(L-r) Romany Malco, Alkoya Brunson, Nicole Ari Parker, Marley Taylor, JB Smoove, Kimberly Elise, Nadej Bailey, Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover and Mo’Nique in “Almost Christmas.” (Quantrell D. Colbe/Universal Pictures)

(L-r) Romany Malco, Alkoya Brunson, Nicole Ari Parker, Marley Taylor, JB Smoove, Kimberly Elise, Nadej Bailey, Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover and Mo’Nique in “Almost Christmas.” (Quantrell D. Colbe/Universal Pictures)

*Everyone likes a feel good Christmas story and that’s exactly what writer/director David E. Talbert gives in this season’s latest laugh fest, “Almost Christmas.”

Audiences will be drawn to patriarch Danny Glover (Walter) for his deep love of family and unselfish dedication to helping the underprivileged. Needless to say, there is dancing and jamming music.

Every filmmaker wants to fill seats so expect some adult humor—sex sells—with sexual situations that preempt the “family film for all ages” category. However, all the familiar family drama that takes place during the holiday season is here.

“Almost Christmas” tells the beloved Walter who asks his family for one gift this holiday season: to get along. If they can honor that wish and spend five days under the same roof, he feels, without killing one another (there is a scene with a shotgun), it will be a Christmas miracle.

The incredible cast consists of Gabrielle Union, Omar Epps, Kimberly Elise, J. B. Smoove, Mo’Nique Nicole Ari Parker, Romany Malco, Alkoya Brunson, Marley Taylor, and John Michael Higgens.

‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk’

There could be no better time for the captivating, emotional and patriotic drama “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” to be released than on Veteran’s Day. The film is told from the point of view of 19-year-old private Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn), who, along with his fellow soldiers in Bravo Squad, has been hailed as a hero and brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle.

(L-r) Director Ang Lee, Joe Alwyn, Brian “Astro” Bradley, and Mason Lee on the set of TriStar Piactures’ ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Half Time Walk.’ (Mary Cybulski photo)

(L-r) Director Ang Lee, Joe Alwyn, Brian “Astro” Bradley, and Mason Lee on the set of TriStar Piactures’ ‘Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.’ (Mary Cybulski photo)

Through flashbacks, culminating at the spectacular halftime show of the Thanksgiving Day football game—with a performance by a groups representing Beyonce and Destiny Child—the moving movie brings home the realities of war.

Director Ang Lee wanted to visually put viewers on the battlefield so shot the film in an unprecedented 120 frames per second (five times the usual rate) and in 4K resolution—an enhancement that, along with the use of 3D cameras—will help audiences to experience the human toll of war.

Chris Tucker, Vin Diesel, Garret Hedlund, Steve Martin, Kristen Stewart, Brian AstroBradley, and Mason Lee also star.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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