Several upcoming holiday films owe their existence to the 1980s

Several offerings for holiday season owe their existence to the 1980s or books

The Fresno BeeNovember 8, 2012 

Brush off your Cabbage Patch Kids, get out your Bangles album and squeeze some air into your Reebok Pumps. The '80s are back — at least when it comes to this year's holiday movie releases.

Just look at the lineup of films scheduled for movie theaters before the end of the year: There is a remake of the 1984 classic Red Dawn and last week's Wreck-It Ralph, which deals with characters from popular arcade games from three decades ago. James Bond — who spied his way through five movies in the '80s — returns to the big screen Friday with Skyfall, plus there's a film version of Les Misérables, a musical that debuted on Broadway in 1987.

For those of you who are less nostalgic, there's also the finale of the Twilight film saga and the beginning of the new Hobbit franchise. SCHEDULE

Here's a look at some of the films scheduled to open this holiday season:

NOV. 9

Skyfall. James Bond must track down the threat to MI6. What to expect: It's a Bond film. There will be action, lots of action. Stars: Daniel Craig, Helen McCrory, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem. Director: Sam Mendes.

NOV. 16

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2. New mom Bella becomes the key player in a vampire battle royale. What to expect: Fans will flock to see the final film. Stars: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner. Director: Bill Condon.

Lincoln. Kentucky native Abraham Lincoln pushes to get support to emancipate slaves. What to expect: This is not the typical Steven Spielberg film and might disappoint those looking for big special effects and stunts. Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Director: Spielberg.

NOV. 21

Red Dawn. Teens fight to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers. What to expect: Has a lot to live up to because the original 1984 movie is a cult classic. Stars: Josh Peck, Northern Kentucky native Josh Hutcherson, Chris Hemsworth. Director: Dan Bradley.

Life of Pi. An Indian boy is adrift at sea with a Bengal tiger. What to expect: Will be a visual feast. Stars: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan. Director: Ang Lee.

Rise of the Guardians. Immortal Guardians team up to protect children. What to expect: Familiar characters will entertain young and old. Stars: Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, Alec Baldwin. Director: Peter Ramsey.

NOV. 30

Killing Them Softly. An enforcer must track down three crooks who robbed the Mob. What to expect: Box office totals will be driven by Brad Pitt's appeal. Stars: Pitt, Ray Liotta, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins. Director: Andrew Dominik.

DEC. 7

Playing for Keeps. A man's attempt to reconnect with his son gets sidetracked by a coaching job. What to expect: Will fill the void of romantic comedies. Stars: Dennis Quaid, Jessica Biel, Uma Thurman, Gerard Butler. Director: Gabriele Muccino.

DEC. 14

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Bilbo Baggins joins a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. What to expect: It will be a monumental launch for this film franchise. Stars: Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Martin Freeman. Director: Peter Jackson.

DEC. 19

Zero Dark Thirty. Navy SEAL Team 6 searches for Osama bin Laden. What to expect: Could be the surprise hit of the holiday season. Stars: Joel Edgerton, Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt, Harold Perrineau. Director: Kathryn Bigelow.

DEC. 21

This Is 40. A look at the lives of Pete and Debbie a few years after Knocked Up. What to expect: Hard to say since director Judd Apatow's humor is hit and miss. Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, John Lithgow, Megan Fox. Director: Apatow.

Jack Reacher. A detective looks into the sniper shooting of five people. What to expect: Tom Cruise is a safe bet when he's not in a musical. Stars: Cruise, Robert Duvall, Rosamund Pike. Director: Christopher McQuarrie.

DEC. 25

Les Misérables. Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean's life changes when he agrees to care for a factory worker's young daughter. What to expect: The popularity of the stage production will make this a box-office hit. Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried. Director: Tom Hooper.

Django Unchained. A slave works with a German bounty hunter to track killers. What to expect: It's a Quentin Tarantino film, so expect this pre-Civil War film to be action-packed and bloody. Stars: Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson. Director: Tarantino.

Parental Guidance. A grandfather's parenting skills are tested. What to expect: Billy Crystal and Bette Midler should produce plenty of laughs. Stars: Crystal, Midler, Tom Everett Scott, Marisa Tomei. Director: Andy Fickman

Guilt Trip. An inventor and his mother go on a road trip. What to expect: It all depends on how much chemistry Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand have. Stars: Rogen, Streisand, Yvonne Strahovski. Director: Anne Fletcher.

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