Chance Gibbs

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone.

It seems like yesterday I was ringing in 2016 on Bourbon Street, and now I’m looking around wondering where exactly this year went?

All of our awesome family-favorites have been eaten, leftovers are dwindling, and now it’s time to deck the halls for Christmas, start thinking about, or for you overachievers out there, finish your Christmas shopping, and if we’re lucky enough to have a spare couple of hours, catch a movie at the theater.

Other than family and friend get-togethers, perhaps the best part of the holiday season are the movies that Hollywood rolls out. The fall is a great time for movies; the Oscar race is usually well underway and heavy-hitter films are released. This year has been no exception.

Fox’s “Trolls,” Buena Vista’s “Doctor Strange,” and the much-anticipated Harry Potter vehicle, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” have dominated the box office this month.

If you’re like me, you’re likely waking from a two-day food coma and might dare to venture out to your nearest movieplex to catch a latest release.

If the three movies I listed above aren’t your cup of tea, or you’ve already seen them, that’s ok – you’ve got plenty of options that hit theaters this weekend.

If you’re in need of a family film, I’d suggest catching Disney’s “Moana.” This animated feature follows Moana and her friend Maui as they traverse the South Pacific to save their people. The film is directed by the same team that brought us “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” so I’m sure your entire family will be thoroughly entertained.

Maybe you’d like to spend some time away from the kiddos and enjoys some adult laughs for a bit? If so, I’d suggest “Bad Santa 2.” Willie (played by Billy Bob Thornton) and his sidekick, Marcus (played by Tony Cox) are back and plan to knock off a charity for Christmas Eve. The first film was hilarious, so if this one even comes close, it’s the perfect film to laugh your way into the Christmas season.

In need of a little on screen romance? Check out the new Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard movie, “Allied.” It’s a romantic thriller set during WWII following two assassins who fall in love on a mission to kill a German official. If you keep up with the love lives of movie stars in the tabloids or on TMZ, you may remember hearing about this film earlier in the year when Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt and many speculated an off-screen romance between him and Cotillard. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility, considering that’s how Pitt and Jolie met. Remember “Mr. and Mrs. Smith?” But, hey, you lose them how you found them, right?

“Rules Don’t Apply” also hits theaters this week and marks the return of Warren Beatty, as Howard Hughes, in this story about an aspiring movie actress who falls in love with her driver – breaking Hughes’ rule prohibiting romance between employees. Beatty, whom we haven’t seen on screen since 2001’s “Town & Country,” wrote and directed the film and plays billionaire playboy Howard Hughes.

If you got your fill of food, but not your fill of politics, the political thriller, “Miss Sloane,” starring Jessica Chastain, is also out and ready for viewing. Chastain plays a ruthless lobbyist in D.C. who likes to win, but at what price? I love Jessica Chastain, but I’m not sure I can handle anything else government-related this year. If you have room in your belly for any Washington leftovers, this might be the film for you.

As for me, I’ll be seeing “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” with my cousin, Katy. We have a long-standing tradition of seeing every Harry Potter movie together – we even caught one in London where the films premiered – so we’re opting for fantasy over frantic Black Friday shopping.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and maybe a film or two – you deserve it.

Happy holidays, and even though it feels way too soon to be saying this, Merry Christmas.

Chance Gibbs is an actor and writer living in the Dallas area. He’s appeared in numerous television shows, films, professional and community theater, and TV commercials and has been a contributor to news publications since 2007.

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