One of the most interesting seasons for feature films begins Nov. 5 with the release of Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar.” And it will continue through the end of the year.
The summer movie season is filled with big-budget blockbusters, while the fall and the spring generally end up being dumping grounds for movies that either can’t stand up to the competition of summer or don’t have a lot of awards potential.
But the releases coming the next two months are a blend of both — movies with the look of a box office hit and those with the potential to grab an awards show nomination. Rarely, is there such a diverse selection available on local theater screens.
One of the movies leading off this two month box office battle is the Marvel/Disney animated tale “Big Hero 6.” Producer Roy Conli is happy to be part of this year’s holiday movie madness.
“I think it is a good time because, for me, the story has so much warmth and so much heart that I think it is ideal for a Christmas release,” Conli says. “I think the Christmas season is about family and, for me, this film is in large part about family, the family you acquire as opposed to the one you are given.”
Here’s a look at some of the productions opening in Fresno between now and the end of the year.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine.
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
The story: A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
Naughty or nice: Definitely nice. Nolan’s style of film making is spellbinding.
“Big Hero 6”
Starring: Damon Wayans Jr., Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Chung, T.J. Miller.
Directed by: Don Hall, Chris Williams.
The story: A young genius uses a robot created by his brother to stop his invention from being used for evil.
Naughty or nice: Nice to have an animated film for the holidays.
“Dumb and Dumber To”
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels.
Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly.
The story: The dimwit buddies get back together after 20 years to search for their long lost children.
Naught or nice: Naughty, it took so long for another film to be made.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1”
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson.
Directed by: Francis Lawrence.
The story: Katniss Everdeen fights to save Peeta and a nation that has been moved by her courage.
Naughty or nice: It’s nice that the series is coming to an end, but it’s naughty that it will take two parts.
“Horrible Bosses 2”
Starring: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston.
Directed by: Sean Anders.
The story: The three buddies run into more boss trouble after they start their own business. This leads to some more outlandish actions by the guys.
Naughty or nice: Naughty. The idea of a sequel is as appealing as coal in a stocking.
“Penguins of Madagascar”
Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Chris Knights, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Directed by: Simon Smith, Eric Darnell.
The story: The most mysterious birds in the global espionage game — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private — join forces with the spy organization, The North Wind, led by Agent Classified.
Naughty or nice: Extremely nice. The real stars of the “Madagascar” movies are getting their own film.
“The Theory of Everything”
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Emma Watson.
Directed by: James Marsh.
The story: Story of Jane Hawking’s relationship with her ex-husband, Stephen Hawking.
Naughty or nice: Has nice potential for Oscar attention.
Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, James Buckley, Denis O’Hare, Christa Nicola.
Directed by: Gregory Levasseur.
The story: Team of U.S. archaeologists gets more than they bargain for when they unlock the secrets buried in a pyramid.
Naughty or nice: Naughty that it wasn’t released in late October.
“Exodus: Gods and Kings”
Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Aaron Paul, John Turturro, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley.
Directed by: Ridley Scott.
The story: Moses rises up against Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a journey of escape from Egypt.
Naughty or nice: Releasing this kind of film near Christmas gets a very nice tag.
Starring: Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart.
Directed by: Chris Rock.
The story: Comedian’s efforts to become a serious actor gets sidetracked when his fiancé convinces him to broadcast their wedding on her reality TV show.
Naughty or nice: Any film with Adam Sandler starts on the naughty list.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”
Starring: Martin Freeman, Luke Evans, Lee Pace, Ian McKellen, Evangeline Lilly.
Directed by: Peter Jackson.
The story: Bilbo and his fellow travelers got into battle against an army and Smaug to keep them from getting a kingdom of treasure and wiping out all of Middle-Earth.
Naughty or nice: Look for really nice box office numbers for this third film in the series.
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz.
Directed by: Will Gluck
The story: Young girl tries to make the most of her hard-knock life in a foster home. Things change when she wins the heart of a gruff tycoon.
Naughty or nice: It’s naughty another film version of the musical has been made, but it should have nice box office numbers.
“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”
Starring: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Steve Coogan, Ricky Gervais.
Directed by: Shawn Levy.
The story: Larry takes a spin around the globe to save museum magic before it’s gone.
Naughty or nice: It will be nice to see one more performance by Robin Williams.
Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park.
Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen.
The story: CIA recruits TV reporter and his producer to take on a secret mission when they go to North Korea to interview dictator Kim Jong-un.
Naughty or nice: Nice idea that gets on the naughty list for opening on Christmas Day.
“Into the Woods”
Starring: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt.
Directed by: Rob Marshall.
The story: Witch tries to teach lessons to characters from children’s stories such as Rapunzel and Little Red Riding Hood.
Naughty or nice: Should sing a nice song.
Starring: Finn Wittrock, Jack O’Connell, Jai Courtney.
Directed by: Angelina Jolie.
The story: An Olympic runner is taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II.
Naughty or nice: Another nice chance for Oscar buzz.