Movies Not to Miss: December 2018
Writer: Casey Lee
Which of these are you going to watch?
The year is ending but it still feels like the year is starting, based on the variety of releases that are coming in the final month of 2018. Christmas is the season to be jolly and moviegoers would surely be jolly with the variety of movies coming this December, reminding us that everyone can find something to enjoy during the month of Christmas.
From Hollywood blockbuster adaptations, superhero franchises, to a sprinkle of potential award contenders, this month's release schedule is more than enough to keep the cinema seats warm and say goodbye to an otherwise outstanding year of movies in our cinemas.
Here's our recommended Movies Not to Miss for December 2017 and we will see you next year!
Coming out from Middle Earth, all minds were curious as to what would be Peter Jackson's next project until it was announced in 2016 that his adaptation of the Philip Reeve's novel "Mortal Engines" has started production. However, instead of taking the director's chair, "Mortal Engines" is being directed by "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" special effects collaborator Christian Rivers, who makes his directorial debut with it. Based on the novel where the city of London is turned into a moving city on wheels that chomps down on other cities for resources, "Mortal Engines" centres on two teenagers who are left to fend for themselves in a destroyed Earth, after a failed assassination attempt on London's new leadership. Fresh faces Hera Hilmar and Robert Sheehan take the lead in the young-adult sounding mesh of "Mad Max" and "Dredd", along with veterans such as Hugo Weaving as the menacing villain.
General Release Date: 6 December
There is a steady menu of horror this month and most of it comes from neighbouring Indonesia with some homemade ones, but Korean movies have also been making a steady entry into our list throughout the year, and they don't seem to be stopping with this one. Set during the Joseon dynasty, an official loses three sons on their wedding day, when a woman who bears the child of the third son enters the household and finds out what haunts the family. Horror director of "The Wicked" Yoo Yung-sun returns to feature filmmaking with this remake of 1986's "Woman's Wail", starring Seo Young-hee, Park Min-ji, Lee Min-ho and Apink member Soon Na-eun.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
General Release Date: 6 December
2018 ends with another superhero showdown between Marvel and DC, but this would not be a live-action beatdown between superheroes from the two franchises. Revealed during the Sony hack of 2014, Sony continues to expand and develop its Spider-verse with a radical approach to how Marvel superheroes have been portrayed thus far. If you are hoping that Sony would stop bringing us through the wringer of revisiting Spider-Man's origin story, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" takes on the wider comic multiverse approach to expand its cinematic universe for Sony's rights to Spider-Man. Centred on fan-favourite Miles Morales as Spider-Man in one alternative universe, he finds himself in different Spider-verses that has an adult Peter Parker and Spider-Gwen fighting against familiar foes across the universes. Voice cast includes Shameik Moore as Morales, Hailee Steinfeld as Spider-Gwen, and Jake Johnson as a jaded Peter Parker, additional voices are provided by Mahershala Ali, Liev Schreiber, Nicolas Cage, and Stan Lee in one of his last Marvel cameos.
General Release Date: 7 December
Going toe-to-toe with Sony's "Into the Spider-Verse" is a DC property that goes under the sea. Arthur Curry, the half human heir to the throne of Atlantis, has to find middle ground between those who live on the surface and his underwater subjects who howl for blood for the damage done to the seas. This is "Fast & Furious'" game-changing director James Wan's entry into the cinematic world of superheroes, which could possibly inject new energy and tone to the DC franchise where Zack Snyder had failed. Aside from Jason Momoa who makes his third appearance as the titular character, the cast also has Amber Heard, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Patrick Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Djimon Hounsou entering the DCEU canon, with Julie Andrews voicing Karathen.
One Cut of the Dead
General Release Date: 13 December
Zombie movies have been running rampant this year. While Singapore makes their first zombie movie with "Zombiepura", but we may have found the best this year in "One Cut of the Dead". It is set as a low budget production of a zombie movie, when the director gets frustrated and leaves the shoot. Upon returning, however, a real zombie apocalypse has begun, and he decides to continue shooting the movie. Made from a workshop for actors and directors at a drama school in Tokyo, we weren't likely to see this little zombie gem made for the arthouse, when it only ran in one small theater for 6 days. After debuting director Shinichiro Ueda brought the film to the Udine Film Festival, however, it literally exploded with fame and secured a wider release that brought this humble 3 million Yen outing to rack up 3,000 million Yen at box office counter; turning into what could be one of the biggest success stories for films this year, and we will get to see one of the most viral movies of the 2018 too.
General Release Date: 20 December
Some of you may be shrugging as to why do we need another Transformer movie, but we see things are being done a little differently this time that is worth giving a chance. Even though it's still produced by Michael Bay, it doesn't seem to have all the explosive stamps all over it from the trailers, possibly since we have Travis Knight of "Kubo and the Two Strings" in the director's chair instead. The cast list is also looking to be friendlier with Hailee Steinfeld in the lead, opposite John Cena. Even the scoring and design of the Transformers seem to be going through an overhaul to something that is more recognisable to fans of the cartoon series.
Mary Poppins Returns
Although the premise of alien robots coming to invade Earth still stands, the trailer seems to be getting closer to the heart than finding every opportunity to blast an action sequence into our faces. For all that, "Bumblebee" might be the Transformers movie we wish we had, and it might be time that we finally get it.
General Release Date: 20 December
The sequel that we waited for for 54 years could probably be the best gift this Christmas. The movie is set 25 years after the events in 1964, with Michael and Jane all grown up and starting their own families. When tragedy strikes Michael and his three children, Mary Poppins walks through the door of their home at Cherry Tree Lane and into their lives again. But before you think Disney is rushing into another shameless cash grab by making these classic sequels, "Mary Poppins Returns" is looking to pull all the stops to pay homage to its predecessor. Not just from the hybrid of live-action with hand drawn animations, or composing a new list of song and dance numbers performed by cast and musicians, but even bringing back some of the original cast like Dick Van Dyke to star. Not to mention having Emily Blunt take the lead as well as having Ben Whishaw, Meryl Streep and Colin Firth as part of the cast.
Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy
General Release Date: 24 December
It's going to be a while before we get our next Wing Chun / Ip Man movie (Donnie has been keeping busy), but we are not about to discount "Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy" as a filler until "Ip Man 4" comes out. Made as a spin-off to the Ip Man story, Master Cheung goes into depression after being defeated by Ip Man's Wing Chun. When a barreling American businessman comes in to take over a bar district, Cheung must take up arms to fight for what he believes to be right. Nothing special with the plot here than one might expect, but "Master Z" is looking to deliver that cliché plot with an entertaining lineup. Starting with Max Zhang reprising his role as Master Cheung from "Ip Man 3" (and again for "Ip Man 4"), as he goes against Dave Bautista. Choreographed and director by the master himself, Yuen Woo Ping, even the guest star list is already promising some good fights with Michelle Yeoh and Tony Jaa.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly
General Release Date: 25 December
Anime fans are blessed in this season of giving, whether they are fans of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, or diehard fanatics of the Love Live! Sunshine idol group. But one of the most anticipated anime movies of the year is also coming to Malaysia, shortly after its Japanese release. Reintroducing the Super Saiyan Broly to the reworked canon of Dragon Ball Super, this is the third film personally overseen by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama with new designs to the character that hasn't been seen since 1994. Fans would be able to witness again the epic battle between the surviving Saiyans and even explore the new origin story of Goku and the Saiyan race in the new canon.
Cinema Online, 01 December 2018
General Release Date: 27 December