November 23, 2011, - 4:22 pm

Thanksgiving Box Office: Hugo, The Muppets, Arthur Christmas, Melancholia

By Debbie Schlussel

Finally, some great movies at the box office.  Three great movies and only one stinker.  It figures that the “adult” movie by a Hitler-supporting Jew-hater is the only bomb in the bunch.


*  “Hugo“:  Finally a 3D movie that should be in 3D.  Martin Scorsese directed this visually stunning and terrific story.  You’ll love this, and it’s great for families.  Kids will love it, but so will adults, as I did.  But you’ll  have to disregard that two of the co-stars are Sacha Baron Cohen and the actively anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian Ben Kingsley.

Set in 1930s Paris, Hugo is a young orphan who fixes the clocks at a train station.  Unbeknownst to everyone, he lives alone in a hidden apartment inside the station’s clock tower.  He and his father used to fix clocks, but his father was killed in a fire.  Hugo and his father were trying to fix a mechanical robot, and Hugo continues to fix it, using parts he steals from the train station toy shop of an old man (Kingsley).  Soon, though, he gets caught by the man and is forced to fix toys at the store, while he tries to get back his notebook about how to fix the mechanical robot, which the shopkeeper takes from him.  But he meets the man’s granddaughter (Chloe Grace Moretz), and she and Hugo become fast friends, sneaking into movies and poring over books at a the train station’s used bookstore because of their shared love of reading classic books.

Hugo and the granddaughter try to figure out what the old man shopkeeper’s connection is to the mechanical toy robot and they soon make an incredible discovery about who this man, the grandfather, is and why he’s so sad.

A tremendous movie that moves slowly at first but is full of charm and magic.  The style, color, sets, costumes, and everything else is simply terrific.  The special effects and the colorful characters that populate the train station are rich, as is the story.

FOUR REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “The Muppets“:  I thought I’d hate this movie because 1) I never liked “The Muppet Show” as a kid, and 2) it’s written by and stars Jason Segel, who is most well known for displaying his penis in multiple scenes on the big screen in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (read my review).  But I was wrong.  This movie is terrific, aside from a bad left-wing message against businessmen and oil drillers.  It’s very funny, entertaining, and will be enjoyed by kids and adults.  In fact, many of the jokes, which make fun of the ’80s, might be a little over kids’ heads.  But they will love it.  Great for families.  And very cute.  It is typical Hollywood anti-business, anti-“big oil” stuff, though, as the villain is an evil, rich businessman who wants to drill for oil on Muppets land.  So, you have to explain to your kids to ignore that message.  It’s sad you have to do that with a kids’ movie.  The late Jim Henson, as far as I remember, did not have political messages in his Muppets movies. The movie also has several musical numbers.

Gary (Jason Segel) has a brother, Walter, who looks like a Muppet and never gets older and more mature, unlike the adult Gary, who has grown up.  Walter desperately wants to fit in but is constantly made fun of.  Soon, he discovers re-runs of the ’80s series, “The Muppet Show,” and loves it, feeling he can identify with the Muppets.  Gary has been dating a teacher, Mary (the talented Amy Adams, who has a great singing voice), for ten years, and she wants to get married, but she is upset that Gary takes Walter everywhere.  Gary and Mary take Walter on their trip to Los Angeles, where they tour the old, decrepit Muppets studio.  While there, Walter overhears the two Muppet lawyers negotiating to sell the Muppets studio to an evil businessman (Chris Cooper) who pretends he will update the Muppets’ land for more tours.  But he really wants to tear it down so he can drill for oil.  Walter and Gary try to find Kermit through maps of the stars’ homes and plot to take back the Muppets studios with a telethon.

You’ll see all the old Muppets in this movie, a few new ones, and plenty of celebrity cameos, including (sadly) James Carville (why?).  The movie has several musical numbers and is overall a great movie, sadly enmeshed with the left-wing messages I note above. Without that, it would have been a FOUR REAGAN movie.

THREE REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

*  “Arthur Christmas“:  I very much enjoyed this cute, animated movie for kids.  I could have done without the cheesy Justin Bieber music video at the beginning, though.

Arthur Christmas is the clumsy, misfit younger brother in Santa Claus’ family.  His father is Santa, and his big brother is the high-tech guru who runs computerized operations at the North Pole,where every delivery of Christmas gifts is planned, timed to the second, and coordinated using the latest in technology and intelligence.  But a Christmas present of one girl gets misplaced in the computerized commotion.  While Santa is willing to forget about it because it’s too late to deliver the gift–and he’s tired–Arthur and his grandfather, Grandsanta (who is upset he’s been involuntary retired) set off into the night to deliver the gift, using an old-fashioned sleigh, rather than the high-tech spaceship sleigh Santa now uses.  What could go wrong?

Charming, cute, fast-paced, and great for kids.

THREE REAGANS
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Watch the trailer . . .

* “Melancholia“:  This extremely boring, way too long, uber-pretentious piece of crap was directed by Hitler fan, and Jew-hating, anti-Israel fanatic Lars Von Trier.  It figures that a Nazi would make something beautifully and neatly shot with nothing else to offer.  There is barely a story and definitely no plot.  It’s stupid.  And I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  I also struggled to stay awake.  Starring the always dull, highly overrated pothead Kirsten Dunst, the movie begins with Dunst as a new bride in the limo on the way to her disastrous wedding reception at her sister and wealthy brother-in-law’s (Kiefer Sutherland) countryside mansion estate.  They are two hours late, and when they get there, the depressed Dunst is constantly sullen and frequently disappears from the event.  She finally realizes she doesn’t want to be married to the guy she just married and has random sex on the lawn with some guy from the reception.  Then, the earth is about to be destroyed because a planet, Melancholia, is coming closer and closer to colliding with the earth.  I’m not sure what else happens other than Dunst pouting and yelling at others, horses roaming, Dunst posing nude, and people shown sitting and looking.

A complete waste of time by a Nazi.  Yay.  You’ll be beyond melancholy that you wasted at least ten bucks and more than two hours on this high brow crap.  Complete garbage.

FOUR MARXES PLUS
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Watch the trailer . . .

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21 Responses

Hee Hee HEEEEEEEEEEEE. Reagan…………what a crock!

Right is ALWAYS wrong on November 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Hmmm, sorry Deb, but I will not see any movie with Ben Kingsley or any other anti-Semite. Maybe Hollywood will get the message if we boycott any picture with these miserable scum.

Similarly, I would not attend the Muppet movie because a) I am a straight male; and 2) the anti-capitalist,anti-oil company message in the movie. If we can’t drill for oil, maybe we can burn a few Muppets for warmth.

JEG: I hear ya. And I wouldn’t either, which is why I mentioned and linked to the info on Kingsley. However, I review the movies as they are. And it is a good movie, so I gotta tell the truth. DS

Jonathan E. Grant on November 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm

The Muppets sound so cute. I have always liked them…but prolly not enough to see a film.

Thanks for the great review of Melancholia. The Dutch turd that made that is a complete un-hot mess. He is so amazingly mentally ill but in a typical Hollywood fashion, the creeps who prop him up on a pedestal work the hamster wheel double-fast to try to make excuses for his disgusting and wacko-projectile vomitings. Sorta what they do to excuse Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. You would think they would be embarrassed by their horrible pretzel logic. And the people who make excuses for his horrible thoughts and spewings should look within and ask why they feel they can defend such a bag of crap!

I will never forget years ago when Kirsten Dunst appeared on “Celebrity Jeopardy” and rang the buzzer TWICE and got one of the questions she answered wrong. I have never seen anyone be so amazingly stupid on tv. Since then I can’t image her even having a brain.

Skunky on November 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Debbie, as a twerpy little punk child in the 1980s, I loved the Muppets, my older sister and I (my other sister was a little baby and a little toddler at the time) enjoyed watching that cartoon. Her favorite Muppet was Ms. Piggy, while mines was Kermit the Frog, she thought that Fozzy the Bear was a terrible joke teller, while I thought Fozzy the Bear was a quasi funny character and also laughed at his jokes (everybody knows you’re not suppose to laugh at your own jokes).

And to the first poster, Right (Left) is Always Wrong, clearly you’re a very slow learner with mental deficiencies, the “Reagan” means that the film is good/great, that’s how DS rates movies that’s good or very good. Movies that’s horrible, sucks, etc. she rates them as “Marx” or “OBL” or Barack Obama or Betty Friedman, etc.!

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on November 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Reality is more fun. A foot-and-a-half of snow and more to come.

As soon as I get my replacement graphics card for my kaput computer, I’m going to fire up the torrent, download as much “Boardwalk Empire” and “Walking Dead” so I don’t have to run off to watch movies to which I can’t humanly relate.

Lars Von Trier seems to enjoy making torture porn in many forms. Nazi or not, I wouldn’t be bothered to even think about seeing any of his better-received flicks. Unless someone pays me to do so.

The other movies: only the Muppets movie appeals to me. However, if anyone wants to see some real Muppets, watch C-SPAN.

So this weekend, I pay my rent, I buy my groceries, I avoid the snow and chill the Hell out.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Murricans.

The Reverend Jacques on November 24, 2011 at 2:56 am

    So you pay your rent, buy your groceries but steal your tv shows and movies ? seems a bit weird to me.

    James on November 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Von Trier’s films are often even too radical for mainstream critics who tend to be liberal, but not that much. In “Dogville,” he describes a small town in America, depicts what he considers various American foibles, then in the end has James Caan come in as a gangster and shoot everyone dead including the women and children saying, “None of them are worth saving.” This kind of genocidal “final solution” thinking is typical of his films, including “Melancholia.” Von Trier’s last film “Antichrist” appeared to many (such as The Reverend Jacques) as “torture porn.” It was not; like his “Media” before that, it was his brand of angry, violent feminism. In “Antichrist,” the Willem Dafoe character completely deserves–from the director’s perspective–the brutal millstone pounding to his groin. Von Trier is also an uncompromising anti-capitalist, and his film “The Boss of It All” was I think used as a story idea for the similarly anti-capitalist film “Up in the Air” made by leftist Hollywood brat Jason Reitman. Von Trier’s particular brand of poetic justice usually ends in having a lot of people of whom he ideologically disapproves die or suffer horribly. In “Melancholia,” he makes the argument that males in particular have so corrupted Earth that the entire planet deserves obliteration. All the men in the film are despicable: the father played by John Hurt is an undependable clown; the groom and nephew are both weak simps; the boss is a cold fiend; and Kiefer Sutherland plays a pretentious, bullying coward. Only the women are strong, caring and courageous. This kind of righteous feminism is typically Scandinavian (other examples include Ibsen, Bergman–and of course Stieg Larsson whose Swedish novel “Men Who Hate Women” served as the source for the man-hating Dragon Tattoo films).

Burke on November 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Awesome post Burke! I enjoyed it very much.

    I especially agree with your assessment of the typical Scandinavian archetype you pointed out. I have always had a natural distaste for what they stand for and the products and ideology they produce. And it is most likely due to their selfish and foolish (and unsustainable) way of living. I am not attracted to the men and I find the women silly.

    And all one needs to know about that human stain LVT is that he added the “Von” to his stupid-ass name just to be more pretentious than he is.

    And for a POS who is into slapping down misogynistic men, he is a fricken’ hypocrite (What a surprise! Aren’t they all?) he certainly loves to objectify them in his movies by making sure they are nude. He’s like a silly 15 year old who tries to find ways to leer at women yet make it seem legitimate (his crap movies).

    Your post was spot on and fun to read!

    Skunky on November 25, 2011 at 11:49 am

      Thanks, Skunky.

      You want to talk about unattractive males. At least von Trier presents his men as semi-recognizable men, even if they are for the most part bullies and jackasses. Larsson, on the other hand, feminizes and emasculates his leading male in such a disgusting manner that he makes Johnny Depp look like an Errol Flynn. I find von Trier’s philosophy repulsive, but I still make a point to see his movies because they’re original and provocative. Antichrist in particular, despite its slow pace, nudity and “torture” scene is underneath an intellectually stimulating allegory based on the writings of Camille Paglia (whom I admire). Larsson, though, is not subtle or provocative at all. His “hero” is a strong, violent, angry woman adored by a worshiping sycophant of a man, so effeminate that he prefers to make love “underneath” so that the tattoo lady can dominate. The six-hour Dragon Tattoo trilogy made me sick to sit through, and now, it seems, one of America’s leading filmmakers, Fincher, is remaking the whole story all in English. Wonderful.

      Burke on November 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

        Great points Burke! I like your take on Steig Larsson (I have not read the books and *MAY* see the foreign films of the “Girl” series). I have been told the books are not that well written and even though I don’t read much fiction anymore, 20 years back his books would have prolly been on my list (as I liked the genre and punk style). BUT if they are not well written I have no interested. And I do hate to jump on most bandwagons anyway.

        I think he was a Swede so that would be prolly why he wrote so girly (for the men). YUCK! He looked like a lesbian, as did his shack-up-honey.

        I also enjoy Camille Paglia. She is one of the few peeps I still enjoy as a Conservative as I did as a young and uninformed Liberal. She just tells it like it is. She’s more into crazy culture crap than me, but she is a Lesbian and the women are prolly more intriguing to her than they are to me, of course.

        The style of LVT reminds me of an old forgotten filmmaker who’s films I still love. Peter Greenaway.

        Skunky on November 26, 2011 at 6:12 pm

        “Intellectually stimulating allegory” – Plllllllleeeaaasssee – I think I’m going to be sick. Using SAT words to crap still makes it crap!

        MRobs on November 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm

My favorite muppets are the two old guys in the balcony.

Dustbag [Genesis 2:7] on November 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    They were my favourites also

    Tommy on May 6, 2012 at 5:28 am

Took my 5 yr old granddaughter to see Arthur Christmas today and LOVED IT! Made me smile and get that warm feeling inside. She loved it too.

CJ on November 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm

Arthur Christmas… Yeah, ’cause I want to see Russell Brand ruining yet another Dudley Moore classic! :-)

TheRishbi on November 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

ARTHUR should have been trademarked to Dudley Moore! I believe there will never be anyone that can come close to besting his performances and humor…

ScottyMarine on November 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Read the pothead link on Kirsten Dunst, and then the Cheech and Chong wannabees that commented positively on Dunst.

In my job, I’m an inpatient psychiatric unit Medical Director.

70% of all admissions to my hospital are THC positive. Data shows that MJ will facilitate the development of psychotic conditions in people who are vulnerable. Cannabis smoke is Carcinogenic. And finally, if you need THC for medical purposes, one can always use Marinol, which is prescribable and approved for Chemotherapy induced nausea and HIV wasting.

So shut up Kirsten. Fortunately, she has an active acting lifespan of less than 10 years . She ain’t Meryl Streep.

Occam's Tool on December 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

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