Thanksgiving Movie Preview: What Films to See Over the Long Weekend
Yes, I realize I spent last week complaining that there were no good Thanksgiving movies. But there's still a bunch of time off around Thanksgiving, and lots of time to fill once the turkey dinner's done. If you're planning a trip to the multiplex, here are some of your movie options.
The animated Christmas film comes from Aardman Animations, the delightful studio that brings you all the Wallace and Gromit shorts and movies. This offering isn't stop-motion clay animation like Wallace and Gromit (and, in my opinion, looks a lot uglier), but the behind-the-scenes look at Santa's operations—and the mission they have to undertake once a present is left behind—will, hopefully, bear some of Aardman's trademark British humor.
I'm interested in this because it seems to fly in the face of everything you'd need to make a successful movie today. It's French, it's silent (or near-silent), and it's not even in full widescreen. If you ever wanted to know what it'd be like to see an old silent movie, try to find this one—it's going to be in limited release.
Happy Feet Two
Oh, 2005 and 2006 were happier years, when the economy wasn't so bad, and the country was caught in the grips of Penguimania after the release of March of the Penguins and Happy Feet. Happy Feet Two hopes to capitalize off mid-decade nostalgia. Only instead of being about a penguin who wants to dance in a society of penguins that'd rather sing, the sequel is about a penguin who wants to fly in a society of penguins that dance. Who knew penguin society was such a monoculture?
This is a first: Martin Scorsese is directing a full-length movie for kids (and the parents who love them). For his first directorial foray into family entertainment, he picked good source material: the award-winning and generally beloved The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. But even though that book is fantastic, I want to go just to see how Marty can tell a story without all the cursing.
The reviews for this Clint Eastwood-directed J. Edgar Hoover biopic haven't been stellar, and it won't be the Oscar movie that producers might have hoped for, but you might want to check it out if there's a history buff in your life.
Jack and Jill
You know if you're an Adam Sandler fan or not—and, to enjoy this movie, you pretty much have to be a fan. Critics found it to be pretty bad, and the box office numbers show that moviegoers pretty much agree. But it's only rated PG, so it might do the trick for a youngster that you want to steer away from the R-rated head-crushings of Immortals.
My Week With Marilyn
If you want to get a jump on your Oscar-bait movies, we hear good buzz about Michelle Williams's portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. This one might be in limited release, though, so you might have to do some searching to find it.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
Is that the clunkiest movie title you've ever heard? Well, reviews of the film are starting to trickle in and (spoiler alert) we're sure the scene in the entire series that people are most curious about—the big vampire-baby birth—happens in this film and not the next one. If that isn't enough to get you into a Twilight movie, nothing is.
What are you planning to see? Let me know in the comments.
The Muppets photo credit © The Muppets Studio, LLC
Immortals photo credit: Jan Thijs © 2011 War of the Gods, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
The Descendents photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace