The Month’s Top U.S. Releases: December 2010

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Released 7th December:

Rush Hour:

Format: Blu-ray

Classification: PG-13

Stars: Jackie Chan (The Karate Kid, 2010), Chris Tucker (The Fifth Element), Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins), Chris Penn (Reservoir Dogs)

A by-the-book police detective from China, and a rebel cop from Los Angeles, become reluctant partners when the daughter of a Chinese diplomat is kidnapped, and they are forced to work together to rescue her, and uncover the conspiracy behind the crime.

Inception:

Format: Blu-ray (Triple Play)/DVD

Classification: PG-13

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio (Shutter Island), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (500 Days of Summer), Cillian Murphy (The Dark Knight), Tom Hardy (Bronson)

Being an expert in his field, Dob Cobb steals individuals secrets from within their own subconscious; by entering their dreams; and agrees to take on one last job to get his old life back, and return to his family; implanting an important idea in the dreams of a corporate mogul.

Restrepo:

Format: Blu-ray/DVD

Classification: R

Restrepo is the footage of Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan’s most strategically crucial valleys; footage that reveals an extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban in a valley that CNN dubbed “the deadliest place on earth”.

Shrek Forever After, & Shrek 1-4 Box Set:

Format: Blu-ray/Blu-ray (Double Play)/DVD

Classification: PG

Stars: Mike Meyers (Wayne’s World), Eddie Murphy (Beverly Hills Cop), Cameron Diaz (Knight and Day), Antonio Bandreas (Desperado)

In the final chapter to the Shrek saga, Shrek makes a deal with Rumpelstiltskin to get his roar back, and become a “real ogre” once again; a deal that turns his world upside down, makes his friends forget him, put on weight, and turn into fierce warriors; threatening his happy ever after.

Half Past Dead:

Format: Blu-ray

Classification: R

Stars: Steven Seagal (Under Seige), Ja Rule (The Fast and the Furious), Morris Chestnut (Ladder 49), Tony Plana (Primal Fear)

Alcatraz has been re-opened, but the first prisoner slated for the electric chair has a secret worth $200 million; something that a group of invading commandos isn’t going to let slip by; causing an undercover F.B.I. agent to get involved, and rescue a Supreme Court Justice.

Released 14th December:

The A-Team:

Format: Blu-ray (Double Play)/DVD

Classification: PG-13

Stars: Liam Neeson (Chloe), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Sharlto Copley (District 9), Quinton Jackson (Miss March)

Adapted from the classic TV show, The A-Team tells the story of a crack commando unit that was sent to prison, by a military court, for a crime they didn’t commit, before promptly escaping from a maximum-security stockade, and attempting to clear their names.

Released 17th December:

Despicable Me:

Format: Blu-ray (Triple Play)/DVD (Double Play)/3D Blu-ray (w/Triple Play)/DVD

Classification: PG

Stars: Steve Carell (Date Night), Jason Segel (Knocked Up), Russell Brand (Get Him to the Greek), Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins)

After he’s knocked of the top-spot, and his rival Vector claims the title of “World’s Greatest Villain”, Gru and his crew of mischievous minions, plan to steal the moon; a plan that ends up with him adopting three young girls who see him as the perfect father.

Released 21st December:

Salt:

Format: Blu-ray/DVD

Classification: Not Rated

Stars: Angelina Jolie (The Tourist), Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Chiwetel Ejiofor (2012), August Diehl (Inglorious Basterds)

After being accused of being a Russian spy, C.I.A. officer Evelyn Salt goes on the run; using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative to elude capture; in order to prove her innocence, but raising serious questions to her motives and identity along the way.

Released 28th December:

Resident Evil: Afterlife:

Format: 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD

Classification: R

Stars: Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element), Ali Larter (Heroes), Wentworth Miller (Prison break), Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy)

Based on the popular video-game series, Resident Evil: Afterlife once again follows Alice, as she travels a world infested with a deadly virus that turns ordinary people into the undead, and attempts to bring down the corporation that effectively killed the world.

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Matt Wheeldon is the Founder, and Editor in Chief of Good Film Guide. He still refers to the cinema as “the pictures”, and has what some would describe as a misguided appreciation for Waterworld.