November Warms Up at the Theater

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 While fall has not been a good season for movies for me, I’m hoping early winter brings better news.

I decided to wait and rent Real Steel, hope to see The Three Musketeers this weekend, and I’m not sure when I’ll get to Anonymous. I did see Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a documentary on the cave drawings on the walls of Chauvet Cave in southern France. It’s a fascinating look (and the first time a documentary team has been allowed in the cave) at the well-preserved drawings, created at least 32,000 years ago and discovered in 1994 by a group of scientists.  

Shot in 3D, the documentary is slow but visually stunning in its scope. The filmmakers were limited to a three-person crew, only four hours a day for only six days and a battery-operated camera and lights. Visitors are kept to a narrow walkway, must wear sterile clothing over their street clothes, and are not allowed to touch anything. Despite the limitations, Werner Herzog and his crew produced an excellent foray into our past that helps preserve our history and allows us to connect with these long-ago artists.

Unfortunately, I also saw rentals of Going the Distance and Limitless. I will never get those four hours back. Darn.

So what does November hold at the box office?

As I mentioned last time, there are a few movies I’m looking forward to this month and in December. Opening November 4, Tower Heist, rated PG 13, stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Alan Alda, Casey Affleck and Matthew Broderick (looks fun, and I could a good laugh); A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, rated R, stars Kal Penn, John Cho and Neil Patrick Harris in another excellent adventure (which I will avoid at all costs); The Son of No One, rated R, stars Channing Tatum, Al Pacino and Juliette Binoche in a cop drama (looks interesting, tho I have my doubts); and Killing Bono, rated R, a limited release starring Ben Barns and Robert Sheehan as brothers out to make a name for themselves (not on my radar).

Opening November 11, Immortals, rated R, starring Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke and John Hurt (don’t bother); J. Edgar, rated R, starring Leonardo DiCaprico, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts and Jeffrey Donovan (may be a rental in the far distant future); Jack and Jill, rated PG, starring Adam Sandler as both an advertising executive and his identical twin sister, and Katie Holmes as his wife (no way); London Boulevard, rated R in limited release and also on Video on Demand, starring Colin Farrell, Kiera Knightley and Ray Winstone (a probable rental in the near future).

Arriving in theaters the weekend of November 18 are The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1, rated PG-13 (no, just no); Happy Feet Two,  rated PG, starring the voices of Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Pink, among others (a very definite maybe – and I really need to add some laughter to my life); The Descendants, rated R and in limited release, starring George Clooney and Judy Greer (it’s a new role for Clooney, that of a father with two daughters; might be worth the look).

For the holiday weekend, opening November 23 are Hugo, rated PG, starring Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Lee (looks intriguing and fun); The Muppets, rated PG, starring all the Muppets and humans Amy Adams and Jason Segel (nope, not for me); A Dangerous Method, rated R, starring Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Kiera Knightley in a based-on-true-events telling of a case involving both psychology pioneers (this one is a definite must-see for me); Arthur Christmas, rated PG, starring the voices of James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy (I don’t think so); and The Artist, rated PG-13, starring John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo (a look at 1927 Hollywood; I’ll keep this one in mind).

My Week with Marilyn, rated R, opens in limited release on November 25 and stars Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne and Kenneth Branagh (I may rent this one at some point).

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher and Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher.
Photo Credit: Alex Bailey / Courtesy Pathe Productions Ltd.

Please indulge me while I repeat a few movies I’m looking forward to in December: Ticker Tailor Soldier Spy (a remake starring Gary Oldman with great buzz); Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (highly anticipated sequel to the Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law classic detective tale); The Iron Lady (Meryl Streep as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher); The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (an American adaptation of the bestselling Swedish novel); Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (could Tom Cruise be turning the reins of this franchise over to Jeremy Renner?); The Adventures of Tintin (an animated version of the classic book series); We Bought a Zoo (Matt Damon as a dad who moves his young family to the country); and In the Land of Blood and Honey (a look at romance during the Bosnian War, directed by Angelina Jolie).

Anything on your movie radar for November and December?

Have a great holiday season, at home and at the movies!