Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.
Oh, December. The month of movies vying for the Oscar, the movies that didn’t fit anywhere else in the year, and the comedy to keep us laughing until the end of the year. Here is Hush Comic’s movie preview for December:
December 6 – Out of the Furnace
Starring: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Sam Shepard, and Zoe Saldana
With such a stellar cast, there isn’t really much else to say about this movie. Ok, ok, I’ll talk about the plot. Two brothers are very close. Then, one goes missing. The police get involved, but don’t do much. The other brother takes matters into his own hands like Batman does. Oh my God, the guy who takes matters into his own hands is Batman! Crazy. Written and directed by Scott Carpenter of Crazy Heart fame, and starring a sundry of Academy Award nominated actors, Out of the Furnace is bound to be nothing less of impressive. – A
December 13 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Starring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Come, don’t be shy… step into the light…err, I mean… The dark movie theater, to watch the second installment of The Hobbit – Desolation of Smaug. Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the rag tag band of Dwarves continue their adventure to retrieve the Arkenstone from the former Dwarf kingdom and now home of the dangerous and deadly dragon, Smaug. The Hush team is pumped to see Orlando Bloom return as everyone’s favorite archer (sorry Katniss, but you’ve got nothing on Legolas), as well as several other new characters Tolkien-ites will be excited to see on the silver screen. Previews have teased the public with glimpses of the lurking flame giant and come release day hopefully we’ll get a full frontal of the monster. In my personal history, second installments have been my favorite – The Two Towers, The Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix Reloaded (hate on haters) – and Peter Jackson’s most recent go-around is set to please. It’s going to be the best movie on Middle Earth this year – don’t miss it! – T
December 18 – American Hustle
Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremey Renner, and Robert DeNiro
Hunger Games: Catching Fire was great – don’t get me wrong. But do you know what it was missing? Jennifer Lawrence’s boobs. And Amy Adams’ boobs. And a fat Christian Bale. This crime drama set in the late 1970s focuses on the ABSCAM project, a sting operation to help bring down corrupt politicians. Cooper’s FBI character enlists the con talents of Bale and Adams. However, the plot thickens when the grifters start their own side-hustles. This movie boasts an all-star cast and a pretty interesting story loosely based on real events. Jennifer Lawrence’s cry face in The Hunger Games drove us crazy, but she has some real emotional range and acting prowess. I wouldn’t recommend it over the other movies out this weekend, but I definitely think it’s worth checking out. For totally non-boob reasons, too. – S
December 20 – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Vince Vaughn,Christina Applegate, and Baxter
I’m not usually a big fan of sequels to comedies, but I think Anchorman 2 will prove me wrong. Following the hijinks of the news crew from San Diego, this film takes us to New York City where the gang try become number one again, but this time with “GNN”. They say and do incredibly stupid things and in general make asses of themselves, as is expected. Steve Carell stole the show in the preview, so he probably will do the same with the movie, and I am most definitely O.K. with that. Stay Classy, New York? – A
December 20 – Saving Mr. Banks
Starring: Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, and Jason Schwarztman
Disney’s newest film, Saving Mr. Banks, is actually about Walt Disney (Tom Hanks), who tries, and obviously succeeds, to convince P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), the author of Mary Poppins, to give the rights to make a film version of her novel. Mr. Banks refers to Travers father, and the main inspiration for the father in Mary Poppins. With two of the best actors to live starring, the heart-warming plot and the light humor, Saving Mr. Banks is sure to be one of the best holiday time movies to come out and will be one I definitely see this year. – A
December 25 – 47Ronin
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Kô Shibasaki, and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Keanu Reeves is back this holiday season in the awesome new samurai flick, 47 Ronin. The story follows Reeves as Kai and his 46 fellow samurai sword slingers as they work to avenge the death of their master who was taken down by a military shogun (fun fact – Ronin translates to “leaderless samurai” in Japan). This story has been told and retold for quite some time now – dating back as far as the 18 century as a playwright and a most recent rendition of a 1941 film. I’m excited to see Reeves back on the big screen – his first since The Day the Earth Stood Still remake. While that experience left the average sci-fi buff wanting more, I have much higher expectations for 47 Ronin. Released film footages tout glorious landscapes, vibrant characters, badass creatures of lore and – of course – plenty of sword fights. 47 Ronin promises to deliver flashy, action-packed samurai goodness into my Christmas week and I recommended you get it in yours as well. And don’t forget fans – this story is based on true events. So when you see Rinko Kikuchi transform into a flame spitting dragon, remember that it actually happened. – T
December 25 – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn
Based off the original story published in The New Yorker in 1939 (the same year Batman first appeared in Detective Comics…. totally unrelated, but I had to…), The Secret Life of Water Mitty is my pick for best dramatic film of the year. It was actually made into a comedy movie in 1947 and starred Danny Kaye, but this is one case where I can fully endorse the remake. Starring and directed by Ben Stiller (who is in desperate need of a comeback), Mitty has been in production for nearly a decade, with names such as Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp and Sacha Baron Cohen attached to it. Judging from the trailer, Stiller was a great choice. The story follows a Life magazine reporter on a journey to find a missing photo, but is really about the journey to get out and experience life. Taking on a much more inspirational mood than the original, this film is sure to make you quit your job! – S
December 25 – The Wolf of Wall Street
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Jon Favreau
“You can dis me all you want on a blog, or write whatever you want in this magazine and I’ll just be like, ‘Whatever, man. Scorsese thinks I’m awesome,” – Jonah Hill. Telling the story of Jordan Belford, a New York stockbroker who was BALLIN out of control. Literally, he was out of control. There was FBI fraud investigations and the mob got involved. It may seem outlandish, but it’s just the type of character that Leo knocks out of the park. Jay Gatsby, J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Calvin Candie – all very powerful men who see everything go up in flames around them (alright, Candie was a joke). The film was pushed back to Christmas Day so that Scorsese could kill some babies to decrease the run time 30 minutes and to try to get it from an NC-17 rating down to an R rating. Should be a great showing, and do a lot to remind you of how broke and crappy you are at life. Because no matter what you got for Christmas, you didn’t get to throw midgets at a Velcro board at the office. – S
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.
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.
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!
Hey guys! It’s been a whole year since we’ve done this, but with the rise in good independent films and nerd-based movies, we feel like now is as good of a time to get back on it as any. While action films tend to rule supreme, September is a month of promising documentaries and indy films, making up for the super-saturation of action movies this summer.
The third installment of the trilogy following Diesel’s Riddick around a desolate future where vicious creatures rule the darkness. The Riddick series has garnered quite the cult following and it’s not without reason. The sweet special effects, a strong protagonist and a fully-enveloped world helped the previous two films, Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick, carve out a niche in the sci-fi world. Riddick‘s story starts with our main character left for dead on some God-forsaken planet, killing lost of nasty alien creatures and humans that get in his way while he saves a planet from being described. Ya know, pretty much every sci-fi plot since science fiction was a thing. While this film will definitely create some buzz, like most of Diesel’s other flicks, I don’t expect it to make too much noise. That said, this will definitely be a movie I will want to see in theaters. I’ve really enjoyed Diesel’s performances of the first two films and I can’t wait to see how the third one plays out. – S
September 6 – Salinger
Starring: Martin Sheen, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Judd Apatow, many other famous people
Salinger is a documentary centered around the secluded life of legendary author, J.D. Salinger, whose book, The Catcher in the Rye, after multiple murderers (one being that of The Beatles’ John Lennon) claimed that his book inspired them to carry out the murders. It will be a pretty in-depth look at the man behind the myth. Salinger has been described as being “exhaustively researched” by one of its critics; this is something that Adrian (an English major and readaholic) will geek out about, and viewers who are not as well-versed in literature, like me, can look forward to learning a lot from it. The documentary’s director, Shane Salerno, has been working on the film for over eight years, and has co-written an extensive biography on Salinger. Salerno describes the film as a view “inside J.D. Salinger’s private world and shine light on a man named Jerry who lived in the shadow of the myth of J.D. Salinger.” Our book nerds will have a review to look forward to on this film for sure. – S
September 13 – The Family
Starring: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones
A fun spin on mob family comedies, The Family is a tale about a man (played by De Niro) that informs on the mob and enters the Witness Protection program, moving his family to France in order to remain anonymous from the crime family that he snitched on. The best part about the trailer is that his whole family is a bunch of jerks. Their mob mentality hasn’t gone away at all, and from the previews, it’s a pretty humorous look at mafia mentality translated to other areas of life. Surprisingly, laying low doesn’t last long. Explosions and hilarity ensue. It doesn’t look ground-breaking or anything, but it is an original spin on a dated idea. It could be worth a look. – S
September 13 – The Muslims Are Coming
Starring: A buncha Muslim comedians, political comedians (John Stewart, Lewis Black, etc)
The Muslims Are Coming! is a documentary/stand up comedy centered around Muslim comedians trying to break the race barrier with humor. It’s been years since I’ve seen a stand-up movie in theaters, but as an Arab-American, I feel pretty invested in this. The Muslims Are Coming! started off as a Kickstarter campaign, believe it or not. While it’s sold as a stand-up comedy, my guess is that a majority of the film will use personal encounters with Southerners and a slew of celebrity interviews to try to eliminate Mulsimophobia in the film. It also brings to light the issue of acceptance of Westernized Muslims by traditional Muslims. Muslims raised in America often find themselves trapped in the middle, not being accepted by either traditional Muslims or the mainstream American population. It looks to be a pretty decent movie, boasting, “You’ve never laughed this hard at a Muslim.” – S
September 20 – C.O.G
Starring: David Sedaris’ genius, Johnathan Groff (The Conspirator), Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars)
It’s amazing that a film based off anything of David Sedaris’ life is being made at all. If you are unfamiliar with who David Sedaris is, let me clue you in. Sedaris is a bestselling author of creative non-fiction. I wouldn’t go as far as to say his writings are all memoir, because memoir doesn’t necessarily make people laugh. Sedaris has written about all his odd jobs, his life with boyfriend Hugh, his time in NYC and Chicago, and his family and childhood in North Carolina. The reason there has never been a film made of his books and/or stories is because he always felt that his family would be mocked rather than acted and he never wanted them portrayed that way. That being said, I don’t believe Sedaris’ family will take much of a role in C.O.G. C.O.G. stands for Child of God. As a fair warning, this movie is probably not for bigots, homophobes or religious zealots. The story of C.O.G. will be a mixture of stories David wrote about his early 20’s working the apple season in the northwest and then carving clocks with a friend he makes. That being said, I cannot wait to see this film. Sedaris is my favorite author and i know he has had a lot to do with the making of the film. Be ready to laugh hysterically, be shocked and even come away enlightened. – A
September 27 – Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2
Starring: Bill Hader (SNL), Anna Farris (Scary Movie), Andy Samberg (SNL), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog), Terry Crews
As the month’s lone family film, Meatballs 2 looks to pick up where the second film left off. Flint and the rest of Swallow Falls return to a land they had to evacuate after Flint’s food machine forced the population out of town. When they return, it gets all Land of the Lost meets the Food Channel. The entire island has evolved and food creatures now rule over the treacherous land. Every creature is some silly play on names, the most hilarious being the Tacodile… SUPREME! It looks to be full of laughs for the whole family, with a few SNL alumni to keep things fresh for kids and adults alike. I really enjoyed the first installment, so I expect the sequel to repeat the formula that made the original so successful. – S
September 27 – Don Jon
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza
Setting aside my total man-crush on JGL (yeah, he has his own acronym), I’m genuinely excited to see Don Jon. In his writing and directing debut, Gordon-Levitt also stars as a sex-addicted bro-guy who unexpectedly falls for Scarlett Johansson and has to decide if he wants to live his life through porn or whether he wants to settle down with a decent girl. Of course, any time you mention Scarlett Johansson and sex-addiction in the same sentence, I’m sold. In all honestly, though, this looks to be a different approach. I’m sure there will be gratuitous sex in Don Jon, but I think that it will be limited. I see Joseph Gordon-Levitt adding depth to a seemingly shallow film. Don Jon looks like it will be a fun independent film, and hopefully will put JGL on the map as more than just an awesome actor. It’s the film I’m most excited for this month. – S
September 27 – As I Lay Dying
Starring: James Franco, Danny McBride
You may have thought right off the bat that a movie starring James Franco and Danny McBride would be a sequel to this summer’s This is the End. But a second glance at the title, and you may be reminded of William Faulkner’s classic American novel of the same name. As a bibliophile myself, I am always excited to see moviemakers ideas about a book. William Faulkner is one of the best authors in American history, so it shouldn’t be too hard to make a quality film of his genius. James Franco not only plays the main character, Darl, but he also directs the film. The main plot is a family of brothers and sisters must bury their dead mother in a nearby town. Keep in mind that the book was written in 1930, so this will be a period piece. I look forward to seeing where this adaptation takes the viewer. – A
September 27 – Rush
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Daniel Brühl (famous German actor), Olivia Wilde (Tron: Legacy, Butter, House, drooooool….)
Blah blah blah, Olivia Wilde, blah blah blah, racing. Wait, what? Olivia Wilde? Sold! Rush is a Ron Howard film about the rivalry between Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda that is more about the two driving each other to be the best than it is about winning. Lauda is severely injured in a crash (actual footage shown below) and he tries to make a comeback, with the help of Hunt pushing him. While it looks like it would make a really cool ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, I don’t know that I could watch the movie without thinking of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Help me, Tom Cruise, it has Olivia Wilde in it, so I’m automatically interested. – S
That’s quite a bit of movies for September! Look out for October’s preview in a month.