(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)
With the release of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”, the holiday movie season is in full swing. So consider this: Eight of the last 10 winners of the Academy Award for best picture were released in the final quarter of the year. So, what will it be this year?
OK. So Singapore might be a little slower than the US when it comes to Oscar contenders but we will get to catch of couple of possible nominees such as “War Horse” and maybe… just maybe “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”.
We will also see some popular family fair such as the 3D animated “Arthur Christmas”, “Alvin & The Chipmunks 3” and the return of “The Muppets” on the big screen. Will this movie signal Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo’s comeback into popular culture?
The movie debuted in the US with a five-day box office total of US$62.3 million. In a report by Time Magazine, The Muppets’ new audience, 54% of whom were over 25 years of age, gave the movie a sterling A rating on the CinemaScore polling service, and made The Muppets‘ the top soundtrack on iTunes. Will the movie see an impressive showing here?
There will also be a couple of actioners namely “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” and “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” with Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Cruise leading the charge.
That said, we are now going to take a look at the most notable movies to watch for in the upcoming weeks!
Week of December 1
The stars: Ashley Jensen, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent
The Buzz: This animated feature from Aardman (the good people that gave us “Wallace & Gromit”, and “Flushed Away”) and Sony Pictures Animation is a feel-good family film with fun and originality, and like every film that’s releasing out this time of year; it will try to squeeze its way into the Yuletide’s long line of Christmas classics.
inSing.com says: Just in time for the holidays--Arthur Christmas is a great holiday film for the young and young at heart. This 3D computer animated comedy tells the secret story of how Santa Clause manages to deliver presents all over the world in a single night, using a sophisticated North Pole base filled with advanced technology and a huge workforce at Santa’s disposal. It's a movie that the young-uns can watch with their parents and grandparents and everybody will laugh and enjoy it. It has something for everyone while still staying true to its values and storyline. The huge talent of voice-over talent from the likes James McAvoy (“X-Men: First Class”) as Arthur, Jim Broadbent (“Moulin Rouge!”), Bill Nighy (“Love, Actually”), Hugh Laurie (“House”) and another half dozen or so cameos brings each of the characters to life.
Also opening: Also opening this week are a few Hollywood indies such as “50/50”, comedy-drama about a young man’s fight against cancer starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen; and “Restless”, a Gus van Sant helmed drama starring Mia Wasikowska, Ryo Kase and Henry Hopper. Coincidentally, both “50/50” and “Restless” deals with cancer-stricken protagonists. Chinese horror flick “Hong Kong Ghost Stories” also opens in theatres. Comprising two storylines, the first part is a tale about spooky and unexplained incidents in a school while the second part brings the story of ghostly encounters by a group of friends on vacation.
Week of December 8
The stars: Abigail Breslin, Alyssa Milano, Ashton Kutcher, Hilary Swank, Jessica Biel, Josh Duhamel, Julie Andrews, Katherine Heigl, Lea Michele, Ludacris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sofia Vergara, Til Schweiger, Zac Efron, Jon Bon Jovi
The Buzz: If you think there is something oddly familiar with “New Year’s Eve”, it’s because it is the sequel to 2010’s Valentine’s Day, with an all-star ensemble cast.
inSing.com says: If you’re into romantic comedies, then "New Year’s Eve" is YOUR movie. The movie tells intertwining stories of a group of New Yorkers as they navigate their way through bittersweet drama and romance over the course of New Year’s Eve. Just by looking at the cast billing you know that this Garry Marshall (“Runaway Bride”, “The Princess Diaries”, “Valentine’s Day”) is all out to suck your cash this holiday season. And we’re pretty sure that with all the fresh faces, hunks and babes in this film, the box offices’ cash registers will be ringing all the way through 2012.
Also opening: After months of teasing us with parody clips of movies such as “Twilight’ and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Muppets” are finally here! In Disney's revamp of the beloved Jim Henson franchise, Jason Segel (“How I Met Your Mother”) plays one of the world's biggest Muppet fans. When he finds out that the Muppet Theater is in danger of being demolished by a dastardly oil baron (Chris Cooper), he does everything in his power to keep the doors open, including reuniting Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the gang.
Week of December 15
The stars: Jared Harris, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Stephen Fry
The Buzz: Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back, and guess who they've brought with them: Jared Harris (Mad Men), Noomi Rapace (the original “Millennium Trilogy” series) and Stephen Fry.
inSing.com says: The first Sherlock Holmes was a blast of fun. Centred on Robert Downey Jr.’s free-wheeling portrayal of the classic British detective, it blended a cat and mouse type plot with Guy Ritchie’s flair for action and came away with a solid if somewhat inconsistent film in the first outing. Now they’re back for another run, this time with some new faces. Holmes now faces a different criminal mastermind that would bend everyone else’s logic and reasoning. This movie now presents a different battle, as his foe is as smart as he is, including an evil disposition that is used against his advantage. Of course, what made the first film tick so well was the intense bromance/rivalry that Sherlock and Watson have going on with each other. Jude Law’s portrayal of Watson in particular, makes the Doctor an equal to Sherlock instead of the sidekick role he usually had in the old stories.
Also opening: Sherlock Holmes goes head to head with Ethan Hunt this week with the opening of “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”. Tom Cruise returns to do a host of incredibly dangerous stuff in the latest installment of this spy franchise, this time co-starring Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Paula Patton. We also see the return of Alvin, Simon and Theodore in “Alvin And The Chipmunks 3”. This time, the trio heads out to sea where they bring their cute squeaky voices to a few choice destinations.
Week of December 22
The stars: Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Robin Wright Penn, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgard
The Buzz: This Hollywood adaptation stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen and Joely Richardson. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is based on the first novel in Stieg Larsson's "The Millennium Trilogy," which altogether have sold 50 million copies and become a worldwide phenomenon.
inSing.com says: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, directed by “Fight Club” and “Se7en’s” David Fincher, is to be the first of three Hollywood films based on Swedish author Stieg Larsson's best-selling thriller trilogy. We were never big fans of Hollywood remakes but with the master of modern noir at the helm, maybe…just maybe we have a winner here. Perhaps the most anticipated thing about this movie will be seeing The “Social Network’s” Rooney Mara transformed into the heavily tattooed and pierced Lisbeth Salander.
Also opening: What’s a Christmas weekend without a feel-good movie? Acclaimed filmmaker Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”) directs the funny and uplifting “We Bought A Zoo”—a movie about finding joy, the power of family, and the triumph of hope. Based on a true story, a widowed father (Matt Damon) buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start. While facing enormous odds involved in running a zoo and keeping it open, he must also deal with the trials of everyday life in raising a young family. Also stars Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church.
Week of December 29
The stars: David Thewlis, Emily Watson, Jeremy Irvine, Tom Hiddleston
The Buzz: Steven Spielberg's second holiday movie (after Tintin) is a young-man-and-his-horse tale (something like “Seabiscuit”), set during World War I and based on Michael Morpurgo's novel (which also became a stage play). This DreamWorks Pictures film features a screenplay by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis.
inSing.com says: This war drama from Spielberg has got the movie press in a tizzy and it has been dubbed as a possible Oscar contender. “War Horse” begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of everyone he meets—British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter—before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man’s Land.
Also opening: End the 2011 on a lighter note with British comedy “The Inbetweeners Movie”. Based on a cult comedy series, “The Inbetweeners Movie” shows what happens when four lads go on holiday with no parents, no teachers, no money and little chance with the ladies. You can also catch Malaysia’s first kung-fu flick “Petaling Street Warriors”. Set against the background of Petaling Street in 1908, this movie tells the story of a pair of married couple, Shi Duyao (Mark Lee) and Zhung Lichun (Yeo Yann Yann), who operate a Hokkien mee stall in Petaling Street.