We've been watching the Macy's Parade while cleaning / cooking and there has literally yet to be a musical number from Broadway that's NOT movie-based as I type this. Should've live-blogged and talked Sister Act, Spider-Man, Priscilla, How To Succeed, Newsies and more... Broadway is basically movies on stage now, with a special emphasis on 1990s comedies.
Meanwhile at the multiplex, it won't just be turkeys slaughtered for today's festivities. In Hollywood's infinite wisdom, three showbiz-centric movies for adults must open simultaneously (The Artist, My Week With Marilyn, Hugo) and three movies children might like (Hugo, The Muppets, Arthur Christmas ...two of which are obviously for adults) must open in direct competition as well. There probably won't be enough dollars to go around which is sad because the same ticket buyer might well like all of those movies. On balance, this is an absurdly high quality crop, not one, well, turkey in the batch [Disclaimer: Arthur Christmas is the only one I haven't seen but I hear good things.]
If all five of those newly released options weren't enough, Oscar maniacs can also sample The Descendants (expanding) and, in NY & LA, A Dangerous Method and Rampart. In case you haven't been keeping up and since we're hosting a big dinner, here are past thoughts...
THE ARTIST ~ review | all posts | best pic race | interviews soon
MY WEEK WITH MARILYN review | more Marilyn on the way
HUGO ~ the filmmakers speak | work in progress thoughts | all
A DANGEROUS METHOD ~ several reviews from our team
RAMPART - all posts | best actor race
As for THE MUPPETS... I didn't have time to review the new film before guests started arriving but I'd love to hear your thoughts. I found it quite uneven even within both of the narratives. The Muppet reunion brand relaunch is what I came to see and the nostalgia factor there worked like a charm. But individual scenes didn't always sparkle and I wanted more funny performances and less story beats. Meanwhile the musical comedy factor seemed to fall mostly to the Jason Segel / Amy Adams / "Walter" coming-of-age storyline which I liked much more than I was expecting to -- great sight gags in the beginning and Amy Adams could not be a better fit for the Muppet world -- until I didn't. By the time the three of them met The Muppets I was over it because... THE MUPPETS; stop distracting me from them! So my reaction was all over the place and far more colored by my own childhood fixations rather than the movie itself. But if you grew up loving The Muppets it's a total must-see. I recently rented the DVDs of the original series and it is crazy enjoyable -- like giddy-smile making -- just as we all remember. In fact, after watching three episodes back to back I think TV needs a relaunch of The Muppet Show more than the movies need the muppets. Variety shows are sort of back given the plethora of performance competitions but the variety has gone out of them as they are the same thing over and over again, whether that's contemporary pop karaoke or dancing.
One of the new songs "Life's a Happy Song" (Bret McKenzie --yay!) is a total charmer and should give the felt fuzzy group their fourth music-related Oscar nomination (the first three films all won one nomination in Song or Score categories.)
Do your Thanksgiving plans include movies? Have you seen The Muppets yet?