The sun is going away and the silver screen awaits our frostbitten feet as another winter approaches with the final films of 2013. Although a little light compared to last year, and with Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” getting pushed to a 2014 release, it’s up to a naughty gramps and a few not-so-blockbuster movies to make our cold, desolate winters a bit more enjoyable. Read on for the best films still to be released this year.
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (October 25)
Johnny Knoxville returns to the makeup trailer for another raunchy film about pissing people off and probably pissing on people in general. His character invention of Bad Grandpa has everybody by the gut with his unexpected elderly antics and playfully abusive way of life. Expect to be delightfully disturbed and don’t be surprised if old, wrinkly balls are included more than once.
Out of the Furnace (December 6)
Christian Bale is back to beat some ass, and hopefully this one will have an ending that makes sense since “The Dark Knight Rises” opted out of that. Bale plays a recently released ex-con who returns around the time his kid brother (Casey Affleck) gets involved with the wrong guy (Woody Harrelson), and it’s big brother Bale’s job to save him in this beat-‘em-down, shoot-‘em-up action drama, costarring Forest Whitaker, Zoe Saldana and the very sexy Willem Defoe.
American Hustle (December 13)
Not enough Bale for you? How about a David O. Russell film featuring Bale, Bradley Cooper and some sexy mamas, the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams? “American Gangster” meets “Boogie Nights” and “Blow,” this December film is a throwback to hustling con men, money, power and mafias. I don’t have to see more than the trailer to know that this movie will make you want to do dirty things, and David O. Russell is not one to disappoint. See it, dammit.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (December 18)
Anyone looking for an entire afternoon of magical adventure amongst some hobbity fellows? Or is anyone just excited to get blazed and see a film in 48-frames per second? With the anticipated sequel to last year’s “The Unexpected Journey,” also run by Peter Jackson, the next part of “The Hobbit” story comes to us in time for Christmas yet again.
You’ll get a gander(alf) of many original “Lord of the Rings” characters, including Gollum and Gandalf himself, along with the fresh faces of Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly and Cate Blanchett. Expect dragons, fire, gold and hobbit talk.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (December 20)
Most likely the only reason for not hibernating the entire winter is Will Ferrell and company’s highly requested return to vintage jackets and plaid pants. The news-friendly quartet of Ron Burgundy, Brian Fantana, Champ Kind and Brick Tamland are back, but now it’s the ‘80s and about to get a little weird, as Ron takes on New York -- 24-hour news channel style. I’m not sure what that means yet, but the trailer was good for some hilariously uncomfortable moments and mustache adoration.
The boys are looking good, and without giving too much away, there’s 15 big names listed on its cast, so expect some big surprises.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (December 25)
Ben Stiller has been making a habit of disappearing all year and then showing up on Christmas morning, which means he’s either family or maybe, just maybe, he’s Santa Claus. Now it’s rarely a cinematic adventure as Stiller is prone to character pieces, but if you’re looking for a few good laughs, he’s usually reliable. This could be both.
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” is based on 1930s James Thurber short story about an ordinary man looking for a little adventure in the unknown. The film, based on its trailer, is a cinematic surprise compared to most of Stiller's work. With a little comedy and a little insight, Walter Mitty might just lift you up this holiday season.
47 Ronin (December 25)
If you’ve been wondering where Keanu Reeves has been lately, apparently he’s been an exiled outcast enslaved and working his way towards revenge. This Christmas action movie features a Chinese warrior style adventure, like “The Last Samurai” meets “The Matrix” and “Mortal Kombat.”
If you haven’t been wondering what Keanu is up to, like most people, then you could just check it out for some magical effects and “The Raid: Redemption”-esque fight scenes. Nothing says Christmas like a vengeful bloodbath.
Grudge Match (December 25)
Stallone and De Niro tag team the big screen in a “Rocky”/"Raging Bull" meets “Grumpy Old Men” delight this Christmas that’ll have you bobbing and weaving in your seat. Another De Niro film about getting a little fire in your old bones, these 60-somethings will have you in a whirlwind of emotion by the end, promising a bunch of laughs and a few good sucker punches. If it helps, LL Cool J gets in on the action. Expect to learn that age is arbitrary, the dialogue is best left to DeNiro and the ass-kicking to Stallone.
Thor: Dark World (November 8)
Why we chose this potential superhero snoozer over a Tom Hanks plug for “Saving Mr. Banks,” telling a true story of Walt Disney and getting an early enthusiastic reaction, we’ll never know. But, with all the Avengers nuts out there, we felt sort of obligated. However, also mark your calendars for December 20 and go see “Saving Mr. Banks.”
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Last Vegas (November 1)
If you were hoping for a fourth “Hangover” movie mixed with a sequel to “The Bucket List,” I imagine this is it. Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Michael Douglas embrace their gray hairs and hit the road together for a Vegas bachelor party. The film is full of hilarious elderly anecdotes and old man drooling over fake, shiny breasts. With an internal beef between Douglas and De Niro and a few odes to their badass days, this flick should inform men of all ages that you’re never too old to party with your boys, marry chicks half your age and lose your mind in the weirdest city on the planet.