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The 2017 Film Release Calendar: December

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.

The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.

I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.

December

He’s Out There

On vacation at a remote lake house, a mother and her two young daughters must fight for survival after falling into a terrifying and bizarre nightmare conceived by a psychopath.

Yawn. Horror thriller bullshit I won’t care for.

2.5 stars.

Star Wars Episode VIII

It’s Episode VIII. Are we not all excited?

Don’t know the plot, don’t care. Benicio Del Toro is in it. Rian Johnson is directing. Been in since last year.

4.5 stars.

I’m hoping now that they’ve gotten things set up they really take a leap forward and make this the best of the new trilogy.

Downsizing

A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.

Alexander Payne is back.

Matt Damon stars, along with Christoph Waltz, Kristen Wiig, Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Sudeikis, Alec Baldwin and Margo Martindale.

Alexander Payne makes great films. Even the ones I don’t really like (Sideways, for example) are no less than 3.5 star films.

You gotta take 4 stars as a baseline for Payne.

I’m worried this might not be as good as his other movies, but you can never really assume bad from him.

Jumanji

In a brand new Jumanji adventure, the tables are turned as four teenagers are sucked into Jumanji’s world – pitted against rhinos, black mambas and an endless variety of jungle traps and puzzles. To survive, they’ll play as characters from the game: meek Spencer becomes a brave explorer (Dwayne Johnson); hulky jock Fridge becomes a tiny genius (Kevin Hart); It-girl Bethany becomes a bookworm professor (Jack Black); and unathletic Martha becomes an amazonian warrior (Karen Gillan). To beat the game and return to the real world with their lives, they’ll have to start seeing things in an entirely different way.

So the kids are transformed into the actors? Oh-kay.

I’d like to get 3.5 stars out of this, but I can’t assume it.

3 stars. Hoping for better, but this looks like passably fun family movie fare.

Pitch Perfect 3

Well, this’ll be easy.

I didn’t care about the first movie, which became dislike because of how many people wouldn’t shut up about it. I thought the second movie was terrible, even though I really didn’t give a shit one way or the other. And I imagine this will be more of the same.

2.5 stars.

Unless I turn on it out of nowhere, I’m likely going to not give a shit.

Ferdinand

A bull who would rather smell flowers than fight in bullfights is in the middle of the bull ring.

Oh, based on the children’s book? I get it.

I like the idea, but when it’s animation, you have to look at the studio who made it. And this studio has made the Ice Age franchise, Robots, Rio, Horton Hears a Who, Epic and The Peanuts Movie. And only one of them managed to be anything more than 3 stars for me. And a lot of that is because of the nostalgia factor. So really we’re not looking at something very promising at all.

3 stars.

There’s really not a whole lot for me to say here. It looks like an exact 3 star movie. There’s nothing in their history that makes me think otherwise.

The Greatest Showman on Earth

The story of American showman P.T. Barnum, founder of the circus that became the famous traveling Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Hugh Jackman has been trying to get this made for years. I can’t believe they actually managed to get it through. This is a $100 million musical based on original material. I’m actually really proud of Fox for doing this.

The director is a VFX guy who’s been attached for a while. Jackman is playing Barnum, Michelle Williams is paying his wife. Zac Efron is in it, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson.

Honestly, you tell me Hugh Jackman’s gonna be in an original musical and I’m gonna tell you that I’m all in.

4.5 stars.

This is the stuff I want to see guys. Fuck that Marvel shit. This is my cinema.

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One response

  1. chinoiserie

    Ferdinad was already made by Disney as a short film in the 30s and and I don’t know how that can be made to a feature. But I did not not know that there was a book so maybe there is a bit more to if. Anyway I doupt BlueSky makes anything great.

    I would be excited for Greatest Showman on Earth since I love musicals but Circus films never seem to be good as far as I have seen and Jackmans films have not been great resently. But hoping for the best.

    January 27, 2017 at 2:41 pm

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