December Movie Preview: Spider-Man vs. A Grungy Santa Claus
It would be difficult to categorize any of the following list as Christmas movies. I would expect there to be at least one or two out of the 11 wide release titles this month. Apparently the studios wasted no time and put the few they had out in November. So December becomes a time for blockbusters, sequels, spin-offs, and re-releases. I’m not complaining. Jason Momoa is basically a cool grungy Santa Claus. So that checks out. Here’s our December movie preview.
December 12th-14th– Once Upon a Deadpool, Mortal Engines, The Mule, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Before you get your hopes up too much, Once Upon a Deadpool is not an all new Deadpool movie. It’s essentially Deadpool 2 from this past summer with some new footage. But now it’s being retold as a PG-13 movie instead of the R it earned before. The premise is that Deadpool kidnaps the actor Fred Savage and recreates The Princess Bride concept where Savage (as a child) is being read a censored version of that story by his grandfather. Now Deadpool is telling a censored version of Deadpool 2 to Savage against his will.
Mortal Engines is a dystopian sci-fi movie about a future where cities exist on wheels in order to stay away from natural disasters and enemy cities. Produced by Peter Jackson and made by many of the creatives he worked with during his Middle-Earth tenure, Engines is based on the book series of the same name. We wrote all about the film during New York Comic Con in October.
Clint Eastwood returns to acting in The Mule. He’s also directing the movie, which is a true story about an elderly veteran who becomes a drug mule and dealer for the Sinaloa Cartel. Obviously Eastwood has a historic career as an actor, but I have hard time getting over the look he has on his face throughout all the trailers. It looks like someone asked him a confusing question like what size he wants at Starbucks.
The concept of an animated Spider-Man movie did seem a bit weird to me considering the Tom Holland led rebooted franchise is in full swing. But Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a very different kind of movie and let’s be honest it looks like a comic book fan’s dream project. When multiple versions of Spider-Man from different dimensions come together, they have to work as a team to save all their realities. Here are some of the main players. Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney). What a cast. And I’m not even talking about the actors.
December 19th-21st– Mary Poppins Returns, Aquaman, Bumblebee, Second Act, Welcome to Marwen
It was 1964 when Mary Poppins was released and people have been singing along ever since. Will a reboot/sequel work in 2018? Well the casting looks promising with Emily Blunt taking up Julie Andrews’ umbrella. Taking place a few decades after the original story, Mary Poppins Returns to help the now adult Banks children once again. It will be interesting to see the hybrid animation employed by Disney in the 1960s brought to life in 2018.
It wasn’t a bad idea to cast Jason Momoa as the usually campy DC Comics character, Aquaman. He was always the cheesy afterthought of the Justice League. Now he’s the most intimidating. After making his (full) debut in last year’s Justice League, Arthur Curry gets a stand-alone movie where he learns he is the true heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis. The film has been promoted with massive CGI underwater fights. Amber Heard also stars as Mera.
There’s a Transformers movie coming out this month. How has the sixth movie about giant alien robots somehow flown under the radar? Maybe it’s because this is the (apparently) more understated spin-off project, Bumblebee. Taking place in 1987, years before Shia LaBeouf’s introduction to the Autobots, Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) finds Bumblebee damaged in a junkyard. She is then pulled into the crosshairs of the Autobot-Decepticon conflict.
Jennifer Lopez returns to the world of romantic-comedies in Second Act. She plays an everyday woman who lands a high-powered job through a false identity her friends craft for her. She then must use her street smarts to prove herself. Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia and Leah Remini co-star.
Welcome to Marwen is a unique live-action/animation hybrid starring Steve Carell. After his character is beaten and left with both mental and physical injuries, he uses figurines with the likenesses of people he knows to escape his reality and build heroic situations. The film is directed by Robert Zemeckis.
December 25th– Holmes and Watson, Vice
Are you going through a bit of withdrawal since Sherlock ended? Well that void probably won’t be filled with Holmes and Watson. Comedy dynamic duo Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly play the legendary detectives in Victorian London. But as a comedy, the two are significantly more inept and bumbling than we’re used to seeing.
Across the movie theater hall, the guy who directed Ferrell and Reilly in their past collaborations, Adam McKay, has a different kind of movie coming out. Christian Bale has gone through another one of his surprising physical transformations to play former Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice. The story showcases how Cheney altered the role of VP to hold more influence over various aspects of the government.
It takes a little time to get going this month with no wide-release December movies hitting theaters until the 12th. But once it starts, it’s a fun group of movies to choose from. It’s tough to pin point my most-anticipated because there are quite a few that look promising. But I’ll have to go with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It’ll be great to see some of those characters up on a big screen. Come on, it even has Spider-Ham! Happy holidays and happy movie-going!