Black Nativity – It’s time for holiday movies, and that means focus on the family and focus on the faith. In Black Nativity, the road to both of these runs right through the church, which allows for a good deal of musical numbers. Langston (Jacob Latimore) and his mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson), have run across hard times, and Langston is sent to his grandparents, the Reverend (Forest Whitaker) and Aretha (Angela Bassett). They are going to try and steer Langston in the right direction, if only he will let them. Adapted from the play by Langston Hughes and directed by Kasi Lemmons. Out in wide release from Fox Searchlight.
Cousin Jules – Made in 1968 and using the most sophisticated tools at the time, Dominique Benicheti filmed his cousin Jules (a blacksmith) and his wife, Félicie. The film was shown five years later, hailed as a masterpiece, and then disappeared. Until 2012. Now it has been restored in all its glory and finally available for viewing. If you are a fan of the quotidian, then this is the movie for you. Out in limited release from Cinema Guild.
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker – Writer/director Danis Tanovic reopens a recent wound and combines documentary and narrative cinema into something that is both real and a recreation of real. Nazif Mujic is a scrap metal picker and is barely getting by. His wife, Senada Alimanovic, suffers a miscarriage, but since they have no money and no insurance, the local hospital denies them a very simple treatment that would save Senada. The following ten days finds Nazif struggling against racism and bureaucracy while his wife dies in agony. Tanovic uses non-professional actors to revisit and reveal the struggle face by Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Roma minority.
Frozen – The Evil Snow Queen (Idina Menzel) has imprisoned the kingdom in an eternal winter. The only person who can stop it is her sister, Anna (Kristen Bell). Anna teams up with a mountain man (Jonathan Groff), a reindeer, and a snowman (Josh Gad) and a lot of wackiness and hijinks ensue. Everyone is racing to break the winter spell, and Chris Buck is the one directing the whole shebang. Out in wide release from Walt Disney Pictures.
Homefront – Phil (Jason Statham) is a retired DEA agent trying to start a new life for himself and his daughter (Izabela Vidovic) in Small Town, U.S.A. Too bad he picked a town where James Franco and Kate Bosworth is running a large methamphetamine operation. What do they do? They kidnap the kid of course. Bad idea, because Statham is ready to do what Statham does best, kick ass. If that wasn’t enough, Sylvester Stallone (yes, the Sylvester Stallone) wrote the script. Directed by Gary Fleder and out in wide release from Open Road Films.
Journey To The South Pacific – Baby, it’s cold outside, and even though we can’t afford a trip, we can afford to stop into the nearest IMAX theater, for the latest 3D travelog, Journey to the South Pacific. Nothing looks quite like IMAX 3D, and this tropical paradise with it’s deep blues and shocking whites is sure to be a feast for the eyes. It may be 20 degrees outside, but in here, you feel as toasty as a sand-crab. Narrated by Cate Blanchett and directed by Stephen Judson and Greg MacGillivray. Out in limited release from IMAX Films.
Oldboy – Joe (Josh Brolin) was imprisoned for no apparent reason on October 8, 1993. In 2013 he was set free. Question one, why was he locked up? Question two, why was he set free? Oh, and there is this business about his daughter, Donna (Hannah Ware) who has now been kidnapped after Daddy’s been away all these years. Vengeance is mine indeed. Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Imperioli join Brolin for Mark Protosevich and Spike Lee’s remake of Park Chan-Wook’s seminal Korean film. Out in wide release from Film District.