Movies Not to Miss: November 2015

Movies Not to Miss: November 2015

Which of these are you going to watch?

We are at the start of the Fall season but things are going slow. While the number of big releases aren't the most we have this year so far, this gives us a little breather to mix our palette a little bit, and this is where this November shines the best. From musicals to must-sees (and a couple indie gems, in between), this November's releases is far from dreary, as long as you are willing to try something new.

Indian audiences have one major movie to look out that is coming out for the perfect occasion on Deepavali, and Chinese audiences are also in for a treat with some big releases coming from Hong Kong and China.

We are near the end of the year (and ever getting closer to "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"), but don't forget to see these movies that are coming out this November!


As internal power struggles within the British Intelligence Service threatens to pull down the 00 Section and activate the new spying programme "Nine Eyes", James Bond is taken out of the field just as he uncovers new leads to the Quantum organisation. Disobeying orders to stand down to follow the trail, Bond would realise the smaller parts played by Quantum to an organisation that has a far greater reach, and a far greater interest to see Bond dead, once and for all.

After an amazing "Skyfall" that went into Bond's past, matched by a Bond villain that will stand tall among the greats, it is a wonder if returning director Sam Mendes can ever top the commemorative 25th Bond film, with the 26th. To do that, he would probably have to dig much deeper than Bond's Scottish heritage, into the established history of the Bond franchise. "Spectre", after much speculations by die-hard Bond fans, is indeed a reference to the much feared organisation that is almost as iconic as Bond himself in the organisation. As for a villain that can show Raoul Silva who's the boss, we think the only other actor who can top Javier Bardem in that department is none other than Christoph Waltz, who will bring back a role that will purr with devilish delight. There will be many questions if this is Daniel Craig's last outing as Bond, but let's just enjoy this last spy movie to end all spy movies for the year.

General Release Date: 5 November

Set many years after "Naruto: The Last Movie", Naruto Uzumaki is finally now the 7th Hokage of the Hidden Leaf Village and is the father to two children; a son Boruto, and a daughter Himawari. As Boruto is preparing to take his Chuunin exam, two new attackers reveal themselves with the goal to obtain the power of the Nine Tails.

Teased at end of the last movie, it is now time for the new generation to take the fore. The second entry of the 'Start of the New Era Project' after "Naruto: The Last Movie", this will be the proverbial passing of the torch of the Ninja generation that we have come to love and follow for the past 15 years, to the new generation. Already the highest grossing movie entry of the franchise in Japan, we expect a similar turnout of Naruto fans who grew up watching this as children, and older fans who could probably relate with Naruto's dad problems with kids of their own.

General Release Date: 5 November

Dennis Stock, a photographer from the Magnum Photos Agency, is given an assignment to photograph a rising Hollywood star named James Dean. When the men meet, they form a connection as they travel from Los Angeles to New York to Indiana.

Initially planned to be written as a biopic of James Dean set around the time before his film debut in "East of Eden", screenwriter Luke Davies and director Anton Corbijn soon became even more fascinated with the man who profiled Dean through his camera lens; the lesser known photographer of 'Life' magazine, Dennis Stock. Robert Pattinson adds another serious role as Stock to bury his "Twilight" past, and he is paired with capable actor Dean DeHaan who plays as James Dean; which could yield some strong performances as we the audience explore the relationship and balance that has to be maintained between the photographer and his subject. Also added to the list of fine actors in "Life" is Joel Edgerton (in a role that would have gone to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Ben Kingsley. This could be an enlightening film for anyone who considers themselves a serious photographer, or someone who wants to know more about the rebel without a cause who died too young.

General Release Date: 5 November

Returning to Macau after searching for his birth mother and widowed after her husband's death, Man Cho is unexpectedly reunited with Kwan Ho with feelings that were left unsaid. After so many years of being apart in a city that has barely changed, has Man Cho and Kwan Ho's feelings for each other changed, or has it already faded in the passing time?

Hong Kong movie fans have a good pick of movies to see this November. There is "The Bullet Vanishes" sequel, "The Vanished Murderer", starring Lau Ching Wan, and also Nick Cheung's second directorial ghost outing "The Keeper of Darkness". But for this month's pick, we would like to point to something that has been 15 years in the making. In continuation of the much loved TVB drama series "Return of the Cuckoo" in 2000, this surprising feature that takes place 15 years after the series had gone off air is the unexpected but certainly not unwelcome by TVB drama fans. Director Patrick Kong brings back the original cast of the television series, with Julian Cheung and Charmaine Sheh as the onscreen couple, and Nancy Sit as their mother, bringing to a conclusion to the romance after 15 years.

General Release Date: 12 November

After living in luxurious palaces for years, Prince Prem seeks to try the normal life when he finds a suitable double from one of the commoners. While the commoner is groomed to take over the prince in his absence and falls in love with the princess Maithili, Prem's younger brother plots to be the next heir in line.

In a weird case of movies with similar premises that can be mistaken for one another, it appears that switched identities will be the theme of movies to celebrate this Diwali. On one hand, we have "Mirip", directed by Jokin, that is a musical thriller made in Malaysia with a Malaysian cast, but with a crew and director from India. While that sounds like an interesting experiment (if 'musical thriller' didn't already piqued your interest) for local filmmakers to check out, but for the more mainstream audience who are looking for something worthwhile to see this Diwali, then "Prem Ratan Dhan Payo" surely outclasses "Mirip" in scale, grandeur and big names.

After 16 years, Salman Khan is back for his fourth in his latest collaboration with director Sooraj R. Barjatya that is a loose adaptation of Anthony Hope's novel "The Prisoner of Zenda" and Mark Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper". Khan does double duty as both the prince and the impersonating commoner, with Sonam Kaapor as the leading lady, with music composed by Himesh Reshammiya, and lyrics written by Irshad Kamil.

General Release Date: 12 November

Raised by a single mother, one day Ping An is given an art homework with the title "My Father". After being told that he does not have a father, Ping An goes to see his grandfather that will set him on a journey to find his real father.

"Ice Kacang Puppy Love" may have set director Eu Ho's credibility as an above average Malaysian director who knows his craft, but it was his handling of his leads in the comic adapted "Gemelia" that shows he can make a star out of a children cast. That is being practiced again for "Find My Dad", which put young actor Mini Bin as the core in this simple and heartwarming family story. While it would definitely be worth seeing Eu Ho's take of it, fans of singer Victor Wong may be more interested to see him make an appearance in a local production.

General Release Date: 12 November

With Panem now in a full-scale civil war, the stakes have changed from survival to the future of Panem. Assembling a new team, Katniss leads Gale, Cressida, Finnick and Peeta for one final mission; to assassinate President Snow, who would go to great lengths to rid of Katniss by any drastic means at his disposal.

From "The Hunger Games" in 2012, it has finally come down to this moment; the final installment of "The Hunger Games" of the franchise. Director Francis Lawrence who has been engaged by the franchise since "Catching Fire" will bring the final chapters of the novel trilogy, along with the familiar faces of Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claffin, Natalie Dormer. Also for those who are planning to have a first glance of the imposing presence you can expect from Captain Phasma in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", they can see Gwendoline Christie lead a revolution here as Commander Lyme.

Although there is a little bittersweet-ness in seeing Jennifer Lawrence in the role that was pivotal but has since been far outgrown by the aspired actress since the four years she volunteered herself as Tribute, there will only be pain in saying goodbye to the last cinematic appearance of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and his last legacy to film.

General Release Date: 19 November

Drifting without a purpose all his life, highschooler Greg Gaines is told by his parents that the girl who lives next door, Rachel Kushner, has been diagnosed with leukemia, and is asked if he would be so kind to keep her company. Although the attention given is not mutual at first, Rachel soon discovers that Greg has been making parody short films with his 'acquaintance' Earl. As Greg gradually gains a new purpose in life to complete a short film for Rachel, her health worsens along with their friendship.

A stunning hit at this year's Sundance that managed to win both the Dramatic Grand Jury award and the Audience Award, "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" will go down as the memorable feature debut of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and novelist-screenwriter Jesse Andrews, whose novel of the same name is being adapted here. Although many may still want to refrain from another cancer-stricken weep fest after "The Fault in Our Stars" (which should have been wiped away by "Paper Towns"), but the dying girl only plays as a subplot to an overarching arc of friendship and coming-of-age story. Fresh faces Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke and Ronald Cyler II, are not the stars like Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, but they definitely make an impression that won't be forgotten any time soon.

General Release Date: 19 November

Shila is a college freshman who has been asked to join a dance competition, where she will learn and live through the joys and heartbreaks of love and life.

We can't remember if we had seen a Malaysian musical on the big screen, not since 2004's "Puteri Gunung Ledang", so we were delighted to see "Sinaran" put a little spring in this month's schedule for local movies. And it only gets better when the music is the evergreen hits of Sheila Majid (who makes a cameo appearance here as well). Directed by Osman Ali, "Sinaran" is a Nusantara collaboration with cast and dancers assembled from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore with Lisa Surihani, Evan Sanders, and Nadiah M Din from each respective country. Even with the cheesy teen love drama meets "Step Up", we still can't wait to see this and hopefully there would be more coming.

General Release Date: 26 November

Set during the time of the dinosaurs when the asteroid that made them extinct did not hit Earth, and dinosaurs continue to thrive alongside humans. When Arlo, a young Apatosaurus, is separated from his home after falling into a river, he slowly finds a way home at the Clawed-Tooth Mountains. Along the way, he meets and befriends a young human cave boy.

Despite a tremendous outing for animation films last year, the competition was less heated with the absence of Pixar. Pixar not only returned with a tour-de-force this summer by playing with our emotions with "Inside Out", but they are now over compensating that absence with "The Good Dinosaur", which was supposed to be the Pixar release of 2014. While "The Good Dinosaur" will only solidify Pixar's win at next year's animation Oscar, but it would undoubtedly draw comparisons with "Inside Out". Still, any year when we have two Pixar animations is already a good year.

General Release Date: 26 November

Related Movies:
Boruto: Naruto The Movie (Japanese) (05 Nov 2015)
Life (31 Dec 2015)
Spectre (05 Nov 2015)
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (Hindi) (12 Nov 2015)
Find My Dad (Mandarin) (12 Nov 2015)
Return Of The Cuckoo (Cantonese) (12 Nov 2015)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (19 Nov 2015)
Me And Earl And The Dying Girl (Not Showing)
The Good Dinosaur (26 Nov 2015)
Sinaran (Malay) (26 Nov 2015)

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