Holidays and Beyond: Film

Star Wars, Madeline L'Engle, and Daniel Day-Lewis' last role. It's so much more than Paddington 2.

The Shape of Water
December 8

The last time a fantasy director on uncertain domestic box-office ground made a merperson-themed film was M. Night Shyamalan’s The Lady in the Water. Guillermo del Toro is a lot of things, but he’s no Shyamalan.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi
December 15

Remember when everyone was all like, “The second film in the new trilogy is going to be super-dark because The Empire Strikes Back was?” We have one word for you: Porgs.

The Post
December 22

This historical drama about the release of the Pentagon Papers — with Tom Hanks as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, the role he was born to play — is Steven Spielberg’s first appearance on this list. Sadly, it will not be his last.

Phantom Thread
December 27

The new Paul Thomas Anderson film about fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga is by all accounts Daniel Day-Lewis’ last role. Rumor has it Day-Lewis is also dead sexy in it, so he’s going out with a bang of bangability.

Insidious: The Last Key
Fuck You, It’s January 5

Because of course the month where cinema goes to die kicks off with a horror film whose subtitle implies it’s the last of the series. Uh-huh. Yeah. Suuuuuuure.

Paddington 2
Fuck You, It’s January 12

A misleading sequel subtitle is one thing, but nothing says “We’re not even trying anymore” like just slapping a number at the end, especially in 2018. Is there no end to your mischief, Harvey Weinstein?

12 Strong
Fuck You, It’s January 19

Question: How come this macho war film is being released on Jan. 19 and not on Jan. 12, considering its title? Answer: You don’t mess with Paddington 2.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Fuck You, It’s January 26

Of all the YA books that tried and failed to replicate the cinematic success of The Hunger Games, who would have guessed that this series would have such legs? Sure, the verb “run” is right there in the title, but still.

SF IndieFest
February 1-15

Our homegrown festival of “the most innovative, new independent films and digital programs from around the world” returns for year 20. Among the bro-friendly events is the annual Super Bowl: Men In Tights party, just the title of which is funny because men don’t wear tights! See what they did there? Humiliation via implied blurring of strict gender lines = Komedy!

Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built
February 2

The subtitle suggests the Winchester Mystery House was built by ghosts, but the synopsis says it was built as an asylum for ghosts. At least be consistent with your nonsense, movie.

Fifty Shades Freed
February 9

The book-and-film series that launched a thousand thinkpieces about the nature of BDSM and consent “concludes,” just like the Insidious series is totally going to.

Early Man
February 16

The new stop-motion animated film by Wallace & Gromit’s Nick Park is his first feature since 2005’s Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and only his third overall. The chap takes his time, and it shows.

Noise Pop
February 19-25

Now at the age which has neither an anniversary stone nor any famous deaths associated with it, the 26th year of this festival of music and music-related things will probably once again include a slate of interesting-looking documentaries, but the full (film) lineup wasn’t available at the time of this writing.

The War with Grandpa
February 23

Let’s count the red flags: pushed back from October (one); a Robert De Niro comedy (two) from the director of Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (three), and the 2007 Alvin and the Chipmunks (four), and Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (fuck all).

Death Wish
March 2

Also pushed back from last fall, this time because of guns — guns! Have you enjoyed a gun today? — everything about Eli Roth directing Bruce Willis in a Death Wish remake scripted by the screenwriter of The A-Team sounds wrong. And yet…

A Wrinkle in Time
March 9

It’s surprising that Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book has never received a proper adaptation until now, but considering that it’s being directed by Selma and The 13th’s Ava DuVernay, it will almost certainly be worth the wait.

Tomb Raider
March 16

Sure, Warcraft and Assassin’s Creed both tanked domestically while this film was still in production, but teen boys weren’t as likely to masturbate to anyone in those movies as they are to the sexy Ex Machina robot lady as video game lady Lara Croft.

Pacific Rim: Uprising
March 23

Guillermo Del Toro’s robots-versus-monsters slugfest was the only big “blowin’ things up real good” movie of 2013 to remember that blowin’ things up real good also needs to be fun. Judging from the trailers, this Toro-free sequel has forgotten it.

Ready Player One
March 30

When Steven Spielberg adapts a book, it sometimes works (Lincoln) and sometimes doesn’t (The BFG), but you usually get why he’s trying. In the case of Ernest Cline’s horribly-written memberberry-crumble of masculine 1980s nostalgia, it makes not a damn bit of sense. Jaws wasn’t a very good book either, but the disparity between the director and the source material has seldom been wider.

Check out more from our Holidays and Beyond issue here:

At the Midway, Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Year
Breakfast of Champions rings in 2018 at the Dogpatch venue with increasingly big artistic ambitions.

Holidays and Beyond: Art
From a retrospective on hip-hop style to an investigation into Hitchcock’s Vertigo, the season’s exhibits cover virtually everything.

Holidays and Beyond: Books
A new novel by Dave Eggers, essays by Zadie Smith, and Denis Johnson’s posthumous short-story collection.

Holidays and Beyond: Comedy
How bad do you want to see Bill Murray? He’s coming this Friday to the Masonic.

Holidays and Beyond: Music
St. Vincent is coming! St. Vincent is coming!

Holidays and Beyond: Theater
From the Golden Girls (in drag) to Harold Pinter to Marga Gomez’s newest comic masterpiece, it’s a season of the highbrow and the lowbrow (but never the middlebrow).

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