MOVIES.

IT’S SUM­MER HOL­I­DAYS AND WITH THAT COMES PLENTY OF GREAT FILMS HIT­TING CIN­E­MAS OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. THESE ARE THE TOP PICKS AT THE MOVIES

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - CONTENTS -

DE­CEM­BER AQUA­MAN

De­cem­ber 26

Stars: Ja­son Mo­moa, Am­ber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Nicole Kid­man

They say: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the un­der­wa­ter king­dom of At­lantis, and must step for­ward to lead his peo­ple and be a hero to the world.

We say: Pre-aware­ness track­ing of this DC Comics-pro­duced su­per­hero movie in­di­cates this is likely to be the big­gest hit of the sum­mer. The charis­matic Mo­moa has al­ready suc­cess­fully road-tested the marine man-moun­tain char­ac­ter in Bat­man v Su­per­man and Jus­tice League.

Close up: Aus­tralian con­nec­tions are plen­ti­ful in this $200 mil­lion pro­duc­tion, which was largely shot on the Gold Coast last year. Mel­bourne-born James Wan (of Saw and The Con­jur­ing fame) directs, while Nicole Kid­man plays Aqua­man’s mum.

RALPH BREAKS THE IN­TER­NET

De­cem­ber 26

Stars: The voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Sil­ver­man, Gal Gadot

They say: Six years af­ter the events of Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph and Vanel­lope, now friends, dis­cover a Wi-Fi router in their ar­cade, lead­ing them into a new ad­ven­ture.

We say: An­other sure-fire hit, and with­out doubt the an­i­mated movie kids will most want to see dur­ing the com­ing hol­i­days. Wreck-It Ralph was jam-packed with clever ideas, and the same goes for the se­quel.

Close up: Look out for a head-spin­ning ar­ray of cameos from Dis­ney-owned char­ac­ters like Mickey Mouse, Buzz Lightyear, Dumbo, Ker­mit the Frog, Yoda and even Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

VICE

De­cem­ber 26

Stars: Chris­tian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell

They say: The story of Dick Cheney, an unas­sum­ing Wash­ing­ton in­sider, who qui­etly wielded im­mense power in reshaping the US as Vice Pres­i­dent to Ge­orge W. Bush.

We say: Nor­mally, a po­lit­i­cal biopic is about as invit­ing as an of­fer to sit in peak-hour traf­fic. This one is dif­fer­ent due to a killer cre­ative pedi­gree. The same team that brought you the bril­liant high-fi­nance ex­posé The Big Short.

Close up: Bale went all method to play the in­fa­mous Cheney, plonk­ing on al­most 20kg of flab and al­most as much age­ing makeup. The cur­rent fron­trun­ner for the next Best Ac­tor Os­car.

ALSO OPEN­ING IN DE­CEM­BER

BUM­BLE­BEE (De­cem­ber 20): Yep, this is the same Bum­ble­bee of Trans­form­ers fame. The charis­matic Au­to­bot is pop­u­lar enough to de­serve his own spin-off, hence this ori­gin-story pre­quel set in the ‘80s.

HOLMES & WAT­SON (De­cem­ber 26): Ace de­tec­tive Sher­lock and his doc­torly off­sider must save the queen from as­sas­si­na­tion. Stars re­united com­edy dream team Will Fer­rell and John C. Reilly (re­mem­ber Tal­ladega Nights?).

THE FAVOURITE (De­cem­ber 26): Cur­rently a big Os­cars boom on this strange 18th cen­tury com­edy-drama about Bri­tain’s ec­cen­tric Queen Anne. Stars Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Col­man also draw­ing raves.

JAN­UARY MARY POP­PINS RE­TURNS

Jan­uary 1

Stars: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Mi­randa, Meryl Streep

They say: While fight­ing to save their beau­ti­ful home in De­pres­sion-era Lon­don, the Banks fam­ily is paid a sur­prise ex­tended visit by their enigmatic former nanny.

We say: Aus­tralia loves its sum­mer­time mu­si­cals, as The Great­est Show­man re­cently proved yet again. As long as the songs are catchy and Emily Blunt hon­ours the legacy of the great Julie An­drews, we’ll be there!

Close up: This is not a re­make. The score by Marc Shaiman fea­tures more than a dozen brand new tunes. In tribute to the orig­i­nal, there will be an ex­tended se­quence com­bin­ing live-ac­tion and hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion.

IN­STANT FAM­ILY

Jan­uary 10

Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Is­abela Moner

They say: Feel­ing a void open­ing up in their mar­riage, a child­less cou­ple ex­plore adop­tion as a means of ex­tend­ing their fam­ily. Soon they are rais­ing three chil­dren who have been aban­doned by their mother.

We say: There is al­ways room in the crowded hol­i­day mar­ket for a feel-good com­edy that can be en­joyed by the whole fam­ily. Be­ing based on a heart-warm­ing true story only en­hances its wide ap­peal.

Close up: This ge­nial af­fair has al­ready been very well re­ceived by au­di­ences in the US, where it will soon have grossed over $100 mil­lion. From the pro­duc­ers of the Daddy’s Home fran­chise.

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

Jan­uary 17

Stars: Saoirse Ro­nan, Mar­got Rob­bie, Guy Pearce

They say: Scot­tish monarch Mary Stu­art’s at­tempt to over­throw her cousin El­iz­a­beth I, Queen of Eng­land, finds her con­demned to years of im­pris­on­ment be­fore fac­ing ex­e­cu­tion.

We say: Cometh the Os­cars sea­son, cometh the cos­tume dra­mas! This lav­ish pro­duc­tion cer­tainly has the flashy threads to light up a screen … and the act­ing fire­power looks mighty ex­plo­sive too.

Close up: The com­pe­ti­tion was hot for the two lead roles un­til Ro­nan and Rob­bie won the day. Among those to miss the boat were Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Shai­lene Wood­ley, Jen­nifer Lawrence and Keira Knight­ley.

THE MULE

Jan­uary 24

Stars: Clint East­wood, Bradley Cooper, Taissa Farmiga

They say: A 90-year-old hor­ti­cul­tur­ist and WWII vet­eran is caught trans­port­ing $3 mil­lion worth of co­caine through Michi­gan for a Mex­i­can drug car­tel.

We say: Ac­cord­ing to the man him­self, this shapes as the last time we’ll ever see the great Clint East­wood in front of the cam­eras. Here’s hop­ing it is a fit­ting good­bye for a heck of a ca­reer.

Close up: At 88 years of age, East­wood is still one of the busiest di­rec­tors in Hol­ly­wood and has sev­eral projects queued up to go. A fair ef­fort by Clint land­ing the white-hot Bradley Cooper as his co-star.

ALSO OPEN­ING IN JAN­UARY

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HID­DEN WORLD (Jan­uary 3): Took a while, but the de­cep­tively pop­u­lar an­i­mated se­ries based on the Cres­sida Cow­ell nov­els fi­nally comes to a close. Hic­cup is now the chief, but for how long?

STORM BOY (Jan­uary 17): Re­make of the 1976 Aussie chest­nut about a ju­nior beach bum whose best friend is a pel­i­can. Like the orig­i­nal adap­tion of Colin Thiele’s much-loved chil­dren’s book, filmed on some stun­ning coastal lo­ca­tions in South Aus­tralia.

GREEN BOOK (Jan­uary 24): An­other Os­cars con­tender. Viggo Mortensen plays a burly bouncer who be­comes the driver of a black clas­si­cal pi­anist tour­ing the Amer­i­can South in the 1960s. A true story, too.

JA­SON MO­MOA AND NICOLE KID­MAN STAR IN AQUA­MAN, WHICH OPENS IN AUSSIE CIN­E­MAS ON BOX­ING DAY – ALONG WITH RALPH BREAKS THE IN­TER­NET.

THE LE­GENDARY CLINT EAST­WOOD SAYS THE MULE WILL BE THE LAST TIME AU­DI­ENCES GET TO SEE HIM IN FRONT OF THE CAM­ERAS.

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