Saturday, November 28, 2009

Which Will Prevail?

As we're nearing the end of the year, there are really only about four or five films left with some question marks about them. Sherlock Holmes is tracking exceedingly well, and I have no doubts that it will wind up being the biggest film of the holiday season. I really have no reservations about Sherlock Holmes, I wanna see it, I think it looks like a good time at the movies. Alas, while I think Sherlock Holmes will be a fun popcorn adventure, this is after all awards season, so what about the big awards hopefuls that have still yet to be released in any capacity.

The first up will be Clint Eastwood's Invictus and Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones, in which reviews for both are slowly trickling out into the canals of the internet.

From early word, it sounds as if The Lovely Bones will wind up being one of those love-hate films. The varying reviews already posted range from a trainwreck, to a stunning masterpiece, to a film that is often good but shy of a magnum opus. While Invictus is getting the usual love from Eastwood's supporter's, many are claiming that it isn't the director's best work, and some are even calling his latest a touch sentimental; even still, it has been receiving solid reviews thus far. What does this mean for both films?

Well, Invictus seems to be playing well toward the critics, while it may not be a home run for Eastwood, it should find itself in the Oscar hunt at year's end. As for The Lovely Bones, I've kind of gathered that if you're a fan of the book you will most likely be disappointed, but the bottom line is for some people it will be the masterpiece they were hoping for, and for others it will not be worth consideration, thus I think The Lovely Bones is kind of out of the Oscar race unless some more critics board the express.

Then there is Avatar, the big science fiction epic from James Cameron. For the film's budget, it is not tracking very well, being outsourced by Sherlock Holmes in the numbers, but Avatar is still being touted as a big awards hopeful. Early word from a rumored screening of the film has labeled the film as brilliant and a definite gamechanger for the industry, whether or not this will translate to critic approval and big box office, I don't know, but Avatar seems to be still in the game.

Finally, there is Nine, the glitzy musical based off Frederico Fellini's 8 1/2. Early reports cite that the film is fun and engaging, a definite throwback to the glamor-filled musicals of the Golden Age, but the word is that the film lacks an emotional punch, but of course I haven't seen many big screen musicals ever truly affect me so I don't mind it. The film is still being chatted up as a solid award's contender, all thanks to its style over substance motra that will most likely please the Academy and audiences.

I'm very interested to see which of these December releases will come out on top and manage to be king. Which will wow the critics and win their approval? Nine? Or Invictus? Or perhaps, will Up in the Air continue to be the unchallenged champion of the critics when it is released on Christmas Day after the almost unanimous love heaped upon the film on the festival circuit a few months back? As well, who will win the box office, Sherlock Holmes or Avatar? Time will tell, but as for now I'm excited to see how this final month of 2009 will unfold.

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