The weekend movie preview is starting to get in the holiday spirit. And Hollywood must be too because we've got four new movies arriving this week, with six due on Christmas Day (more to come on that next week!).
The highlight has to be the long-awaited sequel to Anchorman! Will Ferrell is back as Ron Burgundy in Anchorman 2 and he's bringing his entire Action News Team with him. A few Oscar contenders also arrive with Joaquin Phoenix in Her, and David O. Russell and his all-star cast doing the American Hustle. And the kiddies aren't left out of the picture as Fox's Walking With Dinosaurs 3D promises a prehistoric adventure for the entire family.
Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues: Burgundy and the Action News Team (Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner) are hired to help launch a 24-hour cable news channel. Director Adam McKay co-wrote the film with Ferrell, and the two bring Burgundy back in triumphant form, as per our Anchorman 2 review. The humor is more fast and furious than the original, and the commentary on the 24-hour news cycle and how it may have ruined us... is spot-on. And yes, there will be a thousand new quotes to enlighten us for the next decade until we get Anchorman 3!
American Hustle: O'Russell brings together the stars of his two last films, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, in the based-on-a-true-story tale of the Abscam scandal of the 1970s. The look and feel of the film is astounding, and the soundtrack could not be better. This is truly an actor's movie to shine as stars Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner score on numerous levels. We may have the Oscar Best Picture here with this instant classic, our American Hustle review finds.
Walking with Dinosaurs: The wildly popular BBC series and live stage show makes the three-dimensional leap to the silver screen in a film that is simultaneously enlightening, educational and entertaining. The story follows the runt of a dinosaur herd and his rise to alpha. It should inspire the youngest of audiences and be a joy for adults as well. For more, check out our Walking with Dinosaurs 3D review.
Her: Phoenix astounds in the role of a man who lives in the not-so-distant future who is going through a divorce and feeling a little helpless when it comes to his romantic prospects. Director Spike Jonze also wrote the story and it is about as good as it gets when it comes to reinventing the romance genre of Hollywood. Phoenix's character falls in love with the voice behind his home operating system (OS) -- voiced impeccably by Scarlett Johansson. As our Her review stated, this is an astounding piece of work that will not be easily forgotten as the years turn into decades.
And within days, we get a slew more movies as December 25 brings Grudge Match, 47 Ronin, The Wolf of Wall Street, Believe, The Invisible Woman and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.