Holiday Season Always Offers Promising Award-winning Films

by Sandra Olmsted

The holiday season offers many films for all audiences, and below is the scoop on several getting some buzz.

Opening Friday, Dec.  13:

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas (Lionsgate) Tyler Perry dons his Madea suit and bring Madea back to the big screen for a Holiday film. When Madea helps a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas, the two of them find a big surprise when they arrive. As the small, rural town prepares for its annual Christmas Carnival, new secrets are revealed and old relationships are tested,and all the while Madea dishes out her own brand of Christmas Spirit to one and all. In addition to contemporary songs, the soundtrack boasts a healthy array of popular traditional Christmas songs.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros.), director Peter Jackson latest installment in the epic, was filmed at the same time as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. After the experimental use of filming and projecting the last installment at 48 frames per second verses the standard 24 frames per second, which did not impress the critics, this film has been kept under heavy wraps in advance of its release. Reportedly, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) must fulfill his contract with the dwarves, and along with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and 13 Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), leaves on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

Opening Wednesday, Dec. 18:

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount) continues the saga of “stellar” news anchor Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell). The film is being hyped with events and promotions, but little has leaked out about the actual plot, which isn’t surprising given that the first installment had so little meaningful plot. Sure to amuse the Hangover crowd, the addition of some big stars and comedic actors, such as  Christina Applegate, Jim Carrey, Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Vince Vaughn, Steve Carell, James Marsden, Paul Rudd, Greg Kinnear, and Tina Fey might broaden the appeal.

American Hustle (Sony) is described by the studio as “a fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation.” A brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting, and Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner), a passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator, is caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) could bring the entire thing crashing down. The top-notch cast promises good performance.

Since little has leaked out about these films, and they haven’t made the festival rounds, it will be interesting to see how they turned out. Other upcoming films include Waling with Donosaurs, 3D, Inside Llewyn Davas, and Saving Mr. Banks  (Disney) which open Friday Dec. 20.

A look at films opening on Christmas Day in future issues

Wehrenberg Theatres will once again host its annual “Cans Film Festival” to benefit The Salvation Army’s “Tree of Lights” campaign. On Saturday Dec. 7, guests who bring five canned food items to any participating Wehrenberg Theatre will receive free admission to any movie that day starting before 5 p.m. For show times, visit


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