It's the holidays. We know this because the movies tell us so. This year they waited exactly one week after Halloween to start the Christmas fare with Jim Carrey's A Christmas Carol. But even though the month starts with Christmas, the movie month plays out just like Thanksgiving. At first, we're given an array of wonderful treats that's we'll happily gobble up like George Clooney in The Men Who Stare at Goats or George Clooney in the stop-motion Wes Anderson movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. Plus, teenage girls and a few others, will have their vampire appetites filled with The Twilight Saga: New Moon. But then, just like Thanksgiving, you gorge a little too much. And even though you're full, you look around for something more to eat ... and that's when Old Dogs seems to be your only option.
Movie of the Week A Christmas Carol
The Stars: Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman
The Plot: It's another retelling of the Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. Jim Carrey plays a host of characters from Scrooge to the Ghost of Christmas Present in this animated tale about a man who is visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve.
The Buzz: The reason this retelling is being retold is all about the jaw-dropping 3D animation. Robert Zemeckis is trying to corner the market on "man, that almost looks real" 3D animation. Others, mainly James Cameron with Avatar, will have something to say about that.
The Others: The Men Who Stare at Goats - Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey The Fourth Kind - Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton The Box - Cameron Diaz, James Marsden, Frank Langella Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (limited) - Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton
Movie of the Week 2012
The Stars: John Cusack, Thandie Newton, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor
The Plot: Apocalyptic events start to tear apart our planet. An academic researcher (Cusack) leads a group of people to try and survive the horrific events.
The Buzz: CGI me ASAP! This movie is all about the special effects even though it's got everyone's favorite boom box holding man. Going into this film ... does anyone have high hopes? After all, this is directed by Roland Emmerich ... the man who gave us 10,000 BC.
The Others: Pirate Radio - Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost Gentlemen Broncos (expanding) - Michael Angarano, Jennifer Coolidge, Jemaine Clement Ong Bak 2: The Beginning Splinterheads
Movie of the Week Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Stars: (voices) George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman
The Plot: Based on the famous book by Roald Dahl ... angry farmers look to rid themselves of a sly fox, who keeps going after their chickens.
The Buzz: Has Wes Anderson made a kid's movie, or an adult movie for kids? Either way, this adaptation is bound to be a unique, possibly artful contribution to classic children's literature a la Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are from last month.
The Others: The Twilight Saga: New Moon - Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner The Blind Side - Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw Planet 51 - (voices) Dwayne Johnson, Seann William Scott, Jessica Biel The Messenger - Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, Woody Harrelson Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans - Nicolas Cage
Movie of the Week Old Dogs
The Stars: Robin Williams, John Travolta, Seth Green
The Plot: A successful businessman (Williams) has his life turned upside down when an old flame and her two twins shake everything up. He enlists his best friend (Travolta) to help wrangle the rascals.
The Buzz: OK, this is "Movie of the Weak." There seems to be one every month. I'd talk about The Road here, but not nearly as many people are going to see that, and this comedy. Whether that's sad or not is for you to decide. Perhaps this is the weekend you can catch up on all the other films in November you haven't had a chance to see.
The Others: Old Dogs - Robin Williams, John Travolta The Road - Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron Ninja Assassin- Rain, Rick Yune, Naomie Harris