The 2012 Holiday Movie Season Preview

Ok, folks, here we are! One of the major movie release seasons of the year is upon us, The Holiday Movie Season!

The Holidays started a little early this year, with “Skyfall” (undeniably a major release) opening in the first week of November. So we’re underway! Between now and the end of the year, we’ll see some of the biggest films on the 2012 docket get released, including the conclusion to the “Twilight” Saga, “The Hobbit”, and “Django Unchained”!

Click through to check out what the Holidays hold in store!

November 16th

“Lincoln”

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, David Strathairn, Hal Holbrook, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, John Hawkes, Tim Blake Nelson, Jared Harris, Tommy Lee Jones

Though its release date was last week, “Lincoln” goes wide Friday… well, wider at least (1,500 screens). It revolves around the final four months of Lincoln’s life, specifically the passage of the 13th Amendment. I had a chance to see it early and Spoiler for my review, LOL, it’s excellent.

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“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2″

Directed by: Bill Condon

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Rami Malek, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Maggie Grace

The most anticipated movie of the year. The long-awaited finale of the greatest vampire saga of all t– aww, ok, I’ll stop messin’ with ya. I’m sure that there are plenty people out there excited for this though. For the rest of us, at least it’s ending.

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November 21st

“Life of Pi”

Directed by: Ang Lee

Starring: Suraj Sharma, Tabu, Rafe Spall, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Gérard Depardieu

We’re all already aware that this movie is going to be gorgeous. The trailers have emphasized the beauty of the imagery above and beyond anything else. The question is, is there anything worthwhile to the story, or is this just a pretty picture? I know I’m certainly rooting for the former.

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“Red Dawn”

Directed by: Dan Bradley

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

The remake of the 1980s classic film starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, and Jennifer Grey. With any hope, this 2012 version will become a B movie beauty, too.

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“Rise of the Guardians”

Directed by: Peter Ramsey

Starring (the voices of): Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine, Jude Law

Not quite sold on this, I think maybe it’s something in the animation style that isn’t quite connecting with me via the trailers. The high concept has a shot at being fun though, if they can make it work. Jack Frost, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Sandman and Santa teaming up like superheroes? That could be fun, sure!

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“Silver Linings Playbook”

Directed by: David O. Russell

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles

I like Bradley Cooper. I like Jennifer Lawrence. Seeing them play a couple of whack-jobs trying to connect with each other seems pretty entertaining. It’s registering dangerous levels on my “Feel Good” radar, but it could all come together… It’s sitting at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s been pretty well received thus far.

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November 23rd

“Hitchcock”

Directed by: Sacha Gervasi

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Michael Wincott, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy, Toni Collette, Kurtwood Smith

I’m very excited for this. The making of “Psycho” is a great story to tell. It’s a classic movie that was super controversial to make at the time. It has a fantastic cast, and Gervasi’s first film, “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” is freaking awesome. I really have some high hopes for this one.

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November 30th

“Killing Them Softly”

Directed by: Andrew Dominik

Starring: Brad Pitt, Vincent Curatola, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini

What else can I say? Pitt and Gandolfini as hit men? Liotta as a connected guy? Sign me up! Plus they use “The Man Comes Around” in the trailer? Hells yes… hook me up!

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“The Collection”

Directed by: Marcus Dunstan

Starring: Josh Stewart, Christopher McDonald, Navi Rawat, Johanna Braddy, Lee Tergesen, Erin Way, Daniel Sharman, Andre Royo

Because nothing says “Holidays” like torture porn.

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December 7th

“Playing for Keeps”

Directed by: Gabriele Muccino

Starring: Gerard Butler, Uma Thurman, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Noah Lomax, James Tupper, Judy Greer, Catherine Zeta-Jones

I know one blogger who’s going to be psyched for this. :D Personally, though, this is looking like future “Lifetime” fodder, to me.

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“Hyde Park on Hudson”

Directed by: Roger Mitchell

Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Wilson, Elizabeth Marvel, Eleanor Bron

Looks as though Bill Murray takes a semi-comedic pass at FDR here. Limited release, so no guarantee it’ll make its way around to all of us before the end of the year. Murray is enough to make me want to see it when I can, though.

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December 14th

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Directed by: Peter Jackson

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Graham McTavish, Ken Stott, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Peter Hambleton, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis, Hugo Weaving, Barry Humphries, Mikael Persbrandt, Lee Pace, Stephen Fry, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Sylvester McCoy, Elijah Wood, Ian Holm, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Ryan Gage, Mike Mizrahi, Jeffrey Thomas, Conan Stevens, Bret McKenzie, Billy Connolly

The return of Middle Earth to the Megaplex. Peter Jackson helms another Tolkien tale. This time, the adventures of Bilbo Baggins when he was younger. Ian Mckellen returns to shepherd Bilbo and 13 Dwarves on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. People fear the fact that the book has been turned into a trilogy, and there’s some validity there, some ground for concern. But I have every faith in Jackson, and everything I’ve seen so far points to another awesome Middle Earth movie headed our way in a few short weeks now.

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December 21st

“The Guilt Trip”

Directed by: Anne Fletcher

Starring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Adam Scott, Colin Hanks, Yvonne Strahovski, Danny Pudi, Casey Wilson, Miriam Margolyes

For those of you who were clamoring to see Barbara Streisand over-mother someone. LOL. Rogen is funny, there could be some laughs here… but I already blame his character for everything that happens to him. “Do you want to come on my trip with me?” He should have known better, cmon.

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“Jack Reacher”

Directed by: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, David Oyelowo, Richard Jenkins, Alexia Fast, Robert Duvall, Jai Courtney, Werner Herzog

Tom Cruise goes bad ass as the titular Jack Reacher, an ex military cop in full on vigilante mode. I’m not 100% sold on him as an intimidating, ass kicking machine, but, we’ll see. I’m sure the magic of the movies will take over.

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“This Is 40″

Directed by: Judd Apatow

Starring: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Megan Fox, Albert Brooks, John Lithgow, Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow, Melissa McCarthy, Robert Smigel, Charlene Yi

Apatow spins off a couple of characters from “Knocked Up” to give us his particular take on marriage and mid-life crises. I’m not that enthused, in spite of the fact that I like Rudd. It just looks like another a) to b) marriage comedy with a) being “Being married with kids sucks, I want to kill everyone” and b) being “Honey, kids, I love you, this is so worthwhile, lets all hug.” ::rolleyes::

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“The Impossible”

Directed by: Juan Antonio Bayona

Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor

Limited release of a Spanish film (shot in English) revolving around the true ordeal of a family during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. It’s such a frightening premise… and McGregor and Watts are great, so… There aren’t many reviews counted yet, but it’s currently at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. I hope this one turns out to be that good.

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“Not Fade Away”

Directed by: David Chase

Starring: Brad Garrett, James Gandolfini, Bella Heathcote, Christopher MacDonald, Molly Price, Lisa Lampanelli, John Magaro, Jack Huston, Will Brill

Mainly notable for reuniting Gandolfini and “Sopranos” creator David Chase, this film seems to be about a young man in a band and his family issues. This is Chase’s first feature film, and it also may be semi-autobiographical. According to IMDb, Chase “spent many years playing drums and bass trying to be part of a successful rock band in the 1960s East Coast music scene.” Another limited release, so it may not make its way around to all of us, but if I get a chance to check it out I’d be willing to give Chase a chance to redeem himself for the ending of “The Sopranos”.

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December 25th

“Django Unchained”

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Dennis Christopher, Gerald McRaney, Laura Cayouette, M.C. Gainey, Don Johnson, Kerry Washington, Anthony LaPaglia, RZA, Tom Wopat, James Remar, James Russo, Todd Allen, Jonah Hill, Amber Tamblyn

Quentin Tarantino. A director so unique, his filmography is referred to as a genre unto itself. “Django” appears to have colorful characters, lots of violence, and I’m sure Tarantino will find a way to work in his trademark knack for dialogue somehow, in spite of the fact that the movie’s set in the 19th century. Anytime Tarantino releases a new film, you have to be excited for it, and I’m definitely psyched to see this.

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“Les Misérables”

Directed by: Tom Hooper

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Aaron Tveit, Samantha Barks

You know what? I’m not a big “musicals” kind of guy, but if they’re really good, I can definitely appreciate them. There’s a real “epic” look to the trailers, and this story gets more than its share of love, so I think we’re in for something good with this one. Hell of a cast, too.

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“Parental Guidance”

Directed by: Andy Fickman

Starring: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Bailee Madison

The odds on this being good seem super long, to me. There’s a line in the trailer about Grandpa’s jokes not being funny, but the grandkids should laugh anyways… unfortunately for the movie, I aint related to it. Old school parenting techniques clash with new school parenting techniques, and I’m betting… just spitballing here… that everyone finds a happy place in the middle. Tomei’s character finally sees the value in her parents’ way of doing things, while they realize she’s not a lazy hippie raising feral children. Just an educated guess.

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There they are folks. The movies that will finish off 2012! After these open, we’ll be talking about 2013!

Which ones are you looking forward to? Any of them you absolutely can’t wait for? Are there any that strike you as lame? Let us hear it! What do you think of this year’s crop of Holiday movies?

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58 thoughts on “The 2012 Holiday Movie Season Preview

  1. Count me in for: Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Hitchcock, Killing Them Softly, Hyde Park on Hudson, The Hobbit, and Django Unchained.

    Damn, that’s more than I thought I wanted to see. Now I just need to find the time for all of these..

    Great writeup, man.

  2. I’m really excited for: Hitchcock, Killing Them Softly, The Hobbit (I have my premiere tickets, SO excited), This is 40 (I enjoyed Knocked Up, and maybe Apatow can do it better this time), The Impossible, Django Unchained, Les Miserables (I’m a sucker for period pieces). The ones I’m unsure about is The Guilt Trip (I’ve seen the trailer for it WAY too many times, so I just wanna see it already haha), Playing for Keeps (it seems so generic), and Parental Guidance (it seems predictable, but I like Crystal and Tomei and Madison).

      • Same!! I hate how Django comes out freaking Christmas day though… I know it’ll be there when I get back, but I have to wait until the 27th or the 28th to see it…

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