He’s got ’em on the list — he’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed — they’ll none of ’em be missed.
The Holiday Movie Season has kicked off, and is in full gear, so I thought I’d start compiling a list of what I’ve seen and liked. I’m putting these in alphabetical order,
Absolutely Magnificient. All the stuff you hear about this being a masterpiece is absolutely true.
I wasn’t really prepared for a “kids” movie from Scorsese, let alone his first 3D offering. Frankly, I was a little worried about how Scorsese’s typically dark, NYC-centric view would translate into a fantasy genre film about an orphan growing up in a train station in Paris, and was pleasantly surprised, no, blown away, but this film. Forget “Raging Bull” and “Good Fellas”, “Hugo” is Scorsese’s masterwork.
Also, not a huge fan of 3D heretofore, but the stereo work in this here is equally mind-blowing. The visual style of this film reminds me of a pop-up book, and the high-stylized look of the film is enhanced with the 3D rendition. (Even Jim Cameron is saying this is be best use of 3D in a film to date.
The Muppet Movie
There’s been a lot of talk about the Muppet Movie, Jason Segel, and the complete non-involvement of Frank Oz, and some of the other Henson Company stalwarts, casting doubts as to whether Segel and company could deliver a product worthy of the Henson Muppet Legacy.
… and all of it is crap as far as I’m concerned.
I was completely enchanted by this movie. No, it’s not your ’80s Henson fare, but it is a love letter to the legacy that Henson and Company built, that gives the rich history of the Muppets due reverence, but also taking a fresh approach that will give Kermit, Piggy, and the rest, a new lease on live in the 21st Century. In fact, I think it’s actually better than any of the original Muppet features.
Make no mistake, this is a WONDERFUL film.
A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas
Best Harold and Kumar flick yet … If you are into Harold and Kumar movies, which I am.
There’s no shortage of sick, twisted, off-the-wall humor in the latest installment, and it was non-stop laughter. NPH kills as usual.
You may never be able to see Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story” in the same light, but as a huge Shep fan, I found the hommage enjoyable.
The film also made me more than just a bit homesick for NYC at this time of year. Christmas in New York City is magic.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
I wasn’t too sure about including this one, but it’s definitely worth catching.
My main issues are that they’ve sort of removed the Conan Doyle from Sherlock and Watson, and turned it into a British Steampunk version of “The Wild Wild West” (The original TV show, not the dreadful remake with Will Smith.)
That said, “The Wild Wild West” was insanely great Steampunk decades before anyone thought of establishing it as a genre, so I guess I can’t complain too much about the new Sherlock Holmes, as it is decent Steampunk. I’m just more of a traditionalist where Holmes is concerned, and find Steven Moffett’s TV adaptation, Sherlock, to be far closer to Conan Doyle’s sensibilities, even in a thoroughly modern re-think.
Anyway, it’s good fun, and Downey is a genius…Even if his character plays to me more like Artemus Gordon than Sherlock Holmes.
The Artist is a delightful movie…Mostly a silent film, presented in black and white, it’s a riches to rags, boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, girl-gets-boy back in the end story. It’s a simple tale, told in beautiful, silvery, visual detail.
I don’t see this as the Oscar contender that many folks are talking about…But it’s a wonderful film, and something that everyone who isn’t totally affected by a Millennial Attention Deficit Disorder should go and see (you have to pay attention to this one, you can’t just listen along …)
If there are Oscars to be handed out for this film, no one is more deserving than Uggie, the dog … He pretty much steals the show, and is the coolest canine on four paws. I would like this dog for my personal best friend. We would totally hang.
The Descendants is kind of an odd movie, and not real holiday fare by any means, but I’m including it because it is a good film, and one that will be talked about quite a bit during Awards Season, as it’s already been nominated for 11 Golden Globes.
Directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways, and the brilliant, Election), there’s a basic family drama premise…The wife of a Hawaiian Lawyer/Real Estate Mogul, played by George Clooney, has a boating accident, is pronounced brain-dead, and he proceeds to deal with breaking the news to his two rebellious daughters, families, and friends, while finding out his wife had been hiding many things from him, and may not have been the woman he thought he knew … But …
There’s are the usual assortment of twists and turns, including a lot of humor, most of it of the bitingly dark and ironic kind. In a way this movie has a kind of Hawaiian-ized “Five Easy Pieces vibe to it at times, except not at all (and if anyone reading this blog sees this movie and gets what I mean, that will make two of us.)
I respect this film more than I like it, but it was worth the investment in time.
More to come …