Well, we’ve officially entered that time of the year that is
notoriously known as the period when movie studios seem to scrape
the bottom of the barrel of their films they have to release. And
while there is always the possibility that a movie will come out
and surprise audiences by actually being good, the chances are less
likely than any other time of the year.
Luckily there are some films still in theaters that were
released over winter break that are more than capable of filling
the void of good new movies for the time being. Here’s a recap of
the great, good and god-awful movie that were released while you
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
It is almost impossible to crown a “best” of this film trilogy,
but the third is the biggest cinematic achievement of them all.
Fantastic storytelling, great characters and creatures, epic battle
sequences and amazing special effects combine to make this easily
one of the best films of the year.
Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and, most notably, Rene Zellweger all
turn in award-worthy performances in this sweeping adaptation of
the prize-winning novel. The “Odyssey”-like storyline is
captivating, thrilling, and emotional.
Although I was expecting to love Tim Burton’s newest film, I had
to settle for liking it a lot. I was pleasantly reminded of such
childhood favorites of mine as “The Never-Ending Story” and
“Labyrinth” while watching this film and it achieves the rare feat
of actually being better than the book it is based on.
This visually lush film, reminiscent of the “Harry Potter”
movies, is a darker, scarier version of the classic children’s
story. The actors all do a great job, especially the kids playing
Peter and Wendy who look upon each other with more lust in their
eyes than any children I have ever seen.
“Along Came Polly”
Despite getting rather unfavorable critical reception, I found
this comedy endlessly appealing and often very funny. I smiled
throughout the whole film, though those turned off by bathroom
humor may tire of the film’s frequent poop and fart jokes.
“Pieces of April”
Katie Holms plays a young woman who invites her estranged
family, including her cancer-ridden mom (Patricia Clarkson in a
Golden Globe nominated performance), to her shabby, New York
apartment for Thanksgiving dinner. The only problems with this
humorous independent drama are a few overly eccentric characters
that become distracting and annoying. Tonight is the final night
that “Pieces of April” will be showing at Carmike 10.
The cast, including Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman, give dull,
robotic performances in this fairly mundane “Memento” meets
“Minority Report” sci-fi action thriller.
“Mona Lisa Smile”
It had all the makings of a good film, but this female-take on
“Dead Poets Society” comes up short. The accomplished cast doesn’t
manage to make the mediocre script work.
“Stuck on You”
The most recent comedy from the Farrelly Brothers doesn’t
disappoint by being stupid; it just fails to elicit many big
laughs. Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear are convincing as conjoined
twins, but the movie is too restrained, almost boring, to make it
the hilarious comedy it should have been.