Call for Book Reviewers and Bloggers

Film

27 November

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA


cover art

Frozen

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
Cast: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Chris Williams
27 November
Frozen

Disney has quite the dilemma on its hands. On one side of their business model is the moneymaking steamroller that is Pixar. Even with less than classic product—Cars 2, Monsters University—the animation juggernaut is an ATM for the studio. But then, last year, they nearly matched their partner with the brilliant, bubbly Wreck-It Ralph. Now, they are coming back with a loose adaptation of The Snow Queen and, by all accounts, the House of Mouse has done it again. The initial teaser featured Josh Gad’s goofy snowman character. With the trailer revealing much more, this could be a true Winter treat.


 

cover art

Oldboy

Director: Spike Lee
Cast: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley
27 November
Oldboy

It’s hard to fathom what would be worse, the original attempt to remake this material with Steven Spielberg behind the lens and Will Smith as the man wrongfully imprisoned for 20-plus years, or this take, which sees Spike Lee putting Josh Brolin through some very familiar paces. Nothing can truly compare to the Park Chan-wook original, though the first few trailers show the controversial and outspoken director doing a good job of channeling the Korean hit’s dark, desperate tone. As long as he doesn’t pull any punches, plot wise, this could be one of those rare remakes that works and works well.


 

cover art

Black Nativity

Director: Kasi Lemmons
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Nas, Jacob Latimore
27 November
Black Nativity

It’s time for more ersatz Tyler Perry as the famous black musical based on the birth of Christ. Originally written by Langston Hughes and peppered with gospel-tinged holiday favorites (and a few new tunes), it was hailed as a wonderful pre-Civil Rights artistic statement for the underserved African American community. Now, it looks like an opportunity for Jennifer Hudson to prove that her Oscar for Dreamgirls wasn’t just some “I’m mimicking Jennifer Holiday for Awards Season Accolades” fluke. The setting seems contemporized (the first productions had no specific backdrops) and we’re sure there will be a lot of empowerment and uplift.


 

cover art

Out of the Furnace

Director: Scott Cooper
Cast: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Sam Shepard
27 November
Out of the Furnace

For his first film post-Batman and an Oscar for The Fighter, Christian Bale has teamed up with Crazy Heart‘s Scott Cooper and a cast including Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whitaker, and Willem Dafoe. While that’s mighty impressive, the potential storyline is not. Apparently, we are dealing with brothers who end up working for a notorious crime ring when one ends up in prison, or something like that. Bale is notorious for picking unusual roles. This one seems right up his eccentric alley, though Cooper’s limited experience as a filmmaker may thwart any entertainment expectations.


 

cover art

Homefront

Director: Gary Fleder
Cast: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth
27 November
Homefront

So, he wasn’t too old to lead a team of former action heroes into three Expendables battles. He wasn’t old enough to team up with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the boring Escape Plan or with Robert De Niro for the Rocky meets Raging Bull nonsense of next month’s Grudge Match. But according to reports, Sylvester Stallone decided against starring in this self-penned adaptation of Chuck Logan’s novel about a DEA agent defending his family against drug dealers because he was too… Really? Anyway, Jason Statham is the new lead.  Too bad Mr. Stallone didn’t think himself too old for Bullet in the Head. He could have saved us all some grief.


 

cover art

Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom

Director: Justin Chadwick
Cast: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris
29 November
Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom

The story of how jailed political prison Nelson Mandela went from national criminal to the President of the country that incarcerated him is one that’s both inspirational and very telling. How the minority white rulers of South Africa thought they could keep their growing majority population in check remains a mystery of both policy and personal bias. Based on Mandela’s own autobiography, this potential Academy fave has Idris Elba in the title role, and The Other Boylen Girl‘s Justin Chadwick behind the lens. It too could be very stirring and very complex. Mandela’s story deserves such serious treatment.


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.


Related Articles
24 Feb 2014
Thor worked due to its surprisingly-effective Shakespearean framework. Thor: The Dark World follows conventional Hollywood tropes and suffers for it.
15 Nov 2013
How the climate and proposed demographic have changed since Malcolm D. Lee delivered The Best Man over 14 years ago.
8 Nov 2013
While Loki's efforts at vengeance were mightily entertaining in The Avengers, his detainment is less delightful.
8 Nov 2013
Without (Loki's) suave sinister panache, this would be nothing more than a series of subpar space battles. With him, the Asgard angle has a viable place in the Marvel movie empire.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
Win a 15-CD Pack of Brazilian Music CDs from Six Degrees Records! in PopMatters Contests on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.