So, it’s Thanksgiving weekend here in the US, which as usual brings intolerably long lines at stores, traffic that makes one thankful for mass transit, and one of the busiest weekends of the year at movie theaters.
Leading the way among new releases this weekend is Ang Lee’s Life of Pi (trailer), which looks interesting on one hand but also carries the whiff of studio desperation with it on the other. I’ve seen a lot of Avatar comparisons floated lately, particularly in regards to its use of 3D, which seems like hype to me. Maybe I’ll eat my words (or probably not, since I won’t see it in 3D), but Ang Lee has never been a groundbreaking technician, and I’m skeptical that the movie is the landmark in film history that Fox is trying to sell it as. But like I say, I do want to see it, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon at least proved that Lee is capable of very exciting but also very elegant spectacle.
Among potential Oscar hopefuls, Hitchcock (trailer) also sees its debut today, and frankly it looks awful. Who greenlit Anthony Hopkins’s make-up job for this movie? Forget looking like Hitchcock, he barely looks recognizably human. If you saw someone looking like him on the street, you’d assume he had some kind of grotesque disease.
Even aside from that, the trailer makes the film look pretty pedestrian. He has some pushback from the studios, his wife alternately stands by him and gives Oscar-bait lectures to him, he makes some droll quips from time to time … I don’t see anything here that seems enlightening or even fun. It looks like it was made for cable, actually.
Other than that, though, there’s not much to pick from. There’s the animated Rise of the Guardians (trailer), which looks like sort of a marketing-department-conceived Avengers-type thing made up of childhood mythical figures (e.g., Santa, the Easter Bunny, etc.). Not sure what the appeal is, and early box office seems disappointing for Dreamworks. There’s the remake of Red Dawn (trailer), which hardly seems worth mentioning. There’s another animated film from France, Michel Ocelot’s Tales of the Night, and an indie drama called The Comedy (trailer).
But that appears to be it. Hope everyone is having a good weekend. Try not to be trampled by the bargain-hunting herd.