Once again, another year where the month of December is a complete clusterfuck of interesting movies all coming out in the same 2-3 week period. It's ridiculous, this shit needs to stop, and for the most part, it damages more movies than it helps. Some of these films are bound to get lost in the shuffle. First let's look at what we got:
December 14th - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
December 19th (NYC/LA) - Zero Dark Thirty, Amour
December 21st - This is 40, Jack Reacher, The Guilt Trip, The Impossible, On the Road, Not Fade Away
December 25th - Django Unchained, Les Miserables
December 28th - Promised Land
Re-fucking-diculous, am I wrong? Now Zero Dark Thirty is smartly going to just be released in NYC and LA on the 19th and won't have its wide released until the middle of January. That's smart because with The Hobbit, Django Unchained, Jack Reacher, and Les Miserables crowding the theaters, chances are people won't be ready for a sobering 160-minute film like ZDT. As it is, we've got three, count 'em, THREE films going on a wide release that pushes close to a three hour running time: The Hobbit, Django Unchained, and Les Miserables.
So yeah, don't drink too much soda before you see those movies. This is 40, by the way, is 2 hours and 14 minutes.... compared to the others, that's a lightweight.
It's exciting to see a lot of good movies coming out but there are 31 days in December. What's going on for December 7th? Nothing. The most high profiled film this upcoming weekend is Hyde Park on Hudson, the film about FDR which stars Bill Murray. The reviews that film has gotten have been middling at best, considering just how many films are coming out in this month, I have to skip the film so I can save my money on the others. I was sorta looking forward to it, but damn, there's just too many fucking movies to watch. Sorry Bill Murray. I'm not one to necessarily let critics sway me, but in this situation, I have no choice.
I'm gonna make a strong effort to try to see almost all of these movies and review them on this blog. But there's this thing called Christmas and New Year's that's gonna make things difficult. I'll try my best, I'll figure it out.
Overall it's cool to have all these high profile films come out at once, but a film like Promised Land which looks like a decent enough drama starring Matt Damon looks poised to flop. Why force an awards push? Why not release the film in February or March or something? Why do we have to have such a strict release pattern with these films? Why can't January - April have more interesting films? I don't get it. I think it starts with the way films get campaigned for Oscars. If there was a way for films released earlier in the year to have a legitimate shot to campaign for Oscars, I think there wouldn't be such a cluster like there is here.
Although, honestly, Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty and maybe Django Unchained are the only films that really look to have a decent chance at Oscar success so is it worth it anyway? Wouldn't it have been worth it to release The Impossible earlier considering it has zero buzz right now? It makes no sense to me.
One film that cannot be forgotten about is Michael Haneke's Amour which comes out on the 19th. I've heard a lot of great things about that film. It's not gonna be one for the faint of heart, but I will definitely be seeing that film right when it comes out. You should too if you have the chance. Gotta support arthouse cinema.