There aren’t as many Christmas films as you might expect in December. In fact, it seems there is no rest for superheroes and Marvel and DC both have skin in the game this month with the animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse” opening a week before “Aquaman.” The latter has the critics all a-twitter. It is being compared very favorably to the “Wonder Woman” juggernaut and Jason Mamoa has been praised for his performance in the flick. Let’s face it, the guy is already easy on the eyes and has a great personality, so this film should cement his position as a bona fide superstar if the advance buzz is anything to go by.
Despite recent cringeworthy predecessors, someone in the studios obviously still feels that the “Transformers” property is salvageable, hence the release of “Bumblebee,” featuring the yellow Autobot with the big heart. It stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, so who knows? Maybe this is the way to reboot the struggling franchise.
Fantasy/sci-fi fans are probably curious to see the unique “Mortal Engines” where cities are now humongous moving engines. A blend of steampunk and dystopia, this one should be visually stunning, and with Peter Jackson at the helm, a certifiable hit.
Light relief is coming down the pike with “Holmes and Watson,” which once again teams Will Ferrell with John C. Reilly, this time as the legendary detective and his trusty sidekick. The trailers really make this one look like a hoot; hopefully the comedy itself will not disappoint.
Finally, arguably the most anticipated film of the month hits screens on Dec. 28: “Mary Poppins Returns.” Heavy hitters Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are joined by Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters and Dick Van Dyke himself in the sequel to the original film from 1964. There are new songs, animation and a spoonful of sugar all rolled into two hours of family fare. Disney must be banking big on this one and no doubt all involved are feeling the pressure. Fingers crossed it is truly supercalifragilisticexpealidocious.
A violent criminal is sprung from a high security facility and administered an experimental drug.
‘Elliot the Littlest Reindeer’
When Blitzen suddenly announces his retirement, Santa needs to find a replacement. Against all odds, Elliot and his best friend, Hazel, set out to prove that he is the horse for the job. As Elliot and Hazel take on the North Pole reindeer try-outs, Hazel learns that Christmas, as we know it, may be headed for disaster. Meanwhile, back at the farm, a sinister lady threatens the lives of their friends, and Elliot is faced with the biggest decision of his life.
Struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams, 40-year-old Maya gets a chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts and that it’s never too late for a second act.
Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London – now a giant, predator city on wheels – from devouring everything in its path. Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.
‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’
Spider-Man mentors a teenager from Brooklyn, N.Y., to become the next web-slinging superhero.
Aquaman finds himself caught between a surface world that ravages the sea and the underwater Atlanteans who are ready to revolt.
Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie, on the brink of turning 18 years old and trying to find her place in the world, soon discovers the battle-scarred and broken Bumblebee. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns that this is no ordinary yellow Volkswagen.
‘Holmes and Watson’
Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a murder at Buckingham Palace. They soon learn that they have only four days to solve the case, or the queen will become the next victim.
‘Mary Poppins Returns’
The mysterious Mary Poppins returns to Depression-era London to visit Jane and her brother Michael, now a father of three, and helps them rediscover the joy they knew as children.
For the film schedule and to buy tickets online, visit www.fandango.com.