PopEater's Guide to Thanksgiving Movies
By John Mitchell Posted Nov 25th 2010 09:00AM
For Ladies: 'Burlesque'
Christina Aguilera makes her film debut in this lavish musical about a small-town girl with big dreams who travels to Los Angeles and finds herself the star attraction at a neo-burlesque club run by a former dancer. And who plays the former dancer, you ask? Just some little known singer-actress named Cher. No big deal. Stanley Tucci, Eric Dane, Diana Agron ('Glee'), Kristen Bell and Cam Gigandet ('Easy A') co-star.
The Buzz: 'Burlesque' marks Oscar-winning legend Cher's first major role in over 10 years. That's probably news enough to garner a decent turnout for the musical. Interestingly, much of the early word on the flick surrounds the near-universal assumption that 'Burlesque' is destined to be a "so-bad-it's-good" endeavor in the vein of 'Showgirls' – but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Fans of camp will likely be in heaven, and the reviews that have emerged -- while scarce -- have been generally (surprisingly?) positive. The Hollywood Reporter writes, "'Burlesque' celebrates its talented stars and the renaissance of burlesque's cheeky fun," and Variety didn't totally trash it, praising both Cher and Tucci while saying, "As long as there's music playing and girls sashaying, the movie delivers."
For Kiddies: 'Tangled'
Locked in a tower by the evil witch Gothel, Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) makes a break for it after a thief named Flynn Rider busts into her tower. Together Rapunzel and Flynn head for a nearby kingdom in time for its annual festival of lights, which is held each year by Rapunzel's parents in her honor. 'Tangled' is the 50th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and will be released in 3D.
The Buzz: Following last year's acclaimed but underperforming 'The Princess and the Frog,' 'Tangled' represents Disney's last princess-based film for the foreseeable future. Given the reviews the film is receiving, the Mouse House might want to rethink its position on princesses. CinemaBlend says the flick is "a clever and shiny and deliriously funny take on the classic princess genre," while Box Office Magazine proclaims it "an instant classic, Disney's animated revamp of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Rapunzel, has produced a spunky heroine that might just infiltrate the heavily-guarded princess canon." There's even been some "best film of the year" talk. Facing heavy competition from 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1' and 'Megamind' in the kiddie-film marketplace, 'Tangled' might not light up the box office the way Disney's collaborations with Pixar have, but given the good reviews its receiving, it shouldn't bomb either.
For Date Night: 'Love and Other Drugs'
"Sixty five percent of the movie we don't have our clothes on." – Jake Gyllenhaal on his new flick with Anne Hathaway. That's all.
The Buzz: The Hollywood Reporter's Kurt Honeycutt perhaps best sums up the critical response to 'Love and Other Drugs': "This is a smart movie that could have been smarter." Fans of Gyllenhaal and Hathaway won't likely be disappointed, but this probably isn't going to hold a candle to their last collaboration, the Oscar-winning 'Brokeback Mountain.'
For Movie Nerds: 'The King's Speech'
Looking for something highbrow? Check out this period piece about King George VI (Colin Firth) of Britain and his relationship with the speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who helped him overcome his terrible stutter. The film has been a huge hit on the festival circuit and Firth has emerged as the man to beat for the Best Actor Academy Award. Oscar prognosticators also expect Rush and Helena Bonham Carter (who plays Queen Elizabeth), as well as the film and director Tom Hooper, to score nominations.
The Buzz: According to Gold Derby, which (often very accurately) tracks and predicts the winners of the top showbiz awards shows, Firth is the odds-on favorite to take home the Best Actor prize and a majority of pundits are predicting that 'Speech' might even take home the Best Picture prize. (Ed. note: We think this year is going to be a tight race for Best Picture, and with 'The Social Network,' 'Inception,' 'Toy Story 3' and 'True Grit' in the game, it's anyone's race.)
For Gentlemen: 'Faster'
IMDB says this thing is about "an ex-con [who] sets out to avenge his brother's death after they were double-crossed during a heist years ago. During his campaign, however, he's tracked by a veteran cop and an egocentric hit man." We're just going to go ahead and take their word for it. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Berenger (resurgent after this summer's smash 'Inception') and Mike Epps star.
The Buzz: Reviews and test audience reaction has been surprisingly strong, and The Rock is actually a pretty reliable box office draw, particularly in lower-budget ('Faster' cost around $24 million) action fare. With Russell Crowe's thriller 'The Next Three Days' floundering in theaters and Denzel Washington's well-reviewed, decent-performing 'Unstoppable' already a few weeks old, 'Faster' doesn't face much competition for the younger male audience it's after. Like The Rock's similar 'Walking Tall,' this'll likely do just fine.
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