This (double-sized) roundup title suggests irreverent crime from a tragically Greek figure (with an American name) during the Ho-ho-holidays. Linguistically, it’s non-specific.  Regardless, (present-stealing) thieves (ala the Grinch) catching people with their (Santa) pants down is “a dick move.” At least that was the opinion of the freshly White-Castled NPH before and (maybe) again in A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“The filmmakers throw everything at the audience, literally and metaphorically, and the results are exhilarating rather than exhausting.” The A.V. Club Nathan Rabin

If you ever face an onslaught of everything (eg. literal, metaphorical, and linguistical) – duck.  If you are the onslaughter, remember the words of Steven Wright – “You can’t have everything.  Where would you put it?”

“Although still not as fun as the original, fans should enjoy this one better than the preachy second installment (more so if they’re slightly blitzed).” Kevin A. Ranson

Is there a more fitting motion picture prescription than encouraging stoners to see stoner comedies stoned?  Try something harder.

Like caroling an Atheist’s house

“Because the “Harold & Kumar” universe seesaws so delicately between the subversively smart and the ineffably stupid, even the lamest jokes get a witty spin – and even the cleverest ideas can turn into groaners.” Boston Globe Ty Burr

A seesaw between making dumb (n.) smart (v.) and smart (n.) dumb (v.).

“I just hope Neil Patrick Harris meant what he said when he took his leave of the boys in his Radio City dressing room: ‘See you in the fourth one.’” Slate Dana Stevens

Is there a higher compliment for a franchise than “More please?”  On the other end of the seesaw, I doubt that anyone (especially my Mom) wants more nut shots on Christmas like the one performed on Santa (above). If I keep it up, I might find myself as The Son of No One (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Muddled cop thriller The Son of No One has a top-drawer cast and a bottom-drawer script.” Christian Science Monitor Peter Rainer

Personal Quiz – What’s Worse:
The bottom of your top drawer
The top of your bottom drawer?

“It all feels convenient and obvious, as do such casting decisions as hiring Liotta to play his millionth cop role and Pacino to play his billionth mobster.” Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) St. Paul Pioneer Press

It’s neither convenient nor obvious that you can count the number of romantic performances (for both actors) on one hand.

“Filled with competent but unexciting performances and, like its protagonist, is strangely lugubrious.” Time Mary Pols

Allow me to take the protagonist’s role for this self-effacing quip – I find having to look up the last word in a sentence lugubrious.

Lugubrious = Gloomy exaggeration

“Ineptly written and directed, the nihilistic The Son of No One flaunts an attitude best summed up by a cynical Pacino — “A man has to live with s–t.” Maybe so, Al, but audiences have the option of skipping this bomb.” New York Post Lou Lumenick

Aka – an audience doesn’t have to give a shit.  When you give up on life, work, and responsibilities (and self-censoring swear words), you become the super sad king/queen of Melancholia (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“A movie masterpiece…is Lars von Trier’s ecstatic magnum opus on the themes of depression, cataclysm, and the way the world might end.” Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

Whatever date/time is credited as the end for humanity, it’s guaranteed to be a bummer.  That’s what I’ll be pondering at 11:11:11 am/pm on 11/11/11.

“Melancholia represents von Trier at his best and worst. Visually and thematically, Melancholia is a rich motion picture, full of nuances. Unfortunately, in his pursuit of an artistic vision, von Trier has thrown logic, physics, and coherence out the window.” ReelViews James Berardinelli

When artists throw coherence out the window, we get psychics from a poet.  Or would you prefer poetry from a physicist?

“Von Trier is a burr under the hide for many viewers, and the unconverted won’t be convinced. But it’s audacious, beautiful, tactful filmmaking and perhaps the perfect match for “The Tree Of Life” on a bipolar double bill.” Empire Kim Newman

Perfectly bipolar

“Nearly everyone in this film is unlikeable, their actions inexplicable. And the pace is so lugubrious that it’s hard not to succumb to Justine’s glum mood.” USA Today Claudia Puig

Glum = hearing “lugubrious” used lugubriously.

“Melancholia is his latest pile of undiluted drivel, nauseatingly filmed by a wonky hand-held camera and featuring a crazy, mismatched ensemble headed by Kirsten Dunst, who won an acting award in Cannes last year for looking totally catatonic.” New York Observer Rex Reed

It’s an actress’s best performance and the highest rated movie of the (11-11-11) weekend and it looks like “undiluted drivel” to Rex.  Perhaps he should give his eyes a rest and take a break from staring Into The Abyss (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Underlying the occasionally harrowing, consistently mournful tone is a philosophy that, more than being explicitly anti-capital punishment, puts both family ties and the social contract at the center of people’s self-worth.” Slant Magazine Bill Weber

King Sheep personal aside – I’m against capital punishment because it assumes that a person’s worth can be something other than priceless.

“His film powerfully suggests that violent death of any kind, whether personal or state-mandated, transforms everyone in its vicinity.” The A.V. Club Scott Tobias

For Christmas, let's give him two weeks off

“The film is a river of pain, weirdly funny in places, as are all of Herzog’s filmic essays.” Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

River of life (begin)
River of pain
River of death (end)
River Phoenix (repeat?)

“Into the Abyss, which bears the subtitle “A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life,” reveals itself to be an outlandish, compassionate and, at times, improbably buoyant film about life’s capacity for grief and horror and about how it bubbles on miraculously in the face of such things. It’s the best thing Herzog’s done in years.” Movieline Alison Willmore

Most critics are saying the same thing about Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Old school Eddie Murphy, where have you been?” Scott Nash Three Movie Buffs

Based on the number of times he’s co-starred with himself (and the physics of a poet), Eddie was split into multiple Eddie Murphy’s and has been trying to reform himself as a singular entity ever since.

“Tower Heist is as over-inflated as those Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons that are featured in the movie’s climax. Also similarly, it’s entertaining in its own predictable way.” The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Liam Lacey

Maybe she shouldn't

“All of this is to say that Tower Heist winds up being a poor man’s Ocean’s Eleven.” Mathew DeKinder St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Being a poor man’s (insert any famous name) is better than being poor.

“The 99 percent get to pay $10 to watch a member of the 1 percent pretend to steal back their money. Who’s laughing their way to the bank now?” Jeff Meyers Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

What (blissfully ignorant) percentage of the 99% think they are (but aren’t) part of the 1%?

“Doesn’t demand much of the audience, sure, but it doesn’t provide much, either. It’s as if an all-star gang of would-be crooks got together to rip off…moviegoers.” Portland Oregonian Shawn Levy

If the movie industry is just a scam to steal moviegoer’s money, then we might need some flagrant governmental intervention – Ex. the Cold War FBI, under J. Edgar (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Black’s script, in the wrong hands, could have come under fire for confusing Hoover’s twisted mind with his homosexuality or his problems with Mother. Eastwood doesn’t seem to give a fuck, and only opts for one overt visual match, depicting as mirror images Hoover’s lifeless corpse and the remains of the Lindbergh baby.” Slant Magazine Jaime N. Christley

Some critics fire S-Bullets, but that was the first F-Bomb I’ve heard dropped.

“As Lily Tomlin’s Ernestine once said, “There’s nothing like a Hoover when you’re dealing with dirt.” Clint Eastwood’s J. Edgar could use more dirt: This is a sensitive, sympathetic portrait of a scummy little man.” Movieline Stephanie Zacharek

So, the movie should be less sensitive/sympathetic and be more like a Hoover vacuum (i.e. suck)?

“J. Edgar is infuriatingly coy and noncritical about its subject, an undeniable patriot but also an alarmist and a ruiner of lives.” Time Out New York Joshua Rothkopf

Alarming ruination

“As a period biopic, J. Edgar is masterful. Few films span seven decades this comfortably. ” Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

(Historical aside) Twenty-five decades ago, eager readers saw the first published version of the classic nursery rhyme about Jack and Jill (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Yet the picture’s general stupidity, careless direction and reliance on a single-joke premise that was never really funny to begin with are only the most obvious of its problems.” Variety Andrew Barker

Translation: Everyone agrees it’s bad, but not everyone agrees on what’s worst.

“It’s as if, after years of playing characters with temper issues, Sandler has finally let some of that repressed rage leak out toward the audience.” Movieline Alison Willmore

There’s nothing funnier than comedians hating their audience for not laughing.  Except, you know, most things.

“Jack and Jill is a barrage of fart jokes and fat jokes and mean jokes that sincerely thinks it deserves to end with a hug. It doesn’t deserve awwwws – and it doesn’t deserve your money.” Boxoffice Magazine Amy Nicholson

The movie deserves one of these

“More than 24 hours has passed since I watched the new Adam Sandler movie Jack and Jill and I am still dead inside. It made me feel as if comedy itself were a dirty thing.” Time Mary Pols

This is a comedy that wants you to die (not laughing).  Killer comedies should only be enjoyed by the most bored, lazy, and nihilistic of The Immortals (Rotten TomatoesMetacritic).

“Immortals is not only entirely without humor, but is dominated by a lot of huffing and puffing, thunderous self-importance and windy Socratic quotations about the immortality and divinity of men’s souls. You just have to roll your eyes after a while.” The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

Does eyeball spinning affect my enjoyment?

“Where are the gods of Olympus when you need them? I ask on behalf of “Immortals,” because mere mortals were apparently not able to create a movie that actually made sense.” Betsy Sharkey Los Angeles Times

If there is immortal God(s), and he/they chose to deliver his/they’re message to the flock through film, would it be dramatic fiction (e.g. parable) or historical interpretation (e.g. documentary)?

“Doesn’t Greece have enough problems?” Christopher Tookey Daily Mail [UK]

Probably, but how many American’s think that’s their problem?  (Ouch?)

“There’s fighting, disemboweling, limb and head-severing and blood – an entire hard drive’s worth of CG blood. There’s not nearly as much plot, in fact, as there is blood.” Marshall Fine Hollywood & Fine

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (for vampires)

“Your critic is torn between the responsibilities of the role (dutifully, I would warn cynics away) and the giddiness of a moviegoer who just had a great time at the pictures.” Simon Foster

King Sheep loves parenthetical asides (yes he does)