Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. are back as Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Game of Shadows.

Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr. are back as Watson and Sherlock Holmes in A Game of Shadows.

Aisle Seat: Christmas goodies trump turkeys

Morning Star movie reviewer Jason Armstrong gives his take on some upcoming releases.

  • Dec. 11, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Tis the season for Hollywood to serve up some box office treats.

In the Aisle Seat’s Holiday Preview, let’s take a look at a handful of upcoming biggies and predict if these gifts are something really, really cool… or just another pair of socks.

–– Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise returns for a fourth mission as Ethan Hunt.

It’s been five years since he played super spy, and it will be interesting to see if movie goers are ready to give the little guy another chance, or if they still see that lunatic abusing Oprah’s furniture.

In this sequel, Hunt’s organization is shut down when its implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin, so it’s up to you-know-who to save the day.

CHRISTMAS GOODIE? I predict this one will self-destruct after opening weekend. Top Gun 2, Tom?

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 16.

–– Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Another sequel, this one reuniting Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Sherlock Holmes and Watson, this time trying to take down their fiercest adversary, Professor Moriarty (Jared Harris).

While I thought the first film was a little overblown, you can’t deny that it’s one of those jam-packed babies where you certainly get your money’s worth.

CHRISTMAS GOODIE? Elementary, my dear.

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 16.

–– The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep plays Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister of the United Kingdom, in a bio-pic that shows how she paid a price for such power. The buzz on this one? Big shocker, I know. Oscar for Streep.

CHRISTMAS GOODIE? Yep, British flavoured.

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 25.

–– We Bought a Zoo

A father (Matt Damon) moves his family to the countryside to renovate and re-open a struggling zoo. It’s like Marley and Me, only with zebras.

CHRISTMAS GOODIE? Almost afraid to taste test given the syrupy synopsis, but with Cameron Crowe directing, shoot, why not?

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 23.

–– War Horse

Steven Spielberg helms this tale about a boy and his horse, broken when the animal is sold to the cavalry and sent to the trenches of the First World War. Despite being too young to enlist, the boy heads to France to find his horse.

CHRISTMAS GOODIE? The trailer alone was one of the better films I saw this year.

RELEASE DATE: Dec. 25.

–– Jason Armstrong is The Morning Star’s longtime movie review. His column, Aisle Seat, appears every Friday and Sunday.