Holiday Releases – Get Ready For A Big Week In Movies

Busy Holiday

If you’ve seen the list of movies coming out on December 21st and 25th you will agree that it’s enough to keep you very busy or very confused as to what to see, or at least what to see first.  I didn’t get a chance to see National Treasure, P.S. I Love You, or Great Debaters before press time, and they won’t screen a film like Alien Vs. Predator for critics, but here is a rundown of the rest of this busy week.

Charlie Wilson’s War     A-

Starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman
Directed by Mike Nichols (Closer)
Rated R for strong language, nudity/sexual content, and some drug use
Appropriate for ages 17+

This movie is based on the true story of a Houston socialite (Roberts) that convinces alcoholic East Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson (Hanks) to commit to arming the Afghans against the Russians during the great invasion.  Look for Hoffman to get many nominations for Best Supporting Actor for his turn as Wilson’s Afghanistan CIA adviser.  While the film is of a serious nature, it plays as a comedy and turns out to be well-crafted entertainment.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story     A-

Starring John C. Reilly, Jenna Fischer, and Tim Meadows
Directed by Jake Kasdan (Orange County)
Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language
Appropriate for ages 17+

This year has been a great one for the Rated R comedy.  Knocked Up, Superbad, and now this little gem of a spoof that pokes fun at the biopics Walk the Line and Ray, all brought to us by the same man: Judd Apatow.  John C. Reilly is Dewey Cox, a Johnny Cash-like singer that finds himself in the ever-changing world of music from the 60s to the modern era.  There are a lot of jokes thrown at the audience and most of them stick tight, making this a very effective comedy.  Just as you would expect from an Apatow production, this is a filthy little pic that seeks to shock and offend it’s audience throughout.  Reilly proves his ability as a leading man and comes across with fearless charisma.

The Waterhorse: Legend of the Deep     C-

Starring Alex Etal, Emily Watson, and Ben Chaplin
Directed by Jay Russell (My Dog Skip)
Rated PG for action/peril, mild language and brief smoking
Appropriate for ages 6+

A young boy finds a mysterious egg near the shore of Loch Ness.  Upon it’s hatching he discovers that he has a new pet water horse, or Loch Ness Monster.  His new friend outgrows the house and the child is forced to keep him in the Loch.  While the actors are all normally really great, the performances here seem phoned in.  Also, I think that kids could go with the dino-pet theme pretty easily, and adults won’t hate it, but the few E.T. moments do not excuse the predictability and choppiness found throughout the entire picture.