All I want for Christmas is yet another Shrek spin-off

Entertainment

Christmas is coming, and that can only mean one thing… yes, OxStu film is taking a break. But have no fear; here’s a guide to what’s coming this holiday season. Oh, and a brief spoiler, fans of sequels, prequels and remakes can look forward a festive treat.

We’ll open with the big December movie, Hugo. This could well be brilliant and should at least be worth a watch; it’s a Martin Scorsese film, a labour of love to the Brian Selznick novel, and his first in 3D. The requisite all star cast (Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen amongst others) tell the story of a Parisian orphan acquainted with George Méliès, a filmmaking pioneer. Already acclaimed as a masterpiece by James Cameron and with reputedly stunning effects, Hugo is arguably the most exciting new release next month.

I loved Shrek, Shrek 2 wasn’t bad, Shrek 3 was. We can all be thankful, then, that Dreamworks have finally put everyone’s favourite green ogre to bed. Instead we can look forward to Puss in Boots, a prequel following a supporting character. Joy. Antonio Banderas continues to voice Puss, Chris Miller remains as director while Guillermo de Toro is both producing and voice acting. Don’t hope for too much though; Jack and the Beanstalk meets Pan’s Labyrinth seems unlikely.

With the spirit of reboots in the air, Sherlock 2 and Mission Impossible 4 both promise action galore, one in Victorian London, the other in every big city between Sydney and Svalbard. While Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law give us high jinks and cross-dressing, Tom Cruise has his serious face on in what looks like another bad Bourne imitation (for other examples see MI3, Quantum of Solace). All I can say is that the Kremlin will explode. Expect car chases, gunfire and a scarcely credible explanation of what ‘Ghost Protocol’ actually means.

Tired of remakes yet? No, me neither. Thank heavens, then, for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Despite the snide comments, this could turn out to be an excellent film; David Fincher just made the (rather brilliant) Social Network, our artfully illustrated heroine is played by Rooney Mara, who also featured in last year’s best film, while Daniel Craig puts the ‘6 pack’ in ‘moody Scandinavian thriller’. Do you like to temper your mince pies and presents with a little violence, torture and sadism? If so, Happy Christmas.

Another trio of rehashes includes the Thing returning to our screens after 29 years, New Year’s Eve, the tepidly awaited follow up to the turgid Valentine’s Day, and Happy Feet 2. In the battle to plumb the depths of mediocrity my money is on New Year’s Eve, although it faces stiff competition from everyone’s favourite tap dancing emperor penguins. At least body horror fans will have something to cheer if that Cronenberg box-set doesn’t appear in their stocking.

In short, expect a December filled with fairytales, romance, explosions and sword fighting cats. Enjoy.

Alexander Lynchehaun

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