So this is Christmas and what have we done? Well plenty now you ask. We’ve been putting in the hours scouring high and low for the best films coming to cinemas, to stream, and also for anything decent to watch on the box this holiday season, all so you don’t have to.
In this special festive edition of the watchlist we’ve got a new addition to the Matrix franchise, a new series about everyone’s favourite bounty hunter, a load of karate kids and much, much more. You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry, here’s The Christmas Watchlist.
“Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.”
– Christmas Vacation (1989)
The Matrix: Resurrections (15)
The lukewarm audience reaction to the previous two Matrix sequels and perhaps the potential for a shed load more cash may have been a couple of the motivations for creating this new edition of the franchise. Set twenty years after Revolutions, Keanu Reeves returns as Mr. Anderson, aka Neo, who again is made to choose whether to take the red pill and follow the white rabbit into a more secure and dangerous Matrix in a quest to discover if his reality is a physical or mental construct.
We’re happy to report that Resurrections is as thought-provoking and as mind bending as you might hope. It evolves the whole concept of the Matrix, and the action sequences are off the chart. Added to that the rekindled romance between Carrie-Anne Moss’ character and Neo is genuinely sweet. It might be a little self aware for it’s own good, but it’s still a huge return to the original movie’s spirit.
The King’s Man (15)
A prequel to munch some popcorn through on Boxing Day here. It takes a look at the origins of The Kingsman secret service that we got to know in the first two movies. Set against the backdrop of World War I, it sees Ralph Fiennes’ pacifist Duke of Oxford set up a secret organisation in an attempt to tackle a shadowy cabal plot underpinning World War One.
It’s packed with more action than you can shake a sword at, but the cartoonish excess of it all does grate at times. The King’s Man hits cinemas on 26th December.
Don’t Look Up (Netflix, Dec 24th)
This sci-fi dark comedy dropping on Netflix Christmas Eve, stars A-listers Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as two relatively unknown astronomers who are tracking a huge comet that could spell planetary destruction if it maintains its collision course with our globe.
But their warnings to the president (Meryl Streep) and her adviser (Jonah Hill) fall on deaf ears. In fact it seems the whole world just doesn’t want to know about the potential implosion of all life as we know it.
Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett (December 29th, Disney+)
Star Wars fans have been salivating over this long-awaited series that sees the infamous bounty hunter take centre stage. Here Boba Fett (Temuera Morrison) starts his own crime syndicate with mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) on the desert world of Tatooine, staking their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt.
Cobra Kai, Season 4 (December 31, Netflix)
As huge fans of Karate Kid we’ve loved the nostalgic shot in the arm that is Cobra Kai. Returning for a fourth season, we’re glad to see there’s still gas left in the tank, as this time around Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence’s (William Zabka) respective dojos join forces to try and take down the merciless Cobra Kai at the All Valley Under 18 Karate Tournament.
And it’s all or nothing with the losers having to quit karate for good. Fans of Karate Kid 3 will get a real kick out of this one with that movie’s chief antagonist Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), dusting off his gi to show No Mercy.
Did You Know?
Setting aside the argument as to whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie or not (it is, it’s just not a cosy festive film), you might not know that throughout the movie, terrorist tackling cop John McClane (Bruce Willis), sports some rather unusual footwear. During the shoeless scenes where McClane painfully walks on broken glass and leaps from roofs, he wears fake rubber feet to protect his own. Eagle eyed viewers will spot these shoe boots in some scenes. Catch Die Hard on ITV, Dec 22nd, 1045.
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (BBC iplayer)
Now this one isn’t what you’d call a feel good film, but, it does display a version of reality far closer to how the festive season really is than most Christmas flicks. The plot sees Colin Burstead (Neil Maskell) hire a huge mansion for a New Year’s Eve party for his extended family and various hangers-on.
From the get-go we see the waves of family tension between all the different members, with disaster after disaster, culminating in classic Christmas conflict. It’s a finely balanced mix of drama and comedy, with some fantastic acting performances. Not unlike most people’s New Year’s Eve then!
Here’s a first look at this action epic from visionary director Robert Eggers. It follows a young Viking prince (Alexander Skarsgård) as he sets out on a quest to avenge his father’s murder. The all-star cast includes Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke and Björk. The Northman arrives in cinemas on April 22nd, 2022.
Quick Question Answer: Last week we asked you, in which movie did the space ship Nostromo first appear? It was of course the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien.
Wishing all our readers a very Happy Christmas from The MALESTROM.
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