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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November 2016 Movie Preview: Part Deux

E: Sorry for the delay, friends — after a fraught election week and all, we’re belatedly bringing you the rest of November’s movie offerings. Also, all three siblings have gone since last we wrote — and you know what?  Despite my dread, Trolls was pretty enjoyable.

M: And C and I separately saw Doctor Strange, which is not the best Marvel movie ever, but despite that is quite entertaining.

E: As with November’s first week, there are some pretty fine offerings to be had.  If you’re looking for a distraction, your multiplex can definitely accommodate you for a few hours.

C: There’s also a fair bit of random garbage, but yeah, some strong contenders too — one of which I already have tickets for. And if you all don’t know that’s Fantastic Beasts, you don’t know me.

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December 2015 Movie Preview: Star Wars… Nothing but Star Wars

M: Okay, if you don’t understand the title, you need to do one of two things. First, if you don’t understand it because you don’t know that the first new Star Wars movie in the post-George Lucas era, directed by J.J. Abrams, is coming out this month, then you need to climb out from whatever rock you’ve been under for the last year or two. Second, if it’s because you don’t get the reference, you need to watch this old Bill Murry SNL sketch.

C: I actually did not get that reference, and now feel shame.

E: The key point is, it’s all about Star Wars. And Oscar movies. Star Wars and awards bait.  You know what?  It’s a lot of movies, period.

M: Well, not the SNL sketch, our December movie post. The sketch is only about Star Wars. However, since as E said, we won’t actually be talking “nothing but Star Wars,” a quick note. There are about a billion movies of note being released the first weekend this month.

C: Actually, it’s 10.

M: …fine, 10. There are 10 movies of note being released the first weekend this month. Most of them, really all but the Christmas comedy-horror flick Krampus, are limited, small releases, but still, that’s a lot even for the small releases. The month evens out a bit after that, but ramps up again in time for the Christmas school break.

E: Well, those Oscar movies have to play somewhere in December or they don’t qualify!  Not that all of these are exactly Oscar-bait.

C: That is a crazy lot, anyway. So brace yourselves!

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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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October Movie Preview

E: This October looks good, man.  Really good.

M: Not feeling you. Looking through, I only see a few movies that I’m legitimately interested in seeing, and I’m not wild about any of those.

C: But then, there are only about two months in the year — December and May — when we’re as excited about the movie offerings as E is.

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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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