Friday, January 07, 2011

Week in Review: Holiday Movies

It’s a tradition in our family to go to a movie on both Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, once the meals are done. This year was no exception, although we certainly missed the more traditional holiday-themed movies we’ve had in the past. Where did Christmas go?

Even if the theme was missing, the movies were not and this year found us looking at a mixed bag of presents and coal. Let’s start with the presents.

Tangled – Disney has a hit! The retelling of the story of Rapunzel didn’t look like a film that would capture my heart, but this one did. From the strong-willed girl, to the handsome youth, all the way to the incredibly funny horse, I was enchanted from the very beginning. We’ve spent this week referring to times that both my husband and I have been a little too like the witchy-mother, and having a good laugh about it. Who would have through my 17-year-old boy would like the movie well enough to actually want to see it again? Isn’t this supposed to be a movie for pre-teen girls? Nope! This is a great film and lots of fun for the whole family.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – Third in the series of Narnia films, and coming to us from a new production company, Voyage takes viewers on a great swashbuckling sea voyage. Lucy and Edmund are back, but unfortunately for them (and sometimes for us) they have accidently brought along their irritating cousin, Eustace. The character actor who plays this cousin does a magnificent job at being the annoying brat he is supposed to be, but perhaps too well-done. Do we really want to see him alone in the next episode?

Gulliver’s Travels – Speaking of annoying, that’s the general impression of Jack Black in this loose–and I use the word loosely–adaptation of the Jonathan Swift classic. I usually love Jack Black, but this time he plays too much of himself I’m afraid in a self-indulgent piece that appears to have been performed without much of a script. And that could be the problem. I saw Black on a recent episode of Conan O’Brien when he said when they asked him to do the film there was no script. He read the book and called them back the next day, ready to set to work. He felt this gave him the freedom he wanted to add to the story. And add he did, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t work. There were some great gag lines, but if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve probably seen them all. Best luck next time, Jack. I’m still looking forward to Kung Fu Panda 2.

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