The Danish Girl leads the new cinema releases & trailers – w/e December 25th 2015 and January 1st 2016

the-danish-girlThere’s not a great deal released over Christmas and New Year – six films in total – so I’ve brought them all together in one place. In addition, since two of these are actually released on Boxing Day (a Saturday), they will actually get a 9-day ‘weekend’ and enter the movie charts at the same time as those released on New Year’s Day!

The six films are as follows and the last two only are released on Boxing Day: Oscar-nominated drama in The Danish Girl, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence together again in Joy, Independence Day Resurgence‘s Roland Emmerich directs the Stonewall Riots, comedy in Sleeping With Other People, alleged comedy in Daddy’s Home, and a dull waste of time with In The Heart Of The Sea.

The Danish Girl is sadly not the tale of a woman in love with a particular tasty pastry-baked product.

Instead, it’s the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe (Eddie Redmayne) and Gerda Wegener (Ex Machina‘s Alicia Vikander). Lili and Gerda’s marriage and work evolve as they navigate Lili’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer. Formerly born in the wrong body, the trailer shows how Lili, as Einar Wegener, realises things aren’t quite what they used to be when his wife paints him as a lady, and that he wants to make the change, literally, and become the first-ever male to have attempted female sex reassignment surgery.

Eddie Redmayne was a powerhouse in the surprisingly so-so The Theory of Everything, and The Danish Girl shows his star to continue to be in the ascendancy, regardless of tripping up with Jupiter Ascending (no pun intended).

Set in Copenhagen, in the early 1920s, this all leads to a childhood friend of Einar’s, art-dealer Hans Axgil (Matthias Schoenaerts), showing up and starting a complex love triangle with the couple…

The Danish Girl is directed by Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables) and will do doubt be in the running for Oscar and BAFTA awards, hence why it’s given a similar release date to last year’s Hawking movie, as it’s out on January 1st 2016.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!

Joy tells the tale of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty, and now an official trailer has been released.

In the titular lead, Jennifer Lawrence stars as Joy and the story is inspired by the life and times of inventor entrepreneur Joy Mangano, creator of Ingenious Designs with over $1 billion in sales, as well as inspired by elements from the lives of other historic business pioneers.

David O Russell directs Lawrence alongside Bradley Cooper, partnering them for the umpteenth time onscreen after they’ve appeared together American Hustle, Silver Linings Playbook and Serena to name but three, and there’s also Robert De Niro, Elisabeth Röhm, Virginia Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Édgar Ramírez, Donna Mills and Diane Ladd.

Personally, I’m not sold on this and all three of the lead cast members just seem to be in everything these days, particularly with so many films starring BOTH Lawrence and Cooper. I don’t think he can act and I’ve had enough of him. Also, De Niro just seems to by sleepwalking through his career lately, so he’s no longer a draw.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Stonewall is based around the 1969 Stonewall Riots, which was the violent clash that kicked off the gay rights movement in New York City. The drama centers on Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine), who flees to New York, leaving behind his sister. He finds his way to the Stonewall Inn, where he meets Trevor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) before catching the eye of Ed Murphy (Ron Perlman), manager of the Stonewall… well, it’s hardly difficult to miss Ron Perlman!

For a minute I thought this trailer was going to burst into an all-singing, all-dancing copy of West Side Story, but then it displayed the caption “Where Pride began!”, so basically, they’re trying to swing on the coat-tails of the British hit from last year, which a lot of people loved, but I thought was merely okay because the situations, and a lot of the characters, were scripted like a bad soap opera.

And who directs this? Roland Emmerich! So when does the Earth fall apart? Never, it seems…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

Sleeping With Other People stars Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers) as good-natured womaniser Jake, and the stunning Alison Brie (The Lego Movie 3D) as serial cheater Lainey, who form a platonic relationship in order to help them reform in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in…

Written and directed by Leslye Headland (2012’s Bachelorette) and also starring Natasha Lyonne, Adam Scott, Amanda Peet and Daniella Pineda, we now have the Official Red Band Trailer which gets a chance to be more risque than the regular trailers, and based on this I’m far more sold on it, as it allows the film to deliver as it should do.

Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but also both leads have made better films in the past…

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Maybe!

Daddy’s Home looks like another sorry excuse for a Will Ferrell comedy after he was last seen with Kevin Hart, trying to get tips on avoiding being raped in prison in Get Hard (oh, the hilarity!)

Ferrell is playing stepdad since he married Linda Cardellini, most recently seen as Hawkeye’s missus, Laura, in the so-so Avengers: Age of Ultron. He’s having to fill in for her children where their deadbeat dad failed miserably.

Alas, for him, spread the word around… he’s back in town, and he’s played by Mark Wahlberg, and they have a ‘dad-off’ for 90 minutes… or 2 hours… or however long this godawful mess lasts for (the running time is not yet known).

The film also stars Thomas Haden Church, Alessandra Ambrosio, Paul Scheer and Hannibal Buress, and it also has two directors, which unless it’s a CGI animated movie, is never a good sign. They are Sean Anders and John Morris.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!

In The Heart Of The Sea

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. “In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

Directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley and Tom Holland, unfortunately this looks tedious as hell. It’s also not done brilliantly in the US as it went in at No.2 and then bombed down to No.8.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!