It’s crazy to think we’re nearly coming to the end of a cinema year that’s thrown up some real spectacles. As we think back at our best and worst cinema experiences of the year, December looks to provide us with a few final treats to see the year out. So here at Inside Media Track, we’ve picked our top five movies to catch over the Christmas festivities.
You’d think a romantic road movie by British director Ben Wheatley, who made the unbelievably chilling horror Kill List, would be a change in genre – think again. Starring Steve Oram and Alice Lowe, playing Chris and Tina, a married couple on a long caravan road trip up and down the country, but their love for seeing off people interfering in their lives becomes an addictive trait, as they slowly turn into a dangerous murderous couple. Even though the horrific aspect is there all to see, the film has a very tongue-in-cheek comedic approach and appears to be one of the real British gems of this year.
A film that has a Shih Tzu dog kidnapped as part of its major plot device, doesn’t exactly sound too appealing. It follows the story of a writer, whose beloved pooch gets kidnapped in order for a gang to make him pay up some money, to which he then hires, (as the title suggests), not too friendly helpers to retrieve his beloved puppy with comedy and crime ensuing. Yet the ensemble cast which includes Woody Harrelson and Colin Farrell involving themselves in a crime mishap story, reminiscent of Coen Brothers comedy, looks to be an intriguing draw. The real draw however is that of British director Martin McDonagh, whose previous works include In Bruges which was a real underrated corker of a comedy drama.
Unless you’ve been hiding in a dark place for the past year or so, you’ll be well aware of the hype that Peter Jackson’s eagerly awaited fantasy sequel to his Lord Of The Rings trilogy is finally upon us. The first of three films sees Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) picked by the lovable wizard Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) as the final member to accompany a group of dwarves seeking out on an adventure to take back their riches of gold and jewellery, stolen by an evil dragon. After all the off camera squabbles to get the film made, it’s sure to be the big box office draws of the year and set the high standard the original trilogy made. It looks that yet again, the great director Peter Jackson, whose also able to make emotional stories and confrontations in the middle of a great big fantasy adventure, will provide all audiences around the world with a real roller coaster of an opening movie.
Based on the successful fantasy novel by Jan Martel, director Ang Lee gives us a visual effects feast tied together with a deeply rooted human story. Pi (played by Irfan Khan) becomes stranded at sea for a total of 227 days, as he survives a shipwreck along with a few animal companions to keep him company after he looked to relocate the family zoo. Already tipped as an awards contender, it appears to be a universally accepted tale of overcoming adversity and showing real human qualities. Despite taking, on paper, what appears to be a hard story to adapt, early releases have also indicated that this is one of the best uses of the 3D feature so far. With the likes of James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Ridley Scott all trying their hands at the technology, it will be fascinating to see an accomplished director of Ang Lee’s status showcasing his use of the 3D technology.
Taken from a series of novels based on the same name, Tom Cruise stars as the titular character of Jack Reacher, a menacing former military police enforcer chasing the culprit of a series of murders on his own terms and rules. Almost cracking the case, he finds himself in the midst of the investigation and soon begins to go on the run whilst solving the case. Directed by Christopher McQuarrie, whose hasn’t directed entirely in his career but is the man behind the masterpiece script of The Usual Suspects, and if he’s behind the adaption of putting book to film then this looks to be a great solid crime thriller.