Scheduled to open in area theaters next weekend (Dec. 15) are:
Ferdinand: The classic 1936 book by Munro Leaf and illustrator Robert Lawson about the bull who'd rather lie under a tree and sniff flowers than fight in the ring finally makes the big-screen leap 81 years later. John Cena provides Ferdinand his first voice, as he's sent off to Madrid, against his will, to face down bullfighters. Additional voices are provided by Kate McKinnon, Anthony Anderson, Peyton Manning, Bobby Cannavale and recent Twin Cities visitor Gabriel Iglesias, who headlined a show a year ago this fall in ISU's Braden Auditorium.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: Two years after "The Force Awakens" polished off Harrison Ford's Han Solo, "The Last Jedi" arrives as the swan song for Carrie Fisher, who completed her role as Princess Leia before her real-life passing a year ago this month. Among the living, Mark Hamill returns to the top of the cast list, where he was 40 years ago in the first "Star Wars." Paying off the last-scene epiphany from "Awakens," we're assured he has much more to do here as Rey (Daisy Ridley) joins Luke on an adventure with Leia, Finn (John Boyega) and Poe (Oscar Isaac) that unlocks mysteries of the Force and secrets of the past. Also heavily invested in the unlocking: Adam Driver's Kylo Ren, aka, the son of Han and Leia; nephew of Luke. Rounding out the cast: Andy Serkis, Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, Domhnall Gleeson and, suited back up as C3PO for the most number of franchise appearances over the decades, Anthony Daniels.