Winter Movie Preview: November

The winter months are nearly upon us, and with the holiday season also comes a series of winter Hollywood blockbusters! Often, winter holiday films are pushed more towards the family genre to get everyone out in the weather to the theaters, but there are also a few darker films being released that are sure to get people’s, and the Academy’s, attention. Let’s take a look at few of the expected bigger releases this winter, with a second installment to be posted around Thanksgiving.

Puss in Boots (28 October) – More a Halloween release then winter, but for genre it’s reasonably kicking things off. Dreamworks has claimed the Shrek franchise has come to an end, but that isn’t stopping them from continuing the adventures of everyone’s favorite supporting character – the lovable Puss-in-Boots, in his own feature. Taking place before the Shrek films, Puss must stop villains Jack and Jill from unleashing a terrible ancient power that could destroy the world. Like the Shrek films, this is sure to be a family favorite, especially around Halloween. It opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters and brings the voice talents of Antonio Banderas, Selma Hayek, Zach Galifinakis, and Billy Bob Thorton. Trailer below.

Happy Feet Two (18 November) – The sequel to 2006’s Happy Feet brings back Elijah Wood and Robin Williams to a new tale to the world of tap dancing, singing penguins. Mumble’s (Wood) son, Erik, is reluctant to dance until he comes across a mysterious penguin (Hank Azaria) named the The Mighty Sven, who thinks he can fly. Not much else is known, but the voice cast includes Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Hugo Weaving, and Pink. If anything, this sequel is sure to have as awesome a soundtrack as the original did. Happy Feet Two opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters with an attached Looney Toons short, Daffy’s Rhapsody, at the beginning.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (18 November) – There shouldn’t be much that needs to be said here. Splitting the final Potter into two parts proved immensely successful, and so enters the final Twilight Sage novel in the first of two parts. Same cast, same continuing romantic triangle adventures of Bella, Edward, and Jacob. Newlyweds Bell and Edward just want some peace, but alas it is not to be as more supernatural forces threaten to destroy everything they know. If you were planning on seeing this movie, then you probably already know all there is to say about it. No 3D or IMAX here, not that that will stop it from turning into a blockbuster in time for Thanksgiving.

Hugo (23 November) – There’s a lot riding on this film. It’s not the first true to form Christmas movie of the year (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, anyone?), but it is very much a family friendly Christmas tale with a young boy protagonist trying to outwit his adult counterparts. Based on the popular Brian Selznik novel, Hugo is the first 3D digital film by legendary director Martin Scorsese. A lot of people still like to scoff at 3D as being a novelty act all about the ticket price, and others like to cling to film stock like a holy grail. You can ignore the talents or James Cameron or George Lucas in switching formats, but it’s hard to stick to old ways when directors like Martin Scorsese are making the jump as well. If Hugo proves successful not just as a story but in terms of 3D then it will prove that these technological advances are worth just as much in storytelling devices as they are for a little extra wow. Scorsese doesn’t short-sell. Expect something pretty awesome. Releases in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters. Trailer below.

Needless to say, it’s going to be a pretty packed holiday season. The animated family films are great for spending time together, and personally I’m most excited for Hugo for reasons I probably expressed above. Which of these films, or others being released in November and the first two weeks of December, are you most excited for? Any midnight showings, or IMAX 3D? Next time, we’ll preview the rest of the winter season, including TinTin, Mission Impossible, and Sherlock Holmes.

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