Feature: Film Guide
Have Yourself a Jedi Little Christmas
Holiday Film Guide 2017
The holiday movie season, wedged tightly between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, has arrived, and with it comes something for everyone. There are cartoons for the kids, rude comedies for the teens, Oscar-bait dramas for the adults and a Star Wars movie for just about everyone. To help guide you through this cinematic snowstorm, we’re running down the major movie releases from now until the end of the year. Keep in mind, of course, that all opening dates are subject to change.
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo
The freewheeling manager (Freeman) of a luxury Palm Springs retirement resort makes the lives of his residents one big, nonstop party. But his status quo is challenged when a new charmer (Jones) checks in and battles the manager for the affection of the community’s newly arrived hot property (Russo). Also, Freeman’s character is an ex-mob lawyer in the witness relocation program and Jones’ character is an ex-FBI agent—so there are some mob-based shenanigans as well.
Starring: Gary Oldman
In the early days of World War II, with the fall of France imminent and England facing the very real possibility of invasion, newly appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Oldman) debates negotiating with Hitler or fighting back against incredible odds.
Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie
James Franco directs and stars in this tragicomic biopic about oddball filmmaker/actor Tommy Wiseau, the incomprehensible force of nature behind the comically awful cult film The Room.
Starring: John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Gina Rodriguez, Gabriel Iglesias, David Tennant
The classic kids’ picture book The Story of Ferdinand comes to life in a heartwarming animated flick about a giant bull with a great big heart. This one comes from the folks behind the animated parrot flick Rio.
Starring: John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ella Bleu Travolta
It’s a family affair (appropriately enough) for this biopic about crime boss John Gotti and his son starring several members of the Travolta clan. Kevin Connolly (Eric from “Entourage”) directs.
The Ballad of Lefty Brown
Starring: Bill Pullman, Kathy Baker, Jim Caviezel and Peter Fonda
When a famed frontier lawman (Fonda) is gunned down, his longtime sidekick and friend (Pullman) stops at nothing to avenge his death. The film is billed as a “coming of age Western for a 65-year-old man.”
Starring: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver
So, Force-infused orphan Rey (Ridley) has found her mentor (and possible father?) Luke Skywalker. Now she begins her training into the Jedi ways. Will it be enough to stop the newly empowered First Order? And what about Finn? What’s that dude up to? So many mysteries to be solved in episode VIII of George Lucas’ epic space opera.
The Greatest Showman
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zendaya
This original musical biopic is “inspired by the imagination” of circus legend P.T. Barnum. Jackman, of course, plays the colorful circus mogul.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black
Kids don’t play boardgames much anymore, so this sequel to the 1995 fantasy adventure Jumanji turns to the realm of video games. Here, four teenagers get trapped in a magical video game (in the form of various avatars) and must fight to escape back to the real world.
Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg
Ridley Scott (Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator) directs this historical drama following the kidnapping and subsequent ransom of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III, grandson to famed billionaire J. Paul Getty (Plummer, who replaces the sudden actor non grata Kevin Spacey).
Call Me By Your Name
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer
During the summer of 1983 in northern Italy, a precocious 17-year-old American-Italian boy (Chalamet) spending his days at his family’s 17th century villa meets and falls in love with a charming American scholar (Hammer). This prestige drama is based on the novel by Andre Aciman.
Starring: Ed Helms, Owen Wilson, Ving Rhames, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken, Terry Bradshaw
Twin brothers (Helms, Wilson), raised by their eccentric mother (Close) to believe that their father is dead, discover their family history is one big lie. Naturally, they hit the road to locate their biological pop.
Starring: Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Laura Dern, Christoph Waltz
Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) cowrites and directs this imaginative sci-fi satire about a future world where overpopulation is solved by citizens who volunteer to be shrunk to a mere five inches high. Our protagonist is an impoverished everyman who volunteers to join this brave new (not to mention) tiny world—only to find that his wife has chickened out.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps
In 1950s London a renowned dressmaker (Day-Lewis) finds his fastidious life disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman (Krieps). Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) writes and directs what’s looking like Academy Award-winner Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film.
Pitch Perfect 3
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Ruby Rose
Fans of “The Voice,” “American Idol,” “Glee” et al., rejoice! Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and the other members of their college a capella singing group reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour. Hijinks (and peppy George Michael covers) ensue.
Starring: Sally Hawkings, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer
From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Pacific Rim) comes this otherworldly fable set in Cold War-era America. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Hawkins) falls in love with a kindly amphibian man (Jones).