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Friday, Nov. 23, 2018 11:03 pm

Holiday film guide 2018

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Nov. 2)


The holidays not only bring gift giving and family get-togethers but a plethora of movies at the multiplex.  This is the busiest time of year for the film industry, and in order to fill any downtime families may have, the studios have conspired to release nine family-friendly films during the months of November and December. Below are capsule summaries of the movies in question, provided so that you can determine which would be the best fit for your popcorn-eating crew.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
(Nov. 2)
This fantasy from Disney Studios takes the Tchaikovsky ballet and drops a young girl in the middle of a wonderland of gingerbread men, magical fairies and an army of mice.  Keira Knightley, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren are on hand as magical beings who guide the young heroine on her quest to find a mysterious talisman. (Rated PG)

The Grinch
(Nov. 9)
This second big-screen version of the classic Dr. Seuss story is a vibrant piece of animation that tells once more of the title character’s quest to ruin Christmas for the citizens of Whoville but who unexpectedly finds his pea-sized heart growing.  Benedict Cumberbatch provides the voice of the Grinch while screen veterans Angela Lansbury, Kenan Thompson and Rashida Jones lend their vocal talents as well.  (Rated PG)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Nov. 16)
The second entry in the Harry Potter prequel franchise plunges us deeper into the story of Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), who’s aided by his pupil Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in his conflict with the evil Gellert Grindenwald (Johnny Depp).  Expect vividly realized fantasy creatures and a myriad of magical hijinks.  (Rated PG-13)

Ralph Breaks the Internet
(Nov. 23)
This sequel to 2015’s Wreck-it-Ralph finds the lovable titular lug (voice by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) venturing into the world of the internet, where they accidentally, you guessed it, wreck it real good.  With the voice talent of Gal Gadot, Mandy Moore and Kristen Bell.  (Rated PG)

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Dec. 14)
Sony Pictures continues to mine the Spider-Man franchise with this animated feature that focuses on a bevy of webslingers.  Miles Morales, the Spider-Man of one world, ventures to an alternate universe where he meets other Spider-Men, among them Peter Parker, to battle a cosmic threat.  Nicolas Cage, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld and Liev Schreiber give voice to the various heroes and villains that abound.  (Rated PG)

Mortal Engines
(Dec. 14)
The first installment of the popular young adult literary series finds a dystopic future where Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmer), Anna Fang (Jihae) and Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) join forces to battle Thaddeus Valentine (Hugo Weaving) and his massive rolling city that leaves destruction in its wake wherever it goes. (Rated PG-13)

Aquaman (Dec. 21)
DC Comics’ sea king Arthur Curry (Jason Mamoa) finally gets his own big-screen feature in this origin story that finds the King of Atlantis reluctantly taking the throne in order to prevent civil war and a plan hatched by his brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) to attack the surface world.  Nicole Kidman also stars as the warring siblings’ mother, Queen Atlanna, while Amber Heard is featured as Arthur’s love interest, Mera.  (Rated PG-13)

(Dec. 21)
This “Transformers” prequel finds the heroic title car in a California junkyard, circa 1987, hiding out from cosmic bad guys.  However, he’s discovered by a young woman (Hailee Steinfeld) at the crossroads of her life and a quick friendship is born.  (Rated PG-13)

Mary Poppins Returns
(Dec. 21)
This sequel to the 1964 classic finds everyone’s favorite nanny (Emily Blunt) returning to the Banks family to help them through some domestic troubles.  Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Julie Walters and Dick Van Dyke co-star. 


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