Holiday Movie Guide (Blockbuster Edition)

Summer is over (yet it is still hot as hell in Texas) and a new season of movies are upon us.  Fall and winter are not nearly as extensive as summertime when it comes to big movie releases, but that doesn’t mean there are not plenty of quality blockbusters to get excited for hitting theaters over the next few months.  Marvel Studios is making a big leap in surrealism, the wonderful world of Witches and Wizards is back, and a couple of original science fiction epics are just a few of many big budget films being released in the coming months.

Let’s take a look at the good, bad, and big money movies set to entertain us this holiday season.

Max Steel (October 14th):

Based on the Mattel action figure, the film follows teenager Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) discovers his body is able to create the universe’s most powerful energy.  He must team up with the alien Steel (voiced by Josh Brener) to help contain the energy.  Together they make the superhero Max Steel.

This looks so cheesy and so bad (a snarky robot looking alien, really?), but at the same time it could be a really fun adventure film for teenagers to enjoy as a hold over until the next Marvel movie comes out.

The Accountant (October 14th):

Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolf who is, you guessed it, an accountant.  Working for shady criminal organizations, Wolf must dodge Treasury Agent Ray King (J.K. Simmons) while moving on to more legitimate employment for a robotics company.  But there is a numbers discrepancy with millions of dollars and lives are at stake.

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

The overly serious trailer and plot description has me hesitant about this action thriller.  But, the cast which also includes Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, and Jeffrey Tambor is enough to make me want to see this film.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (October 21st):

The sequel to the 2012 blockbuster has Tom Cruise returning as the titular character.  This time he is on the run from the law as he is looking to uncover a major government conspiracy to clear his name.

I never saw the first movie, but I did hear good things about it.  I, personally, am not a fan of Cruise because I find it difficult to separate the actor from his odd personal life.  It colors any movie I see him in.  The trailer looks pretty awesome at least.

Inferno (October 28th):

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) must work with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones) to recover his memories after waking up in an Italian hospital with amnesia.  The two must do their academia thing to stop a deadly virus from being released upon the world population.

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

The third movie in based on the popular books written by Dan Brown looks to be more of the same (just like the books) as Ron Howard once again attempts to make people discussing literary history interesting.

Trolls (November 4th):

When the Troll Village is invaded by Bergens, the super happy Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and the overly grumpy Branch (Justin Timberlake) team up on a journey to rescue their friends.

Image Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Image Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

If it wasn’t for the voice talents of Kendrick and Timberlake (along with some new music from the two), I couldn’t care less about Trolls. It looks like a computer program swallowed a box of crayons and regurgitated it out into a movie. As far as entertaining the kiddos, it looks perfect.

Doctor Strange (November 4th):

After a car accident damages his hands, famed surgeon Stephen Strange travels abroad to the Himalayas where he learns the secrets of magic.

This is one of the movies I’m super excited for this holiday season.  Tuesday’s premiere of Agents of SHIELD already gave a minor introduction to magic to the Marvel TV universe, Doctor Strange will introduce mysticism to the movie verse.  Plus, anything starring Benedict Cumberbatch has my seal of approval.

Arrival (November 11th):

A brilliant linguist, Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is teamed up with other experts to find a way of communicating with a mysterious group of spacecrafts which have touched down all across the world.  As tensions run high, the team must find answers as to why they are here before war breaks out.

This film received so much positive buzz coming out of the Toronto Film Festival and I am always happy to see original, smart science fiction in theaters.  Especially when they have such a stellar cast that includes Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg.  Hopefully this one can live up to the hype.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (November 18th):

While visiting New York on his way back from an excursion studying magical creatures, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) finds himself in a whole lot of trouble as the creatures he is bringing with him escape their cases and wreak havoc on the non-magical society in America.

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

Image Courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

I’m just a little too delighted for this Harry Potter spinoff.  Like all muggles (I guess I should call myself a No-Maj since I’m an American) I have loved and missed the magical world of Witches and Wizards.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was an okay holdover, but since it is written as a play by two other people who are not J.K. Rowling (the script for this film was), it is missing the color the original books had.  Since there is so much excitement and buildup surrounding this film, there is already a sequel (also penned by Rowling) in the works.

Moana (November 23rd):

Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) uses her natural gifts as a navigator to find a fabled island along with the demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson).

The first time in what seems like forever (actually more like two years) Disney has released a animated film outside of Pixar.  Moana looks like a great adventure with all of the colorful fun of the underrated Lilo and Stitch that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16th):

Taking place before the events of A New Hope, Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) joins the Rebellion and helps a team tasked with stealing the plans for the newest Empire weapon, the Death Star.

Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Because I’m such a huge nerd, I have been waiting for this movie since the premise was announced a few years ago.  A standalone story that focuses on people who are not a part of the Skywalker clan (as far as we know).  It is another look at the Rebellion before the original Star Wars trilogy begins and Luke joins the cause.

The Space Between Us (December 16th):

The first person ever to be born on Mars, Gardner (Asa Butterfield) begins an online relationship with a girl, Tulsa (Britt Robertson) back on Earth.  When Gardner gets a chance to go to visit Earth for the first time, he runs away to find Tulsa and information about who his father is.

Something about this film just rubs we the wrong way.  Maybe because it is an obnoxious indie-like coming of age film with a minor in science fiction.  The movie seems to trick everyone with an interesting premise of the first human ever to not be born on Earth, but it is a bait and switch with the Twilight levels of teen romance.

Passengers (December 21st):

Two passengers, Jim (Chris Pratt) and Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), are woken up from suspended animation 90 years before their spaceship reaches their new home.  The two start to fall in love as they face the reality of having to live alone on the ship.  When the ship starts to malfunction, it is up to the two of them to save the other 5000 passengers on board.

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Image Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

In a way, Passengers and The Space Between Us, are the same in that they are science fiction/romance films.  Where they differ is there is more at stake in Passengers than some teenager understanding where he comes from.  It doesn’t hurt that this film has Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) directing.

Assassin’s Creed (December 21st):

Death Row inmate, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender), signs his life away to a mysterious corporation who uses a revolutionary machine to lock into his genetic memories.  Callum is sent back to the body of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th century Spain where he is a member of an underground society known as The Assassins.

Video game movies have not been good in the past.  They either miss the entire point of the game entirely (Super Mario Bros.) or are just horrible adaptations (Warcraft).  What could help this film is the company who created the game, Ubersoft, was heavily involved in the movie production.  Some of the scenes from the trailer look straight out of the video game.  This one could be a game changer in video game adaptation films.

What blockbuster films are you looking forward to this holiday season?  Let me know what you think in the comments section below.  Comeback tomorrow for the family films guide, and next week for more guides for the comedies, shameless Oscar bait, and horror offerings coming this holiday season.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

2 comments on “Holiday Movie Guide (Blockbuster Edition)

  1. The Arrival is based on a short story by Ted Chiang called “Story of Your Life” – his stuff is awesome. He’s a technical writer with a computer science degree, so his writing is pretty science-heavy, but his characters are so well developed, and he combines philosophy with scientific theory in a really smart, really well written way; it makes his stories thought provoking but still very readable. Really looking forward to the movie, hope it captures some of the depth of the story.

    And Rogue One can’t come out soon enough…

    • I obviously didn’t know that. From what people were saying about Arrival makes it sound like an original story. Thanks for the info, I’ll have to check his work out.

      And I agree about Rogue One.

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