Thanksgiving Week Releases to Look Forward To

Photo Credit: Lionsgate
November 16th, 2013

Thanksgiving Week Releases to Look Forward To

Thanksgiving is a time when families get together. What better way to celebrate the holiday than to see a new film? The last week of November is not typically considered a great time for blockbusters movies, but you can always be sure to find some great gems made with lower production budgets. This Thanksgiving, the acting talent due to hit the big screen is quite high; Jennifer Lawrence, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jason Statham are just some of the star performers with films set for release around Thanksgiving.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

Perhaps one of the most anticipated films of the year, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," is the follow-up to the hugely successful "The Hunger Games." Many film critics are predicting that this sequel, which is due to be released on November 22, will live up to the hype of the first film and perhaps even surpass it. Based on a series of novels by Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games" has developed something of a cult following among its most hardcore fans. With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth all returning to reprise their roles, fans will get to see a continuation of the plot from the original film. Veteran actors Woody Harrelson and Donald Sutherland also feature once again and provide a steady hand to help guide a young yet talented cast. In addition, Academy Award-winning actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman has been cast as Plutarch Heavensbee, a new character who will be introduced in the second film. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is not one to be missed, and two more sequels are due to be released over the next couple of years.


If "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is not your thing, then "Frozen" may be a good family-friendly alternative. Produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios, "Frozen" is a great movie to take young kids to see. The fifty-third animated feature in Walt Disney's Animated Classics series, this film will be released just in time for Thanksgiving on November 27. The idea of making a film based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen" was discussed as early as the 1940s. For a variety of different reasons, a deal was never reached to make a film version of Andersen's story until 2010. With Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Jonathon Groff lending their voices to the key animated characters, "Frozen" has something to keep adults interested as well as young children.


British actor Jason Statham has carved out quite a niche for himself as an action film hero, and fans of his will have another chance to see him in action when "Homefront" is released to theaters on November 27. The film is loosely based on a Chuck Logan novel of the same name, and Sylvester Stallone adapted the novel into a screenplay. In addition to Statham as DEA agent Phil Broker, the film showcases the acting talents of James Franco, Winona Ryder, and Kate Bosworth. "Homefront" was supposed to be released in early October, but its release date was pushed back by Open Road Films to be closer to Thanksgiving.


Perhaps one film that will go largely unnoticed during Thanksgiving is "Oldboy." The film is a remake of a 2003 South Korean film, which itself was based on a Japanese manga of the same name. Although the film cannot be considered a blockbuster, with a production budget of $30 million, it is no small fish either. With Spike Lee as director and a cast that includes Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Samuel L. Jackson, "Oldboy" has some star quality in its cast and crew. The plot follows Joe Doucett's (Brolin) two-decade solitary confinement and his quest to find the person responsible for his imprisonment.

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

Another film based on a book, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" takes a more serious tone than most other movies to be released over Thanksgiving. Featuring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris as Nelson Mandela and his wife Winnie respectively, the film loosely follows the trials and tribulations that Mandela has suffered during his life. The film was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to rave reviews. Due to be released on November 29, the day after Thanksgiving, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" will provide a great educational experience about Mandela's life.