I love movies. Although I have not been able to watch many movies since I moved to Korea, I still keep up with the film industry and occasionally watch movies I find irresistable. I am impressed with a gaggle of new films that will open soon. The Christmas movie season is filled with a much better selection of movies this time around than it did last summer. At that time, movie studios suffered from low box office revenues, largely due to the fact the fare they offered was generally unappealing. This season is different. I saw previews for several upcoming films and am impressed, not because they are original, per se, but rather that this holiday season is not dominated by comic book movies, television show flicks, Christmas stories, or yet another sequel. Of course there are some staple films such as "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," but all in all, Hollywood did a fair job of straying from formula and doing it well.
Here are some of the upcoming films I think could be the best in their categories. Click on the links to view the trailers (Quicktime required).
King Kong. Peter Jackson, director of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, returns in December with an updated version of the cinematic classic. I am not a big "King Kong" fan, but I love Peter Jackson’s work and think this movie showcases Jackson’s brilliant filmmaking.
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. After the success of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, someone was bound to bring "The Chronicles of Narnia" to the big screen. Disney will give it a try in December with the first book in the "Chronicles." I wonder if they’ll turn all seven books into films. As a big fan of the "Narnia" series since childhood, I am really hoping that the film is more than a disappointment. The preview leaves me hopeful.
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. The trailer for this movie to be released in January 2006 is absolutely hilarious! Any film that dares to broach such a potentially explosive subject is worthy of a second look. Albert Brooks is a master of deadpan comedy.
The Producers. The Broadway hit comes to the big screen in December. Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick reprise their Broadway roles, and Uma Thurman is wickedly sexy. After "Kill Bill I and II," I never thought Uma could pull it off.
Munich. This Steven Spielberg film due out in December chronicles events following the massacre during 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, when Israel athletes were assassinated by terrorists.
Memoirs of a Geisha. I absolutely loved this book. The movie appears to capture the spirit of the novel, although it will probably not fully realize Arthur Golden’s masterpiece. Due in December.
Curious George. It is really nice to see a good old-fashioned cartoon animation film amidst all the me-too computer-generated films such as "Madgascar." I am so glad that they didn’t turn George into a CGI creature and turned Will Farrell’s voice into "The Man With the Yellow Hat" instead of having Farrell himself play the character. My son loves this preview, so I’m positive that kids will love it. Scheduled for release in February.
I like a good horror film, and I’m also an action/adventure fan, but I just didn’t see any upcoming films that I would recommend in either of these genres. A few honorable mentions that piqued my interest include "V for Vendetta," "North Country," and "The New World," but none are enough of a draw to earn my money this holiday season.