Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Lots to See at the Movies

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: Movies, Cloud Atlas, Chasing Mavericks, Argo, Looper, The Man With the Iron Fists, Flight, A Late Quartet, Skyfall, Lincoln, Anna Karenina, Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Hitchcock, Rise of the Guardians, Killing Them Softly, California Solo, Hyde Park on Hudson, Playing for Keeps, The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey, Zero Dark Thirty, Jack Reacher, Django Unchained, Les Miserables,

Jean TellerA friend asked yesterday what movies I had seen recently. I had to answer, “Not many,” and then she asked what I was looking forward to seeing in the next couple of months. Well, that prompted me to do some movie research for November and December. And I thought I’d share what I found.

First, some of the movies currently in theaters that you might want to check out: Cloud Atlas and Argo. I’m hoping to see both over the next two weekends. I may rent Chasing Mavericks, although the surfing action may need to be seen on the big screen, and Looper. Not much else I want to see at the moment, tho my to-rent list has definitely grown.

So what’s coming in November and December, you ask impatiently. Too many movies, that’s for sure. But it is the holiday season, after all, and studios want to get their films into the theater before the end of the year for Oscar consideration. So we movie-goers are left with a plethora of choices. Sigh. I already have the problem of too many books and not enough time. Now it’s too movies and not enough time.

  Cloud Atlas stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Jim Sturgess in a number of roles. 

One thing to share: A friend was recently wearing a T-shirt with a great saying. “Don’t judge a book by its movie.” I laughed, hope you did too.

  Argo stars and is directed by Ben Affleck. 

OK, on to November movies:

  Flight stars Denzel Washington as a hero pilot. Or is he? 

November 2: Flight (R) stars Denzel Washington as a pilot who lands a jetliner after an in-air crisis only to face more questions on the ground. It also stars Don Cheadle and John Goodman. Might be a good one to see in the theater, but it also may put me off flying for a very long time. A Late Quartet (R) is about a well-known string quartet with more problems than the audience can see; stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Wallace Shawn and Mark Ivanir.

  Skyfall is the latest James Bond adventure starring Daniel Craig as 007. 

November 9: Skyfall (PG-13), the latest James Bond adventure, brings Daniel Craig back as the suave spy, supported by Judi Dench as M, and Javier Bardem as the latest villain. I just finished watching Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in preparation. Lincoln (PG-13) also opens this weekend. From director Steven Spielberg, the film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president during his Civil War dominated years in office. The movie also stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hawkes, Walton Goggins, Tommy Lee Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Sally Field, James Spader, among many.

 Anna Karenina stars Kiera Knightley and Jude Law.November 16: Anna Karenina (R) stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Matthew Macfadyen in another sweeping adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel of 19th-century Russia. The latest Twilight offering also opens this weekend, but I’m trying to ignore that fact.

November 23: Silver Linings Playbook (R) brings to the screen the novel by Matthew Quick, and the movie stars Bradley Cooper as down-but-not-out Pat who tries to rebuild his life, Jennifer Lawrence as the enigmatic Tiffany, Robert de Niro and Jacki Weaver as Pat’s parents. I think I need to find the book and soon. Ang Lee’s latest, The Life of Pi, also brings a book to life, as this great director takes on the task of translating the best-selling novel by Yann Martel to the big screen. After a shipwreck, a boy is stranded in a boat with a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger – all residents of the zoo run by the boy’s father. Hitchcock (PG-13) stars Anthony Hopkins as the famous director, with Helen Mirren as his wife, and the movie looks at their love story during the filming of the 1959 classic, Psycho. P.S. Scarlett Johansson plays Janet Leigh. Animated superheroes team up to save children’s innocence in Rise of the Guardians (PG) with voices ny Hugh Jackman, Alcec Baldwin, Chris Pine, Isla Fisher, Jude Law and others.

November 30: Killing Them Softly (R) is the latest starring Brad Pitt as a professional enforcer investigating what happened during a mob-protected poker game, and it also stars Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, Scoot McNairy, James Gandolfini and Sam Shepard. The only reason I would see California Solo (unrated) is for star Robert Carlyle who was so great in The Full Monty and is terrific in the ABC show Once Upon a Time. The reviews are lackluster so far, so it’ll probably find its way to my to-rent list.

December films:

December 7: Hyde Park on Hudson (R) is the story of Franklin D. Roosevelt, his wife, his mistress, and the King and Queen of England. Not very good reviews at the moment, but the thought of Bill Murray as FDR is intriguing. The film also stars Laura Linney as FDR’s mistress, Olivia Williams as Eleanor Roosevelt, Samuel West as King George VI “Bertie” and Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth. Playing for Keeps (PG-13) is another starring role for Gerard Butler (he also stars in Chasing Mavericks) as he takes on the role of coaching his son’s soccer team as a way to get his life together.

 The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, and is the first in a trilogy again helmed by Peter Jackson.December 14: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (unrated). Do I need to say anything else? The Peter Jackson-helmed first-in-a-trilogy film stars Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellan returns as Gandalf and 13 dwarves take on the challenge of traveling through Middle Earth.

December 21: Zero Dark Thirty (unrated) is based on the true story of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and it stars Chris Pratt, Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Taylor Kinney, Mark Strong and Kyle Chandler. Jack Reacher (PG-13) is based on a book from one of my favorite authors, Lee Child, and while I am looking forward to the movie, I am not thrilled with the casting of Tom Cruise as Reacher. Not thrilled at all. So I’m torn on this one, folks.

December 28: Django Unchained (R) from Director Quentin Tarantino stars Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz. Might not be for everyone – a lot of violence is a prerequisite for a Tarantino flick. Les Miserables (unrated) is the latest film version of a cinema and stage classic. This musical version (not all of the previous versions were musicals) stars Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Anne Hathaway and Russell Crowe. This one is a must-see in the theaters.

There are others to keep an eye on too, folks. Wreck-It Ralph, The Man With the Iron Fists, The Impossible, Promised Land, among others. Hold on to your seats, movie-goers! It’s going to be a wild ride until the end of the year!

See ya at the movies!