Opening in Chicago, Weekend of 11/25


Arthur Christmas (trailer)
Director: Sarah Smith
Personal Interest Factor: 5
I’m not too interested in kids movies for the most part, but this doesn’t look too harmless. If I was going to take a chance on something, I’d take a chance on something from Aardman. Speaking of whom, I’d love to see another movie from Nick Park, whose two feature films have both been terrific. This has gotten decent reviews, but I imagine this will happen like Flushed AWay, the last non-Park Aardman, which I skipped.
Metacritic: 68

Hugo (trailer)
Director: Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island)
Personal Interest Factor: 9
After initial skepticism, I’ve now convinced myself that this is something I really have to see. I’ll see it in 2-D, of course, but I’m actually excited about it now. I’m not even sure why I was so skeptical, since even lesser Scorsese (like The Aviator, probably the least of the 4 I listed) is still worth seeing and has good things to offer.
Metacritic: 85

The Muppets (trailer)
Director: James Bobin
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Somewhat torn on this, since I’ve never been a big Muppet fan. On the other hand, it’s not like I’m anti-Muppet, either, and whether or not this movie is any good or not, it sure looks like a good-faith effort to do a new Muppet movie and not a mindless franchise money grab.
Metacritic: 76

My Week with Marilyn (trailer)
Director: Simon Curtis
Personal Interest Factor: 5
I think Michelle Williams is one of the very finest actresses in movies today, but … my lord does this ever look like a chore to sit through. Typical Weinstein awards grab, complete with Judi Dench offering old-lady pearls of wisdom – “first love is such sweet despair.” Yeah, OK, whatever. Meanwhile, if there’s any sophistication in the way this movie views Marilyn Monroe, it’s not evident in the trailer. Instead, it looks like we get to see her through the eyes of some guy who loved her. Novel!
Metacritic: 66

Also this week:
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (trailer) – doc about Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash
El Bulli: Cooking in Progress (trailer) – doc about chef Ferran Adrià
The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (trailer) – French attempt at action franchise
The Last Rites of Joe May (trailer) – indie starring Dennis Farina
Rid of Me (trailer) – indie quirk set in Portland, Oregon


2 responses »

  1. The Aardman look just doesn’t work for me when it’s not clay.

    I’ll definitely have to see Hugo cause it looks to be a significant entry in Scorsese’s career, but I’m not looking forward to the kiddies aspects.

    I have several friends who are psyched for The Muppets, but I’m just not interested. I liked The Muppets well enough as a kid – their version of A Christmas Carol remains my favorite, but it didn’t even occur to me to see this.

    What we really need right now is an action film. Still stings that I missed Oscar contender Killer Elite.

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