One much-anticipated art title is pitted against two mainstream titles that may or may not be that anticipated in search of your Thanksgiving moviegoing dollars. I admit to still being a little mystified by the idea of spending your holidays at the movies. Oh, I understand it in broad strokes — it gives you the illusion of spending time with your family without the need for much actual interaction. But having worked at theaters on Thanksgiving and (worse yet) Christmas, Clapton knows it is not where I’d want to be on those days. Still, if it prevents you from decking your in-laws or yelling at the inevitable know-it-all uncle determined to share his polar-opposite political views, then it performs a noble purpose.
Of the three films, I’ve seen the art title — The Theory of Everything — which opens on Wednesday at The Carolina and the Fine Arts. (Everything opens on Wednesday this week.) The review for it is in this week’s paper, and while I have some issues with the film — more for what it isn’t than for what it is — I strongly suspect it’s a better choice than the mainstream titles. I also suspect it will find ready favor with a wide variety of viewers — and it certainly is a classy film.
The probable antithesis of classy comes with Horrible Bosses 2 — the unasked for sequel to 2011’s Horrible Bosses with most of the same folks back for more and Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine added to the mix. However, we also get new director-co-writer Sean Anders — presumably on the strength of his contribution to the screenplay for We’re the Millers (2013). Regardless of how you feel about that — and the fact that he was one of four writers — it is worth remembering Anders’ involvement with the notorious flop Sex Drive (2008), That’s My Boy (2012), and the currently playing Dumb and Dumber To. This does not make me anxious to see this — nor do the early reviews. Then again, Mr. Souther dealt with the first film, so he should rightfully deal with this. After all, I might miss the subtle nuances inherent in the material, owing to my unfamiliarity with the original. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Anyway, my wife actually wants to see Penguins of Madagascar so I can’t escape it anyway. My own suspicion is that they waited too long to give the Madagascar Penguins a feature of their own. (Remember Puss in Boots?) Even so, there’s really no competition for this. It’s the only kiddie flick going apart from Big Hero 6, which is now entering its fourth week. So if you’re in market for family friendly and you’ve already seen Big Hero 6, this is it. Early reviews are pretty much split, but nobody seems to be exploding with enthusiasm over it.
Now, this week we lose Whiplash, which never really caught on here. We also lose Citizen Four (no shocks, it’s a documentary), but more regretably we lose The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. That wouldn’t be such a big deal if was lasting till Friday, but it’ll be history after today — the day the review comes out. So if you’re interested, act fast. We don’t lose St. Vincent or Rosewater, but they are being split. (This happens when nine out of fourteen screens are devoted to four movies.) Plus, Gone Girl is down to one 10:35 p.m. show at The Carolina.
Since The Thursday Horror Picture Show obviously falls on Thursday, which is also Thanksgiving, there’ll be no show this week. (Heads up, Christmas is also on a Thursday, so this will happen then, too. By audience request, though, there will be a New Year’s Day show.) World Cinema is showing Abbas Kiarostami’s Taste of Cherry (1997) on Fri., Nov. 28 at 8 p.m. in the Railroad Library in the Phil Mechanic Building. The Hendersonville Film Society is running Gene Kelly’s Gigot (1962) starring Jackie Gleason at 2 p.m. on Sun., Nov. 30 in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing in Hendersonville. The Asheville Film Society kicks off its December calendar with Rowland V. Lee’s Cardinal Richelieu (1935) with George Arliss as the wily Cardinal on Tue., Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. in Theater Six at The Carolina. More on all titles in this week’s Xpress — with full reviews in the online edition.
Apart from The Giver and The November Man, this week seems mostly given over to things that died before they got here. Oh, well.