Avatar (20th Century Fox): Director James Cameron’s sci-fi epic is finally here. Set in 2154, the story is about a paraplegic war veteran (Sam Worthington) who travels to the distant planet in order to understand and become part of the native humanoid race, which is at odds with human settlers who want to mine the planet for precious minerals. Co-starring Sigourney Weaver, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang, it breaks new ground with some extraordinary visual effects, innovative use of 3D and a surprisingly subversive story line.
Given the enormous cost of the production (reportedly around the $300 million mark) Fox will be anxious but given the positive buzz and critical praise since it premièred in London last week, they can be hopeful for a huge gross over the Christmas period as the must-see factor really kicks in. [Nationwide / 12A]
* Read my longer thoughts on Avatar here *
Nine (Entertainment): A famous film director (Daniel Day Lewis) struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penélope Cruz), his muse (Nicole Kidman), his costume designer (Judi Dench), a journalist (Kate Hudson), a prostitute (Fergie) and his mother (Sophia Loren).
Directed by Rob Marshall, The Weinstein Company were hoping that this musical with an all-star cast would deliver awards season glory, the mixed reviews may hinder the box office appeal. Entertainment are the UK distributor and they are going for a platform release, showing it exclusively at the Odeon West End in London for a week and then rolling it out nationwide from Boxing Day and January 1st. [Nationwide from December 26th and 1st Jan / Cert 12A]
St Trinian’s: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold (Entertainment): The girls of St. Trinians are on the hunt for buried treasure after discovering headmistress Miss Fritton is related to a famous pirate. Given that the first St Trinian’s hasn’t even come out in America yet, prospects for this sequel in a busy Christmas period don’t look too good. [Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide / PG]
Humpday (Vertigo Films): One of the more notable US indie releases this year is the tale of two guys (Mark Duplass and Joshua Leonard) who take their bromance to another level when they participate in an art film project.
Directed by Lynn Shelton, it could do good arthouse business given the blitz of high profile releases at the multiplexes. [Curzon Soho & Key Cities / 15]
> Get local cinema showtimes for your area via Google Movies
> UK cinema releases for December 2009
> UK DVD & Blu-ray picks for 2009