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Movies to watch this holiday season

Winter

Maya Dennis, A&E critic

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With the holidays quickly approaching and since we’re right on the cusp of awards season, it only makes sense that I had to write about the films you have to watch this season.

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Nov. 16

One of the year’s most anticipated films, the sequel to the 2016 film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is one that should be at the top of your must-watch list. While the reviews have been mixed so far if you’re a die-hard “Harry Potter” fan than the minor details critics look for won’t bother you. With a new location, it gives audiences the chance to explore more parts of the Wizarding World. We find our core four split up and trying to find Credence. Yes, he’s alive. From huge wizard battles to twists and turns that come out of left field, there’s a guarantee that you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat for at least 75% of the film.  

 

Green Book – Nov. 21

Based on a true story, “Green Book” follows Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a renowned pianist about to go on tour in the deep south alongside Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), his new bodyguard who used to be a bouncer in the Bronx. While most of the films on this list are going to be fun action films, “Green Book” is set during the civil rights movement, making it a timely release. Director Peter Farrelly is well known for his comedy films, and this one doesn’t’ stray too far. While the topic is serious, critics say he knows how to have fun. And if nothing else, you should keep an eye on it because it may become a runner during the awards season.

 

Robin Hood: Origins – Nov. 21

Remember when I was talking about those non-oscar nominees, this is probably not one of those. However, from the trailer, the film still looks like it’s going to be a blast. Similar to last years “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” the new Robin Hood film looks to take a new perspective on the story we’ve all heard. In the trailer, it starts by making you think Taron Egerton as the bad guy, but about halfway through, he reveals himself to be the vigilante we all know and love. With already a twist under its belt, “Robin Hood: Origins” looks to be an entertaining film.

 

Creed – Nov. 21

With familiar faces and high stakes, “Creed II” looks to be like the sequel we’ve been waiting for. “Creed” was released three years ago, almost ten years after “Rocky VI.” While the new film isn’t directed by Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”), his successor, Steven Caple Jr., looks to make an entertaining film that won’t disappoint. We see Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) have to learn how to balance life and boxing, similar to what Rocky had to do. Unfortunately, Adonis is too obsessed to see the destruction he could cause his family if his fate were to parallel his fathers.

 

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse – Dec. 14

While we’ve seen a lot of “Spider-Man” films in the past 20 years, this one takes a new spin. Instead of focusing on the well-beloved Peter Parker, we are introduced to a new character, Miles Morales. And it’s animated. All the films before have been live action, so the change could cause some mixed feelings for audiences. The change to animation is actually something that could be beneficial for the film, especially if there’s a chance for a sequel. Making the film animated allows for it to introduce characters many aren’t familiar with and go places that couldn’t be entirely possible in a live-action version.

 

Mary Poppins Returns – Dec. 19

When Disney announced that the original 1964 film. “Mary Poppins,” was getting a sequel, it’s safe to say viewers were excited. After almost 55 years, the iconic film will make its return in the form of a sequel. Directed by Rob Marshall (“Into the Woods”) the film looks to be both true to the original and stray in its own way. Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to help the Banks’ children and their kids. While I would usually say that Hollywood is running low ideas, I can’t complain with this one. Having a sequel to one of the greatest films of all time is a gift we don’t deserve.

 

Aquaman – Dec. 21

Jason Momoa’s character was first introduced in Justice League a year ago. Most people were left wanting just a little bit more from the heroes introduced in the film. Well, look no further. If you didn’t already know Arthur Curry is getting his own film. But “Aquaman” isn’t his origin story. We still get flashbacks so as to understand what’s going on, but there are other pressing matters in the film besides his parentage. So far the film looks really good. Like really good. DC has an affinity for having really cool trailers and sucky films. But thanks to James Wan, it looks like that streak is going to end.

 

Bumblebee – Dec. 21

“Transformers” first debuted in 2007, and since then their films have greatly decreased in quality. However, when you bring on a new director, things are bound to change. “Bumblebee” will be directed by Travis Knight, who previously worked as an animator for Laika, the company that made films like “Coraline” and “Kubo and the Two Strings.” With Knight at the helm, the film looks like less pure action. It looks like there will also be some heartfelt moments, which has never really existed in a “Transformers” film. With this in mind, it’s almost crystal clear to me that this film will be one of the best — if not the best — “Transformers” film.

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