Good movies out there for the holiday weekend!

November 21st, 2012 at 8:13 pm by under THRS Movie Reviews

If you are considering seeing a movie over the long weekend, there are plenty out there.  In fact, I can’t remember a long weekend with this many good options!  You can read through my complete reviews in the blog posts below to see if one may be better for you than others, but I’ve had a number of folks ask me for a recommendation.  So, here goes a quick rundown of my favorites.

Argo: It’s still in some theaters and is making a serious run for Oscar contention.  It is a thriller of epic proportions, because it is a true story!  Ben Affleck stars and directs this fantastic retelling of the mission to get US hostages out of Iran.  A must see for movie fans who like really well-made movies!

Life of Pi:  Pi is new in theaters for the holiday weekend.  It is based on book best-selling novel by Yann Martel.  Many who have read it wondered how it could possibly be brought to life on film.  Director Ang Lee works his magic throughout the film and anyone else who was hoping for a Directing Oscar this year must be quaking over this film’s release.   The use of 3D is breathtaking, and the portrayal of the circumstance that landed a teenager occupying a life boat with a Bengal  tiger for 227 days is life-changing.  Many inhabitants of earth struggle with differences among religions and many others simply believe.  Life of Pi examines them all and looks at why faith is faith, while giving you the option to believe in this amazing story.  A must see!  Oscar is calling!

Lincoln:  It just opened this past weekend and hopefully will hang in at the box office.  Daniel Day Lewis gives a stunning portrayal of the President.  The movie is a snapshot of a few months of Lincoln’s life centered around the passage of the 13th Amendment.  Stephen Spielberg directs this epic portrayal of the beauty and ugliness in American politics.

Flight:  This film has been out a few weeks now, but is worth a look if you still haven’t caught it.  Denzel Washington turns out his best acting performance since Training Day in this gritty look at an egotistical alcoholic airline pilot after the fall.  The crash of this giant airliner with Washington’s character at the controls is one of the best crashes ever on film.

Moving on from the one-word titles to some others still worth seeing…

The Sessions:  A Sundance Film Festival winner new in wide release.  An inspiring and tender look at the real-life situation of a man confined to an iron lung and longing for human affection and the power of touch.  The story turns on the performances of the lead actors John Hawkes and Helen Hunt.  Hunt plays a sex surrogate who gets more out of their sessions than she expected.  It is a touching film, but with lots of nudity and sexual situations.  Some may even find it uncomfortable to watch in a theater full of strangers, but a wonderful film.

Silver Lining Playbook:  This poignant film opened for the long weekend.  A daring and sensitive look at mental illness and its affect on a Philadelphia family.  Its funny and dramatic, romantic and comedy.  Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Lawrence all deliver amazing, heartfelt performances.  Rich in dialogue, this film has the ability to hold you and just when you think all is lost, hope springs eternal.  Mild sexual scenes and some disturbing violence, strong language.  Worth visiting a theater!

For the family…

Rise of the Guardians:  This magical movie delivers in every way.  Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, and the Tooth Fairy are Guardians teaming up to battle the Boogie Man.  They have their doubts when a new Guardian is sent to join the fight.  They must work together to fight fear and make sure children don’t stop believing in them.  A fun and enjoyable ride with a lesson for all ages.  Parents of young children be cautioned… Scary situations may follow you home.

Wreck-it Ralph:  This lively romp through the insides of a video games in an arcade has been out for awhile, but still worth seeking out if you still haven’t seen it.  Ralph is the bad guy in a video game, but he’s just tired of always being bad.  So he sets out for a land where no one knows he’s the bad guy.  For kids who love video games, and their parents who remember the early ones, it’s a fun time.  Most kids won’t recognize the likes of Frogger, Qbert or Tapper, but it can make the parents a wee bit nostalgic.

Also in theaters:  Red Dawn, Skyfall, Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawm, Part Two, Life of Pi

May also still find:  Pitch Perfect, Here Comes the Boom, Trouble with the Curve, Hotel Transylvania

Whatever film you decide to see, enjoy the magic that the theater gives us: a chance to get lost in another world; to forget about life outside the theater, if for only the running time of the film; and in some cases take something away from the film you didn’t see coming.

See you at the movies, Hampton Roads!

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