Entertainment December movie guide: Welcome back to the big screen, Mr Spielberg, we’ve missed you

December movie guide: Welcome back to the big screen, Mr Spielberg, we’ve missed you

movie guide spielberg
It's a good day when Steven Spielberg is on set. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Every year, after Christmas Day gatherings and celebrations are done, there are only three time-honoured Australian traditions on Boxing Day.

One, head to packed shopping centres and find a cheap television or refrigerator.

Two, go to the Boxing Day Ashes Test at the MCG or watch it on the couch if you don’t have a ticket.

And three, go to the movies.

On December 26, our movie houses have cleverly curated three Boxing Day films, zooming in on three popular genres: There’s a reimagined musical, thanks to Steven Spielberg, an animated feature bulging with A-list actors’ voices with a massive surprise by U2’s Bono, and a big-budget sci-fi thriller starring the breathtaking Keanu Reeves.

See, something for everyone.

And if you need an excuse to head inside to a cool, dark, comfy cinema on Boxing Day. That’s easy.

Perhaps you need to: Escape the heat, nurse the food coma and associated hangover, duck and weave the relatives, and, well, just sitting in a dark cinema after too much festivity is just the ticket.

Steven Spielberg doing what he does best: Making movies. Photo: Getty

West Side Story

Oscar-winning director and film icon Steven Spielberg is as busy as ever, and after a catalogue of 28 award-winning movies under his belt, from action thrillers (Indiana Jones trilogy, Catch Me If You Can) to sci-fi (War of the Worlds) to war movies (Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan), he has now put his enormous talent into making a musical.

It’s not that he ever stopped making movies or documentary series or films for the streaming giants; it’s again a symptom of the coronavirus pandemic that the launch dates for the best movies have been constantly delayed to maximise box office ticket sales.

Spielberg says this film – adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical – “is probably the most daunting of my career”.

West Side Story is arguably the greatest score ever written in the theatre, and that’s not lost on any of us,” Spielberg said.

“It’s very intimidating to take a masterpiece and make it through different eyes and different sensibilities without compromising the integrity of what is generally considered the greatest music ever written for the theatre.

“But I believe that great stories should be told over and over again, in part to reflect different perspectives and moments in time into the work.”

The Matrix team has reunited for a fourth instalment. Photo: Twitter

The Matrix Resurrections

This is the fourth film in the groundbreaking franchise that redefined the inexplicable equation where science fiction meets reality.

Original stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise the roles they made famous in 1999.

Co-writer David Mitchell says this instalment “subverts the rules of blockbusters” and incorporates the first three films in an “ingenious way”.

Moss recently told Esquire what it was like working with Reeves: “In the Matrix movies, I’ve always felt like I was his partner, and he was my partner, in the execution of these characters.

“It was never the feeling of, Oh, he’s the movie star. His work ethic is unlike anyone I’ve ever met, and I’ve seen it up close: He trains harder, works harder, cares more, always asks more and more questions to understand the depth of what we’re doing.”

Sing 2

For the first time, rock royalty Bono, lead singer of U2, has made the leap into the great world of animation and voiceovers, recording a version of U2 classic I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For with Scarlett Johannson’s character.

It is hauntingly beautiful.

Bono voices reclusive rock legend – the lion – Clay Calloway and has to be persuaded by Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) and his friends to join them for the opening of a show.

Alongside Johansson (Black Widow), we have McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club, The Gentlemen), Taron Egerton (Kingsman, Rocketman), Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde franchise), Bobby Cannavale, Halsey, Pharrell Williams and Letitia Wright.

Sing 2 looks like its crafted for the kid in all of us. Photo: Twitter

Also in December

Dune – December 2: Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049) directs the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name.

As the official synopsis reads: “Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people”.

The French Dispatch – December 9A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American magazine in a fictional 20th-century French city and brings to life a collection of stories

Dear Evan Hansen – December 9: Evan Hansen, a high school senior with social anxiety disorder, shares his journey of self-discovery and acceptance following the suicide of a fellow classmate.

Spider-Man: No Way Home – December 16: Spider-Man’s identity is revealed but when he suddenly realises he was a better operator incognito, he enlists the help of Doctor Strange to restore his secret.

It doesn’t go well, and instead he wakes up a plethora of enemies, and they all want to take revenge on him, and kill him.

Licorice Pizza – December 26: This is the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around, and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley in 1973.