The Edge’s alternative movie picks for December 2017

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Lets face it: we’re all seeing Star Wars: The Last Jedi this December. The biggest franchise of all time returns this December to continue on the story started back in 2015’s box office monster The Force Awakens, and it’s a given that The Last Jedi will be a beast in its own right. But Star Wars isn’t the only movie to hit the multiplexes this December. As with every Christmas season, the studios like to pack their schedules and make money off of the post-Christmas Day audiences, families all gathered together for a concentrated time during which they’ll sit down in a darkened room for two hours. How festive! But anyway, The Edge writers have come together to profile the movies that they’re are most excited for away from a galaxy far, far away…

Wonder, dir. by Stephen Chbosky

Wonder, adapted from the titular book by R.J. Palacio, follows 10-year-old Auggie Pullman through fifth grade, after being home-schooled up until then. Auggie, played by Jacob Tremblay, has a facial birth defect that he has mostly come to terms with (cue some adorable scenes of self-acceptance we could all learn from), and the plot centres around the way he is treated by classmates, relatives and teachers due to this. If you want feel-good film this festive season that does not involve Santa, Wonder might be the answer. This film looks to be suitably heart-warming, and contains some great messages about acceptance and differences, all seen through the eyes of children – who could definitely teach the adults a thing or two. Don’t dismiss it as a children’s movie based on the trailer either, there will be tears.The book it is based on received critical acclaim and was a New York Times Best Seller. Whilst the subject matter might be heavy, Wonder follows its narrative in a surprisingly light-hearted and hopeful way, something that makes it a film worth being excited about.

Release date: December 1st

words by Ali Treanor

The Disaster Artist, dir. by James Franco

In a month headlined by Star Wars, a biopic revolving around the Citizen Kane of bad movies doesn’t seem like much to get excited about. However, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist promises to be one of 2017’s surprise hits and will detail the insane production behind Tommy Wiseau’s famously bad film, The Room. Franco directs the film as well as portraying the eccentric Wiseau, whilst his younger brother Dave will play Greg Sestero, author of the book upon which the film is based. The movie will follow aspiring actors Greg and Tommy as they travel to L.A. with the hope of making it big. However, after struggling to make their elaborate dreams a reality, the two decide to take a chance and make a film of their own. At first glance, the film appears to just be another Franco-Rogen, all-out comedy. However, as early reviews and recent footage both suggest, the film will go deeper into the character of Wiseau as well as answering fan’s burning questions as to why The Room was so bad. This, along with the fact that James Franco’s transformative performance is already generating some Oscar buzz, means The Disaster Artist can’t come soon enough.

Release date: December 6th

words by Tom Wilmot

Blade of the Immortal, dir. by Takashi Miike

For those yet to be acquainted with Japanese director Miike Takashi, you’ve got a lot to get through. Blade of the Immortal marks the Asian auteur’s 100th film, telling the story of Manji, a samurai cursed with immortality who pledges to help a young girl avenge the murder of her parents in order to regain his soul. If that sounds wild, it probably will be, taking it in to consideration that Takashi’s previous films range from vampire gangster flicks to cannibal musicals. Though such an eclectic diversity of films have resulted in an almost impossible to predict ratio of hits and misses, Blade of the Immortal feels special. Combining Takashi’s signature embrace of horror alongside his deft touch for comedy in a traditionally Japanese samurai tale, Blade of the Immortal will be nothing if not entertaining. And who knows? It may just turn out to be one of the master’s best works.

Release date: December 8th

words by Liam Beazley

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, dir. by Jake Kasdan

Star Wars isn’t the only ageing franchise receiving a new instalment this December. The 1995 Robin Williams-starring Jumanji is getting a continuation 22 years on in the form of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. With a modern spin on the board game, this iteration of the jungle adventure sees a group of kids sucked into a video game where they become their character avatars, the heroes within the game being played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black. From the trailers, Welcome to the Jungle looks to be a full on action-adventure romp, perfect for the popcorn consuming audiences seeking some good thrills and fun action scenes. The cast assembled serves only to up the excitement; Johnson and Hart exhibited great chemistry in last year’s Central Intelligence which led to them being cast, Karen Gillan made a fantastic companion to a certain Timelord in a phone box and has shown some solid work in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, and then there’s Jack Black, one of the top comedic actors of the last 20 years. In addition to them, there’s the endlessly lovable Rhys Darby and the reliably great Bobby Cannavale, and director Jake Kasdan has done some solid directorial work over the years, most notably in the cult classic TV show Freaks and Geeks. All in all, if you’re looking for some pure entertainment, look no further than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle this December.

Release date: December 20th

words by David Mitchell-Baker

Pitch Perfect 3, dir. by Trish Sie

The Bellas are back on the 22nd of December to partake in the USO tour to show off their pipes for the final time in what will be the third and final instalment of everyone’s favourite a cappella comedy film franchise. The film is set to tackle the ideas of reaching adulthood and career paths, perhaps introducing a deeper side to the trilogy that hasn’t been seen in the first two films. Nonetheless, Pitch Perfect 3 is sure to be as fun-filled as ever, providing a ray of light-hearted relief to the doom and gloom of the cold and the rain we are sure to see in the coming months; and to be perfectly honest, who can resist an hour and a half of mash-ups and dance routines? Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are both to reprise their roles in the Trish Sie directed film, whilst Ruby Rose is also looking set to be featured for the first time after appearing in a rival group to the Bellas on the official trailer. If the previous two instalments are anything to go by, one thing that is guaranteed is that you’ll leave the cinema with a smile on your face.

Release date: December 22nd

words by Harry Fortuna

Molly’s Game, dir. by Aaron Sorkin

Molly’s Game is written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and stars Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba and Kevin Costner. It tells the true story of Molly Bloom (Chastain), an Olympic class skier who ran the most exclusive illegal poker club in the world. Any film fan who relishes a good screenplay should be excited for Molly’s Game; Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin is widely considered to be one of the best screenwriters working today, and with this film he makes his directorial debut. Sorkin’s screenplay credits include The Social Network, Moneyball, Steve Jobs, and a bulk of the television show The West Wing. Due to working with so many A-list directors, we’re all eager to see what he has learnt from them, with a knack for the eccentric and outlandish true stories, no tale seems more suited to the filmmaker than this. The scandal was widely covered in the papers as the poker ring drew in the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and Toby Maguire, whilst the film changes the identities of the players, the rest remains unaltered, based on the autobiography by Molly Bloom herself. Promising slick dialogue, smart storytelling and the sexy Idris Elba, Molly’s Game is definitely one to watch.

Release date: December 26th

words by Sam Oliver

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The Edge's Film Editor 2017-2018, David has an unabashed love for all things Dave Grohl, Jack Black and Lord of the Rings. A compulsive liar who shouldn't be trusted, David once beat legendary actor David Hasselhoff in a hot dog eating contest and is best friends with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, they speak on the phone three times a week.

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Film Studies student at Southampton. Reviewing not critiquing. Ars Gratia Artis.

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Second year History student - Enjoys Film, TV and Video Games

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Second year Film student. Twentieth year Film lover.

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First year English and history student, brass band nerd and lover of everything sci-fi

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