Oscar Flicks and Rogue Blockbusters: December 2016 Movie Preview

M: Star Wars. Oscars. Assassins. December starts off slowly, but once it gets going it’s got it all.

E: If a film’s going to be eligible for Oscar, it has to play for at least a week before the year’s out.  So Christmas, particularly, is packed full of last minute contenders jostling for attention.

M: It’s been a few years since I voiced this complaint, so I’ll do it again now. I hate the system that allows movies to be released on literally two screens (one in NY, one in LA) in December, then get release wide right around when people are actually voting for the Oscars. My proposal is this: to qualify for Oscars, at the time of the voting deadline the total number of screens your film is being shown on must be equal or higher in the calendar year you are qualifying for. So, if you release on two screens in December, you can’t expand beyond two until after the voting is complete. If you want to be eligible in 2016, really be a 2016 movie.

E: Thanks, M; that was not predictable at all. You get that it’s strategy, right?  Studios want their movies to be fresh in voters’ minds when they vote. Almost never does a movie from the first half of the year get Oscar attention.  I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying, that’s the game.

M: That’s my point. The attention span of the Oscar nominators and voters is so insanely small that studios play to it, and movies that are really 2017 movies end up winning awards for 2016 because they play the game. I’d prefer to try to minimize the game playing, or at least punish people for the manipulation.

E: I’m not sure it really qualifies as manipulation.  That said, the real point is that there’s so much good stuff in December; it’s a heady mix of blockbusters and grown up dramas, and I for one couldn’t be happier about it.

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December 2014 Movie Preview

E: And so another year comes to a close, with films exciting, serious, thrilling, heart-warming and funny.

M: And almost everything being released this month opens in Christmas. Because nothing says “the Savior is born!” like a trip to the local multiplex.

E: Poor C needs saving these days, too; hopefully we’ll have more luck getting her to rejoin us once she’s finished with her dissertation and job applications! It’s less fun fighting with you without her as a buffer.

M: I’m not sure how much of a buffer she is, as we usually gang up on you, but I agree, less fun without little sis!

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November 2013 Movie Preview

E: October was good, but November is going to be even better.  In fact, I’m not sure even December can beat this November for awesome and exciting looking movies.

M: I know I have movies I’m VERY excited for, and have been waiting for for a long time! Heck, I’m starting the month by going to the theater on the 1st, and will be going to a midnight show later in the month, too. Woohoo!

E: This November has a little something for everyone – animation, documentaries, epic action, biopics, literary adaptations, football movies, the works.  It even has the most promising romantic comedy in years. Continue reading

December 2012 Movie Preview

M: December is always big, as you have school vacations and the final push for Oscars. This year is no different, and has at least two movies that the siblings are DYING to see, in the first installment of The Hobbit and Les Mis.

E: Like, “ready to pre-purchase our tickets and go with huge groups of friends so we can squeal together afterward” dying.  That’s us.

M:  And trust us, that’s not all December has to offer!

E:  Yay, December!

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Castle Review: “Secret Santa”

C: Santa’s body falling from the sky! Sexy Christmas lingerie! Blood pools and jock straps and warm woolen mittens! This year, Castle‘s put their own, twisted spin on the heartwarming Christmas special. And to assist us in reviewing the episode, Special Guest P will be sleigh-bell-chiming in.

M: Really, we’re calling E’s friend “Special Guest P”? No offense to P, but that seems a bit much.

E: Suck it up, Grinchy.

M: Not grinchy, just thought we could do better. You know, something more clever.

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November 2012 Movie Preview

E:  Now we’re getting down to it!  November begins the holiday movie season, bringing a blend of family adventure, cartoon, comedy, and awards-bait drama that’s hard to beat.

C: November is also, apparently, the month of movies about one man. But there’s still plenty of variety, depending on whether you prefer a super-spy, a president, a pilot, an actor, a director, an Indian teenager, a video game villain, or a real-life rockstar.

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Not Your Average Christmas Movies

If it’s Christmas you celebrate, you probably have your favorite books, movies, or CDs that you pull out every December.  At the old Quibbling homestead there’s a record of the Chipmunk’s “Christmas Don’t Be Late” just waiting to hit the turnstile… if anyone could find it.  While we all have our favorites, though, one can start to feel overexposed to the Christmas media standards.  If you’d like to sit down by the roaring fire with your cup of wassail and put on a flick that isn’t It’s A Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol (though Relatively Entertaining loves both) then this is the post for you.

These are movies which, though not exactly in the Christmas canon (and that’s canon with a small ‘c’, thus not the Trans Siberian Orchestra song), but have a touch of that spirit.  While they’re good all year long, now’s the time when we especially feel like renting them or pulling them off the shelves. And we think you might too.

So in case instead of last minute shopping, you’re looking for some last minute viewing, here you go… Continue reading