Christmas movie guide (2015)

Another last minute replacement article

Published , updated by Richard GoodwinFiled under Projects

As with the sci-fi-films special in 2013, this was a last-minute filler in the Derwent Living customer magazine.  I had very little time to put it together because the actual article that was supposed to be in there was pulled.  But it's always fun to spend a couple of hours poking around IMDb at work.

It's always fun to go back and see what I got right.  That Han Solo gag hit a bit too close!


Your guide to the movies

I know what you’re thinking – a much loved franchise is returning this year, with all of your favourite characters... yes, the Snoopy and Charlie Brown movie is out on December 21!

OK, let’s get Star Wars out of the way.  The Force Awakens on December 17 in the UK, or if you’re really impatient there are midnight screenings on the 16th at Odeon and Showcase cinemas around the country.  With the old guard returning to hand over the torch to a younger cast, we don’t have to worry too much about Han Solo swapping the Millennium Falcon for a bus pass.

As new life is breathed into one film series, another well-loved saga comes to an end: the final Hunger Games (Mockingjay - Part 2) opens on November 20, as Katniss and District 13 wage all-out war against the Capitol.  This is apparently the most violent of the four films, and the special effects are so, well, special that they had to start creating them even before they started work on Part 1.  So it should be pretty spectacular…

Kids of all ages will be looking forward to Pixar’s latest animation, The Good Dinosaur.  Opening on what seems to be the busiest day for quality movies this year (November 27), it tells the story of an earth where the dinosaurs didn’t get wiped out but live side-by-side with humans – one of which main character Arlo takes in as a pet…

For the grown-ups, Bridge of Spies also reaches this side of the pond on the 27th, which sees Steven Spielberg once again teaming up with Tom “Oscar bait” Hanks for a tale about a lawyer trying to rescue a pilot downed in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.  Look, we all know Spielberg and Hanks are the real draw here, but I’d lose my job if I didn’t mention Mark “Best stage actor of his generation” Rylance, AKA my boss’s favourite thespian, making his feature film debut at the tender age of 55. (later note: turns out the boss was mistaken and we had to cut this last bit during proofing)

And on the same day we celebrate the opening of Black Mass, which has a similarly starry cast: Johnny Depp in bald cap and startlingly blue contacts plays real-life Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who became an informant for the FBI so that he could use them to wipe out the competition. Benedict Cumberbatch plays his brother and state senator.