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December Movie Preview Review

Written by Trevor Lightfoot

Written By: Trevor Lightfoot @TrevorLightfoot

After taking a month off of the movie review grind, we are back and better than ever (thank you for the fantastic one liner Mike and Mike). As per usual December is a strong movie month. We have story lines so dramatic they will transform even the burliest men into sensitive-Sally.   We have action packed adventures that will inspire you to finally get off the couch, toilet, desk chair, or whatever other vehicle you are wasting time in and add a bit of danger to your daily routine.  There’s no question that the holiday season seems to bring out the best in movies. In 2014 we had American Sniper, 2013 it was American Hustle, 2012 it was a powerhouse combo of Zero Dark Thirty and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and in 2011 it was Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. With a track record like that we wouldn’t DARE to devastate and, even worse, disappoint WHF readers. So without further interruption, please enjoy the December edition of Wheelhouse Factory Movie Preview Review!

Curious how we calculate the movie rankings?  We use a very, very complex algorithm to figure out exactly where each movie land on the list.  Either that or we arbitrarily make decision on the spot immediately after watching the preview.  It’s one of those two . . . we’ll let you make the decision.

The official December movie statistics
December Movie Pic


10. Krampus

Release Date: December 4, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 14

The evil shadow of Sir Saint Nicholas, who happens to be a half-goat, half-monster something rather, terrorizes a family who already appears to have their fair share of problems. I guess the biggest surprise is that M. Night Shyamalan didn’t put on his Christmas edition director’s cap to bring this movie to fruition. So far the leading causes of the unwelcomed Krampus arrival are:

  1. The kid is a litterbug. Why doesn’t he have trash can? Who the hell opens up a second story window just to throw out a shredded letter? Maybe we’re being too hard and the trash bin was just too full and that kid really did not want to take out the trash. Who would blame him, it looks freezing out there.
  2. The food is not up to par. No one enjoys waiting for hours on end listening to family griping only to be disappointed when meal is even worse. Maybe Krampus just wants to make sure the meal is delicious?
  3. Adam Scott desperately wanted to be in a Christmas movie “with a twist” and this plot just snowballed out of anyone’s control.

9. Daddy’s Home

Release Date: December 25, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 23

Daddy’s Home aka The Other Guys 2. We at the Wheelhouse Factory team are onboard simply because Mark Wahlberg in comedy films is a guilty pleasure we don’t mind over indulging in. He holds his own with all-time great Will Farrell and the storyline puts an interesting twist on an otherwise awkward and often emotionally difficult family situation.

8. In the Heart of the Sea

Release Date: December 11, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 30

In an age where superheroes and gigantic creatures rule the silver screen, Ron Howard brings a classic tale to life in way audiences have never seen. The concept, the cast, and the visual effects are all spot on. The trouble that legendary director Ron Howard and co. run into with this film is that the average moviegoer, the WHF team included, is expecting something more. Are we being too snooty about this? I mean would it be that bad if we wanted Moby Dick to breathe fire or have a spikey spine or be able to fly? If that’s wrong, then I don’t know if I want to be right.

7. Sisters

Release Date: December 18, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 34

There is just something about Amy Poehler and Tina Fey that instantly gives us confidence that this movie will, at the very least, leave us with some good laughs when the credits role. Sure we have seen some recent movies with epic house parties (21 Jump Street, Project X, etc.) but this feels different. Maybe it’s because the main characters are women or maybe it’s because we approve and appreciate a couple of thirty-somethings (are we being generous?) going all out for one last crazy party.

6. Point Break

Release Date: December 25, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 36

What’s wrong with wanting to live vicariously through these knuckleheads for a couple of hours? Insane stunts, sweet visual effects, and a questionable political agenda . . . what more could you ask for? What’s that you say? You want a Keanu Reeves cameo? Ah . . . if only.

5. Joy

Release Date: December 25, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 35

David O. Russell and company are back at it and it appears two things have remained consistent:

  1. J-Law is primed for another stellar performance (what can’t she do?).
  2. The soundtrack is pure fire

Joy is an interesting storyline and the preview does a fairly good job of honing in on some central themes. The complexity that comes with family relationships, the strength it takes to embrace you internal entrepreneurial spirit, and the journey to develop your own lifelong story. We just hope this dream team of Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Mr. Russell haven’t bit off more than they can chew.

4. The Hateful Eight

Release Date: December 25, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 39

Somehow a 2 minute and 25 second trailer doesn’t seem to do justice for a 182 minutes long movie. This movie has us in a real bind here at WHF headquarters. We trust Tarantino, the cast feels pretty solid, and the storyline is familiar yet undoubtedly unique. Those are the pros. The cons are that it’s a long movie even by Tarantino standards. Nonetheless, we refuse to let little things like the increased probability of annoying shuffling of the feet due to more bathroom breaks and quick trips to the lobby for a popcorn refill get in the way of our review . . . overall, consider our facies to be tickled. We love a preview that doesn’t give away the whole damn thing. In the case of The Hateful Eight, we have no idea what to expect and we love it. All we can be sure of is a) some people are going to die and b) there will be a minimum of seven plot twists.

3. The Big Short

Release Date: December 23, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 40

Even though the story will be “Hollywoodized”, with factual information embellished and dialogue over the top this remains arguably the most important move. The financial crisis of the mid-2000’s brought the American economy, even the global economy, to its knees. We have seen this story told through documentaries, news stories, and political entities. Yet, now it becomes even more entrenched in our society in a way that aligns with millennials, baby boomers, and everything in between. We won’t hold our breath, but maybe just maybe, Christian Bale will dawn the Dark Knight mask one more time and save the day. We can dream right?

  1. The Revenant

Release Date: December 25, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 43

Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio. Done and done.

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Release Date: December 18, 2015

Wheelhouse Factory Score: 44

“I will finish what you started.” This is the line that stuck with the WHF team for obvious reasons:

  1. Trevor says that every time I have dinner with someone and they aren’t able to finish their food.
  2. The line immediate demonstrates alignment with the ambitions, ideologies, and strategies of one of our favorite villains of all time.
  3. It’s just awesome . . . like, goosebumps all over your body awesome.

This movie looks, for lack of a better way to say it, absolutely epic. What else can we say other than we cannot wait to see this flick!

About the author

Trevor Lightfoot

Trevor has a bachelor degree in journalism and a masters in business administration. His specialty is basketball, late night food cravings, obscure movie quotes, and unwavering stubbornness.

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