It’s time to play the music ... it’s time to light the lights ...
Amy Adams and Jason Segel star in “The Muppets.”
- ‘The Muppets’
★★★ 1/2 (out of four)
2011, Dir. James Bobin, U.S., PG
“The Muppets” is rated PG, but contains nothing even remotely
- New films
‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’
Director: Tomas Alfredson.
Starring: Gary Oldman.
The plot: In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran
George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet
agent within M16’s echelons.
‘New Year’s Eve’
Director: Garry Marshall.
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel.
The plot: The lives of several couples and singles in New York
intertwine over the course of New Year’s Eve.
Genre: Comedy, romance.
- Film roundup
“The Twilight Saga — Breaking Dawn: Part 1”
★ 1⁄2 (out of four)
Let me start off with the positive: “Breaking Dawn: Part 1” is
not as terrible as I assumed it would be. I’ve never seen a
“Twilight” movie before (just as I’ve never punched myself in the
throat, or intentionally smashed by hand with a hammer, mainly
because I’ve an instinct for self-preservation), but the 15-minute
snippets I’ve seen here and there on television have led me to the
unmistakable conclusion that these films are, hyperbole aside, some
of the worst movies ever made. Completely devoid of anything even
remotely resembling competent acting, effective screenwriting or
impressive production values, they are, in a word, worthless.
Actually, “worthless” is too kind a word — “harmful” seems more
★★★ 1⁄2 (out of four)
I’ve always subscribed to Roger Ebert’s philosophy that it isn’t
what a film is about that’s important, but how it is about it. To
demonstrate: “Piranha 3D” could easily have been a complete failure
— indistinguishable from the string of lifeless, torturously
boring, bargain-basement, direct-to-DVD titles that line the walls
at Blockbuster. Yet by embracing its genre history, by totally
abandoning any pretense of seriousness, and by delivering exactly
what viewers expect (and in great quantities), the film rises above
its station as a cheap exploitation picture. Instead of coming
across as sloppy or derivative, it instead functions wonderfully as
both a straight-up genre piece and a clever, self-aware satire of
the same genre constructs in which it indulges. This is pretty
heady stuff for a movie about a swarm of man-eating fish.
Posted: Friday, December 2, 2011 8:01 am
How quickly things can change. Just a week ago, I was so
desperate for a movie to review that I actually sat and watched
“The Twilight Saga — Breaking Dawn: Part 1” for two hours. (I’ve
broken bones, suffered through mono, gotten tattooed and had a
wisdom tooth wrenched out of my head without Novocain, but
honestly, all pale in comparison to the sheer unpleasantness of the
Now, just a few days later, I’m overwhelmed with screening
choices thanks to Hollywood studios’ insistence on holding all
potentially worthwhile releases for the awards-season blitz we call
December. There’s no way I’ll be able to get to all the notable
titles, but I shall make an effort to look at as many as possible
by doubling up on my reviews for the next several weeks.
Arts and Entertainment
Friday, December 2, 2011 8:01 am.