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Vol. LXV, No. 50
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Arthur Christmas (PG for rude humor). Animated 3-D adventure about the effort of Santa Claus’s (Hugh Laurie) kind-hearted, clumsy son (James McAvoy) to deliver a bicycle to a little girl (Ramona Marquez) his father accidentally forgot to leave any presents. Voice cast includes Bill Nighy, Joan Cusack, Jim Broadbent, and Imelda Staunton.
The Descendants (R for profanity and sexual references). Screen adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ bittersweet novel of the same name about a Hawaii land baron (George Clooney) forced to take custody of his daughters (Amara Miller and Shailene Woodley) after his estranged wife (Patricia Hastie) is left in a vegetative state by a tragic boating accident. Supporting cast includes Beau Bridges, Robert Forster, and Judy Greer.
Footloose (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, violence, and teen drug and alcohol abuse). Remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon classic about a city kid who moves from Boston to a small town in Georgia where he falls in love with the preacher’s (Dennis Quaid) daughter (Julianne Hough) while leading a rebellion against a local ordinance banning loud music and dancing. With Andie MacDowell, Miles Teller, and Ser’Darius Blain.
Happy Feet Two (PG for rude humor and mild scenes of peril). Animated 3-D sequel about Mumbles’s (Elijah Wood) uncoordinated son (Elizabeth Daily) who runs away from home only to be befriended by a mighty flying penguin (Hank Azaria). Voice cast includes Robin Williams, Common, Pink, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Hugo Weaving.
Hugo (PG for mature themes, action, peril, and smoking). Martin Scorsese directed this 3-D fantasy, set in the thirties, about a 12-year-old orphan (Asa Butterfield) befriended by a toymaker (Ben Kingsley) and a fellow street urchin (Chloe Grace Moretz) while living in the walls of a Paris train station. With Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Christopher Lee, and Richard Griffiths.
Immortals (R for graphic violence and a sex scene). Greek mythology fantasy about a lowly stonemason (Henry Cavill) picked by Zeus (Luke Evans) to assemble a band of warriors for a showdown with a rampaging, ruthless Titan (Mickey Rourke) who has declared war on humanity. With Isabel Lucas, Stephen Dorff, John Hurt, and Freida Pinto.
J. Edgar (R for profanity). Clint Eastwood directed this biopic starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role of J. Edgar Hoover, the legendary director of the FBI. With Josh Lucas as Charles Lindbergh, Jeffrey Donovan as Bobby Kennedy, Gunner Wright as Dwight Eisenhower, and Christopher Shyer as Richard Nixon.
Jack and Jill (PG for sexuality, crude humor, profanity, violence, and smoking). Slapstick comedy about a happily married family man (Adam Sandler) who is dreading his passive-aggressive twin sister’s (also played by Sandler) annual Thanksgiving visit. Cast includes Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Shaquille O’Neal, Regis Philbin, Tim Meadows, and Dana Carvey.
Like Crazy (PG-13 for sexuality and brief profanity). Long-distance romance drama about a British exchange student (Felicity Jones) who is prevented by immigration authorities from reentering the U.S. and rejoining her college boyfriend (Anton Yelchin) in California after overstaying her visa. With Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, and Alex Kingston.
Margin Call (R for profanity). Thriller revolving around the panic at a leading, Wall Street investment firm over the course of a pivotal 24-hour period during the 2008 economic collapse. The cast includes Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Demi Moore, and Jeremy Irons.
Melancholia (R for sexuality, profanity, and graphic nudity). Denmark’s Lars von Trier directs this adventure about a couple of squabbling sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg) who put their sibling rivalry on hold when an approaching rogue planet threatens to collide with Earth. Cast includes Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, and Stellan Skarsgard.
The Muppets (PG for mild crude humor). Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson) and her puppet pals reunite to stage a telethon with the help of three fans (Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and Peter Linz) in order to save their old theater from a greedy oil tycoon’s (Chris Cooper) wrecking ball. Cast includes Dr. Ken Jeong, Rashida Jones, Zach Galifianakis, and Alan Arkin.
My Week with Marilyn (R for profanity). Adventure about the unlikely romance which blossomed between newlywed Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) and a star-struck crew member (Eddie Redmayne) during the filming of The Prince and the Showgirl in September of 1956. With Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier, Julia Ormond as Vivien Leigh, and Dougray Scott as Arthur Miller.
Puss in Boots (PG for action and mild rude humor). Animated 3-D spinoff of Shrek finds the dashing furry feline (Antonio Banderas) teaming with Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), and a street savvy alley cat (Salma Hayek) for a swashbuckling adventure in search of the legendary goose that lays golden eggs. Narrated by Walt Dohrn, with a voice cast including Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as Jack and Jill.
Tower Heist (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality). Comedy about a group of swindled investors who enlist the assistance of a petty thief (Eddie Murphy) to rob the condo of the Wall Street titan (Alan Alda) who was behind a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme which left them penniless. Cast includes Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Casey Affleck, Gabourey Siddibe, Tea Leoni, Judd Hirsch, and Michael Pena.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (PG-13 for violence, sexuality, disturbing images, mature themes, and partial nudity). The fourth film in the series finds Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) marrying and anticipating the birth of a mixed-species baby which poses a threat both to the vampire coven and rival Jacob’s (Taylor Lautner) wolf pack. With Billy Burke, Nikki Reed, and Kellan Lutz.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (R for drug use, crude humor, pervasive profanity, graphic sexuality, nudity, and violence). Third installment of the series finds the protagonists (Kal Penn and John Cho) approaching 30 yet still up to a “pot”-pourri of holiday season hijinks. With Neil Patrick Harris, Danny Trejo, Thomas Lennon, David Krumholtz, and Eddie Kaye Thomas.
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