This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

December Preview: 'Young Adult,' 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Mission Impossible,' 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'

Monthly Movie Preview – December 2011 When we're lucky, the directors of the world align their release schedules to create special years for movie lovers. 2011 has certainly felt like one of these occasions, having seen films by Almodovar, Malick, Eastwood, Verbinski, James, Refn, Payne, Lonergan, Wright, and more. And what fitting way to end the year of 2011 than with another heaping of films from A-list directors, a few Oscar potential films, and even an Alvin and the Chipmunks sequel?

This month alone boasts the releases of films by directors like Jason Reitman (Young Adult), Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), the elusive Lynne Ramsey (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Brad Bird, (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Cameron Crowe (We Bought a Zoo), Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), David f**king Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and TWO movies from Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of Tintin and then War Horse).

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December 2

Movie of the Week

Shame (limited release)

The Stars: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan The Plot: A New York bachelor (Fassbender) struggles with his sex addiction while his sister (Mulligan) crashes at his place. The Buzz: With roles in X-Men: First Class and the upcoming A Dangerous Method, Fassbender has been gaining a lot of center-stage attention. Here, with the guidance of his former Hunger collaborator Steve McQueen, he challenges audiences with this NC-17 depiction of sex addiction in New York City. It's too early to tell, but this movie might have Oscar potential for Fassbender's performance. Plus, when was the last time you saw an NC-17 movie in the theater?

The Others:

Sleeping Beauty - Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Ewen Leslie

December 9

Movie of the Week

The Artist

The Stars: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo, John Goodman The Plot: A silent film star (Dujarin) struggles to accept the movement of sound pictures, as spearheaded by a young talent he helped discover (Bejo). The Buzz: After The Descendants, here's the next movie to come out that will get people immediately talking "Oscar," as it rightfully should. The Artist is thoroughly a crowd-pleaser, and I can guarantee it will make for a much more exciting theater experience than seeing the "sequel" to Valentine's Day, New Year's Eve. And to echo what I just said about Shame, when was the last time you saw a silent movie in a theater?

The Others:

Young Adult - Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson New Year's Eve - Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Hilary Swank, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher The Sitter - Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, Ari Graynor W.E. - Abbie Cornish, James D'Arcy, Andrea Riseborough We Need to Talk About Kevin - Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C. Reilly

December 16

Movie of the Week

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

The Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace The Plot: A sequel to the hit Sherlock Holmes that follows Sherlock (Downey Jr.) and Watson (Law) as they meet their ultimately nemesis, Moriarty. The Buzz: The first Sherlock Holmes was surprisingly a lot of fun, as anchored by the always charismatic Downey Jr., and the visually amusing Guy Ritchie. This sequel adds two new players to the mix, one of them being iconic character Moriarty, and the other being actress Noomi Rapace, whom you might recognize from the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies.

The Others:

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked - Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney A Dangerous Method - Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Mark Strong

December 23

Movie of the Week

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Stars: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Max Von Sydow The Plot: An American adaptation of the first book in the famous series by Stieg Larsson, which follows a cyberpunk as she helps a black-listed reporter in solving a forgotten murder mystery. The Buzz: Yeah, I know. A lot of movies come out during this release date, but Fincher's film is the most important because it's David f**king Fincher. Especially with his quote saying how The Godfather was a good supermarket book just like Dragon Tattoo, I am supremely curious as to what interpretation Fincher will have of this story, which has already been made into three films, and has been read on buses and subway trains across the world. Plus, Fincher is going to turn the adorable Rooney Mara into the freak-chic Lisbeth Salander. That alone should be worth the ticket.

The Others:

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol - Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner The Adventures of Tintin - Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock The Darkest Hour - Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Max Minghella We Bought a Zoo - Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Kate Winslet In the Land of Blood and Honey - Goran Kostic, Zara Marjanovic


'Shame' interview with actor Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen