Flashforward: December’s Most Anticipated Films

the-shiningAward worthy films and performances continue to pile up in theaters. November offered several, many of which were on last month’s Flashforward and have been reviewed by great film blogs (links for each movie are given below). December brings us more familiar faces and Hollywood heavy hitters to get us through this cold winter.

NOVEMBER FLASHFORWARD FILMS:

Most Anticipated:

Least Anticipated:

DECEMBER’S MOST ANTICIPATED FILMS:

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Release date: December 12, 2014

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver, and Ben Kingsley

Trailers for Bale and Scott’s newest film started airing months ago. My excitement peaked immediately but has since plateaued. The inner fanboy in me and allegiance to Bale clouded my judgement and raised my expectations to obscene levels. Still, with Scott at the helm and Bale in the lead against a somewhat unfamiliar second in Edgerton, Exodus could accomplish a great deal but signs seem to indicate that it will trip on the same coils that snared Noah.

P.S. I might watch this just to see Bale and Kingsley’s impressive beards.

Dying of the Light

Release date: December 5, 2014

Director: Paul Schrader

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Anton Yelchin, Alexander Karim, Irene Jacob

Featuring both Paul Schrader and Nicolas Cage there is no way this is staying off the Flashforward list. Schrader is among film royalty having worked with Scorsese on Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and directing his own films including Affliction. Nic Cage continues to elude classification and apply his actual ability to odd roles leading to insane results. The trailer hits all the marks for an over-the-top action flick: “last chance” on the title cards, a flip-flopping scar on Cage’s ear, Inception tones, and flash-bulb transitions. Don’t go in with high expectations and you might enjoy yourself.

A Most Violent Year

Release date: December 31, 2014

Director: J.C. Chandor (All is Lost)

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Oscar Isaac, Ashley Williams, David Oyelowo, Christopher Abbott, Albert Brooks

Chandor’s newest film contains much more dialogue than last year’s lauded All is Lost. Featuring established stars that continue to rise with Chastain and Isaac,  A Most Violent Year showcases crime in 1981 New York and-

Scratch all that. The honest truth is that I would see Jessica Chastain in any movie at this point. She could play Klaus Kinski’s part in a film remake of Aguirre: The Wrath of God, one of the most boring films I have ever seen, and I would pay money for opening night tickets.

Leviathan

Release date: December 31, 2014

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Starring: Alexey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Sergey Pokhodaev, Roman Madyanov, Vladimir Vdovitchenkov, Anna Ukolova, Alexey Rozin.

Director Andrey Zvyagintsev is featured on the inaugural Flashback/Backslide Director of the Month and Quote of the Week features. Critics widely regard Leviathan as a true masterpiece. A masterpiece which shockingly lost the Cannes Palmes d’Or to Winter Sleep (featured below).


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Inherent Vice

Release date: December 12, 2014

Writer/Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, and Martin Short

Winter Sleep

Release date: December 19, 2014

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Starring: Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen, Demet Akbag, Ayberk Pekcan, Nejat Isler, Tamer Levent, Nadir Saribacak, Serhat Mustafa Kiliç

Winner of the Palme d’Or.

The Gambler

Release date: December 19, 2014

Director: Rupert Wyatt

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Brie Larson, Michael K. Williams, Jessica Lange

At one point Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio were attached to this film. If they were still on board, this film would not have been an Honorable Mention.

American Sniper

Release date: December 25, 2014

Director: Clint Eastwood

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Luke Grimes, Sienna Miller, Kyle Gallner, Jake McDorman, Max Charles

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Release date: December 17, 2014

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Christopher Lee, Luke Evans and Orlando Bloom

Unbroken

Release date: December 25, 2014

Director: Angelina Jolie

Starring: John Magaro, Jack O’Connell, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock, Domhnall Gleeson (Frank)

The Interview

Release date: December 25, 2014

Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park, Timothy Simons

I expect The Interview to be an improvement from Neighbors (reviewed here by FB/BS). Both Dave Franco and James Franco can be excellent so there’s no change there. But the duo of James and Seth Rogen is a great improvement over Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.


LEAST ANTICIPATED FILMS:

Into the Woods

Release date: December 25, 2014

Director: Rob Marshall

Starring: Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Lucy Punch.

This movie may be good, hell it may even be great. But truth be told, I’m tired of the “Fairy Tale” genre trudging through television and Hollywood. I’ve had enough of the fad. TV and Film are copycat-media and usually I don’t complain but here my patience quickly ran thin.


2014 Overall List:

Most Anticipated Film of 2014: Foxcatcher

Least Anticipated Film of 2014: Winter’s Tale.

Thanks for reading!

Flashback/Backslide

Thor WinkP.S.: There’s still time to join the MARVEL BLOGATHON! Flashback/Backslide needs your help reviewing all of the Marvel films. Plenty of great films are still available to be claimed!

 


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8 thoughts on “Flashforward: December’s Most Anticipated Films

  1. Just came back from watching Exodus. Rather disappointing. Especially considering the director. The action is great but the story is all over the place and lacks any real connection with the audience. But yes Bale’s and Kingley’s beards are impressive. Ha.

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      • It’s hard to pinpoint. There’s some fine performances and many of the special effects are epic, but there is a blandness, a kind of slogging through to get to each scene that prevails. It’s just not interesting to watch or follow. There are a hundred more nitpicks as well.

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