The blockbusters are coming! The blockbusters are coming! November stars off with a bang and keeps getting better. With some big movies on the horizon, it’s hard not to get excited about the action movies, the book-to-movie adaptations and family films coming your way this upcoming month.
November 1 – Ender’s Game
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis
Based off the 1985 book of the same name, Ender’s Game is centered around a young boy who is enlisted into some weird child army to single-handedly eliminate an alien threat and save the world. This child prodigy, played by Asa Butterfield (Hugo‘s title actor), is a very advanced strategist and thinker for his age, which leads him to be outcasted a lot. The book focused on a lot of battle strategy and the “games” he plays to train himself – many of which I think kids would love to play. I’m thoroughly excited to see this movie and think it will translate into a beautiful District 9/Harry Potter sci-fi mash-up.
November 1 – Free Birds
Starring: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Dwight Howard (for reals!)
Okay, so nobody roots for a turkey to win, but that may change after Free Birds comes out. Awkwardly just a few weeks before millions of pounds of turkey are devoured by Americans, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson will lead an animated revolution to go back in time and “take turkeys off the menu.” TOO SOON. The trailer shows lots of good family fun, and enough jokes for adults to enjoy it as well. It looks worth checking out, but with all the other juggernaut films coming out the next few days, it might have served well to come out a little closer to Thanksgiving. Here’s to hoping their plan works!
November 1 – Last Vegas
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Kevin Kline, 50 Cent
Imagine Hangover forty years later. Seriously, that’s about it; it’s a little shallow, but with the star-power that comes with this movie, there should be enough momentum to carry it. Aimed towards a different demographic, expect a lot of old people jokes. Actually, that’s really all you should expect. It’s also time that I accept that Morgan Freeman and Robert De Niro are officially old. The scene with Morgan Freeman gathering the courage to jump out of his bedroom window is, and always be, hysterical. Again, with all these action epics out this month, I don’t expect this movie to do well, but will probably be worth a Netflix rental.
November 8 – The Armstrong LIe
Starring: Lance Armstrong’s missing testicle, Lance Armstrong
The Armstrong Lie begins with a humble story. Filmmaker Alex Gibney, enamored with the story of Lance Armstrong, was filming an inspiring documentary about the miracle comeback of an American cyclist. Of course, it ended up being too good to be true, as Armstrong was juicing/doping/whatever. So instead of calling it a day, Gibney gave Lance two middle fingers and decided to turn the positive documentary into one shaming him (although, I don’t know how much more shaming could be done). It’s a documentary I wish ESPN: 30 for 30 would have done, but I’m intrigued nonetheless.
November 8 – Thor: The Dark World
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba
Here comes Thor! It’s been a while since his forgettable movie debut, but the buzz from The Avengers is keeping this character in the spotlight for the time being. Chris Hemsworth does a convincing job as the Thunder God, but we will need more than just GC’ed monsters and backgrounds to make this a good film. The chemistry, as violent as it is, between Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is among the best in all the comic book movies. Odin willing, there is enough substance in the story and supporting acting for this film to give Thor the props he deserves.
November 15 – The Book Thief
Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson
The Book Thief is one of the best young adult novels to come out in recent years. It can seem a little daunting to read because it has 500+ pages, but so do most of the Harry Potter books. The Book Thief is so stellar because it is easy to read, yet incredibly thought provoking. Narrated by Death, we follow a little girl named Liesel who is a German girl growing up under the Hitler regime. She and her adoptive family are harboring a young Jewish man. Liesel works around the town and steals books for she and her Jewish friend, Max to read. Like many wartime stories, especially of such a heavy nature, it can be expected to cry a bit. I highly recommend seeing this film if it has any resemblance to the book.
November 15 – The Wolf of Wall Street
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau
**UPDATE: It was just confirmed Tuesday that the film would be pushed back to Christmas Day so that Scorsese could kill some babies and try to get it from an NC-17 rating down to an R rating. Sad times, but a great Christmas movie awaits us.**
November 22 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland
Catching Fire was my favorite book in the trilogy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as impressed with the film adaptation of the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy. And I’m sorry to still harp on this, but why does Peeta still have BOTH LEGS?! Ok, ok, moving on. I loved that the previews for Catching FIre only allowed us a glimpse of the Victory Tour for Katniss and Peeta, because it purposefully left out the second half of the book. I’ll leave it a mystery here, in case you don’t know what happens to our heroine, but I’ll say that it will be worth it to meet a character named Finnick O’Dair, a winner of a previous Hunger Game. Eeekkk…. nerd girl moment, here I come on November 22!
November 22 – Delivery Man
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt
It’s pretty hard for me to turn down a movie with Vince Vaughn. In Delivery Man, Vaughn plays a man who learns he is the father to several hundred children due to a mix-up at a sperm bank. He makes it his mission to have a little part in his kids lives. The movie is a remake of a French film named Starbuck. In time for the holiday season, the comedy with a little bit of a risque theme will most likely be the feel good movie of the month.
November 27 – Frozen
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Johnathan Groff, Alan Tudyk
The previews for Disney Animated’s Frozen were so creative because they were little short films before the actual movie. In fact, the first time I saw a preview this summer, I thought it was a short before the film. The story is about a girl named Anna (Kristen Bell) who is on the search for her sister who has turned the kingdom into a permanent Winterland. With the help of some wintertime friends, Anna embarks on her adventure. The movie looks super cute and will be the perfect way to start the winter season.
November 27 – Oldboy
Starring: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Samuel L Jackson,
A movie that is a remake of a 2003 South Korean film that is based off a 1996 Japanese manga that stars Josh Brolin. It’s also directed by Spike Lee. Brolin plays a man captured and held prisoner, then forced to watch news update that pin him as the murderer of his wife (surprise!). For twenty years, he watches the world go by from his solitary confinement. Just when he begins to grow a Merlin-scale beard, he is released into the world. From there, it looks like a lot of crazy ensues, and he has sex with hot women and kills a lot of people. The preview kinda made me sad, as I realized that Brolin could easily play a Dark Knight Returns style Bruce Wayne (no knock to Affleck). The biggest story here isn’t going to be Brolin, though, it will be to see if Spike Lee still has the juice. Lee hasn’t really directed a good movie since 2006’s Inside Man and everybody expects big things from everything he puts out.
November 27 – Homefront
Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth
Yet another book-to-movie adaptation of Chuck Logan’s book of the same name, Homefront stars Jason Statham (sidenote: thank God, because it’s been almost six months since I’ve seen Statham shoot anybody in a movie and I was beginning to go through withdrawals) as an undercover DEA agent who is harrassed because his daughter beat the crap out of a bully that happened to be the son of a meth kingpin, named Gator. Gator, played by James Franco, is not Heisenberg. He is a sloppy redneck, and I’m sure there is some elaborate speech where he tells us why his name is Gator. I can guarantee a large body count on Statham’s behalf, and creepily good acting by Franco, but it’s Winona Ryder that will steal the show…. too soon? Anyway, it will be a pretty good movie, but expect a pretty formulaic Statham movie.
November 29 – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Starring: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris,
Finally, Idris Elba gets his first solo starring role in a major motion picture – and it’s playing one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. I’m so excited to see The Wire’s Stringer Bell play Nelson Mandela – and not the South African rugby team (Invictus), not the
Finally, Idris Elba gets his first starring role in a major motion picture – and it’s playing one of the greatest civil rights leaders of all time. I’m so excited to see Elba play Nelson Mandela. And it’s not as the head of the South African rugby team, it’s the man behind the revolution. This movie should give Elba much needed respect. Although I am bit concerned, as his trademark mustache was not casted for the part, I am glad that this is not a gimmicky portrayal to portray the freedom fighter; actually, this story is based off of Mandela’s own auto-biography. Cue K’Naan’s “Waving Flag;” it’s a wrap!
This month’s list brings us:
- 10 based off a true story or book to movie adaptations or sequels
- 3 “original” ideas
Join us next month, as we cover some of this year’s most anticipated films. Action, mayhem and wonder await us in December. Any other movies you are interested in that we did not cover this month? Let us know!
Written by Sherif Elkhatib and Adrian Puryear