The end of the year is nigh.
This means braving swarming masses of holiday shoppers; playing nice at company Christmas parties; and hosting your drunk Uncle Stu and cheek-pinching Aunt Edna for Thanksgiving.
However, the bright side to the stress and chaos of the holiday season? End-of-the-year movie releases, of course!
Studios always save the best movies for last, and here are the ones worth marking on your already full calendar:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I don’t know about you, but this is the first on my list. Not only because it comes out near my birthday (hint, hint, hubby!), but also because I love the Hunger Games trilogy. The latest edition to the franchise opens where the first one left off. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mallark have just emerged as victors of the 74th Hunger Games. They must now head out on the traditional Victor’s Tour of all the districts, where it becomes clear to Katniss that a rebellion is brewing. Of course, President Snow is also aware of the growing unrest, and with the 75th anniversary of the games coming up he intends to do something about it.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens in theatres November 22nd.
Thor: The Dark World
I must be honest; I was less than enthused when I first heard about the Marvel Studios movies a few years back. I’ve never been a big fan of superhero movies. I found them contrived and boring… until now. Consider me a convert, because I’m totally stoked for the second Thor movie to be released! Between wit, charm, intelligent story telling… and Chris Hemsworth’s sheer beauty, this is looking to be another excellent addition to the Marvel franchise. This time, Thor must work together with his traitorous brother Loki to battle an ancient enemy and save the universe from destruction. You know, no biggie!
Plus, Jane Foster in Asgard?!? So lucky…
Thor: The Dark World is out November 8th.
Cormac McCarthy (one of my favorite authors) wrote the screenplay for this thriller, and based on his previous work (No Country For Old Men; The Road; All The Pretty Horses), I’d say we’re in for a dark and twisty ride. Not much plot information is available, but from the trailer, it’s clear a multi-million dollar drug deal goes bad… very, very bad. With Ridley Scott at the helm, and Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, and Michael Fassbender staring, it’s sure to be a gripping, intense, and deadly journey. It’s not likely to be a happy ending, but I’m definitely going to see it nonetheless.
The Counselor opens October 25th.
As a bookworm, I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t heard of this one until just a few months ago. Based on the best-selling sci-fi novel of the same name, Ender’s Game takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where gifted children are trained to be soldiers. An alien war nearly wiped out the human race 70 years ago; knowing a second invasion is inevitable, Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) finds himself training to lead the charge. But what lies ahead for a young boy with the future of the human race resting on his shoulders? No pressure, dude!
Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Hailee Steinfeld also star.
Ender’s Game is out November 1st.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson is back with the second installment of his latest epic Tolkien trilogy. Set 60 years before the Lord of the Rings, the world of Middle Earth comes alive once again as we follow Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and friends on their quest to reclaim the lost Kingdom of Erebor. Of course, enemy armies, horrifying spiders, betrayal, and Smaug the Dragon stand in their way…
Between Jackson’s beautiful camerawork, the stunning special effects, and the sheer awesomeness of Sir Ian McKellan (please be my friend!), this looks to be an amazing addition to the Hobbit series.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in theatres December 13th.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
I have to be honest; this movie isn’t exactly on my personal list of “must-sees”. I never really understood the hilarity and mystique of Ron Burgundy. But everyone else seemed to get it, and it can’t be denied that Will Ferrell’s newsman is an inexplicable pop culture icon. Thus we have the sequel. Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, and David Koechner reprise their original roles, as the San Diego news team finds themselves in the ’80s in New York. It’s the dawn of the 24-hour news station, and it’s sure to be a blast. Stay classy!
Anchorman: The Legend Continues is out December 20th.
The Monuments Men
This movie isn’t even out yet, and it’s already getting Oscar buzz. George Clooney directs this historical drama about a group of art experts hired by the U.S. government to retrieve the priceless works of art stolen by the Nazis. It’s the height of World War II, and these civilians are tasked with infiltrating the front lines in order to preserve and protect the historical artwork before either side destroys it all. George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bob Balaban are only part of the considerably extraordinary cast.
The Monuments Men opens in theatres December 18th.
So what do you think of the 2013 end-of-the-year movie lineup? I think it’s shaping up to be an exciting and entertaining holiday season! If only Aunt Edna would stop with the pinching…