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16 December

 

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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry
16 December
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows

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On the plus side: Rachel McAdams is nowhere to be seen. On the plus, plus side: the brilliant Noomi Rapace is the new female lead. On the plus, plus, plus side: UK wit and wonder Stephen Fry is onboard as Holmes’ smarter brother Mycroft. In fact, there is very little negative to say about this success mandated sequel to the hit from a few Christmases back. By using the devilish Dr. Moriarty as the main villain and keeping with Guy Ritchie’s stylized violent proclivities, our heroes—Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law—look ready for another legendary go-round.


 

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The Iron Lady

Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Cast: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Anthony Head, Richard E Grant
16 December
The Iron Lady


British critics have been savaging this film ever since a special invite sneak preview. Calling it everything from patently false to borderline defamatory, the story of Margret Thatcher’s rise to UK political prominence apparently boasts a bravura performance from Meryl Streep… and little else. Complaints center on events that have been composited and characters created so that a certain anti-Conservative Party bent would benefit. Of course, by putting the untried (and untalented) filmmaker Phyllida Lloyd in charge, you’re bound to get something insufferable… just like her last movie, the moronic Mamma Mia! Still, here’s hoping that history can overcome suspect storytelling and even more concerning creative choices.


 

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Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol

Director: Brad Bird
Cast: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Vladimir Mashkov, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway, Simon Pegg, Tom Wilkinson
16 December
Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol


Just call this the Tom Cruise film fallback position. Whenever he needs a solid domestic hit, the iconic actor jumps back into the spy shoes of Ethan Hunt—and he usually brings along an iconic filmmaker to flesh out the action and adventure. Previously, Brian DePalma, John Woo, and J. J. Abrams sat in the director’s seat. Now, two time Oscar winner Brad Bird takes the reins, and while skilled in animation originally (he made the magnificent The Incredibles as well as Ratatouille and The Iron Giant) he seems more than capable of bringing the chaos. The terrific trailers bear this out.


 

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Carnage

Director: Roman Polanski
Cast: Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly
16 December
Carnage


Four people, sitting around, talking. Doesn’t sound like the set-up for a searing drama or a clever comedy. But in the hands of controversial (if still classic) director Roman Polanski and starring Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz, and Kate Winselt, this adaptation of French playwright Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage looks amazing. The story centers on two sets of parents who meet up to discuss the recent fight between their sons. Naturally, their desire to have passive, civil conversation on the subject devolves into utter chaos. Considering the cast, the concept, and the man behind the lens, we are nothing but excited.


 

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Alvin and the Chipmunks—Chipwrecked

Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Jason Lee, David Cross
16 December
Alvin and the Chipmunks—Chipwrecked


Hey, parents. Want to know why your kids don’t have better taste in cultural entertainment? It could be because you drag them to dross like this, inferring to the bean counting suits in Tinseltown that you want more of the sloppy, saccharine same. So after infesting theaters with two previous installments of these once beloved rodents, we get yet another trek through the CG silliness of this electronic babysitter. The spin this time is that Alvin and his pals, along with the girl Chipmunks, all end up stranded on a desert island. Here’s hoping there’s some animal cannibalism involved.


Since deciding to employ his underdeveloped muse muscles over five years ago, Bill has been a significant staff member and writer for three of the Web's most influential websites: DVD Talk, DVD Verdict and, of course, PopMatters. He also has expanded his own web presence with Bill Gibron.com a place where he further explores creative options. It is here where you can learn of his love of Swindon's own XTC, skim a few chapters of his terrifying tome in the making, The Big Book of Evil, and hear samples from the cassette albums he created in his college music studio, The Scream Room.


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