Club Philomena Catches Fire, Thor Frozen, Game Ends
You can tell by the hodgepodge title that November’s films are a smorgasbord of mishmash and potpourri, complete with fairy tales, future wars, true stories, tear jerkers, young adult heroines and beefy heroes. First stop, Thor: The Dark World (Rotten Tomatoes – Metacritic).
“This is a deeply silly, extremely noisy and sometimes impenetrable action movie that’s drowning in CGI, wild overacting and mullets. And it’s enormously entertaining.” Time Out London Tom Huddleston
Do we trust a critic named Tom Huddleston to review a movie starring Tom Hiddleston?
“It throws everything at you … . A good deal of it, amazingly, sticks, even if it quickly slides off like a cheap suction cup on a dirty window.” Matt Prigge Metro
“Poor Thor. Dude can’t even hold center stage in his own movie. He’s the Asgardian god of stolen thunder, upstaged at each ab turn by Loki, malarkey and Odin’s eyepatch.” Tampa Bay Times Steve Persall
Thor 2 has earned $200 million domestically and $420 million internationally. Poor Thor, indeed. Don’t expect the ‘thunder from asunder’ franchise to start an Ender’s Game (Rotten Tomatoes – Metacritic).
“Very much porn for video game addicts.” Phil Villarreal COED.com
Is that an observation or a suggestion?
“It comes down to this: Which is more important, the innocence of a child or the survival of the species? And if the race survives, will it just become like the enemy aliens that must be destroyed to do so?” Boston Globe Peter Keough
The latter and yes.
“Not only does Ender’s Game have many scenes in zero gravity, but this zero-sum fiasco has zero drama, zero suspense, zero humor, zero charm and zero appeal.” Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern
“As far as animated movies go, it doesn’t get that much better than Frozen. It’s a new Disney classic.” The Playlist Drew Taylor
Disney: The older it gets, the younger it stays.
“Not quite up there with “Tangled,” but a solid addition to the canon. Catchy tunes will have you humming, but the hunt for the next “The Little Mermaid” continues…” Total Film Josh Winning
For the Happiest Place on Earth to live up to its name, it has to be able to take a joke, so let’s take apart the House of Mouse with a few Imagineered observations:
- Robin Hood would steal from Aladdin‘s girlfriend to give to Tarzan.
- If given a choice between The Princess and the Frog, do you root for Beauty and the Beast or should The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad follow Bambi’s mom and The Lion King into The Jungle Book? NOTE: That includes you – Lady and the Tramp, Oliver & Company, and all One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
- Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs should Bolt and get Tangled up with Peter Pan who’s on his way to Meet the Robinsons and visit Alice in Wonderland. NOTE: If Winnie the Pooh tags along, it will be one of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
- If you want to be Fun and Fancy Free during Melody Time rather than Home on the Range, tell The Three Caballeros, “Saludos Amigos” and Make Mine Music.
- It doesn’t take The Great Mouse Detective to know The Rescuers couldn’t find a better sentient aircraft than Dumbo (Fantasia 2000 edition), even if they became The Rescuers Down Under.
- If a fight broke out over Disney’s Treasure Planet, who would win between Hercules and Pinocchio? One’s got mystic Fantasia powers, like you’d find in Atlantis: The Lost Empire, while the other runs like The Little Mermaid and swims like The Sword in the Stone.
- The Disney Princess Syndrome is alarming because it splits women into unfair binaries. One side is the old witch with The Hunchback of Notre Dame from Lilo & Stitching over The Black Cauldron, while your average Disney Princess demands more dresses than Mulan, more shoes than Pocahontas, and fights like Sleeping Beauty.
- If The Fox and the Hound want to make Brother Bear look like Chicken Little they should proclaim “We’re The Aristocats!”
- If a Dinosaur danced The Emperor’s New Groove it would Wreck-It Ralph.
“Spinning in that wedding dress, or glaring in wary repose, Lawrence catches fire on screen.” Time Richard Corliss
Oh no, the lead actress is burning alive! She’ll need a strong Gale or someone to Peeta on her.
“Lawrence steps up. And her character’s fierce independence provides a welcome alternative to certain vampire-fixated young-adult heroines who define themselves entirely through the attention of much-much-older men.” Portland Oregonian M. E. Russell
Raise your hands if you’re ready for Twilight comparisons to enter their twilight years.
“With each on-screen chapter, the poor girl from District 12 continues to fulfill her destiny as an inspiration and a rebel fighter. She is but one female, but she’s the perfect antidote to the surplus of male superheroes out there.” RogerEbert.com Susan Wloszcyna
“Philomena could have been a sappy movie, but it’s not. Instead, with such assured performances, it’s proof that sometimes a laugh makes swallowing a big dose of outrage a little easier.” Arizona Republic Bill Goodykoontz
Order your bad news brewski with a chuckle chaser.
“It’s certainly a crowd-pleaser…and something close to a triumph, if not an unqualified one.” The Playlist Oliver Lyttelton
“It’s profoundly moving and thoroughly mind provoking, but despite the poignant subject matter, I promise you will not leave Philomena depressed. I’ve seen it twice and felt exhilarated, informed, enriched, absorbed and optimistic both times.” New York Observer Rex Reed
Copy that, no depression. However, the larger question is – Are holiday audiences in the mood for profound thoughts and emotional resonance? If so, they may also want to join the Dallas Buyers Club (Rotten Tomatoes – Metacritic).
“If we admire anything about him, it’s entrepreneurship; there’s something uniquely American about a guy outrunning his own death by turning suffering into profit. And as a judge asks, why shouldn’t a dying man be allowed to try any remedy for his disease?” Charlotte Observer Lawrence Toppman
“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.” Sarah Palin
“Nobody with an IQ higher than emergency-room temperature could ever believe that ‘death panels’ would be appointed to nudge the elderly towards euthanasia. Yet for idle entertainment, it’s hard to beat Sarah Palin’s ignorant nattering on the subject.” Carl Hiaasen
“This character is a fastball over Matthew McConaughey’s plate. As we’ve learned recently, the actor has developed into a home-run hitter.” John Serba MLive.com
“This is a movie that traffics in deep hindbrain emotions: fear and rage and lust and, above all, the pure animal drive to go on living.” Slate Dana Stevens
What happens when a hindbrain is on backwards?
“If it were a text, the film would be bolded, underlined and italicized.” Josh Larsen LarsenOnFilm