Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

In Theaters: 'Breaking Dawn' Sinks Its Fangs Into 'The Descendants' & 'Happy Feet Two'

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist November 18, 2011 at 5:46PM

So many goodies in store in this pre-Thanksgiving weekend. Violent vampire sexy times! George Muthafuckin Clooney, and dancing penguins. However will we choose?! That's right, the latest "Twilight" installment opens this weekend, which means that those Occupy Twilight Twi-hards can finally go home and occupy a shower now that their desire has literally been consummated. Alexander Payne is back with "The Descendants" and for the kids and kids at heart, "Happy Feet Two" is your cinematic babysitter. Allons-y!
0
Breaking Dawn Happy Feet 2 The Descendants

So many goodies in store in this pre-Thanksgiving weekend. Violent vampire sexy times! George Muthafuckin Clooney, and dancing penguins. However will we choose?! That's right, the latest "Twilight" installment opens this weekend, which means that those Occupy Twilight Twi-hards can finally go home and occupy a shower now that their desire has literally been consummated. Alexander Payne is back with "The Descendants" and for the kids and kids at heart, "Happy Feet Two" is your cinematic babysitter. Allons-y!

We all know the drill with "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" by now (PS, could that title have more unnecessary words?). Twi-hards camp out for way too long (good priorities people), and weep and rend their garments over some truly awkward and horrible films rife with terrible acting, THE WORST dialogue, and cheaply rendered action sequences. Yes, I love these films. Please let them never be good, amen. Crazy festival of wigs, INDEED, Bryce Dallas Howard and Nikki Reed. You betta werk those weaves girls and boys. Anyway, enough about me, what did our intrepid correspondent have to report back? Our review says, "easily the weakest entry in the series, its the fault not just of a director who seems to find difficulty connecting to the material, but of a cast that appears to be looking forward to the close of the franchise a whole lot more than fans are." BUT WHAT ABOUT THE WIGS??? I need to know what mop they've situated a top Jasper's head, because otherwise I'm NOT GOING. Rotten Tomatoes: 27% MetaCritic: 45

The Descendants Clooney Woodley

Thank you baby Jesus, the Pilgrims, the Native Americans and the turkeys that we are blessed with George Clooney to class up this joint every now and again. Alexander Payne returns with "The Descendants," about a Hawaiian man dealing with his wife's boating accident and infidelity, and the subsequent family turmoil with his two daughters. Our review says, "Clooney makes the movie better than it is, or as good as it can be, especially in every clutch emotional moment of bereavement," and that it's "not necessarily a super fresh approach to examination of the human condition, but on its own terms it is a largely effective and moving one that matters when it counts the most." RT: 90% MC: 84

Blah blah blah animated penguins, "Happy Feet Two" with the voices of Elijah Wood, Pink, Robin Williams, and Hank Azaria. Our review says, "Visually, it lacks the punch of the original, especially with the total-bummer emphasis on charcoal grays (apocalyptic skies are streaked with sulfuric clouds), and from a narrative standpoint, it moves at a pace that can charitably be called glacial." RT: 43% MC: 50

Olivia Colman Tyrannosaur

"Tyrannosaur" is actor Paddy Considine's directorial feature debut, a brutal kitchen-sink drama set in Yorkshire, starring Peter Mullan, Eddie Marsan and Olivia Colman. Our review says Considine "side-steps the cheap audience release of a showdown in favor of an intriguing subversion of social realist dramas built upon broken relationships," and that Mullan "is a dragon, a bubbling cauldron of dangerousness, spitting out resentment and rage in a way that suggests a strange self-awareness." RT: 85% MC: 63

French film "Tomboy" deals with a case of gender confusion and the ensuing freedoms and consequences that come about in the wake of this misunderstanding, from director Céline Sciamma. Our review says, it's "a great celebration of the excitement and freedom of childhood, that also explores the confusion of growing up and terror of being and finding out who you are. With insight and focus, Sciamma's sophomore effort largely captures the complexity of adolescence." RT: 96% MC: 74

Another Happy Day, Ellen Barkin, Review

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we get "Another Happy Day," a celebration of the true hell events involving family reuinions can be, this time featuring a wedding. Starring Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church, Kate Bosworth and Ezra Miller as the dysfunctional fam, this directorial debut from Sam Levinson won the award for Best Screenplay at Sundance earlier this year. Our review says, "while Levinson creates a situation where she shows her scars and deficiencies, Barkin crafts the emotional context that makes her likable, relatable, at times contemptible but never worthy of hate. In a year stuffed with marquee female performances, it’s the best of the bunch, and, hopefully, the start of a fruitful partnership." RT: 45% MC: 43

Documentary "Eames: The Architect and the Painter," follows the life and work of the married couple behind the legendary Eames chair, as well as other influential modern designs. Our review of the film directed by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey says, "as conventionally straight forward as it is, it's also a delight, illuminating a pair of true American geniuses, in a whimsical way totally befitting their product. RT: 71% MC: 60

Katie O'Grady stars in James Westby's "Rid Of Me," as a woman who transforms herself after moving to her husband's hometown ends in heartbreak. Despite its low-budget aesthetic, our review says the film "has a pep in its step, mostly due to the winning O’Grady." RT: 50% MC: 51

Also in theaters: A boy befriends a serial killer in "Snowtown," RT: 94%; Kristin Scott Thomas in Euro thriller "The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch" RT: 50% MC: 39; Doc "Garbo: The Spy" uncovers the true story of a WW2 era double agent RT: 90% MC: 66; Mark Webber, Jess Weixler and Alia Shawkat in baby mama dramedy "The Lie" RT: 69% MC: 58; and doc "In Heaven Underground: The Weissensee Jewish Cemetary" RT: 71%

This article is related to: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Happy Feet 2, The Descendants, Another Happy Day, Tyrannosaur


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates