Hollywood knows you're going to be miserable tomorrow. There's no way to get out of Thanksgiving's familial and societal pressures—and while some, faced with the grimness of reality, might even do their best to convince themselves they "like," "enjoy," or even "love" Thanksgiving, Hollywood knows. Hollywood knows.
There's a reason Thanksgiving and Xmas are two of the busiest days at movie theaters: Through the magic of cinema, you can feel like you're spending time with your family when actually you're all just sitting in the dark and not saying a goddamn word to each other. And so, with no more ado, the Mercury proudly presents our reviews of all the ways that Hollywood's going to try to cash on your miserable family dysfunction.
NEBRASKA Alexander Payne's latest is supposed to be great. Ned says:
Like any family's story, the Grants' is complicated and messy, and Payne tells it with economy, elegance, and an absolutely necessary sense of humor.
As family moviegoing goes, Nebraska might hit a little too close-to-home, but it's still a better choice than...
THE BOOK THIEF There isn't a mother in America who isn't going to be pushing for everyone to go see this one. OVERRULE HER. Elinor says:
I get that The Book Thief wants to say that there can be beauty and joy during the darkest of times, but it lays it on way too thick.
OLDBOY Spike Lee's unasked-for remake of Park Chan-wook's revenge classic is, from a certain point of view, a family film. Vince says:
Mediocre movies are a dime a dozen. They're easy to make, forgettable, and they teach us nothing. Making one as transcendently terrible, as breathtakingly tone deaf and ill advised as Lee's Oldboy, on the other hand, is an achievement.
PHILOMENA Hey, this one might actually be a pretty good choice! Unless your family's Catholic. In that case... maybe not. Alison says:
Philomena is a surprisingly complex little film that pulls off some impressive balancing acts; chief among them is that it permits two very different worldviews and personality types to co-exist without condemning either one. Dench and Coogan should franchise an odd-couple buddy comedy series
HOMEFRONT There'll be ads for this one during tomorrow's football games. Guaranteed. Shhh, ads, shhhh. You had me at "Jason Statham vs. James Franco in a film written by Sylvester Stallone." Paul says:
Homefront is surprisingly watchable, especially when compared with the generic action-movie product Statham's been pumping out lately.
That's praise! Technically!
There's more, as ever, in Film Shorts, including Denis' review of Disney's Frozen, which he liked quite a bit, and some other stuff happening this weekend—like a Lady Snowblood and Kill Bill Vol. 1 double feature! Here are your Movie Times; use them responsibly.