Must-See Movies: December
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As expected 2015 has been a bit of a crazy year for cinema, with three major releases already breaking into the top 10 highest grossing films of all time - and December looks to be no different.
In fact, 2015’s final month may well be its biggest yet, with the return of one of cinema’s ultimate blockbusting titans on the cards. Alongside it, there’s obviously the usual awards-favourites - with more to come here in the UK in the new year - and plenty of classic Christmas treats too.
So without much further ado, here are all the go-to releases of the coming month:
Victor Frankenstein (3rd December)
Mary Shelley’s classic man-creates-monster tale gets the reboot treatment again, despite there being a whole catalogue of mismatched adaptations trailing around in the cinematic ether already.
This latest effort though seems to take things up a level in terms of creativity, with Sherlock director Paul McGuigan and rogue screenwriter Max Landis (American Ultra, Chronicle) re-imagining the now well-known story of the unstable Dr. Victor Frankenstein, as something of a buddy movie.
Told from his hunchback assistant Igor’s point of view, the film follows the duo as they become fugitives for their work, after their experiments begin attracting unwelcome attention from the authorities.
With Igor being taken on by Daniel Radcliffe, Frankenstein himself by the great James McAvoy and a whole host of other British talent from the likes of Andrew Scott and Charles Dance filling out the cast, this may well prove to be the first decent filmed adaptation of Shelley’s story in quite a while. Keep an eye out for it.
The Night Before (4th December)
The latest spot of silliness from Seth Rogen and producing partner Evan Goldberg is a Christmas-set comedy which sees three best friends tackling the usual drunken debauchery of Christmas Eve one last time before packing it all in to become “mature” adults.
Starring the seemingly winning trio of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie and Rogen himself, The Night Before looks to be another ludicrously over-the-top R-rated treat, in the vein of their other works Pineapple Express, This Is The End and The Interview.
Even without James Franco, this is likely to be one of the outrageous Christmas movies to date, so this should be a blast for fans of seasonal fun and Rogen’s usual antics.
By the Sea (11th December)
Angelina Jolie’s few attempts in the director’s chair haven’t exactly lead to much so far (unless you count last year’s Unbroken getting some very minor Oscar love), but her newest effort looks to switch gears a tad.
From a script by Jolie herself, and starring the world-renowned star and her equally famous husband Brad Pitt, By the Sea is a 70s-set story of a married couple (surprise surprise) travelling the French countryside whilst their relationship appears to gradually breakdown before their very eyes.
With the pair’s fiery chemistry having already done wonders in the past, its highly likely that this one will satisfy any and all supporters of the Jolie-Pitt empire.
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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (17th December)
Pretty hard to miss, this one is arguably the biggest release of the year, if not the entire decade, with early projected box-office sales putting it even above the likes of Avatar. Yep, the most famous sci-fi franchise around is back for a seventh big-time outing, and it looks to be definitely not one to miss.
Star Trek helmer J.J. Abrams steps into the director’s chair this time round, with George Lucas, Jar Jar and every other tragic failure of the last fifteen years hopefully very much in the wind.
The film itself will instead follow on from 1983’s Return of the Jedi, charting the rise of three new heroes Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) as they team up with past favourites Han Solo, Princess (now General) Leia, Chewbacca and co. to take on the rapidly evolving First Order - a new division of the fallen Galactic Empire.
With new trailers and images being released almost every day now, the care and attention that’s gone into this new Star Wars effort is clear to see. Hopefully, fans won’t be disappointed this time.
Be sure to see it big and loud in IMAX 3D for the full 21st century Star Wars experience; this one’s going to be huge.
Sisters (19th December)
If for some reason gigantic space fights aren’t really your thing, top-class comediennes Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have you covered.
The Saturday Night Live duo, who have both since gone on to incredible success in the likes of 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation, are finally teaming up for the buddy movie we’ve all been waiting for.
Playing two sisters who return home for one last big bash before their parents sell off their family home, Fey and Poehler look to definitely not be pulling any punches with this one, pulling in Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore to help bring the funnies.
Although opening alongside Star Wars probably won’t do them any good financially, the sheer comedic power of two of the world’s funniest people will hopefully still manage to turn a few heads. Be sure to show this one some love if you’re not too busy cheering on X-wings.
In The Heart Of The Sea (26th December)
Last and definitely not least is the latest adventure tale from Academy Award-winning Hollywood maestro Ron Howard, the creative genius behind the likes of Apollo 13, Cinderella Man and most recently, 2013’s excellent Rush.
Assembling a frankly incredible cast including the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Ben Whishaw, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland and Brendan Gleeson, Howard’s latest film charts the struggles of a shipwrecked whaling crew who are preyed upon by a sperm whale.
Based on the tale that came to inspire the American classic Moby Dick, In The Heart Of The Sea looks to be another knockout for Howard, ramping both the sheer spectacle and emotional tension all the way up to eleven.
If you’re not already worn out by multiple viewings of Star Wars and everything else on this list, this last survival story will hopefully prove to be a perfect way to round off another great year of cinema.