The holiday season is ramping up, and with it comes a barrage of Oscar contenders, action/adventures and new seasonal classics! As always, CraveOnline's rounded up the most anticipated of the bunch, with our take on the highs, lows and can't-miss films of November!
Starring: Ben Stiller, Alan Alda, Eddie Murphy, Matthew Broderick
Directed By: Brett Ratner
Ben Stiller will star in Tower Heist, about a group of con-men who devise a plan to swindle the residents of New York's upscale Trump Tower, where they also work.
CraveOnline's Call: Sadly, our hopes were just too high for this one. We heard the words "Eddie Murphy," saw this was a comedy, and saw that there's not a fat suit to be found on set, and damn near lost our minds with excitement. It's reportedly not the kind of return we were hoping for from our man Eddie, but a watchable flick nonetheless. Will Netflix still exist by the time it's ready for digital release? We hope so.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Danny Trejo, John Cho, Kal Penn
Directed By: Todd Strauss-Schulson
The new “Harold & Kumar” comedy picks up six years after the duo’s last adventure.
After years of growing apart, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) have replaced each other with new friends and are preparing for their respective Yuletide celebrations. But when a mysterious package mistakenly arrives at Kumar’s door on Christmas Eve, his attempt to redirect it to Harold’s house ends with the “high grade” contents—and Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree— going up in smoke. With his in-laws out of the house for the day, Harold decides to cover his tracks, rather than come clean. Reluctantly embarking on another ill-advised journey with Kumar through New York City, their search for the perfect replacement tree almost blows Christmas Eve sky high.
CraveOnline's Call: How this franchise makes money is so far beyond my comprehension I'm tempted to think it's an elaborate ruse designed specifically to make me feel like I'm the only weed-enjoying human on the planet who isn't turned into a bumbling modern-day Cheech & Chong ripoff whenever the greens are lit. These Harold & Kumar films are aimed directly at my demographic, yet by my experience they couldn't be farther from "funny" and "enjoyable". So we'll go ahead and pass on this poor dead horse.
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Damon Herriman
Directed By: Clint Eastwood
Opening: November 9
“J. Edgar” explores the public and private life of one of the most powerful, controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio) was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.
CraveOnline's Call: Well, we need something to talk about at The Oscars, don't we?
Starring: Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Isabel Lucas, Henry Cavill
Directed By: Tarsem Singh
Eons after the Gods won their mythic struggle against the Titans, a new evil threatens the land. Mad with power, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) has declared war against humanity. Amassing a bloodthirsty army of soldiers disfigured by his own hand, Hyperion has scorched Greece in search of the legendary Epirus Bow, a weapon of unimaginable power forged in the heavens by Ares.
Only he who possesses this bow can unleash the Titans, who have been imprisoned deep within the walls of Mount Tartaros since the dawn of time and thirst for revenge. In the king’s hands, the bow would rain destruction upon mankind and annihilate the Gods. But ancient law dictates the Gods must not intervene in man’s conflict. They remain powerless to stop Hyperion…until a peasant named Theseus (Henry Cavill) comes forth as their only hope.
Secretly chosen by Zeus, Theseus must save his people from Hyperion and his hordes. Rallying a band of fellow outsiders—including visionary priestess Phaedra (Freida Pinto) and cunning slave Stavros (Stephen Dorff)—one hero will lead the uprising, or watch his homeland fall into ruin and his Gods vanish into legend.
CraveOnline's Call: Not quite a sequel to 300, but certainly worth a look. Between the Greek mythology, the special effects and the genetically chiseled bodies in motion, this is bound to be a dazzling visual spectacle. We're in.
Jack and Jill
Starring: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes
Directed By: Dennis Dugan
Jack and Jill is a comedy focusing on Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler), a successful advertising executive in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and kids, who dreads one event each year: the Thanksgiving visit of his identical twin sister Jill (also Adam Sandler). Jill’s neediness and passive-aggressiveness is maddening to Jack, turning his normally tranquil life upside down. Katie Holmes plays Erin, Jack’s wife
CraveOnline's Call: If the South Park days of the late 90s/early 2ks would've depicted Adam Sandler derping it up in 2011, chances are they'd have come up with a spoof similar to this storyline. It's undoubtedly fun for the kids and those long plane rides when you have absolutely nothing to do with your time. It's harmless, and it doesn't have Jennifer Aniston pretending to be attracted to Sandler, but a theatrical investment seems a little much for this experience.
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, John Hurt
Directed By: Lars Von Trier
Antichrist director Lars von Trier has announced that his next project will be a sci-fi disaster film titled Melancholia. Melancholia is described as a beautiful film about the end of the world, and the the story hinges on a large object from outer space approaching Earth that affects the planet's inhabitants.
CraveOnline's Call: What begins to look like the kind of film your mom would watch by herself after she's gone through all her period-piece Victorian classics, shifts into an apocalyptic fantasy of poetic beauty and captivating essence. Definitely check it out.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner
Directed By: Bill Condon
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), plus those they love, must deal with the chain of consequences brought on by a marriage, honeymoon, and the tumultuous birth of a child… which brings an unforeseen and shocking development for Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).
With more of the romance, passion, intrigue and action that made Twilight, The Twilight Saga: New Moon and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse worldwide blockbusters, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling book series, begins the conclusion of the tale of vampire love, boundless friendship, acceptance, and finding your true self.
CraveOnline's Call: It will all be over soon. Sparkling vampires and werewolves hundreds of years old who fall in love with personality-free high school emo chicks, and span their weird hackish tweenporn over damn near a decade's worth of theatrical releases. This is the legacy of the 2011 generation. Well, this, True Blood and that craptacular Lou Reed/Metallica album. Culture!
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Based on Brian Selznick's magic-themed children's novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" which centers on an orphaned boy who secretly lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station and looks after the clocks. He gets caught up in a mystery adventure when he attempts to repair a mechanical man.
CraveOnline's Call: Scorsese has a knack for the magic, and he seems to have recaptured it once again with this adaptation of the children's novel designed to enchant & inspire. A fantastic step into the holiday spirit – let's go.
Starring: Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Jason Segel, Amy Adams
Directed By: James Bobin
On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets’ former stomping grounds. To stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate.
CraveOnline's Call: I can't get my kids to care about The Muppets for five minutes, and the latest update – full of pop culture double entendres and celebrity guest spots – will only serve as a nostalgia blast for grown-ups who just can't let go. Let's let our precious memories stay what they are – memories. No Jim Henson, no new Muppets movies. The formula isn't that difficult to grasp.
Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy
Directed By: Barry Cook, Sarah Smith
The 3D, CG-animated family comedy Arthur Christmas, an Aardman production for Sony Pictures Animation, at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child's question: 'So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?' The answer: Santa's exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole. But at the heart of the film is a story with the ingredients of a Christmas classic – a family in a state of comic dysfunction and an unlikely hero, Arthur, with an urgent mission that must be completed before Christmas morning dawns.
CraveOnline's Call: A new holiday classic is born when a boy finds himself the only one who can help save Christmas.