BY THE COMMANDER
WILD (Release Date: Dec. 5, 2014)
With the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddens, strengthens, and ultimately heals her—and gave Strayed the source material for a best-selling book. Director: Jean-Marc Vallée. Screenplay: Nick Hornby. Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern.
Inherent Vice (Release Date: Jan. 9, 2014)
Its Reese’s year! In Los Angeles, in 1970, drug-fueled detective Larry “Doc” Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend. The dark comedy crime drama was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, based on the novel, Inherent Vice, by Thomas Pynchon. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, and Benicio del Toro. It will be the first feature film adapted from a work by Pynchon. After There Will Be Blood, could Paul Thomas Anderson make a lousy film?
Exodus: Gods and Kings (Release Date: Dec. 12, 2014)
With Exodus, Ridley Scott returns with a big spectacle – an account of Moses’ hand in leading the Israelite slaves out of Egypt, including the parting of the Red Sea, Moses’s first murder and his fury, when after spending 40 days and nights on Mt. Sinai, he returns to find the people had made a Golden Calf of idolatry. Moses smashes The Ten Commandments and orders his own tribe to go through the camp and kill everyone, including family, friends, and children. God later commanded Moses to inscribe two other tablets, to replace the original ones. But were they the same Ten? And, will Moses stutter? (His brother did his talking for him because the Bible says Moses was “slow of speech”.) Bale, stuttering? I’m all-in. Director: Ridley Scott. Stars: Ben Kingsley, Aaron Paul, Christian Bale, Sigourney Weaver, Joel Edgerton.
Night at the Museum – Secret of the Tomb
(Release Date: Dec. 19, 2014)
Directed by Shawn Levy and written by a staff of seven writers, this sequel to the 2009 film, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, is greatly anticipated, as it’s includes the late, great Robin Williams. The film stars Ben Stiller, Rebel Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Dan Stevens, Owen Wilson and Robin Williams. Sir Ben is playing the Egyptian Pharaoh. Night at the Museum has been Stiller’s mortgage movie, but do we really need a trilogy? Let’s hope Rebel Wilson as a security guard will liven up the plot. Director: Shawn Levy.
Unbroken (Release Date: Dec. 25, 2014)
Laura Hillenbrand’s blockbuster bestseller about the Olympic runner turned World War II bombardier, Louis Zamperini, who survived 47 days in a life raft only to be tortured for more than two years as a Japanese prisoner of war. This is Angelina Jolie’s second time as a director, following 2011’s In the Land of Blood and Honey. John Magaro plays Frank A. Tinker, an Air Force dive bomb pilot and opera singer who befriends Zamperini (Jack O’Connell) en route to a Japanese POW camp. Screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen.
Big Eyes (Release Date: Dec. 25, 2014)
Walter Keane became a national celebrity in the 1950’s, by pioneering a mass production of prints of big-eyed kids and marketing them cheaply in hardware stores and gas stations across the country. Unfortunately, he claimed to be the artist, when the real artist was his shy wife, Margaret Keane. The film chronicles Margaret’s awakening, her phenomenal success, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960’s. Director: Tim Burton. Starring: Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Krysten Ritter, Danny Huston and Terence Stamp. Where are Burton’s go-to regulars: Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp?