Shaking off an egg nog- and cookie-induced coma after waking up in a pile of shredded gift wrap? Swap out the toffee for popcorn and get to the movies this Christmas weekend. Here’s what to check out and why.
He’s reading local news in North Dakota. He’s interviewing Peyton Manning. He’s selling trucks. He’s sitting on a journalism panel at a (now slightly less) prestigious college. He’s…hosting a Canadian curling competition?! Dear God, Ron Burgundy is everywhere. I need to get some air. Wonder what the weather’s like outside…
Superior to An Unexpected Journey in every conceivable way, the second installment in Peter Jackson’s fresher J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy addresses close to every complaint laid out about last year’s Hobbit kickoff. It’s not monotonous, needlessly rhetorical or extended at the sole behest of technical demands. But it’s worth noting just how the director, long an honorary citizen of Middle Earth, accomplished such positive results: by crafting a nearly three-hour “screw you” to the source material.
With his first film since 2009′s crazy-good Crazy Heart, director Scott Cooper drags us deep into yinz country for a brother’s-keeper ballad so American it might as well be knotted in a stars-and-bars bandanna. Shot on location in Braddock, Pennsylvania, whose real-life iconoclast mayor has earned national headlines, Out of the Furnace is objectively a series of blue-collar criminal cliches, but the cast is a little too sharp to let that structure sabotage the entire operation.
We’re coming up fast on one of the biggest movie-going weekends of the year, so here’s our quickie Thanksgiving screen guide: What’s in theaters right now — and why you should spring for a ticket.
It’s not all about Jennifer Lawrence. OK, it pretty much is. As talented as she is eminently lovable (that’s kind of a talent too, right?), the Oscar winner is the face that launched a thousand she’s-just-like-us proclamations, a shockingly sincere starlet in a field characterized by uncomfortable staring and needy thespian bullshit. She’s a bit of a Hollywood unicorn, an actor whom everyone feels comfortable admiring without having to file any paperwork with the National Bureau of Celeb-Crush Caveats.
Prior to stepping into Dallas Buyers Club, Jean-Marc Vallée’s brash new socio-medical biopic, a friend who was accompanying me to the screening joked that he was looking forward to watching a lighthearted buddy comedy.
Somehow, in some McConaughey-fed way, that off-hand crack turned out to have real truth to it. No, it’s not Lethal Weapon, but this Oscar contender has big balls, its depiction of America’s evolving understanding of HIV and homosexuality distilled through the bond between two men — one of whom identifies as a woman.
Bold moves, big hammer, pretty straw-colored Aryan hair that’s totally begging to be twisted into Bo Derek braids (just me?) — we all understand why Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, feebly introduced in 2011 before being spit-polished in The Avengers, is so popular. (Shoutout to Vinny D’Onofrio, though.) But is it Thor’s bro Loki, played for every surly beat by English actor Tom Hiddleston, that’s made him such a furrowed-brow phenomenon?
As much as Gavin Hood’s long-awaited adaptation of Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card’s most popular novel, purports to peel into issues of intergalactic peace and compassion, the overall takeaway of this big-money blow-’em-up could’ve come straight from a Fortune 500 recruiting manual. If you’re elite and in-demand, as Ender Wiggin is, stress and expectations are certainly trumped up — but consequences are of little consequence.