‘The OA,’ ‘Jackie,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed’ and Santa vs. the 21st century

What is everyone talking about this week? “The OA.” This Netflix series, which seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere, stars Brit Marling as a once-blind woman who reappears seven years later with her sight mysteriously restored. And that is the least weird thing that happens, as co-creators Marling and Zal Batmanglij drop the viewer into a deeply odd sci-fi/metaphysical stew involving Russians, near death experiences and Things Man Was Maybe Not Meant To Know. It might be the oddest TV show since “John from Cincinnati” (Surely someone remembers that one). And man alive, people are hacked off about the ending. (Out now.)

asscreedposter“Assassin’s Creed.” Based on the smash-hit video game series of the same name, with Michael Fassbender as a man who finds out he is descended from … wait for it … a 15th century Spanish assassin and is able to experience his ancestor’s adventures. With actual good actors such as Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams. (Dec. 21)

“Jackie.” Directed by Chilean director Pablo Larraín from a script by “Divergent” series screenwriter Noah Oppenheim, this film stars Natalie Portman as the very recently widowed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy — and you better believe ol’ Nat read up on the lady. (Dec. 21)

“Sing.” Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly and many, many more provide the voices for this animated, funny-animal film about a singing contest held by a koala to keep his theater from closing. From the production company, but not the creative team, that made the “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets” movies. (Dec. 21)

klaus01  “Klaus and The Witch of Winter” by Grant Morrison and Dan Mora (Boom! Studio).  A one-off sequel to “Klaus,” Grant Morrison and Dan Mora’s amazing, seven-issue riff on the secret, superheroic origin of Santa Claus. “The Witch of Winter”puts the character in modern times. It would surprise exactly nobody if Morrison and Mora made such stand-alone stories an annual tradition. Fans of the heroic tradition and the magic of Christmas would certainly welcome it. (Dec. 23)

“Why Him?” Bryan Cranston, who might be turning into the Shatner of the 2010s, stars as a dad who meets his college-age daughter’s boyfriend, a deeply odd tech bro billionaire. (James Franco). Points off for the title, because “The dude is a billionaire” is a pretty good answer to any instance of asking “why him?” (Dec. 23)

“Elle.” A rape revenge film based on Philippe Dijan’s novel “Oh…” directed by 78-year-old Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert. Because nothing says Christmas like a Paul Verhoeven rape-revenge picture. (Dec. 23)




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