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Showing posts from December, 2011

“There Must be More Celebrities Here Than Rehab”

Movie Review: New Year’s Eve (2011)
Summary: The lives of several couples and singles in New York intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve.
Spoilers: none

Everyone is obsessed with the ball dropping in the holiday movie New Year’s Eve. In fact, the obsession is downright unnatural, if not unhealthy.

And “unnatural” is a term that can almost describe the movie overall, with its sleigh-full of celebrities in a film that basically gloats as it gets fatter in aim than it is in content with a near-shameless show-off of roles.

The movie follows six couples as they cope with drama in their respective lives, each wanting
different things. And there’s a Grinch-type in every holiday crowd. Aston Kutcher is that Grinch here.

I won’t even attempt to explain who is who because this film has more than a dozen “main characters” and no one of them is in focus for long enough to be appreciated. I’ll just mention some other celebrities (although I don’t need to): De Niro, Berry, Parker, Biel, Meyers,…

It’s a Mission Impossible-style Christmas Movie for Kids

Movie Review: Arthur Christmas (2011)
Summary: On Christmas night at the North Pole, Santa’s youngest son looks to use his father’s high-tech operation for an urgent mission.
Spoilers: none

Parents may or may not want to bother taking their kids to see Arthur Christmas, an animated film directed by Sarah Smith about Santa and the Elves and what happens at the North Pole when so much as one child is missed in the delivery of Christmas presents.

Despite what the title may suggest, this film has nothing whatever to do with the Arthur
children’s series by Marc Brown on PBS and Cartoon Network. This film focuses on efforts made by “Santa” (Jim Broadbent, voice), Santa’s son “Steve” (Hugh Laurie, voice), and Steve’s brother “Arthur” (James McAvoy) who go all out to ensure that no child is left behind for Christmas. Behind the scenes is retired “Grand Santa” (Bill Nighy) who, at 136 years old, is still ready for a sleigh ride.

Evidently, because we walk around with phones stuck in our ears these…


Movie Review: Hugo (2011)
Summary: An orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.
Spoilers: none

Hugo is the enchanting story of “Hugo Cabret” (Asa Butterfield), a boy who lives within the walls of a train station in the early 1930s in Paris.

With the death of his father (Jude Law), Hugo is left to be cared for by his alcoholic uncle “Claude” (Ray Winstone). All Hugo has left from father is a wind-up automaton discarded from a museum.

While working as a clock apprentice, Hugo meets “Georges Méliès” (Ben Kingsley) with his wife (Helen McCrory) and goddaughter “Isabelle” (Chloë Grace Moretz). Isabelle and Hugo
become close friends.

Living without school or tutoring and having to keep his whereabouts secret to avoid the humorously garnished but seriously dutiful “Inspector” (Sacha Baron Cohen), Hugo tries to rebuild the automaton while piecing together the meaning behind his father’s death and his own existence.


The Muppet Movie

Movie Review: The Muppets (2011)
Summary: With the help of three fans, The Muppets must reunite to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon.
Spoilers: none

Someone decided to really treat us with the first Disney-produced Muppet movie since 1996. The result: a release of a dam-breaking flood of memories. The Muppets have returned and it’s like they walked through a time portal.

But truth be told, I went in wanting to like the movie more than I did. With any series’ resurrection comes the responsibility not just to be nostalgic, but to tread at least some new ground. It fails at the latter, but in the case of the Muppets, who really gives a care, right?

“Gary” (Jason Segel) and “Mary” (Amy Adams) are engaged—if in a very storybook sort of way. They appear to have come right out of the 1950s. Gary’s brother “Walter” (Peter Linz, voice) is only three feet tall. He’s always felt out of place in a human world, and for good reason, as he never ended up with a family decent enough to ackno…