Movies To Be Thankful For (Flack’s Article)

Posted on | November 22, 2012 | 4 Comments

A Charlie Brown Thangsgiving (1973)This Thanksgiving is going to be a great time for going to the movies. Here’s a rundown of what’s opening this week as well as if I think they’re worth seeing.

Red Dawn (2012)I’ll start off with the most lowbrow of the new releases: Red Dawn. The film is about a group of teenagers trying to save their town when North Korean Soldiers invade. The movie is a remake of the 1984 film of the same name (and which tells the same story). “It was fun to shoot, you know. That was what the plan was. The plan was to create chaos.” That’s what Chris Hemsworth, the star of the film, (a.k.a. Thor himself) says about the production. And based on the trailer and featurette it looks like they have succeeded in doing so. Except it seems there is only one slight step they forgot while making the movie: write a good script. Once the story gets going Red Dawn seems to be a nonstop action film with explosions, guys jumping through glass, teenagers blowing up everything they possibly can, a massive bus crash, and much, much more. If you want mindless action spectacle this is the film for you! Otherwise only Razzie members will want to see this film. Ages: The film is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language. There is also likely a bit of kissing.

Life Of Pi (2012)Now for something a little more Oscar friendly… Life of Pi! Based on the big time bestseller by Yann Martel this film tells the story of a boy named Pi. He recounts his tale to a writer as an adult. What is this tale? As a teenager Pi and his parents decide to move from India to Canada but while traveling on a freighter they get shipwrecked. The only survivors are Pi, a zebra, an orangutan, and a 450 pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. And soon Richard Parker has dispatched everyone on the lifeboat except for Pi. Will Pi survive despite the odds? Will he run out of food? Will he find land? Will the tiger get hungry and…? Find out in Life of Pi, a visually beautiful mix of religion, adventure, tragedy, and a feel good story. The film took a while to get made. The book was considered unfilmable by readers but the rights were optioned in 2002 and since then names such as M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuaron, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet were tossed around. Eventually Ang Lee was chosen to direct. Lee took two big risks by casting unknown Suraj Sharma as Pi and shooting the movie in 3-D, even though it wasn’t a movie that typically seemed 3-D. However these risks payed off when Life of Pi premiered at this year’s New York Film Festival (which also celebrated it’s 50th birthday this year) to great applause. I’ve read the book. It’s a good read but there are some odd scenes and chapters where nothing happens. While the book was aimed for adults the movie has been rated PG and seems like it could be a hit with older children and adults alike. Roger Ebert says the film has the best use of 3-D he’s ever seen and I’ll definitely be seeing the movie with the extra dimension. Of all the Thanksgiving releases Life of Pi is the one that will please the whole family. Ages: The movie is rated PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril. There could also be some swearing but anyone over 10 (maybe younger) should be fine.

Hitchcock (2012)Anthony Hopkins stars in this biopic about one of the most beloved directors of all time. The film is titled Hitchcock. The drama focuses on the making of Psycho and Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife Alma Reville (played by Helen Mirren in the movie). Reviews have been mixed and Anthony Hopkins seems to be the only shot that the movie has at an Oscar. Even though the title is Hithcock the tagline is “Behind every Psycho is a great woman.” I’m not expecting Mirren to get an Oscar (or in such a jam packed year, Hopkins for that matter) but she might get a nomination. If she does I was expecting it to be for Best Supporting Actress but the reviews have forced me to reconsider. Could a Best Actress nom be in the bag? Probably not but we’ll see when the Oscar nominations are announced. Another surprising fact about the movie is that it’s only 98 minutes long, a shockingly short length for a film that is about the making of a classic film. That isn’t a bad thing just an interesting one. Anyway, the film will probably be the My Week With My Marylin (which was one minute longer, was put into limited release last November, and got two Oscar noms). And it should also be a good evening at the movies, as Rex Reed of The New Observer said in his review. If you want to see evry Oscar contender possible go see this movie but if not it’ll probably be a good rental. Masters of old movie trivia will enjoy learning more about The Master of Suspense. Ages: The movie is rated PG-13 for some violent images, romantic content, and thematic material. It’s likely appropriate for anyone who has seen Psycho (which is also rated PG-13). Teens are probably the youngest age group that will be allowed to see this movie.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)The most Oscar friendly, Silver Linings Playbook, of the group was actually released into 16 theaters last week but will continue it’s arthouse run by opening into 367 theaters this week (it will likely have a wide release soon). The film tells the story of Pat, a man just released from a mental institution. A former teacher, Pat wants to try and rekindle with his former wife but he soon gets attracted to another woman, Tiffany. And then things get complicated. The film is a mix of romance, drama, and comedy. Critics are calling it one of the best movies of the year and Entertainment Weekly’s Oscarologist Dave Karger calls it the best film of the year so far. Perhaps reminiscent of classic Woody Allen movies this rom-com has shots at winning Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (the film was based on a 2008 book by Mathew Quick), Best Picture, and quite possibly more. For adults looking for a great new movie to see that can promise laughs and tears this is the Thanksgiving film to see. Ages: The movie is rated R for language and romantic content/nakedness. It’s most likely appropriate for older teens and up.

Rise Of The Guardians (2012)Rise of the Guardians will certainly appeal to children. It’s the latest animated family film to hit our screens since Wreck-It Ralph became a surprise hit with critics, a smash at the box office, and an unstoppable crowdpleaser with audiences. Now Guardians is looking to reach those same heights. Though I haven’t seen Ralph one thing that helped make it a blockbuster was the something for everybody trailers. They featured jokes for young and old ones, tons of videogame action and references, and some amazing animation. Guardians has action and stunning visuals but one thing it doesn’t seem to have in abundance: lots of laughs! However it still looks like a fun time at the movies and as it gets closer to Christmas expect more and more money to be made by Dreamworks. Another sign that gives me good hopes for the film’s success: slim competition. Last year The Muppets, Hugo, and Arthur Chritsmas. All three were family films that got great reviews, but none of them made over $100 million. In fact, none of them made back their budgets (apart from The Muppets) in the US. Nonetheless no matter how good Guardians does at the box office and even though critics are saying it’s fun but uninventive I’m still looking forward to seeing the film. Ages: The film has been rated PG for some thematic elements and mildly scary action. Anyone who’s seen other animated blockbusters should be fine as they will be used to the intense yet silly action sequences. However this one looks like it has nonstop battle scenes.

Don’t forget there are many films that have been already released that are still playing. Argo is a must see and I can’t wait to watch Lincoln, which I will be seeing very soon. For adults only Flight looks good and for kids Wreck-It Ralph seems fun. And for anyone looking for an action movie go see Skyfall, and be thankful for 50 years of James Bond!

Here’s Box Office Mojo’s predictions for the weekend. I agree with most of them. Don’t forget to comment on which of these movies you want to see or have seen! Anyway have a great time at the movies, the dinner table, and with friends and family (and a boy on a lifeboat with a tiger)! Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks to evreyone who has read and commented on Flick Flack Movie Talk.


4 Responses to “Movies To Be Thankful For (Flack’s Article)”

  1. D
    November 22nd, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    Why was a remake of Red Dawn needed?

  2. Abid
    November 26th, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    We saw Lincoln movie tonight which was on my first movie to see. I enjoyed the movie very much and it is a good historical and educational for everyone who might not know how much Lincoln had done for America and the world. The acting was superior and Lincoln was played very well.

  3. Ida Mae Raoof
    November 26th, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    Great post. Thanks for the heads up on Silver Linings. I hadn’t heard of it. I’ll see Life of Pi this week. I guess I shouldn’t look for the hyena. We saw Lincoln this afternoon –

  4. flickflack
    November 27th, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    To D,
    A remake of Red Dawn probably wasn’t needed but money surely is. Therefore Contrafilm, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and Vincent Newman Entertainment (as well as the distributors for the film around the world such as Film District for the USA). Another thing I didn’t mention in my article is that people in other countries (especially North Korea) will likely not want to see this film because it portrays them as mindless killing machines. At first it was Chinese soldiers who were to invade the USA in the movie but it was decided that since there are so many moviegoers in China they would digitally change the faces of all the soldiers so Chinese people would come and see the movie. Another reason the film was to be remade is that the studio and the director, Dan Bradley, wanted to make a film that teenagers would like and that would feature romance, possibly some bad one liners, and nonstop action packed war battle violence. And because many people are opposed to old movies teenagers might not want to see the 1984 film so the studios and Bradley all thought: “Let’s all remake the 1984 Red Dawn! Why? Because then we can make some big bucks!”

    Nonetheless, the only film that I talk about in my article that has a real chance at earning big bucks in foreign territory is Life of Pi due to it’s Indian setting (in the beginning), Taiwanese director, and almost entirely non USA originating cast.

    Here are some questions for you? Are you going to see Red Dawn? Have you seen the old one? What do you think about how it did at the box office on opening weekend? Any other films I talked about that you saw or really, really want to see (Or don’t want to see for that matter)? Last but not least thank you for the comment!

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