Star Wars: The Force Awakens is releasing December 18, and Disney sure wants us to know that. With this barrage of near-obnoxious marketing (Star Wars on every product, TV spots seemingly released daily, new footage all the time), I feel that some other December movies are getting overshadowed (some even say the release of the newest trailer caused four large films to bomb that next weekend!).
So, if I can have your attention for a minute, I’m going to show you ten films that are coming out in December that aren’t Star Wars, if just to give them a little extra love against this galaxy-trekking behemoth. I’ve ranked them in order of how much I personally want to see them. Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 did not make it on the list.
1. The Revenant – December 25
I still haven’t caught Birdman, but The Revenant is Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow-up, and it looks absolutely awesome. Fur-trappers, revenge, 1823, the snowy north of the Dakota Territory. Sweet. Long are the days when a star would sell a movie alone, but if any actor could do it, it’d be Leonardo DiCaprio (seriously, is he bad in anything?). On the artistic side, Iñárritu insisted that the film use all natural lighting while shooting. When production became difficult, he insisted on using no CGI, stating: “If we ended up in greenscreen with coffee and everybody having a good time, everybody will be happy, but most likely the film would be a piece of shit.” (Love this man.) This stance on the look of the film is probably the reason it looks so damn beautiful. Look at how beautiful this movie is!
2. Macbeth – December 4
How great it is to be a huge fan of Macbeth! I can never get enough adaptations of Shakespeare’s tale about the Scottish lord who murders his way to kinghood, only to spiral out of control and cause absolute, bloody chaos. This time, we have Michael Fassbender playing the titular character, who I think is a great choice (I think he’s pretty much a great choice for any role, actually). Marion Cotillard plays the scheming Lady Macbeth, who urges Macbeth to kill. A story of intrigue, betrayal, and murder, all set in what looks to be a pretty bleak, grim, grey landscape. Perfect. Could this adaptation stand along the ones of old? We shall see! (If you love Macbeth, then I highly recommend “Throne of Blood” by Akira Kurosawa and the Macbeth with Patrick Stewart. Both are incredible).
3. The Hateful Eight – December 25
Jumping back to the 1800s (wow, I must really like period pieces), Taratino’s next flick pits eight people in a small cabin during a blizzard. Problem is, one of them is escorting another to be executed. As he says: “Okay, everybody, here this. I’m taking this woman to hang. Reward’s ten thousand dollars. That money’s mine, boys.” With 10,000 dollars on the line, will the six other men be trusted enough not to try anything? While other writers might not be able to handle this premise, Taratino is a master of dialogue and tension, and I am excited to see where this Western will go. (I’m actually quite a fan of Taratino’s recent period-piece trend, more so than his contemporary movies). Watch the trailer down below, where Tarantion’s signature style is in full force.
4. Concussion – December 25
If you’d read the book, or seen the documentary, League of Denial, then you’ll be familiar with this story of forensic pathogist Bennet Omalu, who went up against the NFL, claiming that repetitive head injuries lead to a disease of the mind. Will Smith plays Omalu (and seemingly greatly, coming from the trailer) as he battles against a huge corporation that wants to shut him down. I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for any tale of small person versus a massive corporation that is being shady and shitty. Watch the trailer below!
5. The Big Short
Another movie based on real events, The Big Short tackles the 2007-08 Financial Crisis and housing bubble. Adam McKay, the director Anchorman, Step Brothers, and co-founder of Funny or Die leads this film of greed and, well. . .just greed. Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Steve Carrell star. It’ll be interesting to see McKay helm a movie that isn’t a down-right comedy. Watch the trailer below, and was all our hair really that bad 7 years ago?
Krampus might not be big stateside (at least not yet), but he’s been a legend in Austria and Germany for years. He’s not a fluffy Santa Claus, but rather a horned, hairy, hoofed, demonesque creature that comes not to give gifts, but to take children away. Such is the villain of this horror comedy, starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, and David Koechner. I’m not so much a horror fan, but I’m glad that some Alpine folklore is getting a hold here in the states! (Weil es total ausgezeichnet ist!)
7. In The Heart of the Sea
Based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s book of the same name, In the Heart of the Sea tells the story of whaling ship Essex and its epic sinking. Such a story was the inspiration for that big-ass book Moby Dick. Chris Hemsworth stars, alongside Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker. Ron Howard directs. Not so much a fan of boating movies (I hated Master and Commander more than anything), but Ron Howard is a pretty solid director and storyteller. If you love Moby Dick, Ron Howard, or Ron Howard’s dick, then go for it.
From the trailer, it’s hard to tell what this movie is about, but considering it is from David O. Russell, and has his trusty acting team starring (Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert de Niro), this might be worth checking out. According to official summaries, the film centers on a “woman who founds a business dynasty and becomes a matriarch in her own right.” When I looked up the summary on Wikipedia, a troll had written “a biographical film, based on the life of Joy Mangano, who invented the “Miracle Mop” and regularly appears on QVC”. Hilarious. Can’t tell which movie sounds more interesting. Check out the trailer below:
Two of the Hollywood’s funniest females, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, team up for this movie about sisters who find their childhood up for sale. Not liking the news, the two plan to throw a massive party as a great send off. A great premise for a wacky comedy. We’ll have to see how Fey and Poehler pull it off.
10. Daddy’s Home
Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg unite once more for a movie about two fathers competing for the love of a family. Will Farrel is Brad Taggart, recent step-dad to a family, and comes under threat when Mark Wahlberg, the hunky biological father, returns. Looks to be standard Farrell fare, but I’ve never really had a problem with that.
So there you go. Ten more movies to fill out your December. We’re all going to see Star Wars, but maybe we can see these other ones as well.
Rammfan is a dude with an Irish name who likes to create things (visit his super-slick website here). He has been called a film writer and a musician. He has created four full-length albums of the industrial and folk metal genres in his room. His articles have appeared on Examiner.com, WhatCulture, and Durham Today. This is a nerdy blog he pwns from time to time. He rants a lot about movies, books, and Star Wars. Lots of cussing and nerd rage ahead.