December Movie Preview: The Rise of Blockbusters

December movie preview- 'star wars: the rise of skywalker' (source: imdb)

As much as we want to keep talking about Baby Yoda for the foreseeable future, let’s take a small break from him to reacquaint ourselves with Rey, Finn, Chewy and Leia. For the third time, Star Wars is billing a movie as the end of the saga. But unlike Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, apparently this time they mean it! Well at least until a middle-aged Rey teaches someone the ways of the force to battle the Second Order. There are some other December movies to consider, but I’ve got my eyes on December 20th and The Rise of Skywalker. Nevertheless, here’s our full December movie preview.

December 6thThe Aeronauts, Playmobil: The Movie

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne star in the historical drama, The Aeronauts. Attempting to fly a hot air balloon higher than anyone has ever been in order to make scientific discoveries related to the weather, the duo find themselves attempting to survive various weather conditions and not plunge to their deaths. After its December 6th theatrical debut, the film will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video December 20th.

When I first saw that there is a Playmobil: The Movie, my mind immediately jumped to the similarities to The LEGO Movie. Yes, the little figurine characters are similar. But the trailer for Playmobil looks funny enough that kids likely won’t mind the potential copycatting taking place. The plot follows a spy and two seemingly ordinary people on a rescue mission. Daniel Radcliffe, Jim Gaffigan, and Anya Taylor-Joy provide the voices. The release has been rescheduled several times. So if this all sounds familiar, you may have heard about it months ago.

December movie preview- 'jumanji: the next level' (source: imdb)
‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ (Source: IMDB)

December 11thBlack Christmas, Bombshell, Jumanji: The Next Level, Richard Jewell, Uncut Gems

Black Christmas takes the “most wonderful time of the year” and turns it into the backdrop for a slasher flick. A group of female college students find themselves being stalked by a creepy dude/ cult/ monster. The perpetrator is unclear at this point. But instead of running for their lives, the ladies decide to face their enemy head on. Imogen Poots stars.

A dramatized version of the real-life scandals surrounding Fox News and former network CEO, Roger Ailes, are on display in Bombshell. Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman star as Megyn Kelly and Gretchen Carlson respectively, while Margot Robbie plays a fictional aspiring news personality attempting to make a name for herself. John Lithgow plays Ailes.

The star-studded Jumanji cast is back for Jumanji: The Next Level. With the game malfunctioning and changing, the real-world team is transported back into their video game characters for a new adventure. But everything is different. Amongst the changes, characters played by Danny DeVito and Danny Glover end up in the game as the Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart avatars. That promises to be a fun dynamic. Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Nick Jonas also star.

Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort is Richard Jewell. The title character was a real-life figure who became a household name after he, a security guard, found a bag containing a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. At first hailed as a hero, the narrative quickly shifted to accusing Jewell of being the bomber. Paul Walter Hauser plays Jewell with Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Jon Hamm and Kathy Bates costarring.

Uncut Gems has Adam Sandler starring in a role that has seen the comedian gain awards buzz. Yes, that’s the same Adam Sandler that made Jack and Jill, The Ridiculous Six and a ton of other critically maligned movies. But this one is very different. Sandler plays a New York jeweler who takes some risks for a big pay day. In the meantime, things get very stressful.

December 20thCats, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The first trailer for Cats elicited extremely mixed reactions on the Internet. There’s Jennifer Hudson belting out the iconic song, “Memory.” There are celebrity A-Listers walking around with character names like “Bombalurina” and “Rum Tum Tugger.” But it’s the look of the cats that stands out. They are weird CGI hybrid cat people who stand on two legs and look like they all need to be wearing some gym shorts. Idris Elba, Taylor Swift and Ian McKellen are just a few of the stars.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker completes the new trilogy of films with a depleted Resistance attempting to make a move against Kylo Ren and the First Order. After the events of the previous films, it’s now up to Rey, Finn and Poe to lead the effort. Trailers are cryptic, but Darth Sidious/ Palpatine is seemingly back from the grave. Plus Rey and Kylo Ren will face off in an epic lightsaber fight on the crashed remains of the Death Star. I’m shouting my best Wookie growl in excitement!

December 25thSpies in Disguise, Little Women, Just Mercy, 1917

Will Smith is a suave superspy in Spies in Disguise. But this time he’s an animated spy who gets turned into a pigeon. So he and his nerdy partner (Tom Holland) have to take down the bad guy and save the world. From Blue Sky Entertainment, this is being billed as a big action cartoon.

This isn’t the first time there has been an adaptation of Little Women. Off of her directorial success with Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig teams with an all-star cast to retell the classic story about a group of sisters coming of age and attempting to make names for themselves in 19th century America. Saoirse Ronan stars with Emma Watson, Timothee Chalamat and Meryl Streep supporting.

Just Mercy stars Michael B. Jordan as real-life lawyer and civil rights activist, Bryan A. Stevenson. Based on the book written by him, the film follows one high profile case where he attempted to free a man condemned to death for a murder he didn’t commit. The accused is played by Jamie Foxx.

Taking place during World War I, 1917 has two young British soldiers given the immensely difficult task to sneak behind enemy lines and warn an entire battalion of soldiers that they are walking into a trap that will surely lead to a massacre. To add to that, one of the soldier’s brothers is among those at risk. Dean-Charles Chapman known for Game of Thrones stars with George MacKay. Benedict Cumberbatch, Collin Firth and Mark Strong also feature.

Yes, The Rise of Skywalker is definitely my December movie pick. But beyond that, both Richard Jewell and 1917 look like well-done thrillers to keep your jaw clenched. It also must be mentioned that for a December movie list, there is a distinct lack of Christmas content. But let’s be honest. We all just watch the same hits from the past anyway. Plus streaming services have plenty of additional options to fill your Christmas movie needs.

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