Monday, December 5, 2011

Films to See in 2011: December

Apologies that this edition is late, as is pretty much everything else having to do with this site. You can expect that trend to continue at least for the next week, after which things will get back to normal. More than that, with the critics awards popping up everywhere and the year's end looming as a deadline to be met, you'll see a grand flood of news coming pretty soon. Concerning this month, two of my most anticipated films are already out, be it in very limited releases. "Sleeping Beauty", which I'll get more into later on, is just a small piece of this month which seems ever so promising. I've already effused about my excitement surrounding "Shame". It still looks fantastic, despite a share of reviewers thinking differently.

We get a considerable chunk of new releases this week, with Warner Bros. bound to pull in hefty audiences with "New Years Eve". A cast that star-studded isn't assembled for accolades. Meanwhile the Jonah Hill vehicle "The Sitter" looks to grab its more "mature" comedic audiences, especially given the more than amusing trailer that hit a few weeks back. Personally, I'm much more excited that "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is finally hitting for audiences this week. Out of mild curiosity, "W.E." is also heading out this weekend. So that's... something.

And then the rest of the month finds itself with too many blockbusters than it knows what to do with. "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked"... yeah, I've got nothing. Don't do that to your children. "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" looks to nail the same crowd as the first film, and if it doesn't look at all fantastic, it should be a generally interesting ride. "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" is still very much up in the air, but I'd like to think that Cruise and Brad Bird have something good here. And of course there's "The Adventures of Tintin", "War Horse", "The Darkest Hour", and "We Bought a Zoo", but who really cares? My interest strains for three particular films this month, and you can find them after the jump.

3. "Young Adult"

I'm not going to start talking about Oscar chances, as this film has never been playing in that field. From the word go, I knew Jason Reitman was going for something different, edgier, and the sort of film you were made to see with friends. But at the same time, Reitman has always had a knack for going darker and more cynical with his stories than most would deem necessary. As such, it makes his style not unpredictable, but still surprising now matter how used to it you are. This isn't going to be the one he's remembered for, but it's going to fun, emotional, interesting, and expect solid performances from Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt.

2. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

I am amazed at how down most of the people I talk to are on the American rendition of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". It's as if they're entirely oblivious to the fact that it's directed by David Fincher and has a cast compromised as strongly as you could've expected for an American adaptation of a Swedish novel. Having not seen the original Swedish films, I guess I don't have the pretenses of expectations working against me this time. I think that negativity can come in the way of the fact that this is a $100 million, Hard-R adaptation of a Swedish novel. It's an idea that couldn't be more baffling, and yet Fincher is fixing to pull it off.

1. "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"

And in a move to be remembered, we get two adult film franchises started off in the same month. "Let the Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson's credibility alone is enough to hook me on this. The absolutely brilliant British cast does a great reinforcement of that, including Gary Oldman in what may prove to be the performance that gets him his first career Oscar nod. But what has me so utterly invested in the film is the aesthetic of it, but also the story. Having only seen the trailers and not read Le Carre's novel, I am intrigued and invested in both characters and mystery. It's an old fashioned potboiler, and that's what has me sold on it.

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