “streetwise teen from Baltimore” traveling to New York where he ends up more or less reenacting the Nativity, gospel-style. Based on the 1961 stage production by Langston Hughes.
Stars: Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Hudson
The Book Thief
During the horrors of World War II Germany, a little girl finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Based on the novel by Markus Zusak
Stars: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
The classic fairy tale of “The Ice Queen” gets the Disney animated treatment with an optimistic heroine, a selfless hero and a wacky snowman laboring to save a kingdom trapped in eternal winter.
Stars: Kristen Bell, Josh Gad
A former DEA agent moves to a small town, where he soon tangles with a local meth warlord. Sylvester Stallone wrote it.
Stars: Jason Statham, Winona Ryder
Chan-wook Park’s mind-bending South Korean thriller gets remade by Spike Lee, of all people. An ordinary man goes looking for vengeance on the mysterious people who kidnapped him, locked up for 20 years and then set free without a reason.
Stars: Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson
In this mash-up of The Lion King and Madagascar, a half-striped zebra embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes after being rejected by his herd. From the makers of the similarly unheard-of African animal romp Zambezia.
Stars: Liam Neeson, AnnaSophia Robb
Out of the Furnace
When a young man mysteriously disappears, his older brother takes matters into his own hands to find justice.
Stars: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck
Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas
Well it’s more or less the last Madea movie, only this one’s got Christmas in it. Oh, and Larry the Cable Guy. What more could you ask for?
Stars: Tyler Perry, Larry the Cable Guy
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson makes with the second film in his lengthy Hobbit trilogy. We may get to see the dragon in this one.
Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen
A con man and his seductive British partner are forced to work with a wild FBI agent to scam the New Jersey Mafia. From the maker of Silver Linings Playbook and Three Kings.
Stars: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
The entire crew of the first, highly regarded Anchorman film returns. This time around, they’re stuck in the ’80s, the dawn of the 24 hour news channel.
Stars: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate
Inside Llewyn Davis
Mad auteurs the Coen brothers (O Brother, Where Art Thou?; The Big Lebowski) dive into the world of the Greenwich Village folk music scene, circa 1961.
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman
Saving Mr. Banks
Filmmaker Walt Disney tries to sweet-talk British author P.L. Travers into letting him adapt her beloved children’s novel Mary Poppins in this light comedy-drama biopic.
Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks
Walking With Dinosaurs in 3D
The popular BBC series (featuring plenty of computer-animated recreations of Jurassic life) gets remade with better graphics and more of a plot.
Stars: Justin Long, Tiya Sircar
Keanu Reeves breaks out some of his old Matrix martial arts moves for this fantasy-heavy remake of the classic Japanese tale of a band of samurai who unite to avenge the death of their master.
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada
August: Osage County
The hugely popular stage play about a family of strong-willed women whose paths converge during a family crisis in rural Oklahoma comes to the big screen with an award-winning cast.
Stars: Meryl Streep. Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Benedict Cumberbatch
The star of Rocky and the star of Raging Bull go head-to-head in this gimmicky comedy about two aging boxers who face off 30 years after their legendary title fight.
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Chris Pine (Star Trek) takes over for Alec Baldwin/Harrison Ford/Ben Affleck in this umpteenth reboot of Tom Clancy’s CIA superspy series.
Stars: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley
The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese directs this crime drama based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, a wealthy stockbroker who lived the good life by defrauding clients in the high-flying ’90s.
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Ben Stiller remakes the 1947 comedy (starring Danny Kaye) about a daydreaming office worker who can’t separate fantasy from reality.
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig
Stand-Up Comedy Thursday at The Stage @ Santa Ana Star
Featuring three of the country’s best stand-up comedians: Jose Sarduy, Jessica Michelle Singleton and Wolfman.
Train Conductor • psychedelic • Bone Forest at Blackbird Buvette
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