“Oh the weather outside is frightful. And the gossip rags are spiteful. But if we’ve no place to go – let’s go to the movies! That might blow! That might blow! That might blow!” Those words were sung by the legendary Bing Crosby in a drunken bender just weeks before his death, and they still ring true today. We’re dropping into the Christmas movie season, where serious Oscar contenders go head-to-head with crap for Jewish and Chinese people to see when the rest of us are opening presents. Today’s openers are a curious mix of good and bad – which makes a kind of emotional gray, were you to see all of these movies in one day, which I don’t recommend. Check out what I do recommend after the jump.
Up In The Air – This is the pick for the week, but it’s not in full release until Christmas. Still, if you’re lucky enough to get out to see it, it’s a pretty spectacular, very human comedy. I wasn’t as impressed with Juno as the rest of the world seemed to be, but that’s not due to Jason Reitman’s directing, and this flick (which stars George Clooney as a constantly-traveling corporate hatchetman) looks to hit a little closer to my zone of interest: traveling, banging broads and being mean to people.
Brothers – So your brother dies in Iraq and you bang his wife and then he comes back and he’s not dead, but not in a Freddy Krueger way but rather in a “somebody goofed with the paperwork” way. What lesson do you learn from that? It’s the same lesson you learn from any horror movie: don’t get jiggy until you see the body. Unfortunately, this is a serious drama and not a made-for-SyFy movie, so it’s going to be full of Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire looking at each other with complex emotions on their faces and Natalie Portman probably doesn’t take her shirt off again.
Transylmania– Okay, so this is another lowbrow gross-out comedy in the Scream vein, but here’s a thing: one of the dudes who wrote this is named Worm Miller. Seriously. How much do your parents have to freaking hate you to name you Worm? Allegedly this is a sequel to one of the execrable National Lampoon movies (you know, the ones without Chevy Chase) and as such should be purged from the Earth with fire, but who knows – maybe there’ll be laughs in it. There will for sure at least be boobs courtesy of several underpaid hotties who can be yours for a dollar.
Armored – So this flick has some fun talent attached, including French ass-kicker Jean Reno and Matt Dillon. But what the posters don’t tell you is that it’s actually a star vehicle for Columbus Short, who is best known for choreographing Britney Spears’ 2004 tour and appearing on That’s So Raven twice. Apparently Hollywood sees something in him, as he’s set to lead in The Losers, based on one of my favorite comics. Who knows? Maybe he kicks ass?