Given how far I feel like I still am on October releases (no Birdman! No Whiplash! No Nightcrawler!), it seems a little goofy to already look ahead, but the calendar does not start and stop at our leisure. Anyway, it helps that the rest of 2014 is appallingly light on prestige films and/or big box office type movies that I’m looking forward to at all, and so it feels like the catch-up stage of the year has already started
That being said, the first weekend of the year’s endgame seems promising enough: while Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is, I am sure, problematic and overlong, the director is going out of his way to make it readily available on film, and it should be eye-blastingly gorgeous in IMAX. Which, I am happy to report, is the way I’ve already committed to seeing it.
Also Disney has Big Hero 6 coming out, and while I am not necessarily excited about the particulars of this project, you have perhaps heard that I am a fan of Disney.
The limited release Oscarbait for the week The Theory of Everything, the more unpleasant-looking of the year’s two Biopics of British Scientists Whose Lives Are Less Interesting Than Their Work.
In a sort of sleepy, post-Nolan weekend, the only big releases are Beyond the Lights, a melodrama about a singer whose trailers offer just enough roughness and Minnie Driver being evil that I think I’m excited for it, and Dumb and Dumber To, about which I am sure somebody has an opinion, but I am not that person, nor do I know any of them.
Oscarbait: Foxcatcher, which by all accounts is Unrelentingly Dour. But hey, we’re all enjoying the Channing Tatum, Serious Actor ride, so that’s at least something to look forward to.
Limited Release Non-Oscarbait: Kirk Cameron in a film about fucking filthy secularists trying to ruin the Christian holidays, Saving Christmas, and after my recent Left Behind experiences, nothing on this Earth could get me into that theater.
A snoozy box office year finally threatens to erupt with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1. Neither mine nor anyone’s opinion matters an ounce, but I will suggest that the first half of the third book is, by a commanding margin, my least-favorite part of the whole series, and I’ll be impressed as hell if the screenwriters can do anything to redeem it.
I am a horrible man, and in that capacity, I can’t convince myself not to be at least marginally excited for Penguins of Madagascar, which promotes the best characters from DreamWorks Animation’s most erratic franchise up to starring roles. And there is the definite argument to be made that some characters only work as comic relief and not as protagonists, but I feel like this is the closest I’ll ever get to my long dreamed-of Scrat feature, so for the next three weeks, I shall keep the faith.
Also, Horrible Bosses 2 got made for some reason and is being funneled into theaters in time to be crushed by holiday crowds.
Ah, that day-after-Thanksgiving release date; one of the year’s most conspicuous of all “oh no, this isn’t a real release, it’s just for Oscars” gambits. And this year, that honor is going to The Imitation Game, the other British scientist biopic, this one starring Benedict Cumberbatch, who I’m ready to ignore for a few years, at this point.
Not as strong an Oscar contender, but way more exciting in every regard is The Babadook, which you need to see. I don’t even care if horror is you least favorite of all possible film genres. It is a masterwork, and you need to see it.