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The 2019 Film Release Calendar: December

New year, new movies.

I begin every new year by taking a look at what movies there are to come out. It helps me to be aware of stuff so I can actively track it throughout the year, and I think it’s helpful for most people who care about movies to at least be informed of what’s going on. Far too often do I talk to my friends who are casually into movies, and they have no idea what’s coming out or when the stuff they want to see is supposed to come out.

Of course, when I do something, I really do it, so instead of just a casual preview of the big 35 movies of the year, I go all out. You’re gonna get everything as it’s currently scheduled to come out, plus another 200 or so movies that are not dated but are finished and ready to come out, plus another 100 or so that I’ve been tracking from previous years. I dare to say that no one on the internet goes as deep into their coverage as I do.

Today is December.

December

Jumanji 2

Don’t know what the plot is, but it’s a sequel. They haven’t shot it yet either, so it’s 50/50 on whether or not it comes out. All the stars are supposed to be back, so I don’t know how that one’s gonna go down. They’re just gonna go back into the same game? Better graphics?

No idea, but the first movie was really good and if this is 60% of that, it’ll be fun. So 3.5 stars, sight unseen. Hopefully they can get it near the first one, if it comes out at all.

Cats

A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

What?

Are they like, in the suits, or is it CGI? How are they doing this? I guess it doesn’t matter. I don’t know anything about this show except “Memories” and the fact that it’s based on T.S. Eliot poems. But yeah.

Idris Elba, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Rebel Wilson, Judi Dench… Jason Derulo? Okay, then.

It’s Tom Hooper, who has, to this point, made 3.5 star or better movies. Les Mis I loved, but that was also based on an amazing show. Is this an amazing show? He also did some things I liked in how he directed Les Mis. Is he doing that here?

I’m torn between 3.5 stars and 4 stars. My heart says go 4, but brain says 3.5. So I’m going 3.5 stars, just because I don’t know what I’m gonna get out of this. If anyone can get me to 4, it’s this cast and Tom Hooper, but I’m just not sure what I’m gonna care about here. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll love it. You never know.

Star Wars Episode IX

4.5 stars. That’s what we do with these.

Star Wars fatigue has firmly set in for me, but I know how these movies go. I see them late, I enjoy them in the moment, give them 4.5 stars, and then over time my enthusiasm fades. That’s pretty much what we’re all expecting here. Maybe I’m totally done with this new franchise, but even in that case, it’s 4 stars. So whatever.

I truly don’t know if these movies are any good, but I’m enjoying them enough as it is, and I don’t hold the franchise particularly sacred, so let’s assume it’s more of the same.

The Call of the Wild

A sled dog struggles for survival in the Alaskan wild.

Oh, but like… the Clark Gable movie from 1935? Okay, then. You have my attention.

Starring Harrison Ford, Dan Stevens, Karen Gillan.

I’m so in for this.

4 stars. Probably should go 3.5, but it’s an arctic adventure movie with Harrison Ford. I’m so fucking in for this. Bring it on.

And it’s directed by the Croods and How to Train Your Dragon and Lilo & Stitch guy. I’m so fucking fascinated by all of this and I cannot wait to see this movie.

Little Women

Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.

It’s Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird follow up.

This will be a lot like First Man was for Damien Chazelle (though that was a third, technically fourth, film) in that, the big movie that won all the acclaim now has a follow up of what might be considered “safe” material. So it’ll be about how she adapts it and whether or not she can elevate it with her direction and how she tells the story.

The cast is absolutely stacked: Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothee Chalamet, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, James Norton, Bob Odenkirk, Chris Cooper.

One has to go 4 stars based on that alone. I mean, I can’t see it being much higher than that just because we know the story. But they’ve made three previous Little Women movies (1933, 1949 and 1994) and I’ve liked them all. So I see no reason why I wouldn’t like this one too.

Superintelligence

Carol Peters’ life is turned upside down when she is selected for observation by the world’s first superintelligence – a form of artificial intelligence that may or may not take over the world.

Oh, it’s a Melissa McCarthy movie.

2 stars.

Directed by her husband, starring her. These have been uniformly Unforgivable all the way through.

1917

It’s Sam Mendes, so I’m already in.

No idea what this is going to be, but it’s World War I, and I love World War I. I know this is stupid to do, completely sight unseen without a cast or log line, but 4.5 stars. This is my time period, and Sam Mendes is a very good director.

Gotta take your shots somewhere.

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