Movie Talk,  Previews

Holiday 2023 Movie Preview

Okay, so a bit of a stretch calling it a “preview” when we’re already 3 weekends into the season, but thankfully, it’s been slow in the “must watch” department. Here are my picks for what to see in the theater for November and December 2023.

Must See Movies

These are the movies that we will definitely be seeing in the theater over the next few weeks, including one we already did. (Full write up on The Marvels to come).

  • The Marvels (Nov 10) – Carol Danvers, Kamala Khan, and Monica Rambeau join forces, literally, when their powers become entangled, causing them to switch places every time they are used, all while trying to defeat a new Kree enemy. Starring Brie Larson, Kamala Khan, Iman Vellani, and Samuel L. Jackson
  • The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Nov 17) – Hunger Games prequel about Coriolanus Snow. Really hoping they aren’t trying to make him a sympathetic villain. Some people just need to be evil, and that’s okay! Starring – Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth, Viola Davis, and Peter Dinklage
  • Wish (Nov 22) – The “origin story” of the famous Disney “wishing star” that soars over the castle in the opening logo of most Disney films; yes, the premise is really odd, I’m interested to see how this plays out. Starring the voices of Ariana DeBose, Chris Pine, and Alan Tudyk
  • Wonka (Dec 15) – Timothee Chalamet in the prequel story of a young Willy Wonka as he strives to open his factory. Also starring Olivia Colman, Hugh Grant, Sally Hawkins, and Rowan Atkinson
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec 22) – The latest offering from DC, Arthur Curry must balance fatherhood, the Justice League, and Black Manta’s threat to his kingdom. Honestly, the trailer looks like a mess of a movie, but we’ll see it anyway, I’m sure. Starring Jason Momoa, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Patrick Wilson, and Ben Affleck
  • The Color Purple (Dec 25) – Film version of the Broadway musical based on Alice Walker’s novel about the lives of African-American women in Georgia in the early 1900s. Outstanding all-star cast includes Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Colman Domingo, Corey Hawkins, H.E.R., Halle Bailey, Phylicia Pearl Impasi, and Fantasia Barrino (reprising her role from the original Broadway production)

Probably Will See Movies

We certainly hope to catch these movies, if we have the time and the access (some may be limited release and not playing in our area).

  • The Holdovers (Nov 10) – A curmudgeonly boarding school teacher must remain on campus to supervise the students who have no where to go for the holidays. Starring Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and Dominic Sessa
  • Next Goal Wins (Nov 17) – Based on the true story of the American Samoa national football (soccer) team and their attempt to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup after their infamous loss 31-0 in 2001. I’m not always a fan of director Taika Waititi, but surely he can’t mess up a sports move, right? Starring Michael Fassbender, Oscar Knightly, and Kaimana
  • Godzilla Minus One (Dec 1) – It’s been a while since the US got a wide release of a Japanese Godzilla film. The studios were in a panic due to the strike, so they were promoting anything to wide release that they could get their hands on. Not that the film itself isn’t worthy, but under normal circumstances, it would have probably have received only a limited/niche market release. Starring Ryunosuke Kamiki, Minami Hamabe, and Yuki Yamada
  • Freud’s Last Session (Dec 22) – C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud (verbally) battle over their differing views on the existence of God. Honestly, all you had to say for me to want to see it was Matthew Goode and Anthony Hopkins! This is a film adaptation of the play by Mark St. Germain.
  • The Boys in the Boat (Dec 25) – George Clooney directed this film, based on the true story of the University of Washington rowing team competing in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Starring Joel Edgerton, Callum Turner, and Peter Guinness
  • Ferrari (Dec 25) – Michael Mann directed this biopic of Enzo Ferrari and his attempt to save his company from bankruptcy. It received a 7 minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year. Starring Adam Driver, Shailene Woodley, Penelope Cruz, Jack O’Connell, and Patrick Dempsey

Honorable Mentions

These are movies that either I’d like to see if I have an abundance of time or that are popular enough (or obscure but intriguing enough) to warrant being mentioned, in case you might be interested.

  • The Marsh King’s Daughter (Nov 3) – After being held captive with her mother for years by her father (Ben Mendelsohn), Helena (Daisy Ridley) venture back into the wilderness to finally free herself from his reign of fear.
  • Priscilla (Nov 3) – The love story of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, based on Priscilla’s own book, directed by Sofia Coppola
  • What Happens Later (Nov 3) – Meg Ryan returns to rom-coms, this time as both star and director. Bill (David Duchovny) and Willa (Meg Ryan) cross paths again in a snowed-in airport, years after their relationship ended.
  • Rustin (Nov 3) – Biography about the life of the civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, starring Colman Domingo and Chris Rock.
  • Dream Scenario (Nov 10) – An “everyman” (Nicolas Cage) suddenly appears in the dreams of millions of people around the world, an event which turns his life upside-down.
  • Trolls Band Together (Nov 17) – Next entry in the Trolls franchise, but I’m pretty sure that’s NOT the part that most children of the 1990s are really excited about!
  • May December (Nov 17) – Natalie Portman plays and actress doing research to play the part of Gracie (Julianne Moore) in a movie based on her tabloid relationship 20 years prior
  • Napoleon (Nov 22, limited release) – Ridley Scott returns to historical epics with the story of the rise (and fall) of Napoleon Bonaparte (Joaquin Phoenix) and his relationship with his wife, Josephine (Vanessa Kirby). Normally, I’m not sure I’d see it, but after reading multiple reviews that comment on how funny the movie is, I can’t help but be intrigued. I’m not under the impression that this is a comedy, but at least 8 different reviews I’ve read have commented on how much they laughed, and it sounds like most of the humor seems intentional. How bizarre! Might just have to see for myself.
  • Maestro (Nov 22) – Bradley Cooper (co)wrote, directed, and stars in this biopic of Leonard Bernstein
  • Leave the World Behind (Nov 22) – Two families deal with the societal and personal fallout from a massive blackout. Starring Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Mahershala Ali, and Myha’la.
  • Saltburn (Nov 24) – Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) is drawn to fellow student Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), the aristocratic son of the unusual family who owns the Saltburn country estate. This does not seem like my kind of movie, but it is a quirky premise, with a stellar and equally quirky cast that also includes Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, and Carey Mulligan.
  • Renaissance: A Film by Beyonce (Dec 1) – Story of Beyonce bringing her own Renaissance World Tour to life.
  • The Bikeriders (Dec 1) – How a (fictional) motorcycle club evolved to more violent and gang-like existence, starring Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, Tom Hardy, Norman Reedus, Michael Shannon, and Boyd Holbrook.
  • The Boy and the Heron (Dec 8) – Latest offering from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki
  • Anyone But You (Dec 15) – Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell star in this modern version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
  • Migration (Dec 22) – Animated feature about the adventures of a family of ducks attempting to fly south for the winter. Voice cast includes Awkwafina, Elizabeth Banks, Danny DeVito, Carol Kane, Keegan-Michael Key, and Kumail Nanjiani.
  • The Iron Claw (Dec 22) – Biopic based on the true story of the Von Erichs brothers and their professional wrestling dynasty in the 1980s, with Jeremy Allen White, Zac Efron, and Lily James.