December Film & Blu-Ray Tip Sheet

Wow, does time ever fly! This is officially the one-year anniversary of the Film & Blu-Ray Tip Sheets! Have you been enjoying them as much as I do? I figure this time I will pull the curtain back and reveal the process a bit for picking movies. I already have IMDb bookmarked and visit the site every day and use it to enhance my movie (and TV) watching experience. Before each month starts I look through their upcoming release calendar and watch almost all the trailers for new movies, sometimes I just watch trailers months in advance just for fun because hey I’m a film nerd (I do host a film podcast, shout out to Contra Zoom)! From there I try to pick a diverse group of films that I am excited to see. For my Blu-Ray pick I just search new releases and pick a film that I either didn’t have room to include when it first came out, or I may have missed altogether. December is a great month for films as it combines the start of Oscar season and also has the last of the big tent pole films to come out around Christmas. 

New Theatrical Releases

Macbeth

Release Date: December 4th 

Directed By: Justin Kurzel (The Snowtown Muders)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Paddy Considine, David Thewlis, Sean Harris

IMDb Summary: Macbeth, a Thane of Scotland, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Why I Am So Excited: Possibly my most anticipated film of the year as Macbeth is my second favourite Shakespeare play after Hamlet. Add in the magnificent Fassbender and Cotillard and you have peak level excitement! The cinematography looks absolutely stunning and should be an early contender for the Oscar. Expect top notch acting mixed with some of the best, and most violent, fight scenes of the year! 

Watch the trailer HERE

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Release Date: December 18th 

Directed By: J.J. Abrams (Stark Trek, Super 8, Mision: Impossible III)

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver

IMDb Summary: A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas and set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).

Why I Am So Excited: Do you really need a plot description for a Star Wars film? After the horrible debacle of the prequels, George Lucas thankfully stepped away from al aspects of this film and handed them to a very capable visionary. Oscar Isaac is my favourite actor at the moment at what will be his most recognizable role to date. I’m giddy with excitement! Have you seen the gorgeous trailer? How could you not be giddy! 

Watch the trailer HERE

Sisters

Release Date: December 18th 

Directed By: Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect)

Starring: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, John Cena, Ike Barinholtz, Kate McKinnon, Maya Rudolph

IMDb Summary: Two sisters decide to throw one last house party before their parents sell their family home.

Why I Am So Excited: It’s been a while since Mean Girls and Tina Fey hasn’t fared well in many other films and other than Inside Out Amy Poehler hasn’t done much better. But a film with Liz Lemmon and Leslie Knopp playing sisters sounds awesome to me. John Cena looks pretty funny too, especially after his scene stealing turn in Trainwreck over the summer. Also what’s up with Ike Barinholtz being the sexy guy? Colour me curious. 

Watch the trailer HERE

The Hateful Eight

Release Date: December 25th 

Directed By: Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Inglorious Basterds… if you don’t QT by now I pity you)

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth really it is a Marvel movie of over the top actors. 

IMDb Summary: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?

Why I Am So Excited: THIS IS MY SECOND MOST ANTICPATED FILM OF THE YEAR AFTER MACBETH. WHY AM I TYPING IN ALL CAPS? TARANTINO DESERVES ONLY THE LOUDEST, MOST BRASH WRITING! EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE SCREAMS AWESOMENSS. YOU EITHER LOVE TARANTINO TO A BLOODY DEATH OR YOU CAN’T STAND HIM, NO MIDDLE GROUND. 

Watch the trailer HERE

Concussion

Release Date: December 25th 

Directed By: Peter Landesman (Parkland)

Starring: Will Smith, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, Stephen Moyer

IMDb Summary: In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.

Why I Am So Excited: I read the book League of Denial and it cemented in my mind that I can never be a fan of football (and the NFL) based on the amount of covering up those in power make by not educated the players and their families that the traumatic brain damage that may happen. When Will Smith was cast I groaned as he has never been a good actor in my books, but he seems to capture the essence of Dr. Bennet Omalu, so I will begrudgingly watch it. I just hope that Sony did not bow to pressure to soften the blow that this film reveals.

Watch the trailer HERE

The Revenant 

Release Date: December 25th 

Directed By: Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel, Biutiful)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter

IMDb Summary: In the 1820s, a frontiersman, Hugh Glass, sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

Why I Am So Excited: I’ve never been a Leo fanboy, and frankly I don’t care that he has never won an Oscar because he has never been the best actor in a given year. This year he might actually stand a chance and might get the pity votes like how his buddy Scorsese won for The Departed after so many years. Iñárritu is coming off winning Best Picture and Director last year so he is a hot commodity. This film looks like an homage to something that Terrence Malick would have made, which is awesome. Cinematography Emmanuel Lubezki is going to try for the hat trick of Oscar wins after claiming gold for Gravity and Birdman and might be the best man behind a camera next to Roger Deakins. 

Watch the trailer HERE

New On Blu-Ray

Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation

Release Date: December 15th  

Directed By: Christopher McQuarrie (Jack Reacher, The Way of the Gun)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Alec Baldwin

IMDb Summary: Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Why I Am So Excited: I haven’t actually been keeping up with this franchise, at least not since the third film (the only one I have seen), but with how great Edge of Tomorrow was I’d watch this. Plus Pegg is great in everything! 

Watch the trailer HERE

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