The Link’s December movie preview

Cure the chills and ills of exams and the holiday season with some blockbuster fare

Django Unchained is Tarantino's latest feature.

Django Unchained is Tarantino’s latest feature. Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

The holidays are fast approaching, and while for some that might mean Christmas carols and cocoa, for many of us it means weeks of interminable boredom as we wait for classes to start again.

Luckily, December is a great month for movies, so you can sneak away into a dark auditorium when the family drags you to the mall to go shopping.


[hr]The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen

Release Date: December 14

You might remember the last time Peter Jackson ventured to Middle Earth, telling the story of Frodo Baggins and his fellowship in the critically-acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy.

This time around, Jackson tackles the story of Frodo’s uncle Bilbo in prequel-of-sorts, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Ian McKellen is back as Gandalf, and we’ll see glimpses of Hugo Weaving’s Elrond and Andy Serkis’ Gollum, but most of the cast are new to Middle Earth. Martin Freeman‘s work in the stellar BBC series Sherlock suggests he’ll handle the role of Bilbo admirably.


Django Unchained

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz

Release Date: December 25

It’s been three years since Quentin Tarantino last treated viewers with his brand of tightly-written, ultra-violent genre cinema. After gleefully butchering Nazis in the World War II flick Inglourious Basterds, Tarantino turns his gaze towards the deep South with western Django Unchained.

Tarantino knows that nothing says Christmas like a blood-drenched western — line up to see it Christmas Day.


Monsters, Inc. 3D

Director: Pete Docter

Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal

Release Date: December 19

If you’re interested in indulging your inner child, or are just desperate to give Pixar as much of your hard-earned paycheque (or, let’s be honest, student loan) as possible, you’ll be thrilled to hear that Disney is re-releasing Monsters, Inc. in digital 3D. Bring your little brother or sister, bring a date or go alone: Monsters Inc. has something for everyone. If you’re lucky, you might even find a theatre showing it in good ol’ fashioned 2D.


Jack Reacher

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Starring: Tom Cruise

Release Date: December 21

Maverick sure has had an eclectic career since his beach volleyball showdown with Iceman. In Jack Reacher, the fighter pilot-turned ex-military investigator tries to unravel the mystery of a quintuple homicide, revealing an intricate conspiracy along the way.

Unless Tom Cruise is actually reprising his role as Maverick, I’ll be skipping this one.


On the Road

Director: Walter Salles

Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst

Release Date: December 2

On the Road is a classic of American literature, and has ignited countless self exploratory, cross-country road trips. Fans of Jack Kerouac’s Beat generation anthem have been holding their breath since the Twilight series’ Kristen Stewart was cast as MaryLou.

If you didn’t get enough of Ms. Stewart’s wooden plank impression in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, this one might be worth checking out.


Promised Land

Director: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand

Release Date: December 28

Promised Land reunites Matt Damon and director Gus Van Sant. The last time the two worked together was on Good Will Hunting, so expectations are sky-high this time around. Damon plays a corporate salesman looking to buy the oil rights from underneath a small Pennsylvania town. Topical and well-cast, Promised Land is a must-see.[hr]

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