Hello, hello! I hope you all had a great Avengers trailer release week. We’re not here to talk about trailer releases though. It’s the second ever film anniversaries post here at RSC, and I’m so excited to dig into the history of December film releases. Historically, December is when Hollywood breaks out the big guns. Imagine all of the summer crammed into one little month. Why? Well, Christmas and family time go together like my cat and literally anything on the floor that moves, so box office numbers get inflated. And, of course, it’s Oscar season. With December now here and, soon, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, let’s see if December can top November in all of it’s Mr. Bean glory.
Turning 5 this year we have Django Unchained, The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey, and Monsters, Inc 3D. Amongst the Zero Dark Thirty-ing and a singing French Wolverine in Les Mis, Peter Jackson brought to life one of the greatest fantasy novels of all time.
Tarantino gave us a movie that seemingly never ends. And Monsters doin’ stuff and things in 3D. Did we need any of it? Absolutely. But maybe done better? Django is my least favorite of Tarantino’s body of work, and The Hobbit, at least in my opinion, was incredibly boring and an eyesore – it really failed spectacularly to come even remotely close to LOTR‘s magic and the novels themselves. What’s more, I’m unsure what to say about Monsters, Inc 3D, as I can’t even remember it. Like, at all. I know I’ve seen it. However, If you were to ask me about a single scene I would have no idea what to say. We’re not off to a great start here, clearly. On paper, December 2012 seems like an all-star, but really it’s just the Atlanta Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl.
As the iconic Uncle Jack of Always Sunny in Philadelphia once said, “Now we’re cookin’ with gas”. Yes, I realize that’s been a saying for a long time. I don’t care who else said it; Uncle Jack is a treasure.
Anyway, 2007 gave us nothing but the hits. We got a film that should have had an Oscar category specifically made for Michael Cera playing himself. We’d just continue to give him that award every single year. Juno, man, what a classic. If Ellen Page and Cera weren’t stars before this film, they certainly made it to the big time with this one. On top of all that coming of age awkward teenage angst, Daniel Day-Lewis starred in a film that should have been called, “Hey, everybody come quick, look at how good I am at absolutely everything ever”. There Will Be Blood is so good that I have watched it every year since at least once, and it honestly gets better and better. I dare you to find a movie in the last 10 years with better acting and cinematography. We got time, I’ll wait.
Honourable Mentions: I Am Legend, Sweeney Todd, Walk Hard.
Unhonourable Mention: The Water Horse. What exactly is a water horse? We already have one, guys. It’s called a fucking Seahorse.
Celebrating their 15th birthday are Chicago (fantastic), Catch Me If You Can (a classic), Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (a true masterpiece), The Hot Chick (sweet JESUS), and of course, The Wild Thornberrys Movie (ugly laugh/cry). There is a trend I’m seeing here. You get some greats each December, but the price we collectively pay is suffering through Rob Schneider doing literally anything. Remember that weird 7 year period where Rob basically just turned into random things for our entertainment? He literally had his own movie genre. Just incredible stuff. It’s not all farts, though.
The day Two Towers was released I remember waking up early, getting to skip school that day, and driving out of town to see it in theatres. The Battle for Helms Deep is one of those moments for me that made me think, “Yeah, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I want to make movies.” It is storytelling at it’s finest. The build-up to the stunning finale is unmatched by any fantasy film to date. Happy Birthmonth to that crazy scene of Legolas whipping himself onto that horse, as well as the inspiration for this youtube video.
1997, what a year. This one actually made me take a moment and reflect for a long time. If you remember in my last article, November 1997 was my clear favourite. So many hilariously bad (great) movies came out that month, but in the end, it all led up to one of the most iconic months for cinema in my lifetime. It’s legitimately hard for me to pick which ones to write about. Anyway, here’s what’s turning 20 years old: Titanic, Good Will Hunting, Tomorrow Never Dies, Scream 2, An American Werewolf in Paris, and Jackie Brown. See my dilemma?.
I could dive into how Titanic was the highest grossing film of all time until Marvel came along and sank that ship, or I could talk about how incredible Robin Williams was in Good Will Hunting, maybe even how Scream 2 is my favourite of the series. Instead, let’s just sit back, put our feet up and remember how I only went to the theatre once that month and you know what I saw? Mouse Hunt. What the hell were you thinking, Mom. I know you read this and don’t you dare think I forgot that you willingly spent money on 2 movie tickets for Mouse Hunt.
Honourable mention: my partner, Lee, also turns 20 this month!
A quarter of a century ago: A month so boring that not even Godzilla vs Mothra: The Battle for Earth could have saved it. Although, a very young Robert Downey Jr. showed he was a true star on the rise with his age-defying lead role in Chaplin. What’s more, The Muppet Christmas Carol was released and oddly, is the first Christmas film mentioned here for December. Hollywood has a serious problem here. They are basically Wal-Mart, as in they release all the Christmas goods a month early when nobody really cares about it yet, and it’s just in the way when you’re only there to pick up cheap underwear and mayonnaise.
Literally the only movie worth mentioning turning 30 years old is Good Morning Vietnam. Again, Robin Williams is phenomenal and this is a comedy classic. Sadly, the only reason most people know of it these days is because it’s one of Michael Scott’s favourite movies in The Office. Go watch it, you heathens!
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING VIETNAAAAM!!!
Celebrating a 40th birthday is a personal favourite of mine, Saturday Night Fever. This is the film that made John Travolta a bonafide star. However, some say he didn’t really hit his stride until Tarantino put him in a role outside of his norm in Pulp Fiction. Yes, before he was a great villain or mobster, John was the king of the dance floor. Saturday Night Fever was the 3rd highest grossing film of the entire year. The top 2? Oh, you know, just a little movie called Star Wars: A New Hope and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Not bad company to keep.
So, I was going to stop at 50 but curiosity got the better of me. I kept digging. And turning 80 years old is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In 2008, The American Film Institute named this version of the movie the greatest animated film of all time. I could rave on and on about this and it’s achievements, but it’s truly all an understatement when you consider the cultural impact it had at the time. Even though it premiered in 1937, in 1938 it had grossed 4 times more money at the box office than any other movie released that year, and at the 11th Academy Awards, Walt Disney was awarded an honorary Academy Award. Needless to say, the movie changed the game and then rewrote the book on animation.
Any other film anniversaries in December?
That’s it for this month’s anniversaries! Did I miss one of your favourites? hit me up @prostisushi on twitter and tell me how awful I am.
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