There are two kinds of people in the world: those who ask, ‘How is it December already?’ and those who say, ‘Finally! It’s December.’ Whichever kind you are, it is time to acknowledge that what is collectively known as the holiday season is now upon us. Here at State, we’ve been making a list, and checking it twice, and our rundown of the Top 20 films of 2017 will be out in the next couple of weeks. But for now, let’s look forward to what is yet to come in the dying days of the year. What can you look forward to seeing on the big screen this month, in-between standing in queues and wondering whether to get your Dad black socks or the ones that are just very, very, very, very, very, very, very dark blue?
The Disaster Artist (December 8th)
This hilarious yet affectionate adaptation of Greg Sestero’s best-selling memoir focuses on the unlikely relationship between two budding actors and the chain of events which results in their making the best bad movie of all time, The Room. Featuring a talented cast of comic actors such as Ari Graynor, Seth Rogen, Nathan Fielder and Jacki Weaver, leads James and Dave Franco play off their natural fraternal chemistry to make this odd true story believable and engaging.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 14th)
Expectations are sky (walker) high for The Last Jedi, following on from 2015’s well-received The Force Awakens. The late Carrie Fisher and Cool Hand Luke himself, Mark Hamill, will appear to steer the new leads, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac away from Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and his mysterious mentor, Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis). Fans are hoping the middle part of this new trilogy will definitively answer some key questions, such as, ‘who were Rey’s family?’ ‘Is the titular Last Jedi a reference to Luke, or someone else?’ and ‘What is a porg?’
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (December 8th)
Making his second appearance in a film with the words ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ appearing sequentially in the title, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson leads the cast of the Jumanji reboot. Four teens discover a mysterious old game in their school basement, the dusty board game of the original film updated into a dusty 1990s-style console game. Upon setting it up, they become sucked into the game and its jungle setting. With each forced to play as one of the game’s preset avatars – Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan, choose your fighter – they must work together to survive the erratic and dangerous environment in which they find themselves.
Pitch Perfect 3 (December 20th)
Aca-n’t believe there’s another one of these! Flying somewhat under the radar, the third instalment in the popular musical comedy franchise is out this month and sees the Barden Bellas reunite one last time, post-college graduation, to perform on a USO tour. Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are back, along with Amber Snow, Hailie Steinfeld and some new rivals for the group, led by Ruby Rose. Directed by Trish Sie – probably best known for making videos with OK Go – the film promises more of the same madcap action, humour, and vocal harmony mashups fans of the series will enjoy.
As you might expect, this month sees cinemas nationwide going Christmas crackers (sorry). Whether you prefer old classics like White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life, or more modern fare like Bad Santa and Elf, you’re sure to find somewhere showing your favourite festive flick on the big screen.
The Naughty or Nice season strand returns to the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin this month, featuring a range of Christmas favourites, from Die Hard to Love Actually. Highlights include a fancy dress Elf party, with big-screen karaoke afterwards – because, as we all learned from the well-loved 2003 Will Ferrell comedy, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Naughty or Nice Christmas Season (December 7th-31st)
Joe Dante’s darkly hilarious Christmas monster movie Gremlins is one of the films showing at Queen’s Film Theatre Belfast as part of their holiday season. They will also be hosting star Zach Galligan for a post-screening Q&A after on December 9th. As well as Miracle on 34th Street and The Muppet Christmas Carol, the venue has programmed a number of more modern Christmas hits, including Arthur Christmas, The Polar Express and Bad Santa. Christmas 2017 at QFT (December 8th-23rd)
If you fancy something even more special for the season that’s in it, the NT: Live performance of The Nutcracker will have an encore showing this weekend at Omniplex cinemas across the country in Dublin, Belfast, Limerick, Cork and Dundalk. The celebrated Tchaikovsky-scored ballet tells the story of a young girl whose nutcracker doll comes to life and draws her into an enchanted wonderland. The Nutcracker (December 10th)