Straat Picks: 5 Movies to Watch in December 2014

This month’s pick of movies center around ancient places along with fantasy and biblical characters.


Movies to watch in December 2014

Scheduled release: 4 December
Director: Dan Gilroy
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton

Heartthrob actor Jake Gyllenhaal delves into method-acting for his role in Nightcrawler, reportedly losing 30 pounds of weight to play the role effectively. He then puts on plenty of muscle mass for the upcoming boxing movie, Southpaw. Could he be the next Christian Bale? We digress.

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In Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal plays Louis Bloom, a man desperate to work as a Los Angeles crime journalist. Soon, he begins his foray into the dark world of night crawling, becoming a key witness to crimes, and not only getting the scoop, but also money out of it. Soon, he finds himself tangled in web of crime, lies, and many moral dilemmas in between.

The Pyramid

Movies to watch in December 2014

Scheduled release: 4 December
Director: Grégory Levasseur
Cast: Ashley Hinshaw, James Buckley, Denis O’Hare

For a long time, pyramids were a Pandora’s box that held mysteries about the ancient Egyptians and their practices, that is, until archaeology caught up with man’s curiosity and excavation works got underway. These days, pyramids have become a tourist attraction, and why not? There’s much to marvel at the way these massive structures were built centuries past without the aid of modern machinery.

The Pyramid sees an archaeological team doing what they do best – uncovering the secrets of a lost pyramid. What they didn’t count on is being hunted down by a mysterious and insidious creature, which isn’t featured much in the trailer. Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out to be a big letdown.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Movies to watch in December 2014

Scheduled release: 11 December
Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul

After The Passion of the Christ and Noah, you’d think directors would steer clear of adapting biblical stories for the big screen. But no. Here we have director Ridley Scott and Exodus: God and Kings and his take on the story of Moses.

The story of Moses sees Moses, man of God, leading the Israelites out of slavery from the Egyptian empire helmed by the Pharaoh, Ramses. Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton (who looks nothing like his usual self) take on the role of Moses and Ramses, respectively. If Scott’s runaway success with the Gladiator (2000) is anything to go by, expect a rousing speech from Moses (Bale) and an epic scene depicting the parting of the Red Sea.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Movies to watch in December 2014

Scheduled release: 18 December
Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage

Director Peter Jackson took on the mammoth task of turning J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels into live-action films, and over the course of 13 years, created a body of work that spans six films split into two trilogies. It’s no mean feat, and Jackson deserves every praise for keeping true to the original storyline and making it palatable to today’s audience.

The final part of this trilogy sees Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and the dwarves reclaiming their homeland from the dragon, Smaug. Of course, Smaug is not too pleased and unleashes vengeance on Middle-Earth. Adding to that is Sauron, main antagonist in the original Lord of the Rings films, who sends hordes of Orcs out to vanquish his enemies. If it pans out right, this could be the most epic conclusion to a trilogy yet.

Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb

Movies to watch in December 2014

Scheduled release: 25 December
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson

Thanks to its interesting premise of a museum coming alive, the folks who made Night At The Museum have decided their creation is worth a third sequel. The series has become quite a household name that has garnered fans both young and old.

Ben Stiller steps into the familiar role of security guard, Larry Daley, and in this film he heads to London to attempt to restore the tablet’s power that brings the museum characters to life. He’ll no doubt have his hands full trying to contain the motley crew of museum personalities as well. If nothing else at all, the late Robin Williams’ performance as Teddy Roosevelt, largely left intact, will be worth looking forward to.

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