Friday Film Roundup: ‘The Color Purple,’ ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,’ ‘Anyone But You,’ and More

ENTERTAINMENTBy 2023-12-22T16:08:48-05:00December 22nd, 2023|
  • The Color Purple (2023).

The Christmas weekend usually brings with it one of the year’s most exciting release weekends. Most studios like to cap off the year with one of two types of releases; something that will draw in the whole family or something that will hopefully become an Oscar contender. This year is no exception, and may actually be one of the most exciting Christmas weekends since before the pandemic.

“Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (In Theaters)

A year after the forthcoming “Aquaman” sequel was supposed to hit theaters, the final entry in the DC Extended Universe as we know it will transition the franchise away from what became known as the Snyderverse (named after director Zack Snyder) and into the incoming DCU, led by “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn. Compared to Marvel, DC had a rough time rolling out their answer to the wildly successful MCU and have mostly thrown in the towel after failing to maintain whatever momentum they had in the late 2010s.

In a way, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” is like a memorial service for this series of films. One last outing before all of it gets buried underneath the promise of a better, more focused franchise.

Thankfully, Aquaman has consistently been one of the DCEU’s best characters and had arguably one of the franchise’s best solo outings. As far as finales go, “The Lost Kingdom” looks like a fitting end to the DC Extended Universe.

“Anyone But You” (In Theaters)

Between this and “No Hard Feelings,” it’s safe to say that raunchy romantic comedies are officially making a comeback. “Anyone But You” follows Bea (played by Sydney Sweeney) and Ben (played by Glen Powell), who run into each other on their way to the same wedding after a one night stand left them on pretty bad terms.

The thing is, both of them have their eyes on someone else at the wedding. For the sake of driving one person into their arms and the other away from them, they agree to put their differences aside and pretend to be a couple. Romcom 101 tells us that they will, at some point, catch feelings for each other. We don’t make the rules!

“The Iron Claw” (In Theaters)

Remember that picture of Zac Efron walking around with that terrible bowl cut? That’s this movie. “The Iron Claw” tells the story of the real-life Von Erich family, which spawned multiple generations of pro wrestlers that became some of the sport’s most prominent stars. However, the family also endured a series of personal tragedies, so much so that they became just as well-known for the “Von Erich curse.”

“Migration” (In Theaters)

Described by its own director as “Little Miss Sunshine” with ducks, “Migration” is a road comedy about a family of mallards who decide to finally take a long overdue vacation in Jamaica. They decide to fly there through New York City, making their way to Jamaica like a human family would do a cross-country road trip. Similarly to the “Vacation” movies from the 80s, the family encounters an odd array of characters and situations along the way.

Christmas Day Releases

In addition to these December 22nd debuts, a few films will premiere on Christmas Day. Check out the trailers below.

“All of us Strangers” (In Theaters)

“Ferrari” (In Theaters)

“The Color Purple” (In Theaters)

“The Boys in the Boat” (In Theaters)

Josef Rodriguez is a writer, filmmaker, and film critic living in New York City.