Main      Site Guide    
Message Forum
Holiday Movie Preview 2022!
Posted By: Sam, on host
Date: Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at 17:07:21

The holiday movie season is around the corner. Here's what we have to
look forward to:

October 2 - Empire of Light

Sam Mendes wrote and directed this film about film, starring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth. There is no shortage of odes to the cinema in the cinema, but that's not to say there are too many. So many of them are good, even great, because the people making them are drawing on real-life inspiration and passion. Mendes' output is variable, but I'm always hopeful about his next.

October 7 - Amsterdam

David O. Russell's recent work is...uh, nothing, because it's been 7 years since his last movie. But before that he made Joy, American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Fighter, all distinctive, worthwhile films. If you know those, you can probably imagine what he'd do with a 1930s-set conspiracy yarn about three friends falsely accused of murder. I'm in.

October 14 - Halloween Ends

Let's not pretend any of us thinks this is the last Halloween movie, but it ostensibly closes out David Gordon Green's gloomy and unpleasant revival trilogy.

October 21 - Ticket To Paradise

George Clooney and Julia Roberts headlining a romantic travelogue comedy feels like something we saw half a dozen times in the 1990s but probably not since, let alone as an upcoming 2022 film. Yet here we are. Can a divorce couple team up and prevent their daughter from making the same mistake they did? Can you already guess how it all ends? Of course, but in this genre it's the journey that counts. The early buzz on this is that it's a funnier a movie than expected.

November 4 - Enola Holmes 2

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most filmed fictional characters of all time (along with Dracula, Hamlet, and a few others), probably because the character is defined enough to be identifiable and compelling but malleable enough to adapt to other time periods and genres as filmmakers are so moved. Amongst faithful adaptations of the original stories are modern day updates, parodies, and other such transformations. In 2020's Enola Holmes, it's not Sherlock who is the protagonist but his lesser known younger sister. The movie was popular enough to warrant a sequel.

November 11 - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Black Panther continues without Black Panther, the role having been retired out of respect for the late Chadwick Boseman. The first film had a host of interesting supporting characters who now presumably come to the fore. Although the incessant barrage of Marvel movies, some of the more recent ones not being that great, is increasingly tiresome for me, I'm still interested in this one.

November 16 - Poker Face

Russell Crowe makes his writing debut with this film, which he also stars in and directs, about a billionaire whose secret, possibly sinister agenda involving the hosting of a poker game is complicated by the arrival of a home invader. It sounds like a lot of plot; this is the kind of thing that could make for a clever black comedy of escalation, or, alternately, just a mess.

November 18 - The Menu

This creepy, offbeat comic thriller has a bunch of people swept away for an exclusive dining experience that turns gradually more sinister. This is not usually my kind of thing, and it's entirely likely that this will not be an exception, but the trailer exhibits a rhythm of tone that I can see working if the film itself gets the balance of horror and humor just right. The casting (including Ana-Taylor Joy, Ralph Fiennes, and John Leguizamo) puts the material in the right hands.

November 23 - The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg's next film is this autobiographical story about a family modelled after his own negotiating life in post-WWII America and a young man discovering the power of the movies. Although the film is broader than the "ode to movies" I mentioned earlier, it certainly appears to be at least partly that. While Spielberg movies are rarely outright bad, they tend to be better the more personal the material is to him. Well, it's hard to imagine he'll ever make a more directly personal film than this one.

November 23 - Strange World

This is the next big Disney animated feature, about a family of explorers. The director previously did Raya and the Last Dragon and had a hand in Moana and Big Hero 6, although on a film like this the producers tend to have more than the usual amount of creative control. Disney animation, while no longer as reliably good as it used to be, has been on an upswing. Recent films like Encanto have been joyous, colorful, and creative, certainly far superior to whatever hyperactive slapstick junk other studios have been passing off as entertainment lately.

November 24 - Disenchanted

2007's Enchanted was better than it had any right to be, thanks largely to Amy Adams' charisma on screen, but I'm not sure it's the kind of magic that a sequel can recapture. When something is a surprise success, the sequel that follows is inevitably too self-aware, trying too hard to outdo itself and tarnishing its charm in the process. I'm not optimistic about following up with Giselle ten (well, 14) years later, but if I'm wrong you won't hear me complain.

December 2 - Marlowe

Philip Marlowe is one of the coolest fictional characters of all time. While he hasn't had the same relentless parade of movie adaptations that, say, Sherlock Holmes has had, he's never fallen out of fashion for long. Every decade since the 1940s has had at least one, sometimes more film or television incarnations of the character. This time it's Neil Jordan directing Liam Neeson as Marlowe. The story is based on a 2014 novel, not one of Raymond Chandler's originals, but that's fine by me. With Marlowe, the story is almost secondary to the mood, the attitude, the neon lights, and the femmes fatales. The story is set in the 1930s, which is key: modern day transpositions of the character tend not to work. I think Neeson could do a good job, provided he doesn't phone in his stock Taken-like thriller performance. Neil Jordan, although he hasn't made a great film in a long time, could 100% do justice to the material if he can get back on top of his game for it.

December 9 - The Whale

Darren Aronofsky directs Brendan Fraser...let's just stop right there, actually. This is probably not as outrageous as Paul Thomas Anderson directing Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk Love, but it's that kind of thing. I've always felt that Fraser is a character actor in a leading actor's body, and maybe now that his star has dimmed a little, he has found the freedom to choose more interesting, challenging projects. Anyway, here he plays a severely overweight English teacher trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. By all accounts, Aronofsky's film is a bit more straightforward than his usual and quite the tearjerker.

December 9 - Pinocchio

If you're thinking, wait a minute, didn't we just have a Pinocchio movie, you'd be right. That was Disney's live-action remake of its own animated film with Tom Hanks as Geppetto. But this is Guillermo Del Toro's darker take on the original fairy tale, done in stop-motion animation. Stills of the film look great; whether or not the film as a whole is a creative success, I'm much more on board with a fresh take on old material than Disney's rehash of what was already perfect.

December 16 - Avatar: The Way of Water

They're coming. James Cameron's long-promised/threatened four or so sequels to his record-setting 2009 film start here. I'll admit it -- I don't understand. Avatar was a breathtaking, one-of-a-kind experience in IMAX 3D, but it was a terrible story with terrible characters and had a heavy-handed "social" message approximately as sophisticated as the motivational posters you find in elementary school classrooms. I acknowledge and hope for the possibility that Cameron has a story worth telling with his return to Pandora, but my assumption until proven otherwise is that a great director of blockbusters has sacrificed the second half of his career for a bunch of soulless blue cats and cartoon villains.

December 21 - I Wanna Dance With Somebody

You can guess from the title what this is -- Whitney Houston given the Bohemian Rhapsody treatment by one of its writers. Biopics of singers are movie tradition that kicked into gear in the 70s and 80s with films like Coal Miner's Daughter, Sweet Dreams, and La Bamba. More recently we've had What's Love Got To Do With It?, Selena, Ray, and Walk the Line. Then somehow the genre hit the accelerator harder with Straight Outta Compton, Respect, Rocketman, the aforementioned Bohemian Rhapsody, and Elvis all landing within the last few years. Most of these movies are pretty good, and there is less repetition than you might think, as the variation in these different singers' stories keeps the common underlying arc from growing stale. My worry over this one, however, is that a lazy telling of Houston's story will merely be sad and depressing.

December 23 - Glass Onion

Daniel Craig's detective Benoit Blanc returns from Knives Out to investigate another case. I'm a die-hard fan of twisty, Agatha Christie-esque mysteries, and I love that there is still room for some new ones amidst the onslaught of police procedurals.

December 25 - Babylon

With Whiplash, Damien Chazelle directed one of my favorite films of the last decade. There is no other film like it. It defies description. It reads like it's a standard rehash of the "gifted teacher, gifted student" formula, but it's a grueling, teeth-bared war between adversaries serving the same cause. It's a character drama that builds to the suspense of a Hitchcockian thriller, only instead of global conspiracies, guns in the dark, and chases over national monuments, there's just a guy playing the drums.

I was ecstatic when I heard about his next film, La La Land, but despite adoring its aesthetic, I was underwhelmed overall and felt like it was always holding itself back. That doesn't mean I'm not excited for Chazelle's next film, set amidst the scandal-ridden decadence and excess of pre-Code Hollywood. An interesting cast (including Margot Robbie in unhinged mode, always a pleasure) portrays various real and fictional characters.

Post a Reply

RinkChat Username:
Email: (optional)
Link URL: (optional)
Link Title: (optional)

Make sure you read our message forum policy before posting.