Dec 14 2011 By Ian Bunting
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
WELL, Santa Claus is about to come down the chimney and the weather is more unpredictable than an Airdrie United result so let’s see if the big screen releases over the next couple of months can help with our Christmas cheer... or add to the winter blues.
This Friday, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s ‘bromance’ continues in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Guy Ritchie’s sequel to his 2009 surprise monster hit.
I was a big fan of the first film and things should pick-up even more this time as Holmes squares of against arch nemesis Moriarty (Jared Harris) and the original Lisbeth Sallander, Noomi Rapace, joins the fun as an action heroine.
Filling Rapace’s considerable shoes in the American version of Swedish novel and movie hit The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (out Boxing Day) is Rooney Mara.
She certainly looks the part in promotional material for the film and the presence of co-star Daniel Craig and David Fincher in the director’s chair means this has more than a fighting chance of not joining the ranks of inferior Western takes on hits from foreign shores.
Also out on Boxing Day is Tom Cruise’s latest chance to show off his stunt skills in the fourth entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise.
Hopefully Ghost Protocol will be more in keeping with the first and third movies and less with John Woo’s style over substance second instalment.
The Incredibles helmer Brad Bird makes his live-action directing debut and joining Cruise in a tasty looking cast is Simon Pegg and Jeremy Renner (rumoured to be a possible Cruise replacement in future entries).
Oscar bait will come in the form of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher (The Iron Lady, out January 6) and Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover (J. Edgar, January 20).
The latter is directed by Clint Eastwood, usually a quality guarantee, and the former gives you the chance to vent feelings of fury or reminisce about Britain’s first and only female Prime Minister, depending on your political leanings.
Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (January 13) looks like a potential epic tear-jerker and Michael Fassbender is generating Best Actor buzz for his role as a sex addict in Shame (January 13).
Kate Beckinsale’s return to the Underworld vampire and werewolf franchise (Underworld Awakening, January 20) is less likely to win awards but will probably pull in bigger audiences.
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy bring along the rest of the gang for the big screen return of The Muppets (February 10), with Jason Segel , Amy Adams and a host of cameos filling out the human cast. Segel’s on- screen and scriptwriting involvement should ensure a few laughs.
February 10 will also give us the chance to see if Daniel Radcliffe can cut it in his post-Harry Potter career as he takes the lead role in British ghost story The Woman in Black.
So, there’s plenty to keep cinemagoers warm this winter. And if detectives, spies, FBI heads, vampires or Muppets ain’t your thing, then don’t fret... it’s not long till summer, when The Dark Knight will Rise and The Avengers assemble.