December 2014 Primer: The Books, Movies, Music & Games Coming Your Way This Month

Above: The movies, music, books and games coming your way this December
Above: The movies, music, books and games coming your way this December

Doesn’t it feel like only yesterday that summer faded into fall and now even the normal people are counting down the days until Christmas, not just the ridiculous lot that update you about how many sleeps until Santa arrives starting somewhere in early March.

The final month of the year brings plenty of activity and even less time for laying back and relaxing, so allow us to help you make the most of what little free time you have in December.

Here’s our look at what’s coming your way this month.

Wu-Tang Forever!

Listen – Shaolin’s Finest were supposed to release this album, A Better Tomorrow, in June 2013 to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of their classic debut, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), but internal turmoil and strife kept it shelved… until now. You never know what you’re going to get when the Wu gets together, but with the assembled collection of MCs on this album and RZA on the boards, it’s worth test driving just even if only to get nostalgic for the good old days for a moment or two.

Wild

There is a lot that has us interested in this film: a Canadian director (Jean-Marc Vallee), a Nick Hornby script and Laura Dern, all topped by the incredible buzz about Reese Witherspoon’s performance as Cheryl Strayed in this adaptation of her memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail. It opens in the theatres on December 5. We’ll be there.

The Smashing Pumpkins are back… kind of

One of the biggest and most successful bands of the ’90s, Smashing Pumpkins have now gone the way of Guns ‘N’ Roses. The only original member that remains is frontman Billy Corgan, and the mercurial musician only acknowledges one other official member at this time, rhythm guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Still, our permanent attachment to both Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness make us curious about this latest offering. Monuments to an Elegy drops December 9th.

Big Day at the Movies, Part I

December is a month for movies and after Wild gets pretty much a solo opening this weekend, the slate gets packed each of the next three weeks. First up, December 12 features the arrival of a trio of anticipated offerings: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, Ridley Scott’s biblical CGI-fest Exodus: Gods and Kings and Chris Rock’s Top Five. This is like a perfect holiday potluck – a little something for everyone.

The Bourne Saga Continues

Want to settle in with a good book this holiday season? Been a fan of the Jason Bourne series, either in its novel or film form? Well Eric Van Lustbader is back with another entry in to the series started by Robert Ludlum as The Bourne Ascendancy hits bookstores on December 15. Whether you start from the beginning (The Bourne Identity) or just mix-and-match, these action-packed offerings are a great escape on a snowy day.

Our New Favourite Book

Rather than listening to us tell you about Josh Sundquist’s new book, We Should Hang Out Sometime, we think you should just check out this video Sundquist made about the book back in May. It’s a 25-year-old trying to figure out why he’s never had a girlfriend in a semi-scientific, sure-to-be-hilarious manner. What’s not to love?

Big Day at the Movies, Part II

December 19 brings with it The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (a.k.a. The Hobbit: Part 3), the Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis remake of Annie, Night at the Museum 3: More Hijinx (note: not the official title, but close enough), Mark Wahlberg in The Gambler and the under-the-radar, critical darling Mr. Turner. It’s nice to have choices.

Christmas Day NBA

In between opening presents, stuffing your face and enjoying a mid-afternoon and/or early evening nap on the couch, why not check out some hoops? The NBA rolls out its usual assortment of quality tilts on Christmas Day with five games on the schedule highlighted by the defending champion San Antonio Spurs going to Oklahoma City, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers visiting the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Clippers taking on the Golden State Warriors.

2015 World Junior Hockey Tournament

Officially the IIHF World Junior Championship, this annual event kicks off on Boxing Day and is being hosted in Toronto and Montreal. Canada has failed to medal each of the last two years – the first time that has happen since the Program of Excellence was introduced in 1981 – and will be looking to get back on the podium at home. Hopefully Connor McDavid’s hand is healed up in time for the start of the tournament.

Big Day at the Movies, Part III

Want to get away from the outside world on Boxing Day? Four very distinct options are available to you in theatres on December 26: Disney’s Into the Wood, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Seth Rogan and James Franco trying to assassinate Kim Jong-un in The Interview and Bradley Cooper in the Clint Eastwood helmed biopic of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, American Sniper.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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