New TV series and movies to watch in December: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Cats, The Witcher, and more
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Cast: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega
Premise: The Resistance led by the fiesty Rey (Daisy Ridley) faces off once again with the Dark Side and the notorious Emperor Palpatine. The biggest question is, will Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) be lured by the light in this sizzling finale of the 'Skywalker' saga?
Trivia: The original title of the film was Star Wars: Black Diamond.
First impression: Swirling seas, beautiful glaciers, lush jungle, and acrid desert —the final trailer of this concluding chapter hints at some pretty epic showdowns in a variety of natural environments. Most heart-breaking of all, we might possibly see the death of the iconic golden robot, C-3PO. Get your tissues ready.
What the Internet is saying: "I still have no idea what this trilogy is about."
Release date: It arrives in cinemas on 19 December 2019.
Cast: Idris Elba, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Jason Derulo
Premise: The movie is obviously based off the popular musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and revolves around a tribe of cats called the Jellicles.
Trivia: Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote songs exclusively for this film.
First impression: Director Tom Hooper decided to transform his A-list cast into anthropomorphic cat versions of themselves using some pretty revolutionary digital fur technology to create the perfect covering of fur. As innovative as that may seem, it's pretty unnerving to see human features on a cat-like form. We just hope Jennifer Hudson's powerhouse vocals will save the day.
What the Internet is saying: "Dear God, it's like as if Steven King tried to make a Dr. Seuss movie."
Release date: It hits cinemas islandwide on 26 December 2019.
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, and Laura Dern
Premise: All-American couple Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) and Charlie (Adam Driver) confront themselves and each other as their marriage dissolves in this bittersweet look at divorce and family.
Trivia: Marriage Story was the first Netflix film to receive the longest theatrical release of 30 days, according to IMDB.
First impression: This isn't a rom-com starring Marvel's Black Widow and Star Wars' Kylo Ren. In fact, it's just the opposite. It's an unflinching true-to-life look at the consequences of divorce for two pretty yet ordinary people and their son.
What the Internet is saying: "This looks depressing, will watch it."
Release date: It premieres on Netflix on 6 December 2019.
Cast: Henry Cavill
Premise: Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) plays a solitary monster-hunting mutant, but when his path crosses a sorceress and a young princess, the fate of the continent hangs in the balance.
Trivia: This is an adaptation of the books of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, not the video games.
First impression: Henry Cavill is a man of many talents. He can play a clean-cut Superman, and in equal measure, convincingly turn into a rugged swordsman with piercing coloured eyes. The trailer just leaves us dreaming of an adaptation of another popular video game, Diablo.
What the Internet is saying: "If he doesn't complete all the side quests, I'm going to be mad."
Release date: It premieres on Netflix on 20 December 2019.
His Dark Materials
Cast: James McAvoy, Dafne Keen, and Ruth Wilson
Premise: Set in a parallel universe where humans are accompanied with animal manifestations of their spirit, young Lyra searches for her missing friend and unwittingly stumbles upon a sinister plot involving stolen children and a mysterious phenomenon called Dust.
Trivia: His Dark Materials novels have been published in more than 40 languages and have sold close to 18 million copies worldwide.
First impression: State-of-the-art CGI effects, an outstanding cast, and an expanded plotline — His Dark Materials might just outdo the film adaptation The Golden Compass (2007).
What the Internet is saying: "Looks 900% better than the film. TV was always going to be a better format for these stories. Very much looking forward to this"
Release date: The series will be available for streaming on HBO starting 5 November.
Cast: Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson
Premise: An adaptation of Stephen King's best-selling novel, Doctor Sleep is set decades after the events of Stanley Kubricks' 1980 cult classic The Shining. Danny Torrance is all grown up now, but he's still coming to grips with his supernatural abilities. This time, he is not alone, though; he bumps into a young girl with similar powers and they face off against a mysterious cult known simply as The True Knot.
Trivia: Stephen King got the idea for Doctor Sleep at a book signing in 1998 when a fan asked him what happened to Danny.
First impression: Ewan McGregor might just be too much of a pretty boy for horror. Rebecca Ferguson, on the other hand, shines beautifully as Rose the Hat, the killer on the hunt for Danny and his new pal.
What the Internet is saying: "Wonder if they'll show Jack's body still frozen in the maze"
Release date: The movie will hit cinemas on 7 November islandwide.
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Robert Pattinson, and Lily-Rose Depp
Premise: Based off several plays about Henry V by William Shakespeare, The King tells the story of Hal (Timothée Chalamet), a wayward prince who finds himself on the throne amidst enroaching war and uncertain political chaos.
Trivia: Coincidentally, Timothée Chalamet's middle name happens to be Hal.
First impression: Timothée Chalamet never fails to seize audiences with his galvanic screen prescence. In this instance, the trailer showcases not only his dramatic acting chops, but his uncanny ability to carry off a bowl cut. While Robert Pattinson shines as The Dauphin of France, all eyes will be on Timothée's scenes with Lily-Rose Depp. The pair met on the set of the film and are currently dating.
What the Internet is saying: "Timothée's English accent and Robert's French accent — I'm crying!"
Release date: The series will be available for streaming on Netflix starting 1 November.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Cast: Aaron Paul, Matt Jones and Charles Barker, but we're expecting more familiar faces to return.
Premise: No one wanted Breaking Bad to end in 2013, and yet we couldn't complain with its pitch-perfect conclusion. The franchise continued with spin-offs such as Better Call Saul, but Netflix is reigniting the series with a proper cinematic sequel. Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) takes the lead from Walter White in this one, and from the looks of the trailer, he is in a whole lot of trouble.
Trivia: The title of the film, El Camino, was the name of the car that Jesse escaped with in the series finale.
First impression: Seeing our favourite characters such as Jesse and Skinny Pete was definitely a nostalgic. Jesse certainly looks worse for wear, particularly because of some severe scars all over his body. The teaser did mention that there were nine dead bodies, so we can only imagine that there's going to be some heart-breaking casualities.
What the Internet is saying: "Skinny Pete and Badger may be idiots, but they were the only true friends Jesse had."
Release date: The film will be available for streaming on Netflix from 11 November.
Abstract: The Art of Design
Tagline: "Their perspective will change the future."
Cast: Multiple creatives from various industries, ranging from Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson to American-Israeli bio-architect Neri Oxman.
Premise: Returning for its second season, the documentary series spotlights the world's greatest designers and their creative processes.
Trivia: In the first season, Nike designer behind the iconic Air Jordan 3 Tinker Hatfield was featured.
First impression: The new season seems to have amped up in scale, while expanding its pool of design disciplines to include bio architecture, which happens to be trending at the moment.
What the Internet is saying: "I loved the first series and I thought we'd never get another one. I'm so happy now!"
Release date: The series will be available for streaming on Netflix from 25 September.
Tagline: "The fearless, rebellious, and extraordinary life of Alexander McQueen."
Cast: Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, and other influential members of the fashion industry
Premise: The documentary explores the life and career of the tortured genius behind the successful British fashion house. It dives deep into Alexander McQueen's struggle with mental health as well as the dark twisted influences that shaped his hauntingly artistic fashion shows.
Trivia: McQueen suffered from depression and drug addiction. He commited suicide nine days after his mother's death while under the influence of drugs.
First impression: The trailer brings to life the exciting persona and creative ambition of McQueen. This isn't just another generic view on the fashion industry; it's an enthralling exposition on a complex individual.
What the Internet is saying: "This is what Kanye thinks he looks like."
Release date: It will be screening at The Projector as part of Archifest 2019. Show times are available on the website.
Remedy For Rage: Objectif's Women in Film & Photography
Premise: Part of Objectif's annual showcase 'Women in Film and Photography', these five international feature-length films draw perspectives from around the world: SXSW Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Alice revolves around a woman who's dragged into prostitution because of her husband while Leftover Women explores the complicated lives of educated Chinese women who are pressured into marriage.
Trivia: The film A Woman's Work: The NFL's Cheerleader Problem touches on a very real problem in America today. There was even a historic class action suit that was launched against the NFL.
Release date: It runs from 2 to 17 October. Show times are available on Objectif's website.
Tagline: "We promise to promise you everything."
Cast: Ben Platt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange
Premise: The show revolves around Payton, a young man with lofty dreams to become President of the United States of America since childhood. The first season sees him exploring the most treacherous political landscape: high school. Each season will revolve around Payton and his various political campaigns.
Trivia: Barbara Streisand was originally meant to take on Jessica Lange's character, but she turned down the role to work on her 2018 album Walls instead.
First impression: Since Veep ended, we have been in dire need of a quirky political drama — that's where The Politician steps in. It is highly reminiscent of Veep's wit, and with Ryan Murphy's stellar track record, we're sure that it's going to be a fun ride.
What the Internet is saying: "I want Ben Platt to punch my face."
Release date: It premieres 27 September on Netflix.
Between Two Ferns: The Movie
Tagline: "Featuring: Celebrities You've Heard Of"
Cast: Zach Galifianakis, Will Ferrell
Premise: The quirky road trip movie — which is a meta extension of the original series — takes place after Galifianakis's star dream was killed when Will Ferrel uploaded the series to Funny Or Die, turning Galifianakis into a viral laughing stock. The cast decides to conduct a string of high-profile interviews to restore his repuation. Here's the catch — the entire "road trip" was improvised.
Trivia: For those unfamiliar with the series, Galifianakis had the opportunity to interview former US President Barack Obama in 2014. The former President appeared on the show to promote the Affordable Healthcare Act.
First impression: We were sold just by the on-set images, including one with Galifianakis dragging one of his ferns across the road. Director Scott Aukerman revealed that they set up a public access station and filmed the movie just like a documentary. There's no doubt that the movie will be full of awkward and improvised moments.
What the Internet is saying: "I would love to see him interview Kanye West. That would be epic."
Release date: It premieres 20 September on Netflix.
A Black Lady Sketch Show
Tagline: "Women on a role"
Cast: Robin Thede, Ashley Nicole Black, and Quinta Brunson
Premise: From a parody of Romeo and Juliet to a shady take on an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting, A Black Lady Sketch Show is a 30-minute sketch comedy that drops sassy one-liners and pointed commentary on black culture.
Trivia: Nicole Byer, Angela Bassett, Laverne Cox, and Kelly Rowland make guest appearances throughout the series.
First impression: A Black Lady Sketch Show delivers the same amount of wittiness as the Key & Peele show, along with the endearing slapstick of stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle — but with 10 times the girl power.
What the Internet is saying: "This is incredible. These women are a comedic forces to be reckoned with. So amazing!"
Release date: New episodes air at 11pm on Friday on HBO.
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