Christmas Movie Releases

on January 3, 2013

Is it just me or is there a plethora of fabulous movies this holiday season?

Not just over the Christmas break, but the entire Fall schedule has been pretty good.

I saw the latest Bond adventure, SKYFALL, over Thanksgiving break and it was terrific — I really like Daniel Craig in the Bond role after a couple less stellar actors. I took my 16 year old daughter and 11 year old son to SKYFALL, neither of whom had seen a Bond movie before, and they both enjoyed it. Score! I also took the family to see WRECK-IT RALPH (very cute) and my oldest daughter took the youngest two to see RISE OF THE GUARDIANS — and I was sorry I missed it.

And then I learn that a bunch of movies that I want to see were all coming out while my kids are on Christmas Break.

What’s odd for me is that while I love going to the movies, over the last few years I haven’t seen many in the theater, and rarely anything that isn’t a family affair. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed the last week so much–it was a novelty to see three movies (soon to be four!) in one week.


There had been an outpouring of venom against Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher. Yes, I agree, physically Cruise isn’t how I pictured Reacher, either. But — get over it folks! The movie was great, I very much enjoyed it, and so did my mom — who is even a bigger Jack Reacher fan than I am. (She’s read all Lee Child’s books twice — I’ve only read half his books.) It’s a good movie with a solid plot that according to those who’ve read ONE SHOT very loyal to the storyline as Child wrote it. (ONE SHOT is one of the books I missed.) And Cruise was good. Would I have liked to see Liam Neeson or another larger-than-life action star as Reacher? Yes. Was I disappointed in the film? Hell no. Go see it and be your own judge. (And you should see it just for the fantastic performance by Robert Duvall. Loved him!)

As an aside, to parlay off B.J.’s terrific blog yesterday about good, bad and ugly reviews … I went to check out some of Lee Child’s reviews and there are people giving him one star because Tom Cruise was picked to play Reacher. Not one star because the book sucked, but one star for something completely out of Lee Child’s control. Like giving one-star reviews because a book is priced higher than you want, but worse. That’s what I call ugly reviews.

So back to the film — a good, solid action movie with great dialogue and classic Lee Child sly humor. Loved the car chase. I went with my mom, the Reacher fan, who enjoyed it, and my 16 year old daughter and 11 year old son who’d never read any of the books, and both enjoyed it. I really hope that Jack Reacher becomes an iconic character like James Bond and survives over many, many years and many, many actors.

Then on New Year’s Eve, my husband and I went to see THE HOBBIT.

I went to the movie knowing that it’s going to be a trilogy. As my daughter, whose read the book more recently than I have, said, “They fleshed out scenes and ideas that were just mentioned in the book.” But, ultimately, the movie was still consistent with the HOBBIT story.

I have mixed feelings about Peter Jackson drawing out the HOBBIT to be three movies. Unlike the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy–three movies for three (very long) books–THE HOBBIT was a short novel, only 320 pages. Surely it could have one movie!

At the same time, I liked THE HOBBIT even with the expanded story. Because it’s an epic story with amazing settings, I see why Jackson wanted to tell it bigger. So while I don’t think it was necessary, I appreciated it. It’s classic, hero’s journey storytelling at its finest with great acting and great cinematography. We saw it in 3D, and the effects were rather amazing. I’m not a big 3D person, but for this film, it was worth the added money and the headache I had after the movie.

And then on Tuesday, for $5 Tuesday at our local theater, I took the kids to see MONSTERS, INC, which was re-released in 3D to lead into MONSTERS U in June.

I love everything Pixar. I couldn’t tell you which is my favorite Pixar movie (I could tell you which one I hated — WALL-E — but I probably shouldn’t.) But FINDING NEMO, MONSTERS INC, all three TOY STORIES–loved them all. My 8 year old son told me he had never see the entire MONSTERS movie, which surprised me because it had been his oldest brother’s favorite movie for years.

MONSTERS was as good the second time in the theater as it was the first. And yes, I cried at the end when Sully had to say good-bye to Boo, like I did the first time and every time I saw it on DVD.

Now there’s one more “big” movie I’m planning to see before the kids go back to school — though I don’t know if we’ll be able to fit it in until next weekend.

Les Miserables.

Kelly, my 16 year old, really, really wants to see it, and while I would have preferred to see the stage version, we ARE talking about Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe and more. 🙂 It’s one of those movies I’ve heard great things about, and so … it’s just a matter of finding the time. I’d also wanted to see DJANGO UNCHAINED and HITCHCOCK, too. But …

Time. Something I need more of! I’m finishing STOLEN copyedits today (need to get them to FedEx by 4:30 this afternoon, but I’m almost done, yet!) and then I need to get back to writing MAXIMUM EXPOSURE which is due at the end of the month. (MAX is the first book of the Max Revere series! Very excited to be working on something new.)

So after Les Mis, I think my movie going days will be over for awhile … After all, I still have my television and guess what? JUSTIFIED returns on January 8th … Life is good. Very, very good. 🙂

What movie do you/did you most want to see this season? Did it live up to expectations?