This is my December, this is my time of the year

Genesis intern Abigail Stroman on December’s most exciting releases

THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED ADVENTURE

Middle Earth returns to the silver screen this December, as the first part of the prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy marches onto UK screens on the 13th , to the delight of many a PJ fan. To the uninitiated, THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, originally intended as part one of a duo, has now been confirmed to be the first part of a six-movie story (the fourth, fifth and sixth movies being the LOTR Trilogy). For those more familiar, the first two HOBBIT films make up Bilbo’s part of the saga, before Frodo is a twinkle in his parents’ eyes .The third HOBBIT film is rumoured to make use of the extended stories of Middle Earth that Tolkien published in the appendices of THE RETURN OF THE KING. Complicated it may seem, but Jackson has a reputation for outstanding cinematography and an ability to balance epic film-making with exacting attention to detail. If the LOTR trilogy is anything to go by, the HOBBIT films will be beautiful and gripping in equal measure. Like the LOTR films before them, the HOBBIT is set to keep cinephiles, PJ fans and Tolkienites hyperventilating for the next two-and-a-half years. The rest of us will simply be treated to what will no doubt be another example of exemplary film-making from Peter Jackson.

In cinemas from 13th December 2012

LIFE OF PI

Is Ang Lee the King of literary adaptation? Fans of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, LUST, CAUTION, or TAKING WOODSTOCK would surely agree, and Lee is back with the on-screen adaptation of LIFE OF PI, the best-selling and critically acclaimed novel by Yann Martel. What Lee fans may not have been prepared for is his taking-on of the latest 3D technology. Lee’s talent for depth of emotion and scenic cinematography suggest that his move to 3D may be in search of visual and emotional beauty, rather than the cheap thrills associated with some 3D films. Certainly the reviews are positive, praising Lee’s ability to integrate new technology with spirituality.

In a letter directly to author Martel, Barack Obama described the novel Life of Pi as “an elegant proof of God, and the power of storytelling”. Let’s hope that Ang Lee can live up to this legacy.

In cinemas from 20th December 2012

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED 

With films such as JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME, CYRUS, and MY SISTER’S SISTER under their fraternal belt, the Duplass brothers are no strangers to critical success. Their winning streak continues with SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, which came away from Sundance Film Festival earlier this year with the Waldo Salt Screenwriting award and a nomination for the Grand Jury Prize.  The plot focuses around a journalist and companions going in search of a man who has posted an advert seeking someone with whom to travel back in time. While this alone may give some indication of the quirky nature of the film, the casting of unconventional-comedy royalty in the form of Aubrey Plaza (PARKS AND RECREATION) and Jake Johnson (NEW GIRL), is possibly a better indicator of the film’s style. We Brits have been waiting a long time for this film; it was initially released in the USA back in June. By all accounts however, it looks to be worth the wait.

In cinemas from 26th December 2012

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