Thursday, November 08, 2007

Holiday Movie Preview 2007 (Part 2)

December brings out another film based on a best-selling batch of fantasy books (“The Golden Compass”), a sequel, a musical and the pairing of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Not a bad month for movies, or so it seems. Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable releases coming by year’s end.

“The Golden Compass”
Starring Nicole Kidman, Sam Elliott, Eva Green, Dakota Blue Richards and Daniel Craig
Directed by Chris Weitz

After initially bowing out of the project, Weitz returned after replacement director Anand Tucker left the first adaptation of a trio of popular fantasy books by Philip Pullman. New Line Cinema is looking at this as their next possible “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. No pressure
or anything. (Dec. 7)
Official Web site

“I Am Legend”
Starring Will Smith, Alice Braga, Salli Richardson
Directed by Francis Lawrence

Smith is labeled in this thriller as the last man on Earth, where a biological attack has left everyone else zombies. This survival story will likely depend on Smith’s charisma to keep from being a total downer. (Dec. 14)
Official Web site

“National Treasure: Book of Secrets”
Starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Ed Harris, Helen Mirren, Harvey Keitel
Directed by Jon Turteltaub

Some might be wondering why “National Treasure” would be getting a sequel. But this is one of those Nicolas Cage movies that was actually a surprise hit when it hit theaters in 2004. Cage is back as the treasure hunter trying to uncover nothing less than a worldwide conspiracy. Man, those are the worst kind of conspiracies!
(Dec. 21)
Official Web site

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall and Sacha Baron Cohen
Directed by Tim Burton

Easily one of the most intriguing movies of the year, Depp is back in another Tim Burton film, portraying a barber with a taste for violence – an adaptation of a Stephen Sondheim musical. In case you’re wondering, there is a lot of singing in this by the cast, which also features none other than the versatile Cohen (“Borat”). This is certainly a risky venture, but Depp’s never been hotter and Burton has a knack for dark material. (Dec. 21)
Official Web site

“Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story”
Starring John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, Tim Meadows, Kristen Wiig
Directed by Jake Kasdan

It’s good to see Reilly getting a chance to head up a high-profile movie, after so many memorable supporting roles. This one is a satirical biopic about a Dewey Cox (Reilly), a fictional musician that covers six decades and a ton of women in his life. “Walk Hard” could mark the third hit movie of 2007 involving Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up,” “Superbad”), who co-wrote the film with director Kasdan.
(Dec. 21)
Official Web site

“Charlie Wilson’s War”
Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt
Directed by Mike Nichols

An adaptation of a 2003 best-selling book by George Crile, the screenplay is by Aaron Sorkin (“The West Wing”), directed by an Oscar winner (Nichols) and starring three Oscar winners (Hanks, Roberts and Hoffman). There could be a lot of awards waiting for this film, which tells the story of a congressman (Hanks) who teams up with a CIA agent (Hoffman) and a socialite (Roberts) to arm Afghan rebels against the Soviet Union. (Dec. 25)
Official Web site

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