In the interest of there being six big movies opening within four days, we’ll keep the rest of this shorter and sweeter. Today we get two of the most highly anticipated films of the season, along with two high profile directors, but two wholly different features, both featuring protagonists on a mighty quest. In Steven Spielberg’s first foray into motion capture technology comes his adaptation of Hergé’s beloved Adventures of Tintin. While the Secret of the Unicorn subtitle has been dropped, screenwriters Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) will be making sure they keep things on a grand scale. On the flip side of things, David Fincher returns to his darker roots with his Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. With Daniel Craig stepping in as Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara taking over as Lisbeth Salander, we’ll see if Fincher can one up the original Swedish version of Stieg Larsson’s acclaimed novel.
When you haven’t released a film in six years people are going to hold you up against your yesteryears. For Cameron Crowe, this means the ilk of such films as Say Anything…, Singles, Jerry Maguire, and Almost Famous. While I am a fan of one of his two lesser but more recent affairs (Vanilla Sky, not Elizabethtown), when you have Matt Damon in the lead, you could probably make any kind of film you wanted. What Crowe has decided to bring us is an adaptation of Benjamin Mee’s true life account of uprooting his family to a zoo to spend their days. Hilarity and lots of heart will undoubtedly prevail.
There have been lots of horror movies released on Christmas Day. So finding a 3D alien invasion flick headed our way should come as no huge surprise. I still remember going to see The Faculty on the year’s biggest holiday, even if I was one of extremely few. Coming from the man who directed a great little horror diddy already, Right at Your Door, we’ll see if Chris Gorak can make due with producer Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted) behind him as aliens attack Moscow and Emile Hirsch must save the day in The Darkest Hour.
Films about 9/11 have started to dwindle as of late, but thankfully none of them have been anywhere near as cinematically abysmal as Remember Me. Thankfully for Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a writer (Eric Roth of Forrest Gump) and director (Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot) with some class have been brought on to direct a grade-A cast (Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, John Goodman, Max von Sydow, Viola Davis). Newcomer Thomas Horn may have won Teen Jeopardy but now he’s making the leap from the small screen to the big one to portray young Oskar Schell who’s in search of the lock that a key from his father (Hanks) left behind after dying in the 9/11 attacks. Heartstrings will be pulled but I suspect the sentiment will be real for a change.