December has finally arrived and the festive season brings with it some real box-office boomers! This week sees the opening of new Christmas comedy Get Santa, a good old teen flick in the form of Men, Women and Children, a DreamWorks adventure with the Penguins of Madagascar and even a dark excursion with Jude Law to the depths of the Black Sea. So whether you’re ready to embrace the festive fun or whether you’re still feeling like a bit of a Grinch, there’s undoubtedly something for you in this week’s listings.
The Old Vic’s The Crucible, is the filmic product of Yaël Farber’s stage Production of The Crucible starring Richard Armitage. Arthur Miller’s timeless American classic is centred around the haunting events of the 1692 Massachusetts witch trials. His drama reveals a group of teenage girls caught in the act of conjuring love potions who are consequently forced to plea their being possessed by Satan in an attempt to escape torture and execution.
Black Sea, an underwater thriller starring Jude Law as Captain Robinson, who, in a bid to make peace with his former employee’s takes to the depths of the Black Sea in search of a submarine rumoured to be loaded with gold.
British comedy drama Bonobo tells the story of Judith, an uptight divorcee who is shamed by her daughter who drops out of law school in favour of a hippie commune who live in accordance with the behaviour of the bonobo monkey. In order to come to an understanding with her daughter Judith must spend a day among the commune and submit to its bizarre principles.
Eastern Boys is a drama following the mysterious arrival of the Eastern Boys who congregate around the Gare du Nord station in Paris. The boys seem harmless to those mere passers-by but when the curious Muller takes an unhealthy interest in one of the young men he falls, unknowingly, into their trap.
Directed by Christopher Smith and featuring stars such as Warwick Davis and Jim Broadbent, comes the festive family comedy, Get Santa. When Santa Claus crashes his slay in their garage it becomes the duty of father and son team Steve and Tom to save Christmas while Santa finds himself on the run from the police.
The Grandmaster is a biographical action drama about martial-arts master and trainer of Bruce Lee, the Ip Man. The story begins when Ip Man’s peaceful life in Foshan is disrupted when Gong Yutian, in his search for an heir challenges him for the sake of regaining her family’s honour.
Poor Carter find himself a little short on luck in Anthony Wilcox’s comedy drama Hello Carter. Homeless, single and unemployed, Carter sets off on an adventure through London with the aid of few odd helpers in the hunt for the best thing to happen in his life; his ex-girlfriend.
Me, Myself and Mum is a French comedy written by, directed by and starring Guillaume Gallienne as Guillaume and his middle class mother Mrs Gallienne. The film was released as part of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, and follows Guillaume as he grows up imitating his mother and never getting a full grip on his own identity, until he finds himself away from home at boarding school. Escaping the shadow of his mother, Guillaume learns to define himself with hardships of growing up such as unrequited love along the way.
Mea Culpa centres around two partners in the police, Franck and Simon. The French thriller unfolds after Simon is forced to leave the police due to causing a tragic car accident, whilst in the midst of solving a series of related gang murders in relation to the Serbian Mafia. The officer is forced to take matters into his own hands when the lives of his family are threatened.
Men, Women and Children is the latest from the director of Juno and Up in the Air, Jason Reitman. The film explores the rising impact of the internet and social media on a group of young people and their parents, as it reveals how little you know about the people that you think you know through their activities on the internet.
Open Bethlehem sees director Leila Sansour return to her small hometown of Bethlehem, as it is threatened to be sealed off by a wall around the town. The documentary encapsulates the tragedy of the Palestinians through one family in one small town that has such legends surrounding it.
Everyone’s favourite side-characters from DreamWorks’ Madagascar now have their own feature length film. Penguins of Madagascar reveals to us the backstory of the penguins and how they came to be masters of disguise. When the world comes under attack by a stream of evil octopuses, it is up to the penguins to save the day.
The Pyramid follows a team of American archaeologists as they try to escape the ‘Curse of the Pharaohs’ whilst exploring the catacombs of a newly discovered pyramid. From the director of The Hills Have Eyes, the horror film explores the myth of vengeful pharaohs as their burial places are disturbed.
School of Babel is our third French film of the week. The documentary is set in the reception class at a high school in France where young people who speak little French are taught. Through interactions with the pupils we discover the struggles of being in a class that is looked down upon by the rest of the school, and the reasons why the pupils themselves have come to France for their education.
St.Vincent stars Bill Murray as a war veteran who becomes an unlikely friend to his new next door neighbour. Vincent offers to become the young boy’s guardian in order to escape his poor financial situation, and finds himself attempting to teach the boy the ways of the world in a somewhat unorthodox manner. A heartfelt comedy about an unexpected bond of friendship between a school boy and an ageing man.